SNP to vote on NATO policy
19 July 2012
Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond is looking to end his party's opposition to NATO membership for an independent Scotland, it has been announced.
Salmond will vote in favour of a new resolution at the party's October conference calling on Scotland to remain in NATO should Scots vote to leave the United Kingdom in a 2014 referendum.
The resolution calls for the SNP to seek to maintain NATO membership post-independence while retaining its commitment to remove the UK's nuclear weapons from Faslane.
Scotland's agreement with NATO would depend on its right to only participate in UN-sanctioned operations.
"In the absence of such an agreement, Scotland will work with NATO as a member of the Partnership for Peace programme," the resolution says.
At a press conference in Edinburgh, Salmond said: "Times change. Circumstances change. The resolution sets out a very carefully positioned statement which shows a willingness to cooperate with our friends and allies but makes clear that the non-nuclear position of the SNP is paramount."
SNP MP Angus Robertson, the party's leader in Westminster, said the motion would be the "first significant defence policy update in ten years" and that it prepared Scotland for "better defence decision-making".
Some SNP politicians are said to be considering rejecting the move, as NATO opposition has been party policy for many years.
"These proposals will deliver an increase of service personnel in Scotland, restore and protect Scottish units and bases as well as address significant UK capability gaps," said Robertson.
"With agreement on the withdrawal of Trident and retaining the important role of the UN, Scotland can continue working with neighbours and allies within NATO."
HAVE YOUR SAY
20 July 2012
How can you fight for independance with deep rooted anti Nato views but then say things have changed just to suit. Typical MP!!
Wouldn't have anything to do with losings jobs north of the border would it?
JC - UK
21 July 2012
Scotland must put an end to Trident and all things military. We want a peaceful nation with no links to NATO which will embroil us in unethical killing in the middle east and elsewhere to support the 'war on terror'.NATO will involve us in huge financial commitments which will eventually bankrupt us.What is the point of being independent if we are going to share England's foreign policy?
jill rowan - glasgow
24 July 2012
jill rowan - glasgow
I see you look at life through the same rose tinted glasses as Alex Salmond, it would be lovely if we didn't need to have armed forces, think of all the things we could spend the money on. . . . . . .
sorry reality check, there are lots of nasty people out there who don't care that whether Jill Rowan thinks that armed forces are bad or whether the Scots have armed forces or not, look at the nuetral countries at the start of WW2 (Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Luxembourg), they were all rolled over by Germany, why do you think they are all in NATO now, they learnt the lesson the hard way. I'm not saying that anyone is planning on invading Scotland but if you need any kind of military you'll be on your own.
Rob - Telford