Letters: '˜Independent Scotland won't get cut-price Nato membership'

A Scotsman reader responds to a claim in our letter pages that Scotland could get cut-price Nato membership if independent.

Many of the Royal navy's new Frigates are built on the Clyda. Picture: MoD

Everyone admires an optimist, but Mary Thomas (Letters, 16 October) is pushing it a bit if she thinks an independent Scotland would get cut-price Nato membership.

She is wrong to say that only Britain and the US pay the 2 per cent stipulated for membership. Poland, Estonia and Greece do also. Following President Trump’s sabre-rattling at the last Nato summit, and in the face of an increasingly aggressive Russia, all Nato countries are increasing spending, even serial under-spenders Germany.

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Her accusations of dishonesty over frigates built on the Clyde cannot go unanswered. They are built in batches so as to learn from mistakes that might be made with the first batch, thereby saving money. Eight are already confirmed and the Clyde is in poll position for the other five.

Of course, there is also another reason for staggering production. Indyref2 is a possibility, and the Royal Navy will clearly not commit long-term to building warships in what could in the future be a foreign country.

Perhaps Mary Thomas could give some guarantees as to how many frigates will be built on the Clyde post-independence, particularly in relation to her claims of lower defence spending in an independent Scotland?

Keith Shortreed, Methlick, Aberdeenshire