It was interesting to note that on the day when Brian Monteith rushed to join the chorus of luminaries such as Defence Secretary Philip Hammond and Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael, who have castigated Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon for suggesting that UK warships could still be built on the Clyde (Perspective, 11 November) he is flatly contradicted by the Chief of Defence Staff, Sir Nicholas Houghton.
Sir Nicholas said: “In terms of raw business sense it makes sense to place orders where they have the greatest capacity and the best depth of skills – which is on the Clyde”.
It should give us some comfort that Sir Nicholas bases his thoughts on what ought to be best business sense.
However, when we consider the track record of the Ministry of Defence, it should surprise no-one that it might fail to see the benefits of economy of scale by jointly commissioning the manufacture of the Type 26 frigates with Scotland.
The SNP position on defence is clear. After independence, we will not waste hundreds of millions of pounds on Trident.
We will have a defence budget of £2.5 billion which will be used to create a conventional defence force commensurate with our needs.
After the acquisition of our legitimate share of UK defence assets, the hardware we still need, such as ships, will be built in Scotland.
However, I suppose that when one considers the competence, efficiency and integrity of the MoD and its ministers, to trust the SNP would be a terrible risk to take.
Alistair Carmichael states that Type 26 frigates will not be built in Scotland, in the event of a Yes vote, as it will then be a “foreign country”.
Presumably those other English assets at Faslane, Coulport and Rosyth (seven nuclear submarines) will be moved to Portsmouth, as England would not want “its” nuclear deterrent to be housed in a “foreign country”.