Trident nuclear weapons could end up in Wales within three years of Scottish independence
The UK’s barrage of nuclear weapons might end up in Wales within three years of Scottish independence.
The SNP has been working on a road map to move nuclear warheads and submarines from the Clyde, and will debate the issue at next month’s conference.
According to the Times newspaper, Milford Haven in Pembrokeshire is being considered by the UK Government as one possible location to house the Trident submarines if they are ejected from Scotland, as it has rapid access directly into the Irish Sea.
Other possible destinations include Devonport in Plymouth, France and the United States.
A spokesman for the UK government said they were strongly committed to maintaining the £5 billion Trident nuclear programme as a deterrent against nuclear threats to the UK and NATO allies. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament has estimated the cost at £205 billion.
In 2012 then Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones said that the Trident nuclear submarines would be “more than welcome” in Wales if they left Scotland.
At question time in the Senedd, Mr Jones suggested the nuclear deterrent could come to Pembrokeshire if forced to move from the Clyde.
The Ministry of Defence employs 4,700 people around the nuclear submarines base in Argyll and Bute, accounting for 34% of the total local jobs.
However, the SNP want them out if independence does happen. All candidates in this year’s Scottish election backed the UN treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons.
The Labour party in Scotland have criticised the move, saying that the SNP risked losing thousands of jobs, and that simply moving the nuclear weapons would do little for nuclear disarmament.
Jackie Baillie, the Labour MSP who represents Dumbarton, said: “The SNP are happy to simply move Trident over the border without a thought for the jobs and the impact on the local economy. They talk about diversification but this has not succeeded in the past and would take much more than three years.”