"The majority of Scottish people and their elected representatives oppose these deployments."Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon explains:
“It is not about trying to make common cause with any particular country…Given that Trident is based in Scotland, I think it is right that we make sure all of these countries know Scotland's view.”Deputy First Minister Sturgeon hosted a conference today titled A National Conversation: Scotland's Future Without Nuclear Weapons opposing Trident replacement. At this event she said:
The engagement of the Government of Scotland on the question of the future of nuclear weapons has several important implications. First, it signals Scottish willingness to contribute new energy to the resolution of issues of global concern, offering an important voice to global deliberations regarding prudent and effective movement toward the ultimate abolition of nuclear weapons. Second, it suggests that despite the continuing exaggeration of the political value of nuclear weapons by some states, non-nuclear weapon state status within the NPT can still be used to assert sovereignty. Third, it indicates, as the Mayors for Peace have, that smaller governmental entities may be more sensitive to the nuclear weapon free ambitions of their constituents. Fourth, raises the profile of internal criticism of the United Kingdom’s plans to replace Trident, perhaps openning the door to greater public engagement on this vital issue.
"There are few more important issues in the world than nuclear weapons. And the position of the Scottish Government is clear - we are opposed to the replacement of the Trident system and the deployment of weapons of mass destruction on Scottish soil."
"That position is shared by a majority of MSPs, a majority of Scottish MPs, and a majority of the Scottish public. The fact that defence issues are currently reserved to Westminster does not make such opposition irrelevant - rather it forces all of us to consider how best to convey that strong feeling of opposition to the UK Government."
"There are strong moral arguments against nuclear weapons. But we need to consider the practical implications of having a replacement to the Trident system on Scottish soil. That is the responsible thing to do - and that is what we are doing."
Scotland may have a tough row to hoe with the three NPT depository governments (the United Kingdom, the United States, and Russia) – credentialling representatives for the next Prepartory Committee meeting is likely to prove quite challenging – but the presence of Mr. Salmond, Ms. Sturgeon, or their representative at the 2010 Review Conference would be an important signal to the world.