An SNP MP says it is “frankly absurd” to suggest an independent Scotland would be incapable of defending itself, and says “defence is not in safe hands” while Scotland remains in the UK.
Dave Doogan, MP for Angus and a former MoD aircraft engineer, says Scottish taxpayers are currently being “short-changed” in terms of military spending, and says military spending after independence would be “less frivolous”.
Scotland needs a ‘robust fleet’ capable of intercepting threats, says MP
Mr Doogan said he would like to see more money spent on military personnel in Scotland, and more well-paid jobs.
He said: “When I started in the MoD in 1989 there were 32,000 defence jobs in Scotland.
“That figure is now 13,900.
“Defence is not in safe hands in Scotland while we remain in the UK.
“We don’t have a single surface ship in Scotland but we have the largest coastline in the UK.
“We need a robust surface fleet capable of intercepting subsea threats in the North Atlantic, which is based in Scotland and is maintained and crewed here.
“These jobs need to be rooted in Scotland so we have people settling here and investing in the local economy.”
Independent Scotland would create a ‘more fair and secure future’ for defence and military personnel
Mr Doogan added: “The fact is Scotland’s per capita share of the MoD budget is less than taxpayers pay in Scotland and we are getting short-changed.
“If we have control over our own defence we have it in its entirety so training, modelling, procurement, resourcing, dispatching, recruitment, materials, support, all of the really well paid jobs – that will all happen in Scotland.
“With the full powers of independence, Scotland can be less frivolous with its defence spending, take full control of its defence system, and begin to create a more fair and secure future for its people.”
Reiterating calls to scrap Trident in an independent Scotland
The Angus MP also reiterated his party’s desire to see Trident scrapped, and says the money saved could be spent on military personnel instead.
He said: “The SNP’s position is very clear, we want weapons of mass destruction removed from Scotland’s waters as soon as possible after a yes vote.
“Weapons of mass destruction are not consistent with the values of Scotland and Trident is a colossally expensive system which Scotland doesn’t want.
“I would rather the £204 million a year for Trident paid for personnel that go onto buy houses and send their kids to school in Scotland.
“England may want to maintain a nuclear deterrent and that is up to them, but this is a long-awaited opportunity to say to the rest of the UK ‘we don’t want weapons on our shore’.”
Mr Doogan also added he does not think getting rid of nuclear weapons at Faslane would affect an independent Scotland’s bid to become a member of NATO.
He added: “I think NATO would respect the sovereign will of member states.
“As a responsible member with an exceptional strategic location on the North Atlantic, NATO would be very pleased to look at us and not be in a position to dictate on what terms.”