THE Ministry of Defence has said that Britain’s Trident nuclear weapons could not be removed from Scotland to England as they are not safe enough for Devonport.
• Faslane in Scotland currently home to UK’s nuclear deterrent.
• MoD believes 11,000 people in Plymouth would be at risk from accident.
• Ministry rules out moving weapons out of Scotland.
According to reports, the MoD says that Devonport does not have the safety clearance to house the trident nuclear weapons and there are currently no plans to chance that, despite the Scottish Government saying it would remove nuclear weapons from Scotland as soon as possible in the event of independence.
Currently, Britain’s Vanguard class submarines carry the UK’s Trident nuclear weapons and are housed at Faslane on the west coast of Scotland.
It has long been believed that the MoD would have contingency plans to move the Vanguard subs if Scotland became independent, but the latest admission means that they would be unable to do so.
However, the SNP said that the only way to remove Trident from Scotland would be to vote “yes” in the 2014 referendum.
Angus Robertson, SNP Defence Spokesman, said: “Ironically the UK government is content to dump Trident nuclear weapons near Scotland’s biggest city, but is unwilling to station them on the south coast of England, for safety reasons. That speaks volumes for Westminster’s attitude to Scotland.
“One of the biggest benefits of an independent Scotland will be the ability to remove Trident from the Clyde - and the Faslane base will have an important future as a conventional military base.
“Scottish public opinion and a majority of the members of Scotland’s Parliament are strongly opposed to nuclear weapons being based in Scotland, and only a Yes vote in 2014 can guarantee Trident’s removal.”
The MoD said it was confident that Scotland would remain as part of the UK.