AN SNP MP has hit back at Tory suggestions an independent Scotland wouldn’t have its own military defence capabilities. 

Dave Doogan, MP for Angus, made the comments during an exchange with the BBC Radio Scotland’s Martin Geissler earlier today.

Doogan was asked on Good Morning Scotland about Tory Defence Minister Ben Wallace’s comments that an independent Scotland wouldn’t have the capabilities to have a “decent sized” military.

However, Doogan hit back and said Wallace was on “shaky ground” and that it’s “not a good look” to claim Scotland is incapable of its own defence.

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During the 10-minute interview, Geissler brought up plenty of Unionist myths surrounding an independent Scotland that Doogan easily countered.

Asked about Wallace’s comments that it would be hard for an independent Scotland to have a “decent sized and incredible military capability” and if Wallace was right, Doogan said: “No he’s not.

“Ben Wallace is on very shaky ground when it comes to both jobs in Scotland and defence, and on deficits, he’s got a £17.4 billion deficit in his procurement plan. 

“So ill begoes him to lecture Scotland on the notional deficit that he thinks we will have after independence

The National:

“Sticking with that point Martin it’s really important to note that defence is one of those hazy UK competencies that Scotland gets a bill for to add to our notional confidence but we don’t get anything like the expenditure in Scotland that we get billed for by the UK. 

“So it’s not really a good look for Ben Wallace to be wagging his finger to Scotland and say somehow uniquely we would be incapable of defending ourselves.”   

Geissler then tried to claim that Scotland had a “disproportionate” amount of UK military personel and hardware and that wouldn’t be possible for an independent country to replicate.

But Doogan quickly pointed out this isn’t true.

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He said: “No, we don’t have a disproportionate amount of hardware in a defence context, we have a disproportionately small amount of UK military activity in Scotland. 

“There isn’t a single surface ship stationed in Scotland and we have the largest coast line of the United Kingdom.”

Doogan explained that there are more jobs in the South West of England than in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland combined.

He continued: “You know Martin when I started working in the Ministry of Defence in 1989 there was 32,000 defence jobs in Scotland, that figure is now 13,900.

The National:  “Defence is not in safe hands in Scotland while we remain in the UK and Scotland will have the entirety of defence jobs in Scotland. We only get a section of it. 

“We’ve got very important function at Lossiemouth, we’ve got Her Majesty’s Naval base on the Clyde and lots of OEM’s [Original Equipment Manufacturer] spread across Scotland making exceptionally high quality equipment. But we need the whole suite, and we’ll only get that with independence.”

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Geissler then asked where defence would come in the priority list of an independent Scotland - citing Scotland’s deficit and suggesting there might be “lean years” ahead.

Doogan said: “I think everybody who votes for that independent fairer Scotland and would do so on the basis that it would be robustly defended, with a well resourced military that provided careers for our people and investment in our communities, because right now when Ben Wallace talks about investment in the defence context in Scotland, he’s talking about equipment. 

The National:

“Now equipment’s important, but he’s not talking about moving any of the very highly paid jobs down in Abbey Wood up to Scotland. 

“These are the jobs that we need to be routed in Scotland with people settled here investing in local economies, thousands of jobs that would be created over and above the defence jobs that are here as part of the UK because…”

Geissler then interrupted Doogan to ask what would happen to the 11,000 jobs at Faslane, where the Trident nuclear detterent is based.

Doogan replied that Faslane would be transformed into a base for Scotland’s surface fleet - that would be based and crewed in Scotland.

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The National:

And on the option of keeping Trident and charging the UK government £200million a year to store it there for up to 20 years, Doogan said: “I personally don’t agree with that plan because I think it takes for granted and monetises Scotland’s civic ambition to rid our shores of weapons of mass destruction which are an anathema and are not consistent with the values that people in Scotland have. 

“Now, after independence England wants to maintain a nuclear deterrent then that’s up to England, but right now we’re in the invidious position where Trident is imposed on Scotland by the UK and that’s something that we need to resolve as quickly as possible and as safely as possible after independence.”