Experts have warned that Tory plans to lift the current cap on Trident nuclear weapons based on the Clyde by over 40 per cent, from 180 to 260, could breach international law.
Academics at the London School of Economics have concluded that the plans are inconsistent with the UK Government’s support for the Treaty on Non-Proliferation, which is intended to limit the increase of nuclear warheads around the world.
The review by Professor Christine Chinkin, a long-time consultant for the UN, and Dr Louise Arimatsu, a former fellow at the NATO Cyber Defence Centre, concludes that the proposals constitute a breach of article six of the treaty.
Commenting, the SNP’s Shadow Defence spokesperson Stewart McDonald MP (pictured) said:
“The SNP has repeatedly warned that the Tories’ plans to spend billions of pounds on weapons of mass destruction while governments everywhere should be fully focused on the Covid-19 recovery is a disgrace.
“Not only is the decision to increase the nuclear weapons stockpile an obscene waste of money, it risks breaking international law and is completely at odds with the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
“For Boris Johnson to previously champion the idea of international rule-based systems before announcing in the same breath that his government plan to violate its commitments to the international treaty of non-proliferation is truly staggering.
“It is clear that the UK government has no intention of removing weapons of mass destruction from Scotland – and Westminster’s single-minded nuclear weapons obsession, and the amount of money wasted on it, highlights the democratic deficit we currently face.
“The only way to secure a strong, fair and peaceful recovery is for Scotland to become an independent country, with the full powers to introduce conventional defences – not nuclear weapons.
“Until then, the SNP will continue to strongly oppose the presence of nuclear weapons on our shores.
“The SNP Government will continue to use the limited powers of devolution to mitigate the ongoing damage being committed by this UK Tory government – but it is essential that once this crisis is over people in Scotland have the choice of a fairer future with independence.”