Chancellor says a Labour party led by Corbyn would oppose the renewal of Trident, a policy he claims would be disastrous for Britain.
A Labour party led by Jeremy Corbyn would pose a threat to national security by undermining the future of the UK’s nuclear deterrent, according to the chancellor, George Osborne.
The chancellor said “an unholy alliance of Labour’s leftwing insurgents and the Scottish nationalists” would shatter decades of near-unbroken Westminster consensus in favour of maintaining a nuclear capability.
Both Corbyn, the favourite to succeed Ed Miliband, and the SNP oppose the renewal of the Trident missile system being pursued by the Conservative government. Osborne said that would be disastrous.
Amid suggestions that Conservatives were delighted at Corbyn’s surprise emergence as the favourite to lead the party, Osborne insisted the contest should not be seen as a joke.
“On the contrary, I think we should take it deadly seriously,” he wrote in the Sun.
“For the new unilateralists of British politics are a threat to our future national security and to our economic security. We’re going to take on their dangerous arguments and defeat them.”
The only breakdown in agreement over the need for a nuclear deterrent was during the 1980s when Labour was dominated by the left, he said.
“Now that consensus, which is so important for our security and reliability as an ally, risks being shattered again by an unholy alliance of Labour’s leftwing insurgents and the Scottish nationalists.
“This isn’t an argument about the past – the return of the unilateralists to British politics threatens our nation’s future security. In a world that’s getting more dangerous it would be disastrous for Britain to throw away the ultimate insurance policy that keeps us free and safe.”