31 Jul Controversial plans over Nato policy is a challenge for SNP
Rebel SNP members plan to resist leadership U-turn on Nato
Scottish news: Controversial plans over Nato policy is a challenge for SNP
by Amy Lenathen
The plan for SNP leadership to scrap the anti-Nato position has sparked controversy by rebel Nationalists, who are planning to block the move made by the SNP’s defence spokesman, Angus Robertson.
Mr Robertson stated that an SNP government running independent Scotland “will maintain Nato membership subject to an agreement that Scotland will not host nuclear weapons”. However, MSP Dave Thompson has voiced his disapproval.
This change in stance has started to attract opposition by Nationalist trade unionists and Mr Thompson in particular, who are planning strategies to ensure the original position on Nato is retained.
Mr Thompson has made it clear that an amendment will be organised, to ensure it is the opinion of the Scottish people that will determine the stance over Nato.
Commenting Mr Thompson said: “We accept that an independent Scotland would inherit Nato membership, but it should be up to the Scottish people after a referendum whether we remain as members,
“A number of people are interested in backing such an amendment and my name will be attached it. I hope that a number of individuals and SNP branches will back it, as well as other elected members.”
This opinion is also shared by Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) members and the SNP trade union group, led by John Duffy, with the group already accumulating 500 members.
The pressure group ‘No to Nato in Scotland’ has been created, gathering the support of many political figures including Scottish Green co-leader Patrick Harvie and ex-Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) MSP Colin Fox, despite both parties supporting independence.
Mr Fox, co-leader of the SSP, said: “Nato is out of date and is part of the Cold War. It’s a war- mongering alliance and Scotland shouldn’t be part of it.”
However, those opposed within the SNP ranks now face a number of procedural obstacles before the debate begins at the Perth conference as early as October 18. Politicians and other affiliates have until August 10 to turn in amendments – a somewhat unrealistic deadline, according to critics, when considering the long procedure following the appeal.
Amendments must be ruled as competent by the powerful standing orders and agenda committee, which could rule a rebel amendment out of order if its members think it represents a potential significant change to the original resolution.
Nato – The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation – is an intergovernmental military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty, signed in 1949. The organisation is based on mutual defence, which will concur, should an external attack be forced upon any member.