- 24 hours each day, 365 days each year, there is at least one British nuclear submarine concealed at sea, armed with 48 nuclear warheads. The Trident home base is at Faslane on the Clyde. The arsenal of the Trident fleet is equivalent to 1000 Hiroshima bombs.
- It has been estimated that should Trident be fired by design or accident some 40 million people would die.
- Simply to keep the Trident submarine fleet afloat costs the British taxpayer around £2.5 billion per year.
- The word “deterrence” has no meaning in military strategy, “nuclear deterrence” is a political statement.
- Papers released in 2001 show that the British military establishment have detailed plans for a first strike nuclear attack; NATO has persistently refused to sign a “no first use” clause. An initiative taken as recently as 1998 by the German Government fell on deaf ears. A leading NATO document reads “nuclear weapons must be used with discrimination and precision”. The Westminster Government has stated that in the event of hostilities breaking out, our nuclear fleet would be assigned to NATO – so much for our so-called “independent nuclear deterrent”.
- Despite the end of the Cold War, Britain’s stock of nuclear missiles continues to grow, from 1990 to 1998 the total grew from 96 Polaris warheads to 180 Trident missiles.
All of Britain’s Cold War nuclear weapons are kept in a secret location a mere 60 miles from Glasgow. No other country would harbour such an arsenal so close to a densely populated area.
- There are today, around 35,000 nuclear weapons in the world. At least 5,000 of these are on a state of alert – ready to be launched in 15 mins.
- The USA has currently 150 B61 nuclear bombers on standby, within bases in Belgium, Germany (3), Italy (2), The Netherlands, Turkey and the UK, ready to be loaded for take-off in 30 minutes.
- In July 1996, the International Court of Justice, the highest court in the world, ruled that the threat or use of nuclear weapons would be contrary to international law.
- This argument, that Trident was illegal, was successfully used by three protestors from Trident Ploughshares in their defence at Greenock Sheriff Court.
- Trident is a criminal weapon of mass destruction which is in Scotland without the approval or consensus of the Scottish people. Even before the Scottish National Party won an overall majority at Holyrood, the majority of MSPs were opposed to Trident renewal. An Independent Scotland would make removal of Trident a top priority.
See also: More blogs by John Jappy