MOD Data Reveals Further Decline In Scotland's Defence Footprint


The SNP have questioned the UK Government’s commitment to reversing
the decline in Scotland’s defence footprint after parliamentary
questions revealed an embarrassing level of conventional equipment
being maintained in Scotland – despite Scottish taxpayers contributing
more than £3billion a year to the defence budget.

While Scotland’s independent northern European neighbours boast a
range of military assets and capabilities – the MoD has left Scotland
with no maritime patrol aircraft, no frigates, no conventional
ocean-going patrol vessels, no amphibious landing craft, and derisory
levels of deployable Army vehicles or artillery.

The revelations come after disproportionate MOD cuts to bases and
manpower in Scotland, including the end of flying operations from two
out of three airbases and the planned withdrawal of the Royal Marines
from Scotland.  Despite important assets such as North Sea oil
infrastructure the UK will have no amphibious capable troops or
Special Forces based in Scotland.

Commenting, SNP Westminster leader and Defence spokesperson Angus
Robertson said:

“The lack of commitment to Scotland by the UK Ministry of Defence is
clear for all to see from this shocking data.

At a time when Scotland has already been massively short-changed on
defence spending, with more than 10,500 recent defence job losses and
a massive £5.6 billion underspend, the decline in Scotland’s defence
footprint is continuing despite the fact that Scottish taxpayers are
contributing more than £3billion a year in taxes to the defence
budget.

While our independent northern European neighbours boast a range of
military assets and capabilities – the MoD has left Scotland with no
maritime patrol aircraft, no frigates, no conventional ocean-going
patrol vessels, no amphibious landing craft, and derisory levels of
deployable Army vehicles or artillery.

In reality the situation is worse than reported in these official
figures, given the planned withdrawal of the RAF from Leuchars and
Kinloss. It is little wonder the MoD has been refusing to provide
regional defence data, because the facts are a total embarrassment.

The UK is making really bad defence decisions for Scotland that leave
huge capability gaps. We should make better defence decisions
ourselves in Scotland – we only need to look to our northern European
neighbours of comparable size all of whom maintain appropriate
military capabilities including fast jets, ocean going vessels and
highly trained personnel.”

Copyright © Angus MacDonald MSP 2017

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