ALERT LINE
Scottish Party May Prove Crucial to Future of Britain’s Nuclear Fleet

Scottish Party May Prove Crucial to Future of Britain’s Nuclear Fleet

FASLANE, Scotland — Britain’s aging nuclear-armed submarines, the force that keeps the nation in the first tier of global powers, have been the target of spirited if largely ineffectual protests by antiwar activists for more than three decades here in the fleet’s home port.

But now Scotland’s growing political importance has made the future of the nuclear arsenal an issue in Britain’s general election campaign, intensifying debate over whether the country can afford its nuclear deterrent, a quarter-century after the end of the Cold War.

That question is being asked because of the surging popularity of the Scottish National Party, which stands to the left of the opposition Labour Party and has promised to rid Scotland of nuclear weapons, putting it at odds with both Labour and the Conservative-led government.

Despite losing its bid last year for Scotland to win independence from Britain, the Scottish National Party has gained strength in the polls and could tilt the balance of power if, as happened in the last national election in 2010, neither Labour nor the Conservatives win an outright majority in Parliament in the voting on May 7.

Read More:Scottish Party May Prove Crucial to Future of Britain’s Nuclear Fleet – NYTimes.com.

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