Question: Does Scotland Have Nukes?
Answer: Yes, and the leader of the Scottish National Party said BBC that if his party won power in an independent government, it would make nuclear weapons illegal.
The people of Scotland are poised to vote Thursday for or against independence from the United Kingdom. According to Nigeria’s “National Mirror,” the most recent polls suggest the predicted outcome is still on a knife edge.
Severin Carrell, Scotland’s correspondent for the “Guardian” wrote: “One of the biggest targets for Scotland’s independence campaign sits behind a high, intimidating wall of reinforced security fencing and curling banks of razorwire in the southern Highlands: Faslane Naval Base, home to Britain’s nuclear missile fleet.
“Stretched along the shoreline of a secluded sea loch underneath the gnarled mountains of Argyll, Faslane, has been a focus for often large protests for decades. Tens of thousands of peace campaigners have laid siege to its gates, hacked at its fence and blocked nearby roads in protest and some have sneaked in by sea, once clambering inside a Trident submarine.
“And in nine days time, Scotland’s voters may just decide to get rid of it.”
In the meantime, in London and Washington, the U.K. and U.S. are preparing to “Modernize for the Second Nuclear Age,” according to Jay Coghlin of Nuclear Watch New Mexico. Coghlin said the U.S., partnering with the U.K, has a trillion-dollar plan over 30 years for modernizing its nuclear weapons, submarines, missiles and bombers. These plans fly in the face of the NonProliferation Treaty (NPT) and have dated assurances from governments that they would abide by the NPT Article VI mandate “. . .to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race. . .and to nuclear disarmament. . .”
According to the “Guardian,” negotiations following a yes vote in the Scottish referendum this month would trigger a wider debate in the rest of the U.K. about whether or not the strategic benefits of retaining nuclear weapons exceeded the costs involved. The U.S., which wants the U.K., its closest NATO ally, to retain nuclear weapons, has made it clear that it would not welcome such a debate.
The world needs this debate. And, not just about financial costs, but about costs to human civilization and the global environment.
Peace Train runs every Friday in the Colorado Daily.