A defence analyst has claimed that Scotland could generate £1.1 billion a year leasing Faslane back to the United Kingdom.

Trevor Royle has argued Scotland could follow what Iceland done for 50 years and lease the naval base back to the UK. Iceland leased an airbase to the United States for decades after becoming independent from Denmark.

HMS Vanguard returns to Faslane.

In an article in the Sunday Times at the weekend, Royle said:

“Faslane is an extraordinary asset, but it will be the elephant in the room should Scotland gain independence in the immediate future.

This represents a challenge and an opportunity. Given the strategic importance of Faslane and the undoubted importance of submarines in modern naval operations, not least in intelligence gathering, why doesn’t Scotland follow Iceland’s example and lease the base to Nato, just as our northern neighbour did with the air force base at Keflavik — a crucial asset from 1949 until 2006? Under a bilateral agreement with America, Iceland provided the alliance with land and facilities as its main contribution. Operating under the title of the Iceland Defense Force — the host country does not possess an army — Keflavik emerged as a key asset in the Cold War. There were winners all round. For a country with a modest financial sector, Iceland benefited from the boom created by the US connection.

HMS Vanguard near Faslane.

The nuclear issue could still prove a sticking point for all that the SNP did a U-turn over Nato membership in 2012 and for all that political parties have not been unknown to trim policy when it suits changed circumstances. I am opposed to nuclear weapons on grounds of cost, morality and lack of effectiveness, but an independent Scotland will not be so awash with cash that it can ignore an asset such as Faslane, which could attract a rental of £1.1bn a year. The SNP promises Faslane will be ‘a vibrant and sustainable conventional naval base’ but it makes no sense to house conventional naval forces in a modern, purpose-built base designed to operate nuclear submarines — and which newly independent country needs such an elaborate facility? Iceland makes do with three patrol vessels and smaller boats operated by 200 sailors.”

What about moving the base if Scotland leaves the UK?

If you’re reading this and are asking ‘Why not just move the base?’ then I’m sorry to say, it’s not that simple. Moving the base quickly isn’t an option, the facilities required don’t presently exist elsewhere in the UK.

Stuart Crawford, a retired regular officer in the Royal Tank Regiment and former SNP defence spokesman had previously said the lack of an alternative sites means Trident carrying submarines based at Faslane would take 20 to 25 years to remove.

HMS Vigilant shown alongside at HMNB Clyde.
She had recently returned to her home port, Faslane Naval Base, after a successful operational patrol.

He said:

“An independent Scotland cannot really sensibly insist on removal of the UK’s nuclear deterrent from its waters in the short to medium term. Therefore some pragmatic solution has to be adopted. The pragmatic solution is, in my opinion, to rent the Faslane nuclear facilities to the rest of the UK until such time as some other arrangement can be brought about.

If there is any chance of Scotland becoming an independent country in 2021, it would take the UK government at least 20 years to build the equivalent to the Faslane/Coulport facilities elsewhere in the UK.” 

HMNB Clyde.

Mr Crawford added:

“It is the most emotive defence-related issue in the whole independence debate. The difficult thing for the SNP leadership would be selling this to the foot soldiers. The broad base of the independence movement is very much grounded in the CND movement. I am completely sympathetic to that. The SNP Government might look at this plan and say it doesn’t deliver our promise to remove Trident, but it would be the biggest bargaining chip that an independent Scotland could have.”

HMS Vanguard near Faslane.

An SNP spokesperson said:

“The SNP does not support Trident either as part of the UK or in an independent Scotland. We have continually opposed the renewal of Trident at the cost of conventional and cyber defences and continue to do so. In 2014 the Scottish Government set out a responsible approach to the removal of Trident from Scotland and in the event of independence securing the speediest and safest withdrawal of nuclear weapons would be a priority for an SNP Scottish Government.”

Stuart Crawford was a regular officer in the Royal Tank Regiment for twenty years, retiring in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 1999. Crawford attended both the British and US staff colleges and undertook a Defence Fellowship at Glasgow University. He now works as a political, defence and security consultant and is a regular commentator on military and defence topics in print, broadcast and online media.
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Aethelstan the curious
Aethelstan the curious
1 year ago

As an unknowing but curious reader, could the facilities be replicated long term around Pembroke Dock and Milfird Haven?

