Trident costing Scots £163m a year, Alex Salmond says
THE TRIDENT nuclear weapons system is costing Scottish taxpayers £163 million a year, Alex Salmond said today, as he told MSPs: “We’re not standing for it any more.”
• Coalition Government has set out plans to replace Clyde-based weapons system
• Opposition to nuclear weapons has been endorsed by Scottish parliament along with churches, STUC and civil society
• Salmond said at FMQs today that 25 out of the 28 Nato member states are not nuclear powers
The Coalition Government this week set out plans to replace the Clyde-based weapons system, despite the prospect of Scots voting for independence in 2014 and Trident being forced to leave Scottish territory.
The First Minister accused London of treating Scotland as a “nuclear dump.”
“Scottish taxpayers in Scotland currently pay £163 million a year towards the running of the Trident,” Mr Salmond said during First Ministers Questions.
“That money could be spent on 3880 nurses, 4527 teachers or a host of new schools and hospitals in our community.”
Mr Salmond added that an extra £84 million a year is proposed by the replacement over the next 15 years.
UK Defence secretary Philip Hampton visited the Faslane nuclear base this week where he announced £350 million of funding towards the Trident replacement and said there are no plans to move the submarine based system because it doesn’t believe there will be a “yes” vote.
“He plans to foist on this country nuclear weapons over the next 50 years- the next half a century,” Mr Salmond added.
“I think the arrogance of that kind is very typical of Tory ministers who believe they can continue to treat this country as a nuclear dump.
“I think they’re not on.”
Mr Salmond said opposition to nuclear weapons had been endorsed by the Scottish parliament as well as churches, the STUC and civil society. The SNP plans to outlaw nuclear weapons as part of a written constitution of an independent Scotland.
“In a situation where this Government, a majority of this Parliament, a majority of the Scottish people, Scottish civic society do not want to see nuclear weapons renewed in Scotland, can we not declare as a people and as a nation that `Enough is enough and we’re not standing for it any more.’”
The SNP recently voted to change policy and back membership of the nuclear-armed international defence alliance Nato, despite opposing the weapons.
Tory leader Ruth Davidson questioned how Scotland could join Nato, while “kicking the submarine fleet out of Faslane.”
“Can he tell us what facts he has sought or received to support this assertion?” she said.
But Mr Salmond said 25 of the 28 countries who are currently Nato members are not nuclear powers.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: North east