SNP LAUNCH SAVE THE ARGYLL BATTALION CAMPAIG
Friday, 06 July 2012 14:02
Local MSP Angus MacDonald has called for the people across Falkirk District to unite to save the Argyll Battalion from the Tory axe.
Confirmation of further disproportionate cuts to Scotland’s defence footprint have been condemned by the SNP.
In a statement to parliament the Defence Secretary confirmed that:
- Cuts to the Royal Regiment of Scotland will leave Scotland with smaller infantry than that of the Irish Republic.
- The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 5th Battalion, is to be reduced to a Public Duties Company guarding Edinburgh Castle – with its members being drawn from the other RRS units on a rotating basis.
- Tories fail to honour promise to restore Scotland’s six infantry regiments.
Falkirk East MSP Mr MacDonald said:
“Having already cut military personnel numbers in Scotland by 27% over recent years, compared to 11 per cent across the UK as a whole, these further cuts again hit Scotland disproportionately.
“While the retention of cap badges is welcome, cuts to capabilities leave Scotland with a smaller infantry than that of the Irish Republic.
“We have had smoke and mirrors from the Defence Secretary and we must have more detail on, for example, what the established strength of the Royal Regiment of Scotland will be under these plans. And, given his suggestion that the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders will be made up of personnel from other battalions, whether this means the unit is effectively being disbanded.
“With the Tories having broken their promises to restore Scotland’s six infantry regiments it is clear that nobody can trust a word Westminster say on defence.
“At a time when Westminster politicians are busy scaremongering over Scotland’s defence prospects, decisions like this show exactly why Scotland would be better off making defence decisions ourselves and not leaving it to London.
“The great irony of this is that in an Independent Scotland there would be a need for such regiments, operating at much greater strength and as a key part of a conventional defence strategy.
“The horrendous cost of a totally unnecessary and immoral nuclear deterrent is at least in part the reason for further army cuts of this nature
“The Westminster anti-independence parties’ attack on independence is often focussed on defence issues but in reality the destruction to almost nothing of the armed services in Scotland is happening because these decisions are still being made by their parties at Westminster.
“Our communities must unite to fight against allowing this battalion falling victim to the cruel Tory axe.”