Austerity should include scrapping Trident renewal

Plaid Cymru’s Jonathan Edwards MP has renewed his party’s call to scrap the wasteful Trident system and divert the £100bn renewal budget to vital public services such as health, education and transport infrastructure.

Mr Edwards‘ call comes as a Liberal Democrat review into Trident replacement alternatives is published, and as former Tory and Labour ministers claim downgrading Trident would risk national security.

JE Trident

Mr Edwards also criticised the Welsh First Minister for welcoming nuclear weapons to Welsh shores in the event of Scottish independence, claiming that he’s more interested in pleasing his London bosses than protecting the Welsh national interest.

Speaking in London, Mr Edwards said:

It is a long-standing Plaid Cymru policy to oppose Trident renewal and put the £100bn estimated total costs towards better investments such as improvements to health, education and transport infrastructure.

“Following the new UK Government’s emergency budget in 2010 which launched the age of austerity, Plaid Cymru and SNP MPs helpfully tabled an amendment indicating how scrapping the creation of a new trident missile system could go a long way to filling the £80bn of saving the Chancellor was attempting to achieve.  It’s a disgrace that all three London parties voted together against our proposal.  Scrapping Trident renewal should be at the heart of the austerity strategy.

“Plaid Cymru wants a nuclear weapon free Wales. However, our First Minister has irresponsibly welcomed weapons of mass destruction to Wales following Scottish independence.

“At a time when £1bn is set to be wiped from the Welsh economy due to austerity cuts and when we face an additional 50k public sector jobs, it’s incredible that the First Minister prioritises spending money on renewing a Cold War relic rather than helping the poorest in society deal with the impact of austerity.

“His argument that Trident will bring a handful of jobs is economically illiterate considering that the cost of the renewal project is more than the austerity programme which has slashed over a million jobs from the economy.

“At the next Westminster Election, the Welsh people will have a choice between the London parties and their fixation with wasting billions of pounds on Cold War weapons, or Plaid Cymru who believes that job security and adequate healthcare would make people feel far safer than nuclear submarines ever could.”

ENDS

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