Oliver Wiggins
Oliver Wiggins
1 year ago

What, relocate them to another country which could turn around and go independent somewhere down the line? If they move them, it’ll have to be to England. We can’t stab ourselves in the back

Janet Fenton
8 months ago

No. Both of these sites have been ruled out for environmental legislation and physical reasons. See Trident, Nowhere to Go at https://www.banthebomb.org/index.php/publications/reports/1427-trident-nowhere-to-go-revised-edition

geoff
geoff
1 year ago

Firstly I would imagine that if Scotland caused the break up of the UK there would be considerable acrimony and the rUK would be in no mood for such an arrangement. A quicker and better solution would be to relocate to a US facility. This could be achieved swiftly and at less cost and would be in line with existing close military co-operation with the USA

peter
peter
1 year ago
Reply to  geoff

Barrow could be expanded to support the submarines, would be bad economics to invest 1 billion and jobs in a country that doesn’t want nuke subs?

geoff
geoff
1 year ago
Reply to  peter

Indeed Peter

Sc0tty
Sc0tty
1 year ago
Reply to  geoff

It’s not the submarine basing that’s the issue, Devonport already does the Trident submarine refits and easily has the space and facilities to handle the sub fleet. The issue is with Coulport and it’s missile handling facility.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 year ago
Reply to  peter

The reason we use Faslane is that it has quick and easy access to deep water . Barrow does not.

A better alternative would be Falmouth with the added advantage of being a big boost to the Cornish economy.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
1 year ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Agree Falmouth would work. I would be happy to pay more tax to ensure our own national defences are moved out of Scotland into rUK, whilst giving SNP ruled Scotland precisely nothing of my hard earned taxed £.

Peter Shaw
Peter Shaw
1 year ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Me too…:)

Alan Reid
Alan Reid
1 year ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Mister Bell, The SNP currently runs a minority administration in Edinburgh, kept in power by the Greens. It speaks as a political party, it does not speak for “Scotland”.
As a home-based Scot who is a UK tax-payer, I have no issue in my hard-earned salary being taxed by the UK Exchequer and used to support services in England – and elsewhere in the UK.

Ba
Ba
1 year ago
Reply to  Alan Reid

Posted in error. Deleted

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
1 year ago
Reply to  Alan Reid

Hello Alan. I was there for the first indy ref and I soon saw how the maniacs who ran that show spoke for themselves. Thatcher destroyed the Scottish Tories, not that she cared. In 1959 Scotland returned more Tory M.P.’s to Westminster than Labour. All those seats went to the S.N.P. who played a canny game depending on which constituency issues to pursue; I doubt even now those voters across the country are desperadoes or revolutionaries. Too many English think all Scots are rabid Nationalists. They are not; but neither are they going to be messed about. A shrewd government… Read more »

Chris H
Chris H
1 year ago
Reply to  Alan Reid

@ Alan Reid – I fully agree with your point that the SNP is not Scotland by any stretch of the imagination. Well said.
But I would just gently point out that because all ‘domestic’ matters are devolved none of your taxes paid in Scotland go to England as such. Your taxes like mine do however fund non devolved UK matters like defence and foreign policy which do of course have benefit for England as well as Wales, Scotland and NI.

Col haggis
Col haggis
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris H

Actually Chris, if he pays tax in Scotland most of it does go to HMRC. It’s just that a chunk then finds its way back again. Nevertheless. I would completely agree that getting Trident out of the Gareloch and Loch Long ASAP would be the smartest approach as the SNP are not trustworthy and would use any long-term lease as a lever at every opportunity. Also in initial divorce negotiations it’s one of the key cards they think they have to extract concessions. Swift removal would deny them that approach. I suspect the lease of equipment and facilities from the… Read more »

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
1 year ago
Reply to  peter

Exactly.

geoff
geoff
1 year ago

Secondly(PC playing up so have to split post)-if any believe that the logistics of splitting from the EU will be complex and costly then the break up of a Union that started effectively over 400 years ago would be a nightmare. Duplication of armed forces, Embassies, infrastructure, institutions etc. and another cherry on top-how to split the 16 overseas territories that are BRITISH-not E I W or S! Then there would be a hard Border with the rUK as Scotland would of course re-join the EU!

Herodotus
1 year ago
Reply to  geoff

The simple answer Geoff is to remain in the EU and take the wind out of the SNPs sails!

geoff
geoff
1 year ago
Reply to  Herodotus

Agree Herodotus and it solves the Irish problem at the same time. I have genuinely been on the fence about Brexit for a long time and cannot make up my mind which way is better. I would prefer to stay in and fight for change from within but then again I think Brexit would create opportunities for the UK but(and I should not give in to these feelings) I am angered by the EU’s stance which effectively makes it almost impossible to leave other than by a No Deal situation. For me the solution is a Second referendum. This is… Read more »

Herodotus
1 year ago
Reply to  geoff

I concur with your views entirely! I think that there is considerable pressure within the EU to ‘hold the ship’ together. By making Brexit as bloody as possible, they will effectively deter other nations from taking the same path. This could be an existentialist issue for the EU. Stay in the EU and give ’em’ what for!

Darren
Darren
1 year ago
Reply to  Herodotus

“Making Brexit as bloody as possible” is exactly why the UK must leave this vile little eu empire. These could be words from the 19th Century.

Herodotus
1 year ago
Reply to  Darren

Well, the EU it is neither vile nor little! And the stance of the EU is understandable whilst being regrettable. If you want to look for blame…try Cameron! As the Queen pointed out…our politicians don’t seem able to govern!

