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Scottish Parliament calls for Trident removal after Yes vote

Following a lively debate in the Scottish Parliament today, Scottish CND welcomed Holyrood's decision to support the removal of Trident by the end of the first independent parliament, if there is a Yes vote. The motion also supported the proposal for a constitutional ban on nuclear weapons.

John Ainslie, Coordinator or Scottish CND, said

"Scottish CND welcomes the Scottish Parliament's historic decision to call for the removal of Trident by 2020 if Scotland votes Yes in 6 weeks time. As was said in the debate, an independent Scotland would have the opportunity not just to remove nuclear weapons from our shores, but to set an example to the world."

Global disarmament campaigners comment on impact of Yes vote

In advance of a debate on Trident in the Scottish Parliament, several key international campaigners have highlighted the significance a Yes vote for nuclear disarmament.

Tadatoshi Akiba, former Mayor of Hiroshima, said “your successful effort in Scotland would tell them and the world that citizens round the world have won this historic and monumental and humanitarian battle over nuclear weapons.” 

Ward Wilson, Director of the Rethinking Nuclear Weapons Project, who spoke at a meeting in the Parliament on 5 August, said that Scotland’s rejection of nuclear weapons “will have an enormous and beneficial impact on the safety of civilisation.” He added that “at key moments, small nations can have a profound and powerful impact on world conversations.  They can clear away the dust and cobwebs of the past.  This is one of the moments.”

Bruce Kent, Vice-President of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, backed a Yes vote as it “would lead to the removal of immoral and illegal Trident from Faslane and Scotland”.

Welcoming the interventions, SNP MSP Bill Kidd, Co-President of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non Proliferation and Disarmament, said:

“These comments from highly respected international campaigners highlight the opportunities Scotland will have to make a difference as an independent country – and to take the lead on nuclear disarmament. By taking a stand on these immoral, destructive and abhorrent weapons of mass destruction we will set a powerful example on the world stage."

Hiroshima anniversary events

Hiroshima Anniversary event in Scotland August 2014

Scottish Parliament Wed 6 Aug, 1430

 Debate on Trident 

Glasgow, Wed 6 Aug, 19:00

Short Peace Walk, readings and music
Assemble: Botanic Gardens (Great Western Road gates) 
Walk via Byres Road and Dumbarton Road to the peace tree at Kelvingrove Park (grounds o Kelvingrove Museum).

Edinburgh, Wed 6 Aug, 18:00 

Assemble: Mound (Princes Street) Bring banners, candles, poems, songs and people. 
The event will be followed (at 7.15) by a gathering at the Peace Pole outside the Peace and Justice Centre (St John's Church, corner Princes St/Lothian Rd). 

Stirling, Wed 6 Aug, 19:00 

Meeting at the Peace Garden, Pullar Memorial Park, Henderson Street, Bridge of Allan

Dundee, Wed 6 Aug, 20:15
Gathering at Law Road and walking up the Law Hill at 20:30.
Part of Dundee Festival for Peace (6 Aug - 21 Sep, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ).

Aberdeen, Wed 6 Aug, 20:30
Peace lanterns on the river, songs, poetry and speakers.
Venue:  the Fisherman’s Hut on the River Dee

Irvine, Sun 3 Aug, 12:30 - 13:30
Street Stall at Bridge Gate House, Irvine.

Kilmarnock, Sun 3 Aug, 14:00 - 15:00
Street Stall at the Cross Kilmarnock.

Paisley, Wed 6 Aug, 19:00
Assemble: 7pm the car park off Glasgow Road
Walk together to the Peace Garden in Barshaw Park Speaker: Richard Leonard, GMB Scotland Political Officer

Helensburgh CND and Faslane Peace Camp will hold a lantern-floating ceremony on Wednesday, 6 August at 9 p.m. at Rhu Spit, to commemorate the 59th anniversary of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima. Everyone is welcome to attend this event, which follows the Japanese custom of floating lanterns to represent the passage of the souls of the dead. Paper lanterns will be supplied, or you are welcome to bring your own.

