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ScrapTrident


Our vote can influence far beyond our shores

Kate Devlin's asserts, in "The Big Question: Trident" (Herald 22 August), that in the longer term a new home for Trident could be built in England, Wales or Northern Ireland.   But detailed research by Scottish CND has established that there is no viable site. 

A recent report by the Royal United Services Institute suggested that a replacement for the Coulport nuclear weapons's depot could be built at Falmouth. This prompted outrage from across the political spectrum in Cornwall. Sarah Newton, Conservative MP for Truro and Falmouth said that the Ministry of Defence had assured her that Falmouth was not a suitable site and she agreed with their verdict.  Labour councillor Hanna Toms said "We live in an area of outstanding natural beauty, which is a great tourist attraction and it is a completely unsuitable place to be storing nuclear weapons". Green Party MEP Molly Scott Cato promised to do all she could "to resist these deadly weapons being based in the South West".  Even Admiral Lord West, a cheerleader for Trident and defender of the Union, dismissed the Falmouth proposal, in an interview on Radio Scotland on 9 May. In addition to the impact on the tourism industry, there would be major problems with purchasing the necessary land and obtaining planning permission. Crucially, the facility could not comply with safety standards because the site is too close to the town of Falmouth. 

A Yes vote is likely to result in the removal of nuclear weapons from Scotland. This would be a major achievement in itself. But the consequences of independence would be even greater. We can reasonably expect that London would decide to scrap Trident, because Falmouth and the other sites are not viable. 

Our votes on 18 September can have a positive influence far beyond our shores. Ray Acheson, one of today's leading international disarmament campaigners, said "Scottish independence could be the most significant development for international nuclear disarmament efforts in many years".  We should not let this rare opportunity slip through our fingers. 

(Letter from John Ainslie printed in Herald 23 August 2014)

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