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Scottish parliament passes referendum bill

Press TV – November 15, 2013

The parliament of Scotland has passed a legislation to hold a referendum on Scottish independence from the rule of the United Kingdom.

Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) unanimously approved on Thursday the bill, which sets out the independence referendum rules, including campaign spending limits and the question that will be put to voters.

The law confirms that Scottish people will vote in a referendum on September 18 next year on the yes/no question, “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

The bill will also allow those aged 16 and 17 on the referendum day in Scotland to take part in the poll.

Moreover, an independent electoral commission will oversee the vote, which is planned to be preceded by a 16-week campaign period.

During a debate before MSPs approved the bill, Scottish Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she was “proud” that the parliament was “passing legislation that will put Scotland’s future into Scotland’s hand.”

“I hope the people of Scotland will seize that opportunity, seize that future, seize that prospect of a better Scotland with a resounding yes vote in September next year,” she added.

The legislation on the independence referendum came as latest census figures showed that nearly two thirds of Scotland’s population identify themselves as “Scottish only.”

According to the results of the 2011 survey on national identity released in September, 62.4 percent of Scotland’s 5.3 million residents feel they are “Scottish only,” compared to the 18.3 percent who consider themselves to be “Scottish and British only.”

The independence referendum could result in Scotland’s break-up from the United Kingdom after more than 300 years of political union.

November 15, 2013 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , , | Comments Off on Scottish parliament passes referendum bill

Scrap Subs Say Scots

MSPs-thumbs-down-for-Trident

Press TV – March 28, 2013

Scottish anti-nukes campaigners are gearing up for a three-day showdown with the British government leading to the blockade of Faslane Naval Base, which is the Royal Navy’s Scottish headquarters and home of Britain’s Trident nuclear weapons.

The Scrap Trident campaigners have planned the blockade for April 15 that will follow two days of demonstration and anti-nukes workshops in the Scottish capital of Glasgow.

Scrap Trident is now calling for elimination of nuclear weapons in Scotland, Britain and around the world saying the social priorities in Britain should be “redefined” so that the huge cost of Trident goes into protecting the disabled in a “nuclear-free society”.

“Scotland and the UK have had nuclear weapons for 50 years. With spending on health, education, pensions and disability benefits being slashed, the government is replacing Trident at a cost of £100 Billion,” the campaign group said.

“We want Scotland and the world free of immoral nuclear weapons and call for Trident to be scrapped and human needs funded,” it added.

The Scrap Trident demonstration has been supported by 22 members of the Scottish Parliament.

The British government has announced annual welfare cuts of £18 billion until 2015 with a £10 billion-cutback also planned from 2017.

A research published in The Guardian on Wednesday revealed that British disabled people will lose an estimated £28 billion due to the welfare cuts by 2017-2018, with some people losing up to £23,000 each over five years.

March 28, 2013 Posted by | Militarism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Scotland against London’s plan to upgrade nuclear weapons

Press TV – June 18, 2012

The Scottish ruling party SNP says the British government has “no democratic mandate to impose” a planned £1 billion project for renewal of Britain’s nuclear-armed submarines on Scotland, where the boats are based.

SNP defense spokesman Angus Robertson said there is overwhelming opposition to the Trident nuclear program in Scotland.

“People in Scotland do not want Trident. Church leaders, the Scottish Trades Union Council, The Scottish Government and the Scotland’s Parliament are all against weapons of mass destruction being in our waters,” Robertson said.

“Despite this the UK Government is prepared to spend £1 billion of taxpayers money on a needless program and then expect the people of Scotland to accept weapons of mass destruction being dumped here,” he added.

He further called for a “world free from nuclear weapons” saying the party, which is leading a campaign for Scotland’s independence from Britain, has a “solid commitment” to the “earliest possible withdrawal of Trident from Scotland.”

SNP’s reaction came after British Defense Secretary Philip Hammond said the government plans to announce a contract ordering nuclear reactors for a new class of submarines to replace the current Vanguard fleet that carries the Trident nuclear missiles.

The London governement is also facing strong opposition to Trident replacement due to its massive costs to an already sinking British economy.

Scottish government Strategy ­Secretary Bruce Crawford earlier said the costs for the new Trident weapons system are estimated to “be anything up to £25billion and, over the lifetime, £100billion.”

“I think it’s an obscenity that we’re going to be pressing ahead at this time with this particular system,” he added.

British Royal Navy is now operating 58 nuclear-armed submarine-launched ballistic missiles as well as around 200 nuclear warheads on four Vanguard-class submarines based in Clyde Naval Base at Faslane, western Scotland.

June 18, 2012 Posted by | Economics, Militarism | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment