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Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

samzenpus posted about 4 months ago | from the there-goes-the-boom dept.

United Kingdom 375

Lasrick writes The referendum on Scottish independence on September 18th affects more than just residents of the United Kingdom. All of the UK's nuclear deterrent is located in Scotland, and Alex Salmond and the Scottish government have pledged to safely remove and permanently ban nuclear weapons from Scottish territory within the first term of a newly independent parliament.

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Nope (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47727299)

Nope

Does it really matter ? (0)

invictusvoyd (3546069) | about 4 months ago | (#47727371)

The americans have enough already .. there's no USSR .. I wonder why they'd want to maintain an "arsenal" .. wouldnt a few thermo tipped pencils be enough deterrent ?

Actually, it does ! (2)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 4 months ago | (#47727583)

If UK no longer is a country possessing nuclear bombs it would be a big PLUS for the world

This world needs fewer countries which have nuclear bombs, not more

Re:Does it really matter ? (5, Insightful)

citizenr (871508) | about 4 months ago | (#47727719)

there's no USSR

for the moment, but Putin is on top of it

Re:Does it really matter ? (5, Insightful)

jareth-0205 (525594) | about 4 months ago | (#47727785)

The americans have enough already .. there's no USSR .. I wonder why they'd want to maintain an "arsenal" .. wouldnt a few thermo tipped pencils be enough deterrent ?

Ultimately, yes, because you can't expect another country, even a close ally, to risk nuclear war for you. The UK can't guarantee that the States would retaliate if necessary, especially since they would be bringing likely retaliation, and millions of American citizens deaths, on themselves. Nuclear warheads suck, but once you have them you damn well keep them, otherwise the deterrent doesn't work.

Re:Does it really matter ? (2)

AchilleTalon (540925) | about 4 months ago | (#47727793)

There isn't any USSR, however Russia is still a nuclear power and there is many other nuclear power countries: China, USA, Pakistan, India, North Korea, France and possibly Iran at least. Not having this in your arsenal is to rely on someone else in the event of a nuclear war, even if the probability for such an event is low. In some sense, you put your soveignty in the hands of someone else in that case. That's the reason why UK will not throw away its nuclear arsenal.

Also, having more than one country in the NATO having such an arsenal is also a major argument against anyone who would like to start an nuclear conflict thinking suffice to neutralize and target only the one with nuclear warheads.

Re:Nope (2)

Eunuchswear (210685) | about 4 months ago | (#47727393)

For two reasons -

1. Thingumy's law of headlines.
2. The bombs and subs aren't glued into place.

They'd just move it all to Portsmouth.

Re:Nope (1)

_Shad0w_ (127912) | about 4 months ago | (#47727687)

Or just build a new base in Cumbria and move it over the border. Shame they got rid of RNAD Broughton Moor really.

Re: Nope (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47727737)

Plus it cost quite a few quid to destroy them.

No. It would not. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47727303)

They would just move it to England. Or Wales.

This might be the least intelligent question I've seen on Slashdot.

Re:No. It would not. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47727313)

It is still early in the day.

Re:No. It would not. (2)

Krymzn (1812686) | about 4 months ago | (#47727337)

They would just move it to England. Or Wales.

This might be the least intelligent question I've seen on Slashdot.

Perhaps you should RTFA; an alternative that is discussed is to move the system to the USA.

Re:No. It would not. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47727439)

That is because they won't discuss the move to England for political reasons. But if the move becomes necessary, it's because the vote for independence passed and at that time a move to England can and will be discussed. England still will have a very long coastline, so they will find a spot somewhere. Don't forget the jobs associated with a naval base; quite a few coastal communities will be interested.

Wales and Northern Ireland would also be options besides England. That's potentially a sensitive issue given the number of jobs, which may explain why the "USA" idea is floated - to make clear that there are alternatives to Scotland without having to choose right now. But no UK politician is going to move all those jobs to the US.

Re:No. It would not. (4, Funny)

Sique (173459) | about 4 months ago | (#47727623)

England still will have a very long coastline

According to Benoit Mandelbrot [wikipedia.org] , the coastline is infinitely long indeed.

Re: No. It would not. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47727791)

He obviously hadn't heard of Max Planck.

Re:No. It would not. (1)

Wootery (1087023) | about 4 months ago | (#47727341)

Or you could actually read the article and learn that they didn't just stupidly fail to think of that [slashdot.org] .

'least intelligent', indeed. You ACs, really.

Re: No. It would not. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47727367)

Or maybe I did read the article, and the question the submitter asked wasn't in the fucking article, thus proving my point.

Re:No. It would not. (2, Interesting)

Archtech (159117) | about 4 months ago | (#47727685)

Most likely Newcastle-on-Tyne or Barrow-on-Furness. The main reason for siting the base in Scotland was presumably to get it as far away from London as possible.

Futile, though. Either the Russians decide to take out Britain, or not. (They might as well, since they have plenty of missiles). Half a dozen big warheads should render the entire country uninhabitable - why would they take out the Holy Loch and not finish the job?

