The consequences for Westminster following a decision by an independent Scottish government for the removal of Trident missiles from Scotland are huge. Essentially the Westminster government have nowhere in the r UK that can accommodate Trident. Any possible deployment would be unacceptable to the civilian population concerned. If we in Scotland were asked now instead of what happened in the 1960s to use Faslane as a base for the deployment of Trident imagine the public outcry. Any suitable site in the rest of the British Isles would surely result in a similar outcry.

What this means in effect is that the British nuclear deterrent would cease to exist in any practical, meaningful way. In turn this affects Westminster and British nationalism in a fundamental manner.

THE current possession of Faslane and the associated nuclear deterrent supports British foreign policy in a number of areas – eg, a seat on the UN security council. Witness the posturing over Brexit and the apparent nostalgia for the “good old days of Empire”. Remove the nuclear arsenal and the very concept of the role of Britain on the world stage is laid open to question.

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In the spirit of “know your enemy” I raise this as an issue to alert Yes campaigners to the potential reaction of British nationalism to what could be construed as an existential threat to everything that they hold dear.

Make no mistake, the British state will use every argument in its repertoire to discredit notions of nuclear disarmament and by extension the denial of the use of Faslane as a base for Trident.

These arguments will range from job losses, local employment through to the defence of the realm. Underpinning this likely response will be their recognition of a fundamental threat to Britain’s role in the world. They will not give this up without a fight. Expect a noisy, protracted, unpleasant and potentially dirty campaign from British Nationalists.

There is nothing potentially more dangerous than a cornered and frightened adversary. We must be prepared and ready for the coming storm of abuse, misinformation, appeals to false patriotism and potential ’dirty tricks’ that will undoubtedly come our way in the near future.

Tom Ward

Forfar