SNP calls for inquiry into 'mammoth' defence cuts

MPs have been urged to launch an inquiry into "disproportionate" defence cuts in Scotland.

The call follows the strategic defence and security review last October, which signalled the end for RAF Kinloss and raised fears for the future of RAF Lossie-mouth, both in Moray.

Angus Robertson, the MP for Moray and SNP leader at Westminster, said Scotland had lost more than 10,500 defence jobs and missed out on 5.6 billion in spending over the past decade.

He complained of "mammoth defence cuts" and said the recent review would "accelerate the trend".

Mr Robertson raised his concern that further cuts could see one in four service posts cut.

In a letter to James Arbuthnott, the Conservative MP who chairs the Commons defence committee, he said: "There are now crucial questions about whether the UK government is committed to a future for conventional defence across the UK.

"Will there be a continuing defence footprint in the different nations and regions of the UK, including manpower, basing and spending?

"Unless ministers consider this as a priority now, the conventional UK armed forces will become concentrated in 'super garrisons' and bases, commanded and trained almost exclusively in the south of England."

Mr Robertson also criticised the Ministry of Defence for its decision to stop publishing regional spending. He said: "The decision to withhold information showing regional breakdown of MoD spending will fuel fears that Scotland will continue to bear the brunt of defence cuts."

Tory MP David Mundell, a Scotland Office minister, said: "Everybody knows that if the SNP had its way, then Scotland's defences would be reduced to little more than a handful of fisheries protection vessels.

"The SNP's independence dream would be a nightmare for Scotland, our defence facilities and industries."

Back to the top of the page