THE independence movement will have to work to convince the “undecideds” of the need for Scotland to be nuclear-free, the SNP CND convener has said.

A YouGov poll last week found 45% of Scots would support ­keeping ­Trident nuclear submarines in ­Scotland after independence, with 34% opposed.

SNP voters were least likely to support retaining Trident after ­independence at 28%, while 30% of Yes voters in the wider independence movement also opposed keeping the weapons, according to the survey published by The Times.

It comes as the issue of defence for an independent Scotland is back on the agenda following a keynote speech by Nicola Sturgeon in Washington earlier this month, in which she said the policy of the SNP to seek membership of Nato is “absolutely the right and essential one”.

Bill Ramsay, convener of SNP CND, said: “The bedrock of support for the Trident position is those who are in favour of continued union with the UK. The core of the anti-Trident vote is the pro-independence vote.

“Then we have got the ­undecideds in the middle – so in that sense, the debate over Trident in terms of ­polling figures, is somewhat similar to the debate over independence.”

He added: “Our solution is what we do in relation to indyref2 – we have to take the undecideds – who some will probably be in the undecided camp about independence – and win them over.”

READ MORE: Tory councillor mocked for saying no major Glasgow jubilee celebrations is 'shameful'

Ramsay described the policy of the SNP to join Nato as a “non-issue”, having been adopted by the party around a decade ago.

He said the advent of Finnish ­membership of the alliance made it “even more so”, adding it would have “profoundly positive” implications for Scotland’s accession to Nato.

“Finland has made it crystal clear that they will have no nuclear ­weapons on its soil,” he said.

“Finland has made it crystal clear that there will be no permanent Nato member bases in its territory.

“So there is Finland joining Nato and everyone is accepting that.

“Why then would Scottish non-nuclear membership of Nato be a ­problem?”

Not everyone in the independence movement holds the same views. The Scottish Greens are opposed to Nato membership, as well as nuclear ­weapons.

David Mackenzie, of Scottish Greens CND, said it was a “very ­understandable position” that ­people would back joining Nato after the ­invasion of Ukraine.

But he argued Scotland will be in a “unique position” of starting fresh after independence.

“For the life of me, I can’t see why you would start fresh by joining a ­sectional alliance,” he said.

“You are lining yourself up with one of the big power blocs in the world and you are saying this is the side I’m taking.”

He said the “big picture” of the crises facing the human race had to be taken into account – including the climate crisis and the threat of nuclear weapons.

“You are facing these – and also pandemics – and the solution to all of these lies in a radically improved atmosphere across the world of ­cooperation,” he said “If you are going to dig yourself back into sectional alliances, you are losing the big picture and that is ­absolutely critical for our future. We co-operate basically or we perish.

“You have to hold on to the big picture and there is huge opportunities for an independent Scotland to develop links and collaboration across the globe as it is such a smaller world.”

Mackenzie pointed to treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons (TPNW), which will hold its first meeting of states parties in June.

The National: National Extra Scottish politics newsletter banner

The Scottish Government is unable to become a party to the treaty, but Nicola Sturgeon has previously said an independent Scotland would be a “keen signatory”.

Mackenzie said: “Something that gets lost in a lot of think-tank and so-called expert chatter about nuclear weapons is that [they are] horrific ­inhumane weapons that should have been banned years ago under international law.

“That is what the treaty is focusing on, so it is a very simple thing if you are a human being you should not consider yourself using or supporting the use of nuclear weapons because of the horrific nature of them.”

SNP CND convener Ramsay also highlighted the TPNW meeting and said one of their key goals after independence would be to ratify the UN treaty.

But when it comes to the Green’s stance on Nato, he said: “There is the moral case against nuclear weapons – we are arguing about what is the best interest of the Scottish people in terms of security.”