• STV
  • MySTV

SNP Nato U-turn might not spell an end to Trident in Scotland, party warned

Party's CND group claims major powers would postpone any removal of missiles post-independence.

HMS Vanguard Royal Navy Trident missile submarine quality image
Crown Copyright

Scotland could be left hosting the UK's nuclear deterrent even if it votes to remove the weapons after independence, the SNP leadership has been warned.

Campaigners within the party will argue the case at the Nationalists' conference this weekend, before the SNP debates whether to accept Nato membership in what would be, if accepted, an about-turn in policy.

The SNP's Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) group will describe the experience of three other Nato countries which host US nuclear weapons while arguing for their removal.

In a briefing paper, the group states: "Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands could insist that the US must remove nuclear weapons from their soil.

"However, in each case, the democratic will of the population has not been carried out because it was in conflict with the desire to maintain cohesion and consensus within Nato."

The SNP leadership insists Scotland could remain in the treaty organisation with a clause insisting no nuclear weapons remain on its soil.

But the CND group argues that the remainder of the UK and the US would be keen to postpone any answer on the removal of Trident missiles from Scotland.

Changing the policy on Nato would not lead to a major shift in the number of people who may support independence in the referendum, likely to be held in autumn 2014, the group says.

"It confuses the strategy and makes the SNP look cynical and lacking in moral courage. It alienates almost all active supporters of independence outside the SNP and will cause more conflict within the Yes campaign," the paper states.

"It removes all differentiation between the SNP and the other parties. It does nothing to counter the media onslaught from those that oppose independence. In fact, tactically and strategically, it is hard to see what meaningful benefit it is meant to bring."

An SNP spokesman said: "The SNP has a cast-iron commitment to rid Scotland of nuclear weapons. Given the continued presence of Trident nuclear weapons in Scotland, against the wishes of her Parliament and people, independence is the only constitutional option which makes this possible.

"The factual position is that Nato doesn't decide where nuclear weapons are based. Weapons from one country that are stationed in another are only there by bilateral, mutual agreement. And the SNP position is clear and cast-iron: Westminster's Trident nuclear weapons will be removed from Scotland."

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.
ShowHide
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
ShowHide
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.

Thanks

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.

Oops!

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.

Oops!

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.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

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.