Labour's manifesto and nuclear weapons

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

The Labour Party manifesto has now been published. Its policy on nuclear weapons states:

Labour supports the renewal of the Trident nuclear deterrent. As a nuclear-armed power, our country has a responsibility to fulfil our obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Labour will lead multilateral efforts with international partners and the UN to create a nuclear-free world

This will come as a huge disappointment to many voters and CND supporters. Labour's policy on nuclear weapons is in accordance with the status quo, representing no change from what has gone before.At a time when a majority of countries are supporting a fresh initiative at the UN to negotiate a nuclear ban treaty, it is very disappointing that the Labour Party has made no reference to engaging with this process.There is a glimmer of hope from Labour's planned Strategic Defence and Security Review. Their defence policy states:

As previous incoming governments have done, a Labour government will order a complete strategic defence and security review when it comes into office, to assess the emerging threats facing Britain, including hybrid and cyber warfare.

Jeremy Corbyn has said that Trident would be included in this review, but it is hard to see how a Labour government could scrap Trident having won a general election with a pro-Trident manifesto commitment.