Scottish independence: Yes vote 'risk to jobs'


One defence worker in Glasgow confronted Defence Secretary Philip Hammond over "threatening" jobs, as Allan Little reports

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has predicted that a vote for Scottish independence would put defence jobs at risk.

Speaking to defence workers in Glasgow, he claimed the UK's shared defence forces provide benefits of scale.

SNP defence spokesman Angus Robertson said Mr Hammond was spreading "myths and misinformation" in Scotland.

The SNP has said that, in the event of a "yes" vote, all existing military bases in Scotland would be retained.

It has insisted, however, that nuclear submarines would be removed from their base on the Clyde.

Mr Hammond said: "Successive UK governments have deliberately chosen to sustain our sovereign capability - albeit at a financial premium.

"As a result no complex warships for the Royal Navy have been procured from outside the UK since the start of the 20th Century - except during the two world wars.

"Today that policy and the Royal Navy's scale delivers billions of pounds of investment and sustains thousands of Scottish jobs directly and indirectly, and I believe it is neither in Scotland's interest nor the rest of the United Kingdom's to put that at risk."

Mr Hammond also claimed the government of an independent Scotland would have to pay part of the cost of removing the Trident base from the Clyde.

He said: "If we did have to move the Trident nuclear deterrent from Faslane as a result of the negotiations that happen after any independence vote, it would take about 10 years at least to design and construct a suitable alternative site. It would cost a very large amount of money.

"I can't say precisely how much, but it would be many billions of pounds. And that timescale and that cost would have to be taken into account within the overall negotiations."

Asked if an independent Scotland would pay part of these costs, he replied: "Absolutely, it would pay part of that bill. Those costs would have to be taken into account as part of the overall settlement."

Defence co-operation

Commenting after the defence secretary's speech, the SNP's leader in Westminster and defence spokesman Angus Robertson said: "Another day, another scare story.

"Scotland is a maritime nation but we have no maritime patrol aircraft. They used to be based here until they were all scrapped by the UK government.

Angus Robertson, leader of the SNP in Westminster, says the UK government does not take Yes plans for defence seriously

"We are a maritime nation but we have no maritime naval patrol vessels.

"Independence gives us the advantage of being able to make better decisions - so we have those maritime capabilities, so we have the things that we need as opposed to the things that we don't want, like Trident."

'Threads of a rope'

Mr Hammond's speech followed comments by the first sea lord about the prospect of Scottish independence.

Admiral Sir George Zambellas told the BBC that it would be like "pulling threads out of rope".

Sir George said: "I believe very strongly that, for a premier league navy, respected around the world, with a big responsibility, for us to be divided would be less efficient for both the UK and Scotland.

"The nature of our military construct, infrastructure, basing, people, equipment and the families who support a hard-pressed navy, all of those add up to a construct which doesn't bear dividing its efficiency, and my job is to provide the navy as efficiently as I can.

"The way we do business means that if you try to pull some threads out of the rope it's much less efficient, and that applies particularly to the navy because it's so hard-pressed.

But Col Stuart Crawford, who has advised the SNP on defence matters, said an independent Scotland would be "more than capable" of running its own armed forces.

He told the BBC Scottish forces would have a regional, not global, focus.

He said: "Scotland would be more than capable of running its own armed forces should the country become independent.

"We shouldn't imagine that those armed forces would be a microcosm of the UK's armed forces - not just 10% of the UK inventory if you like.

"It would be something much more modest with a different focus."

The Scottish independence referendum is scheduled for September 18.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 1161.

    @1159. canIjustsay
    I think the 'no' campaign needs to be more positive. All of these negative stories are virtually daring the Scots to vote 'yes' !!
    If they vote YES because they don't like the inevitable consequences of voting YES then there is no hope for them...

  • Comment number 1160.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1159.

    I think the 'no' campaign needs to be more positive. All of these negative stories are virtually daring the Scots to vote 'yes' !!

  • rate this

    Comment number 1158.

    @1137 asifsmith

    So we shouldn't blame socialism for the excesses of Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, ceausescu, honecker, Kim Il-song! Kim Jong-Il and Kim Jong-un. They were all bad men who give socialism a bad name, is that right?

  • rate this

    Comment number 1157.

    The government are desperate to stop Scotland gaining independence, so much so that they`ll use blackmail, threats and scare stories to achieve that aim.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1156.

