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The Ministry of Defence may take over Sheffield Forgemasters, one of Britain’s oldest steel-making companies, according to a report in The Times. 

What exact work the Yorkshire steel makers do for the MoD is not known, but it is widely thought that they produce many of the steel components for the UK’s nuclear-armed submarine fleet. 

David Bond, chief executive of Sheffield Forgemasters, said in a statement:  “Our long-term relationship with UK Defence prime contractors and the MoD is based on the critical work we do within the submarine programme and we will not comment on matters regarding our defence work.”

According to reports, a complete takeover of the business is ‘one of a number of options being examined’.

CND General Secretary Kate Hudson commented:

‘Last month, the government effectively renationalised the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), which runs the nuclear warhead factory at Aldermaston. Now, the MoD is considering bringing steelworks key to the maintenance of its nuclear submarines under state control.

At a time when the government is pursuing a policy of aggressive outsourcing in the NHS and in response to coronavirus, these moves to nationalise production for nuclear weapons reflect a strange set of priorities. 

The government continues to run down services and utilities key to national health and security by fragmenting and privatising them, but seems to think state control is essential all along the supply chain for nuclear weapons.

To guarantee real security, the government should scrap Trident, and instead invest properly in the NHS and in tackling climate change.’