THE SNP leadership is under fresh pressure to ditch plans for a U-turn on leaving Nato, after one back-bench opponent warned the case is “falling apart.”
SNP Highlands and Islands MSP John Finnie hit out after Germany agreed to keep nuclear weapons under pressure from Nato, despite foreign minister Guido Westerwelle putting the removal of the warheads at the heart of his policy aims.
SNP back-benchers fear that joining Nato would see an independent Scotland forced to retain the UK’s submarine-based Trident nuclear missile system on the Clyde, despite long-standing opposition within the party. But Mr Finnie said yesterday: “Germany is one of the world’s most powerful countries so when its parliament voted to remove nuclear weapons you’d think that was that. But Nato is more powerful and has put immense pressure on Germany to back down. Nato won and Germany democracy lost. The pro-Nato camp now faces a serious credibility problem.
“They want the SNP to make a policy U-turn based on the claim we can be in Nato and still get rid of Trident. Can anyone really take that seriously any more? The pro-Nato case is falling apart by the day.”
SNP defence spokesman Angus Robertson has produced polls showing 63 per cent of voters think Scotland would be safer by remaining part of Nato, compared to just 5 per cent who believe it would be safer if it left the alliance. But he insists an SNP government will only remain within Nato subject to an agreement that Scotland will not host nuclear weapons.