George Kerevan correctly views adoption of a pro-Nato policy as “another rite of passage for the SNP as it moves from protest movement to nation-builder” (Perspective, 24 August).
Unfortunately, the matter won’t rest there during the referendum run-in. A responsible Scottish Government will have to lease Faslane to England. CND states that England has nowhere to house Trident.
So, is it politically believable that Nato would accept its new Scottish member as Trouble-Maker Number One – demanding the immediate closure of Faslane, thereby forcing England to become nuclear free, with France as the sole European nuclear power?
Would the United States,which values the political cover of other nuclear allies, bow to Scotland’s demands and accept the loss of England’s permanent vote on the Nato security council?
Apparently, the SNP’s defence ideal would be to have a nuclear-free, democratic Europe, independent of the US and crossing its fingers that China and Russia will never bully anyone.
It’s time to sweep away the humbug. In the final analysis, Europe needs the shelter of a nuclear umbrella – or else, even mites like Israel can kick sand in your face. Like the rest of Europe’s poseurs, Scotland will freeload quietly under the shelter of the world’s biggest bully: the US.
Just like the Irish in 1921, the SNP won’t get everything it wants in any independence settlement. Throwing away a negotiating ace-card such as Faslane would be unwise – and a blow to the “social union” with England. Independence will mean Scotland no longer pays for Trident. Our annual defence costs will drop from £3.5 billion to £2.5bn. These savings could buy 50 new schools – every single year.
Leasing Faslane gives us the free nuclear cover the ordinary voter in the street wants, deep-down, to feel safe. That’s a winning – and convincing – defence policy.
Tom Johnston (SNP)
North Lanarkshire Council
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Sunday 26 May 2013
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