14 Oct 2012
A separate Scotland would be left without any submarines, maritime patrol aircraft or frigates, the SNP has admitted.
The details are contained in the latest version of Alex Salmond’s so-called defence plans ahead of his party’s conference.
The proposals also assume that an independent Scotland would also inherit equipment from the current UK forces.
However, in a separate development, a new report from the Royal United Services Institute warns this would not be the case, and that a separate Scottish Defence Force would instead be reduced to using inferior military equipment.
One of its authors, a former defence adviser to the SNP, said this would mean the reduced force having to operate without fast fighter jets or tanks.
This has raised major concerns about the ability of an independent Scotland to defend itself.
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson MSP said:
“The first responsibility of government is the defence of the nation.
“However, this is the third or fourth revision of the SNP’s so-called defence plans and the latest incarnation has clearly been rushed out ahead of their conference.
“Once again, all we have is the usual assertions that Scotland would automatically inherit a slice of the best fighting force in the world without any detailed figures of how we would pay for it all.
“And even then, this separate defence force would not have its own submarines or maritime patrol aircraft to protect our coastline.
“Once again, Alex Salmond is making it up as he goes along when it comes to matters of defence, and is playing fast and loose with Scotland’s future security
“The debate about whether Scotland would remain part of Nato is simply a distraction from his plan to break-up one of the most professional defence forces on the planet.
“Alex Salmond is clueless on defence matters. 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.”
Notes to editors
Sunday Express – pages 8-9 – “Defence policy came from the back of a fag packet” – Please go to the following link for full details of the story: http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/351920
Please also see Page 11 of the Mail on Sunday for details of the Royal United Services Institute report.