SNP grassroots activists are appealing to the party to set a three-year deadline for the removal of Trident from the Clyde following the establishment of an independent Scottish Government.

The draft resolution is being sent to the organisers of the party’s conference in September and has the backing of Nicola Sturgeon’s Glasgow southside branch as well as eight other branches across Scotland.

A motion put forward by SNP CND (party members who are also in CND) setting out the steps for the removal of Trident was passed unanimously at the SNP conference in Edinburgh two years ago.

However, the 2019 proposal did not include a timescale for the removal of the nuclear submarines and missiles from the Clyde.

“Conference notes the endorsement of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons by all SNP candidates in the 2021 Scottish Parliament Election,”the new motion states.

“Consequently, and in line with the provisions of the TPNW, conference calls upon a future SNP Government of an Independent Scotland to remove nuclear weapons from Scotland within three years.”

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) became a formal UN international treaty when it entered into force in January 2021.

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The Treaty has specific provisions for states which have the nuclear weapons of another state on its territory.

Any state that ratifies the Treaty is obliged to present plans for the removal of these weapons as soon as possible.

Such a state will, under the provisions of the TPNW, be afforded the assistance of the relevant agencies of the United Nations, such as the International Atomic Energy Agency, in removing the weapons under international supervision.

The state who actually owns the nuclear weapons would also be involved in the process.

Bill Ramsay, convener of SNP CND, said: “Despite an extraordinarily short timescale to prepare motions for the special conference that is taking place in September, nine SNP branches are supporting the SNP CND’s motion on the Timescale for implementing the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).

“This will put the party on the same position as all SNP parliamentarians, both at Holyrood and at Westminster who have signed the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) Parliamentary Pledge.

“Given that the first United Nations TPNW states parties conference will take place in Vienna on 12-14 January next year, SNP CND, Covid willing, intend to have members attend as part of the civil society delegation.”

The nine SNP branches who support the motion are: Southside Central (Glasgow South Side Constituency); Anniesland Constituency Branch; Grantown on Spey CB; Maryhill and Springburn CB; Glasgow Milingavie; Holy Loch; Dingwall and Black Isles; Renfrew and Gallowhill; and Glasgow Kelvin.

The SNP CND group published a roadmap setting out the process of getting rid of Trident in 2019.

It anticipated three main steps: “Step one is ending operational deployment of the four Vanguard Class submarines that carry the Trident missiles. One submarine is always on patrol. Step two is removal of the keys and the triggers which would then be secured in a safe place on land.

“Step three is to disable the missiles. If key aspects of the guidance and control system are removed then a targeted launch is impossible. It should be noted that the actual missiles are rented from the US Navy.”

In 2016 the House of Commons backed the renewal of the UK’s Trident nuclear weapons system to beyond the early 2030s by 472 votes to 117, approving the manufacture of four replacement submarines at an estimated cost of £31 billion.

Trident is the colloquial term used for the UK nuclear weapons system which comprises three main elements and has a vast supporting infrastructure.

Four Vanguard class submarines (SSBN) which maintain continuous at-sea deterrence (CASD), meaning that one vessel is always on patrol (Operation Relentless).

The submarines are based at Faslane and the warheads are stored, processed and maintained at the Royal Naval Armaments Depot at Coulport.

In-service maintenance of the Vanguard class is conducted at Faslane, while deep maintenance is conducted in Plymouth.

The decision to acquire Trident was announced in the Commons in July 1980. A parliamentary debate and vote endorsing the UK Government’s decision was held in March 1981. From the decision in 1980 it took 14 years to complete the acquisition of Trident with the first Vanguard class submarine entering service in December 1994.