Westminster position on nuclear weapons leaves the UK badly out of touch

Today, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) comes into force. The Treaty has been signed and ratified by 51 countries, meaning that from this month, countries that have signed will not co-operate or assist any country in remaining nuclear-armed or nuclear-complicit.

However, the UK Government is not a signatory to the Treaty, which leaves it looks badly out of touch with the vast majority of nations, and public opinion in Scotland and across the UK.

New polling from the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament reveals that 59% of the UK public support the UK signing up to the TPNW, and a huge 77% support a “total ban on all nuclear weapons globally”.

Of course, the SNP has always been firmly opposed to the possession, threat and use of nuclear weapons – along with the vast majority of the people of Scotland, the Scottish Parliament, Scotland’s churches, and most of Scotland’s MPs.

In 2016, 58 of Scotland’s 59 MPs voted against the decision to renew the Trident nuclear weapons system – but the Tories and Labour have consistently turned a blind eye to Scotland’s votes by refusing to scrap the Trident nuclear weapons system and wasting billions of public money imposing new nuclear weapons on the Clyde.

It is clear that the UK government has no intention of removing weapons of mass destruction they store just miles from Scotland’s largest population centre – and Westminster’s single-minded nuclear weapons obsession, and the amount of money wasted on it, highlights the democratic deficit we currently face.

Although Scotland cannot yet become a party to the Treaty of the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, the SNP has been a leading voice on nuclear disarmament for decades and an independent Scotland would be a keen signatory.

The only way to ensure unilateral disarmament and the removal of nuclear weapons from Scottish waters is through independence.

Until then, the SNP will continue to strongly oppose the presence of nuclear weapons in Scotland and support the global fight for nuclear disarmament.