Bribes won’t save Trident Nic vows to banish nukes at all costs
Trident future ... Nicola Sturgeon gives Sir John Stanley, left, a firm 'No'
By ANDREW NICOLL, Scottish Political Editor
Published: 29th January 2013
SCOTLAND would kick nukes out of Faslane after independence — no matter how much was offered to keep them, Nicola Sturgeon said yesterday.
The Referendum Minister was being quizzed on the future of the Clyde Trident base by MPs on Westminster’s Foreign Affairs Committee.
Tory Sir John Stanley asked if the Navy could pay to keep renting the base after independence. But Ms Sturgeon insisted the Clyde is not for sale.
She told the committee: “The position that we want Trident to be removed from Scotland is not negotiable.”
Unionist parties have claimed losing Trident would cost Scotland 11,000 jobs.
However Ms Sturgeon said the cash saved from getting rid of the nuclear subs would be worth more than anything the Navy could pay.
She added: “We pay £160million a year for the running costs and tens of millions more for the replacement of Trident.
“That’s money that would be better spent on improving the life’s of people in Scotland.”
Asked how quickly the nukes could be forced out, Ms Sturgeon pointed to a CND report which said they could be safely removed within two years.
She added: “We will have sensible discussions about this with the UK government on the basis of the speediest, safe removal.”
Foreign Office Minister David Liddington insisted the Navy will not give up nukes, even if they are banished from the Clyde.
But he said Westminster has made no preparations for Faslane after independence.
And he told the committee: “I frankly think it is for the Scottish Government to say how that quality and quantity of employment would be matched.”