Further questions have been raised over an independent Scotland’s place in the world after the Secretary-General of NATO said there would be no automatic membership for the would-be breakaway state.
The announcement comes after news that Scotland would also not be able to join the European Union (EU) automatically, nor use Pound Sterling officially as a currency.
Promises that an independent Scotland would be a member of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), the European Union and the Sterling zone are key elements of independence leader Alex Salmond’s promises for Scotland’s future.
Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told the Times of London that while he wasn’t seeking to interfere with the independence campaign:
“In [the] case that Scotland voted in favour of independence then Scotland would have to apply for membership of Nato as a new independent state.
“A decision on accession would have to be taken by unanimity, by consensus as always in Nato,” he said in an interview at Nato headquarters in Brussels.”
As accession has to be approved by every member state, each of whom can make requirements for the member to join, this could seriously delay or even deny Scotland the opportunity.
One of the most contentious issues facing the United Kingdom should Scotland vote to leave is the future of the Trident nuclear weapon programme. As reported by Breitbart London last week the weapons which are presently based on the Scottish west coast could cost tens of billions of pounds to relocate.
The best option for the Rump United Kingdom is keeping the weapons on the Clyde, even if that means creating a UK sovereign military base there so they are technically in Scottish territory. This could be a major bargaining chip for Westminster at the NATO bargaining table.
NATO membership is especially important to Scotland as it is presently one of the most militarily ‘active’ areas of the British mainland. Russian aircraft including TU-95 ‘bear’ strategic bombers regularly probe UK airspace in Scotland to test the reaction times of the RAF, who scramble fighters to chase the aircraft away.
Even more concerning is the habit of the Russian Navy to position warships in Scottish waters, including the Aircraft-Cruiser Admiral Kuzneztov, and a Russian Missile-Cruiser which moored in the Moray Firth, near Inverness and Lossiemouth earlier this year.
NATO, the EU and the pound are not all Scotland stands to lose. Constitutional experts have recently expressed concern that despite comments made to the contrary by Alex Salmond, Scotland may lose the Monarchy if it goes independent. Keeping the United Kingdom united is one of the only political subjects on which the Queen has ever made her own opinion known.