Statement from Independent/Green Group on Trident Debate

The Independent/Green Group in the Scottish Parliament will highlight the incompatibility of NATO membership with nuclear disarmament in the Scottish Parliament’s debate on Trident on Wednesday.

The Group’s amendment to the Government’s motion has been accepted for debate, giving Parliament a chance to discuss the relationship between Britain’s nuclear deterrent housed in Scotland and membership of NATO. Jean Urquhart MSP will represent the Group, who opposed the scheduling of any business in Parliament on Wednesday due to the PCS strike taking place, in the debate.

Jean said:

“I have been a member of CND for decades, and look forward to moving the amendment on behalf of the Group. Membership of NATO and removing Trident are such contradictory aims that I believe it’s vital that we have a chance to highlight this and to have an honest discussion about Scotland’s future. It’s just a pity that such important business was scheduled on a strike day and that one of the Group had to cross the picket line to make these points.”

Patrick Harvie, Green MSP for Glasgow and Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, said:

“We know how unpopular Trident is with the majority of Scots so it is disappointing that discussion of this important issue will be limited due to the SNP Government scheduling the debate on a strike day. I urge members of all parties in parliament to seriously consider how membership of NATO, an alliance predicated on a nuclear first strike policy, helps Scotland’s international reputation.

“Scottish Greens led a debate on Trident in the last session of parliament which resulted in a historic vote against its renewal. Just think of the powerful, positive message we would send by ending a system that has horrific humanitarian consequences.”

The Group’s amendment is as follows:

S4M-05988.1 Jean Urquhart: Trident—As an amendment to motion S4M-05988 in the name of Keith Brown (Trident), leave out from “and further” to end and insert “; considers membership of NATO to be a barrier to the removal of Trident, whether as part of the UK or as an independent Scotland; believes that membership of an alliance predicated on a nuclear first strike policy is as harmful to Scotland’s international reputation, and poses the same threat from external agents, as the presence of a nuclear deterrent in Scottish waters; notes that European countries such as Ireland, Finland and Sweden are not members of NATO and are still considered to be full, cooperative members of the international community; further calls on the UK Government to disarm Trident and not to replace it with any other nuclear weapons system, and commits to ensuring that, in the event of independence, Trident will not be permitted to operate from Scottish waters.”

Supported by: Margo MacDonald, John Finnie, Alison Johnstone, Patrick Harvie