Scottish independence: what would happen to the British Army?

Members of the Black Watch march in Perth. Picture: TSPL
Members of the Black Watch march in Perth. Picture: TSPL
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The British army along with the RAF and Royal Navy would continue to exist but not in Scotland.

An independent Scotland would instead have its own defence force of around 15,000 personnel supported by a £2.5 billion budget. There are currently no details over how many ships, aircraft and other pieces of equipment the Scottish defence force would have.

It is accepted by both the UK and Scottish Governments that Scotland would be entitled to an 8.4 per cent of the assets currently held by the MoD. The reality is that Scotland would recieve a cash equivalent for many of those assets.

The SNP ave suggested that the British Army and Scottish Defence Force could share bases, a view backed by former Air Marshall Iain McNicoll and retired Rear Admiral Martin Alabaster. However, it is viewed sceptically by the UK Government.

One facility that would not be shared is Britain’s nuclear detterent, the Trident submarine misslile system which the SNP would have banned from an independent Scotland.


RUSI: Briefing Paper: Defence in an Independent Scotland