Oliver Wiggins
Oliver Wiggins
1 year ago
Reply to  Herodotus

The EU’s mandate has expanded far beyond what we joined into. It is vile and its never going to the USA, no matter how much politicians in Germany and France want it to be… They don’t even spend properly on defence which underpins much of the US strength! Honestly the pair are worse than us and are trying to make a superstate out of the EU and that’s wrong. You cannot blame David Cameron for that and you cannot blame British people for not wanting a part to play in the system.

DaveyB
DaveyB
1 year ago
Reply to  geoff

Mate, I am really hacked off by the EU’s attitude and stance. Partially I believe to deter anybody else from even thinking about leaving. I’d be more than happy to go back to the fundamentals behind the common market when it was first formed. But now it has become a political power struggle to be a “United Europe”. As soon as Blair and Brown signed up to closer ties and integration pretty much handcuffed us to the EU. In some ways this is just a typical divorce and clearly getting less and less amicable. I really don’t see what benefit… Read more »

Herodotus
1 year ago
Reply to  DaveyB

It is more likely that a no-deal Brexit will mean no Brexit. A reasonable deal with the EU would have ensured that Brexit actually happened. I think that the Brexiteers in Parliament may well have shot themselves in the foot. They might come to regret rejecting Theresa May’s deal! As far as the SNP are concerned, I don’t think Scottish Independence is any more risky than no deal Brexit.

Chris H
Chris H
1 year ago
Reply to  Herodotus

@ herodatus – Keep dreaming. Get used to the idea that no matter what tricks our Remainer Parliament try to pull now we are leaving on 31st October with or without a deal. We all know the Remainer tactics: They say its about ‘no deal’ but that is a charade, a false image for their real intent which is to revoke Article 50. They know that by removing ‘No deal’ off the table that will entrench the EU’s views and so they can peddle more Project Fear Mk 83 crap. And they have the support of most of the MSM,… Read more »

Herodotus
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris H

Don’t count your chlorinated chicken’s Chris. I’m sure that your paranoia about the media is well founded…in the USA that is! I am pleased that you are keeping an open mind over a no-deal Brexit.

Chris H
Chris H
1 year ago
Reply to  Herodotus

@ Herodatus – Bang straight in with the Chlorine trigger phrase! How pathetic. Is that the best you have? Best not eat any EU sourced salads because they are washed in chlorine, the water you drink has chlorine added and of course every swimming pool has chlorine added. For hygiene reasons. And of course who was it shipped horsemeat labelled as beef to us? Not the USA methinks. And you do know where some European spuds are grown? In sewage treated land. Enjoy! Unlike you Remainers I have had an open mind about the EEC and the EU since 1972.… Read more »

Herodotus
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris H

Actually Chris, I thought the chlorinated chicken phrase was rather good…I expect that you did really too! If it is any comfort, I voted to remain in 1975 as well…and so did 67% of the electorate. A real democratic choice…not a cheap couple of percentage points as in 2016. An advantage gained through downright lies and misrepresentation that was focussed on a section of the electorate that felt disenfranchised by a lousy government! Tell you what, lets have a second referendum on the issue…it would solve many of the issues that confront us. Well, what are you afraid of?

Chris H
Chris H
1 year ago
Reply to  Herodotus

@ Herodatus – No the chicken comment was a trigger to draw discussion away from your lauding of the betrayal of democracy to defy Scots their right to a democratic vote. So it was many things but not in any way ‘clever’. More like too clever by half. I see you are again trying to divert the debate without answering why you think its a good idea to betray democracy. OK but others can see the tricks you Remainers deploy. The decision to Leave the EU was by a margin of 4% (52 to 48) which is not a ‘couple’.… Read more »

Herodotus
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris H

Chris….like many of your fellow brexiteers….you are completely deluded. Overcome by emotion…unable to square your gut feelings with reality! Which, of course, is the realm of extreme politics. Many people felt like you in the 1930s….and look where it ended! I challenge you again…if you think that you and your ilk are so bloody right…put it to the country. As the blessed Margaret said….what’s the matter, are you fritt!

Chris H
Chris H
1 year ago
Reply to  Herodotus

@ Herodatus – Oh look the sanctimonious fool projects yet more sarcastic crap: * No delusion Sweetcheeks as I am on the winning side. You are deluded you think you won and can stop Brexit. * No emotion either. Well apart from sniggers at your puerile jottings. * I am perfectly OK with reality which is that we are leaving on 31st October. As is written into two Statutes – The Article 50 Act and the EU Withdrawal Act. * Because I disagree with you I am engaged in ‘extreme politics’? Dear God now who is the deluded soul out… Read more »

Gfor
Gfor
1 year ago
Reply to  DaveyB

What is going on at Devonport?

There is no way on earth all of the SSNs and SSBNs will go into Devonport unless you know of somewhere mysterious.

