This is a big responsibility for us and a great privilege to have the power on 18 September to do this. We have around 200 nuclear bombs based just a 30-minute journey from Glasgow. Any one of these bombs could kill hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians.
Westminster plans to buy a new range of Trident missiles and submarines. These would cost about a £100billion to buy and maintain over their lifetime. Scotland can save money on this and also by having a defence budget similar to other European countries. This will mean that we can save £1billion every year and that can be spent on improving our social services and our housing.
There are not many jobs in Scotland dependent on Trident. The Ministry of Defence’s own figures are 520. Most Trident jobs are in England and the United States. Scotland can create more jobs by using the money to make our communities better not to spend it on more ways of killing people. The importance of what Scotland could do has significance beyond our shores. There is no base in England that can take Trident. It would be many years and a high cost to build a new one.
So Trident would not be operational for years and it would create strong pressure in England to get rid of it. Scotland would be highly respected by many countries in the world for getting rid of nuclear weapons and setting a good example. A Yes vote would mean we didn’t get dragged into wars like Iraq and Afghanistan unless we had debated this and taken the decision ourselves.
It would mean Scotland would have representation at the United Nations, the European Union, the World Trade Organisation, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and many others. Small countries have played a valuable role in international affairs. Scotland would be well-placed to set a good example.