Nuclear ban treaty renews calls for WMD-free Scotland

International campaigners for a nuclear ban are celebrating the implementation of the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons (TPNW).

51 countries have signed the United Nations treaty, which bans the creation and use of nuclear weapons by and within those states. However, the ban is largely symbolic, as the world’s nuclear powers have not signed the treaty – including the UK, which keeps its nuclear submarines at Faslane Bay in Gare Loch, just 50 miles from Glasgow.

The move has led to renewed calls for pro-independence voices to recommit to a nuclear ban in an independent Scotland – and a nuclear-free future for the country.

The Scottish Socialist Party is a long-time campaigner against Weapons of Mass Destruction in Scotland, and unreservedly and unconditionally supports an independent Scotland without nuclear weapons and without NATO, the nuclear alliance.

An independent, socialist Scotland must endorse the nuclear ban and become a voice for peace in the world – not continued warfare, destruction, and death.

SSP National Co-Chair, Calum Martin, has previously said:

“There are things we all need far more pressingly than bombs. The real threat to our country today comes not from impending war. The real pressing threats we face today are more systemic. The creeping devastation of climate change grows worse each year.

“It’s time we spent less producing the weapons for a hypothetical war against life, and more on the weapons for the wars we really need to fight. For the war against climate change! For the war on want! This is not some wild, emotive appeal to echo into thin air. There are clear, viable alternatives to the challenges posed now.”

Campaigner and SSP member Sandra Webster said previously:

“In line with Scottish CND who investigated the timescale, we call for Trident to be removed as soon as possible.

“I have been lucky to be involved with the Scrap Trident coalition – a force for good and a thorn in our collective moral conscience. A force for good who always makes me proud that the SSP stands with Scottish CND and Scrap Trident.”

On the enormous cost of renewing Britian’s WMD stockpile, Sandra has also said:

“It is a monstrous sum of money available to produce weapons which, if ever used, will mean the death of us all – while people with disabilities are seeing their benefits cut, children go hungry, and essential services are slashed.

“Imagine if this sum had been invested in peaceful activities. More doctors, nurses, teachers or carers winning a living wage for all the unpaid work they provide.

“Scotland could become the centre of a renewables industry the envy of Europe. Faslane’s excellent geographical position would be ideal to create a base to create wind and sea turbines and – along with the support of the Scottish Trade Union Congress – training staff for decommissioning nuclear power plants when they are no longer needed. Such work would be an asset to the future of Scotland – and would generate many thousands more jobs in the long term.”

The lifetime cost of renewing Trident is estimated to be over £200 billion – money that could instead be used to strengthen the NHS during the pandemic; to pay furlough costs several times over; to deliver a publicly-owned National Care Service; to invest in Scotland’s sustainable energy potential, and to fund a green reindustrialisation that creates lasting, well-paying, secure jobs for future generations.

The SSP believes that these should be Scotland’s priority in and through independence, not nuclear weapons, and not NATO, the nuclear alliance.