Referendum Answers

Short Answers to Popular Questions about Scottish Independence

NATO Membership

Q. Will we still be in NATO after independence?

A. Yes

Have you heard too that we won't be able to join NATO just because we don't want nuclear-armed submarines parked a few miles up the road from Glasgow?

Like a lot of the rubbish that's put about by Better Together (it's not known as 'Project Fear' for nothing), the first thing that we need to do is stop and think for a minute exactly what it is they're saying. And with NATO membership we find it's the usual scary story.

Scotland occupies an strategic position in the North Atlantic, lying as we do near the North Atlantic gap, and the increasingly ice-free shipping lanes of the Artic Ocean. Do you really think that NATO and the USA aren't bothered about any old Russian ship sailing through this important area any time it feels like it? We think not either.

As for nuclear weapons, well, only three NATO countries have them - USA, UK and France. The other 16 not only don't have them but many of them want them banned anyway. NATO wouldn't force Scotland to base another country's nuclear weapons in its waters because there's no justification for it. In 1982 when Spain wanted to join NATO it told the USA it didn't want their nuclear subs in its ports. It joined the next day.

Finally, it's interesting to see what other NATO countries think about this. Latvia didn't have any trouble joining NATO for instance after it became independent. And earlier this year, Iceland published a report on Scottish independence, saying it would be hard for NATO to reject Scotland on the grounds of defence spending, when Iceland, a founder member, has no forces at all! It also said that, for NATO, the most important thing would be maintaining unbroken NATO coverage across the North Atlantic. That can only occur if Scotland was a member.

See? Other countries take a sensible, pragmatic view of Scotland's independence, unlike London's hysterical scare stories about defence and every other thing about independence.


Icelandic Review of Politics and Administration: Scotland as an Independent Small State (pdf)

Further Reading

Wings Over Scotland: North from here

Wings Over Scotland: Latvian Lessons

Newsnet Scotland: NATO: Unionist nuclear attacks undermined by Spanish precedent

Newsnet Scotland: Nuclear weapons not requirement for NATO admitted Labour in 1980s