A group of campaigners have published a ‘Road Map’ of how an independent Scotland can get rid of Trident.

Members of the SNP's Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) have published what is believed to be the first ever document outlining how nuclear weapons could be removed from Scotland, reports our sister paper The National

The document outlines how Scottish independence can make the country free of nuclear weapons, which CND members say are increasingly outmoded because of the progress of cyber technology.

READ MORE: Scrapping Trident need not cost Scottish jobs, new study shows

The Road Map relies heavily on the publication ‘Disarming Trident’ by the late John Ainslie, co-ordinator of SCND and outlines three main steps to disarmament.

SNP CND campaigners outlined the three main steps to removing such weapons for Scotland with the document stating: “Step one is ending operational deployment of the four Vanguard Class submarines that carry the Trident missiles. One submarine is always on patrol.

“Step two is removal of the keys and the triggers which would then be secured in a safe place on land.

“Step three is to disable the missiles. If key aspects of the guidance and control system are removed then a targeted launch is impossible. It should be noted that the actual missiles are rented from the US Navy.”

The development of a roadmap has been the main work stream of SNP CND over the past few months and is not the final word on the removal of Trident, but rather a guide. 

“This position paper is not the final word. SNP CND recognise that it will be fed into the SNP’s democratic processes.


"With the publication of the Trident Removal Road Map it is hoped that more SNP members will choose to join the hundreds who, since 2014, have joined Scottish CND and thereby become involved in developing and promoting our anti-nuclear work generally and the Trident Removal Road Map in particular."

The report touches on the previous work that has been carried out on the subject.

“The technical challenges pertaining to the disarming of Trident were resolved in Ainslie’s Disarming Trident, published by Scottish CND and freely available on the SCND Web site.

READ MORE: Trident merely a delusion of power 

“It is important to say at the outset that the technical steps which are outlined in Ainslie’s work are seen as perfectly credible by a wide range of security experts, even amongst those, and there are some even within the SNP, who may a hold to the view that nuclear weapons are “a deterrent”.

“In October 2012 the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee published a report which acknowledged that Scottish independence could lead to nuclear disarmament for Britain and said that the timetable in the Disarming Trident report is realistic.

“The Committee was a cross-party committee and they took expert advice from scientists.”

The Road Map says that removing Trident missiles “can be achieved relatively swiftly, though as Ainslie pointed out, the whole process including dismantling the warheads, would take four years”.


Speaking following a visit to Devonport to discuss the dismantling of redundant nuclear submarines, Douglas Chapman, SNP Defence Procurement and Nuclear Disarmament spokesperson told The National: “We are developing a clear roadmap which is an in-depth plan as to how Scotland can move to nuclear-free future.

“These UK weapons are militarily ineffective, morally repugnant and a waste of public money especially when the costs associated with the new Dreadnought Class submarines are helping skew every other MoD conventional force budget. That has a big impact on front line troops and other non-nuclear deterrents.

“Recently it was revealed by Westminster’s Public Accounts Committee that the submarine dismantling project is behind schedule and costing the Government £30million a year to just keep old boats in dock and using up valuable dock space in Devonport and Rosyth.

“Our work continues within the UK to ensure that redundant nuclear submarines are safely and more speedily dealt with. The removal of Trident boats from the Clyde needs to be laid out in a coherent road map. That work is on-going and will be part of the SNP’s independence offer.”