A former Royal Navy Admiral has claimed that the membership of an independent Scotland in NATO could be “rendered impossible” if it “jeopardises a vital element of Alliance security”.

The statement was made in a paper written by John Gower for the European Leadership Network.

The author of the paper, Rear Admiral John Gower CB OBE, served, until his retirement in Dec 2014, as Assistant Chief of Defence Staff (Nuclear & Chemical, Biological) in the UK MoD. Previously, he had spent nearly half his 36-year military career at sea in ships and submarines culminating in the sequential command of two globally deployed submarines.

He then spent 17 years ashore, mostly in the MoD in London, increasingly specialising in UK nuclear weapon and counter-CBRN policy but also with time in Washington DC as the
Assistant Naval Attaché and twice on the staff of the UK Defence Academy. He had a key leadership role in the UK contribution to the international activity between 2011 and 2014 to counter the threat of Syria’s CW programme, culminating in the successful removal and destruction of Assad’s UN-declared stocks. With very close ties to his US and French counterparts, he represented the UK in senior relevant NATO committees for the last 6 years of his career.

Discussing the removal of Trident from Scotland should the UK leave, Gower said:

“NATO must also clarify that, should an independent Scotland adopt policies that
seriously jeopardise or remove a nuclear deterrent which provides a vital element
of Alliance security, this would at the very least present a major obstacle to, and
could very well render impossible, NATO membership for a future independent
Scotland.”

The report also suggests that should Scotland leave the UK, Trident could be relocated overseas or even scrapped entirely.

Trident could be moved overseas if Scotland leaves UK

Discussing an independent Scotland and NATO, the report says:

“Arguably, on the face of it, the exit of the UK from the European Union should not
perturb the status of the UK’s nuclear deterrent one iota. An acrimonious dispute, however, between successive UK Prime Ministers and Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, about a second referendum for Scottish independence have rumbled on since
2016. This dispute has been put into stark focus by the mission of current Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, to ‘save the Union’, as outlined in his late January 2021 tour of Scotland.

At the same time, there is renewed scrutiny on the implications of possible secession for the UK’s nuclear deterrent, based in Scotland. This originally formed part of the campaigns at the last independence referendum in 2014. The calls for a second referendum, which petered out after the EU vote in 2016 are once again strident. Whatever the effect of the breakaway Alba party, led by Alex Salmond, its formation on this single issue will maintain their prominence. The implications of the possible secession were brought into sharper relief by the hardening of NATO stance following Russia’s annexation of the Crimea in 2014, the continued fomenting of instability on NATO’s
eastern flank, and Russia’s conduct throughout the Trump presidency.

NATO’s position on Russia has hardened year-on-year since Crimea with the security salience of its nuclear deterrence significantly increasing since the rosy optimism of
the Strategic Concept of 2010 and the subsequent Deterrence and Defence Posture Review (DDPR). There is a stark difference in opinion between Westminster and Holyrood on the necessity, in the current world security climate, of existential nuclear deterrence. The SNP is implacably and repeatedly against nuclear weapons yet has declared intent to seek NATO membership once independent. The March 2021 announcements in the UK’s Integrated Review, that the UK will reverse its previous policy of drawing down its nuclear stockpile to 180 warheads by instead setting a new, and higher even than 2010, stockpile ceiling of 260 has widened the gulf between the SNP’s and the UK’s policies.”

Gower explores these points later in the paper.

“NATO remains an Alliance with its nuclear deterrent at the core of its security strategy and the largely unspoken, until recently, nuclear adversary upon whom that deterrent focussed was Russia. Following the annexation of the Crimea by Russia and its continued
fomenting of instability on NATO’s eastern flank, NATO rhetoric and physical actions towards Russia have hardened. Both the Warsaw Summit communique in 2016 and the
Brussels summit in 2018 used strong language – the hardest language for decades – in condemnation of Russian activities. Following the Warsaw declaration, NATO deployed
ground forces to its eastern flank nations (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Poland) under its Enhanced Forward Presence programme and increased its deterrence rhetoric.

Yet a few short years ago, NATO’s collective position on Russia was more conciliatory and was based on a (clearly erroneous in hindsight) perception that the future could be managed through an improving partnership. In that climate, a reduction in NATO nuclear capacity, however achieved, might perhaps have been met with a more forgiving and certainly less unanimous NATO response. But that is far less likely now.

