RUSI Expert Comments on Ministry of Defence's Scotland paper

Scottish and UK FlagsToday the Ministry of Defence has published a paper highlighting how the UK and Scotland can benefit from an integrated approach to defence.

Commenting on the paper, Professor Malcolm Chalmers, RUSI’s Research Director, on the MOD’s New Scotland analysis paper on Defence:

"No one can predict exactly what the defence consequences of Scotland's independence would be for Scotland or for the UK. So this MoD paper is right to focus on the defence benefits that the Union brings to Scotland, and to challenge the Scottish Government to show that these benefits could be maintained in the event of independence. It will raise the bar that the Scottish Government’s White Paper, due in November, has to meet. "We know what the defence implications of staying in the Union are: continuation of the status quo. But a vote for independence would lead to a whole range of new defence uncertainties that post-referendum negotiators would have to resolve. Most importantly, if the Scottish Government maintains its position that Trident must leave Scotland before a safe and secure alternative base can be built in England or Wales, this could poison defence relations more generally between the two states, and with the rest of NATO. The best scenario, Even if this was resolved, however, Scotland would remain highly dependent on the rest of the UK to support its defence capability for many years."


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