Better Together say that the Yes Scotland’s defence strategy for a separate Scotland has been undermined after the Secretary-General of Nato said that leaving the UK would mean a separate Scotland would have to reapply to join the alliance. Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that any decision on accepting a new country into Nato had to be unanimous among all 28 member states. Any other Nato nation can veto an application at any time.
Cyprus is still excluded from the military alliance because of a long-running territorial dispute with Turkey, whilst Macedonia is not a member because of a disagreement with Greece. The nationalists have pledged that a separate Scotland would join the nuclear alliance in the event of separation, despite also pledging that they would remove Trident in a separate Scotland. Experts say this would put our Nato application at risk.
Last week, a report from the expert defence think tank RUSI showed that Alex Salmond’s plan to remove trident by 2020 was unrealistic, with 2028 more likely date.
Des Browne, Former Secretary of State for Defence and Scotland, said: “With a week until postal ballots are sent out to around one million Scottish households, it is clear that the Nationalists’ plans on defence don’t add up. A vote to leave the UK is a vote to leave Nato, the most successful defence and security alliance in the world. Separation puts that at risk. Alex Salmond has not explained how he intends to remove our nuclear deterrent whilst simultaneously rejoining a nuclear alliance. It simply isn’t credible.
“Today we have the ability to make a difference in our world. We have seat at the top table in Nato, the EU, the UN and the G7. Our membership of Nato as part of the UK gives us a level of security that cannot be guaranteed if we vote for independence. Why put that at risk?”