NUCLEAR weapons are “simply evil”, the Scottish Greens have said as they detailed their reasons for opposing Nato membership for an independent Scotland.

West Scotland MSP Ross Greer said it would be “morally wrong” for Scotland to join Nato if it were to become independent. It comes after Nicola Sturgeon reaffirmed her party’s support for joining the military alliance in the event of a Yes vote.

Greer explained both parties, who signed a historic co-operation deal in Holyrood last year, “agreed to disagree” on Nato. The MSP told BBC Scotland’s The Nine: “It’s no surprise to anyone that the Scottish Greens and the SNP have different positions on Nato.

“For the Scottish Greens, we enthusiastically believe in co-operation, especially in areas like security and defence.

“We agree with the First Minister that Scotland has a really positive role to play in Europe’s collective security arrangements. But we disagree on membership of Nato for two reasons.

Patrick Harvie lists one of them and that is Nato’s first strike nuclear policy. Nato reserves the right to launch the first strike in a nuclear war.

“That would be world ending and we believe that is simply evil. No-one has the right to do that and we believe it would be morally wrong for Scotland to join such an alliance.”

The National: Greens MSP Ross Greer says nuclear weapons are 'evil' Greens MSP Ross Greer says nuclear weapons are 'evil'

BBC Scotland put it to Greer that nuclear weapons were a deterrent.

Greer added: “But it is a Nato policy. First strike is not about responding to an attack, first strike is about the right to launch, to actually start that war, to start the last world war, because it would be the war that ended the world as we know it.

“That’s the nature of nuclear weapons.

“The very existence of nuclear weapons risks the chance of nuclear war.

“If we want to persuade rogue and hostile states to reduce their nuclear stockpiles, asking them to do it, demanding that they do it unilaterally, has no chance of success.”

“This is a fundamental moral question. I don’t want the last thing that my country potentially does in its existence is to wipe another country off the map. Nuclear weapons are simply evil.”

READ MORE: Tory MSP 'spreading disinformation' about Scotland's EU and Nato prospects

Greer was asked about the situation in Finland, which has submitted an application to join Nato this week.

He said: “If I lived in a country like Finland where I had a land border hundreds of kilometres long with Russia, maybe I would have a different position on this.

“I can’t claim to know what it must feel like to live in a country where those are the risks.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Scottish Greens co-leader Harvie said: “The Scottish Green Party objects to Nato’s first strike nuclear policy and we’ll continue to advocate that international co-operation between countries should be based on a different approach.

The intervention comes after Nicola Sturgeon said the Russian invasion of Ukraine has strengthened the case for joining Nato.

“Our priority will be for the safe removal and to ensure that we have the conventional capabilities to be a contributing member of the alliance.”

The SNP’s defence spokesperson at Westminster, Stewart McDonald, said Scotland would join Nato on “similar terms” to Norway and Denmark, adding: “We don’t want to permanently host nuclear weapons from other states but we will certainly take our commitments as new members of the alliance seriously.

“I don’t think anyone is suggesting that an independent Scotland should permanently be host to another state’s nuclear weapons but I’m not suggesting for a second that we need to adhere to, we would somehow turn our backs on them. But we will be a nuclear-free member of Nato like most member states.”

Pressed by BBC Scotland on whether that would involve Scotland ever allowing nuclear weapons to pass through its territory, he said: “You don’t host them permanently but there are rules around the visiting of nuclear facilities, whether they be nuclear weapons or just nuclear-powered submarines, in peace time.”

SNP policy states an independent Scotland would ratify the new UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) – which would start an internationally observed process for the removal of all nuclear weapons in each member state.

The Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) has called on the SNP to commit to ensuring the treaty is ratified before it applies for Nato.

In a letter published in the Herald on Wednesday, Scottish CND vice-chair Isobel Lindsay wrote: “What is crucial for an independent Scotland is that the TPNW is ratified before any application for Nato membership. If the Trident issue is not clearly settled, there will be enormous pressure on Scotland to change its position, including a UK veto threat. As with all negotiating positions, once an issue is firmly settled, blackmail pressure becomes pointless.”