Written evidence from Alison Lea
I would like you to consider the following submissions in your new inquiry into the Defence implications of possible Scottish independence.
I am particularly concerned as to how Scottish independence will impact on the continued maintenance and proposed renewal of Trident missiles, now stored at Faslane. Studies indicate that there is substantial opposition from the Scottish people to Trident remaining at Faslane and that this will pose enormous—possibly insuperable—difficulties for maintaining Trident.
Studies, both recently and in the past, have shown that it would be almost impossible to move the nuclear submarines to an alternative base. Given the economic and political realities of today, even a government which placed nuclear weapons at the very top of their agenda would be unlikely to find an alternative location.
In the unikely event that a site were to be found, public opposition to Trident misslies being located there would render the move impossible, and the cost would also be prohibitive, running into billions of pounds.
At a time of huge economic decline and cuts to public spending on vital services such as health and education, any additional costs onTrident would be completely unjustifiable. Many people already understand that Trident costs billions from the public purse without contributing at all to our quality of life. Many realise that Trident, despite its enormous cost, does nothing to protect our security effectively, and many believe that the very existence of Trident enhances our risks. It also contributes—in direct contradiction of our non-proliferation treaty—to the continuing promotion and expansion of nuclear weapons.
However, there is one very simple solution to the challenge posed by Scottish independence to Trident missiles: make plans to phase out Trident and do not replace it.
This decision is long overdue and will find support among a majority of the population. This will not only solve the problems of storage and safety arising from the existence of Trident on Scottish soil, but will also contribute to world peace by setting an example for others to follow towards a world where nuclear weapons are eliminated all together.
I urge you to place these considerations before the Defence Committee and to include them in any discussions relating to Scottish independence and Trident.
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