Tim Farron MP: Essential Nuclear Construction of WMD? No it isn’t!

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Dear Tim,

Thank you for your reply to our concerns. We urge you to drop the false and dangerous label of “essential construction” for Trident and Hinkley Point C.

We agree with your call for non essential work to cease to halt the spread of COVID19. This is however meaningless if the Government’s own mega nuclear construction projects involving thousands of workers at each site continue while small business are forced to close putting many livelihoods in certain peril. Reducing the numbers on these sites is just disingenuous – there are still thousands of workers (why could not small businesses also operate under the same conditions?) These are MEGA construction projects.

To continue with work on the next generation of Trident at Barrow and Hinkley Point C in Somerset is unconscionable. Both of these nuclear construction sites are inherently dangerous even without the inevitable risk of spreading the COVID19 virus from the thousands of workers – many of whom globetrot on a regular basis.

You say that “Liberal Democrats do not believe that fundamental policy decisions should be taken at the height of a national emergency apart from measures to tackle the crisis itself.  You are of course right to point to the need to review the Government’s most expensive commitments, once we discover the size and fiscal capacity of our economy after the pandemic.  In the meantime our stance upon Trident remains unchanged, as follows: -We believe we should have a minimum nuclear deterrent, while pursuing multilateral nuclear disarmament: continuing with the Dreadnought programme, the submarine based replacement for Vanguard..”


Continuing with work on the supply chain (which includes Hinkley Point C) for nuclear weapons of mass destruction is neither helpful nor appropriate at the current time and the public will not forgive a government which does not make the sacrifices itself which it is demanding (with draconian new measures) from the electorate.

Thank goodness the nefarious Moorside project did not go ahead or there would be thousands of workers on the fringe of the Lake District at the rural village of Beckermet right now – would that also be considered “essential construction” for the civil/military nuclear supply chain?

Yours Sincerely,

Marianne Birkby

on behalf of Radiation Free Lakeland

UPDATE

Tim Farron has spoken to the Westmorland Gazette saying that RaFL “misconstrued” his comments about “essential” workers in the county’s defence industry.

Here is the article below and it can be read in the Westmorland Gazette online.

“SOUTH LAKES MP Tim Farron has responded to an anti-nuclear campaign group which he believes has misconstrued his comments about essential workers in the county’s defence industry.

Mr Farron had led cross-party calls for non-essential construction sites to close during the Coronavirus lockdown period.

Dozens of MPs signed his letter to the Business Secretary, Alok Sharma, urging the government to ensure that sites allowed to remain open ‘should be restricted to construction firms involved in supporting health, emergency services, essential post Grenfell safety work and works essential to the public’.

However, Radiation Free Lakeland wrote to Mr Farron urging him to ‘drop the false and dangerous label of “essential construction” for Trident’ and for a Somerset nuclear power station.

An open letter from the Milnthorpe-based group read: “To continue with work on the next generation of Trident at Barrow and Hinkley Point C in Somerset is unconscionable.

“Both of these nuclear construction sites are inherently dangerous even without the inevitable risk of spreading the COVID19 virus from the thousands of workers – many of whom globetrot on a regular basis.”

It also stated: “Reducing the numbers on these sites is just disingenuous – there are still thousands of workers…These are MEGA construction projects.”

Mr Farron had responded, saying: Liberal Democrats do not believe that fundamental policy decisions should be taken at the height of a national emergency apart from measures to tackle the crisis itself. You are of course right to point to the need to review the Government’s most expensive commitments, once we discover the size and fiscal capacity of our economy after the pandemic

The MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale said: “Our cross-party calls for non-essential construction sites to close are not on the basis of whether we agree with the construction in the first place but whether the construction work could be delayed until this crisis is over.https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

“Unfortunately, ongoing construction work is jeopardising the ability of people to follow the guidance in place to help stop the spread of coronavirus, ultimately risking the safety of the hundreds who work on the sites and anyone else they come into contact with.

“That is why the Government must mandate the closure of all non-essential construction sites immediately, furloughing all staff to ensure they receive at the very minimum 80% of their salaries going forward.

“The Government must end the uncertainty and they must do it now. To fail to act is to fail to protect construction workers and their families.”

3 thoughts on “Tim Farron MP: Essential Nuclear Construction of WMD? No it isn’t!

  1. Pingback: Tim Farron MP: Essential Nuclear Construction of WMD? No it isn’t! | AGR Daily News

  2. Reblogged this on and commented:

    Reblogging this as Tim Farron MP has spoken to the Westmorland Gazette saying that we have “misconstrued” his comments regarding non-essential construction. Our comments that nuclear ‘defence’ in Barrow and nuclear construction at Hinkley should not be included as “essential” stand and we urge Tim Farron to rethink his position in supporting the continued construction (involving thousands of workers) at nuclear sites both military and civilian, This nuclear obsession is mad at any time but at a time while others lose their livelihoods with the stated aim of protecting the vulnerable from COVID19 is particularly galling.

  3. Pingback: The Guardian Fails to Highlight the Continued Construction of Nuclear Submarines in Barrow throughout the ‘lockdown’

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