The latest short paper on how an independent Scotland might arrange its defence forces by Stuart Crawford and Richard Marsh suggests that Scotland might get its defence at zero net cost overall.

Crawford and Marsh operate independently of external funding and are not sponsored by any political party or commercial organisation.

The authors of the seminal A’ the Blue Bonnets: Defending an Independent Scotland (Royal United Services Institute, 2012) and Defending an Independent Scotland Post-Brexit (Scottish Centre for Economic Research, 2018) have now published a new paper looking in more detail at the costs involved (attached).

In their short paper they suggest that, if their previous costing analysis showing an annual defence budget for an independent Scotland of between £1.1 – £1.3 billion is accepted, then this could be offset by leasing of military bases in Scotland plus the associated economic benefits which accrue to their continued operation by friendly states and other organisations. In other words, independent Scotland could have its defence scot-free.

Co-author Stuart Crawford said:

“We have been working on how an independent Scotland might organise and fund its defence forces for the last 10 years or so. This latest paper builds on the work we have previously published and indicates quite clearly that Scotland could have its defence free, gratis and for nothing if the right policies and defence choices are taken. We do understand that some of our suggestions will not find support in certain quarters but would argue that purpose, not process, should be the guiding principle here.”

Richard Marsh added:

“Our previous work considered the likely costs involved defending an independent Scotland. This paper considers how economic benefits from defence activities could be leveraged to at least partly offset some of the costs involved in defending an independent Scotland.”

You can find the report here.

4 16 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
116 Comments
oldest
newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
James

So basically charge the rest of the uk enough to use existing bases to cover its costs and have a defence force paid for.

Just like it’s defence is paid for as part of the uk, certainly wants it’s cake and to eat it!

OldSchool

Gravity doesn’t exist in Scotland it seems. Well at least according to the SNP!

John Clark

It’s all terribly passport to pimlico…

TrevorH

Yes. Its a ludicrous proposal. 1.3 billion is a mickey mouse amount if money as well. Compare that to Norway.
And an ‘independent’ scotland would have to give up its fishing rights.

maurice10

The possibility of the UK leasing Scottish bases is a plausible prospect and one which the MOD may have been considering? The costs involved in replicating Fastlane and Lossiemouth south of the border would be too expensive to even contemplate. Whether the UK likes it or not, the canny Scots may have the MOD by the short and curlies?

TrevorH

The SNP policy on nuclear weapons would make it impossible to place our nuclear deterrent in Faslane. You would trust them? Of course an independent scotland would not be a SNP govt for ever.

The SNPs so called defence policy and the comments of its fellow travellers is a joke.
The idea at we could build our warships in an independent scotland is likewise a non starter.

In the final analysis we would put our Missile Boats in America until we placed them elsewhere, and the scotish workers would follow.

maurice10

With the current level of spending on COVID and the net effect on the economy, there may be no real money to rebuild our nuclear deterrent base.Some Scottish factions may not like the idea of retaining the base under a lease contract, but the vast majority will probably have no issues with it. As much as I hate the idea of breaking up the Union, if it is the majority view to separate then so be it. However, the economic outlook could be very grim for the Scottish people, especially when the full weight of Brexit and COVID costs are… Read more »

TrevorH

Spending is what underpins the economy. So Covid is not the issue. Its lack of spending that is the danger to the economy. As people on the Costa Brava and people in the airline industry.

Are you really saying that were it to happen would we export jobs to scotland? Is that going to be acceptable in south west and north?

David Flandry

1.3 Billion would buy about perhaps 4000-5000 total defense personnel.

Mark

Pull everything without exception to south of the border and don’t give them a penny.

The money on civilian support jobs etc can be spent in parts of the country that will be grateful for it.

Everyone is a winner. Apart from Scotland.

The Big Man

Might have a few issues with the people and their homes. Skill shortage would mean they would need to follow the work and this would be a big migration which would have so many hurdles to overcome; housing, schools, health, roads, services, ancillary employment and not forgetting libraries to name just a few. (last one was tongue in cheek)

Mr Bell

That is what I would hope will happen the very second Scotland votes for independence

Ian

It’s entirely possible to argue that the entire UK defence spend is cost neutral if you infer the economic benefits that flow from the jobs and investment in high tech industry. HMT doesn’t seem to see it that way though.

