Defence costings that don’t add up

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LAST week’s Scotland on Sunday reported that Shadow Secretary of State Jim Murphy would “quote a report by the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) that says £3.4 billion is currently spent by the UK government on defence in Scotland”.

This was followed by James Arbuthnot MP, the chairman of the Westminster defence select committee, telling the BBC ­Today programme that he agreed the figure is “roughly” between £4bn and £5bn.

Given that the IFS did not report the figure spent in Scotland and the Ministry of Defence has provided parliamentary answers confirming that the amount is less than £2bn, why are both these opponents of Scottish independence so wrong on defence in Scotland?

Rather than leaving defence and security to people who have such a poor grasp of the subject, it’s high time to make better defence and security decisions in Scotland which we can do after a Yes vote in 2014.

Angus Robertson MP,

Westminster SNP leader, London

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