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SNP warned against playing 'fast and loose' with thousands of jobs over Trident

Published 14/07/2016

HM Naval Base Clyde, as GMB Scotland voices fears over the SNP's opposition to Trident
HM Naval Base Clyde, as GMB Scotland voices fears over the SNP's opposition to Trident

A shipbuilding union has accused the SNP of playing "fast and loose" with Scottish jobs and the economy with its opposition to Trident renewal.

The SNP has a long-standing opposition to nuclear weapons and has confirmed its intention to oppose the renewal of the Clyde-based nuclear fleet when it goes to the vote at Westminster on July 18.

GMB Scotland said the Conservatives were keen to move shipbuilding work promised to Scotland to their political heartlands in England, and feared the SNP's opposition to Trident would be seen as a lack of support for the jobs it brings to Scotland.

Gary Cook, GMB Scotland organiser, said: "As we have seen on the Upper Clyde, given half a chance the Tories will take the work promised to Scotland back to their political base and there is no shortage of areas in the south that are crying out for work of this value.

"So without any support for the vital jobs, skills and the high value terms and conditions our members hold, Scotland is in real danger of wishing away the economic and employment benefits of renewal.

"Our economy is flirting dangerously with recession, we are struggling to achieve any sort of meaningful growth and we are haemorrhaging industrial jobs hand over fist through the decline of the offshore sector and neglect of our manufacturing base.

"Scotland is in no position to play fast and loose with thousands of high-value jobs dependent on Trident renewal or with the prosperity of the working-class communities delivering this valuable work on the Clyde and in Fife."

SNP defence spokesman Brendan O'Hara said: "Trident is an immoral, obscene and redundant weapons system - the deadliest nuclear arsenal in history.

"Trident is also a job destroyer. The Scottish Trades Union Congress and Scottish CND have previously shown how renewing Trident could cost Scotland and the Clyde 3,000 jobs, because we could have significant investment in other, more productive parts of economy if we weren't wasting billions on nuclear weapons.

"Support for Trident has dropped across the UK, but it is particularly galling that the UK government plans to dump this nuclear arsenal on the Clyde despite overwhelming opposition from the Scottish people, as well as the Scottish Government and Parliament.

"The SNP is absolutely clear in our position - we will be united in voting against new Trident nuclear weapons and we call on MPs of other parties to do the same."

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