Given the US administration's evident enthusiasm for starting WW3, the UK would be well advised to throw away - not drop - its nuclear weapons as quickly as possible. In a war they would make not the slightest difference to either side, but they would probably get us all fried.

Re:No. It would not. (2)

Archtech (159117) | about 4 months ago | (#47727695)

Sod it, I meant "Newcastle-upon-Tyne or Barrow-in-Furness". Too early in the morning... er. afternoon.

Apologies to citizens of those two noble towns.

Re:No. It would not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47727781)

As a born and bred Barrovian, I was going to leap down your throat - good save!!!

All the Royal Navy's nuclear boats are built in Barrow (for the time being, at least), so it would seem a bit daft to dock them there, too - all your eggs in one basket is never clever.

Braveheart FART in your face? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47727315)

Give it up, Queen. Give. It. Up.

Re:Braveheart FART in your face? (2)

bickerdyke (670000) | about 4 months ago | (#47727519)

No. "I fart in your general direction"

Here's the interesting paragraph (1)

Wootery (1087023) | about 4 months ago | (#47727319)

the Ministry of Defence has said that removing Trident to the English coast would be extremely difficult and abhorrently costly. Great Britain has thus staked out its position as having no fallback, arguing that even if one did exist, it would be a logistical and financial nightmare. This would be all well and good—if the Scottish government was not especially clear that it will remove the weapons as quickly and safely as possible after independence. With Scotland at that point an independent state, the remaining United Kingdom would have no legal authority to prevent this from happening.

Interesting. I would've thought diverse sites would be part of the strategy from the get-go with this sort of thing. Eggs in one basket, and all that

Re:Here's the interesting paragraph (5, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 4 months ago | (#47727381)

The article is a load of bollocks, moving the facilities has indeed been looked into but the MoD just hasn't committed to any plan given that no decision on independence has been made yet. The only thing the MoD have ruled out is keeping Faslane as a Sovereign Base Area similar to those on Cyprus.

And regarding the last sentence - Scotland does not unilaterally inherit the UK's nuclear deterrent simply because it happened to be on Scottish soil, so they do not have unilateral authority get to dispose of them. The will be passed to the rest of the UK post-independence, who will then make the decision about what to do.

Re:Here's the interesting paragraph (0)

Wootery (1087023) | about 4 months ago | (#47727415)

Not saying you're wrong, but: {{citation needed}}. Right now it's your word vs the article.

Re:Here's the interesting paragraph (5, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 4 months ago | (#47727469)

And the article gets a pass on citations because ... why?

Anyhow - check out the following:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-s... [bbc.co.uk]

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-s... [bbc.co.uk]

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-s... [bbc.co.uk]

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-... [theguardian.com]

http://www.theguardian.com/pol... [theguardian.com]

http://www.independent.co.uk/n... [independent.co.uk]

Re:Here's the interesting paragraph (4, Informative)

rapiddescent (572442) | about 4 months ago | (#47727547)

It should be noted that the BBC is an interested party in the referendum (the first "B" gives it away). There have been protests [newsnetscotland.com] outside the BBC offices in Glasgow because of their support for the union (even though Scottish public have to mandatory pay for the BBC if they watch TV). The BBC takes a very pro-union stance (or vote "no" stance if you prefer) so please take that into account when reading or watching BBC coverage of #indyref

BBC Scotland viewers get an assault of fear stories from Better Together campaign every day on the BBC with little or no attempt to provide the other side of the story. The BBC tried to coverup and bully an academic study into bias [thedrum.com] that proved that BBC Scotland were not following their own guidance on #indyref coverage.

Re:Here's the interesting paragraph (2, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 4 months ago | (#47727579)

In general, there isn't "another side of the story" because Salmond and Sturgeon are spouting the same disproven bullshit time and again - when they start actually giving decent information, I'm sure the BBC will present their side of the story.

Re:Here's the interesting paragraph (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47727649)

Do you know how you can tell that the source isn't biased? Because both sides accuse it of being so.

Re:Here's the interesting paragraph (4, Interesting)

peragrin (659227) | about 4 months ago | (#47727721)

Funny I have been reading both sides from the BBC for the last year.

The trick is Salmond isn't saying much. he has no plan B if various parts of his plans fail. He just isn't saying things like we would still use the sterling if the UK didn't want a currency union. He can't imagine a scenario where a currency union wouldn't be agreed to. or a scenario where Scotland wouldn't immediately become a part of NATO or the European Union. He thinks that every thing will stay exactly the same yet Scotland would be independent. That just isn't possible or realistic. Some one is going to tell him we aren't bending rules just for you after the Yes vote and Scotland will get screwed.

Salmond Thinks he can bypass all the EU rules regarding joining the union without having the currency just because Scotland was a part of the UK. All the EU has to do is tell him no on just that one point. And his whole plan will fall apart.

