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SNP defence U-turn "threat to Scotland"

January 22, 2012 10:48 AM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Sir Menzies Campbell MP has questioned at what point Alex Salmond's vision for the scope and scale of an independent Scotland's Armed Forces became established SNP policy.

Sir Menzies Campbell MPSir Menzies Campbell MPHis calls come after the SNP's own Defence spokesperson Angus Robertson said last year, that one air base would be "totally unacceptable" in Scotland, and the First Minister presented himself as a defender of communities faced with the closure of their local military base.

However the SNP's own plans are now significantly below the proposals contained in the Defence Review which the First Minister challenged vehemently at the time as being a bad deal for Scotland.

Commenting Sir Menzies said:

"It is legitimate to question at what point Alex Salmond's vision for the scope and scale of an independent Scotland's Armed Forces became established SNP policy.

"Last year his defence spokesman described the possibility of Scotland having only one air base as unacceptable and the First Minister presented himself as the defender of those communities faced with the closure of their local military base. Now the SNP would have the Scottish people believe that a defence force made up of one air base, one naval base and one multi-role brigade would be capable of defending Scotland's territory, of enforcing its foreign policy abroad and of protecting its citizens from acts of aggression.

"Alex Salmond's vision of Scotland's defence is significantly below the proposals contained in the Defence Review which he challenged vehemently at the time as being a bad deal for Scotland. The SNP would reduce Scotland's armed forces to a militia in all but name and with it put an end to a long and proud military history.

"The defence of the realm and its people is the most fundamental responsibility of any government and its leader. The SNP's attitude to this responsibility is not laughable, its frightening. If this is a precursor of the way the SNP will approach other matters of national security the Scottish people should be left in no doubt of the risks inherent in Salmond's Scotland."