Letters to the Editor: Relocating Trident

Featured in The Times

Future of Trident


Sir, Your article (Sep 2) on the future of Trident in the event of Scotland’s independence cites my Royal United Services Institute study from 2014 on the costs of relocation to England. This remains the most credible option. A relocation of Trident to the US or France (which the Treasury is said to support) would be impossible to reconcile with having an independent deterrent. Nor would it be cheaper, given the costs of dockyards, training facilities and warhead bunkers, as well as relocating 8,000 UK personnel. The third reported option, creating a “nuclear Gibraltar” on the Clyde, is no more credible. Rather than pursuing this provocative path, which Edinburgh could never accept, the MoD should draw on existing arrangements for the US’s military bases in the UK, including (in the past) its Polaris base at Holy Loch, Argyll and Bute. These could form the basis for a transitional basing agreement, creating time for relocation in due course. Professor Malcolm Chalmers

Read the Occasional Paper: 'Relocation, Relocation, Relocation', 11 August 2014