ALEX Salmond insisted that Scotland would have greater “naval capability” under independence as he used a keynote speech to set out the SNP’s plans for defence.
• Alex Salmond has said that an independent Scotland would have greater “naval capability”
• First Minister says Scotland’s current capability is unsuitable and “based on prestige, not performance”
The First Minister claimed it was “absurd” that Scotland had no major surface vessels as he said an independent Scotland would “prioritse” naval and air defence while scrapping nuclear weapons.
Mr Salmond made the remarks as he delivered a speech in Shetland, where the SNP cabinet met today as part of a summer tour of Scotland.
He said: “At present what we have, we don’t need. And what we need, we don’t have. Our current naval capability is based on prestige, not performance.
“The navy does not have a single major surface vessel based in Scotland. The largest protection vessels stationed in Scottish waters
are those of the fisheries protection vessels run by the Scottish government.
“It is absurd for a nation with a coastline longer than India’s to have no major surface vessels. And it’s obscene for a nation of five million people to host weapons of mass destruction.
“An independent Scotland would prioritise having the air and naval capability needed to monitor and secure our offshore territory and resources – our oil and gas resources, fisheries protection, and safeguarding our coastal waters.”