A former Royal Navy nuclear submarine commander from Ballyclare has criticised Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s suggestion that the UK could keep Trident submarines, but without warheads.
Steve Aiken OBE, who will stand as an Ulster Unionist candidate in South Antrim in this year’s Assembly election, said he has serious concerns about the direction of the Labour Party’s nuclear policy.
“The idea that the deterrent, which has helped the United Kingdom remain safe from large scale warfare can be provided by submarines, on patrol with no warheads, is deeply flawed, both politically and militarily,” he commented.
Mr Aiken also expressed concern about Mr Corbyn’s statement that the UK should reach an ‘accommodation’ with Argentina over the Falkland Islands.
“As an ex-submarine captain, and defence academic, I obviously have concerns about the direction of Labour’s nuclear policy. And as someone who has spent over a year of his life patrolling around and under the seas surrounding the Falkland Islands, I have equal concerns around his suggestion about reaching an ‘accommodation’ with Argentina over the Islands. The statement that the Islanders, who by every poll wish to remain British (99.8% in 2013), may have an ‘enormous say’ over their future won’t fill the residents of Port Stanley, Goose Green and the Camp with much confidence that a future Labour government would support their rights,” he added.