TRIDENT could be moved to Gibraltar if Scotland becomes an independent nation, it was claimed yesterday.

According to a report in a Sunday newspaper, Gibraltar is being lined up as the next potential docking station for the nuclear submarine fleet if Scotland breaks away from the UK.

The article quoted a senior military source as saying that “a party was sent to Gibraltar to determine whether the option would work”, adding: “One can only assume it is part of a broader contingency planning.”

However, the claim has been denied by the MoD, which has said it is “fully committed to retaining the deterrent on the Clyde”.

The extensive naval base in Gibraltar does already have the capability to house nuclear submarines. The base plays an important role in Nato’s European presence, allowing US and UK subs to dock.

Although the HM Dockyard Gibraltar is large enough to hold passing submarines, the permanent basing of the nuclear fleet, in the 2.3-square-mile country is likely to cause serious concerns to its population of 30,000 people – as well as those on the Spanish mainland.

Scrap Trident Coalition spokesman Brian Larkin said: “If we can send enough anti-Trident MPs to Westminster then the debate is not going to be about where they might locate Trident, the debate will be about whether they replace it at all.”