The SNP’s implacably anti-nuclear weapon stance was most recently reaffirmed in their stated intent to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons if independence is gained.

Today, for an independent Scotland, joining the nuclear alliance NATO on a political non-nuclear platform would be at best exceedingly difficult. Joining as the country which had either effectively severely destabilised or incapacitated the UK deterrent should be even more challenging.

For the foreseeable future, NATO is unlikely to view such a loss with the same potential equanimity it might have done a decade ago. Even if it managed to swallow the security loss that the cessation of, or major disruption to, the UK nuclear deterrent would represent, it would be slow to forgive that it was by force majeure and unable therefore to extract nuclear security gains from equivalent Russian concessions. The Secretary-General should build on his 2017 warning that Scotland should not assume NATO entry, with a clear message that an anti-nuclear stance with negative effects on the Alliance would likely result in the refusal of an application to join. It is incumbent upon the Secretary-General to make this abundantly clear to the UK, and Scottish voters in particular, in advance of any future referendum.”

You can read the report here.

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Billythefish
Billythefish
1 month ago

NATO of course would welcome Scotland if it ever became ”independent”.

The RUK would simply re-base the nuclear capability elsewhere in the UK – likely milford haven or falmouth.

Tim
Tim
1 month ago
Reply to  Billythefish

I have to ask, did you even read the article prior to commenting? It states explicitly that the alliance (NATO) would look most unfavourably at a Scottish application if they were to unilaterally require the removal of the British nuclear deterrent, given its strategic implications for the alliance as a whole.

So no, NATO would not necessarily welcome an independent Scotland into the alliance and would in fact be likely to refuse the request.

Farouk
Farouk
1 month ago

I’ve always harboured this suspicion that Scotlandistan would hire out Faslane to the likes of the Russians or Iran for pure cash.

Last edited 1 month ago by Farouk
Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 month ago
Reply to  Farouk

We could do a Russia in Crimea and annex it!

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
1 month ago
Reply to  Farouk

Getting one over on the English would be far more appealing to the Nationalists than any amount of cash.

Craig Neilson
Craig Neilson
1 month ago
Reply to  Farouk

What a strange thing to believe. Either a rather poor attempt at a troll or a deepseated misunderstanding of Scottish nationalism. Is there anything in either the SNP or the Alba Party’s rhetoric that suggests a desire to draw closer to either Russia or Iran?
And where on earth does “Scotlandistan” come from? “istan” is a Persian derived word for “land”. I know that Persian Empire was far-flung but who knew it reached Alba!

Mark B
Mark B
1 month ago

Difficult to see how the UK could permit a situation whereby NATO forces were not able to repel hostile forces wherever they might come ashore on these islands

If in years to come the Scots consider again their independence they need to acknowledge that there will be responsibilities that go with that which must as a minimum help guarantee security in these islands in the centuries to come.

Nscnick
Nscnick
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

Not sure of your thinking here, the situation is no different to Northern Ireland, or indeed any of the adjacent Scandinavian States. The only difference is that Scotland exosts on the same land mass as England and Wales. So any attack on rUK or Scotland is in all our interests to be prepared for. Scottish Independence does not mean trying to isolate, any more than independence from EU is supposed to achieve that end.

Mark B
Mark B
1 month ago
Reply to  Nscnick

Scotland is indeed on the same land mass which has kept us just out of the grasp of invading armies for a thousand years. That must remain.

The UK military plus NATO allies would repel any attempt by our enemies to obtain a foothold on any of these islands including the ROI.

It is not unreasonable for the UK to insist an independent Scotland contributing a force equal to or exceeding that necessary to defend it’s boarders, 2% of GDP etc. etc. in perpetuity (unlike the ROI).

CAM
CAM
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

That must remain and we must remain
💪🏻🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🇬🇧💪🏻

George in Kent
George in Kent
1 month ago

Hi folks hope all is well.
Difficult to see how an independent Scotland could be a member of NATO as the SNP have already stated that they will not fund 2% of GDP for defence.
I would imagine an independent Scotland would be the same as the Republic of Ireland, relying on others to defend it.
Cheers,
George

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 month ago

If we had to move, what option would be best?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-28009977

Mark B
Mark B
1 month ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Staying put. I think that Faslane and associated military bases would need to remain part of the UK in perpetuity. If the SNP had a choice between that and no independence I suspect it would not be a deal breaker.

