SNP point to nuclear free future

Bill Kidd MSP (Credit: Scottish Parliament)

The SNP have welcomed a report from the Westminster Scottish Affairs Committee which states that an independent Scotland could become nuclear free “within months”.

The party leadership will be keen to use the report to reassure backbenchers after the resignation of MSPs John Finnie and Jean Urqhart over the party’s decision to end its opposition to NATO membership.

Bill Kidd MSP, who is a member of the international group a member of the Council of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, hailed the report. He said: “These findings are to be welcomed, and only enhance the case for an independent Scotland where we can move forward towards a country free from Trident nuclear weapons.

“Trident is not wanted in Scotland, and never has been – yet the UK government are proposing to waste £100bn dumping another generation of Trident nuclear weapons on the River Clyde. With independence, we can ensure that Scotland’s shre of the money wasted on Trident is diverted to building a stronger and fairer society.”

The debate over whether the party should change its stance to NATO dominated the first half of last week’s SNP conference in Perth. Two days of fringe meetings and lobbying culminated in a fiery debate on Friday afternoon where the new policy was passed by a narrow margin.

The subsequent resignations from the party of Finnie and Urqhart had sparked fears that other MSPs such as Kidd, Jamie Hepburn and Sandra White, who all opposed the motion, could follow suit.

However, party chiefs will be hopeful that the report will appease disgruntled members with its statement that: “The Committee has heard in evidence that nuclear weapons in Scotland could be disarmed within days and removed within months.”

Kidd also raised the issue of an independent Scotland having a written constitution which would prohibit nuclear weapons, an idea that was floated in Perth. Kidd said: “A key advantage of independence is that it is the only constitutional option which gives Scotland the powers to have Trident removed from Scottish waters. And the SNP also propose a specific ban on basing nuclear weapons in Scotland in the written constitution of an independent Scotland.

Original here