UK's Nuclear Deterrent

Part of Terrorist Attack: Nice – in the House of Commons at 7:57 pm on 18th July 2016.

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Photo of Ruth Smeeth Ruth Smeeth Labour, Stoke-on-Trent North 7:57 pm, 18th July 2016

I am not giving way.

Whole communities live their lives in the shadow of the shipyards and the darker shadow that falls alongside them—the uncertainty over their future and their livelihoods. These are skilled men and women, working good jobs to support their families, including in my city of Stoke-on-Trent, where one local company in Burslem contributes to the supply chain of the Successor programme. These communities need our support and our commitment to their industry, and today we have the opportunity to offer them the reassurance they need.

As a country, we need to protect our manufacturing capability and to ensure long-term investment in our national industry. As has been repeatedly stated in the debate—most powerfully by my hon. Friend John Woodcock—the renewal of our deterrent is my party’s policy and my union’s. For those who understand the proud history of our movement, that should come as no surprise. From Major Attlee’s support for Churchill in our country’s darkest hour to the founding of NATO under Ernest Bevin, our party has always stood up first and foremost for the security of our nation—we do now, and we always will.

As Tim Roache, the general secretary of my union, the GMB, has said:

“We’ve had enough of politicians on all sides playing politics with tens of thousands of highly skilled jobs and the communities they support.”

For the sake of those communities, for the sake of our economy and for the long-term security of our country, I will be voting in favour of replacing the current Vanguard submarines with the new Successor class, and I urge others to do the same.