Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has visited Scotland today to confirm £1.7 billion of funding for military bases.

Michael Fallon and the Defence Board are being hosted by 3rd Battalion The Rifles, currently a Light Mechanised Infantry battalion based in Edinburgh and the 51st Infantry Brigade in Edinburgh today.

The Defence Secretary said that the UK governments commitment to Scotland has been “underlined by £1.7bn investment in better Armed Forces infrastructure.”

He added:

“Scotland is on the frontline of defending the United Kingdom from growing threats at sea, in the air and on land.

Our commitment to the future of defence in Scotland is underlined by increasing investment in better infrastructure for the Armed Forces, helping to keep us safe.”

This follows an announcement in November that eight military sites in Scotland will close in the next 15 years, cutting the defence estate by 20%. At the time, Fallon told the House of Commons:

“First we will transform an estate built for previous generations of war fighting to one that better supports the needs of our armed forces.

It will help deliver Joint Force 2025 by bringing people and capabilities into new centres of specialism clustering units closer to their training estate. Today based upon the advice of Chiefs of Staff I am announcing the release of a further 56 bases by 2040.”

Some of these are in Edinburgh and local area.

At the time, Deputy First Minister of Scotland John Swinney said:

“Today’s announcement is a huge blow for the country. Our defence footprint has been worn away through successive cuts, so it is unacceptable that the UK Government has announced a near 20% reduction to our defence footprint. 

This comes just three years after the last Army Basing Plan, billed as offering stability and certainty.”

Leuchars Station, formerly an RAF airfield, is be expanded to become ‘the main hub for Army activity in Scotland’.

According to the Ministry of Defence, Scotland currently has 14,000 military regular and reserve personnel and 3,930 MoD civilian staff. There are also over 11,000 industry jobs supported by various shipbuilding efforts in Scotland.

The £1.7bn includes £1.3bn for upgrades at Faslane and £400 million for a new runway and related facilities at RAF Lossiemouth which will host the P-8 maritime patrol aircraft fleet and an additional typhoon squadron.

Faslane itself is the second biggest single-site employer in Scotland, after the new Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow which employs around 11,000 staff.

Direct employment at the base is currently around 6,500 with many more thousands dependent on the base for jobs through the supply chain. It is understood that around 11,000 are directly and indirectly reliant on the base.

All 11 Royal Navy submarines will be based on the Clyde at Faslane from 2020, seeing the number of people directly employed at the base rising to 8,200.

The visit however has been criticised by the Scottish National Party. MSP Gordon MacDonald said:

“Only months after Michael Fallon announced drastic cuts of £140m to defence in Scotland” the Defence Secretary was treating military bases facing closure like a visitor centre.”

In November 2015, then Prime Minister David Cameron announced to the UK parliament that the RAF would be purchasing nine new Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft as part of the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review. The aircraft and 400 extra personnel are to be based at Lossiemouth and at least three aircraft would be operational by April 2020.

At the Farnborough Air Show in July 2016 the Ministry of Defence and Boeing confirmed the a deal had been agreed and that they intend to work together to build a new £100m P-8A operational support and training base at Lossiemouth, creating more than 100 new jobs.

Additionally, Michael Fallon announced at the Scottish Conservative Conference in March 2016 that Lossiemouth was a preferred option to accommodate an additional Typhoon squadron and 400 personnel.

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Nathan
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Nathan

The SNP are a petty lot.

Ebro
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Ebro

Please enlighten me as to the vast training areas located at Leuchars? Most of the army’s training areas are in the pentlandite, nowhere near the former RAF station. If he is hinting at Barry Ranges then that is and never will be a vast area to train in.

Pacman27
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Pacman27

If the SNP arent happy with these arrangements then there is nothing stopping their government from providing additional financial support.

After all they do benefit from the Barnet Formula like nowhere else in the UK.

