The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament today (13 December) welcomed the findings of a "timely and significant" report into the Trident Alternatives Review and the future of Barrow.
The report, produced by the Nuclear Education Trust (NET), makes a clear case for the publication of the Liberal Democrat -led review into alternatives to 'like-for-like' replacement of the Trident nuclear weapons system, to which the government has so far refused to commit.
It also concluded that while Barrow is heavily dependent on BAE Systems as an employer, the economic impact of an option other than like-for-like replacement is not "a 'binary' choice between 6,000 employed or none".
Rather, the report recommends that the Government should "take a number of steps now to support a fragile economy." Reducing Barrow's dependence on BAE Systems (and thus the need for Trident replacement) could be achieved through a range of investment, regeneration and diversification mechanisms, the report argues. This could include investment from the Energy Coast Initiative, creation of an Enterprise Zone for Barrow and transitional funding from European Structural Funds, as well as support towards industrial diversification.
Kate Hudson, General Secretary of CND, said that the report "offers a timely and significant intervention in the debate around Trident replacement.
"The issue of employment at Barrow is of great importance in these discussions. This is a very skilled workforce which could and should be utilised in industries which have a sustainable future."
She concluded, "The way for the government to pave the way for such diversification is to invest now to give the workers in Barrow a broader opportunity of employment which is not solely reliant on BAE Systems and Ministry of Defence decision-making."
Read the NET report here http://connectpa.co.uk/downloads/NET_Vol1.pdf