The SNP government is ready to allow the UK’s Trident nuclear weapons to remain on the Clyde after independence in exchange for keeping the pound, according to a leading defence expert.
Dr Phillips O’Brien, director of the Centre for War Studies at Glasgow University, said Scotland will “have to make deals” after a Yes vote that may prove unpopular with grassroots supporters.
First Minister Alex Salmond has insisted that Trident must go and will not be on the negotiating table after a Yes vote, despite the SNP’s recent policy U-turn to support membership of the nuclear-armed Nato defence alliance.
Dr O’Brien said: “What we see on Faslane and on defence issues and security is an attempt to say, ‘Look we will be more reasonable on this than we seem to have been in the past publicly’.”
He added: “Reading the white paper, they’re saying, ‘we can host these weapons for the long run’.”