DaveyB
DaveyB
1 year ago
Reply to  Gfor

Why not, in the past we had most of our subs there, they have the infrastructure to repair the Vanguard class and their keyside is mostly underused.

Jon
Jon
1 year ago
Reply to  DaveyB

I agree, the Northern basin can be dredged for SSBNs to be alongside. Convert the berths to X berths. Build a shiplift shed at Ernesettle. Upgrade for storage of warheads. Will see me into retirement 🙂

Andrew a
Andrew a
1 year ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Totally with u, I voted remain but having seen there arrogant attitude I’m now a brexiter. Don’t want no deal but if they push us they going to get a surprise. Why can’t we just have a Canadian or Swiss deal? Oh yeah because they are terrified if we make a go of it Italy and Greece follow. Can any one tell me what’s wrong going back to a real common market.

geoff
geoff
1 year ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Thanks for comprehensive reply Davey

Chris H
Chris H
1 year ago
Reply to  DaveyB

@ Davey B – I meant to compliment your post earlier but got sidetracked by someone. You just about captured everything that needs saying and I fully agree. Well said.

Chris H
Chris H
1 year ago
Reply to  Herodotus

@ Herodatus – “The simple answer Geoff is to remain in the EU and take the wind out of the SNPs sails!” Wrong. That is neither simple nor right by any measure. We have voted to leave the Eu and leave we must. With or without a deal. That is the law of the land as specified in the Article 50 Act and the EU Withdrawal Act which both set out the date of leaving as March 29th (subsequently amended in law to the 31st October). And to argue we must betray British democracy to deny the Scots their democratic… Read more »

Herodotus
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris H

What a pompous load of claptrap. Why is it that when Brexiteers speak of upholding democracy that they sound like martyrs that have endured the Spanish Inquisition? Happily, your missive is the sort of nonsense that everyone can ignore with impunity.

Chris H
Chris H
1 year ago
Reply to  Herodotus

@ herodatus – Well as usual no reference to any points made let alone sensible discussion. You provide just the usual Remainer sarcasm and projections to suit your confirmation bias. At the risk of getting into Monty Python sketches with Cardinal Fang (which i suspect is far more fun) where exactly was the inferred martyrdom in anything I said? Nowhere. Just your need to project a sarcastic put down. Well keep trying Old Son its water of a duck’s back to me after 3+ years of you Remainers’ throwing crap. ITs OK we understand its all you have left. Bless.… Read more »

Herodotus
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris H

Dear me…’it’s all water off a ducks back’….clearly it isn’t…you seem rather exercised! Tell me Chris, when you pass on, who will be God’s next representative at the table of democracy? If I can point you back to my comment ‘that everyone can ignore’ …this was the last comment and I added nothing further….so my statement was sound!

Chris H
Chris H
1 year ago
Reply to  Herodotus

@ Herodatus – and meaningful and relevant comment was there still none ….
Because your sarcastic abuse means sod all to me don’t confuse that with my not enjoying nailing your comments for what they are. And in any case I mostly reply so others can see your nonsense for what it is. Remainers like you add nothing to discussions and just divert everything on to personal comments and irrelevant crap. Like ‘chlorinated chicken’. Precisely what THAT had to do with the Scots right to an Indyref beats me …..

Chris H
Chris H
1 year ago
Reply to  geoff

@ Geoff – There would be no issue for British assets abroad as they and the territories would remain British. Nothing costly for the rUK at all. It is Scotlandshire that will have to sort their new foreign, defence and other currently non devolved policies as well as a currency, central bank and establish a credit rating. Of course it would also need to show how it will fund its 8% share of the current £1.8 Trn National debt to which it adds some £15 Bn a year. Sadly you peddle the ‘hard border’ as if its a given just… Read more »

geoff
geoff
1 year ago

I have never regarded Scottish Nationalism as anything other than a legitimate set of beliefs even though I am a fervent Unionist but one has to believe that there has been and is ongoing some serious stirring up of bad feeling between the four nations by extreme Nationalists and Foreign nations who would benefit from the break up and weakening of the UK

Christopher Smith
Christopher Smith
1 year ago

Correct me if I’m wrong, but weren’t the Sovereign bases on Cyprus a condition of independence there? So there is a solution on the shelf, it seems.

Expat
Expat
1 year ago

Has an independent Scotland any desire to join NATO? I would have thought that a Nuclear disarmament agenda and NATO would be a clash.

