- Published on Thursday, 26 January 2012 09:34
Speaking in the referendum debate in the Scottish Parliament First Minister Alex Salmond said: "It is inconceivable that an independent nation of 5.25 million people would tolerate the continued presence of weapons of mass destruction on its soil."
Christina McKelvie (Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse) (SNP): A yes vote in the referendum that the First Minister has just set out would see Scotland take her place in the world as an independent nation. Can he confirm that one advantage of that independence is that Scotland could be a nation without the obscenity of nuclear weapons in her waters?
The First Minister: Yes, I can, and yes, it will be.
Patrick Harvie (Glasgow) (Green): I welcome the consultation, as I am sure will many people
whose support for independence is based first and foremost on the issue of Trident. Does the First Minister agree that those voters need to know more than just the current Governmentâ€Ÿs policy? They will need certainty that no future Scottish Governmentâ€”after the referendum or after the next electionâ€”will be able to put the issue of Trident back on the table and strike a deal during the negotiations for transitional arrangements with the UK about the continued existence of Trident. Will he contemplate the options for a prohibition on any future Scottish Government from striking such a deal?
The First Minister: In technical terms, the Governmentâ€”whether in this session of Parliament or in any otherâ€”is unable to bind its successors, which would have to be voted in by the people of Scotland. It is inconceivable that an independent nation of 5.25 million people would tolerate the continued presence of weapons of mass destruction on its soil. I do not believe that any Government that put forward such a proposition would be elected by the people of Scotland. Patrick Harvie and I will have to express our joint trust in the good judgment and wisdom of the people of Scotland on whom they elect and for what purpose.