Roughly 19,000 Scottish jobs are dependent on the Faslane nuclear submarine base

Corbyn vows to retrain Faslane workers if Trident scrapped

Labour leadership hopeful Jeremy Corbyn has vowed Faslane workers would be retrained if he were to follow through on his commitment to scrap Trident.

Roughly 19,000 Scottish jobs are dependent on the Faslane nuclear submarine base, according to Labour Party analysis, but the front runner to lead the party says he has a "moral opposition" to nuclear weapons and plans to decommission the UK's existing arms.

On the campaign trail in Scotland, Corbyn told journalists in Aberdeen that a government led by him would retrain workers reliant on the industry so they could contribute to more peaceful endeavours.

"My life has been one of a moral opposition to nuclear weapons," he said. "We've put forward serious proposals for a defence diversification agenda for the whole of the UK to ensure that jobs are not lost, those skills are not lost, the engineering capability is not lost.

"Instead, they're not making nuclear weapons, they're making something that is safer and more useful for the whole world."

The issues of renewing the UK's Trident submarine-based nuclear deterrent is likely to come before Parliament in 2016. The Scottish National Party is also opposed to renewal, but faced criticism during the run-up to the independence referendum and the General Election due to the effect this could have on Scottish jobs.

Speaking in Aberdeen, Corbyn acknowledged Scotland's engineering expertise and said he wanted to harness it for the benefit of the whole UK by maintaining the skill base already there.

"Scotland is the basis of so much of the engineering industry of the whole of the UK. Thatcher's de-industrialisation is a scar that's still there all across the UK, but particularly in Scotland," he said.

According to a policy document released today, under Corbyn's plans a Defence Diversification Agency would be responsible for redeploying the high-skilled workforce in the nuclear weapons sector into “more socially productive industries” to “protect jobs and skills” and “help grow the British economy”.

In the document, Corbyn said he would ensure that "jobs and skills are not just maintained, but also expanded."

Kate Hudson, general secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) said: “As the only anti-Trident leadership contender, Jeremy Corbyn is not only giving a voice to the many Labour members who oppose nuclear weapons, but is also setting out practical plans to transition the high-skilled workforce away from nuclear weapons production.

"A Britain without nuclear weapons will contribute to a more peaceful world and one that can build a sustainable, high-skilled economy with secure, socially productive jobs.”

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