Scots are paying £180 million each year for a nuclear weapons system they oppose, according to new research carried out by the Scottish National Party.

The research shows that Scotland pays 8.2% of the £2.26 billion spent on Trident annually. This is despite two general elections in which the Scottish electorate voted for a majority of MPs who oppose Trident and who voted against the UK government’s £205 billion replacement scheme.

The Scottish National Party’s Bill Kidd MSP told The National newspaper “The millions of pounds in taxpayer money that is being wasted by Westminster could go towards making sure our public services come first; building hospitals, training public sector workers, improving schools, and lifting people out of Tory-inflicted poverty.

“Instead of investing in our vital services, the Scottish Government is being forced to mitigate for cuts, wasted funds, and unprecedented damage caused to our economy by the Tories, and Labour’s sorry lack of opposition.”

Members of the Scottish National Party will discuss a timetable for Trident removal at their spring conference next month. The blueprint will set out the steps that will be taken in the eventuality that Scotland becomes an independent country.