Shared defence

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In the report on Defence ­Secretary Philip Hammond’s speech (9 October) and related letters (10 October), it seems to be assumed that the current policies of the SNP would automatically become the policies of an independent Scottish Government.

This is not so. It is unlikely that the next Holyrood elections will again give one party an overall majority.

Even if the SNP was to be the largest single party, the others, in combination, could overrule it.

On defence, for instance, it might seek an arrangement whereby the remainder of the UK continued to be responsible with a contribution from Scotland in money and/or material, and a guaranteed proportion of defence spending here.

Of course, many other 
arrangements are possible, and it would be interesting to have the views of Scottish Labour on this and other matters in the event of a Yes vote.

S Beck

Craigleith Drive

Edinburgh