Would Trident be moved from Scotland if it became independent? Scotland has the potential to become a nuclear Gibraltar.
AN INDEPENDENT PERSON The UK’s Trident program could be completely overhauled in Scotland.
According to new papers from the Ministry of Defence, Britain’s nuclear weapons may be transported to France if Scotland declares independence. Senior officials have stated that if Nicola Sturgeon’s intentions for a second referendum result in Scotland quitting the union, the contingency preparations will be implemented.
The Trident program is based at Clyde Naval Base on the west coast of Scotland and is meant to deter the most extreme threats to the UK’s national security.
If Scotland votes to leave, the Trident program will have three alternatives, according to the papers.
The first alternative is to relocate bases elsewhere, with the Royal Navy’s Devonport base replacing Clyde as the most likely candidate.
The second option is to transfer the UK’s nuclear bases to an ally, such as the United States.
According to the Financial Times, officials considered relocating the submarine station to Ile Longue in Brittany, France.
The third option is to negotiate a new British Overseas Territory that would include the Faslane and Coulport bases within an independent Scottish state.
The third possibility, according to one MOD insider, is akin to a “nuclear Gibraltar.”
The UK “is strongly committed to preserving its credible and independent nuclear deterrent at HM Naval Base Clyde, which exists to deter the most extreme threats to the UK and our NATO partners,” according to a representative for the Ministry of Defence.
“There are no plans to relocate the nuclear deterrent from HM Naval Base Clyde, which contributes to Scotland’s and the UK’s security and economy, and its supporting facilities are safe for local communities,” the spokesperson continued.
“Contrary to a recent press report, the nuclear deterrent and the thousands of jobs that support it are staying in Scotland,” the department’s press office later tweeted.
The news comes after Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP sealed a deal with the Scottish Greens, giving her a majority in the Scottish parliament.
The Scottish Government responded to the article by telling the Financial Times that it was “dedicated to the safe and thorough withdrawal of Trident from Scotland” and that it was “firmly opposed to the ownership, threat, and use of nuclear weapons.”
With both parties supporting a vote within the next five-year term of a Scottish parliament – which runs until 2026 – the potential of a Scottish referendum within the next few years is now quite plausible.
This has been agreed upon by both sides. “Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”