Dundee City West MSP Joe FitzPatrick has said he will support the motion being put to SNP Conference by Angus Robertson MP which seeks to update the party’s policy on NATO.
Joe FitzPatrick said: “It is good that we are to have a full debate on defence policy at Conference and I’ve no doubt it will be a robust discussion that will allow all points of view to be considered before we reach a decision.
“I am proud that the SNP is the only main party that has achieved government and still determines policy through debate among party delegates who will be considering this very important issue in the run-up to Conference.
“The SNP has come a long way in a relatively short time and we now stand on the brink of achieving our ambition of Scotland being a normal independent country.
“Independence is not an end in itself. It is an opportunity to deliver a better Scotland. Therefore we need to consider what Scotland’s main priorities will be after winning the Referendum.
“What we will be debating at Conference is the prospectus that the SNP will put to the people of Scotland if we have the honour of being elected as the first government of an independent Scotland in 2016.
“Both sides in the debate agree that an independent Scotland will inherit and must honour its international obligations. As a successor state that will include continuing membership of NATO.
“I do not think that negotiating Scotland’s exit from NATO should form part of that manifesto. It will be an exciting time when, more than ever, we will need to be building up alliances and seeking co-operation from other states.
“One area where all sides of the NATO debate in the SNP agree is in our steadfast commitment to nuclear disarmament. This is supported by the majority of the people and across the political divide in Scotland.
“As such I am confident that an independent Scotland will be nuclear-free. There is no way that a Scottish Parliament will accept nuclear weapons on our soil. I believe membership of NATO will speed up the process of removal of these weapons of mass destruction from Scotland.”