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No nukes but NATO's says new independence paper

THE removal of nuclear weapons from an independent Scotland would be “no barrier” to the country joining a first-strike alliance, according to a new Scottish government paper published today.

The principle was set out in Scotland’s Place in the World, the SNP-Green Scottish government’s 11th paper in less than two years on what would follow independence.

In the series, civil servants, under the direction of ministers, speculate on policy positions of an imagined government and constitution operating in a state which is not in existence.

The document outlines plans for the new state to be a “good global citizen,” including joining the United Nations, meeting its goal of devoting 0.7 per cent of GDP to overseas aid, ensuring that all military action is legal and approved by both ministers and parliament and that nuclear weapons are removed in the “most expeditious manner possible” from its territory.

However, the paper claimed that those policies were “no barrier” to either committing to “participate fully in the EU’s common security and defence policy” or to joining and sheltering under the first-strike nuclear umbrella of the Nato alliance, which insists members allow others’ nuclear weapons on their territory and spend the equivalent of 2 per cent of GDP on arms.

Launching the paper, SNP External Affairs Secretary Angus Robertson said: “As an independent country, we could renew and strengthen our existing relationships on these islands and around the world, promoting peace, prosperity and climate action, as a good global citizen committed to safeguarding human rights and upholding international law and the rules-based order.”

A British government spokesperson said: “People in Scotland want both their governments to be concentrating on the issues that matter most to them, like growing our economy, continuing to cut inflation and improving public services.

“This is not the time to be talking about distracting constitutional change.”


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