Re:Here's the interesting paragraph (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 4 months ago | (#47727515)

I don't know what the wacky world of inheriting nukes in state breakups looks like in terms of precedent(given that our only real experience with it is 'making shit up while the Soviet Union crumbled' there may be little more than handwaving); but it wouldn't at all surprise me if both Scotland and the (slightly less)United Kingdom would have a very strong shared incentive to come up with an amicable deal.

Unless you have the ability(decent strategic air force, missile sub capabilities, or hostile neighbors within easy shooting range) and the desire to wave your nukes around, being a nuclear power is actually kind of a shitty job. Nukes are, well, the nuclear option, so they are of little use except in extreme circumstances; they are expensive and technically demanding to maintain, their PR value is deeply mixed, you have to protect them to avoid proliferation, and they have finite shelf life.

If Scotland wants to get out of the nuclear game; but the UK wants to hold on to some Global Influence, it would be a very, very, mutually convenient arrangement for Scotland to offer a sweetheart deal(if they have some sort of legal claim, maybe a relatively token payment or concession, otherwise just some handshakes and a photo-op) on the warheads in exchange for the UK packing them up, remediating any especially badly contaminated facilities, and otherwise making them Not Our Problem Anymore.

The hypothetical Scottish exit would likely be cleaner than that of the former Soviet republics, so they wouldn't be quite as badly situated; but the post-Soviet states that inherited fissile goodies were generally quite happy to accept Russian, American, or any other outside assistance in just getting the stuff off their hands as fast as possible. Having a real nuclear arsenal is expensive and requires commitment. Having a decaying one is just a proliferation clusterfuck waiting to happen.

Re:Here's the interesting paragraph (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 4 months ago | (#47727707)

A sweetheart deal may not be something that Scotland wants. They may like the optics and tourist friendly branding of been nuclear weapon free.
Like with the fall of the Soviet Union all the UK may be asked for is a totally decontaminated site, a museum.
Why would Scotland risk a second much later negotiation as Scotland would then own a contaminated site that the UK had already negotiated over and risk the UK walking away from as is?
Better to get the UK cleaning up once, totally moved out and all done while the UK can still afford to do so or can be asked to do so.
Scotland would not want to end up with a base location thats part of Empire forever, like a few other nations got stuck with.

Re:Here's the interesting paragraph (4, Funny)

Archtech (159117) | about 4 months ago | (#47727771)

"Nukes are, well, the nuclear option, so they are of little use except in extreme circumstances..."

Very true. To clarify matters, we might ask ourselves: against which nations are the UK's thermonuclear weapons potentially useful today? (I hope no one is going to suggest that they frighten ISIS, for example).

Russia? If so, why? Russia's interests do not clash with the UK's anywhere on earth - quite the contrary, it is in our best interests to live in peace with the Russians. Whereas we lived in fear (rightly or wrongly) of the USSR invading Western Europe, Mr Putin has shown supernatural restraint in not even invading Ukraine after 750,000 of its citizens fled to Russia for safety. As for Georgia, he was "in and out quickly", as the saying goes.

China? Likewise, only if possible even more so. The Chinese are quite extraordinarily pacific (especially compared to other superpowers that shall be nameless), and what's more they are very nearly on the far side of the world.

India or Pakistan? I don't see it. They're not quite so peaceable, but they have no quarrel with us, and we should make sure that remains the case.

Israel? Not really - they would probably get in a first strike, and they have far more missiles and warheads.

And as for France, that's just childish. We should be content just to go on annoying them.

Re:Here's the interesting paragraph (1)

jandersen (462034) | about 4 months ago | (#47727409)

So, what they are saying, really, is that even after a referendum they will have to use common sense and work out a deal with the Scottish government. Stranger things happen at sea.

One solution (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47727323)

I guess we would have to detonate them all the second Scotland declares independence ;)

Re:One solution (3, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 4 months ago | (#47727533)

I guess we would have to detonate them all the second Scotland declares independence ;)

Silence, AC! Omega Override: Exigent Haggis is a heavily classified program. You can't discuss those sorts of security matters in a public forum.

Re:One solution (3, Funny)

bickerdyke (670000) | about 4 months ago | (#47727535)

Call the unexploded scotsman disposal squad?

Did the fall of the Soviet Union (1)

MikeRT (947531) | about 4 months ago | (#47727329)

Mean Russia gave up its nuclear arsenal? This title is a very stupid question. The rest of the UK is not going to give up the nukes because Scotland wants to secede, and Scotland will turn them over if it wants to ever have military cooperation from the rest of the UK, let alone the Five Eyes countries and probably NATO.

Re:Did the fall of the Soviet Union (0)

Eunuchswear (210685) | about 4 months ago | (#47727397)

One country did give up it's nuclear arsenal after the fall of the USSR.

Ukraine.

How well did that work out?

Re:Did the fall of the Soviet Union (2)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 4 months ago | (#47727411)

Actually, more than one country gave up its nuclear weapons after the fall of the USSR, not just Ukraine. The Ukraine issue has much deeper running reasons than are usually discussed.

