Scottish CND welcomes the debate at SNP conference on a clear timetable for removing nuclear weapons from Scotland. Our report, Disarming Trident, examines in detail the technical issues. Lynn Jamieson, SCND Chair, says it is important to provide clarity for all concerned:
“The UK Government needs to know that Trident removal post-independence will not be subject to never-ending excuses for delay and that they must make preparations well in advance. A three-year timetable is in practice likely to be five years including the period from a Yes referendum vote. This gives them adequate time to prepare a new facility for storing what will soon be 240 nuclear warheads currently based in Scotland and to make provision for the removal of the Vanguard submarines. We fully expect that there will be vigorous campaigns in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to have these weapons decommissioned.
The new Scottish state must also be able to proceed with its plans for Faslane without years of delay, whether as a conventional naval base as is SNP’s policy or as a centre for the development of marine renewable energy or both. The Faslane/Coulport base covers a substantial area.
There is a clear political majority in Scotland which supports an independent Scotland ratifying the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and this means that Scotland will have international backing. Our neighbour, Ireland, has ratified the Treaty. Ratifying the TPNW requires that member states who have nuclear weapons on their territory remove these as soon as possible and must agree a timetable with the other State Parties. I am sure that the proposals from SNP CND will satisfy that requirement for early removal. This will be an inspiration for campaigners throughout the world.”