Better RoUk moved the whole thing south. The building of new base would be a massive boast for jobs in the UK. Combined with the ongoing running of the new base in the UK which is worth 270m the economy. Employees would be better off as Tax in the RoUK is also lower.

https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/fact-check-many-jobs-depend-faslane/

lee
lee
1 year ago

Absolute rubbish. Sorry to get political, but Scotland had a vote and voted to stay ( of which I was happy about ). There is no chance the rest of the Union would base all of our nuclear subs and infrastructure in a foreign country. Especially one which keeps saying no to Trident. We keep getting these tinpot ideas about splitting our country up , just so some little politician can build there own fan club and power base. They don’t give a **** about this fantastic country that has taken 300 years to build or about the people that… Read more »

geoff
geoff
1 year ago
Reply to  lee

Well said. With regard to my earlier remarks about Scottish Nationalism-the belief in an Independent Scotland is legitimate and the Democratic right of those Scots who pursue such an end. I had a close friend who was a Nat in the 1960’s when it had minimal support. His beliefs never interfered with our friendship. If the sorry day should ever arise when it happens I will become spiritually stateless but I would hope that we can persuade people that we really are better together as happened in Quebec where from a 50:50 knife edge the canadian nation is now supported… Read more »

Mark
Mark
1 year ago
Reply to  lee

Well said

Lt Aldo Raine
Lt Aldo Raine
1 year ago
Reply to  lee

Lee, you’ve hit the nail on the head. A handful of politicians in Westminster care much more about their own individual interests and ambitions than those of this country. That is putting the Union at risk and has the potential to radically change the country in which we live. And whilst I loathe the likes of Jacob Rees Mogg, the one thing I’d say about his lot is that at least they’re acting out of a genuine conviction and a belief the UK would be better off outside the U.K. The most despicable individuals are those who are using Brexit… Read more »

Chris H
Chris H
1 year ago
Reply to  lee

@ Lee – Back of the proverbial net Sir … Well said.

Rob
Rob
1 year ago

If there is another Scottish referendum then it should be held after Brexit and when they know fully what it means to be outside of the EU within the UK. IMO this would be 3 to 4 years after the event. Only then can anyone really get an idea of what it is like and make an informed choice. I voted remain in the Brexit ref but do not support another ref on that topic. There is obviously a large part of the country that wants it and they will not give up until it happens. Only then can we… Read more »

peter french
peter french
1 year ago

Sod off Scotland
no way should we hand a benefit to them if they choose to be independent.
It would be a major headache for the Uk to find a base else where, but that we must do and let Scotland get on without any help from us

geoff
geoff
1 year ago
Reply to  peter french

Hi Peter. I understand your anger but let us remember the SNP does not speak for all of Scotland so maybe better-Sod off SNP! 🙂

OLDSchool
OLDSchool
1 year ago
Reply to  geoff

Agree. I find the the comment that the articles author links the SNP with the CND telling. Weren’t the CND heavily infiltrated by Soviet intelligence? Probably says something about the SNP today likely.

geoff
geoff
1 year ago
Reply to  OLDSchool

I remember a TV talk show between a lady representing the CND and a Tory politico on the Disarmament issue. The guy defending the Nuclear Deterrent made a really bad job of it. If I had been there I would have asked two questions-do you think Russia, China etc. will EVER give up their Nukes and if the answer is No then who would protect the UK from Nuclear blackmail in a world where for example the USA abandons it’s role as the Global Cop.

DaveyB
DaveyB
1 year ago
Reply to  geoff

Well said, I have never seen CND camping outside the American, Russian, Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, French or Israeli embassies who have officially stated they have nukes.

Herodotus
1 year ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Too young to remember Greenham Common then. I think that there is still a small presence nearby….sort of a life-style choice!

Chris H
Chris H
1 year ago
Reply to  Herodotus

@ Herodatus – Greenham Common was an RAF base used by the Yanks. It was not an embassy which was the point DaveyB was making. Joke is there were more nukes further west up the M4 at RAF Welford. You won’t see a sign for it but there is one for ‘Works Unit Only’ which isn’t actually there.
Can’t say why I know this of course …

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris H

Ha! The famous M4 red “Works Unit” sign.

You see that driving London bound that is how one knows!

The legend of the nukes at Welford has done the rounds for years. Supposedly CND were in the wrong place all along.

Not sure about that myself when you see the lack of actual SSA bunkers there.

I think it more likely they were at RAF Woodbridge and RAF Bentwaters.

Cam
Cam
1 year ago
Reply to  peter french

Yeah mate it’s those SNP idiots! I’m Scottish, and I’m pro British just like most of my friends, some of my family and none of my enemy’s. People forget Scotland voted to stay part of the UK and it was once in a generation vote, we won’t vote again or leave anytime soon I can guarantee that no matter what that slippery fish sturgeon says. Please Hate the SNP just like many Scots do and not Scotland ???

Chris H
Chris H
1 year ago
Reply to  Cam

@ Cam – An excellent post to differentiate between ‘SNP’ and ‘Scotland’. Yes I do despise what the SNP stand for which is the destruction of a 400 year old Union that has served us all so very well with no downsides whatsoever. But I do not have any bad feelings about Scotland let alone hatred for the Scots. Until we play them at Rugby. I think they are a bit daft to keep supporting the SNP as they do because they are also a very poor Government that wastes money to give benefits to Scots that are denied English,… Read more »

BB85
BB85
1 year ago

What about the Cyprus solution and maintain sovereign enclaves.

