Defence shift

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The SNP’s move towards accepting Nato membership (your report, 17 July) brings Scottish independence a great deal closer to realisation. The SNP cannot be hijacked as a vehicle for CND.

Michael Foot led the Labour Party to electoral disaster with a unilateral nuclear disarmament policy.

His manifesto was famously dubbed “the longest suicide note in history”.

The Michael Foot experience proved that the silent majority of ordinary people realise that a nuclear deterrent is necessary in today’s world and that the first duty of a state is to guarantee the safety of its citizens.

As the SNP nears its political goal it has to appeal to the wider electorate.

The future independent Scottish state will quickly learn to live in the real world. It will use Faslane as a huge bargaining chip in independence and Nato/EU negotiations.

It will probably give a 49-year lease of the base to England, in return for other favours. It will support a nuclear England and France being on the UN Security Council, as democratic, European voices working with the USA.

Moving Trident to Wales is not a realistic option.

It would not achieve safety for Scotland.

A nuclear bomb dropped on Milford Haven, at 4,000 times the power of the Hiroshima bomb, will do more than shatter a few windows in Gretna.

Scotland will be able to drop its own, nuclear-standard defence budget from the current £3.3 billion to a conventional-standard Scandinavian level of some £2bn.

Scottish taxpayers will no longer be forking out for Trident, to give rich Germans and Swedes free nuclear cover – the English and the French will do that.

Instead, Scotland will have £1.3bn freed up for social 
spending – enough to provide, for example, 50 brand new schools every single year.

(CLlr) Tom Johnston (SNP)

North Lanarkshire Council

Burn View


Scottish CND welcomes the SNP’s announcement that it would seek the speediest safe 
removal of nuclear weapons from Scotland.

We recently published a 
report, Disarming Trident, which shows that this could be accomplished within two years. As there is no alternative site for Trident, the removal of these weapons from Faslane would 
result in nuclear disarmament for Britain.

However, Scottish CND does not support the United Kingdom or an independent Scotland being members of Nato.

The alliance is a creature of the Cold War and an anachronism. The Strategic Concept says that so long as nuclear weapons exist, Nato will remain a nuclear alliance. While there are members of the alliance who are actively working for nuclear disarmament, they have, so far, been unable to effect a change in Nato’s approach to these weapons of mass destruction.

John Ainslie

Scottish Campaign for 
Nuclear Disarmament

Southpark Avenue