In the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show (23/04/2017) interview at the start of the general election campaign, Corbyn said that an incoming Labour government would carry out a defence review, including the Trident nuclear weapons system. A couple of days later, the Guardian carried an article claiming this statement meant he was in breach of Labour’s manifesto commitments.
The Labour CND fringe meeting at the Unite Policy Conference was a big success, with a packed room hearing from a number of speakers setting out why Unite should adopt a position opposing Trident replacement and engage in efforts on defence diversification.
The meeting heard from economist Michael Burke, CND General Secretary Kate Hudson, Labour Party activist Simeon Elliott and Hilary Wainwright, who has written a book about the Lucas Plan. The clear message from the panel and delegates in attendance was that Unite must take the issue of diversification seriously in order to protect long-term high-skilled manufacturing jobs for the future.
Michael Burke called for the money currently allocated to Trident to be used to springboard a comprehensive industrial policy for the UK. He also spoke about the proposals in the CND? Jobs not Trident report.
Kate Hudson welcomed Jeremy Corbyn’s commitment to establish a Defence Diversification Agency and called on all trade unions, including Unite, to play a full role.
Hilary Wainwright drew on the lessons from the Lucas Plan which could be applied to the current debate around Trident while Simeon Elliott talked about the policy debate underway in the Labour Party and the need for Unite to support a move away from supporting Trident.
Although CLPs have not been holding meetings in recent months, meetings to consider matters relating to Conference will be taking place in the coming weeks. The text of the motion is below, if you have any questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Proposed United Nations conference on Nuclear Disarmament affects domestic policy
Conference notes on the 19 August 2016 the United Nations Open-Ended Working Group on Nuclear Disarmament recommended that the General Assembly convene, in 2017, a conference to negotiate a legally-binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination. Conference condemns the United Kingdom boycott of the Open-Ended Working Group and calls on the Government to enter into negotiations in good faith to eliminate nuclear weapons around the world.
Conferences reaffirms its commitment to a world without nuclear weapons.
Conference recognises the strength of arguments against Trident from a financial point of view, and from the perspective of an assessment of the actual contemporary threats to British security, such as terrorism. Conference also accepts the compelling moral argument against the use of nuclear weapons.
Conference believes that defence diversification must be an urgent priority for the next Labour government. The next Labour Government must offer cast-iron guarantees on the security of related skilled employment, which is lacking from the existing ?Successor? programme. The priority must be to secure the employment for individuals and the future of the communities involved.
Conference therefore resolves:
1. That a Labour Government will cancel plans to replace Trident and engage in ongoing UN work towards a global nuclear weapons ban.
2. To instruct the NEC to immediately establish a ‘Shadow Defence Diversification Agency’ with trade union participation and which shall report annually to the Labour Party Conference until a Labour Government has set up a statutory Agency.
On Monday 11 July Labour CND will host a fringe meeting at the Unite Policy Conference on “Trident and Jobs: Truth and Myths”.
The fringe comes ahead of an anticipated debate on Trident at the Policy Conference and a vote in Parliament, which is expected before the end of the year.
Thanks to everyone who responded to Shadow Defence Secretary Emily Thornberry’s invitation to participate in Labour’s Defence Policy Review. Her report will be presented to the International Policy Commission which reports to the National Policy Review. The NPF will meet on 2nd July, after which it will prepare a report for Labour Party conference in September.
Labour’s review of defence policy is not over. It has now entered another stage, and the next deadline is Wednesday 8 June. Please participate, by responding to the International Policy Commission’s consultation. We explain how to do so below. You don’t have to be a member – anyone can express their views.
CONTACT THE IPC via the yourbritain website at http://www.yourbritain.org.uk/agenda-2020/commissions/international or search on ‘IPC consultation’. The page which comes up invites you to share your views, and allows you to download the consultation document, Britain’s defence and security priorities. Anyone can read anything on the site.
TELL THE IPC YOUR VIEWS Anyone can participate, Labour Party member or not. You can put forward your own views by making a submission. You can also read, comment and vote on the views of others.
