Scottish independence referendum reiterates concerns over UK’s nuclear arsenal

  • Carolin Laubre
  • 14.3.2017 12:30

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon called on 13 March for a second independence referendum, reintroducing concerns over the fate of the United Kingdom’s nuclear deterrent. The First Minister argues the referendum will protect Scottish interests in the wake of the United Kingdom’s immediate plans to invoke the Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to leave the European Union.

According to the Scottish National Party’s (SNP), the country would have a strong maritime focus, utilising the Clyde naval base near Glasgow, the current home of Britain’s Vanguard nuclear submarines. Along with the Royal Naval Armaments Depot at Coulport, where Trident nuclear warheads are stored, they represent the core of the UK’s nuclear deterrent. However, the SNP opposes the nuclear deterrent and the separation would put the future of Britain's nuclear arsenal at risk. The removal of Trident to England’s coast could cost the UK between 27-50 billion euros and take over a decade.

Moreover, Scotland’s own security capabilities would be rather limited due as its solely relies on Union-wide defence. Both the EU and NATO have said an independent Scotland would not be granted automatic access to the unions.

About author: Carolin Laubre

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