An independent Scotland could wait until 2016 to order the removal of British nuclear weapons in the event a planned 2014 succession vote is successful, the head of the locally governing Scottish National Party said on Sunday.
SNP leader and Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond in an interview with the BBC indicated the expulsion of British ballistic missile submarines and their nuclear warheads would be contingent upon the Scottish National Party winning Scotland’s first general election as an independent nation in May 2016, the London Guardian reported.
“The time period for their removal: once Scotland became independent and after, of course, people have elected their first government in an independent Scotland, but if it were to be an SNP government then we would ask the submarines to be removed from Scotland as soon as was safely possible,” Salmond said.
The Scottish National Party last year said if voters choose secession in 2014, then leaders of the newly independent nation would “negotiate the speediest safe transition of the nuclear fleet from Faslane,” where the United Kingdom’s fleet of four Vanguard-class submarines armed with Trident ballistic missiles are based. London has pushed for the SNP to provide more specifics about its timetable for the removal of the nuclear weapons from Scotland. A British parliamentary committee last October concluded that nuclear weapons in Scotland “could be disarmed within days and removed within months” of a 2014 vote in favor of succession.
Salmond’s remarks suggest a lengthier timetable than what was earlier feared by the British government. The extended schedule would give the United Kingdom more time to figure out where it will base its nuclear weapons if Scotland is no longer an option and could open the way for a compromise to be reached on Scotland’s desire to be admitted to NATO as a nuclear-free nation. London previously said Scotland’s admittance to the alliance would be contingent upon there first being in place a mutually acceptable agreement on the disposition of the SSBN fleet. SNP leaders have made NATO membership a cornerstone of their plan for Scotland’s national defense.
“Trident would certainly be part of negotiations [with the British government] following a yes vote,” SNP defense spokesman Angus Robertson said. “Of course Trident could only be removed from Scotland once Scotland becomes and independent country, and SNP policy on that is clear, which is at the earliest possible safe moment.”
What We're Following See More »
The Commission on Presidential Debates put out a statement today that gives credence to Donald Trump's claims that he had a bad microphone on Monday night. "Regarding the first debate, there were issues regarding Donald Trump's audio that affected the sound level in the debate hall," read the statement in its entirety.
"A video of Donald Trump testifying under oath about his provocative rhetoric about Mexicans and other Latinos is set to go public" as soon as today. "Trump gave the testimony in June at a law office in Washington in connection with one of two lawsuits he filed last year after prominent chefs reacted to the controversy over his remarks by pulling out of plans to open restaurants at his new D.C. hotel. D.C. Superior Court Judge Brian Holeman said in an order issued Thursday evening that fears the testimony might show up in campaign commercials were no basis to keep the public from seeing the video."
No matter that his recall of foreign leaders leaves something to be desired, Gary Johnson is the choice of the Chicago Tribune's editorial board. The editors argue that Donald Trump couldn't do the job of president, while hitting Hillary Clinton for "her intent to greatly increase federal spending and taxation, and serious questions about honesty and trust." Which leaves them with Johnson. "Every American who casts a vote for him is standing for principles," they write, "and can be proud of that vote. Yes, proud of a candidate in 2016."
"By all means vote, just not for Donald Trump." That's the message from USA Today editors, who are making the first recommendation on a presidential race in the paper's 34-year history. It's not exactly an endorsement; they make clear that the editorial board "does not have a consensus for a Clinton endorsement." But they state flatly that Donald Trump is, by "unanimous consensus of the editorial board, unfit for the presidency."