Rogbob
Rogbob
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

But we cannot insist upon that so if no deal is found then yes we’d have to go, subject an absolute safety case, which would also see the deterrent mothballed in effect.

The deal is likely to be a form of SBA in return for providing key capabilities (air defence, use of training schools and so on).

The SNP would take independence at any price – the only thing left to haggle about is the actual price.

Mark B
Mark B
1 month ago
Reply to  Rogbob

On the contrary Rogbob we can insist on that. Indeed it would be advisable. Prior to referendum (unlike Brexit) the UK should set out the terms for leaving so that everyone knows what they are going to get. Not only defence, trade, debt share, etc. then everyone can decide.

Scotland cannot leave without an act of parliament in Westminster.

This is partly why I cannot see any UK prime minister going down that path anytime soon. It is suicide for all the nations. Cameron might have done it but I bet he wishes he hadn’t.

Rogbob
Rogbob
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

No we cant, we really cant as a democratic state with compliance to the rule of law.

We simply do not have any moral or legal basis to insist we keep part of a territory that wishes to become independent no matter how much we want to. Nor can we dictate the terms of it becoming independent. That has been shown again and again.

It’s one reason why there was no such document last time, nor in the 70s, nor with Brexit. The other reason of course is that to win, the UK cannot afford politically to indulge the idea.

Mark B
Mark B
1 month ago
Reply to  Rogbob

Rogbob, you are perhaps confusing de-colonisation with splitting a a group of democratic countries which have for hundreds of years shared and shaped a parliament and a democratic system which has benefited all sides. The Scots will get their share of the national debt and all the other pros and cons. Why should they not? Anyone who says otherwise has a problem with the truth. You cannot just have parts a a Country break away. If my Parish Council just decided to break away and declare UDI where would we be? You need to see what happened to Catelonia. This… Read more »

Rogbob
Rogbob
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

“Get a grip” You first perhaps? Or perhaps take your insult and shove it somewhere? You are confusing what you want to happen with what is likely to happen, a common error. An SBA type deal (more likely a lease and more like Hong Kong with a fixed endpoint rather than Cyprus) is very likely given how it solves the problem by kicking it down the road and the price for it will be acceptable. But thinking the UK can (and should) dictate is absurd. The UK is not Catalonia, it has nothing preventing Scotland doing this on the same… Read more »

Mark B
Mark B
1 month ago
Reply to  Rogbob

Do you mean the UK is not Spain and Scotland is not Catalonia? The loss of Catalonia would mean the break up of Spain and the Spanish won’t allow it. If the UK breaks up eventually I suspect the impetus will come from the English.

Rogbob
Rogbob
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

If the UK breaks up it seems pretty clear the impetus is going to come from Scotland!!

Since neither Wales nor NI are kingdoms, the UK ceases as a sensible name if Scotland does go.

Spain has a written constitution that fundamentally denies Catalonia the right to secede. The UK has no such thing and given the position on NI, Gib, Falklands that self determination trumps all, if they vote for it, it happens – just as with Brexit.

Mark B
Mark B
1 month ago
Reply to  Rogbob

The is no mechanism within the British constitution to release sovereignty other than by primary legislation at Westminster. There never has been and I doubt there ever will be. The only way forward for the Scots is to convince the UK Parliament it is a good idea. Most MPs won’t support anything which might come back to bite them. Cameron lost his job last time. Doubt there will be any enthusiasts for trying any further referendums and I also doubt that Nicola will want to swap Holyrood for Holloway. The odd thing from my perspective is that independence is achievable… Read more »

Rogbob
Rogbob
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

The key point is there is nothing in writing that says this can’t be done. Hence why it was so recently. As senior Tories have already admitted, you simply cannot keep saying no given the numbers on the ground. That is a political and moral reality. As for Holloway, Sturgeon will bluff about going to or over the brink, but she has to do this legitimately to carry enough Scots with her so that constrains her and I am convinced she would never go that far as it would be self defeating. But so is the UK constrained – we… Read more »

