Scottish independence: Commons Defence Inquiry Gets Under Way

Posted by on Jul 03, 2012 | Comments Off on Scottish independence: Commons Defence Inquiry Gets Under Way

 

An inquiry into the defence implications of possible Scottish independence is due to get under way at Westminster.

MPs on the Commons Defence Committee will carry out the investigation.

MPs on the committee also want to examine the means and timescale of any potential separation and any possible defence shortfall.

The inquiry will also examine the extent to which, and circumstances in which, an independent Scotland might continue to contribute to defence goals shared with the UK and other countries.

Among the issues being looked at are the potential impact on the UK’s defence capability should Scotland become independent.

The possible shape, size and role of Scottish defence forces will also be discussed.

Among the first witnesses to give evidence are the defence expert Lt Col Stuart Crawford and defence academic Prof Malcolm Chambers.

The committee is expected to report next year.

First Minister Alex Salmond has previously said a Scottish Defence Force would consist of one naval base, one air base and one mobile armed brigade.

However, UK Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has expressed worries about the potential break-up of the UK’s defence which he has described as “a highly integrated and very sophisticated fighting force”.

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