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Ministry Of Defence Calman Submission

THE Ministry of Defence has issued a strongly worded put-down of Scottish Government attempts to block the renewal of the Trident nuclear deterrent. In its submission to the Calman Commission, the MoD recognises escalating tensions between the Westminster Government and the SNP administration at Holyrood, which opposes Trident.

The MoD makes clear it will rebuff demands to move Trident. It also hints at tensions between Holyrood and Westminster.

"Experience has shown that the majority of issues can be resolved through discussion and co-operation," the submission says. 

"However, this becomes much more challenging in areas where the devolved administration in Scotland has views or policies at odds with those of the Government.

"On 14 June, 2007, the Scottish Parliament passed a motion recognising that defence was reserved but opposing the Government's decision to maintain the deterrent capability."

Scottish Ministers have since set up a Scotland Without Nuclear Weapons working group that is looking at devolved laws, such as those on roads and planning, to see if it can remove the weapons "within the context of devolved responsibilities". 

The working group has also looked at the economic impact of removing nuclear weapons and is exploring the implications of seeking observer status at meetings of the Non Proliferation Treaty and considering the licensing and regulatory regime for HMNB Clyde.

The MoD says: "The overriding priority is clearly to ensure that the defence of the nation is never put at risk."

THE Ministry of Defence has issued a strongly worded put-down of Scottish Government attempts to block the renewal of the Trident nuclear deterrent. In its submission to the Calman Commission, the MoD recognises escalating tensions between the Westminster Government and the SNP administration at Holyrood, which opposes Trident.

The MoD makes clear it will rebuff demands to move Trident. It also hints at tensions between Holyrood and Westminster.

"Experience has shown that the majority of issues can be resolved through discussion and co-operation," the submission says. 

"However, this becomes much more challenging in areas where the devolved administration in Scotland has views or policies at odds with those of the Government.

"On 14 June, 2007, the Scottish Parliament passed a motion recognising that defence was reserved but opposing the Government's decision to maintain the deterrent capability."

Scottish Ministers have since set up a Scotland Without Nuclear Weapons working group that is looking at devolved laws, such as those on roads and planning, to see if it can remove the weapons "within the context of devolved responsibilities". 

The working group has also looked at the economic impact of removing nuclear weapons and is exploring the implications of seeking observer status at meetings of the Non Proliferation Treaty and considering the licensing and regulatory regime for HMNB Clyde.

The MoD says: "The overriding priority is clearly to ensure that the defence of the nation is never put at risk."


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