The Scottish ruling party SNP says the British government has “no democratic mandate to impose” a planned £1 billion project for renewal of Britain’s nuclear-armed submarines on Scotland, where the boats are based.
SNP defense spokesman Angus Robertson said there is overwhelming opposition to the Trident nuclear program in Scotland.
“People in Scotland do not want Trident. Church leaders, the Scottish Trades Union Council, The Scottish Government and the Scotland’s Parliament are all against weapons of mass destruction being in our waters,” Robertson said.
“Despite this the UK Government is prepared to spend £1 billion of taxpayers money on a needless program and then expect the people of Scotland to accept weapons of mass destruction being dumped here,” he added.
He further called for a “world free from nuclear weapons” saying the party, which is leading a campaign for Scotland’s independence from Britain, has a “solid commitment” to the “earliest possible withdrawal of Trident from Scotland.”
SNP’s reaction came after British Defense Secretary Philip Hammond said the government plans to announce a contract ordering nuclear reactors for a new class of submarines to replace the current Vanguard fleet that carries the Trident nuclear missiles.
The London governement is also facing strong opposition to Trident replacement due to its massive costs to an already sinking British economy.
Scottish government Strategy Secretary Bruce Crawford earlier said the costs for the new Trident weapons system are estimated to “be anything up to £25billion and, over the lifetime, £100billion.”
“I think it’s an obscenity that we’re going to be pressing ahead at this time with this particular system,” he added.
British Royal Navy is now operating 58 nuclear-armed submarine-launched ballistic missiles as well as around 200 nuclear warheads on four Vanguard-class submarines based in Clyde Naval Base at Faslane, western Scotland.