Re:Did the fall of the Soviet Union (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 4 months ago | (#47727553)

If memory serves, even more of the post Soviet republics didn't have much in the way of proper warheads-ready-to-roll; but were largely cooperative with international efforts to bundle up the alarming quantities of fissile goodness hanging out in various abandoned facilities that were 'guarded' mostly in the sense that some of the looters were also drawing paychecks.

Nukes, at least, can be waved around; but suddenly unfunded nuclear R&D programs are just a nightmare for everyone involved.

Re:Did the fall of the Soviet Union (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 4 months ago | (#47727759)

A few sites where final assembly locations. The warhead was Soviet ready as a designed device but the surrounding say 'torpedo' would be locally put together like a nuclear Knock-down kit. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]
Vast local bases, parts storage, good jobs, nice pay, warm accommodation.

Should be interesting RE- Nato (4, Interesting)

Maquis196 (535256) | about 4 months ago | (#47727333)

I believe Alex has mentioned before that "when" Scotland breaks free, they'll try and use their current position of being British to just seamlessly slot into NATO and the EU. I wonder if theyre allowed to stay Nuclear free zone whilst being in NATO.

More likely, the threat to remove the Nuclear weapons is a way of renting out the bases from the new English Commonwealth (or whatever us English will end up calling ourselves, most tend to coin the nUK moniker) goverment. Its a great distraction amongst the fact they'll not get a monetary union, Spain will veto their EU plans (over their own want-to-breakaway regions doing the same thing in the future).

I for one would be interested to see how an independent Scotland fares I wish them all the best, but more then anything, it will mean England finally gets their own parliament as well, kinda stupid that Scotland has power over England but not vice versa. Devo Max (if they vote No) would just make us even more jealous/angry over the whole situation. Maybe the marriage has run it course since our integration. Shame the Tories will be our government forever whilst we lose all the Labour voters north of Hadrians wall...

This was long then expected!

Re:Should be interesting RE- Nato (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47727417)

Goes along with Salmond's attitude about Scots needing passports to enter England. Not sure whether he doesn't understand the significance of the Schengen area vs the Common Travel area, he's trying to force England and Wales into the Schengen area or is simply ignoring things that will be un-supporting of the SNP line.

That little spat with Teresa May also ignored the Irish part of the CTA, and I've not heard anything of what Dubin thinks of the matter.

Re:Should be interesting RE- Nato (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47727537)

Hmmm, that's interesting - got a citation? Only time I've heard people talking about "passports to enter England" it's been Better Together canvassers. The Yes campaign deride the idea as ludicrous - for precisely the reasons you mention.

The Home Secretary's view: Theresa May would seek passport checks between Scotland and England [theguardian.com]

The Depute First Minister's view: We would have a Scottish passport. My passport says EU as well as British citizen and that's the point. We've got right of free travel. We can go to Ireland without a passport. [bbc.co.uk]

Re:Should be interesting RE- Nato (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47727675)

Salmond is right; he has the right of free travel between Schengen countries. The UK & Ireland are the two EU countries who are not Schengen signatories (see if you can guess why). The UK & Irish governments have a separate agreement between themselves to allow passport-free travel across the border. That agreement wouldn't automatically exist in the event of Scotland becoming an independent country, and Salmond's EU passport wouldn't mean diddly. In fact it's an open question whether he would continue to even be an EU citizen.

Which means either a) Salmand really is so stupid he doesn't understand this or b) He's wilfully lying to people about the real issues that Scotland will face: see also NATO, currency union, North Sea gas & oil revenue, EU membership...

Re:Should be interesting RE- Nato (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47727773)

Hmmm, still interesting, still sans-citation.

Just to clarify - you're not saying that an independent Scotland would institute passport checks, but that rUK would in response to independence?

Re:Should be interesting RE- Nato (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47727539)

NATO entry might also hinge on GB permission. And I can imagine the two issues may be tied in negotiations: no sub base, no NATO membership. It's not like London would find it a problem if Alex has to start his first term with breaking a few promises.

Start building a new wall (Hadrian mk2) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47727639)

because the waves of people who will head south once the Salmond Scottish Socialist Republic goes tits up will be huge.
My other half is from Inverness. ALL, repeat ALL of her family will leave by the end of the year is there is a Yes vote in September. They are not alone in preparing to move south.
If the Scotts think that the Highland Clearances were bad then they ain't seen nothing yet.
Salmond is only interested in the Central Belt and mainly the western end at that.

Re:Start building a new wall (Hadrian mk2) (1)

Archtech (159117) | about 4 months ago | (#47727779)

"My other half is from Inverness. ALL, repeat ALL of her family will leave by the end of the year is there is a Yes vote in September".

Great, that means there will be lots of cheap houses for sale in that beautiful, tranquil (except near Lossiemouth) part of the world. Where are those estate agent pages?

