Blackford squirms as Raworth says removing Trident is risky
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Ian Blackford told BBC’s Sophie Raworth that the SNP still planned to remove Trident, the UK’s nuclear deterrent, despite criticism. He doubled down on his policy even as Ms Raworth pointed out that such a move would put Scotland at “more risk” given the threat of Vladimir Putin’s nuclear arsenal. In a bizarre remark, Mr Blackford even suggested that an independent Scotland could force Vladimir Putin to the table to discuss reducing Russia’s own nuclear arms.
Russia has repeatedly raised the threat of nuclear war as a way to counter Western intervention in Ukraine.
Moscow has reported that its land, air and sea nuclear forces are on high alert following orders from President Putin.
Ms Raworth said: “We just heard about Putin’s nuclear arsenal and the threat from that.
“Is it really the time right now to be talking about removing the Trident nuclear deterrent from an independent Scotland?”
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Mr Blackford responded: “We need to make sure we are never in a situation where people are prepared to use nuclear weapons.
“Having nuclear weapons is not a protection, it makes us a threat. Having nuclear weapons on the Clyde is not something we can tolerate.”
The BBC host hit back: “But, if you were to get rid of them now, are you not at more risk given the position Putin is in right now?”
Mr Blackford countered this by claiming that an independent Scotland could lead the world in nuclear disarmament and even encourage Vladimir Putin to the negotiation table.
He said: “If we did so, it presents an opportunity for other countries to discuss a reduction in nuclear warheads.”
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Ms Raworth retorted: “You are not going to get Putin around the table to reduce nuclear weapons, are you?
“We are dealing with the situation we have now and removing the nuclear deterrent right now, is it a good time to do so?”
Scottish Tory MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston tweeted: “All the issues we face as a country – and as a world – and the SNP’s Ian Blackford is on TV banging on about getting rid of our nuclear deterrent, another vote to break up the country leading support for Ukraine and why Sturgeon breaking her own laws isn’t really that serious.”
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User CallmeRayf responded: “Blustering Blackford tries to explain the SNP’s student union policy on nuclear.
“Apparently, Putin will be forced into nuclear disarmament and Ukraine withdrawal by a round table discussion with him.”
LCDK_UK posted: Blackford wants to withdraw the Trident equipped submarines from the Clyde as he thinks it makes Scotland a target.
“Yet he also wants an independent Scotland to be in NATO. Hasn’t a clue about defence.”
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