An independent Scotland would not be able to share defence capabilities with the UK, an academic will tell MPs.
Defence expert Professor Malcolm Chalmers is expected to tell MPs that UK bases would either have to be removed or become foreign bases if Scotland votes to leave the United Kingdom.
The academic, who is research director at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI), said that defence capabilities could not be shared between an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK.
However, the Nationalists have insisted a post-independence Scottish Government would cooperate with international partners.
Angus Robertson, SNP leader at Westminster and the party’s foreign affairs and defence spokesman in the House of Commons, told Good Morning Scotland that after independence Scotland’s military would focus on “conventional capabilities”.
He said: “We have to look at how we can cooperate with our neighbours, friends, and allies in Northern Europe. The most important implication is that Scotland will always have the defence policy that the people want it to have.
“We are going to have to fill capability gaps that the UK has sadly left, for example our maritime capabilities. We have things that we don’t need like Trident submarines - a huge waste of money - and not the conventional capabilities that we do need.
“It’s right to posit the question: Do we understand the status of conventional defence in Scotland? I think a lot of people would be surprised to learn that Scottish defence forces are now smaller than those of the Republic of Ireland.
“It’s not just about regular forces, we’re talking about reserves. We only have 2500 territorials whereas in the Republic of Ireland there are 5000.
“What I’m sure of is, no matter the political differences, we’d have the defence policy we want.”
Mr Robertson said that a “sovereign Scottish Government” led by the SNP would cooperate with Nato but would not be part of the alliance’s “military structure”. He explained: “I think it’s important to work with neighbours and allies. You can do that within treaty organisations or outwith treaty organisations.”
Questioned on whether an independent Scotland would be able to afford expensive aircraft like Tornados, he insisted: “We have Tornados in Scotland. We do afford it and we do pay our fair share.”
He added: “I’m in favour of retaining regiments and battalions, retaining the bases we have, but let’s get rid of those things like Trident and weapons of mass destruction that we can never use.
The session, entitled Defence implications of possible Scottish independence, will also hear from Lt. Col (retd) Stuart Crawford. The hearing begins at 2.45pm.
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