Nuclear convoy in Glasgow after midnight

A convoy of more than 20 military vehicles drove through the centre of Glasgow on the M74 shortly after midnight last night. The convoy included four special lorries which transport Trident nuclear bombs. The convoy was stopped for one hour near Loch Lomond by protestors from Faslane Peace Camp. One climbed on top of a nuclear transporter. Four peace campers were arrested. 

Scottish CND coordinator, John Ainslie, followed the convoy as it drove along the M74 from Hamilton, through the South of Glasgow, then over the Erskine Bridge. Mr Ainslie said, "This is an insult to the people of Glasgow and the rest of Scotland. Only 10 weeks before we vote on whether to be independent, the UK Government have sent this massive convoy of Weapons of Mass Destruction through the centre of Scotland's largest city. The convoy was probably carrying six Trident bombs, each one seven times more powerful than the bomb which destroyed Hiroshima in 1945. This should be taken as a clear reminder of why people need to vote Yes - to rid Scotland of these horrific nuclear weapons." 

Scrap Trident - Labour Party Developments

It is encouraging to see that a number of Constituency Labour Parties have raised Trident as a priority issue within the Party's policy making process. 

Almost 50 Constituency Parties have submitted an amendment on Trident and 90 per cent of them want to see Trident scrapped. With submissions overwhelmingly in favour of scrapping  Trident , it is clear that a large section of the Labour Party wish to get rid of nuclear weapons.

Although Scottish CND as an organisation supports the Yes Campaign we continue to lobby all political parties on the issue of scrapping Trident. It is encouraging therefore to hear that a significant number of people are clearly continuing to argue the case for Scrapping Trident within the Labour Party. 

Trident Commission and Referendum

Scottish CND has criticised the Trident Commission for supporting Britain's continued possession of nuclear weapons.

John Ainslie, Coordinator of Scottish CND, said

"Malcolm Rifkind, Des Browne and Menzies Campbell are stuck in the past. The future is in the hands of the people of Scotland. We can vote Yes and kick out these indiscriminate Weapons of Mass Destruction".

The commission report is at: http://www.basicint.org/tridentcommission/

Skewed question distorted poll result on Trident

The "fascinating dichotomy" on the issue of Trident is really very simple. 

People in Scotland were asked a different question from those in the rest of the UK. In Scotland the question was "If Scotland becomes independent, Britain's nuclear submarines should continue to be based here".

Independence means disarmament - John Major

Former Prime Minister Sir John Major has indicated that a Yes vote will be the end of the British nuclear weapons' programme. Speaking on the Radio 4 today programme, he said:

"One of the big implications of Scotland becoming separate would be the SNP's threat to expel Trident from Faslane. That would, in effect, be the end of the serious British nuclear deterrent."

When James Naughtie asked him why this was the case, Major replied

"Because you can't just move those subs. They need proper ports. They need proper facilities. You're talking of many many years before they would have them. By which time Trident may no longer be as relevant as it is now."

Today 18 June 2014 on BBC Iplayer ( at 1:33:00)



Trident polls

The Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament has questioned the way in which the results of a new poll have been presented.

John Ainslie, Coordinator of Scottish CND said "Opinion polls, including the Social Attitudes Study, show that more Scots oppose British nuclear weapons than support them and that opposition in Scotland is stronger than in England and Wales.  Our street work and the many meetings we have taken part in across the confirms this.  The latest study is wrong to conclude that people here want Trident to stay while those South of the border want it to move, if Scotland is independent. People in Scotland were asked a different question, in a different context, from those in the rest of the UK and this has distorted the results."

Draft bill shows Yes vote will eject Trident

The Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament welcomes the inclusion in the draft Independence Bill of a requirement to eject Trident. The Scottish Government had already recommended that the Constitutional Convention should include a prohibition on nuclear arms in the permanent constitution. The draft Bill published today adds to this, by placing clear obligations on the government of an independent Scotland to act before the permanent constitution takes effect.
Arthur West, Chair of Scottish CND said: "We welcome the proposal that the Government of an independent Scotland would be obliged to negotiate the removal of Trident. This makes it clear that a Yes vote will lead to a Scotland which is free from nuclear weapons."