We have a moral duty to make Britain and the world a safer place, says Jeremy Corbyn, frontrunner in the Labour leadership race.

Frances Perraudin

LABOUR leadership hopeful Jeremy Corbyn used the 70th anniversary of the dropping of the atom bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima to set out his plan for nuclear disarmament in the UK.

Speaking at a Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament commemorative event in London on 6 August 2015, Corbyn said that if he were prime minster he would not replace the Trident nuclear weapons system and would transition away from nuclear weapons entirely.

In a document entitled Plan for Defence Diversification, Corbyn sets out a strategy to protect the jobs and skills of those who work on Trident, and in the defence sector more widely, by investing in “socially productive” hi-tech industry and infrastructure projects.

“We are making the case for a defence diversification agency because we have a moral duty, and strategic defence and international commitments, to make Britain and the world a safer place,” the document reads.

“As a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, Britain should therefore give a lead in discharging its obligations by not seeking a replacement for Trident, as we are committed to accelerate concrete progress towards nuclear disarmament.

“Senior military figures have described our existing nuclear weapons as ‘militarily useless’ and our possession of them encourages other countries to seek a similar arsenal while undermining the efforts being made to advance the cause of international nuclear disarmament.”

In 2016, parliament is expected to vote on the £100bn renewal of the Trident programme, a set of four submarines armed with Trident II D-5 ballistic missiles, which are able to deliver thermonuclear warheads.

Corbyn, MP for Islington North since 1983, attends the CND commemorative event in Tavistock Square garden in central London every year.

Also attending the event is the Green party’s Lady Jones, who will say: “It is amazing that we haven’t learned more from the nuclear bombing of Japan, that nuclear weapons are indiscriminate, their impact incalculable and their cost insupportable.

“Britain should accept that such weapons are impossible to use with any guarantee of safety and we should scrap plans for renewing the Trident nuclear defence system, freeing up £100bn to spend on our national wellbeing.”

Source: The Guardian

06 Aug 2015

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