Scotland - Military Spending
Improved parliamentary oversight of defence and long-term, consensusbased arrangements for strategic planning can mean that spending is based on sound decisions. Our approach will mean substantial savings on defence spending, continued investment in Scotlandís defence industries and the basing of Scottish service personnel closer to their families and homes.
The latest figure for defence spending in Scotland (2007/08)255 was £1.4 billion less than Scotlandís current contribution of £3.3 billion to UK defence and security budgets256. With independence Scotlandís defense spending will not only provide Scotlandís security, but will increase economic benefits and employment on which Scotland currently misses out.
While details will be negotiated with the rest of the UK, the Scottish Government currently envisages that:
- current and envisaged major army facilities will continue to be needed at Kinloss, Leuchars, Glencorse, Fort George, Dreghorn and the elements of Redford to be retained by the UK Ministry of Defence
- in addition there will be a need to consider where additional air assets, not currently located in Scotland, might operate from. Given the retention of the runway at Leuchars, the Scottish Government would envisage air operations being reinstated there, alongside an army presence
- Faslane will be retained as the main naval base for an independent Scotland. In addition it will be the location for the joint headquarters of the Scottish defence forces. Options will be considered for re-instating Rosyth as a supporting naval base, alongside its current industrial uses
- given that the transfer of Typhoons from Leuchars will have been largely completed before the referendum, Lossiemouth will continue to be a main operating base for fast jet aircraft and Scotlandís air policing capability. The Scottish Government will negotiate with the Westminster Government to establish the joint facilities it would be in the interests of both countries to maintain there
The transition of Faslane from a submarine base to Scotlandís main naval base and joint force headquarters will be managed gradually: personnel and equipment will be brought into the Scottish defence forces and infrastructure will be developed, while the personnel and equipment remaining within the Royal Navy are relocated by the Ministry of Defence.
The Scottish Government intends the transition to be complete within ten years. The transitional arrangements will support both the day to day operations and the workforce levels at the base. Scotland would retain the capacity for shared arrangements with the rest of the UK and other allies, recognising Faslaneís excellent deep water facilities and its geographical position.
Scotlandís defense industries are an important source of employment and provide high quality defence products to the UK armed forces and more widely. If in government in an independent Scotland the Scottish Government will work with defence industries to support their continued growth and to meet Scotlandís own defence needs.
Scotland will ensure the defence budget is utilised to:
- support the procurement of equipment and services in Scotland, where consistent with European procurement rules
- support defence-related R&D, innovation and design
- support small and medium enterprises in particular to expand their marketing effort internationally
- develop a clear role for each government department and agency in areas such as licensing, accreditation and dual-use
The Scottish Government expected that the proportion of the budget allocated for procurement of single use military equipment will be at least equivalent to that currently allocated by the Westminster Government (14 percent in 2012/13). In the first term of the independent Scottish Parliament it was expected that personnel numbers in Scottish defence forces to be steadily increasing. Therefore during this period personnel costs would initially be lower and it would be possible to boost the proportion of the budget allocated to procurement over the first part of that period.
Scotland would inherit a share of existing UK defence assets, giving most of the equipment needed to establish Scotlandís defence forces in the immediate post-independence period. The division of assets and liabilities will of course need to be negotiated. However, by way of indication, in 2007 the Ministry of Defence estimated the total value of its assets and investments at just under £93 billion. A Scottish share based on population would be around £7.8 billion.
Military capabilities permanently based in Scotland as of 26 October 2010.
|Equipment type||Location||Permanently based (number)|
|(1) 6 Light Guns are used for ceremonial purposes.|
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