Peace campaigners welcomed a blunt demand from MPs today for urgent talks on Trident nuclear weapons before Scotland votes on independence.
The cross-party Scottish affairs committee urged the Westminster government and the Scottish government to "establish the consequences of the removal of Trident" as soon as possible.
Trident nuclear weapons based in Scotland could be disarmed within days and removed within 24 months, the committee reported.
However construction of alternative facilities outside Scotland could take around 20 years, resulting in an "indeterminate period" without a British nuclear deterrent.
The committee warned against holding a vote on a separate Scotland without the Scottish people fully understanding the consequences for the nuclear deterrent.
Committee chairman Ian Davidson said: "A separate Scotland would be presented with a choice over Trident.
"It could honour the longstanding commitment of the SNP that there should be no nuclear weapons in Scotland and insist on the speediest safe transition of Trident from Scotland.
"Alternatively, a separate Scotland could allow Trident to remain on the Clyde long enough for the UK to identify and develop a new base elsewhere. This option would mean armed nuclear submarines operating out of Scotland for 20 years or longer."
Praising the MPs' report, CND general secretary Kate Hudson declared that the only realistic option post-independence would be to remove Trident quickly and safely.
"Keeping Trident in Scotland is clearly untenable as the Scottish public is overwhelmingly opposed to it," she said.
"But this raises an even bigger question. Not only is public opinion south of the border similarly opposed to wasting billions on nuclear weapons, there is nowhere for Trident to be relocated to."
Ms Hudson criticised the Ministry of Defence statement this week that it was not making any plans for Scottish independence, since it was "confident that the people of Scotland will choose to remain part of the UK."
The SNP welcomed the committee's conclusion that an independent Scotland could be disarmed within days and nuclear-free within months.
SNP MSP Bill Kidd said this finding enhanced the case for an independent Scotland "where we can move forward toward a country free from Trident nuclear weapons."
Mr Kidd pledged a specific ban on nuclear weapons in the written constitution of an independent Scotland.
If you appreciated this article then please consider donating to the Morning Star's Fighting Fund to ensure we can keep developing your paper.
Lord Feldman says that he didn't call grassroots Tories "mad swivel-eyed loons" while his accusers stand by their stories that he did.
As Aslef's annual assembly of delegates begins in Edinburgh tomorrow the general secretary explains the challenges his members - and workers across the country - face
France is the latest to face clamour from the EU to enforce crippling 'structural reforms.' The medicine is killing the patient