To do so, you must first log in. If you’re a member of the Labour Party and registered for Membersnet, just click log in in the top right corner and give your Membersnet username and password. (Depending on the browser you use, you may need to log in after each comment or vote you make.)
If you’re not a Labour Party member, or not registered for Membersnet, you will have register by clicking register. You’ll then be asked to give your name, postcode, and email address, and to choose a username and password. The information you give is not shared with others.
You can now express your views by clicking make a submission. You?ll be asked to give a title and a summary of not more than 600 words. You can also choose whether to give your full name or a shortened version – eg Josephine Smith or Jo S. You can attach a longer document if you wish, putting your views at length -?but if so, it helps to make a summary as not everyone browsing the site will take the time to download and read the long version.
What you say will be posted for others to see, and to comment and vote on. You can also respond to other people?s comments on your submission. Here’s an example taken from the website:
Renewal of Trident does not increase our security
Posted on 19-05-16 by Annie Tunnicliffe
Number of votes: 1 | Number of comments: 2
Top threats to our national security are Terrorism, cyberwarfare, global epidemics, natural disasters, instability in Middle East and chemical/biological WMDs. Trident has no relevance to any of these. Also advances in cyber technology underwater mean that by the time Trident is renewed, tracking the “secret” submarines will be on stream??
Comment posted on 21-05-16 by Simeon Elliott
Thank you for your submission Annie. I agree with all the points that you have made, and like George I shall be supporting your views in the International Policy Commission. Sim Elliott, an NPF representative (South East CLPs) on the International Policy Commission.
COMMENT & VOTE ON OTHER SUBMISSIONS
Commenting and voting on the submissions of others is important. The number of comments and votes will be recorded and may be taken as evidence of support for a point of view.
That helps tell the Labour Party know how much opposition there is to Trident replacement. We encourage you to visit the yourbritain website from time to time, to look at and respond to other submissions.
Thanks for your patience in reading through this, and please share it with others. Together we’ll let the Labour Party know that the majority wants to Stop Trident!
- Read the Labour CND submission to the Defence Review
- Read the CND response to the Defence Review
- Read the Greater Manchester Labour CND submission
The Labour Party Defence Policy Review undertaken by Emily Thornberry has now closed. However the consultation by the International Policy Commission remains open until 8 June.
If you’ve send a response to the Defence Policy Review, we ask you to send it to the IPC too; if not, we urge you to make a short submission.
You do not need to be a member of the Labour Party to take part. You are, however, required to register and log in to do so. You can read the IPC consultation details by clicking here.
Please share these details to ensure the maximum level of participation in this important review.
The Labour Party is reviewing its defence policy, including Trident. Everyone is eligible to participate in this review by making their views known to Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary Emily Thornberry, before the 30th April deadline.
Individuals and organisations can participate. You don’t have to be a Labour Party member or affiliate to do so. Submissions opposing Trident replacement can help influence the eventual outcome of Labour’s deliberations, and I urge you to consider making your views, and those of organisations you belong to, known. The advice below will, I hope, help you to do so.
WHO CAN PARTICIPATE?
Any individual or organisation, whether or not they’re a Labour Party member or affiliate. Shadow Secretary of State for Defence, Emily Thornberry, the author of the policy review document says: ‘We want to seek the widest possible range of views, spanning academia, the defence industry, NGOs, parliamentarians, the public and, of course, members of the armed forces themselves.’
IS THERE A PARTICULAR FORMAT?
You can express your opinion in whatever way you find easiest. The Defence Policy Review document (attached) sets out Ms Thornberry’s terms of reference expressed as a series of questions which you might consider addressing.
The one about Trident is: ‘Will renewal of Britain?s nuclear capability aid us in protecting Britain?s security and pursuing the values that guide our foreign and defence policy?’
Ms Thornberry begins by explaining that the nature of the threats facing Britain has changed in the past 50 years, and outlining the overall context of Labour’s review with questions such as: ‘What role should Britain play in building a world that is more peaceful, more just and safer?’ and ‘What should be the values and principles that drive Britain’s strategic defence policy?’
