Fylde MP Mark Menzies has spoken out in support of the Trident nuclear missile system.
In Parliament, the Conservative MP praised those members of opposition who spoke of their support for the scheme – saying he was delighted they ‘put party politics to one side’ in the interests of the country.
With more than 8,000 jobs in the area by 2020, it is the engine of that part of Scotland. In fact, it is by far the largest employer in Scotland
With debate raging over the cost and morality of having nuclear weapons brought to the fore in recent weeks, Mr Menzies told the House of Commons: “I rise in support of renewal of the Trident nuclear deterrent.
“Before I speak about that, may I pay tribute to those Labour MPs who have put party politics to one side and are thinking very much of the British national interest?
“There is no Member of Parliament more valiant in that cause than John Woodcock, who has been a shining example of what it means to stand up for one’s constituents. He has fought for the local economy that he represents and ensured that the arguments that he passionately believes in are held not just in the House but throughout the country.
“Many of us could learn from the work that he does.
“I grew up on the Clyde coast, not a million miles from Faslane. Indeed, I went to school in Dumbarton, which is close to Faslane, so I know how important HM Naval Base Clyde is to the local economy.
“With more than 8,000 jobs in the area by 2020, it is the engine of that part of Scotland. In fact, it is by far the largest employer in Scotland.”
Carol Monaghan, Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader, told him: “In fact, there are many jobs associated with HM Naval Base Clyde, including support staff, staff in accommodation, and staff in local businesses. They would still be there if conventional warships were based in Faslane.”
But Mr Menzies retorted: “I admire the hon. Lady’s optimism, but we have been told that there will be 8,200 jobs—an increase—as a result of moving Astute-class submarines up there. Does she honestly expect us to believe that there would be that number of jobs, either direct or indirect, as a result of her party’s policy in an independent Scotland?
“In effect, the ships would be glorified fishery protection vessels, and they could be located anywhere.”