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United Kingdom The Military

Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal? 375

Posted by samzenpus
from the there-goes-the-boom dept.
Lasrick writes The referendum on Scottish independence on September 18th affects more than just residents of the United Kingdom. All of the UK's nuclear deterrent is located in Scotland, and Alex Salmond and the Scottish government have pledged to safely remove and permanently ban nuclear weapons from Scottish territory within the first term of a newly independent parliament.
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Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

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  • by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice AT gmail DOT com> on Friday August 22, 2014 @05:21AM (#47727469)

    And the article gets a pass on citations because ... why?

    Anyhow - check out the following:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-s... [bbc.co.uk]

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-s... [bbc.co.uk]

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-s... [bbc.co.uk]

    http://www.theguardian.com/uk-... [theguardian.com]

    http://www.theguardian.com/pol... [theguardian.com]

    http://www.independent.co.uk/n... [independent.co.uk]

  • close to population (Score:5, Informative)

    by rapiddescent (572442) on Friday August 22, 2014 @05:25AM (#47727481)

    It should be noted that the nuclear armoury is based only 15 miles from Scotland's most populous area [streetmap.co.uk], the city of Glasgow -- which in the politics of the union is totally fine so long as it's nowhere near English cities. The system has had multiple failures and there have been attempted coverups [ardentinny.org] of accidents at Coulport (where the weapons are stored). The Royal Navy also stores the decrepit and rusting nuclear submarines at Rosyth [streetmap.co.uk], a mere 10 miles from Edinburgh, our capital city. Again the thought of storing these at Southampton or Portsmouth would not be considered because it's too close to English who don't want rusting nuclear vessels in their backyard.

    Senior MOD officials have been on the back foot in this debate even though most UK military assets have already been removed from Scotland (airbases have been shut and army decimated). Rather like in a divorce where one party tries to remove as many assets as possible before a possible split. The problem with the nuclear armoury is that none of the other areas of the UK want it and it would be political suicide for an English MP to accept into their area.

    Scotland, if the vote is YES next month, would be a small country and it would not be right to have nuclear arms. Scotland wants to set an example by not having them on our soil. Scotland has only been invaded by one country in the last 1000 years, it's a country to our south. Scots like the English (this is not an anti-English referendum) - we just don't like the arseholes in Westminster telling us what to do (neither does large areas of England as it happens)

    To learn more about the Scottish independence, see The Wee Blue Book [wingsoverscotland.com]

  • Re:No it will not. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice AT gmail DOT com> on Friday August 22, 2014 @05:27AM (#47727489)

    Uh, the recession did not happen because of a drop in GDP, the drop in GDP happened because of the recession - removing Scotlands contribution to the GDP will not trigger a recession because it does not indicate a contraction in output, its a redefinition of output (which sounds like a hand wave, but its perfectly valid). Even without the Scottish contribution to GDP, the UK economy will still grow at around the rate it currently is because nothing is happening to affect it.

  • by rapiddescent (572442) on Friday August 22, 2014 @05:34AM (#47727547)

    It should be noted that the BBC is an interested party in the referendum (the first "B" gives it away). There have been protests [newsnetscotland.com] outside the BBC offices in Glasgow because of their support for the union (even though Scottish public have to mandatory pay for the BBC if they watch TV). The BBC takes a very pro-union stance (or vote "no" stance if you prefer) so please take that into account when reading or watching BBC coverage of #indyref

    BBC Scotland viewers get an assault of fear stories from Better Together campaign every day on the BBC with little or no attempt to provide the other side of the story. The BBC tried to coverup and bully an academic study into bias [thedrum.com] that proved that BBC Scotland were not following their own guidance on #indyref coverage.

  • Re:Hope So (Score:4, Informative)

    by rapiddescent (572442) on Friday August 22, 2014 @05:41AM (#47727575)

    that is not true. It was chosen in the 60's (opened in the mid 70's) because of it's geography - deep water, protected harbour and faces west to the Atlantic. Only 520 jobs [nuclearinfo.org] rely on the nuclear deterrent side of the operation.

    While important for the Coul peninsula, the proposals are to base Scotland new navy at Faslane and so these jobs would be transferred.

  • Re:Betteridge (Score:5, Informative)

    by Archtech (159117) on Friday August 22, 2014 @06:35AM (#47727813)

    "Scotland has only been invaded by, erm, one country, many times as it happens, in the last 1000 years".

    Nice try, and I agree with the spirit of your post. But have you forgotten Norway?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B... [wikipedia.org]

    Although the Scots gave back as good as they got:

    http://www.scotsman.com/lifest... [scotsman.com]

  • Re:No. It would not. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Xest (935314) on Friday August 22, 2014 @07:13AM (#47728019)

    No, it's mostly where it is because they wanted to put it somewhere where it's easy to get it out into the deep water of the Atlantic - you can rapidly disperse them to places where they'll be almost impossible to find from the North Western side of the country. Putting it on the East coast like Newcastle isn't ideal because it's much easier for a country like Russia to get it's forces there to start searching, and there's less room for a sub to run.

