MPs are urging the Scottish and UK governments to thrash out a deal on nuclear weapons well before the independence referendum. The Scottish Affairs Committee says it is crucial that people in Scotland know exactly what they are voting for in the poll in 2014.
The UK's nuclear deterrent, Trident, is based on the Clyde. The SNP is committed to removing nuclear missiles from Scotland. The Committee of MPs say this could mean the entire UK is forced into nuclear disarmament.
The Chairman of the Committee said:
– IAN DAVIDSON MP, COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN
"A separate Scotland would be presented with a choice over Trident: it could honour the long standing commitment of the SNP that there should be no nuclear weapons in Scotland and insist on the 'speediest safe transfer' of Trident from Scotland.
"In reality, Trident can be deactivated within a matter of days, and the warheads removed within 24 months."
The SNP says it welcomes the report, as it confirms that "with independence, Scotland can become nuclear free within months."
MSP Bill Kidd, who's a member of the Council of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, said:
– BILL KIDD MSP
"These findings are to be welcomed, and only enhance the case for an independent Scotland where we can move forward towards a country free from Trident nuclear weapons."
Mr Davidson says one answer could be for both governments to reach a deal, where Trident was allowed to stay in Scotland for perhaps twenty five years to allow time for an alternative base in England to be built.