AN independent Scotland will follow the example of Sweden in joining Nato without having nuclear weapons, an SNP MP has said.

Alison Thewliss also dismissed a suggestion by a Tory MP that the SNP’s stance on abolishing nuclear weapons is “nuts” – arguing that holding such defences does not make the world safer.

On a visit to the US this week, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that joining the EU and Nato would be "cornerstones of an independent Scotland’s security policy".

On BBC Two’s Politics Live show, Thewliss was quizzed on how this would square with wanting to remove nuclear deterrents from Scotland.

READ MORE: Joining Nato would be 'vital' to an independent Scotland's security, says Nicola Sturgeon in US

She said: “I think we square that in exactly the same way that Sweden has done so."

The SNP MP acknowledged Sweden would not be removing nuclear weapons, but said: “They are saying very clearly in their agreement with Nato that they put in today that they do not want nuclear bases on their shores at all.”

“We see the important of that alliance – not of the nuclear deterrent,” she added.

Patrick O’Flynn, a political commentator and former Ukip MEP, claimed Sturgeon was seeking a “free ride” under the Nato nuclear umbrella without doing the “slightly gritty stuff of hosting the submarines”.

He added: “That is why I think it is very important that independence referenda happen once in a generation, and it means that because we have taken decisions to carry on putting most of nuclear defence infrastructure in Scotland, partly based on the 2014 decision to stay within the United Kingdom.

READ MORE: Greens oppose Nato membership for Scotland and 'evil' nuclear weapons

Tory MP Laura Farris described the SNP’s stance on abolishing nuclear weapons as “absolutely nuts”.

She went on: “The SNP saying we will get rid of the nuclear submarines is saying we will disarm the United Kingdom, and the United Kingdom has to make a decision whether now, at the most dangerous moment since the end of the Cold War - or the Scottish people might need to make a decision - if they want to live in a country that has no nuclear weapons and completely reduces our defence.”

But Thewliss dismissed her claim, saying: “Most countries in the world don’t have nuclear weapons, don’t seek to have nuclear weapons. If it were the case nuclear weapons made everyone safer, everyone would have them – and they don’t and they actively choose not to.

READ MORE: Stephen Kerr criticised over claims on Scotland's EU and Nato chances

“The SNP believe very firmly these weapons cannot be used – because if you were to use them, as Russia has been threatening to do, you are on the brink of an apocalypse already.”

She added: “This should be an issue for the Scottish people to decide. Civil society in Scotland, the people in Scotland have long protested against nuclear weapons being based in our country, because we don’t think they make us safer, they make us a target.”