The ballistic-missile submarine base and the bulk of the operational support facilities for the UK’s independent nuclear deterrent are based on Scottish soil or in Scottish inland waters and territorial seas. A Scottish secession would therefore generate fundamental operational and fiscal issues for the UK’s nuclear deterrent. The changes in UK nuclear policy announced in the 2021 Integrated Review have further distanced UK policy from the principles of the Scottish National Party, thereby increasing the risk of secession. This would significantly impact the UK’s ability to field a submarine-based deterrent.This paper by Rear Admiral John Gower CB OBE examines the deterrent issues arising from a future secession of Scotland and its likely desire for subsequent independent accession to the EU and NATO. It analyses the options which would then face both the UK and her close allies in NATO.
European Leadership Network 1st April 2021 read more »