The Big Man

That argument would not be cost neutral, but would be much lower than currently stated, true. The argument collapses when you look a the spend that is either out of or leaves the country, for example from foreign purchases and businesses not domiciled in the UK.

Andy

How is buying F35 cost neutral?

Ian

I said the argument could be made- I didn’t say it was correct. I suspect the idea of an independent Scotland having a ‘cost neutral’ defence spend relies on similarly dubious arguments.

Joe16

I think they forget that HMNB Clyde is strategic and desireable because we can base nuclear boats there. I’m pretty sure that an independent Scotland has said that they would not allow nuclear-powered or armed vessels to be based there or anywhere else and so I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t be interested. That would likely cut this theoretical income down by 30-50%, assuming that the primary earners under their plan are Clyde and RAF Lossiemouth which I think are the only two major sites that are geo-strategically (?) important.
They may have to rethink…

4th watch

Stop messing with these people and go for sovereign Faslane.

Joe16

Suggestions for a flag on postcards please!

4th watch

The name is Fasland and the flag is under review but includes a Union Flag in the top corner.

Joe16

A Dreadnaught SSBN silhouette might be a nice non-controversial touch?

Jason

Are we assuming the friendly state referred to in this report is the UK or is there a possibility it could be another friendly state to an independent Scotland. Perhaps we should consider the possibility that if the UK is unwilling to spend money continuing to operate the RN, RAF and army infrastructure within an independent Scottish state then they would consider leasing all or part of those assets to another “friendly state”, like the European Union for example. Then all of a sudden the Scots have the whip hand and we’re in a position where we are now forces… Read more »

PeterDK

In the hypothetical case where an independent Scotland joined EU, and EU decided to enhance it’s military union, this scenario could hardly be avoided, leasing of assets or not.

Jason

Indeed. I don’t think there’s much doubt that the EU intends to ‘enhance its military union’ in the coming years. Judging by this (pie in the sky admittedly) report even if the EU don’t allow an independent Scotland to join then Scotland could still consider the EU a ‘friendly state’ and allow the leasing of former MOD property to them. I’m afraid this seems a little like a veiled threat to the UK to keep funding defence for Scotland after independence or we’ll allow a foreign power to do it by having a military presence on this island. I’m not… Read more »

Mike Condy

It needs to be pointed out that this report is a long way from SNP policy. But yes as an independent state it could form whatever alliances it wished, that is what independence means. It is likely that it would maintain a close relationship with the continuing UK (unless it decided to cut off its nose to spite its face). It is probable that it would join NATO and all should be well. A foothold in Scotland is as important strategically for our European/NATO neighbours as it is for the continuing UK, their presence is no more a threat to… Read more »

Tim

if it wished to join NATO it would have to spend 2% on defence

MattG

An annual defence budget of £1.3 billion – yeah right.

John Clark

More propaganda from the People’s Banana Republic of Scotland accounting team….

Good grief, you couldn’t make this nonsense up…

Mark

Why not?

OldSchool

😂

Mark

The Republic isn’t far off that and only spends .3% on Defence, no reason Scotland spending anything of a reasonable amount could match or surpass 1.3 billion.

Matt C

I mean, if you find 7,000 booties, 22 aircraft and 15 boats “reasonable”, well then good on you.

Mark

For .3% of gdp it sadly is, however since there’s no real suggestion that an indent Scotland would go that low the the idea that it would be down to 1.3 billion is nonsense.

Matt C

Well you said “why not”, so…

Mike Condy

The proposals in this NOT SNP paper are much like New Zealand aand the Republic of Ireland. Actually the SNP is committed to more than this paper suggest but less than Scotland currently contributes toward UK defence (over £3.5bn). It has committed to being closer to the NATO average (1.6% of GDP) in the past and is likely to do so again, so slightly around £2.5bn or so.

