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Scots keener than English to keep Trident on Clyde

The SNP has made its opposition to nuclear weapons clear, and wants the Trident submarines out of Scotland. Picture: Neil Hanna

The SNP has made its opposition to nuclear weapons clear, and wants the Trident submarines out of Scotland. Picture: Neil Hanna

  • by KATRINE BUSSEY
 

MORE Scots believe Trident nuclear missiles should stay in the country if it becomes independent than think the weapons should be removed, research has revealed.

Two-fifths of people north of the Border said that if there was a Yes vote in the referendum, Britain’s nuclear submarines – currently sited at the Faslane base on the Clyde – could continue to be based there. But 37 per cent did not agree with the weapons remaining in Scotland if the country voted for independence.

Alex Salmond’s Scottish Government has made its opposition to nuclear weapons clear, and wants the Trident submarines out of Scotland in the event of a Yes vote.

In England and Wales, just over a quarter (26 per cent) of people agreed that Britain’s nuclear weapons should continue to be based in Scotland if it became a separate country, while 63 per cent said they should either “definitely” or “probably” be moved elsewhere.

The findings were revealed in the latest British social attitude survey from NatCen, which said “people in Scotland were not necessarily convinced that becoming independent should require the removal of British nuclear weapons”.

The 2013 survey found four-fifths of people in Scotland said it should continue to use the pound if there was a Yes vote, with just 11 per cent saying a separate Scotland should have its own currency and 7 per cent favouring the euro. But the research also found 28 per cent of people in Scotland said that while they want to be able to use the pound if the country is independent, they “anticipated that in practice this would not be possible”.

In England and Wales, 38 per cent of those questioned said if Scotland left the UK it should “definitely be allowed” to continue to use the pound, while 31 per cent believed it should “probably be allowed” to do so.

With regards to the BBC, 54 per cent of those surveyed south of the Border said viewers in an independent Scotland should “definitely be allowed” to watch BBC programmes “just as they do now”, while 27 per cent thought they should “probably be allowed” to do so and only 13 per cent opposed it.

Almost half of people in Scotland think they should be able to keep their British passport and have a Scottish one too if there is a Yes vote, while 32 per cent feel people should choose between having a Scottish or British one, and 17 per cent said they should be able to have only a Scottish passport after independence.

But in England and Wales, 33 per cent said Scots should be able to hold both passports after independence, while 58 per cent said they should have to choose which passport to use.

If the referendum results in a No vote, 45 per cent of people in England and Wales would support Scotland having more power and responsibility over taxation and welfare, with 27 per cent opposed and 23 per cent neither in favour nor against such a move.

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