Mark B
Mark B
1 month ago
Reply to  Rogbob

Oh yes in the UK a single line act of parliament is all that is required in theory (although in practice it would be quite complicated). In reality will the Labour party go into the next election with that in it’s manifesto and expect to win? Is there a likely replacement conservative leader who would be foolhardy enough to open that can of worms again? The issue that you have on the ground is that even if you had a leadership in the UK that really wanted to do it they wouldn’t have the guts or the parliamentary / public… Read more »

Rogbob
Rogbob
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

I think the reality is the SNP are rampant and have the numbers – its not about manifestos and party leaders all thinking what might happen in the future, its what’s happening on the ground now. As above, Tories have already admitted they are on increasingly weak ground refusing a referendum when the Scottish Govt requests it. Its a moral reality – when a clear majority asks for something, as with Brexit, on what moral basis can it be refused? Boris has been a pragmatist (read adaptable read spineless self centred xxxx) so may do anything if he sees it… Read more »

Mark B
Mark B
1 month ago
Reply to  Rogbob

We will see. Personally I think that the conservatives should not stand for election to the Scottish parliament. A new party or parties should be formed standing on local issues. I suspect that a proportion of the new interest in the SNP has revolved around them actually discussing issues other than independence. There should be multiple viewpoints available. The British constitution stands head and shoulders above any other type of constitution. It appears to bend and adapt. It certainly has stood the test of time. The American constitution is still in the wild west and the EU gives the same… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

Sovereign Base areas…pretty much as the UK has done in Cyprus

Mark B
Mark B
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Exactly Gunbuster. Resolves a lot of problems for all sides. You might also establish treaties which would bind all parties to the relationship for all time.

Scotland is a strategic location for NATO not just the UK. The Scots would upset a lot of nations if they don’t play ball

Darren hall
Darren hall
1 month ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

An “independent” nuclear force could not be based in another country, regardless how close they are, geographically or politically. Any form of 2fallout” could render the force impotent over night.
The option should (and most likely is) be look for within the UK.
Most likely in England, in case Wales or Northern Irelands decide to follow Scotland out of Union…

Nscnick
Nscnick
1 month ago

Just because someone is or has been an Admiral does not mean that everything they say is factually correct or even sensible! Most members of NATO do not nuclear possess nuclear weapoins already. Trident and its successors can easily be relocated elsewhere in rUK. There may well be a cost and timescale but that does not preclude any relocation. Political opinion, which is what seems to have been made is one thing and obviously stated as a ‘preferred’ choice. The military are supposed to be apolitical! And as far as defence (note not attack) is concerned Scotland has always punched… Read more »

Andy P
Andy P
1 month ago
Reply to  Nscnick

Largely how I see it too Nscnick. From reading the article, the only bit I’m not to sure about is the ‘intent’ to sign this non nuclear treaty and what that would actually entail. As you say, there are plenty countries that are non nuke in NATO, a majority in fact, that logic doesn’t stack up for me as a reason for an indy Scotland not be allowed into NATO. I’d imagine Scotland not spending 2% of GDP would be a likelier reason for an indy Scotland to be black balled. Having said that, I could see a ‘fudge’ because… Read more »

expat
expat
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy P

How many NATO countries won’t allow US nukes or nuclear capable assets on their soil is a more important question. A US B1 nuclear capable bomber was refuelled out of a Scottish base just a week or so ago.

Rogbob
Rogbob
1 month ago
Reply to  Nscnick

Fully agreed – this is purely political posturing to try and knock the indy cause which seems rampant. It is complete gibberish that NATO would turn down Scotland given its legacy, likely 5-10 year transition from full UK forces (perfect for Scottish ones to be integrated up in parallel) and its geographic position.

I doubt most of NATO would even be interested in the nuke/trident problem and everyone would see it as “rUk’s problem” be it a SBA agreement or relocation or a mix of the two (SBA for 20 years during which relocation is pre’p’d for).

