SNP to discuss nuclear weapons if independent says host
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Nicola Sturgeon is demanding a second referendum on Scottish independence, having just agreed an SNP-Green Party coalition.
Should Scotland become an independent state, the SNP have pledged to ban all nuclear weapons from the country.
Speaking to the Financial Times senior officials said Trident may have to be based outside the UK if Scotland leaves the union.
Suggested new bases are Kings Bay, Georgia, where the US keeps its nuclear fleet, or Île Longue in Brittany, France.
Any move outside the UK would likely be highly controversial, and raise questions about the independence of Britain’s nuclear deterrent.
An alternative proposal, costing £3-4billion, would see the nuclear fleet moved to Devonport in Plymouth.
However according to the FT there are fears the continental shelf will prevent submarines diving quickly, making them easier for foreign powers to track.
A third plan would result in the Faslane and Coulport naval bases becoming an overseas British territory, modelled on Gibraltar.
However, this would require consent from the Scottish government, which may be difficult to achieve.
More to follow…
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