The UK has prepared an action plan to transfer its nuclear submarines from bases in Scotland in case the autonomy leaves the kingdom, the Financial Times newspaper reports, citing sources familiar with the matter.
According to the publication, one of the possible options involves sending boats to the Devonport base near Plymouth. As the FT notes with reference to the Royal Joint Institute for Defense Studies analysis from 2014, such a step could cost 3-4 billion pounds.
The second option of action involves sending submarines to bases in the United States or France. Such a decision, the sources said, would be the least costly for the treasury, but it could negatively affect the defense sovereignty.
Under the third option, the UK is considering a long-term lease of the current Royal Navy bases in Faslane and Coulport, in which case the kingdom will enter into negotiations with Scotland on granting the bases the status of British overseas territories. According to some government representatives, this option would be the most realistic, the newspaper writes. However, the Scottish National Party supports the withdrawal of the nuclear arsenal from the territory of the region in the event of independence.
According to the newspaper, the Ministry of Defense said they do not plan to move the nuclear arsenal from Scotland.