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RUSI Expert Comments on Ministry of Defence's Scotland paper

Yesterday the Ministry of Defence published a paper highlighting how the UK and Scotland can benefit from an integrated approach to defence.

Commenting on the paper, Professor Malcolm Chalmers, RUSI’s Research Director, on the MOD’s New Scotland analysis paper on Defence:

"No one can predict exactly what the defence consequences of Scotland's independence would be for Scotland or for the UK. So this MoD paper is right to focus on the defence benefits that the Union brings to Scotland, and to challenge the Scottish Government to show that these benefits could be maintained in the event of independence. It will raise the bar that the Scottish Government’s White Paper, due in November, has to meet. "We know what the defence implications of staying in the Union are: continuation of the status quo. But a vote for independence would lead to a whole range of new defence uncertainties that post-referendum negotiators would have to resolve. Most importantly, if the Scottish Government maintains its position that Trident must leave Scotland before a safe and secure alternative base can be built in England or Wales, this could poison defence relations more generally between the two states, and with the rest of NATO. The best scenario, Even if this was resolved, however, Scotland would remain highly dependent on the rest of the UK to support its defence capability for many years."

NOTES FOR EDITORS

1.Any further enquiries, please contact : Daniel Sherman / +44(0)20 7747 2617 / +44 (0) 7917 373 069 /daniels@rusi.org  

2. For more information on Professor Malcolm Chalmers, visit: www.rusi.org/malcolmchalmers

3. RUSI is an independent think-tank for defence and security. RUSI is a unique institution; founded in 1831 by the Duke of Wellington, it embodies nearly two centuries of forward thinking, free discussion and careful reflection on defence and security matters.


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