    1154. JasonEssex

    It was the knock on effect from a global credit crisis which also had an impact on an other British banking group Lloyds. (Which Scottish contributed funds also got used in a bail out) Please check your facts.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1155.

    1136.essex man
    There's a very good argument to say that Lenin was the more evil of the two. Lenin used genocide to keep populations in control as a deliberate tactic. Stalin was just paranoid and lashed out at anyone he thought might offer a threat. That's Masters level BTW.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1154.

    The Isle of Man has its own currency which is pegged to the GBP, not a currency union, even AS has admitted that. you are welcome to join them.
    Natwest wasn't the problem, it was RBS Edinburgh purchase of Abn Amro. Please check your facts.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1153.

    More likely that Phil Hammond's job will be at risk than anything else.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1152.

    ..Cont in England's case make their own parliament if it was in the north it would make communications more likely to be improved between Scotland and the North towards the South.

    This would mean Westminster going back to the days when all the parts that make up the UK having equality in Westminster and the EU and so on. Why would this be due to the West Lothian question being finally resolved.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1151.

    Yet another sensible opinion, from an expert in their field.
    No doubt the fanatical Nats, will not listen to him, as they refuse to listen to any expert, who does not agree with their romantic dream of separation.
    Instead they will follow their Leaders (The Krankies) like sheep, believing that Wee Eck and Nippy Nicola, are the font of all knowledge on every subject in the world.
    Pathetic really.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1150.

    I'm English but consider myself British, I hope that many Scots feel the same way and will choose to still consider themselves British later this year. I for one am not going to fall for Salmonds vitriolic bait and start slagging my fellow countrymen because of some political whim. Stay with the union Scotland, you're still very much wanted and needed despite the insults that have been flying.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1149.

    1136.essex man
    When Lenin and Trotsky were alive they legalised Homosexuality, scrapped tuition fees, legalised abortion and divorce, and introduced equal pay for women.
    When Lenin died and Stalin killed Trotsky he reversed every one of those reforms..Stalin was a Fascist.
    Perhaps you studied a different A level European History course Essex man ?
    Off you you go back to Google.Try again.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1148.

    The debate should not be about oil, not about debt, not about rUK. Scotland as a whole needs simply to decide 'can we be a totally self supporting country in our own right with our own central bank, our own currency and our independent place in the world' and, if in their heads the answer is yes, then the only other question is, do we want to and that is where the heart comes in.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1147.

    5 Minutes ago
    The SNP want independence

    So do us Labour supporters,

    Don't think for one minute it is only SNP voters in Scotland that are voting for independence

    I for one will be voting to rid Scotland of Westminster rule and once we are Independent I will be voting for Scottish Labour the following year.

    YES vote from me.


  • rate this

    Comment number 1146.

    I'm increasingly disillusioned with the endless trail of oft repeated doom and gloom stories from those seeking a No vote. It is driving many people including me towards voting Yes. The positive reasons for keeping the UK are being drowned in negativity while the Yes camp sound ambitious, energetic and positive

  • rate this

    Comment number 1145.

    the whole subject is ridiculous.

    It's time to face up to facts: the only difference between the SNP and BNP is a single letter. Salmond is playing to the all too prevalent scottish racism against the english.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1144.

    1118. JasonEssex

    has all RBS problems been the doing of the people of Scotland? No RBS may be based in Scotland but the trouble they have got into is more down to its other business interests NatWest included. It comes back to my previous post share the burden. Just because it has a head office in Edinburgh doesn't mean Scotland should be held accountable by all their wrongdoings.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1143.

    LOL @ChadH... pointing out the things Scotlanbd won't get is NOT a positive reason. The no campaign seems to be directed at Sun readers and other numpties who are daft enough to believe that Westminster politicians have their best interests at heart - unless you actually work in London, westminster does NOT have your best interests at heart. Ask those a mile or so from here flooded on the levels..

  • rate this

    Comment number 1142.

    Nats: If the UK is so good tell us what benefit we get from it.
    Unionists: It provides X,Y and Z. If you leave you'll lose X, Y and Z.
    Nats: Lies! Scaremongering! Bullying!

    It's simple logic that if the union has a particular positive, leaving it must cause a negative.

    Just as when the Yes camp say they expect some positive from independence it is because of a perceived negative in the union.


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