17 Jul 2012
Further details have emerged about the SNP’s plans for a defence force in a separate Scotland.
Yesterday it was revealed that the party will debate its widely-ridiculed stance on Nato at its autumn conference.
Now defence spokesman and MP Angus Robertson has unveiled some of his proposals for a Scottish military.
The plan relies on the UK to train, transport and supply troops in Salmond’s Scottish Army, and wants to build submarines 30 years out of date.
The SNP’s resolution sets out a wholly different vision from the one outlined by the First Minister in January.
Then, Alex Salmond said that a separate Scotland would have just one Army base, Naval base and RAF base; there was no mention of special forces or Royal Marines, no defence procurement plan and Army troops would be made up of those regiments raised in Scotland – overwhelmingly infantry, with no combat service support arms.
Now, the SNP has issued a document attempting to fill the gaping holes in that vision, but it still relies on the UK to train, transport and supply Scottish troops.
It also commits to buying “conventional submarines”.
Every submarine commissioned into service by the Royal Navy since 1984 has been nuclear powered and the Navy has no conventionally powered submarines in its fleet.
Other assumptions have been listed in his plans, such as Scotland inheriting Nato membership from being part of the UK.
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said:
“The British armed forces are the most effective, versatile and professional fighting force in the world.
“The document shows that while Alex Salmond wants to rip these services apart through separation, he still wants the rest of the UK to train, transport and supply troops from a separate Scotland.
“Just as he makes up policy on the hoof about keeping the Queen, keeping the pound and keeping the Bank of England, so he asserts that Scots troops would still be trained by the UK, and that the rest of Britain would be happy to fill in the gaps in logistics that would exist for a Scottish defence force.
“His naval plans for Scotland are particularly risible.
“The SNP’s anti-nuclear dogma sees them advocating a separate Scotland spending billions of pounds on new submarines that would be 30 years out of date.
“They want to buy submarines that are ‘conventionally powered’, while every single sub in the UK fleet across the Trafalgar, Astute and Vanguard classes are nuclear powered.
“Indeed, the Royal Navy hasn’t commissioned a non-nuclear sub in 30 years.
“Once again, Alex Salmond is making it up as he goes along when it comes to matters of defence, and that is simply not good enough.
“None of these proposals will convince the people of Scotland that we would be safer as a separate country, and are more evidence of this back-of-the-fag-packet approach.”