    So most likely places would, given that Ireland gets in the way to much of the West coast would be Wales, or Cornwall.

    If you look at a depth map of the world's seas then you'll see that the current location gives some of the quickest access to very deep waters that our coasts offer.

  • by BradMajors (995624) on Friday August 22, 2014 @07:44AM (#47728205)

    You seemed to have missed Israel on your list of nuclear countries, but included Iran a non-nuclear country on your list.

  • by dunkelfalke (91624) on Friday August 22, 2014 @08:07AM (#47728397)

    Not really. Modern Russia is different to USSR in almost every way imaginable, including the things that were actually good.
    The only country closely resembling the USSR of old would be Belarus.

  • by whoever57 (658626) on Friday August 22, 2014 @09:43AM (#47729237) Journal

    We've actually paid more tax per head, and received less back per head, than England for every one of the last 110 years,

    Oh, really? Because Wikipedia doesn't agree with you. Spending per person: [wikipedia.org]

    The persistence of per capita public expenditure lower in England than elsewhere continues to attract calls for the formula to be renegotiated. Using figures for the financial year 2006/2007,[4] if a UK-wide per capita average were a notional 100%, identifiable per capita expenditure on services in England would be 97%, in Scotland 117%, in Wales 111% and in Northern Ireland 127% (this does not take account of non-identifiable expenditure, such as defence and debt interest, which are deemed to be for the benefit of the entire UK, regardless as to where the money is actually spent). In cash, this would work out as (per person):[5]

    England £7,121

    Scotland £8,623

  • by Dogtanian (588974) on Friday August 22, 2014 @11:06AM (#47730201) Homepage

    I disagree. I think every country has the right to self defense, and possess these. However I'd be a big fan of a global nuclear weapon's ban that everybody signs. PS. What are the Scots thinking of trying to be independent? If I were them I'd be happy to be ganged up with England, as long as England is not exploiting me economically because I'm Scot, nor does it restrict my liberties such as freedom of expression, or practicing my own Gaelic mother tongue. tradition. But hey. they are the Scots, and you have to let them decide for themselves. I just think they are proving themselves stupid. Instead of separation, they should be trying to liberties and while united, and only if that's impossible while being united, when push comes to shove, do you have to lower your expectations and strive for independence. But they might be misjudging England, and its willingness to allow for broad reaching internal freedoms, within the UK, such as practicing your own language, etc. United is usually better than divided. The proverb says together we stand, alone we fall. But there are of course many exceptions.

    Thank you for your half-baked opinion on why Scotland is "proving itself stupid".

    In fact, the freedom to speak Gaelic (which is the "mother tongue" of very few Scots, and still only spoken by a small proportion) has little to do with the push for independence.

    Your er.... *eloquent* speech on remaining together did nothing to address the contradiction that traditional Tory voters in their south-east England heartlands are moving against EU membership. The Tories-- afraid of losing votes to UKIP (the UK Independence party) who are pushing this policy- are pandering to *their* potential voters by promising a referendum on EU membership in 2017, which- if they win- would result in the UK leaving the EU.

    Scotland is (in general) much more in favour of the EU, and UKIP support here is *much* lower than it is in the south-east of England. But, of course, if the English vote is sufficiently against EU membership... tough for poor Scotland who (hypothetically) remained attached to Little England. [wikipedia.org] Should Scotland "stand together" with the people who didn't "stand together" with the EU?

    Devolution has improved things somewhat, but control of the UK overall- including the economy and many devolved matters- remains with Westminster, which is run by an increasingly right-wing Tory government which the Scots did *not* elect, and whose political trajectory has been veering away from Scottish values for a generation. (Some readers may be surprised to note that the Tories once had a significant share of the Scottish vote. In the 1955 general election, they gained a majority of votes and a majority of the seats here. Such a prospect would be unthinkable now- there is only one Scottish Tory MP).

    This has been happening since Thatcher came to power in the late-1970s, promising "Where there is discord, may we bring harmony"- either hugely ironic or intentionally hypocritical since she was a divide-and-rule politician with a "them and us" mentality that abandoned any notion of "one nation conservatism", decimated Scottish industry, squandered revenues from North Sea Oil- most of which would have belonged to Scotland if independent- on funding the unemployment her policies caused. In short, she pandered to the Tory heartland of the South East (England), and foisted her values on Scots who profoundly disagreed with them.

    In the post-Thatcher era, we got the once left-wing Labour party selling out to stand any chance of being elected by the South East, to the point they were arguably more right wing and more pro free market than the pre-Thatcher Conservatives. Following Blair's nauseating arse-licking of George W Bush (which bought him nothing- as any idiot could see at the time- and was a result of his egotism, hubris and messiah complex) we got the Tories again, even more right wing despite initial pr

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