• MySTV

Anti-nuclear campaigners vow to block SNP policy switch on Nato

The party's CND group says dropping opposition to the alliance could damage the independence campaign.

Trident missile launch
Crown Copyright

Anti-nuclear campaigners within the SNP have launched a grassroots campaign to stop the party leadership overturning its long-standing opposition to Nato.

The party's Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) group held a seminar in Glasgow aimed at educating fellow Nationalists about the consequences of any policy shift for the Yes campaign in the referendum.

Defence spokesman Angus Robertson MP has put the issue on the agenda of the SNP's annual conference with a motion supporting Nato membership.

First Minister Alex Salmond has insisted the party remains committed to removing the Trident nuclear submarines from the Clyde, but campaigners say that remaining in Nato would compromise that objective.

A number of groups within the SNP, including the party's youth wing, have pledged to oppose the motion at the autumn conference, while five MSPs took part in the CND seminar.

Gareth Finn, SNP CND group convener, said about 65 people attended in total. "It was an impressive turnout with members coming from across the country rather than just from Glasgow," he said.

"The aim was to educate the members of why SNP CND are opposed to changing current party policy. The next step is for members to go back to their SNP branches with that information and pass it around.

"We want to expand the debate to a grassroots movement rather than just discussing it in the hierarchy of the party."

"The main issue is that Nato is a nuclear alliance and it doesnt fit in with our vision for Scotland. We are a prosperous and outward looking country, I dont see why we need to be part of the alliance because I don`t see any threat to Scotland."

A briefing paper circulated by the CND group this week said the about-turn on Nato membership could damage support for independence and make the SNP appear "cynical and lacking in moral courage".

It said: "It alienates almost all active supporters of independence outside the SNP and will cause more conflict within the Yes campaign. It removes all differentiation between the SNP and the other parties. It does nothing to counter the media onslaught from those that oppose independence."

A University of Strathclyde poll carried out in May found that 52% of SNP members surveyed want to remain in Nato.

Angus Robertson said: "With an agreement to withdraw Trident from Scotland I think we should be willing to work with our neighbours and allies. All of our North Sea neighbours consider Nato to be the cornerstone of their defence and security policy and they should be confident that Scotland will work with them

"Being able to determine your own defence and security policy is one of the most significant advantages of independence. We should make better decisions in Scotland and a conventional non-nuclear Scotland working fully with our neighbours is the best outcome."

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
Forgot password?
This field is required. At least 6 characters please. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
At least 6 characters please
This field is required. At least 6 characters please.
You have to be 16 or over to join
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
Type your full postcode and select your address This field is required. It doesn't look like you've entered a valid postcode. Can't find your address? Confirm the details you've given us are correct by clicking here

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, including our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. Any issues contact us.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.


We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.


Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.


Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.



Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.