FOR almost 60 years the SNP has opposed the UK’s possession of nuclear weapons not just because many of them (now all of them) were based in Scotland.

That was, of course, an important duty to protect Scotland from exceptional risk. But it has also always been SNP policy to oppose giving a few individuals the power to use weapons of indiscriminate mass killing and devastating environmental pollution, and there has been cooperation over the years with those in England and Wales who share that commitment.

We have not yet seen the full SNP submission to the UK Integrated Review of Foreign Policy, Defence, Security and Development and I trust that the full context of the quotation used by David Pratt will clarify its meaning (SNP to unveil the defence blueprint to put Scotland on the world stage, November 12). That reference is to “the need to commit wholeheartedly to multilateral nuclear disarmament”.

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How often have we heard that? The record of the nine nuclear states has shown no progress in doing this. As long as we are still part of the UK, I understand that SNP policy is to campaign for the early decommissioning of the UK’s nuclear weapons, so we should expect that to be in the submission.

When Scotland is independent and ratifies the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons which will come into force in January (and which Nato has actively campaigned against), the early removal of all nuclear weapons from Scottish territory will be supported by international law. There really is nowhere else in the UK suitable for Trident, certainly not for well over a decade of extremely expensive and controversial construction work.

I expect the SNP defence team will give strong support to those in England and Wales campaigning for the decommissioning of these weapons and who have also submitted proposals to that effect to the Integrated Review.

Isobel Lindsay