Monday, January 30, 2012

Another good reason for the Scots to vote for independence

Scotland looks set to have a referendum on independence in 2014, to coincide with the 700th anniversary of the battle of Bannockburn. There are many good reasons for the Scots to vote for independence - being able to run their own country as they wish, rather than being dictated to by Tory toffs in London being the best - but the Guardian today points out another: they'd get to kick out English nukes:

Asked during the referendum debate in the Scottish parliament last week whether the government of an independent Scotland would do a deal to keep Trident, the first minister Alex Salmond replied: "It is inconceivable that an independent nation of 5.25m people would tolerate the continued presence of weapons of mass destruction on its soil."

His comments seemed to be directed at senior British defence officials figures who have suggested that they could negotiate a treaty allowing the Trident missiles, warheads, and submarines, to remain in Scotland.

While this won't matter to the Scots, once kicked out, said nukes would have nowhere else to go - there are no viable alternative bases. England would have to give up its ruinously expensive and utterly pointless nuclear deterrent, whose only purpose is to preserve defence policymaker's ego against the US and the French. They'd be doing England - and the world - a tremendous service.