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Labour Defence Review

Friday, January 15, 2016

GMB Call For Labour Defence Review To Be Based On Facts And Conducted In A Professional Manner

The review has to honestly deal with what is going to happen to the tens of thousands of jobs that are directly depend on Trident and the successor programme says GMB.

GMB, the union for shipyards and defence workers, commented on the launch on 15th January by Emily Thornberry MP of the Labour Party Defence Policy Review. See notes to editors for copy of Labour Party press release dated 15th January 2015.

Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary, said “The Labour review of defence policy is perfectly legitimate as long as it conducted in a professional manner and without a predetermined outcome.

This should be a review based on facts and not speculation and must follow the rules in the Party for making policy. It would also be helpful if the review establishes accurately what the actual annual cost of renewing Trident is.

It is not helpful for the confidence of the people affected if senior politicians who claim to have major influence over the outcome make announcements what their position is.

The review has to honestly deal with the issue that is of great concern to GMB and others about what is going to happen to the tens of thousands of jobs that are directly depend on the current Trident programme and the successor programme. That is a fundamental question that has to be answered in the review.

There are direct job like at Barrow for example where thousands of highly skilled workers build the submarines. There are no other jobs in that area. There are those working servicing the submarines and a supply chain which stretches right across the whole of the country.

The fundamental issue is the question of what are you going to do about those jobs. The unions are not going to surrender responsibility for defending members jobs. We want to know what plans are to ensure that communities like Barrow are not devastated.”

End

Contact: Chris Jukes 07870 176733 or Gary Smith on 07710 618909 or 0141 332 8641 or Dave Hulse 08791 266157 or Jim Moohan 07885 868405 or GMB press office 07921 289880 or 07974 251 823.

Notes to editors

Copy of Labour Party press release dated 15th January 2016.

Emily Thornberry launches Labour’s Defence Policy Review.

Shadow Defence Secretary Emily Thornberry today launches Labour’s Defence Policy Review, publishing its terms of reference and calling on Labour Party members, affiliates and the wider public to contribute to its work.

Emily has been asked by Jeremy Corbyn to lead Labour’s defence review, which will examine how the safety of the British people can best be secured in the global conditions of the 21st century.

This follows the Tory Government’s failure to offer a serious strategic response to the threats the country faces in its own defence and security review last year.

Labour’s review will consider the whole range of defence challenges, including the future of the Trident nuclear weapons programme. The review will be comprehensive, open and inclusive, and its conclusions will be based on the evidence. It will encourage the widest possible participation of party members and the public.

Initial contributions are invited before 30 April 2016. There is no time limit on the review, but Emily is aiming to publish an interim report in June 2016. Reports will go forward to the National Policy Forum and Annual Conference for agreement.

Emily Thornberry MP, Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary, said: “It’s a great privilege to be leading Labour’s defence review, at Jeremy Corbyn’s request. This will be a comprehensive review of Britain’s defence challenges and options for the 21st century. It will be open, transparent and inclusive, and its conclusions will be based on the evidence.

“We will encourage the widest possible participation of Labour party members and affiliates, as well as defence specialists, NGOs and the armed forces. At every stage of the process, we will give full scope to the wide range of views on this subject in an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust.”

Ends

Editors notes

The document can be found here: www.yourbritain.org.uk/defencereview

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