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
1 month ago
Reply to  Rogbob

That’s a bit of an assumption that “I doubt most of NATO would even be interested in the nuke/trident problem”. As long as we’re assuming, I’d assume that most if not all the Eastern European countries care quite a lot about having a European nuclear umbrella, especially the Baltics. Particularly if their viewpoint is that Ukraine might not be in its current predicament vis-à-vis Russia had it retained its nuclear weapons. We also shouldn’t forget that B61 nuclear bombs are stored in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Turkey under the nuclear sharing policy, so that’s another batch of countries who… Read more »

Rogbob
Rogbob
1 month ago

I dont think it is – their nuclear umbrella comes from the US as do all of those bombs. They rightly look to the US as their principal ally, not Westeen Europeans who as history proves would throw them under a bus in a heartbeat and who are in fact in Russia’s energy pockets leaving all the “anti Russia” running to the US and themselves. In terms of Scottish independence, they’ve enough issues without wading into what is essentially a domestic UK problem. I’d expect pretty much all nations to steer as far clear of this issue as they can… Read more »

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
1 month ago
Reply to  Rogbob

Their nuclear umbrella comes from US, UK and France. They might reasonably suppose that a concerted disinformation campaign waged in the US could keep a future US leader on the sidelines of a European conflict, in a very similar fashion to WWI and WWII. Such attempts might also be made in the UK and France, but the threat would be much closer and more real for us than it might be perceived to be for the US populace, so less likely to succeed. Recent history provides a very clear demonstration of how civilian populations can be influenced adversely. What history… Read more »

expat
expat
1 month ago
Reply to  Nscnick

But most NATO countries will allow US to base nukes and nuclear capable bombers on their soil, US would insist this is a prerequisite to joining without doubt. So the whole nuke argument is irrelevant if Scotland see’s itself as a NATO member. The first question the SNP has to answer is does it want an independent Scotland to be in NATO, if yes the nukes will be there, either US controlled or UK controlled, Scotland can take its pick. Personally the SNP shouldn’t be making nukes a centre piece of any independence debate unless they’re clear they will not… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 month ago
Reply to  Nscnick

 “Scotland has always punched above its weight in the UK armed forces and would therefore be capable of looking after its own interests” But who would join the embryonic Scottish Forces? A hugley reduced manpower pool with a greatly reduced chance of promotion over your period of service compared to being south of the wall. No chance of Foreign postings or deployments out of area unless on a UN Peacekeeping mission…and that would be doubtful. Scotland based personnel already pay more tax than those in the south . I say Scotland based and not Scottish because it doesnt matter if… Read more »

Callum
Callum
1 month ago
Reply to  Nscnick

Trident and its successors can easily be relocated elsewhere in rUK. There may well be a cost and timescale but that does not preclude any relocation “Easily” is definitely not the right word, and if you’re taking the view that its just a matter of time and money, then we can “easily” do a lot of things that are currently beyond us. Political opinion, which is what seems to have been made is one thing and obviously stated as a ‘preferred’ choice. The military are supposed to be apolitical! The only bit of opinion is NATO should make clear that… Read more »

Nscnick
Nscnick
1 month ago
Reply to  Callum

Ministry of Defence, used to be the War Department which is a more appropriate designation. Attack means initiating an armed operation, at best in defence terms means ‘getting in first’. The only way we can defend at the moment as the size of the armed forces now precludes responding to an attack on us. Beafring in mind that Britain is probably the most warlike country in the world in terms of state on state. Scotland punches above its weight, has nothgin to do with being part of Uk. You could just as easily argue that Europe punches above its weight… Read more »

Callum
Callum
1 month ago
Reply to  Nscnick

Good god, the delusion. Right, lets clear this up.  the numbers of service people have a disproportionate number of Scots So, the only stats on this are number of recruits from recruiting offices in Scotland, not actual proportions of Scots, with the most recent figure from 2012. From that, the averages come out as 7.6% RAF, 9.5% Army, and 7.7% RN. For comparison, the Scottish population was 8.4% of the UK population. So people recruited in Scotland are SLIGHTLY over represented in the army, and underrepresented in the other branches. Not really punching above its weight there, is it? I’m… Read more »

Nscnick
Nscnick
1 month ago
Reply to  Callum

Scotland pays taxes, the same as everyone else. We already contributue our fair share, and that would be maintained. So in fact no change, and we would contribute to joint procurements and activities as we do now. And we occupy a strategic location like Iceland and Norway.

