Indyref2: Muldoon discusses Sturgeon's comments on NATO
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The Scottish First Minister has made clear that if Scotland voted to no longer remain part of the UK, she would remove Trident out of the Faslane naval base on the Clyde. This has also been one of the key arguments used by the SNP for leaving the UK. She said back in 2019: “We should lead the way by scrapping nuclear weapons and investing that money in our communities and our public services.
“The fact that the Westminster parties are united in their opposition to this approach will only confirm to many Scots that independence is the only way to scrap Trident once and for all.”
And amid the Ukraine war, with Moscow repeatedly threatening to use its nuclear weapons, Ms Sturgeon has not appeared to budge on her position.
But according to a new poll by YouGov, the majority of Scots are not on the same page as the First Minister.
Results showed that 45 percent of Scottish people were in favour of keeping Trident’s nuclear submarines in the event of a “yes” vote.
Only 34 percent were not in favour of keeping the submarines, while 21 percent were unsure.
SNP voters were the least likely to support keeping Trident in an independent Scotland.
Only 28 percent of them voted to keep the nuclear deterrent, while 55 percent wanted it gone.
And up to 30 percent of voters who back Scottish independence were against keeping Trident in Scotland, while 51 percent were opposed.
Prof James Mitchell, a public policy expert from Edinburgh University, told The Times that “Trident looks even more of a problem for the SNP”.
But he added that the party will still be unlikely to budge on its position.
He said this could damage her reputation on the international stage as Ms Sturgeon tries to assert her commitment to NATO.
But Prof Mitch said: “She will struggle to simultaneously keep the ‘yes’ movement united and satisfy her international audiences.”
Professor Andrew Futter, a nuclear weapons expert from the University of Leicester, told Express.co.uk that removing the trident deterrent from Scotland would cause a major “headache” for the UK Government and warned that it would come at an “enormous cost”.
He told Express.co.uk: “The submarines and warheads ready to be loaded on the missiles are all based up there in Faslane, not far from Glasgow.
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“There are potentially other places where you could move all that infrastructure but it would cost cause an enormous amount of money.
“It would mean building quite significant new facilities to do this, it would mean giving up the very good access to the sea from Scotland.
“You would need all the facilities for docking the submarines, the facilities for loading the warhead onto the missiles, the storage for all the warheads, the personnel..so it would be a pretty big operation.”
“It is doable, whether it would be politically feasible or economically feasible is another question. It would cause a real headache for the UK Government if that was to happen.”
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