Implications for United Kingdom nuclear deterrence should the Union fail

Posted: 2nd April 2021

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

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