Nscnick
Nscnick
1 month ago
Reply to  Callum

Easily in relation to building a new facility elsewhere. Jobs for the people wherever that may be. And Scotland pays taxes like everybody so has already contributed to the facilities. They are not charitable gifts from a benign Westminster!

Order of the Ditch
Order of the Ditch
1 month ago

In the event of a Yes vote rUK will be the successor state to the UK and retain all memberships and legal opportunities. We should take the opportunity to veto any attempts by Scotland to join NATO.
As someone who lives in Scotland but will flee to England in the event of a Yes vote the Scots cannot have their cake and eat it following separation.

Cripes
Cripes
1 month ago

The UK could not veto Scotland joining NATO, there would be no support for that among the other 28 allies. The admiral is making an odd, anglo-centric case here for why an independent Scotland should adjust its policies to suit RUK. There are many non-nuclear NATO nations and political parties therein opposed to nuclear weapons. Scotland would undoubtedly welcomed as a NATO member and an EU one too. As a Scot and a Unionist, I feel that this constant bashing on the SNP by English politicians, tabloids and some in the defence community is counter-productive. The SNP draws support from… Read more »

Andy P
Andy P
1 month ago

I wouldn’t wait mate, I can only see house prices going one way if I dependence happens, even in Embra!

Rogbob
Rogbob
1 month ago

On the contrary, we should not behave like the EU has, and should look for the closest possible relationship.

Vetoing Scotland would look, and be, petty spitefulness of the very worst order. It would also bite us as Scotland in the NATO tent is a fk ton easier and better for our interests than outside it.

Nscnick
Nscnick
1 month ago

Goodbye! Not sure what you mean by cake and eating it. Getting control of all our tax revenue is a pretty big argument in favour! Especially when spending priorities in an Independent Scotland would be set up to suit us, and not just at the behest of the cronyist self interested oligarchs in Westminster.

Joe16
Joe16
1 month ago

I would be surprised that a non-nuclear Scotland would be barred from NATO punitively due to making the deployment of the UK’s nuclear deterrent more complicated. However, I believe that Scotland’s non-nuclear stance goes beyond just getting rid of Faslane as the home of the UK’s deterrent, but also prohibiting other nuclear vessels from visiting (like New Zealand does). That removes it as a base that the USN fleet can use as a stop-over and suchlike. Again, I don’t think that would necessarily cause indyScotland to be barred from NATO. But I’ve seen a lot of talk about Faslane in… Read more »

Expat
Expat
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe16

Every NATO state except France is member if NATOs Nuclear planning group. France have their own nukes How can the SNP be pro Nuclear disarmament and then join NATO and be part of a Nuclear planning group, just doesn’t reconcile.

Nscnick
Nscnick
1 month ago
Reply to  Expat

That has nothing to do with it. All other states are pro nuclear disarmament as is UK!

Nscnick
Nscnick
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe16

A statement that you don’t see continued use of Faslane in an independent Scotland, destroys your interesting article. In terms of employment and strategic location it would not change, perhaps change its usage pattern but that is all. But this as someone else has said is putting the cart before the horse. During pre decision discussions all sorts of options and consequences are aired. They don’t all come to fruition. Brexit is a case in point, pragmatism eventually rules and a mutual outcome is achieved.

Joe16
Joe16
1 month ago
Reply to  Nscnick

I’m not quite sure whether I understand you correctly, but my point is that Faslane is a sub base, surface vessels don’t use it, and the facilities there are centred around submarines. It is the SNP’s stated intent to bar nuclear powered vessels from using Scottish ports (i.e. Faslane) in the event of an indy vote, and so Faslane loses its purpose as none of the NATO nations operate a fleet of non-nuclear submarines. As you say, this stance may be pragamatically changed, in which case it may well keep some of its role. But the difference between being a… Read more »

Nscnick
Nscnick
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe16

If you read the proposals, Faslane’s role certainly would change from being a submarine base. It wouldn’t disappear but would gain a different strategc role in an independant Scotland. A naval base, main HQ, etc. Too many people think in black and white terms.

pkcasimir
pkcasimir
1 month ago

Any admission of an independent Scotland would require consensus of all member states. There is no vote on admission. Given Scotland’s anti-nuclear stance and the anti-Americanism of the SNP it is difficult to envision the United States supporting Scotland’s admission. Scotland is just not that important strategically to the United States. Indeed, what would the UK’s stance be on Scotland’s admission? It is difficult to see admission if the UK opposes it.

