Trident nuclear submarines: Jones says no Welsh invitation

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Trident submarineImage source, PA Wire
Image caption,
Britain's nuclear-armed submarines are based at the Faslane naval base on the Clyde

First Minister Carwyn Jones has said he no longer wants to see Britain's fleet of Trident nuclear submarines based in Pembrokeshire if it left Scotland.

In the Senedd, Mr Jones was asked if he stood by comments he made in 2012.

At that time he said the missile system would be "more than welcome" in Milford Haven, if it was forced to leave the Clyde if Scotland become independent.

Asked if that was still his message, Mr Jones replied: "No, and that's not going to be the case in the future."

Answering the question, from Plaid Cymru AM Rhun ap Iorwerth, Mr Jones continued: "The weapons system as it is at the moment remains at Faslane, but I certainly hope there will come a time when there is no need for nuclear weapons to be based anywhere - not in Britain, not in the US, Russia or anywhere else in the world."

The exchange came during a Plaid-led debate calling on AMs not to support plans to renew Trident, seen as an attempt to embarrass Labour, as several of the party's AMs want Trident scrapped.

Image caption,
Carwyn Jones faced fierce criticism from within his party over his previous comments

At Westminster, MPs are due to vote on the issue in 2016, with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn against renewing Trident while many of his MPs are in favour.

On Tuesday, Mr Corbyn's ally and former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone revealed he has been put in charge of reviewing Labour's defence policy, working alongside shadow defence secretary Maria Eagle.

The pair have opposing views on Trident renewal.

During Wednesday's debate in Cardiff Bay, Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood said there was "no moral justification for the possession or use of such weapons".

"There is no practical use in possessing them either, based on the security needs of the UK today, " she added.

Plaid's motion was rejected by 35 votes to 14.

Prime Minister David Cameron has described a nuclear deterrent as "the best insurance policy that you can have", to ensure that you are never subject to "nuclear blackmail".