Expat
Expat
1 year ago
Reply to  BB85

I think the problem would be access would still be through Scottish territorial waters. But the concept of an enclave is sound if the SNP was willing to so a deal which I doubt.

billythefish
billythefish
1 year ago

The referendum on Scottish departing the UK was in 2014. It is not going to be run again ”for a generation”.
No matter how much wee nippie jumps up and down the fact is the UK remains a complete country and talk of splitting it up is simply a tactic (one of many) of remainers to ”scare” us all back to changing our minds about leaving the EU.

Herodotus
1 year ago
Reply to  billythefish

You remind me of Stalin’s strange decision on receiving RAF PR photos of the German build-up in occupied Poland. It’s a British trick.
Be careful, that is not a tunnel ahead…it’s just been painted on a brick-wall. Oops, too late!

billythefish
billythefish
1 year ago
Reply to  Herodotus

Please can you explain how the Scottish Government can legally undertake a referendum without a section 30 order given by the UK Government?

Prior to that being given, UK Parliament would have to vote for this – and the Conservatives are not going to do that as far as I am aware.

I understand the sentiment – but the reality is we are governed by law and this must be in place prior to another referendum taking place. Unless we take the Putin approach.

Herodotus
1 year ago
Reply to  billythefish

I think that your question ought to be directed at Ms Sturgeon….I neither want, nor have advocated, another Scottish Independence referendum. I was merely pointing out that, for some, every potential problem on the horizon is down to remainer scare-mongering.

billythefish
billythefish
1 year ago
Reply to  Herodotus

Fair enough – my point is that in this case it is scare mongering as the actual reality is a referendum on Scottish independence is not really on the table -but the story promulgates only because it is something for remainers to gather behind.
I was in Scotland for the last referendum and that is the last thing we need and to be honest I think beyond the 35% hardcore there is little appetite for running that again.

Herodotus
1 year ago
Reply to  billythefish

Who knows what sort of deal Corbyn and Sturgeon might cook up if, as has been widely mooted, there is a general election in the autumn. We are moving into uncharted territory!

Mark
Mark
1 year ago

With all the issues with Brexit it would inevitably mean that should Scotland ever get another opportunity to re-visit this issue both sides will want to hammer out the withdrawal agreement and future relationship before any vote. On Defense the remaining countries will want to ensure that their defense is not compromised and that Scotland actively defend their land in force, are part of NATO, 2-3% GDP etc. etc. for at least the next 100 years. The Scots are a proud nation and would not in my opinion be interested in being compared militarily to Iceland.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark

I think I read that if Independence happened then Scotland would have some 2 or 3 regiments, 3 MCMVs and 2 T23s plus a squadron of fighters.
The problem would be who would support those units?
More to the point who would man them?
Most people I know on Scottish based MCMVs cannot wait to get away from the place!
How many people would stay in a Scottish Defence Force with little prospect of promotion, to few units and no where to go other than tours of the Highlands and Islands.

Mark
Mark
1 year ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

I can see these and probably many more problems. Their issue would be treaties committing to a certain level of defense. They might even need to compensate the remainder of the UK if they fail to do so and/or the rest of NATO needs to prop them up. This flies in the face of any ideas Scotland might get that others will defend them and they can charge them for the privilege. The reasons for the Iceland exception are well known. Independence comes at a price for everyone they should understand its unlikely to benefit them financially in fact possibly… Read more »

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
1 year ago

Wonderful way to incentivise the rest of the UK to relocate their facilities

Sean
Sean
1 year ago

Pointless debate as no sane U.K. prime minister will ever give permission for another Scottish independence referendum. And if the SNP ignore the law and hold one anyway… we’ll we saw how successful that was in Catalonia.

OldSchool
OldSchool
1 year ago
Reply to  Sean

Agree about withholding another referendum. How long has the Union lasted ? So perhaps they can have another ref in a few hundred years. I find it interesting that no one thinks about why the Union came about – err wasn’t it something to do with Scotland being bust. Oh and who bailed them out ….. mmm I wonder……

Richard B
Richard B
1 year ago
Reply to  OldSchool

Scotland joined the Union in 1707 as they were bankrupt.
England joined as Queen Ann wanted to remove the threat of a Jacobite rebellion after she died. She wanted Scotland to accept the Hanoverian line. So it was a win-win. The best type of treaty.
Plus in the years that followed the Union Scottish trade boomed. A lot of rich Scottish people.
I can only see an economic downside to Scottish independence. One island one country.

