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18 Jul, 2016 09:19

EXCLUSIVE: Trident renewal ‘assures Scottish independence,’ says navy whistleblower William McNeilly

EXCLUSIVE: Trident renewal ‘assures Scottish independence,’ says navy whistleblower William McNeilly

As Prime Minister Theresa May convenes Parliament on Monday to debate renewing Britain’s Trident nuclear deterrent, Royal Navy submariner-turned-whistleblower William McNeilly tells RT renewal coupled with Brexit will force Scotland to seek independence.

“They rushed the European vote. Now they want to rush the Trident vote,” said McNeilly.

“Those who support the Trident system lack vision. They talk like they are the ones who want to defend the UK. The truth is they are the ones who will destroy the UK if they get their way.

“Voting to leave the EU, then voting Yes on Trident, will guarantee Scottish independence.”

In May 2015, McNeilly, 27, leaked a report exposing 30 safety and security failures documented over his three-month tour on board one of Britain’s Vanguard submarines. Narrowly escaping jail for the leak, he was dishonorably discharged, returning home to his native Belfast.

As MPs meet to debate the future of Britain’s constant at-sea deterrent (CASD), newly installed Prime Minister Theresa May says the UK’s exit from the European Union makes Trident’s renewal essential to national security and Britain’s commitment to NATO. 

However, McNeilly says renewal will lead to the splintering of the United Kingdom, squander hundreds of billions of pounds, and offer terrorists a vulnerable target.

“Scotland is aiming to get another vote [for independence] and these people want to force the Scottish people to keep Trident. The Trident supporters are on the verge of breaking up the UK with this Trident vote, just like they broke up Europe.

“The majority of Scotland want Trident removed. If they force the Scottish people to keep a nuclear system that is damaging their land and sea, putting their lives and land at risk, costing them an absolute fortune ... then the majority of Scotland will vote Yes to leave the UK.”

Already spoiling for a second referendum on Scotland’s independence in the wake of the Brexit vote, in which a majority of Scots voted to “Remain” in the EU, McNeilly believes the Scottish National Party (SNP) will see a vote in favor of Trident’s renewal as the final straw.

“The Better Together campaign were able to secure a No vote in the last [independence referendum] because they used the European Union as leverage. Now the Scottish National Party are the ones who will use the European Union as leverage.

“Trident is the fuel the Scottish National Party needs for an independence vote… the Scottish National Party is striking its matches.”

If Scotland leaves the United Kingdom, the government “will have nowhere to put the submarines and will be forced to spend countless more billions on building a base for them or moving them or looking like complete fools by scrapping them after destroying our unity.”

McNeilly accuses former Prime Minister David Cameron of rashness for allowing a referendum on EU membership to take place in the first place.

“They have shown recklessness with the unity we had with the European Union,” he said.

“David Cameron has shown that he doesn’t know what’s best for the UK when he allowed the EU vote… They clearly don’t know how to maintain unity and unity is our greatest defense.

“If you really want to protect the United Kingdom, then you must do what is necessary to keep us united: vote No on Trident’s renewal.”

The whistleblower is far kinder in his assessment of anti-nuclear campaigner and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

“Corbyn is attacked daily because he is smart enough to recognize that Trident is useless and a threat to the UK. Attacking Trident is like a taboo for the politicians. They need to step out of their boxes and see the truth.”

One argument against renewal is the stratospheric price tag attached to the submarines and the warheads themselves, not to mention their maintenance and the cost of safely scrapping the current fleet.

“The amount it will cost just keeps rising,” says McNeilly. “Can the UK afford it? They make cuts to everything else, but don’t even consider removing Trident.

“Forcing the Scottish people to maintain a nuclear threat and forcing them to pay a ridiculous amount of money for it is outrageous.

“The nuclear weapons system eats a massive chunk out of our defense budget. We are fighting a war against terrorism. The only thing nuclear weapons provide in the war on terror is a target for the terrorists to destroy the UK. These clueless politicians are doing a better job at destroying the UK than the terrorists.”

McNeilly also takes to task those who argue a vote to scrap Trident will destroy jobs in the north of England and Scotland, where other skilled manufacturing industries have been decimated.

“One of the main arguments they make for Trident is jobs. That is a ridiculous argument because the staff on the Trident submarines are military.

“The Royal Navy has man power issues and they will benefit from Tridents removal… They can be moved into the hunter killer submarines or into the surface fleet… and the mine sweepers also operate out of the Faslane [naval] base.

“The base will stay open with or without the Trident submarines.

“The amount of jobs they say will be lost is just ridiculous and untrue. They are either lying or they haven’t engaged their brain cells.

“The truth is voting No on Trident’s renewal is the vote that protects the jobs at Faslane. Voting Yes on Trident is the vote that guarantees Scottish independence.”

By Rob Edwards, RT

Watch RT UK's interview with William McNeilly on Monday from 7pm BST