NICOLA Sturgeon would demand the scrapping of Trident as part of a deal to prop up a Labour Government, senior SNP sources have insisted.

However, the Scottish Conservatives warned this meant the prospect of a post-election agreement between the Nationalist leader and Jeremy Corbyn “just got more ruinous” with not only the Union up “for sale” but the Clydeside economy too because, they warned, removing Britain’s nuclear arsenal would cost thousands of Scottish jobs.

Earlier, Ian Blackford, the SNP’s leader at Westminster, signalled the scrapping of Trident could form a key part of an election “wish-list” but some of his colleagues were more emphatic.

“If there were an opportunity to get rid of nuclear weapons from Scotland once and for all, we would have to grab it,” one senior Nationalist insider told The Herald.

Another noted: “We’ve been very robust on this issue, so this would be a priority for us. It’s not just on the principle but also on the price-tag.”

During campaigning this week, the First Minister pointed to how if the SNP held the balance of power at Westminster, she would want to see an end to Trident but stressed only “as soon as it is safely possible” to do so.

Mr Blackford was asked on Sky News's Sophy Ridge on Sunday if scrapping Trident remained a "red line" for the SNP and replied: “Look, we will come up with a wish-list of things that we want to see."

He went on: "We've been pretty consistent down through the decades that we don't wish to see nuclear weapons on our soil. We want to make sure, of course, we take our responsibilities for defence seriously…”

He added: "But we don't believe that we should be investing in those weapons of mass destruction.”

The SNP's parliamentary candidate for Ross, Skye and Lochaber described Britain’s nuclear arsenal as “not fit for purpose," explaining: “The simple fact is I'm not sure that we're taking our responsibilities for conventional defences as seriously as we should be doing and to waste up to £200 billion on these weapons of mass destruction, that can never be used, is a fallacy."

During the 2014 referendum campaign, the SNP’s high command made clear independence would result in the nuclear submarines being moved south of the border.

However, Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary, yesterday warned a Labour-SNP tie-up after the election would seriously jeopardise Britain’s security.

He argued a “Marxist-Nationalist alliance puts at risk Scotland and the UK’s security in a changing and dangerous world,” pointing out how Russia had adopted an “aggressive posture” in eastern Europe and its submarines were operating in the North Atlantic.

He added: “As ever, the SNP want to have their cake and eat it; they want the jobs and the base at Faslane but not the submarines.”

Paul Masterton, the Tories’ candidate in East Renfrewshire, was equally critical, saying: “Sturgeon’s deal with Jeremy Corbyn just got more ruinous; first our Union was for sale, now the economy.

"Defence experts estimate that as many as 6,500 jobs depend on Faslane. More jobs still are created at Rosyth, building Trident's tubes. All these are to be sacrificed as part of the SNP's ideological agenda.

"It’s quite simple: if the SNP gets rid of our nuclear deterrent, then thousands of jobs on the Clyde will go with it. Sink Trident and sink the Clydeside economy with it,” declared the former Conservative MP.

“It’s yet another reason why voters must come out to stop Nicola Sturgeon at this election. She will manipulate a weak Jeremy Corbyn-led Government to destroy the country and the economy. Only a vote for the Scottish Conservatives will stop her.”

Appearing on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show to mark Remembrance Sunday, General Sir Nicolas Carter, Chief of the Defence Staff, described Britain’s nuclear deterrent as an “insurance policy,” noting: “Who can tell what the world will look like in 2035?”