Newly released documents from the National Archives showed the Blair government in 2002 considered piloting controversial “Rwanda-style” detention camps for migrants on the Isle of Mull.
But this is far from the first time secret Westminster plans for Scotland’s islands and west coast have been revealed.
In 2005, Freedom of Information requests revealed a secret 1980s list of sites for the disposal of dangerous nuclear waste from the UK’s nuclear industry – including two small islands off Barra and under the sea between the Inner Hebrides and Northern Ireland, accessed from the port at Hunterston.
In 2018, secret plans were revealed from 1989 to dump the radioactive hulks of 22 defunct nuclear submarines near Skye, Mull and Barra. A Ministry of Defence official claimed the aim was “to remove submarines from public view.” Another hoped that “everyone will forget about these submarines and that they will be allowed to quietly rot away indefinitely.”
Boris Johnson’s former chief adviser Dominic Cummings has recently claimed there is a cover-up of the state of the UK’s nuclear weapons infrastructure which is “dangerously rotting and is tens of billions secretly in the hole.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
“The pervasive culture of secrecy at Westminster could have dangerous consequences when it comes to the UK’s nuclear infrastructure.
“These disclosures also shine a light on how successive Westminster have secretly viewed Scotland as a potential dumping ground for their toxic legacies.
“Britain’s nuclear infrastructure has been plagued with issues over the years. There have been concerns raised about Faslane, insufficient maintenance of Vanguard-class submarines and serious near-miss incidents.
“Westminster has shown it cannot be trusted to act openly or with Scotland’s best interests at heart. It is only with Scottish independence that we can guarantee the removal of nuclear weapons from our shores.”