Scottish defence

Would we necessarily “all be richer”, as David Stevenson supposes, when in a hypothetically independent Scotland, Trident were scrapped (Letters, 5 October)?

It is estimated Scotland’s share of Trident costs is £163 million and a defence budget of £2.5 billion is proposed.

It seems from recent reports that this would be spent on high-tech conventional weapons, for example keeping Typhoon fighter jets – a move not entirely unexpected as Nationalist leaders appear to have a propensity towards the “Danish defence paradigm”.

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However, Denmark, even with its huge stock of high-tech conventional weapons, couldn’t defend itself. Like Denmark, though, an independent Scotland would need to meet Nato obligations and UN peace-keeping duties.

Hence there would be intense pressure to spend on high-tech weapons for conventional forces.

Arguably, hugely expensive state-of-the-art weapons would be the “badge of pride” on being a newly independent sovereign country.

Ellis Thorpe


Defence Secretary Phillip Hammond suggests rather chauvinistically that an independent Scotland might not be allowed to retain its regiments and the military establishments on her soil.

But every country needs to defend itself and while we are regarded as a big Satan by a sabre-rattling, though now polite, Iran, an independent Scotland is fully justified in seeking to retain its nuclear facilities and/or its regiments.

Would it not be more realistic to do a friendly give and take rather than what seems to be the current “You give and we’ll take” on the part of Westminster?

In the past ten years the UK has disbanded nearly all the traditional Scottish regiments that helped in the winning of the Second World War, possibly thinking ahead to a future separation.

Without a defence structure we couldn’t be part of Nato nor could we depend on the United Nations before we have even applied to join. Think again, Mr Hammond.

Margaret Salmond