Nscnick
Nscnick
1 month ago
Reply to  pkcasimir

So if they successor states want to exclude Scotland then fine. They won’t as it isn’t in their interests to do so. Why should we stay tied to the appalling idiots running the country from Westminster and have no say on our future?

pkcasimir
pkcasimir
1 month ago
Reply to  Nscnick

An independent Scotland will very quickly discover that it is of little importance on the international stage and no one will give a damn what happens to it. It has no strategic materials to export as its oil fields become depleted and just too expensive to compete with OPEC and non-OPEC nations. Beyond that it only has its over-expensive whiskey and woolen goods. Minnows in the world of exports. Absent the subsidy it receives from the rest of the UK, it will become what it was in 1700 after the failure of the Darien scheme – a bankrupt, wind-swept nation… Read more »

Nscnick
Nscnick
1 month ago
Reply to  pkcasimir

You need to do some research. Scotland does not receive any subsidy. We only get to spend around half the tax revenue we generate and we would get after independence all of it! What you term subisyd is in fact giving us back some of our taxes! UK is as depdnant in oil as much as Scotland, and in any event we are (would not be) dependant on it. Don’t believe the limited propaganda you are being fed. There are plenty of other similar sized nations around the world that manage very ncely thank you.

pkcasimir
pkcasimir
1 month ago
Reply to  Nscnick

I have done my research.
chokka blog: How Much of Scotland’s Tax Revenue Does Westminster Keep?
The UK can get oil cheaper from the US than it can from Scotland should Scotland stop oil exports to it. Scotland cannot manage financially if it is independent. That’s the view of non-Scots economists. Any contrary view is just delusional.

Lordtemplar
Lordtemplar
1 month ago

NATO membership does not require to have a nuclear arsenal. Furthermore Scoltland independence is not on the cards today.

Nscnick
Nscnick
1 month ago
Reply to  Lordtemplar

Correct. Not today! That is up to Scotland and not for anyone else to interfere in.

Fedaykin
Fedaykin
1 month ago

Frankly a pretty nonsensical debate about an issue which is way down the line if Scotland does go for Independence. Arguably this a case of putting the cart before the horses. Considering Iceland is a member of NATO and the only military branches they have are the ‘Icelandic Coastguard’ and the peace keeping ‘Icelandic Crisis Response Unit’ the possibility of Scottish NATO membership is not an insurmountable issue. Also as I have pointed out before the scale of any Scottish Military will be about the same as Iceland on day one of independence anyway and subject to significant public and… Read more »

Expat
Expat
1 month ago
Reply to  Fedaykin

But isn’t the point that SNP make claims like we can just rejoin NATO to support their independence drive? But the reality is they don’t have cooking clue if they can join or not. For me the SNPs disarmament position puts them on shakey ground. All states except France belong to NATOs Nuclear Planning Group. So members do have to support the deployment of nukes not necessarily to there own soil. That doesn’t really reconcile with SNPs nuclear disarmament. I’d also bet Iceland has no issue with US nuclear capable assets such as bombers using Icelands bases or airspace. Kinda… Read more »

pkcasimir
pkcasimir
1 month ago
Reply to  Expat
David Flandry
David Flandry
1 month ago

If Scotland ever opted for so-called independence, every single UK military force and establishment should be withdrawn, and not a single pound should be spent in Scotland by the UK.

Nscnick
Nscnick
1 month ago
Reply to  David Flandry

If Scotland were independent then yes rUK would not be ‘getting’ any money from them!!! Not sure what your point really is. Scotland does not live off charity, which some people try to give the impression of. We pay taxes too. So again, what point are you making? And what is ‘so-called independence’? Anything that we have contributed to would be ours as a proportion, just as in the case of a divorce settlement. UK already spends lots of money, not just defence related, in other countries by agreed arrangement for th provision of goods or services. Again what is… Read more »