Devastating, game-changing RUSI report that ends once and for all any idea that independence would be good for Scotland's defence – Murphy

8 April 2012

Jim Murphy

Professor Malcolm Chalmers, policy director at the Royal United Services Institute, today warns that “in a world in which the security of states is increasingly interdependent, it is hard to imagine why the prospect of having independent armed forces could, in itself, be a good reason to support independence”. 

He says that in a separate Scotland, the defence budget would be “significantly less than those of neighbours such as Denmark and Norway”, countries frequently cited by the SNP as exemplars for a separate Scotland. He warns that “much of Scotland’s defence industry could, over time, migrate southwards in order to service the much larger UK market”, and that a decision to withdraw from NATO would impact negatively on foreign alliances and potentially EU membership. 

Jim Murphy MP, Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary, said: 

“This is a devastating, game-changing report that ends once and for all any idea that independence would be good for Scotland's defence.

“This objective assessment by one of the world's most respected experts proves what Scotland already felt, which is that the SNP don't understand defence and that independence would damage Scotland's defence communities.

“For the first time we have the truth about the size of a separate Navy and Air Force and it's worse than most people would have thought.”