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‘Scottish independence could push UK to lose N-capability`

Last Updated: Thursday, October 25, 2012 - 13:51

London: Britain would lose its nuclear capability for two decades if Scotland votes for independence, because it would no longer have the ability to house Trident submarines, according to report by British MPs.

The Commons Scottish Affairs Select Committee said it would be possible to move Trident submarines and their missiles from their base on the Clyde within two weeks of separation.

However, they said that the construction of replacement facilities south of the border could take up to 20 years, effectively forcing the UK Government into “unilateral nuclear disarmament”, the Telegraph reports.

According to the report, although there are several potential sites in England and Wales, the committee said all have drawbacks that render them as unsuitable or expensive to convert for the nuclear deterrent.

The MPs said it was extremely unlikely a separate Scotland would allow Trident to remain permanently, while basing the submarines abroad would be politically fraught, the paper said.

A possible solution would be a gentleman’s agreement that would allow the UK to continue basing the submarines in Scotland while they found a suitable alternative elsewhere and built the necessary facilities, it added.


First Published: Thursday, October 25, 2012 - 13:51

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