Nicola Sturgeon says there’s a ‘choice between two futures’
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Adam Tomkins has said any debate about independence should not overlook the fact that China and Russia were the two countries who stood to gain the most from Scotland going it alone. Meanwhile his concerns have been echoed by Justin Bronk, the Research Fellow for Airpower and Technology in the Military Sciences team at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), who likewise said the loss of Scotland would inevitably impact the capability of the armed forces.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, whose SNP fell one short of an overall majority in the Holyrood elections of May 6, is continuing to push for a referendum on the subject, while there is currently a pro-independence majority in the Scottish Parliament, given the Greens are also separatists.
However, Mr Tomkins, who represented the Glasgow region as a Tory MSP from 2015 to 2021, warned if Ms Sturgeon gets her wish and Scotland goes it alone, it would create a significant security headache for London, especially in relation to the so-called High North – in other words, the Arctic region.
He told Express.co.uk: “In whose interests is it for Scotland to become independent?
“The answer is Russia and China, and it’s very interesting that a number of Arab League countries are in favour of Scottish independence.
“But Russian influence and Chinese money would be very significant.”
He added: “Look at what is said about the defence of the High North in recent NATO pronouncements.
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We cannot defend the High North without Scotland
“We cannot defend the High North without Scotland.”
With respect to Scotland’s future role, Mr Tomkins said: “I think Scotland would want to be in NATO but Scotland would also want to be nuclear-free.
“And even if Scotland were in NATO, the United Kingdom is the second most powerful and the second-most important member of NATO and the United Kingdom would be very much weakened state if it lost Scotland.
“You will be losing less than 10 percent of your population, you’d be losing a third of your land mass, and you’d be losing 65 percent of your coastline, and what happens to finish line as well?
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“What happens to all of the radar in the north of Scotland?
“The defence of the High North doesn’t depend on the nuclear deterrent, but it does depend on very effective radar systems that we have in the north of Scotland.
“Those assets are owned by the Ministry of Defence and whose do they become If Scotland becomes an independent state?
“Information from that radar, where does it go? It goes directly into the Five Eyes, the unique incident sharing relationship between the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand to the UK.”
Mr Tomkins stressed: “There is no way that Scotland will become a sixth eye, the Americans will never allow it.
“All of the data that is obtained from that radar, in the north of Scotland comes directly into the Five Eyes.
“So, this is a massive question of geopolitical security.”
Mr Bronk told Express.co.uk: “The armed forces rely heavily on bases and training ranges in Scotland, and the potential loss of access to them in the event of Scottish Independence would undoubtedly impact the ability of the rump UK to fulfil its current security obligations in the GIUK gap and the High North.”
He added: “More serious is the fact that frontline capability does not decrease in a linear way as armed forces get smaller.
“As successive British Defence cuts have shown, even relatively small decreases in force structure result in significant losses in usable frontline capability.
“In the event of Scottish independence and a separation of forces, the rump UK armed forces and Scottish armed forces between them would not be able to afford or deploy the same level of capability as the Royal Air Force, British Army and Royal Navy collectively offer today.”
Express.co.uk has approached the SNP for comment.
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