Leith SNP Statement on SNP Defence Policy Debate at SNP National Conference, October 2012
On 19 September Leith SNP Branch agreed, by consensus not mandate, to send a full complement of delegates (6) to Party Conference to vote in favour of existing SNP defence policy. Having debated the proposal to retain NATO membership at several meetings the branch believes:
· A newly independent Scotland will have a unique and crucial role to play in nuclear disarmament and international relations.
· Our ability to disarm and remove Trident from Scotland and our policy to join the NATO affiliate group Partnership for Peace* are vital elements of our bid to persuade people to vote Yes in the Independence Referendum.
· NATO membership is not compatible with disarming and removing Trident from Scotland. Leasing or selling part of Scotland to NATO or the RUK so that Trident can stay at Faslane is not an acceptable option.
· Membership of the Partnership for Peace alongside nations such as Ireland, Finland, Sweden, Austria, and Switzerland will allow Scotland to build an individual relationship with NATO, choosing our own priorities for cooperation. We will continue to work with our NATO allies as the 22 existing Partnership for Peace member countries do.
Hilary Brown, Secretary of Leith SNP said
‘Leith SNP is proud of the SNP’s ethical and practical defence policy of joining Partnership for Peace, a policy which will enable us to co-operate with our friends and allies in NATO when we choose, but which allows us to disengage from a military alliance based on the first strike use of nuclear weapons. We are also fully committed to the SNP’s policy of nuclear disarmament and it is clear from all that we have read and studied that NATO membership is not compatible with disarming and removing Trident from Scotland. Leasing or selling part of Scotland to NATO or the RUK so that Trident can stay at Faslane is not an acceptable option. We applaud the party for engaging in such a substantive and respectful debate on this crucial issue and we believe delegates should be clear on these points when they vote.’
For more details call Hilary Brown on 0131 555 2937 or Cllr Adam McVey on 0771 866 6456
*The Partnership for Peace (PfP) is a programme of practical bilateral cooperation between individual Euro-Atlantic partner countries and NATO. It allows partners to build up an individual relationship with NATO, choosing their own priorities for cooperation. (www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/topics_50349.htm, September 2012)