The Scottish Government has reiterated its opposition to nuclear weapons, as the UK Government announced plans to raise the cap on the number of warheads it holds.
A recent review of security and foreign policy by the UK Government agreed to raise the cap on nuclear weapons to 260, although they have said they will be deliberately ambiguous about the final number for security reasons.
However, a similar document published by the Scottish Government has voiced its antipathy to the idea of nuclear weapons, which are housed in Scotland.
The report, Scotland: A Good Global Citizen, said the decision to replace the Trident nuclear system should be revisited.
“The continued retention of nuclear weapons is morally, strategically and economically wrong,” the report said.
“Nuclear weapons have consistently failed to provide a meaningful deterrent to the threat of terrorist attacks, nor have they proved a deterrent to other nuclear-armed states carrying out atrocious acts on British soil.
“Rather than making repeated and damaging cuts to conventional military forces and capabilities and to the aid budget, the UK Government would do better to reverse its decision to replace Trident.”
The report also said that Scotland will seek to engage positively with the European Union, adding that it “will remain a committed partner and continue to shape engagement with the EU and EU member states in line with the values that Scotland and the EU both share”.
Justice Secretary 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.”
He added: “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.”
A MoD spokesman said: “The UK is committed to maintaining its credible and independent nuclear deterrent, which exists to deter the most extreme threats to the UK and our Nato allies.
“Our stockpile number is a maximum if required, not a target nor our current number, and is kept under review.
“The UK is also committed to the long-term goal of a world without nuclear weapons through gradual multilateral disarmament within the framework of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons 1968.”