- Luke Pollard has been campaigning for the nuclear submarines tied up in Devonport to be recycled
- The UK still has every single nuclear submarine it has ever made
- The Labour Party is now the first and only party to commit to recycling nuclear submarines
The Labour Party has become the first and only party to commit to recycle old nuclear submarines. This comes after a long and sustained campaign by Luke Pollard, who is running for re-election as the MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport.
Britain still has every nuclear submarine it has ever had, all the way back to the HMS Dreadnought launched in 1960. There hasn’t been a plan in place to recycle or dispose of a single submarine yet despite the first being decommissioned some forty years ago. There are also no plans for the recycling of the three remaining Trafalgar-class submarines that are coming out of service in the next decade. Indeed, there are currently no plans even to provide space to store the four Vanguard-class nuclear bombers when they are replaced in the mid-2030s. This is costing the taxpayer £3omillion a year. Extending civil nuclear decommissioning to these submarines will not only solve a longstanding problem, but will also create jobs in Plymouth, Scotland, and West Cumbria.
Luke Pollard launched the campaign to recycle the 13 old nuclear submarines tied up in Devonport. He raised this issue with Theresa May at PMQs. He also presented his first ever Private Members Bill, the Nuclear Submarine Recycling Bill, to require the government to recycle all the old Navy submarines tied up in Devonport.
Labour has now committed to recycling these nuclear submarines in it’s 2019 General Election manifesto. It says:
“[Labour will] publish a strategy to accelerate the safe and sustainable recycling of our old nuclear submarines.”
This pledge can be found on page 102 of the manifesto document:
Luke Pollard said:
“As the son of a submariner I know how important the Royal Navy are and how vital our submarines are to our defence. It is a scandal that every nuclear submarine we have ever had, we still have. That is why I started the campaign to recycle these submarines. I won’t accept the poor deal that our local Conservatives have accepted for too long – and that is why I have argued for money to be allocated to this project and for work to begin on these subs in Devonport.
Over the past two years I have been making the case for the 13 old nuclear submarines tied up in Devonport to be safely, securely and sustainably recycled. he Labour Party published our manifesto and on page 102 is the commitment I’ve been working for – to accelerate the recycling of these old nuclear submarines.”