Page last updated at 17:56 GMT, Wednesday, 4 July 2012 18:56 UK

Plaid Cymru on Trident

A senior Labour AM has delivered a clear rebuke to the first minister over his statement that Trident nuclear weapons would be more than welcome in Milford Haven.

During a Plaid Cymru debate on 4 July 2012, Cardiff West AM Mark Drakeford said that he would be "would be utterly opposed to the sitting of nuclear weapons in Wales."

Trident submarines are currently housed at Faslane in Scotland, but questions have been raised as to whether this would be sustainable should Scotland vote for independence in 2014.

First Minister Carwyn Jones said that Wales would "welcome" Trident to Milford Haven, were they to move from Scotland if she becomes independent, on 19 June

Despite his leader's comments, Mark Drakeford stressed that nuclear weapons were "massively expensive" and "irrelevant" to Britain's needs.

He said that although the debate was theoretical as the decision was not devolved "I would be utterly opposed to the notion that Wales might be a home for nuclear weapons."

Other Labour backbenchers, such as Mick Antoniw and Julie Morgan, also expressed their opposition to nuclear weapons.

Cardiff North AM Julie Morgan said that, following the next UK general election Trident should not be replaced.

Ms Morgan expressed her hope that her party would review its policy on the matter.

However the Labour AM said that this issue was "entirely hypothetical" and that "our efforts should be to encourage the Scots to stay with the United Kingdom".

Contributing to her party's debate, Plaid Cymru Leader Leanne Wood said: "The values of the first minister do not reflect those of the people of Wales or indeed those of the government's back benchers."

Ms Wood said that if the first minister was serious about jobs, then he would oppose Trident.

According to Plaid Cymru AM Simon Thomas, motor fuel and gas industries in Milford Haven currently support 1,200 jobs.

Mr Thomas believed that if Trident was based in the area then, these companies would have to leave and that only 1,100 jobs would be replaced.

Carwyn Jones responded to the debate by saying that the location of Trident was not a "fringe issue" as it illustrated the potential costs of independence for Scotland.

He also demanded to know where Plaid Cymru stood on a new nuclear power station at Wylfa on Anglesey and where they stood on the self-determination of the Falkland Islands.

But he added that the debate on Trident was hypothetical, saying "we will concentrate on the issues that are relevant to the people of Wales."

The Plaid Cymru AM Rhodri Glyn Thomas called Mr Jones' response to the debate "appalling" and the weakest contribution he had ever heard in the Assembly, let alone by a first minister.


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