No it will not. (2, Interesting)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 4 months ago | (#47727343)

The Government have already looked into moving it and all the jobs related to it from Faslane to Portsmouth or Plymouth - sure, it will cost a few billion to move, but that's peanuts compared to how much Scottish independence will ultimately cost to enact. While the new base is being built and readied for use, the submarines will be homed at a US port already familiar with Trident.

The real question is what are Scotland going to do about their currency post-independence? Parroting the same old lines about a currency union is getting old, especially as all major UK parties have said it will not happen - sure, Scotland could continue to use the Pound long term without permission from the UK, but they want a say in monetary policy, interest rates and a seat at the table on the Bank of England monetary committee, which is what has been turned down by the UK parties.

And yet Salmond and his crew keep saying it will happen (their favourite line is quoting an unnamed "senior civil servant" as saying "of course it will happen" - an unnamed source saying it will versus the heads of all major UK parties saying it won't...) and refuse to outline any other plan.

Re:No it will not. (1)

Maquis196 (535256) | about 4 months ago | (#47727443)

Makes sense though, all parties here saying it wont happen is designed to make it a NO vote, by saying "sure, it could happen" will make a yes much more likely to happen since its one of the biggest issues as you say with the whole thing.

We'd probably say no to it assuming a yes vote just to prove a point, but if Iceland with its 350k people can have their own currency, I'm sure Scotland can too, what could possibly go wrong.

Shame on Alex for putting his fingers in his ears and hoping something happens. Need a better plan then that mate.

Re:No it will not. (5, Interesting)

Alioth (221270) | about 4 months ago | (#47727503)

The whole currency exchange actually increased the share of the "Yes" vote. The whole patronising attitude of the Westminster parties had the opposite to intended effect.

Re:No it will not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47727447)

Let's think about the situation before, during and after the economic crisis of 2007-2009. At the absolute depth of the recession, the UK’s growth was as low as -2.5%, for a single quarter. For most of the crisis, the recession was much shallower than that – the average figure across the five quarters was just -1.46%.

Yet those 15 months of modestly negative growth wreaked a havoc on the UK’s economy the likes of which it has never seen in peacetime.

The country’s credit rating was downgraded. House prices collapsed by close to 20% in a single year. Unemployment shot up. The Bank of England had to create hundreds of billions of pounds in imaginary money to prevent the total implosion of the financial sector. Wages were cut or frozen, leaving millions of families worse off as pay failed to keep pace with the rocketing cost of living.

Even though the recession officially ended in the middle of 2009 (there have been a few blips of negative growth since, but none that lasted for two consecutive quarters, which is the technical definition), the brutal austerity the coalition government implemented will outlast it by at least a decade.

The unprecedented carnage unleashed on public services since 2008 – and remember, more than half of the government’s planned cuts are still to come, with Labour committed to the same cuts as the Tories if they get in next year – was, then, brought about by just one year of single-digit negative growth.

If Scotland votes Yes in September, without a currency union the UK will lose almost 10% of its GDP overnight. Not just for a year, but forever. Billions of pounds a year in oil revenues, billions of pounds from whisky exports, billions more from other industries like tourism and videogames - all areas, crucially, in which large sums of money enter the UK economy from overseas, boosting the UK’s balance of payments.

If the current nightmare came from a brief single-digit recession, you don’t have to be an economist to imagine the apocalyptic effect of a permanent 10% one.

And that's why an unnamed "senior civil servant" said "of course it will happen".

Re:No it will not. (4, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 4 months ago | (#47727489)

Uh, the recession did not happen because of a drop in GDP, the drop in GDP happened because of the recession - removing Scotlands contribution to the GDP will not trigger a recession because it does not indicate a contraction in output, its a redefinition of output (which sounds like a hand wave, but its perfectly valid). Even without the Scottish contribution to GDP, the UK economy will still grow at around the rate it currently is because nothing is happening to affect it.

Re:No it will not. (3, Insightful)

Shimbo (100005) | about 4 months ago | (#47727491)

If Scotland votes Yes in September, without a currency union the UK will lose almost 10% of its GDP overnight

Whereas Scotland, which will lose 90% of it's GDP overnight will be just peachy, right?

Re:No it will not. (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 4 months ago | (#47727659)

The real fun for that location up north is the clean up and long term care.
Most nations keep their nuclear gems locked up at one site with experts, contamination and all the skills for the next generation upgrades.
Moving all that in place equipment down south would not be very simple given funding and pension issues within the UK gov/mil. Where is the free cash going to come from for a massive reworking of very bespoke UK nuclear mil systems?

Re:No it will not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47727667)

What a load of bollocks.
If you want someone to blame for the economic mess, then point the finger at Gordon Brown. He spent when he should have been saving. The debt that was accumulated during his tenure at no 11 and later No 10 downing street was a fiasco right from the start.
Who was it that authorized the sale of a load of gold at rock bottom prices? Gordo was the man.