Sean
Sean
1 year ago
Reply to  OldSchool

Yes the Scottish middle and upper-classes were bankrupted by the disasteroud Darien Scheme in Central America. One of the conditions of Union was England taking on the debt…. And then a few hundred years later the Bank of England has to step in and bail out Royal Bank of Scotland.
As the French say, “plus ca change, plus ca meme chose”…

T.S
T.S
1 year ago

I think a large part of the reason we are having to discuss the breakup of the UK is down to government being too London centric imo. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are all fairly poor regions who have lacked funding and support to develop their local economies. This is why we now see places such as Scotland see the relationship with the EU as more important than the union as they gain more from it. It should be the other way round, with the EU being an added extra. It has also happened within England, with many northern and… Read more »

Harry Bulpit
Harry Bulpit
1 year ago
Reply to  T.S

I do agree. Even when living in a town only 40 minutes outside of London, with most of my relatives working there, i certainly fill that are government only seems to care about London and London only.

Mark
Mark
1 year ago
Reply to  T.S

Good point. Boris seems to get this and is trying to say so with his talk of coastal powerhouses etc. How effective he will be is debatable and of course any money allocated will only benefit England unless there is buy-in from the devolved administrations. I personally am always keen to listen to anyone who wants to roll their sleeves up and sort out these problems. I just hope there is effective action to follow because as you say it would sort many problems for all of us.

Alan Reid
Alan Reid
1 year ago
Reply to  T.S

T.S “This is why we now see places such as Scotland see the relationship with the EU as more important than the union as they gain more from it. It should be the other way round, with the EU being an added extra”. As a counterpoint, from a home-based Scot: most of us don’t see the relationship with the EU as more important than that with the United Kingdom. Two-thirds of Scotland’s trade is with the rest of the UK (the EU comprises only about 15% of our trade). We all have some issues with central government in London, but… Read more »

T.S
T.S
1 year ago
Reply to  Alan Reid

Alan, good to know a large number of Scots still value the union. My statement is of course my own interpretation of the current situation and would not speak for all or even necessarily the majority of Scots. I think I should have added a ‘probably’ in front of more important! I am not a Scot and am therefore going on my impression which is feed by the media, and there appears to be an increase in those wanting independence and who are unhappy to be leaving the EU. My observation is that Scotland appears to Be far more socialist… Read more »

Alan Reid
Alan Reid
1 year ago
Reply to  T.S

Hi T.S,
EU membership has never really featured greatly in Scottish political consciousness (IMHO). We’re much more exercised by our relationship with London (always have been) – than Brussels. It’s why Ms Sturgeon has struggled to gain much leverage with the Brexit issue in Scotland.

North of the border, the Labour vote has collapsed; today our politics appears much more about identity (Unionist-v-Separatist), than political ideas like socialism. It’s a phenomenon that has seen the renaissance of the Conservative party in Scotland.

James Harrington
James Harrington
1 year ago

My mothers a Highlander, Im a Londoner, Scotland is a fantastic, beautiful place, with lots of good people, intelligent people. Great history. Plus the Fringe too. I don’t want them to leave the Union, as they have made significant contributions to the Union for over 200 years. Not least during conflicts. But Im sick of hearing about how they want to leave and am at the point of giving up asking them to stay. If they want to go, then go. But you’re get nothing from us, those you leave, left in the Union. Nothing. That includes no Faslane, no… Read more »

T.S
T.S
1 year ago

So whilst we are angry at the way the EU are treating us when we want to leave, we would then do the same to Scotland? I personally would want to make sure that if Scotland did decide to leave us that we could remain the closest of friends. In order for it to work with minimal pain, Scotland would probably require a fair amount of good will and understanding from us, and in some ways, us from them. For me that would include financial and practical assistance whilst they get themselves set up. We have to be really careful… Read more »

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
1 year ago
Reply to  T.S

Sorry TS disagree totally. Red line in the sand. Scotland votes for independence any time in the next 10 years then they should receive precisely zero support from rUK. Like the EU you are either in the UK or out.
No you cannot use sterling, no we will not base any of our military there, no we will not give you any subsidies. A hard border, import taxes etc will have to be paid. That is the hard reality of any independence vote

Alan Reid
Alan Reid
1 year ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Mr Bell, I’m afraid you’re in danger of acting as an unpaid recruiting sergeant for Scottish separatists! LOL I support the union, as my posts have demonstrated – but a potential divorce like you describe would not be in the interests of the rUK, anymore than Scotland. Incidentally, Sterling is only a means of exchange, not an economic asset. In general terms, there is nothing to stop an independent Scotland (or another country) using Sterling – although certainly holding the currency reserves to support such a policy would be challenging. Anyway, such a day is not one that I wish… Read more »

Rob Young
Rob Young
1 year ago
Reply to  Alan Reid

Interesting thing here is that Brexit and Scottish Independence are being discussed here – and the comments made by non-Scots could just as easily apply to how non-Brit EU citizens think. In other words, the deal you get when you leave is going to be far worse than what you’ve got now. For Scotland leaving the UK I think it would be worse than for the UK leaving the EU – Scotland depends a lot more on the UK than the UK depends on Europe.

