US apron strings

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Douglas Turner, writing in support of his statement that “60 per cent of Scots are opposed to Trident” cites a poll by Survation to back it (Letters, 23 January). Pity: Survation was responsible for the poll predicting a landslide victory for the Yes campaign in last year’s referendum, wasn’t it?

However, I too am stunned by the obduracy of UK governments in continuing to buy an American nuclear weapon system that is neither independent (we need their permission to use it, so we couldn’t decide when or where to deploy it), nor a deterrent.

We would not use it even if an out-of-control nuclear state atomised a British city: no normal Briton would press the 
button to kill millions of civilians in another country – at least I hope not.

Without the cost of Trident, where could our armed forces have been today? Would a de-bugged TSR2 [plane] be close to the end of its cost-effective life?

Would the RAF be flying the successor to the Nimrod maritime reconnaisance aircraft, and the Royal Navy flying British or European-made aircraft and helicopters from its carriers? The US insistence that we carry Trident for them was always much more about the stifling of the British defence industry than the defence of their “free” world.

We should have cut the defence apron strings from our US nanny decades ago.

David Fiddimore

Calton Road

Edinburgh