They will never be happy and to be honest – its all a little too predictable and very, very boring

Chris
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Chris

Time to say ‘enough of this’ and start removing all we base in Scotland and giving communities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland the benefits so derided by the ungrateful Scots. After all it will be practice for when the go Independent and won’t have a military. Oh sorry: Three RPVs, 5 Typhoons and a dozen Challengers and no money to use them When a child keeps asking for more and you keep giving it more you eventually make it feel entitled to more. And when you say ‘no’ it stamps its feet and screams until you give in. That… Read more »

Mr J B
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Mr J B

Same old, same old. nothing new from the SNP. they have nothing to offer the UK but more importantly the Scottish people than the same old tired rhetoric of hatred of the English, lies and the potential to destroy Scotland’s future. Scotland proportionally is not having any real reduction in defence expenditure. The MOD is simply conducting a UK wide rationalisation of the MOD estate- freeing up much needed land in the process for housing and commercial development. Please Scotland wake up to the danger and lies of the SNP and realise we are all better together as a United… Read more »

Steve
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Steve

I suspect actually we are better off divided, well we are if you live south of the border. Per capita and per GDP they get more of the UK public money spending than the rest of the UK. Something the SNP seems to forget. Meaning a independent Scotland would need to raise taxes to keep on an equal footing. Frankly, if the SNP don’t shut up with this rubbish, the rest of the UK will vote for them out and with it they can take the debt from RBS, along with the now massively reduced oil wealth caused by oversupply.… Read more »

C MCMillan
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C MCMillan

More drivel comments. May is feeding on English nationalism but you can’t see this south of the border.

Aj
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Aj

Time to move 3 typhoon Squadrons to raf leeming from lossie

Ebro
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Ebro

Looking at previous replies. Make mines a yes vote. Take your tiffs and boats back. Put the boats in Guzz and put the battalions wherever south of HAdrians wall you desire.
If you the rest of the home NATO s fund us so deeply you are only gaining a bigger pot of cash. So don’t hang on to this wee country just let us go, you will survive. Oh so will we btw.

Ian McIntyre
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Ian McIntyre

Let me guess? Another referendum possible and defence bribes appear. Where are the new barracks they promised last time? Where are all the troops supposed to garrison Leuchars? Where is the battalion from Edinburgh that was supposed to stay?

Fool me once…..

Julian
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Julian

I remember, en-route to the USA, drinking champagne with a friend at about 10:00am in Heathrow departures to toast the announcement that morning that the referendum result was for Scotland to remain a part of the UK. I was so happy and relieved by the result. I’ve never thought of myself as English, only British, and the thought of Scotland leaving was deeply upsetting to me. I’m now beginning to think that enough is enough, this whining and moaning can’t go on for ever. Maybe we should just make a clean break of it.

geoff
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geoff

To friends above-the SNP are not Scotland. The majority of Scots still favour the Union. Many who voted for the SNP did so because of the collapse of the Labour Party North of the border and because it was felt that the SNP would provide a better voice for Scotland in the UK. The SNP are masters at stirring it up between Scotland and the rest of the UK-this is the main plank in all their policies. There agenda in so doing is obvious-make people in the rest of the UK so fed up with their constant whingeing that a… Read more »

Mr Bell
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Mr Bell

It is down to the press. They should stop publishing every piece of rubbish that sprouts forth ao liberally from Nicola Sturgeons mouth. Every time she says anything there should be the standard reply. 1)Barnett formulary uk subsidising Scotland as the spoilt child massively, free social care, free prescriptions, free university, better public infrastructure etc etc etc 2)more Scots voted to remain part of uk then within the EU. 3) gdp to debt ratio over 10% in Scotland currently <4% for rest of uk. I suspect SNP will rue the day and face a huge backlash if Scotland did vote… Read more »

dadsarmy
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dadsarmy

Sadly the comments are about the SNP and Scotland again, including RBS whose City of London base indulged in casino banking, and a comment from Mr Bell with the same figures which were soundly rebutted by the official accounts of the Scottish Government for 2015-16 called GERS. On Independence which amounts to Scotland and the rUK becoming separate states, each takes an agreed share of debt, physical assets like buildings and land remain in the country, movable assets are split according to negotiations, so if Scotland declines a share of the nuclear assets, the rUK would be completely entitled to… Read more »

Mr Bell
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Mr Bell

Dadsarmy. as an Englishman i would be all for that. If Scotland voted to leave rest of uk and have its independence. Give us 3-5 years as a transitionary time so we can remove everything that the uk taxpayer has paid for leaving a proportion behind say 10% which is the ratio of Scots to rest of uk population. Share national debt so 10% to Scotland = £+100billion. just madness! I was not aware my statistics had been rebuffed. Only in your dreams. I know who i believe office of national statistics or the Scottish parliament controlled by the SNP.… Read more »