Then there is the very welfare centric policies of a lot of local authorities in the greater Glasgow area. Jobs for all the boys for life. someone has to pay for that and frankly, the haggis eaters can go stew for all i'm concerned.

Re:No it will not. (1)

jabuzz (182671) | about 4 months ago | (#47727769)

Not that I am a Labour voter but I would point out that while the debt at the beginning of 2008 was higher in real terms, importantly as a percentage of the GDP it was lower than it was in May 1997 when Labour came to power.

It is like getting a new job with a higher salary and using the extra income to take out a larger mortgage and buy a bigger house. Could easily be that while the total debt goes up, as a percentage of your income it has gone down. Is that a bad thing? You might argue that it is, but it is not as clear cut as you would like to make out.

Re:No it will not. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47727525)

Thing is, the UK parties hate, hate, hate the thought of secession. So if they think being uncooperative on the pound will help scare Scots to stay in the union, they'll do that.

But once secession is a fact, that posturing will likely be dropped. UK is probably better served with Scotland staying with the pound than switching to the Euro.

Re:No it will not. (4, Insightful)

jareth-0205 (525594) | about 4 months ago | (#47727821)

Thing is, the UK parties hate, hate, hate the thought of secession. So if they think being uncooperative on the pound will help scare Scots to stay in the union, they'll do that.

But once secession is a fact, that posturing will likely be dropped. UK is probably better served with Scotland staying with the pound than switching to the Euro.

Why? We've *just*... *just* seen how badly a currency union without political union can go in the (ongoing) Euro crisis. Why do you think that's a good idea suddenly now, especially when the direction of integration is going in the wrong direction, towards more divergence. You can't have successful monetary union without shared fiscal policy, and why would Scotland want that after all the effort of independence?

The real question (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47727681)

The real question is why is anyone talking about Scottish independence? There's no popular support for it and the numbers are fairly stable. It's simply not happening.

Would Martians prefer chocolate or vanilla ice cream if they existed? What color is bigfoot's fur?

Re:No it will not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47727749)

The real question is what are Scotland going to do about their currency post-independence?

Get the Euro? Makes sense.

Re:No it will not. (2)

Archtech (159117) | about 4 months ago | (#47727787)

"The real question is what are Scotland going to do about their currency post-independence?"

Why not use the dollar, like everyone else?

first post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47727345)

fuck joe_dragon

Relocation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47727347)

Already thought about where it would go - Plymouth or Wales

Betteridge (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 4 months ago | (#47727349)

Betteridge says no.

We'll just have to fine somewhere else to stick them.

Besides, the deterrant actually lives at sea. It's the ones not currently being a deterrent which are berthed.

I do find the anti-nuke stance naive and a bit pathetic personally. Sure, the world would be a nicer place without nukes. However, it's late 1940s tech and people who don't like you also have them.

If one wants to be all "nice" and "give them up" you're implicitly asking the US, UK/England and France to basically step in if something bad happens. It's basically freeloading since they know that the other countries will step in (as they have before) if they really have to.

Then again, a good part of King Salmond's personal independence movement seems to be about freeloading so that figures.

Re:Betteridge (2, Insightful)

Alioth (221270) | about 4 months ago | (#47727545)

What threats against Scotland would British nuclear weapons prevent?

Re:Betteridge (4, Insightful)

rapiddescent (572442) | about 4 months ago | (#47727611)

Scotland has only been invaded by, erm, one country, many times as it happens, in the last 1000 years.

Re:Betteridge (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47727717)

To be fair, "vikings" were not a single country.

Re:Betteridge (5, Informative)

Archtech (159117) | about 4 months ago | (#47727813)

"Scotland has only been invaded by, erm, one country, many times as it happens, in the last 1000 years".

Nice try, and I agree with the spirit of your post. But have you forgotten Norway?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B... [wikipedia.org]

Although the Scots gave back as good as they got:

http://www.scotsman.com/lifest... [scotsman.com]

Hope So (4, Interesting)

JRiddell (216337) | about 4 months ago | (#47727363)

I hope it does mean the end of the weapons of mass destruction we have north of Glasgow, removing Trident is one of the major reasons for voting yes to independence next month. It's a shame this is the only issue that has caused it to be brought up on Slashdot.

In reality the submarines can be housed in England but politically many people in England don't want nuclear bombs next to one of their major cities. That London based politicians think it's fine to put them next to one of Scotland's major cities shows why we need this referendum.

Re:Hope So (4, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 4 months ago | (#47727405)

You realise the reason Faslane is there is because Scottish MPs wanted the investment and jobs in Scotland?

Re:Hope So (3, Informative)

rapiddescent (572442) | about 4 months ago | (#47727575)

that is not true. It was chosen in the 60's (opened in the mid 70's) because of it's geography - deep water, protected harbour and faces west to the Atlantic. Only 520 jobs [nuclearinfo.org] rely on the nuclear deterrent side of the operation.

While important for the Coul peninsula, the proposals are to base Scotland new navy at Faslane and so these jobs would be transferred.

