• The UK remains one of the world’s most powerful and influential military forces, with an ability to safeguard domestic assets, while wielding its might internationally when required. An independent Scotland would not benefit from the protection of the UK’s large military assets.
• Despite defence cuts, in 2012 the UK spent more than £43billion on the military, the highest of any European nation.
• The UK’s anti-terrorist, intelligence and security assets are among the most sophisticated in the world. Scotland would simply not have the resources to match them. Terrorism comes in many forms and often in areas where you might least expect it. An independent Scotland would have the expense of setting up its own agencies, which wouldn’t match the might of the UK’s protection.
• Scotland benefits from military contracts that would be jeopardised by separation. Three of the largest defence contractors in the UK – Babcock, BAE, and Thales – have warned of severe repercussions. More than 20,000 jobs in Scotland directly rely on these defence contracts.
• Babcock is Scotland’s largest engineering employer, with approximately 8,000 people on their books, and they bring more than £500million annually to the Scottish economy. Management believe a Yes vote would seriously jeopardise their Royal Navy contracts at Rosyth and wipe millions of pounds of the value off their operations at Her Majesty’s Naval Base on the Clyde.
• The proposed ‘Scottish Defence Force’, whose suggested initial budget has already been cut twice, would not be a credible answer to the potential threats Scotland would face. In reality, a Scottish force would be little more than a token peacekeeping force, doing the bidding of the EU or UN. That’s not independence.
For more in-depth analysis, please click here for the full-version of the white paper, Much cost, little benefit