The Labour Party will maintain its policy position in favour of Trident renewal following strong support from trade unions and a speech made at party conference by local MSP Jackie Baillie.
At Labour Conference in Liverpool Jackie Baillie told delegates that scrapping Trident would put thousands of jobs at risk in Helensburgh and Lomond, and at other key sites across the UK. Faslane is the biggest single-site employer in Scotland, providing 11,300 jobs. 6,800 people are directly employed on site by the Ministry of Defence and its contractors and a further 4,500 jobs depend on the base through the supply chain and local spend.
Over the past year Jackie Baillie has been working behind the scenes with the leadership of the GMB trade union in Scotland and Unite at a UK level to defeat any attempts to change Labour Party policy on Trident.
The party conference received a number of motions from both sides of the debate, including a motion from the Dumbarton Labour Party which warned of the huge loss of employment in our area if Trident is scrapped.
Party officials decided not to call a vote on the issue which means that Labour will continue to support the renewal of Trident.
During her speech Jackie said:
“People expect maturity and responsibility from their politicians and parties about the choices we make. They expect us to consider the consequences of our actions. So please don’t give the workers at Faslane, at Barrow, at Rosyth or on the Clyde lip service about jobs -; don’t pretend and tell them that the number of jobs affected is smaller. They know what the truth is.”
Following conference Jackie added:
“I am delighted that Labour has retained our longstanding commitment to Trident renewal and multilateral nuclear disarmament. I have been working with colleagues from trade unions and local representatives at the base for some time now to achieve this result. During my seventeen years as the MSP for this area I have always been consistent in my support for the families whose livelihoods depend on the base