SNP to 'ban Trident' in constitution
08 October 2012
An independent Scotland would have a ban on nuclear weapons written into its constitution but would still seek to join NATO, Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has said.
Scots are set to go to the polls in 2014 as part of a referendum which will determine if the country should leave the United Kingdom. A new written constitution is being proposed as part of an independent Scotland white paper, due to be produced by the Scottish Government next year.
"The SNP position on this is that the constitution should include an explicit ban on nuclear weapons being based on Scottish territory," said Salmond.
"This reinforces the SNP's unshakable opposition to nuclear weapons, and that is the context in which we will debate NATO at the forthcoming party conference."
Salmond said the move to join NATO was "conditional on the acceptance of Scotland's non-nuclear status, in line with the vast majority of current NATO members".
The vote would signal a reversal of established opposition to NATO membership within the Scottish National Party, and Salmond is said to be making the nuclear weapons pledge as part of a bid to get party members to back the change.
Almost a third of the SNP Members of the Scottish Parliament are still thought to oppose NATO membership as it relies on the nuclear umbrella provided by the US, France and the UK.
A Scottish ban on nuclear weapons would affect the UK's nuclear submarine fleet, currently based at HM Naval Base Clyde, in Faslane. It would also mean the nearby Royal Naval Armaments Depot Coulport would have to be relocated to elsewhere in the United Kingdom, a move which is expected to cost billions of pounds.
Patrick Harvie, co-convenor of the Scottish Green Party, said: "The idea that we sign up to a nuclear alliance, the implication of which is to ask other countries to deploy nuclear weapons on our behalf, and then have a debate about whether they should be moved from the Clyde is a nonsense."
HAVE YOUR SAY
08 October 2012
I can't help but think that it would be better for Scotland if instead he built into the Scottish "constitution" that people eat more healthily. I am sure it would be more beneficial to the quality of life of Scots rather than this posturing nonsense.
Salmond really is a trouble maker of the worst order. But let's not forget that he was put there by socialist incompetence at Westminster combined with the arrogance of conservative policies in the 1980s. He is exploiting a complacency of UK thinking brought about by an obsession with national management rather than national vision.
The battleground is one for a united kingdom and the current UK government might do a lot in this regard if it promoted Britishness as an ideal, starting with a refusal to allow the highly destructive "merger" of BAE and EADS to go ahead.
Michael - Hertfordshire
08 October 2012
Phew! I was really worried that we would be threatened by nuclear-tipped cabers being tossed over the border. Glad I can stop worrying. Stick to chemical & biological weapons, Alex - irn-bru and haggis!
Chris - London
09 October 2012
Tongue in Cheek:
1. Annex the facilities at Faslane and let any (PC tree hugging) Northerners do what ever at the Main Gate…
a. The BA has disbanded most of the (possible opposition) Scot Brigades, they have no air force or navy…
2. Alternatively, annex the Orkneys & build a base in Scapa Flow, refer 1.a.
Shaun - Ex_RNZN