Syria action ‘backed’ under independence - Salmond

Alex Salmond says an independent Scotland would have taken action against Syria. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Alex Salmond says an independent Scotland would have taken action against Syria. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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AN independent Scotland would not have rejected the prospect of military intervention in Syria like the UK has done, Alex Salmond said today.

The First Minister said Scottish MPs at Westminster backed the possibility of action through the UN - if the use of chemical weapons had been proved by weapons inspectors.

This gives an “indication” of the way an independent Scotland would have acted, Mr Salmond said in aspeech in Fraserburgh.

The Commons rejected a UK Government proposal to back miliatary engagement in Syria last Thursday after shocking pictures emerged of victims of apparent chemical attacks. A Labour amendment - backed by the SNP - which backed intervention through the UN route was also voted down.

The stalemate has prompted calls for another Commons vote which would allow the prospect of some UK military intervention amid concerns the country is being seen internationally as ignoring the crisis.

“We avoided engagement in Syria by the skin of our teeth,” Mr Salmond said today.

“But even then, the Commons rejected a positive amendment supported by the vast majority of Scottish MPs for finding a route to a solution through the United Nations.

“The amendment gave an indication of the sort of role an independent Scotland will be able to play on the international stage - we will work with our allies to help the victims of conflicts, contribute to conflict resolution and ensure that war criminals are brought before the international criminal court.”

The Scottish cabinet was meeting in Fraserburgh today and senior Nationalist ministers dismissed Chancellor George Osborne’s claims that income levels would suffer under independence in a Treasury paper being published tomorrow.

Mr Salmond added: “We don’t need the Chancellor’s shaky crystal ball to know everything we need to know about living standards. We only need to look at his record.

“Average incomes down 7.2 per cent; £41 per week taken from the wallets and purses of hard pressed families. That’s the legacy of George Osborne and the union.”