Scottish independence: Nationalists’ CND group prepares to do battle over party’s Nato U-turn

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THE SNP leadership is under growing pressure to abandon plans to drop the party’s long-standing opposition to Nato membership.

SNP CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) has said it will devote its entire conference to plan how to oppose an attempt by SNP defence spokesman Angus Robertson to change policy to a pro-Nato stance.

The group, which has about 1,000 members, had planned to use the conference on 
25 August to discuss general issues surrounding nuclear weapons and defence policy.

However, amid widespread opposition to the proposed shift, the group has now billed the event on its website as a conference for SNP members to plan how they can “retain the current SNP anti-Nato policy” in a clear sign of the growing unrest within the party.

The move comes after seven other SNP MSPs and a dozen groups within the party lodged a formal bid to oppose the policy reversal, a shift backed by First Minister Alex Salmond. SNP MSP Jamie Hepburn has lodged a formal amendment to vote down a resolution to the conference from Mr Robertson, which states that an independent Scotland would “maintain Nato membership subject to an agreement that Scotland will not host nuclear weapons”.