by Iain Donaldson on 20 June, 2016
Once the EU Referendum has taken place the next big political battle in the UK will be on the future of our nuclear deterrent. Like this EU Referendum the argument over whether Trident will be continued, mothballed or decommissioned seemed to split the country into three clear camps, with the Conservatives and Labour supporting like for like renewal, the SNP and the Greens supporting decommissioning, and the Liberal Democrats opting for mothballing.
In terms of mothballing, of course, I refer to the peculiar policy stance the party has taken of supporting a part time nuclear submarine on zero hours contracts with the weapons left at home until needed. This is of course aimed at keeping the multi-literalists on board whilst ensuring that any replacement would never be fired.
I had thought that this stance looked somewhat foolish, but now I find that our position looks a lot less so as whereas it will result in a vote against like for like renewal of Trident, the Labour party have managed to go one better in that according to the Telegraph, Jeremy Corbyn is planning to force Labour MPs to abstain from a key vote on renewing
Of course we all know that the Labour leader wants to scrap the deterrent but the majority of MPs back renewal and so a forced abstention would mean any Labour MP who voted for Trident could be disciplined for disobeying party rules.
Mr Corbyn is thought to see a forced abstention as a compromise. A spokesman for the leader said the party “does not discuss whipping” but the reality is that it will simply ensure that the Conservatives are once again neither supported nor opposed by Her Majesty’s loyal opposition.