HOW MUCH SHOULD I WRITE?
You don’t have to produce a magnum opus or a details scientific tract -?a paragraph or two will do. Say what you think of Trident and give a couple of reasons why. There’s an example below, use it as encouragement. But please don’t copy it -?large numbers of identical submissions won’t be effective.
I oppose the replacement of Trident because nuclear weapons cause indiscriminate harm to the planet and its people. Their possession by countries such as Britain encourages proliferation by others who don?t have nuclear weapons. Replacing Trident doesn?t protect us from the main risks facing this country such as terrorism, cyber-attack, or the effects of climate change like floods and storms. Trident is extremely expensive, costing an estimated ?100 billion over its lifetime. The money could be better used for socially productive and wealth-generating projects, which would help create more money for the government to spend on health, education and social services.
ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO PARTICIPATE
If you’re a member of a CND group, trade union branch or local Trades Council, or community campaign, please encourage them to take a view on Trident and send it to Labour’s Defence Review with a brief explanation of what the organisation is and how Trident replacement affects its members. For example: My housing association is opposed to Trident replacement because… and would prefer the money to be spent on improving existing social housing and on providing more affordable new homes.
SUBMISSIONS FROM BRANCH AND CONSTITUENCY LABOUR PARTIES
It?s important that as many individual party members as possible send their views to Ms Thornberry. This helps to give a true reflection of party opinion. If your Labour Party branch and/or constituency has adopted a policy against Trident replacement, send a copy of the resolution to the Defence Review, with a few comments about the views members expressed.
Many branch and constituency parties aren?t meeting in April because of elections. If your party has adopted a policy against Trident replacement in the past few years, send that to the Defence Policy Review with an explanation that the elections have prevented a contemporary discussion in time for the Defence Review deadline.
WHERE TO SEND YOUR VIEWS
Your submission should be emailed to email@example.com If you don’t have email access, mail it to The Labour Party, Southside, 105 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6QT
– A copy of Labour?s Defence Policy Review can be downloaded through the through the Labour CND website
– Labour CND has produced a Trident Fact File which can provide some information you need to draft a submission.
–CND UK website has a number of briefings you can use to dig out pertinent information.
Good luck, and thank you for your efforts,
Vice Chair, Labour CND
Dear Labour Party Member,
HELP GET A LABOUR PARTY COMMITMENT NOT TO REPLACE TRIDENT
Emily Thornberry, Shadow Defence Secretary has published her terms of reference for Labour?s defence policy review (attached), asking individual members and local parties to send submissions before 30 April 2016. Labour CND urges you to make your opposition to Trident known, and to encourage your branch and constituency to do? likewise.
Emily points to the changed nature of security threats facing Britain today, and asks ?what role should Britain play in building a world that is more peaceful, more just and safer?.
Her key question on Trident is: Will renewal of Britain?s nuclear capability aid us in protecting Britain?s security and pursuing the values that guide our foreign and defence policy?
Branch and Constituency Submissions
Please ensure that your CLP passes a resolution demanding that the Trident missile system should not be replaced, and sends it to the Defence Policy Review. You are the best judge of how to maximise support for such a resolution. But consider keeping it as short as possible, and if you need suggestions, please get in touch with Labour CND.
If your CLP has already made decisions on defence and security policy, ask that these are communicated to the Review. This should be done even if previous submissions have been made to the National Policy Forum.
You should make an individual submission too, and encourage others to do so. Your submission can go into as much or as little detail as you like. We attach our Trident Fact File which may be of help. All submissions must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org to arrive before 30 April 2016.
Labour must take the lead in getting rid of Trident. We depend on you.
Yours in peace and socialism,
Chair Labour CND
After a very successful conference at the end of January, Labour CND is pleased to publish a Trident Fact File, which you will find useful when preparing to discuss Trident at local party meetings.
Alternatively if you would like a Labour CND speaker to come to your meeting please do get in touch with us.