Britain would be more vulnerable to terrorist attack in the event of Scottish independence according to former Foreign Secretary, Sir Malcolm Rifkind MP.
The Scottish Tory grandee criticised the “disturbing immaturity” of the Scottish governments claims that a whole new intelligence service could offer the same protection as existing structures.
Rifkind wrote in the Daily Telegraph of the “disturbing immaturity in the nationalists’ assertion that the work of MI5 and GCHQ in preventing terrorist outrages in Scotland, as elsewhere in Britain, would be provided by a new Scottish intelligence agency.”
He continued: “Do they not realise that counter-terrorism cannot be provided simply by building, a budget and newly recruited staff? It has taken MI5 and GCHQ more than 70 years to achieve their expertise. Scotland would become a much easier option for terrorists to commit outrages there or as a back route to England and Wales.”
Rifkind also claimed the Scottish government’s boasts that they could remain neutral if the UK was at war “should not be taken lightly”. Pointing out that Ireland’s neutrality during WWII had caused significant harm to the UK, as the Royal Navy could not use Irish ports when it was desperately trying to keep food supplies open with the United States of America. The supply lines across the Atlantic were what prevented a famine in the UK during the war.
He said: “As a former defence and foreign secretary, I have to say that the argument that a Scottish army would provide the same security as we have now would be laughable if it was not so worrying.
“On Mr Salmond’s own numbers, the proposed army would be 4,700 strong, which would mean combat forces of around 1,700. This would hardly make an aggressor tremble.” The former Foreign Secretary went on to claim the loss of the British nuclear base at Faslane on the Clyde would lead to the UK losing its ability to protect itself against a nuclear-armed states.
The removal from Scotland of the four British nuclear submarines carrying trident nuclear missiles is likely to cost the remaining UK taxpayers £3bn. As reported on Breitbart London the submarines may have to be moved to America whilst a new base can be built in Portsmouth, England.
This is because keeping nuclear weapons in a neutral non-NATO country may prove unacceptable to Britain’s military partners like America. There are also concerns the Scottish First Minister might try to use the presence of the submarines as a bargaining chip in negotiations on the division of UK assets.
Sir Malcolm also made an impassioned plea for the UK to remain together. He said: “The United Kingdom and our British national identity is not artificial. Nor was the Union a historic mistake as the nationalists claim; it would not have lasted more than 300 peaceful years if it had been. The Scots, English and Welsh have been British longer than Americans have been American.”
In July he warned that the UK was under threat from Islamist terrorists who have “devilish technical skills.” His comments came as the polls remain on a knifedge with the ‘No’ side ahead by less than the margin of error.