Questions raised over Scottish independence and the defence of the UK by former Sea Lord

CONCERN Admiral Sir Alan West
CONCERN Admiral Sir Alan West
A Merlin helicopter from Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose has been training with HMS Queen Elizabeth in Portsmouth Naval Base as part of her Rotary Wing Trials

Helicopter puts flight deck crew through its paces

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FORMER First Sea Lord Admiral Alan West has said plans for Scottish independence do not take defence issues into account.

Speaking today Admiral West said it would be ‘devastating’ for the country’s defence industry if the rest of the UK stopped paying to build warships there.

He said: ‘I think Alex Salmond is guilty of not having addressed defence issues. He is sleep walking into disaster.

‘The implications are very very far reaching.

‘How would Scotland see itself in this new guise? Would it be be part of Nato, would it be part of the EU defence force?

‘How would it defend it’s sea area? There is no doubt that Ireland has relied on the UK and Nato to look after its defence.

‘Would that be what Scotland will be doing?’

He added that independence could lead to nuclear disarmament for the UK because of the cost of relocating submarines from Scotland.

‘I think it would diminish both our countries,’ he said. ‘It think it is really worrying.

‘The implications for the defence industry in Scotland are devastating.

‘Because if this goes ahead there is no way England, Wales and Northern Ireland will pay for ships to be built in Scotland. They will be built elsewhere.’