What about nuclear weapons in an independent Scotland?


What about nuclear weapons in an independent Scotland?


There is widespread opposition in Scotland to the presence of nuclear weapons here because they are immoral, they are incredibly expensive and almost useless in terms of protecting us against the most significant threats to our national security.

We know already that the current Scottish Government's priorities for defence would include removal of Trident nuclear submarines from the Faslane naval base within the first five year term of an independent Scottish Parliament.

Instead, Faslane will become the main naval base and joint headquarters for our conventional armed forces.

Even our share of the annual running costs of the current Trident submarines could instead be used to train 3,880 nurses or 4,527 teachers, or to build 13 to 20 primary schools.  In 2007, a report by the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) and the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (SCND) demonstrated that "the replacement of Trident will cost Scotland more jobs than it will provide and that, by contrast, the funds released by Trident cancellation would create a major opportunity for productive investment in Scotland’s economy".

A timetable proposed by the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament would see nuclear submarines recalled to the Faslane naval base and their missiles disabled inside eight days.

Within a year, all nuclear warheads could be disabled and within two years, the warheads removed from Scotland.

Finally, within four years the process of dismantling the weapons could be completed.  The practicality of the timetable has received broad support from a range of experts including Dr Bruce Blair, Professor Richard Garwin, Professor Frank von Hippel, and Professor Malcolm Chalmers.

The current Scottish Government’s view (as set out in "Scotland's Future: Your Guide to an Independent Scotland") is that agreement would be required for the ‘speediest safe’ removal of the weapons - at some point within the first term of an independent Scottish Government. It would then be for the UK government to decide whether to rehouse the weapons elsewhere.

What is clear is that only independence can ensure the removal of nuclear weapons from Scotland.

Defence, Nuclear weapons