Re:Hope So (-1, Troll)

Krymzn (1812686) | about 4 months ago | (#47727429)

I hope it does mean the end of the weapons of mass destruction we have north of Glasgow, removing Trident is one of the major reasons for voting yes to independence next month.

This is nuclear NIMBYism. If you are worried about the base itself being a target for a nuclear or terrorist strike, such an event would affect the whole world anyway, not just Glasgow.

Re:Hope So (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47727499)

This is nuclear NIMBYism. If you are worried about the base itself being a target for a nuclear or terrorist strike, such an event would affect the whole world anyway, not just Glasgow.

How about simply not wanting a fucking nuclear arsenal on your doorstep ? I know this comes as anathema to the US that thinks all the world is its enemy but many countries do ok without nuclear weapons. Spain, Italy, Ireland, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Greece, Turkey, Japan, Australia, New Zeland, The whole of south and central america, Canada, african countries. I wish my country (France) would definitely dismantle its nuclear arsenal (completely pointless and used only for jingoistic purposes).

Re:Hope So (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 4 months ago | (#47727571)

Especially for missile subs. There's a reason(aside from property values and a desire to keep tourists away) that the cold-war-classic hardened silos in the US were sprinkled around various parts of nowhere; because it was basically assumed that any fixed silo Team Ivan knew about would be getting nuked and so putting them near major cities and industrial centers was a bad plan; but the whole point of nuclear missile subs is highly resistant second strike capabilities through spending as much time sneaking around underwater as possible.

The risks of being caught in drydock are hardly zero; but a submarine base is a rather different asset from a silo.

Re:Hope So (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47727441)

I hope it does mean the end of the weapons of mass destruction we have north of Glasgow

You're going to close the pubs in Glasgow?

Re:Hope So (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47727495)

Just hope you don't come crying when the bombs start dropping, the door will be closed.

Re:Hope So (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47727661)

When the bombs start dropping it's already well too late. It's a deterrent, it has no practical use after we're all dying from radiation sickness.

Re:Hope So (1)

Dupple (1016592) | about 4 months ago | (#47727523)

Sorry but that's mostly rubbish. It's a tactical thing that has more to do with intercepting the Soviet Arctic Fleet and its submersibles, before it can get in the Atlantic as well as what the other replies have stated

Re:Hope So (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47727677)

It could do that fine from North England. The problem is there just isn't a good place for a sub pen in England. Scotland meanwhile has loads of deep tidal water safely tucked miles from coast.

Re:Hope So (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47727777)

It could do that fine from North England. The problem is there just isn't a good place for a sub pen in England.

So it couldn't do it from North England then

Re:Hope So (2)

jareth-0205 (525594) | about 4 months ago | (#47727837)

It could do that fine from North England. The problem is there just isn't a good place for a sub pen in England. Scotland meanwhile has loads of deep tidal water safely tucked miles from coast.

Don't start using actual practical reality now when we can hand wave apparent Westminster anti-Scottishness!

Re:Hope So (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47727655)

I live near Aldermaston .. doesn't bother me, the location of Faslane is due to geology not NIMBYs , the base is relatively secluded with access via a deep and easy to navigate loch, it's location also gives quick stealthy access to the north channel, altnatic and through the greenland iceland UK gap, to the norwegian sea.

Of course it won't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47727423)

Anyone stupid enough to just dismantle nukes instead of selling them is a moron.

I sure hope that fat stupid prick doesn't get in to power, Scotland will be destroyed.
He is genuinely ignorant as to how international relations and economy works.

Re:Of course it won't (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47727475)

Anyone stupid enough to just dismantle nukes instead of selling them is a moron.

I sure hope that fat stupid prick doesn't get in to power, Scotland will be destroyed.
He is genuinely ignorant as to how international relations and economy works.

Independent Scotland will thrive while England, Wales and NI will go down the shithole (they're already halfway there).
Scotland in the EU will be a great plus. As for England, just ostracise that damn country. Or better give it away to the Americans. Although I don't think the Americans would be so fucking stupid as to take that island of crazies as a colony.

Re:Of course it won't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47727561)

I have missed your point, are you say that you need Nukes to be a country? or are you saying that selling them will gain international status?

Or your saying that they need to sell the nukes for money? to who? The US doesn't need them, I guess england could want to buy them but there are very expensive to maintain and even harder to secure. Sure you "could" sell them but they are a deterrent one hopes that never will be used so indefinite maintenance/security.

Two weaker nations (1)

EzInKy (115248) | about 4 months ago | (#47727451)

That is what Scottish independence would mean. But WTF, break what is left of the Kingdom up if you must.

close to population (5, Informative)

rapiddescent (572442) | about 4 months ago | (#47727481)

It should be noted that the nuclear armoury is based only 15 miles from Scotland's most populous area [streetmap.co.uk] , the city of Glasgow -- which in the politics of the union is totally fine so long as it's nowhere near English cities. The system has had multiple failures and there have been attempted coverups [ardentinny.org] of accidents at Coulport (where the weapons are stored). The Royal Navy also stores the decrepit and rusting nuclear submarines at Rosyth [streetmap.co.uk] , a mere 10 miles from Edinburgh, our capital city. Again the thought of storing these at Southampton or Portsmouth would not be considered because it's too close to English who don't want rusting nuclear vessels in their backyard.

