Scotland and the world

Being a good Global Citizen. A steadfast opposition to nuclear weapons is underlined in the Scottish Government’s new assessment of security, defence, development and foreign policy. The publication outlines the Scottish Government’s position on a range of key international issues including a desire to engage proactively and energetically with the European Union, resolute support for international development, and a commitment to being a good global citizen.

Following the publication of the UK Government’s Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, the Scottish Government reaffirms that it is firmly opposed to the possession, threat and use of nuclear weapons – and it is committed to pursuing the safe and complete withdrawal of all nuclear weapons from Scotland. The review also emphasises that Scotland is committed to working with others to tackle global challenges including the climate crisis, migration and human rights. With the UK Government confirming additional defence spending and a commitment to the modernisation of the armed forces, the Scottish Government is asking the UK Government to revisit previously announced base closures and honour its commitment to base 12,500 regular Armed Forces personnel in Scotland.

Cabinet Secretary for Justice Humza Yousaf said: “Scotland is an open, welcoming nation, internationalist in outlook and committed to working in partnership to tackle global challenges.  We are steadfastly European, and do not want to turn our backs on our closest friends and partners. “We are determined to enhance and develop this approach.

This document – an important restatement of our approach to security, defence, development and foreign policy, which also outlines our strengths such as science, technology and shipbuilding  – reflects that commitment, and indeed our values as a nation. “The UK Government’s plans to expand the stockpile of nuclear weapons, spending billions on weapons that must never be used, is a lamentable and deeply disturbing response to the rapidly changing challenges of the modern age. “Indeed the decision to increase the nuclear weapon stockpile is completely at odds with two thirds of the international community who signed the United Nation’s Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.  

“We are well aware that the present devolution settlement reserves many of the policies addressed by the UK’s review to Westminster – however its impact will be felt and will, in turn, impact our decision-making responsibilities. We urge the UK Government to work with us constructively in areas where Scotland is affected, in ways that reflect both our needs and our values. “In our view, only with independence will the Scottish Parliament gain the full range of powers available to states, ensuring that all of these decisions are made in the best interests of the people of Scotland.”

Background

The review, ‘Scotland: A Good Global Citizen A Scottish Perspective on Climate, Defence, Security and External Affairs’, can be read online.

The Scottish Parliament voted in favour of a motion calling on the UK government to drop plans to renew Trident nuclear weapons.

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