Mike Condy

Too much or too little? Today it contributes over £3.5bn towards UK defence.

Fedaykin

To be honest this kind of report doesn’t help the cause of Scottish independence, it is wholly naïve to think that Scotland could do defence for free based upon the idea that bases could be leased to 3rd Parties. The Scottish people are very cynical of those kind of fantasy plans, they are more open to pragmatic and honest appraisals of what can and can’t be done plus the cost implications.

Mike Condy

And thankfully it isn’t policy. Though I suspect that Making Lossie into an international based and short term leasing of Coulport and part of Faslane are likely to feature. Scotland contributes round £3.5bn towards UK defence currently. Cutting that amount to closer to the NATO average expenditure would save it around £1bn per annum and still enable it to provide a credible force. There are different political opinions here as to just how much defence Scotland needs but none are suggesting that it will not cost the tax payer. The debate is about where we fall between similar sized countries… Read more »

Andy P

Yussss, another hand grenade tossed into the seething masses, bravo UKDJ. I’ll hold off posting for now to see just how ‘triggered’ some get on this theoretical idea.

FAO Alan Reid, who’s turn is it to break out the popcorn ???? 😉

Alan Reid

Hi Andy, So far I’ve read reference to a Banana Republic, a Crimean-style
land-grab of the Rosneath Peninsula – and an independent foreign and defence policy that will apparently go back to the days of Louis XIV and the Act of Security in 1704!
George, you are one naughty man – stop blowing that UKDJ dog-whistle! lol

Andy P

Evening Alan, aye, it starts off funny but then you realise they’re serious… and there’s a fair few of them. Kind of makes our future Chinese/Russian/EU overlords sound pleasant…. 😉

As for George’s mischievous streak…. fair play, I want to know these lads views and it does generate comments so probably more advertising revenue for the site, he knows his audience.

John Clark

To be fair Alan, I used the phrase Banana Republic …

It’s sort of the way things will rapidly slide post Indipendence, on the plus side, Scotland will qualify for a slice of the foreign aid budget, so it’s not all bad news!

Joking aside, the brain drain in Scotland post Indipendence will be something to behold, a mass migration South that wouldn’t look out of place on a Nature documentary.

Andy P

“Joking aside, the brain drain in Scotland post Indipendence will be something to behold, a mass migration South that wouldn’t look out of place on a Nature documentary.” The ‘brain drain’ is a concern, my missus works in cancer research and although a university employee, all her funding (and in real terms wage) comes through cancer research funding which is UK based. During the build up to the referendum there were no renewals/new funding heading to Scotland. A bit naughty really as the funds are raised all over the UK including Scotland but I digress, one option we would have… Read more »

John Clark

I know we all have our fun when these news stories are aired, but you raise a key point Andy, it would be very serious indeed for the Scottish people. The tax payers will pay dearly to finance a fraction of the SNP’s plans and this will simply encourage a second wave of migration south of the border, taking their money with them. Paradoxically, the rest of the Union would have net benefit from Scottish independence, at least in the long run, with shipbuilding and related industries, moved to the North west and east of England, revitalising their economic growth.… Read more »

Andy P

John its one potential outcome, definitely and my fear is that an independent Scotland would be a worse place to live. Its not the only potential outcome though and while I have my doubts about the SNP’s competence, nothing is set in stone. While I doubt an independent Scotland will be the Utopia the SNP are selling, equally I don’t believe its going to be the Mad Maxesque wasteland that gets suggested by some on here (with glee). Not that what we’re discussing falls into that category. Ultimately we won’t know what would happen if Scotland does get independence, personally… Read more »

Mike Condy

It is important to remember that independence is about Scotland getting the government it elects. Post independent I doubt that it would be forever the SNP. Moreover I doubt that the SNP which is a broad church with many differing political views united for the most part by the desire for independence, would survive in its current form for more than 5 years after independence. It seems that there would then be a more natural realignment of politicians. But who knows, we’ll all have to see what the chrystal ball throws up.