Senior MOD officials have been on the back foot in this debate even though most UK military assets have already been removed from Scotland (airbases have been shut and army decimated). Rather like in a divorce where one party tries to remove as many assets as possible before a possible split. The problem with the nuclear armoury is that none of the other areas of the UK want it and it would be political suicide for an English MP to accept into their area.

Scotland, if the vote is YES next month, would be a small country and it would not be right to have nuclear arms. Scotland wants to set an example by not having them on our soil. Scotland has only been invaded by one country in the last 1000 years, it's a country to our south. Scots like the English (this is not an anti-English referendum) - we just don't like the arseholes in Westminster telling us what to do (neither does large areas of England as it happens)

To learn more about the Scottish independence, see The Wee Blue Book [wingsoverscotland.com]

Farce (1)

Alioth (221270) | about 4 months ago | (#47727527)

The whole UK nuclear deterrent is a colossal waste of money anyway. It would be far better to get rid of them (who do they deter? who would we use them against? And in the case of a global thermonuclear war it wouldn't even make a difference anyway) and spend the money on conventional forces that we can actually use and probably are more of a deterrent to potential enemies.

Re:Farce (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 4 months ago | (#47727563)

The whole UK nuclear deterrent is a colossal waste of money anyway. It would be far better to get rid of them (who do they deter? .

With Pakistan having nuclear weapons and Iran working on them I think it would be good to keep them.

Re:Farce (1, Flamebait)

dave420 (699308) | about 4 months ago | (#47727755)

There you go again with your anti-Muslim nonsense again. Iran is not working on nuclear weapons, according to the intelligence services of Britain, Israel, France, and the US. Pakistan hasn't launched a weapon in anger, and whose only perceived enemy is India (which, at this point, are not really enemies but a countries sharing a historical feud tempered by bilateral understanding of benefit of mutual existence and no war).

Just admit you are an ignorance xenophobe and we can all move on. Don't pretend you're some sort of well-informed person simply trying to educate or participate in a discussion - no-one's buying that nonsense from you. You are pathetic.

Re:Farce (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47727815)

Your strategy of calling someone bad names is certainly a major contribution to the argument!

How can they be independent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47727591)

without nuclear weapons?

Why Is Alex Salmond making these promises? (2)

91degrees (207121) | about 4 months ago | (#47727635)

Surely this will be a decision to be made by the first independent government. Alex Salmond may not be the majority leader. The SNP may not get a single vote (I can't think why anyone would want to vote for them afterwards).

If Independent Scotland chooses to ban nuclear weapons then that is theiur right as an independent state. If they choose not to that is also their right. But whether they actually do or not is a matter of national party politics, and notpart of the independdence movement. The fact that they will have the decision is a matter for the independence debate but what that decision should be is no.

Salmond seems to think the referendum is bout electing him Scotland's president.

Re:Why Is Alex Salmond making these promises? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47727699)

> Salmond seems to think the referendum is bout electing him Scotland's president.

It's not just him, it's Labour too: this survey [labour.org.uk] asks if participants will be voting for Salmond on September 18th. Personally, I'm not because I'll be too busy voting Yes in a referendum that only offers "Yes" or "No" as the options. Never voted SNP, never voted for Salmond, never plan to. Mind you, I do intend to ignore the thinly-veiled propaganda trying to make this about the current First Minister - from whatever side it comes.

Speaking on behalf of the Ministry of Defence (5, Funny)

maroberts (15852) | about 4 months ago | (#47727679)

I am delighted to confirm that we have made plans to resite our Nuclear Deterrent. After much consultation and with the agreement of the Legislative Assembly, I am pleased to announce that in the event of a Referendum "yes" vote, the UK will be breaking ground on a new facility in the Falkland Islands.

This is an immensely popular decision that has the full support of all our inhabitants, stated the Chief Executive of the Legislative Assembly.

On hearing this announcement Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, President of Argentina, wept before exploding into flames.

Salmond is NOT making Scotland non nuclear (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47727803)

He wrote to EDF power and told them he'd not object to extending the life of their reactors. Quite simply he's lying to the electorate to get the vote.

Mr Salmond wrote to the EDF Chief Executive Vincent de Rivaz, after holding a meeting with him in May:

Mr Salmond’s letter, obtained by Channel 4 News, said that: “ provided the necessary stringent safety considerations are met, we are not opposed to life extensions for Hunterston B and Torness.”

http://blogs.channel4.com/michael-crick-on-politics/salmond-tells-edf-independent-gov-nuclear-plants/4307

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