Salmond softens stance over Trident for an independent Scotland
First minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, said on Saturday that he will ask for Trident nuclear submarines to be removed if Scotland gains independence and if his party wins the re-election.
The issue concerning the Trident fleet is one of the most controversial within the Scottish Independence debate, as relocating the nuclear submarines either to England or Wales would cost billions. During the Scottish National Party’s (SNP) annual conference on Saturday, Salmond said that his government’s key proposals for independence will be published on November 26
Although the UK government hasn’t officially accepted the proposal yet, Salmond wants Scotland to become independent in March 2016 setting up the first parliamentary elections in May 2016. This would allow both governments more time to make decisions over the relocation of Trident.
Angus Robertson, the SNP’s defence spokesman and leader at Westminster, said that Trident would obviously be part of negotiations following a yes vote in the referendum. He said: “Of course Trident could only be removed from Scotland once Scotland becomes an indy country, and SNP policy on that is clear, which is at the earliest possible safe moment.”
At the moment, polls show that a large majority of voters in Scotland would go for no in the referendum for independence.
Despite this, Salmond is said to be confident his party will win, thanks to the fact that people in Scotland trusted his government above David Cameron’s coalition. “Identity is of course important to people but it’s also a question of where best Scotland should be governed from and where people trust the parliament, the government to be,” he said.
He added: “I think that the majority of people in Scotland trust the government in Edinburgh, trust the Scottish government to operate in Scottish interests, and a very small minority of people trust the UK government.”