Independent Scotland should not join NATO despite Russian war in Europe, Greens insist
An independent Scotland would be better off staying out of the NATO military alliance, the Scottish Greens have said.
The party – which will hold its spring conference on Friday – does not plan to change its defense policy despite the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
This puts the Greens at odds with the SNP as the Nationalists dropped their longstanding opposition to NATO in 2012.
Both parties remain opposed to nuclear weapons and have pledged to remove them from Faslane if a majority of Scots vote for independence in the future.
A senior defense official today warned that the relocation of Britain’s nuclear deterrent poses a threat to European security.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has already forced several European countries to re-examine their military spending and defense approaches.
Finland and Sweden are both members of the EU but have never joined NATO.
A poll released last week found that a majority of Finns now support joining the military alliance, fearing what Vladimir Putin might do next.
The Greens have previously argued that an independent Scotland should immediately sign the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty which would outlaw the Trident submarines at Faslane and force their removal.
A spokesman for the Greens said: “Our position on NATO is old and well understood.
“As a democratic party, any change in this position would be up to the members, but as the world changes, we would always look for ways to ensure peace and cooperation.
“One need only look at the important role the EU has played this week in terms of sanctions and practical support for Ukraine to see an example of a close working relationship between neighbours, not all of whom are members of the EU. NATO alliance.”
There are no set criteria for joining NATO, but potential candidates must meet certain political and other considerations.
It comes as a retired defense chief has warned that SNP and Green plans to remove nuclear submarines from the Clyde could jeopardize European security.
Rear Admiral John Gower, a former submarine commander, warned that the withdrawal of Trident submarines would seriously expose the West.
“Leaving Faslane and Coulport quickly after a referendum, and that is the position of the SNP, would pose a very significant threat to British deterrence,” he told The Sunday Times.
“A hasty departure from Faslane would pose a clear and present risk to this deterrence.
“To see the departure of nuclear weapons from an independent Scotland could be considered an easy gift, a comfortable and risk-free by-product of independence for many Scottish voters.”
“However, they need to be told, on a factual basis, of the implications for Scotland, the rest of the UK, the wider NATO alliance.”
He added: “If the Prime Minister is successful in triggering a second independence referendum, the people of Scotland should be in no doubt about the potential effect on British deterrence and therefore, in the worst-case scenario, the consequences for the security of the NATO alliance and the wider European Union. Security.”
Scottish Conservative MP Donald Cameron said: “It is staggering that the appalling situation in Ukraine has not opened the eyes of the Scottish Greens to the vital importance of us standing together in NATO.
“The SNP has brought extremists into the heart of the Scottish government who would prefer us to be less secure than we are now with the UK as a key part of the NATO defensive alliance.”
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