The SNP have said many times that they will be full members of NATO and they will consequently need a much smaller military than the UK.
Scottish Independence Defence Policy and NATO Membership
The Scottish Government and SNP have clearly stated their opposition to nuclear weapons being based in Scotland. The UK government is arguing that Scotland may not get full NATO membership if Scotland continues with it’s defence policy to ban nuclear submarines.
Currently there is a military nuclear submarine force based at Faslane (see right) on the River Clyde (25 miles west of Glasgow) — the largest city in Scotland. The SNP have requested that this be removed from Scotland and if they win the Scottish independence referendum they will close the base.
The problem with that stance for the UK government is that they have no alternative nuclear base in England. The obvious naval choice for a nuclear base would be Portsmouth on the English Channel. However that option was ruled out some years ago as in the event of any nuclear release it is too close to London and there would be too many casualties.
That argument not being discussed by the UK government here is what will happen if that nuclear explosion at Faslane. It is likely to kill everyone in Glasgow and right across the central belt to include Edinburgh. Is it fair to see half the population of Scotland being wiped out simply to protect Londoners?
The UK government have repeatedly stated that NATO will not allow Scotland to be a member as NATO is a nuclear based force. However they have not allowed members of the Scottish Government the opportunity to discuss defence policies with NATO. How will Scotland be able to develop a workable defence policy for our nation in a complete vacuum unable to even talk directly to potential defence partners?
Maybe the real issue for the UK government is without Scotland would they still have the same influence and power when it has so much less manpower in its armed forces? There will also be challenges as to the UK retaining it’s permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. What do you think? Let us know below.