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ScrapTrident


Trident can't move say former officials

In evidence to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs committee, two former senior officals in the Ministry of Defence have indicated that it will not be feasible to move Trident, in the event of Scottish independence. Sir David Omand said - "I do not see a feasible alternative site at reasonable cost."  Sir Richard Mottram added - "It is not at all obvious that there is an alternative site for a deterrent of the current kind".  Scottish CND has argued that, as a result, independence is likely to lead to British nuclear disarmament.

David Omand was Deputy Under Secretary of State for Policy in the MOD from 1993 to 1996. During this period he was responsible for developing Britain's post Cold War nuclear policy. He later became Director of GCHQ, then Coordinator of Security and Intelligence. Richard Mottram was secretary of the Duff-Mason committee in 1979. The committee produced a report which led to the replacement of Polaris with Trident. Mottram became Permanent Under Secretary at the MOD in 1995.  Both men were part of the small circle of people who have shaped British nuclear policy.

The Foreign Affairs committee interviewed them about the implications of Scottish independence. Former Defence Minister Bob Ainsworth MP asked them about what it would mean for Trident.

Sir David Omand replied:  "I do not see a feasible alternative site at a reasonable cost ....  My fear, and it is a genuine fear, is that that would precipitate the UK out of the nuclear business".

Sir Richard Mottram said: "I agree with David - I have no inside information of any kind on this - that it is not at all obvious that there is an alternative site for a deterrent of the current kind".

Sir David Omand added: ""You have to add in geology, as well as the deep water and all the considerations of safety zones, and so on, that went into the choice of Coulport for weapons storage".

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