The Scottish National Party has said Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has questions to answer on Defence assets in Scotland.
Commenting on the UK Government Scotland Analysis paper on Defence in an Independent Scotland, SNP Westminster Leader and Defence spokesperson Angus Robertson MP said:
“At last the UK Government has been forced to concede that an independent Scotland would inherit a fair share of UK defence assets, though Philip Hammond has many questions to answer as the perpetrator of disproportionate defence cuts and redundancies in Scotland. Scotland stands to inherit billions of pounds worth of assets – after all, the people of Scotland paid for them. He can take this opportunity to explain why his government promised a super barracks at Kirknewton that never happened and why his predecessor said 7,000 troops would be coming back from Germany to Scotland.
“Scotland’s defence and security budget of £2.5 billion will represent an increase of more than £500 million on recent UK levels of defence spending in Scotland, but would be nearly £1 billion less than Scottish taxpayers currently contribute to UK defence spending. It is the MoD that cancelled the annual spending statistics back in 2008, so Mr Hammond won’t even tell the people of Scotland how much is actually spent in the country. How can he be trusted on anything else?
“Westminster cuts have hit Scotland disproportionately hard – Liam Fox, when Defence Secretary, admitted this in his evidence to the Parliament. The UK government has handed out 11,000 p45s to service personnel across the UK and slashed vital capability like maritime patrol aircraft. Service personnel levels in Scotland are at record lows. It is ironic then that Mr Hammond claims there would be problems with recruitment. It is insulting to service personnel in NATO countries of a similar size that somehow Scotland would suffer in this regard.
“With independence, Scotland will have the opportunity to have a defence policy that prioritises our needs, including first class conventional forces. The idea that Scotland would want to replicate what the UK has on a smaller scale is absurd – we obviously don’t want or need Trident. Independence will also allow us to be rid of these weapons of mass destruction which civic leaders, churches, trade unions and a vast majority of Scotland's elected representatives want nothing to do with.”