Mike Condy

The brain drain is what happens today. There are jobs that were Scotland independent would exist in Scotland as in any other normal country but because of the UK exist elsewhere. I have a relative that is part of that brain drain and who would almost certainly return.

Mark B

Scotland is a proud military nation. I can see a large swathe of the Scottish electorate baulking at a mickey mouse military effectively backed up by the English. Seriously?

Harold

An independent Scotland would seek no enemies nor have post imperial ambitions or wish to act as some sort of latter day world policeman attempting to show off and failing dismally. A basic home defence force much as seen in Eire and elsewhere would doubtless be considered perfectly adequate. Those now in favour of an independent Scotland include several serving and former military people as well as many people who have made the place their home, from overseas and from England. Scottish independence is inevitable and has massively gained in popularity as the electorate have been witness to the bumbling… Read more »

John Clark

Great monologue Harold, your tounge in cheek sarcastic parody of the typical Guardian reader, never fails to crack me up!

You ‘almost’ sound like you are being serious.

Harold

What is a ‘tounge’ for Heaven’s sake?

John Clark

All you have is a mobile phone text mistake to come back with hmmm ….

Come along Harold, lets have some more of the rabid Comical Ali rhetoric, keep the laughs going dear chap…

Alan Reid

Harold, Please calm down – Scottish separation from the rest of the UK is certainly not inevitable.
Incidentally, where do you get the idea that the handling of COVID-19 in Scotia has been a some kind of triumph? In terms of excess deaths during the pandemic, in Scotland we have one of the worst records in Europe. (Just behind, England!)

Douglas Newell

Sturgeon has somehow managed to hoodwink the Scottish populace that she has done a good job. I was amused at two women talking loudly about Sturgeon in a local shop recently: First they bemoaned that Ayrshire (where I live) was absolutely riddled with Covid, especially the schools. It was everywhere, apparently, and the government was hiding this from the population. Moments later one then added, “Aye, but Nicola is daeing a great job stopping it. Not like HIM doon in England. That Boris.”

Idiocy like this is what the SNP rely on.

Andy P

“Idiocy like this is what the SNP rely on.” Douglas, idiocy like that is what ALL political parties rely on, pick a tribe/team/party and buy into it. There are plenty phuqwits who attach themselves to all the parties, even the mainstream ones (and whether we like it or not, the SNP are a mainstream party, third biggest in Westminster and dominant in the Parlie). Wee Jimmy has done a good job of being better than BoJo but that’s not exactly hard, she just needs to show a wee bit of compassion (its the world we live in) and not contradict… Read more »

geoff

Agree with what you say Andy. Bottom line-democracy has its limits- not that I advocate dictatorship but Churchill nailed it when he said “The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.”

Andy P

Morning Geoff, I see democracy as the ‘least worst’ option rather than the best. I certainly wouldn’t want to live under the alternatives. As for us ‘prols’, I’m not sure we’re any worse than our elected members to be honest, now that we can see them pretty much 24-7 on TV telling us how great THEY are and how crap the OTHER LOT are. Churchill was a great orator and came out with a lot of great quotes, he also ‘crossed the floor’ twice so just as self serving as the next man. Its really no surprise that he’s our… Read more »

geoff

Howsit Andy! Lets face it, with some exceptions politicians worldwide are a dodgy lot! I think that Churchill was a lot closer to the average voter than many think notwithstanding his remarks. Boris is a total clown that proves the adage that Style often trumps(no pun intended) Substance! I would have voted for Rory Stewart, a bright,articulate caring man who actually thought about the alternatives with the major issues. Getting back to the “Average Voter”-these would include those that get pi**ed every night and consider Keeping Up with the Kardashians the most intellectual show on Television! And also including some… Read more »

