Key U.K. Tories Said to Want Nuclear Arms Based in U.S., If Scots Expel Them

Global Security Newswire Staff
Add to Briefcase
Global Security Newswire Staff
April 21, 2014, 8:05 a.m.

Some U.K. Con­ser­vat­ive Party lead­ers are said to sup­port tem­por­ar­ily basing Brit­ish nuc­le­ar arms in the United States if they are ex­pelled from Scot­land.

The Tory-led co­ali­tion gov­ern­ment in Lon­don is fiercely op­posed to a cam­paign sponsored by Scot­tish na­tion­al­ists to se­cede from the United King­dom. If voters choose in­de­pend­ence in a Septem­ber ref­er­en­dum, the loc­ally gov­ern­ing Scot­tish Na­tion­al Party has vowed to quickly be­gin re­mov­ing from Scot­land all nuc­le­ar-armed Tri­dent D-5 mis­siles — and ul­ti­mately the sub­mar­ines that carry them — by 2020.

Lon­don has not of­fi­cially ac­know­ledged any con­tin­gency scen­ari­os for a pos­sible fu­ture in which the nuc­le­ar-armed fleet of four Van­guard-class ves­sels is ordered out of an in­de­pend­ent Scot­land.

Privately, however, some seni­or Con­ser­vat­ive mem­bers think the sub­mar­ines and weapons could be tem­por­ar­ily sent to the United States, the Glas­gow Her­ald re­por­ted on Sat­urday. The two al­lies have a long­stand­ing co­oper­a­tion agree­ment re­lated to equip­ping and main­tain­ing the U.K. sub­mar­ines with the Tri­dent mis­siles.

“Tri­dent could go to Amer­ica if Scot­land votes for in­de­pend­ence,” an an­onym­ous Con­ser­vat­ive source told the news­pa­per. “It would not be ideal for the U.K.’s nuc­le­ar de­terrent to be based out­side the U.K. But it would be a per­fectly doable solu­tion in the short term, as a ‘stop gap’ meas­ure.”

Un­der such a scen­ario, the fleet would be re­turned to the United King­dom as a home base once new fa­cil­it­ies have been con­struc­ted to re­place the lost sites in Scot­land.

A 2012 re­port by a Brit­ish par­lia­ment­ary pan­el re­com­men­ded the gov­ern­ment weigh tem­por­ar­ily re­lo­cat­ing some Van­guard sub­mar­ines to the U.S. Nav­al Sub­mar­ine Base Kings Bay in south­east Geor­gia; navy fa­cil­it­ies in France were also sug­ges­ted as a po­ten­tial host­ing solu­tion.

Mean­while, a new Brit­ish De­fence Min­istry re­port has dis­closed that there were more than 260 atom­ic-safety in­cid­ents at its nuc­le­ar fa­cil­it­ies in Scot­land in the last half-dec­ade, RIA Nov­osti re­por­ted on Monday.

The min­istry said hu­man er­ror was re­spons­ible for 75 per­cent of the in­cid­ents, which in­cluded “false alarms and sys­tem fail­ures” for com­puters that over­see war­heads.

What We're Following See More »
WANTS ANSWERS ON CLINTON EMAIL PROBE
Senate Judiciary Sends Questions to Loretta Lynch
23 hours ago
THE LATEST
ARE “OPEN TO NEGOTIATION”
Sens. Paul, Cruz, Johnson and Lee Oppose Senate Health Care Bill
1 days ago
THE LATEST

The four Senators released a joint statement, saying in part, "There are provisions in this draft that repreesnt an improvement to our current health care system, but it does not appear this draft as written will accomplish the most important promise we made to Americans: to repeal Obamacare and lower their health care costs."

Source:
TRUMP SUGGESTED THERE WERE TAPES
No Comey Tapes
2 days ago
THE LATEST

Trump tweeted Thursday afternoon, "With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea whether there are "tapes" or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings."

Source:
DEVELOPING
Senate Healthcare Bill In Trouble?
2 days ago
BREAKING
BETTER CARE RECONCILIATION ACT
Senate Republicans Unveil Healthcare Bill
2 days ago
BREAKING
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login