John
John
1 year ago

To lease something don’t you have to own it? I’m pretty sure this is a MOD site, therefore, the property of the MOD, not a fictional Scottish independent government.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
1 year ago

So the SNP dont want nuclear weapons in Scotland…..oh but they are happy to have them based there if the rUK pays them. Or alternatively, as said before, rUK pulls out of Scotland. Bye bye Barnet formularly, bye bye uk taxpayers propping you up and paying for services not available freely in rUK.
Upto the Scottish voters. Believe the poison little witch that is NS or remain with the uk as a united kingdom. Definetly cannot have it both ways.

Rob
Rob
1 year ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

As Rob Young said above, just take that argument and apply it to the UK/EU situation and you can see why the EU are intransigent. We share an island so if the Scots do decide to leave that does not change. From a defence perspective it makes sense to be as close to them as possible, so yes that would likely mean support from the rUK. After all, our north flank and the Russian’s access to the Atlantic are really only defend-able with the Scot’s assistance. That would likely mean both financial support for a while and military cooperation, including… Read more »

JohnHartley
JohnHartley
1 year ago

So Skybolt was cancelled on 11 Dec 1962, yet nuclear strike responsibilities transferred from the RAF to the RN Polaris fleet on 1 July 1969. So six & a half years. So we could build a Trident base in Cumbria within six & a half years if we had to. So pay a rent to the Scots for six & a half years. Take it out of their share of the national debt. They are about 10% of the population, so 10% of £1.8 trillion is 180 billion. The rent should knock £7 billion off that. Still leaves £173 billion… Read more »

Peter Shaw
Peter Shaw
1 year ago

Move the trident subs to the USA if Scotland gains independence. The rental costs will be minimal and actually locating them close to where the ballistic missiles are refurbished might lead to significant cost savings. However, decommissing costs associated with the subs and Faslane will be shared…that will be pretty much wipe out the chance of having the SNP run Faslane as a naval base (whatever that means to the SNP). The SNP are living in fantasy land as per usual. They will be lucky to run three patrol vessels..There is no appetite in Scotland for independence whatever the polls… Read more »

Steve
Steve
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Shaw

Consider our national security and its primary interest is our main land, i would rather the subs based a few hundred miles north of the border in a crisis than having them a few thousand in the US.

Steve
Steve
1 year ago

Take out the whole nationality mentality and emotions from the story and it actually makes a lot of sense. If Scotland decided to go independent, this could be a good solution for both sides, at least for a period.

I doubt the Royal Navy would want to share their nuke missile base with other NATO members though as it would compromise the secrecy around the place, but if its that or not having a base it is probably an acceptable compromise.

Richard Cooper
Richard Cooper
1 year ago

“Sovereign Base Area” as in Cyprus. The Westminster parliament will do the dictating here, and the impecunious Scots will have to put up with receiving most of the Faslane wage bill. If we leave Faslane, that idiot Sturgeon will threaten to offer it to the Russians. In that case, Scottish independence might be very short-lived.

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
1 year ago

Where does one begin? The S.N.P. has tried and failed to get Independence. The S.N.P. is not Scotland. The Scots are no more pro-C.N.D. than the rest of the U.K. Iceland was ‘occupied’ by Great Britain in 1940. It’s facilities were handed over to the U.S.A. as a price for Lease Lend in 1942. Iceland’s ‘boom’ ended in a catastrophic financial disaster. Am I the only person around here who reads the press? How does one answer anyone who simultaneously holds the view that nuclear weapons are morally repugnant but sees a chance to make cash on the back of… Read more »

Expat
Expat
1 year ago

So Scotland leaves the UK and part of the SNP argument to win over the Scottish vote is they don’t want nukes on their soil. Scotland then joins the EU, with no veto They will have to join on the EU’s terms. Could then end up participating in the EU army, which could commit them to having nukes on their soil if the EU commanders dictated that in times of crisis it was necessary for the defence of Europe. Not an unlikely scenario that could emerge imo. The irony of SNPs vision of independence.

Pacman27
Pacman27
1 year ago

I have a bit of an issue with this article

To float the idea that Scotland could earn money is pretty bad. What should happen is Scotland needs to fund its replacement, just like the UK has to pay its commitments to the EU

andyreeves
andyreeves
1 year ago

close it down, yurn the site into a giant car park

Mike
Mike
1 year ago

The issue has nothing to do with moving from Faslane to Falmouth (Non starter). Yes Faslane gives access to deep water before they are out of the loch. The issue is the storage of the missiles. There is a viable alternative site, its just not in the UK !!!. The leasing of Faslane to NATO is laughable, nobody would want it, it serves no purpose other than for in the case of scotland leaving the UK, British Submarines basing from there – why would they, scotland has decided to go it alone with its huge industry of whiskey and shortbread.… Read more »