The First Sea Lord has claimed the ‘very heart’ of Britain’s maritime defence forces would be damaged by Scottish independence.
Admiral Sir George Zambellas insisted the nations that remained in the UK would adapt and cope eventually but he said Scotland would feel a ‘deeper impact’ if it broke away.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Sir George said: “I believe that independence would fundamentally change maritime security for all of us in the United Kingdom and damage the very heart of the capabilities that are made up of the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and the Fleet Air Arm.
‘While the continuing United Kingdom would eventually adapt and cope, the deeper impact would be felt in Scotland, which would no longer have access of right to the security contribution of one of the finest and most efficient navies in the world.’
An independent Scotland’s ‘claim on the Royal Navy would greatly weaken the carefully evolved “whole”, as bases, infrastructure, procurement, spares, personnel and training face a carve-up’, he added.
The Scottish independence referendum is scheduled for September 18.