Trident: Westminster cannot have ‘nuclear Guantanamo’ in independent Scotland

Politicians have said there would be no place for nuclear weapons in an independent Scotland following revelations about secret UK Government plans to remove Trident from Faslane.

As reported by the Financial Times, the Ministry of Defence is said to have made plans in the case of Scotland breaking away from the union for the warheads to be moved elsewhere.

However there are also reports that they could be kept where they are, and the area become a British territory within Scotland.  

READ MORE: Indy Scotland can’t dump Trident and join Nato, warns ex-British spy chief

The Scottish Greens have described these plans as an attempt to introduce a “a nuclear armed Guantanamo Bay-style British enclave” and said the measures would be “unacceptable”.

The SNP’s defence spokesman Stewart McDonald MP said a negotiation over their removal would be a key priority for a new government if the country were to become independent.

HeraldScotland: Liam Fox has said the UK Government must retain its Trident nuclear deterrent

Mr McDonald, MP for Glasgow South, said: “An independent Scotland will not be home to nuclear weapons. With a clear cross-party majority of Scotland’s elected politicians opposed to Trident, there is no possible parliamentary arithmetic that would allow these weapons to be kept at Faslane.

“Negotiating their removal will be one of the most important tasks a newly independent Scotland will face, and capitals across Europe will be looking to Edinburgh for assurance that we will be a reliable and trustworthy partner. 

“Safety and security will be the top principle that informs the process of the departure – which will happen at pace.”

READ MORE: Alex Salmond claims independent Scotland could be rid of Trident on ‘day one’

He added that there was “a clear majority” of politicians, and societal groups in Scotland who did not want Trident to remain, and said: “Independence is needed to ensure that that groundswell of democratic and civic opinion is translated into the action which will see the safe removal of all nuclear weapons from Scotland.”

Meanwhile the Scottish Greens have also said nuclear weapons should not be in Scotland.

Ross Greer, Green MSP for the West of Scotland region which includes the Faslane and Coulport facilities, said: “It’s clear that Scottish independence would undermine the British government’s superpower delusions and contribute to world peace.

“A newly independent Scotland must demand that the UK’s weapons of mass slaughter are moved from the Clyde.

“They should be decommissioned, and we should not for a second entertain the suggestion of allowing a nuclear armed Guantanamo Bay-style complex to remain behind.

“The base at Faslane will play an important role in supporting Scotland’s own defence forces, something it could not do if the facility is handed back to the government of a country we have just left.”

Mr Greer added: “ The shared policy programme agreed by the Scottish Greens and Scottish Government commits us to support the aims and principles of the nuclear weapons ban treaty. I look forward to the day where an independent Scotland can join the 86 other countries who have already signed this treaty.”

The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992