We must continue to promulgate Scotland’s opposition to nuclear weapons

BREXIT is just one aspect of UK foreign policy where Scotland is in global democratic deficit. The UN Global Ban Treaty is another. It is supported by an overwhelming majority of UN states (123 for, 38 against) but sadly Scotland is not one of them, despite the formal support of the First Minister, backed by the opposition of Scottish CND and the direct action campaigners, the churches and the unions. The UK voted against, and will boycott negotiations in March.

We need this debate to be fully aired. Theresa May needs to engage with the ban, instead of offering the Non Proliferation Treaty rhetoric that has failed to deliver multilateral disarmament for decades. The international disarmament community regards Scotland highly and would like us to succeed. In the run-up to the independence referendum of 2014 Trident was high on the news agenda because neither the UK Government nor the Ministry of Defence could deny that unless they imposed their system on Scotland, Trident would have no place to go.

Basing the new Dreadnought replacement for Trident at Faslane continues Westminster’s heedlessness by placing its nuclear liability in a country that has rebutted them here – or anywhere. This is the key point about Faslane.

Brexit was one of the significant decisions made since the independence referendum. There were others. Mrs May had hardly sat down to breakfast before putting Trident replacement to a vote that Scotland could never win, even with all hands on deck. The UN debate on a nuclear ban treaty caused the US Government to write to Nato member states, admitting a ban would preclude “nuclear security”. The Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock inched the closest since the Cold War to the point that is the beginning of all our ends. Less significant is the UK’s decision to sending the whole nuclear fleet to Faslane which may be no more than an effort to consolidate Westminster’s control?

We need to envision how resources can be devoted to real peace and human security for Scotland, rather than bolstering imperialistic outdated formulae.

Scotland, with its distinct legal system, has rights and responsibilities and under international humanitarian law may be able to insist that nuclear weapons are removed.

These are the matters that require debate.

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