Andy P

Ha, interesting Geoff, some of my best friends are evil businessmen….. Mwah ha ha ha 🙂 I agree about politicians being the same the world over but that’s the same for us ‘little people’ too. Some will gravitate to positions of power so its a bit of a fait acompli unfortunately. And yes, I agree that style (or drama) now trumps substance with politics. For me this ties in with the type of people who gravitate to politics, the actual running of a country or council or department isn’t exactly rock n roll, at least it shouldn’t be but somehow… Read more »

geoff

As politicians go my two heroes are Lee Kuan Yew the late PM of Singapore, and the President of Uruguay who drives a battered second hand Beetle. Oh, and don’t laugh-Alex Salmond is a very able and articulate Polit whom I would love to have a couple of Beers with !
Cheers From Durbs!

geoff

ps Thanks George for indulging straying off subject. On subject there is no doubt that a small Scottish Defence Force would comprise some of the worlds best fighting men and women. much like those of the ROI. I just dont think such a move would make any senses militarily or otherwise

Andy P

I used to have a grudging respect for Alex Salmond, he’s a clever and articulate guy, on things like ‘Have I Got News For You’ he was always very good. In the run up to the Indy ref, he sort of got found out for me, got caught out on questions about using the Pound or the Euro etc, then of course there’s the more recent court case where he basically admitted that he was a sleazy b’stard but not a ‘rapey’ b’stard…. lets just say he might have convinced the jury but….

Douglas Newell

The SNP loving taking a poke at Trump, and Farage, but in their current guise they are essentially a Scottish “populist” party who have benefitted from the collapse of Scottish Labour, with a population still unable to vote Tory after 50 years of being told voting Tory is anti-Scottish (Labour based their domination of Scottish Politics on presenting the Tories as an English party). Both Sturgeon and Salmond were/are good communicators, ruthless, organised and excellent political operators – and they run/ran the party with a rod of iron. They have to. As the rest of the party is essentially the… Read more »

Andy P

Can’t argue with much of that Douglas, especially the populist part. For them all roads lead to independence so they can promise the world, once they get it, its too late to change minds. As for the petty power grabs, I don’t think that’s just the SNP but we see what we want to see sometimes, ALL the parties seem to attract the self important. I hope you’re right about Wee Jimmy being the end of the line, it would be fandabbidozi but I’m not sure it will be the case. There have been a number of times when I’ve… Read more »

Harold

I’m perfectly calm thanks.

TrevorH

What is todays position on the virus then from Sturgeon? Schools in schools out shake it all about…

Douglas Newell

Yawn – not inevitable according to the Scotsman’s recent poll which provided the relevant background info. re consequences of SNP’s plans, and the results were then the same as the last referendum.

The SNP have a had a free run recently with a scared media and a poor opposition. There are signs both of these factors have begun to change … and Nippy hasn’t actually covered herself in glory these past few months despite managing to sell her self declared awesomeness to the sheep.

Harold

Tired Douglas. Get a little more sleep.

Douglas Newell

Not at all, Haz. Sharp as a razor, unlike the average SNP knuckledragger.

Meirion X

Troll H
I’m afraid Sir Keir Starmer is going to spoil your party! He is already ahead in the polls now. I can’t see Johnson lasting full term!

peter french

Probably not but the Conservative Government will

Harold

I personally wouldn’t trust any of them to handle my finances and investments yet alone anyone elses’. That’s why I gave up voting around 20 years ago.

Tim

Yougov put them even at 39% each which is absolutely terrible for labour they should be 10% ahead

OldSchool

Hopefully in that case Harold no UK defence spending north of the border. Of course an independent Scotland has other priorities – like paying its share of UK accrued debt. Which gets even more interesting as the won’t even have a currency….no chance of GBP so they can try their begging bowl with the EU for the Euro…I’m sure they will enjoy the experience (not).

Andy P

OldSchool, an indy Scotland could use the GBP if they wanted to. As I understand it, it would be like some countries choosing to use the US dollar. There are inherent risks to using another country’s currency, you have no control over it being a big one. As for the Euro, the SNP have said they want to rejoin the EU as soon as they can so whether the want to or not, it might well be the Euro north of the border, assuming our European neeburs will agree to it. It would be a great ‘get it right up… Read more »

Tim

To join the e.u you have to have your own currency and central bank also if Scotland does leave the uk then obviously the SNP would be ok with them having to follow uk law and a equal playing field and obviously Westminster will maintain control of Scottish fish stocks as that’s what the SNP want for the uk leaving the e.u

Andy P

Tim, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt…. have you been drinking heavily? Maybe you can clarify this word salad another time.

