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HM Government must follow Scotland's lead in signing and ratifying the TPNW


The below letter is in response to this Herald article and has been sent to the newspaper.

We have to be a little concerned about academic standards when the Professor of Strategic Studies at St. Andrews University chooses to write about the SNP submission to the UK Integrated Review without having read it properly. He says that 'unilateral disarmament' is not mentioned at all.  However, in page 3 of the document, it states that: 'It is vital that the remaining treaties which constitute the nuclear disarmament regime be preserved and strengthened.  HM Government must follow Scotland's lead in signing and ratifying the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons'.  This will become a formal UN Treaty and part of international law in January.  Every SNP MP and MSP have signed the Parliamentary Pledge in support of this Treaty.

When an independent Scotland ratifies the TPNW, there is a clear procedure to be followed.  'Each State Party that has any nuclear or other nuclear explosive devices on its territory or in any place under its jurisdiction or control that is owned, possessed or controlled by another state shall ensure the prompt removal of such weapons, as soon as possible but no later than a deadline to be determined by the first Meeting of State Parties.  Upon removal of such weapons or other explosive devices, that State Party shall submit to the Secretary General of the UN a declaration that it has fulfilled its obligations under this Article.'

The existing nuclear powers put considerable effort  into trying to stop this Treaty gaining the required ratifications.  They failed.  Nato, in particular, twisted a lot of arms. It is the policy of the SNP, the Greens and some in Labour to ratify it with independence.  Ireland has recently done so. We know that the UK and Nato defence and security 'establishments' are on manoeuvres to try to convince the SNP to change policy just in case independence happens.  So expect more articles of a similar nature and lots of grooming to take place. 

Isobel Lindsay


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