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Trident nuclear weapons could end up in Wales within three years of Scottish independence

29 Aug 2021 2 minutes Read
Trident submarine. Picture by BodgerBrooks (CC BY-SA 2.0).

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.

‘Impact’

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.”

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Mr Williams
Mr Williams
29 days ago

Dim diolch, we don’t want them!

D Dunlop
D Dunlop
29 days ago
Reply to  Mr Williams

We also dont want them in Scotland, thats why majority of votes go to the SNP, if they do move, it will be Wales, as they would need to pay US and France, for them being based there, pre Indy Vote 2014, a FOI request was made, asking, how many civilian jobs did Trident support in Scotland, reply from MOD, was 530, between Faslane, and Coulport, these jobs being, cleaners, canteen staff, Admin staff, etc, hardly 10sK, dont forget, all the UKs Subs, are now based on the Clyde, Nuclear and non Nuclear, with regards costs, Main Base would be… Read more »

Quornby
Quornby
29 days ago

Nowhere available in the Thames then?

Welsh_Sion
Welsh_Sion
29 days ago
Reply to  Quornby

Alongside the good ship, HMS Westminster … itself sinking into oblivion. Perhaps.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
29 days ago

I think Devonport is more likely, it is already a naval base. Also, Milford Haven already has oil refineries and LNG plants so the port would be too crowded with Trident subs as well.

If it did happen this would be just another reason to go for independence.

W T
W T
29 days ago

It seems that between 500 and 1800 civilian jobs would go if we Scots kicked them out says a report back in 2012 – I don’t think there has been much change since then.  According to nuclearinfo.org: “An expert study into the economic consequences of cancelling Trident commissioned by the Scottish Trades Union Congress and Scottish CND concluded that the total reduction in direct and indirect civilian employment across Scotland if Trident was scrapped would be less than 1800 and that this reduction would not take place until after 2022.” …and according to the Guardian on Sun 26 Dec 2010:… Read more »

Cai Wogan Jones
Cai Wogan Jones
29 days ago

If this happened, we would be waving goodbye to any peaceful route to independence. England would spare no efforts to ensure that the conquest was irreversible.

Last edited 29 days ago by Cai Wogan Jones
CJPh
CJPh
29 days ago

Well, I don’t know about that. If Scotland could get them move post indy, then surely so could Wales? The movement of the nuclear arsenal to Wales could hasten our own move to seeing the British establishment for what it is – a desperate, failing set of institutions that hasn’t yet realised it will be far better off calling itself England, and prospering.

Cai Wogan Jones
Cai Wogan Jones
29 days ago
Reply to  CJPh

Dream on. Scotland has nothing like the penetration of settlers with an exclusively English identity as Wales. England could do all manner of things to block Welsh independence, given the fact that at best no more than a bare majority could ever be expected to support it. I take no pleasure in bursting dreams. But I am a sober realist.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
29 days ago

You’d be surprised how many Scots would sell their own nation down the river. After all, they voted down their independence referenda in 2014, granted based on lies and a promise of Devo-Max, but still they are out there. You forget also. Scotland, unlike Wales, retained most powers of state and were an equal partners in a Union with England, where Wales was asset striped, ethically & linguistically cleansed and raped of its national resources. And as a result of this , have no real Welsh media or control still of most levers of state currently Scotland enjoys, and this… Read more »

Last edited 29 days ago by Y Cymro
Y Cymro
Y Cymro
29 days ago

Yes, and our lame Welsh Labour Government would welcome these WMD with open arms. We need independence more than ever. #YesCymru

CJPh
CJPh
29 days ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

You may both be right on a number of issues here, dependent on the individuals involved, but I still believe the tipping point for our (and, perhaps to a lesser degree, Scotland’s) independence will occur in England. It seems to me that this push for ‘muscular Unionism’ is a last gambit. One, I hope, doomed to fail – it doesn’t seem to be convincing anyone who isn’t already convinced. At some point, the focus can easily shift from ‘Britishness’ to ‘Englishness’, given the former not amounting to much of anything tangible. Cai, when you view the British Establishment as an… Read more »

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
29 days ago
Reply to  CJPh

It’s good to have 20/20 vision, agreed. And yes, a clear mind is a sober one. But if we don”t aspire to something better, might as well shut up shop and give up. I don’t give up. There’s an old saying that I’ve quoted to many in the past. Do nothing, nothing will be done. They want us to infight. To argue amongst ourselves. To do their dirty work. So they can say from a far: “We did nothing? it’s all your fault.” It’s name? Divide and conquer. To control the masses, first you must strip away their ability to… Read more »

Last edited 29 days ago by Y Cymro
Dafydd ap Robart
Dafydd ap Robart
28 days ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Mae diffyg gweithredu yn arf dinistr torfol.

Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones
29 days ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

The tories and Labour have the same mentality

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
29 days ago

What is it with Welsh Labour when it comes to dumping Nuclear material in & on Wales, be it eradiated mud from Hinkley Point, to the then FM Carwyn Jones welcoming the idea of WMD tainting further Wales & Britain’s only marine nature reserve in Pembroke. The irony is. This is only time the English Tory Government in Westminster is willing fund infrastructure build, but only when it suits their sly agenda. We’ve already got a damaging Oil Refinery there, so what’s another Whitehall monstrosity to ruin it further. Out of sight out of mind. This takes levelling up to… Read more »

Last edited 29 days ago by Y Cymro
Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
29 days ago

England wants them, England should store them. Besides – we’ll be independent ourselves anyway.

Llewelyn
Llewelyn
29 days ago

Place trident in Abersoch.

Cai Wogan Jones
Cai Wogan Jones
29 days ago

“See in the east a silvery glow,
Out yonder waits the Saxon foe”

Last edited 29 days ago by Cai Wogan Jones
Ex Plaid member
Ex Plaid member
29 days ago

Has anyone been in the water at Milford Havan or looked at a chart and compared it to the Clyde? Its not that deep, as in around 10m deep compared to the Cylde which is 40m+ Safe is pretty safe.

John Davies
John Davies
29 days ago

Milford Haven is deep enough to take VLCC tankers. A base down the western end of the haven would provide deep water and a quick and easy transit to the open sea. My guess would be ideas centre around Angle and the old fort at Popton Point, no longer used by BP and with a good deepwater jetty and anchorage. Not too far from the Castlemartin army range either.

Rob
Rob
29 days ago

And move the ship building for the RN from Rosyth and Govan along with all supply chain in Scotland as the UK does not build RN ships outside the UK!

Sian
Sian
29 days ago

The simple answer is to remove nuclear weapons altogether and use the money to invest in our public services and infrastructure. So few countries have nuclear weapons, it’s a big con and needs to be highlighted so people stop blaming migrants & those on benefits for our lack of housing etc

John Davies
John Davies
29 days ago

This can’t be done quickly. They’d need to establish a complete dockyard with admin and accommodation for crews when ashore (the subs are not comfortable to live aboard), repair and maintenance workshops, at least basic facilities for dealing with maintaining the boats’ nuclear reactors (most of that is done at Rosyth and Devonport at the moment) plus the big ones, storage for missiles and the bombs ashore, with enormous security around them. One possibility on Milford Haven would probably be to build completely new facilities on the southern side, around Angle. There is already a lot of military in that… Read more »

hdavies15
hdavies15
28 days ago

The nuke replacement project is yet another vanity project. Fact is that it is absolutely useless unless you regard getting a late shot at goal after we’ve been obliterated as having a value measurable in billions of pounds.

Rob
Rob
28 days ago

What happens to the rest of the United Kingdom once Scotland becomes independent & Ireland is re-unified??
Would it not by default revert back to its pre-1707 status as the ‘Kingdom of England’? Which begs an even further question, would we the Welsh public accept this & if so for how long?

Might be pointless for the UK/England to move its nuclear arsenal to Wales when they would probably at some point have to move them again.

Donald Anderson
Donald Anderson
26 days ago

They should take Jackie Baillie with them, but Wales does not deserve either.

Tim Deere-Jones
Tim Deere-Jones
24 days ago

Thanks guys: a good article. Important to remember that, as we de-couple from hydrocarbons, the Milford Haven waterway is going to be very vulnerable to the blandishments of all things emanating from the civilian and military branches of nuclear industry, you only have to look at the way the gullible Pembrokeshire CC cabinet recently jumped onto the concept of FUSION POWER and apparently swallowed the various proffered baits with a remarkable lack of caution. Pembrokeshire will suffer job losses, economic loss and infrastructure decay when the oil and gas industries are finally abandoned. Our narrow minded regional and national leadership… Read more »

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