SNP welcomes MOD U-turn on contingency plans for getting rid of Trident
SNP Westminster Leader and Defence Spokesperson Angus Robertson MP has today (Monday) welcomed Philip Hammonds confirmation that the MoD has made contingency plans for Trident should Scotland vote Yes in September 2014.
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Speaking in the House of Commons this afternoon, the Defence Secretary said that despite there being no need for an immediately deliverable contingency plan due to the negotiations that would take place following a Yes vote, the house will however be aware that the MoD plans for a huge range of contingencies. For reasons of national security, we do not comment publicly on plans relating to the nuclear deterrent.
Angus Robertson MP said: "The paper published by the UK Government in February said that nuclear weapons won't be allowed in an independent Scotland - which is music to the ears of the Scottish people - and the SNP already propose to make weapons of mass destruction illegal in a written constitution. Scotland's Parliament and people overwhelmingly want to get rid of Trident.
"Mr Hammond's welcome U-turn on contingency planning to remove Trident from Scotland reflects the fact that the Tory-led Government's anti-independence case is falling down about their ears - how on earth could they talk about keeping nuclear weapons in a country that isn't allowed to have them?
"This underlines that the way to get rid of Trident nuclear weapons from Scotland as quickly as possible, and ensure that Faslane has a secure future as Scotland's naval base, is to vote Yes for independence in September 2014."
Scotland analysis: devolution and the implications of Scottish independence:
Para 3.51 Pg 58 ...Under international law (the NPT), an independent Scottish state would not be recognised as a state entitled to possess a nuclear deterrent. A forthcoming paper in the Scotland analysis programme will examine the specific issues relating to the UKs current provision of defence and security for all its citizens, and the potential implications of Scottish independence.
Defence Questions in the House of Commons at 1520
If an independent Scotland wanted to change the arrangements for the UKs nuclear deterrent, the considerable costs, complexity and timescale involved in delivering alternative arrangements would inevitably be a major feature of these negotiations. It is therefore incorrect to suggest the need for a immediately deliverable contingency plan for the deterrent. The house will however be aware that MOD plans for a huge range of contingencies. For reasons of national security, we do not comment publicly on plans relating to the nuclear deterrent.