Scottish Labour comes out against Trident

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Scottish Labour has today backed a motion to scrap the UK’s Clyde-based Trident nuclear weapons system

A total of 70.3% of delegates at the party’s conference agreed the move which endorses the anti-nuclear stance of UK Leader Jeremy Corbyn.

But it undermines the multi-lateralist position of Scottish leader Kezia Dugdale who wants to retain the weapons system until other countries get rid of their weapons.

Most Trade unions backed the move, including the UK’s biggest union Unite, despite the perceived threat to jobs.

But Gary Smith of GMB slammed the move which was taken at the party’s conference in Perth.

“This debate is a nonsense, and frankly it is an utter indulgence,” he said.

“We’ve closed dozens of yards, we have closed thousands of factories up and down this country, and people have seen what actually happens.

“High skilled well-paid union jobs replaced by part-time, low skill, low paid work. Rising levels of unemployment, increasingly levels of poverty - that’s what the real alternative is.”

He added: “I stand here in defence of workers up and down this country who have a stake in Trident.

“The position of the GMB may not prevail today, but let me tell you, tomorrow GMB shop stewards in the yards and factories across Britain will walk tall knowing that their union unequivocally, unashamedly stood full strength behind their own members and voted against a motion which represents Alice in Wonderland politics and pie in the sky jobs.”

The debate could cause a rift between Labour north and south of the border. The UK Labour conference last month bodyswerved a debate on Trident and instead opted to endorse the party’s current support of the nuclear weapons system

Stephen Low, of the Campaign for Socialism, brought forward the motion and said afterwards it is major step forward for moves to get rid of Trident.

“There are other facts about Trident, but that’s the central one, and one we should never forget.”

Mr Low told delegates that the UK was not the target of countries such as Russia or China.

“When it comes to the real threats to this country, things like terrorism, things like cyber attacks, things like climate change, Trident is utterly, utterly useless.

“We shouldn’t want Trident renewal even if it were free, but of course it is not free, it comes at an utterly bewildering cost.”