Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News




Moray’s MP Angus Robertson says the UK Government must use its defence review to reverse the historic under-investment in Scotland's defence footprint.

The SNP MP has long tackled the UK Government on the issue of defence cuts in Scotland which have seen Scotland’s RAF airfields reduce from 3 to 1 including the closure of RAF Kinloss with the cancellation of the Nimrod programme.

As the expected announcement of the latest Westminster Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) draws closer, there is speculation of the impact it may have on Scotland, which has suffered disproportionately from cuts and base closures for decades.

Angus Robertson MP said:

“In July, Michael Fallon promised that there would be no further cuts to the defence footprint in Scotland, cuts that one of his Tory predecessors had noted were already  ‘disproportionately high’. He must keep to his word – or Tory credibility on Scottish defence will be fatally damaged.

“The SNP has long argued for a fair share of defence spending in Scotland instead of the cuts like the closure of RAF Kinloss, which was roundly condemned by locals here in Moray and defence experts alike. This defence review must address decades of Westminster cuts.

“It is a sorry tale - Scotland’s historic regiments scrapped, RAF Lossiemouth remaining as the only Scottish base out of 28 UK-wide, and not a single ocean-going surface ship based in the top third of the UK landmass - and a government that shamefully posts p45s to serving personnel.

“Instead of committing an unconscionable 167 billion pounds to Trident renewal the Government should focus on proper investment in our conventional forces and that includes supporting our troops based in Moray and Scotland.

“We will be looking closely at the Strategic Defence and Security Review to ensure that any new deployments of personnel to Scottish bases will be based here permanently and entirely and not as part of a smaller detachment.

“The Defence Secretary has to contend with an effective parliamentary opposition to his plans – facing a strong group of SNP MPs who will hold him to account on his promises and commitments, and ensure that he goes further to address this historic underinvestment. Scotland has long contributed more, in people and pounds, than it has got back from the MoD – that should be properly acknowledged and value recognised.’’