TrevorH

Ah yes… ths currency!

geoff

There is no logical case for breaking up the worlds oldest Union sharing one small island, into 3 smaller states. Every nation and every person in Great Britain would have their lives diminished and the only people who would benefit from such a disaster would be our, and the Wests, enemies.

Mike

Well said Geoff, agree entirely.

TrevorH

Correct

barry white

So where is this so called support in Wales ?
Very little in fact
I live here so i know
You dont
So please stop spouting off as you tell the English not too

Harold

You might be surprised to know where I live.

Airborne

Throw the Scottish bone in the mix and the sad senior citizen Harold will try to bite. Boring, repetitive and rather sad, but quite interesting he only ever responds to posts in regard to Scotland. Did you visit once, in your youth?

dan

Become a leech like Germany is regarding defense. Ugh.

Dern

Ah yes… a country with a defence budget in the top 10 world wide is a “leech.”….

Damo

Ah, Dan the one post wonder

The Artist Formerly Known As Los Pollos Chicken

Yawn 😂 Dear oh dear more 💩 brought to you by the same baw bags that had the entirety of the wee nationalists fiscal policy based on 130 dollars a barrel of oil 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂🇬🇧🇬🇧 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🇬🇧😂.

Never gonna happen 👋🏻🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🇬🇧

TrevorH

Yes… Brent crude currently 41 dollars.

Geoffrey Roach

to paraphrase Queen (great band) “all we here is Scottish ga ga ,Scottish ga ga “

Glass Half Full

Well I see George has pulled the pin out and stepped away again 😉 A link isn’t showing for me so in its absence a few casual observations – The budget outlined in this article seems to be at odds with the plans outlined by SNP politicians back in the Sept 4 article, seems like they need to get on the same page. In that one they weren’t going to take any existing naval assets, instead building up a complete new navy including AIP subs, with all surface ships at least built new in Scotland. Don’t know how long the… Read more »

TrevorH

I read somewhere that the Orkneys were planning to have a referendum.

Harold

Not for independence as was widely reported, but for more power for the council.

TrevorH

Its more than that. They suggest exploring greater self determination. They ‘want to be a unique part of the UK’. Not Scotland.
One option being a Crown Dependency, like Jersey.
More to the point they say such issues are a matter for Westminster. Not Scotland.
And they would have the oil and fish…

Stuart Crawford

Link now sorted, which might help inform the comments perhaps?

Bill Kenny

Stuart Crawford the same person who was the SNP defence spokesman. He seems to have a regular guest spot on this site, why?

Bill

Sometimes the front of Scotland and what it considers is theirs by ‘right’ sends the blood pressure soaring.

Mr Bell

Dream on. I’m not rising to this pie in the sky SNP article.

HMS Monarch

I wish I could be paid to make up such inane reports.

I propose £25,000 for my article on “The NHS is cost free because our taxes cover it”

David Barry

We could always build a nuclear sub base in Falklands! Should night life be so awful around Faslane, it might be an improvement…

I’ll get mi coat.

ETH

It would be more likely that one is built on Rockall…

Lee Cook

who can blame the Scots for trying, and given the general buffoonery in whitehall, who can blame them for wanting out of the UK! A terrible shame all that. So in this surreal climate, why not speculate? Imagine if, in its grope for treaties and partners, Boris managed to convince the Canadians, Aussies and New Zealanders to pool our defence spending (the GDP ratios are pretty much the same) and pool our defence resources? Even if geopolitically this is much more global in scope in terms of priorities than the UK can currently aspire to, most of our defence and… Read more »

pkcasimir

Why would Australia, still smarting from being abandoned by the UK during WW2, agree to pool its defense resources with the UK when it already has a very close and robust defense relationship with the US? New Zealand has two ANZAC class destroyers, no fighters, and no submarines. Hardly a credible force.

