With the SNP’s electoral gains this week there has been increasing discussion on the possibility of a referendum to decide one the issue of independence. Putting aside the political issues for a moment, what would it mean for the rest of the United Kingdoms military forces and what would an independent Scottish force look like?
A few issues to resolve before looking at the details
- What would a newly independent Scotland’s strategic position be, would it stay in the EU, the Commonwealth and NATO?
- Would some form of mutual defence agreement between Scotland and the UK be acceptable to both nations
- What would a timetable for change look like
- What about Faslane and Coulport, the home of the UK’s nuclear deterrent, where would that go
These are the big issues but there would be many others, would Scottish citizens be allowed to serve in the UK armed forces like other commonwealth nations and Ireland for example, would RAF bases remain and what would the distribution of SAR responsibilities for example.
If a graduated split were to take place would Scotland receive a proportion of the UK’s defence equipment, a quarter of Challengers or a handful of Type 23′s or would it be based on population, would it even want them.
Many interesting questions.