Referendum Answers

Short Answers to Popular Questions about Scottish Independence

Defence Co-operation after Independence

Q. The UK wouldn't co-operate with Scotland on defence after independence, would it?

A. Don't see why not.

If you read or listen to Better Together and UK cabinet ministers, you'd think that after independence, the rest of the UK (rUK), just wouldn't co-operate on anything. That they'd spurn us, wouldn't talk to us, wouldn't help us, in fact would actively try to make things as bad as possible for us as some kind of punishment for having the audacity to become independent again. And nowhere would this non-co-coperation be more stark than in defence.

So it's interesting then that the UK is actively co-operating with a foreign country right now on the development of the Type 26 frigate, the same ship that's been in the middle of the shipbuilding row that will end Portsmouth shipbuilding and create massive redundancies there and in Scotland. And it's not just on the new Type 26 frigate either. The defence secretary, Philip Hammond was pretty excited about this co-operation with this friendly foreign country when he visited. He said:

“This Government has made a concerted effort to renew and strengthen our relationship with one of our oldest allies. This defence treaty will drive forward closer cooperation on a wide range of issues, making our forces more inter-operable and maximising our capabilities.

Areas of potential co-operation include future frigates, with the Royal Navy’s Type 26 design, a cutting-edge blueprint that could be the first of many opportunities for future collaboration. In times of budget pressures for all nations, it makes sense to maximise economies of scale and work with our friends to get the best value for money on all sides. Many of today’s security challenges require a shared response, and the treaty therefore complements what we are doing in NATO."

Oh, the country in question? Why it's Australia, a country, you might be surprised to know, that only became fully independent from the UK in 1986.