There have been two recent publications released on this subject. For testimony on:
DEFENCE IMPLICATIONS OF POSSIBLE SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE by REAR ADMIRAL MARTIN ALABASTER CBE and AIR MARSHAL (RETD) IAIN MCNICOLL CB CBE
please visit: HoC Defence Committee
You can also watch the video of the testimony here.
Some key quotes:
‘Perhaps if I start on the air defence side, the first point to make is that, for air policing, NATO is responsible for the air defence of the UK. The national part comes in terms of counter-terrorism response. The national command and control chain operates for that, but otherwise it is a NATO function.
The question for air defence really is: would Scotland be part of NATO? The SNP changed its policy on that last autumn, but there is a decision for NATO to make in that respect as well. If it was still part of NATO, I can see no reason why the networks that exist at the moment would not be able to continue pretty much as they are.’
‘if Scotland were separate and not part of NATO, it would end up without the ability to command and control, unless it set that up from scratch.’
Air Marshal McNicoll
The UK Government’s response to ‘the The Referendum on Separation for Scotland: How would Separation affect jobs in the Scottish defence industry?’ was also released today: This document can be found here.
Economies of scale will certainly be an issue for the defence industry in Scotland. The BBC have also published an article stating: Scottish independence: UK defence secrets ‘could hit jobs’
Of course, ultimately, what happens with Trident will be the central issue if a yes vote is returned in September 2014….