Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has revealed the publication date of the SNP’s Independence White Paper, which will set out the blueprint of an independent Scotland, including the formation of a Scottish Defence Force.
Speaking at the Scottish National Party Conference in Perth, Mr Salmond said that the detailed case for independence would be published on 26 November.
Scottish Defence Force
The White Paper is likely to outline plans for the establishment of a Scottish Defence Force, plans for the removal of nuclear weapons from Scottish waters at Faslane, and the distribution of military assets between an independent Scotland and its neighbours in the rest of the UK.
Mr Salmond’s speech follows the publication of a report by the UK Government entitled ‘Scotland Analysis: Defence’, which outlined Defence Secretary Philip Hammond’s views that ‘an independent Scotland would face an immediate and pressing challenge to establish Armed Forces capability and supporting defence machinery’.
The paper highlighted the employment and economic benefits the defence industry brings to Scotland that would be threatened should Scotland leave the UK.
Commenting on Scotland Analysis report, Paul Everitt, Chief Executive of Defence trade organisation ADS Group, said:
“The UK’s defence industry in Scotland makes a significant contribution to the economy, as well as national security and support of our armed forces. Today’s report by the Government, and that recently published by the House of Commons Defence Committee, highlights the need for the clearest possible explanation of Defence plans and priorities in the event of Scottish Independence, allowing the people of Scotland to make an informed decision.”
Defence procurement implications
The issue of independence will have wide-reaching implications on the whole of the UK, and not least on the defence industry as we currently know it. Defence supply chains, procurement budgets, international relationships, distribution of assets and much more will be affected, and suppliers to the defence marketplace across the whole of the UK need to remain aware of the possible changes a ‘yes’ vote will bring.
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