Think tank slashes Trident removal costs estimate

Trident 'will cost less' to withdraw. Picture: TSPL
Trident 'will cost less' to withdraw. Picture: TSPL
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REMOVING Trident nuclear weapons from an independent Scotland is likely to cost far less than the tens of billions of pounds previously predicted, a military think-tank has said.

The cost of moving the missiles from Faslane on the Clyde after a Yes vote could be as low as £2.5 billion to £3.5bn, after previous estimates of £20bn to £25bn, according to a report by the Royal United Services Institute (Rusi).

However, Rusi defence experts said the SNP government’s 2020 deadline is “highly unlikely” to be met and the process could take nearly 15 years. The institute suggested a deal was possible and that it could involve giving the UK the “opportunity and time” it needs.

The UK could even move Trident to America or France if talks break down between Westminster and an independent Scotland, the report from research analyst Hugh Chalmers and research director Malcolm Chalmers said.

The paper Relocation, Relocation, Relocation, stated that removal costs “could be reduced by the cancellation of planned investment to prepare Scotland for a successor submarine”.