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Last Updated: Monday, 29 January 2007, 19:53 GMT
Scotland 'only home' for Trident
Trident submarine
The UK Government wants to update Trident
Britain would be left with nowhere to store its nuclear weapons if it could not store them in Scotland, it has been claimed.

The comments came from advocate John Mayer, who drafted an SNP bill which would criminalise Scottish ministers who order the use of nuclear weapons.

He was speaking at a Scottish Parliament debate on the future of Trident and its possible replacement.

The event was organised by the United Nations Association of Edinburgh.

It was attended by politicians, academics and diplomats and hosted by Green MSP Chris Ballance.

Physically and geologically there is nowhere else in Britain capable of accommodating the Trident fleet
John Mayer

If it became law, the SNP bill would see senior civil servants, military leaders, cabinet ministers and even the Prime Minister face criminal charges for firing or ordering the firing of nuclear weapons.

Any senior figure even supporting the threat of the UK's nuclear deterrent - based in Scotland at Faslane on the Clyde - would also be in line to face charges.

Mr Mayer said it would lead to the the UK having nowhere to house its nuclear arsenal.

Scottish voice

"You might think of it as tugging the rug from underneath the commanders by taking away the right to command, the right to programme, those things that directly lead to a threat or use, then the whole purpose of the Faslane infrastructure becomes impossible," he added.

"We know physically that a Trident-free Scotland is a Trident free UK because physically and geologically there is nowhere else in Britain capable of accommodating the Trident fleet."

Prime Minister Tony Blair last year announced plans to upgrade Trident at a cost of up to 20bn.

Other speakers at the conference included the former UK permanent ambassador to the UN, Lord Hannay of Chiswick.

It was also attended by the consul generals of Germany, Japan and the US as well as trade union officials and church leaders from the Church of Scotland, the Catholic Church, the Society of Friends and the Scottish Episcopalian Church.

Speaking before the event, Mr Ballance said: "It is vital that Scotland has a voice in this decision, and that our voices are heard loud and clear."

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