The spectacular gains of the Scottish National Party (SNP) in the general election are a stark indicator of opposition to the UK’s Trident nuclear weapons system, which is based in Scotland, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament has said.
The meteoric rise of the anti-Trident SNP has seen their number grow from 6 MPs in the previous parliament to 56 MPs, in an unprecedented election which saw swings of almost 40% to the SNP in some seats. This huge influx comes ahead of the final vote on whether or not to replace Britain’s ageing nuclear weapons system, expected in early 2016.
After an election campaign which was dominated by the question of Trident, CND’s Kate Hudson described last night’s result as a ‘reality check’ for those in favour of spending an estimated £100bn to replace the UK’s four nuclear-armed submarines.
Come 2016, the SNP will be joined in opposition to Trident replacement by MPs across the political spectrum, including from Labour, Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru, the Green Party and the SDLP, many of whom have pledged to vote against Trident in a survey conducted ahead of the election by CND.
CND General Secretary Kate Hudson said:
‘When Scotland has spoken as clearly as it has at the ballot box – it’s a reality check for those who believe there could be business-as-usual with Trident replacement.
‘The Scottish people are joined by millions all over the UK who are fed up with being told there’s no money for health, welfare and education, while plans are drawn up to squander £100bn on an obsolete weapons system.
‘The election results last night took many by surprise – but not least because Scotland, which has had nuclear weapons forced on it from Westminster for years, has announced its rejection of them so forcefully.
‘Senior military figures say Trident’s not a deterrent.
‘A former Tory Defence Secretary acknowledges it’s not independent.
‘The British public thinks it’s immoral and exorbitant.
‘There’s only one logical answer: scrap Trident now, save £100bn, and spend taxpayers’ money on things we really need.’