On Defence, the SNP often say they’ll inherit a share of the UK’s defence equipment and will also take on the Scottish regiments. Of course, there’s no relationship between those UK assets that have a Scottish dimension and the potential components of a coherent Scottish Defence Force. And, naturally, there are many Scots in parts of the forces without any particularly Scottish tradition, and plenty of non-Scots in Scottish regiments. Rather than point this out, though, the unionist parties generally simply say that the SNP wants to break up the British armed services.
Why don’t unionists point out, instead, that if Scotland votes for independence, EVERY service person will retain their job in the UK armed services? I know the latter fact because I asked the Defence Minister a parliamentary question the other day, and here’s the answer I got.
The SNP avoids this detail because they know that very few service personnel will give up careers in a large armed services to join a wee one with an uncertain role. But the unionist parties also avoid the issue, because they know that it means there’s actually no threat that independence might bring about the break-up of the UK armed services.
And so, absurdly, it serves both sides of the argument to keep quiet about the obvious fact that, while an independent Scotland might indeed have an itsy-bitsy security force, Scots will continue to join the UK armed services regardless, and the latter will continue to have the same territorial and security interests as Scotland.