So will we have an army?
The scale of the defence underspend in Scotland is over £7 billion pounds in just ten years.
1) Dr Liam Fox, then Secretary of State for Defence, when giving evidence to the Scottish Affairs Committee admitted that reductions in defence personnel numbers in Scotland were disproportionate:
“I am aware of the fact that between 2000 and 2010 the total UK reduction [of Service and Civilian Personnel] was 11.6%, but the reduction in Scotland was 27.9%. Over the decade 2000 to 2010 there were bigger reductions made in total personnel as a proportion than in other parts of the United Kingdom.”
2) There are currently 15,500 defence jobs in Scotland. MoD figures are available here.
3) There are 520 civilian jobs at HMNB Clyde directly reliant on the Trident programme.
4) The SNP is committed to an annual defence budget of £2.5bn: an annual increase of more than £500m on recent UK levels of defence spending in Scotland, but nearly £1bn less than Scottish taxpayers currently contribute to UK defence spending. By way of comparison, Ireland spends £0.8bn on defence and Finland spends £2.3bn and Denmark spends £2.8bn (Source: SIPRI 2010).
• A professional defence force will comprise 15,000 regular and 5,000 reserve personnel, including restored Scottish infantry regiments
• The Scottish defence and peacekeeping forces will initially be equipped with Scotland’s share of current assets including ocean going vessels, fast jets for domestic air patrol duties, transport aircraft and helicopters as well as army vehicles, artillery and air defence systems.
• Scotland would be a non-nuclear member of NATO.
• Scotland would have no nuclear weapons.
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