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Joining Nato would be ‘morally wrong’ for independent Scotland, Green MSP says

Ross Greer MSP (Jane Barlow/PA)
Ross Greer MSP (Jane Barlow/PA)

It would be “morally wrong” for Scotland to join Nato if it were to become independent, a Scottish Green MSP has said.

Ross Greer, who is a West Scotland list MSP, told BBC’s The Nine that the party disagrees with the SNP over Nato membership.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon reaffirmed the party’s commitment to joining Nato if Scotland becomes independent in a speech to the Brookings Institution in Washington DC, in the US, on Tuesday.

Mr Greer said both parties “agreed to disagree” on Nato. He said: “It’s no surprise to anyone that the Scottish Greens and the SNP have different positions on Nato.

“For the Scottish Greens, we enthusiastically believe in co-operation, especially in areas like security and defence.

“We agree with the first minister that Scotland has a really positive role to play in Europe’s collective security arrangements.

“But we disagree on membership of Nato for two reasons.

“Patrick Harvie lists one of them and that is Nato’s first strike nuclear policy. Nato reserves the right to launch the first strike in a nuclear war.

“That would be world ending and we believe that is simply evil. No-one has the right to do that and we believe it would be morally wrong for Scotland to join such an alliance.”

BBC Scotland put it to Mr Greer that nuclear weapons were a deterrent.

Mr Greer added: “But it is a Nato policy. First strike is not about responding to an attack, first strike is about the right to launch, to actually start that war, to start the last world war, because it would be the war that ended the world as we know it.

“That’s the nature of nuclear weapons.

“The very existence of nuclear weapons risks the chance of nuclear war.

“If we want to persuade rogue and hostile states to reduce their nuclear stockpiles, asking them to do it, demanding that they do it unilaterally, has no chance of success.”

“This is a fundamental moral question. I don’t want the last thing that my country potentially does in its existence is to wipe another country off the map. Nuclear weapons are simply evil.”

Mr Greer was asked about the situation in Finland, which has submitted an application to join Nato this week.

He said: “If I lived in a country like Finland where I had a land border hundreds of kilometres long with Russia, maybe I would have a different position on this.

“I can’t claim to know what it must feel like to live in a country where those are the risks.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie said: “The Scottish Green Party objects to Nato’s first strike nuclear policy and we’ll continue to advocate that international co-operation between countries should be based on a different approach.

The intervention comes after Nicola Sturgeon said the Russian invasion of Ukraine has strengthened the case for joining Nato.

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