Jeremy Corbyn refuses to rule out unilaterally scrapping Britain's nuclear weapons

Posted On: 
26th September 2017

Jeremy Corbyn has said he does not yet know if a Labour government would unilaterally ditch Britain's nuclear weapons if he were Prime Minister.

Jeremy Corbyn has long opposed nuclear weapons
Credit: 
PA Images

Asked if he would be in favour of cancelling the Trident programme, the Labour leader would only say it was not in the previous Labour manifesto and that the next election document had not yet been written.

Mr Corbyn said while the current policy was to pursue "multilateral disarmament", a Labour government would do so with "real determination". 

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He also refused to commit to defending a Nato ally militarily if it were under attack from Russia.

Pressed on giving up the UK's defences unilaterally, he told CNN: "Well, we haven't written the manifesto for the next election yet. 

"But that was what was in the manifesto in which we just gained nearly 13 million votes.  But we're very clear, very, very clear, that nuclear weapons really must be negotiated away as quickly as possible.  

"It is the policy of the Labour party to seek multilateral disarmament. And that is what the government would try to do. But we'd do it with real determination.

"And I would absolutely be totally on the case because I've spent my life working for a nuclear-free world."

Mr Corbyn, a life-long anti-nuclear weapons campaigner, has long been at odds with his party's position - which backs renewal of Britain's existing nuclear programme.

NATO AND RUSSIA

Meanwhile, asked whether as Prime Minister, he would defend a Nato ally under an attack from Russia, the Labour leader called for dialogue with the Putin regime.

"The Nato charter asks for acts of solidarity and support. It is not necessarily military; it can be diplomatic. It can be economic. It can be a lot of things. What I want is dialogue between Nato and Russia," he said.