UK government failing to plan post-independence military

The cost of moving Trident to England would be the same as replacing
the nuclear system say sources

Scottish news: UK government failing to plan post-independence military

by Rosie Harrison

The SNP have bargaining power the size of nuclear missiles against the UK government in the event of independence.

It is estimated that the cost of relocating the UK’s nuclear weapons’ system, Trident, would be £25 billion - the equivalent to replacing the deterrent. However it appears that UK Ministers have not properly planned what should happen to Trident post-independence.

The news is fuelling growing concerns that there is nowhere else within the UK that could accommodate Trident.

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Responding to the assertion from senior defence officials that, in the event of Scottish independence, the nuclear warheads could remain on Scottish territory through negotiation, First Minister Alex Salmond said: "It is inconceivable that an independent nation of 5.25m people would tolerate the continued presence of weapons of mass destruction on its soil."

Defence Secretary Phillip Hammond has suggested that Scotland would share the cost of relocating Trident were deemed “idle” by John Ainslie of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

Citing precedents from the collapse of the Soviet Union, he points out that it would have been ludicrous to expect countries lumbered with Soviet nuclear weapons, such as the Ukraine, Kazakstahn and Belarus, to finance Russia’s replacement warheads.  

Nick Harvey, the Armed Forces Minister, told the Common Scottish Affairs Committee in June that the UK government have not made contingency plans for Trident in the event of independence.

Those with interests south of the border may hope that Mr Harvey is bluffing. If Scotland does vote ‘yes’ in the referendum, Trident could well be at the forefront of the SNP’s negotiations.  

The Ministry of Defence has apparently been aware that the UK has no obvious alternative berth for the nuclear submarines since 1963, when a secret study discounted possible alternatives such as Devonport and Barrow.



Scottish News News Scotland

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commented 2012-07-25 06:24:15 +0100 · Flag
How about GBP 1 BN per year rent to use Faslane / Coulport until the ongoing UK strategic deterrent can be relocated along with a no first use from Scottish soil / waters guarantee. Of course an independent Scotland should pay towards the Trident replacement that will belong to a foreign country.
commented 2012-07-24 19:28:06 +0100 · Flag
Well I would expect every dirty trick from Westminster and its allies,and so far I have not been disappointed.So we must be able to use their methods of negotiation,and use Trident as a huge bargaining chip,they have done us over so many times,a wee bit of getting in first wont go amiss.Even if they try for Barrow-on-Furness its still too close,and there has been many leaks from Faslane we don’t want any-more close to home.
published this page in News 2012-07-24 17:00:00 +0100