Lee Cook

Hi pk, there was little that is serious in what I said, and obviously New Zealand doesn’t have bags of hardware to offer. Tons of grit, though. As for Australia still smarting from ww2, if there was any glimmer of a possibility in what I said, I think Australia would do like any other country facing an uncertain security future, simply colossal geography to deal with and future superpower revisionist state: suck it up and play realpolitics. The British have been since 1945, and to be fair, making peace with Germany did pay its dividends. The reality is, from “corporate… Read more »

Damo

Not surprised the Aussies were smarting. Their WW2 military performance didn’t cover them in glory so blame the Empire for not shielding them

Basra

Another big reason to vote yes, realistically the UK will be so desperate for a lease on Faslane and NATO desperately needs air bases in the north of Scotland what’s a cheeky £1 billion a year. If not they can always look for other lease holders. I think Xi Jin Ping and Putin would be very interested in such an Atlantic base.

Grant

£1.3Bn a year to rent Faslane for the deterrent would be a better deal then giving the Scots £40bn a year to prop up their economy like we currently do. Just one year of savings and the new English Military could buy itself 2 new aircraft carriers, 300 new F35s, 100 more Merlins, 2000 Boxers, 20 P8s and a couple more T26s (Which will get built in England)

Johnny

Have I missed something or did Scotland vote against independence, the first country to do so, so maybe Jimmy cranky needs to look at how he/she conduct themselves rather than blame everything on the uk Parliament, given how well Scotland does out of the Barnet formula?

John Clark

Don’t be surprised if the SNP quietly shelve their referendum talk again, they can see the public will for Indipendance has peaked somewhat short and started to drop back.

I certainly get the impression from Scottish friends, that people are waking up to the fact that the SNP simply cannot afford to bankroll its plans without cuts in public spending and considerable tax hikes across the board.

Andy P

John, you’re not considering the ‘human factor’. The SNP is a large movement with some pretty ‘out there’ members who have to be appeased by the more middle ground SNP’ers. This fringe want a vote on independence carried out even if there isn’t a go ahead from Westminster. Wee Jimmy’s plan was to wait for the SNP to have a large enough cut of the vote to make it a certainty. Makes sense, although the ‘fringe’ won’t be so patient…. To be honest, I hope this more extreme element of the SNP get more sway as it will put off… Read more »

John Clark

Absolutely Andy, its this ‘Independence at any price element’ that would really scare me if I lived in Scotland.

Its a sort of rabid militancy that went back underground with Corbyn’s drubbing at the polls in England!

Perhaps if the SNP lost another referendum, they would have a shake up and cull, reconcile with being in the Union and get on with the important job of running Scotland within the limits of their authority.
After all, the Scottish parliament has considerable autonomy as it is and there is certainly plenty of work for them to do…

Andy P

John, I hear ya bro.

Mike Condy

For those below that see this as an SNP policy, I would remind them that this is from people outside that policy forum. For those that say Scotland couldn’t afford to defend itself I would point out that its current contribution toward collective defence stands at over £3.5bn. Small nations such as Ireland and New Zealand manage it with smaller economies. Whilst I disagree with the proposals put forth in this paper I would have to say that they are similar to New Zealand and Ireland. the UK and Nato would both find some of what is said strategically important.… Read more »

Dave61

maybe they’ll join the belt and noos initiative

Alabama boy

I assume that the UK Government’s investments in Scotland such as at Lossiemouth and Fastlane and shipbuilding on the Clyde etc was in part an attempt to sway Scottish voters on the benefits of the Union. Unfortunately, it seems that the SNP administration is able to turn any UK investment in Scotland to their advantage and lay off the blame for any domestic problem on the UK government. Consequently, I don’t get the impression these investments are having the positive impact expected of them. I thought it was foolhardy to base the P8 in Scotland for this reason and the… Read more »

peter wait

Subs could move to Barrow -Cumbria, and Portland-Dorset it would prob’ be end of Scottish shipbuilding !