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Implications of Scottish Independence

This is a discussion on Implications of Scottish Independence within the Geo-strategic Issues forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Originally Posted by RobWilliams I wouldn't be suprised if the orders remained in Scottish shipyards in an attempt to create ...


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Old March 13th, 2012   #16
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I wouldn't be suprised if the orders remained in Scottish shipyards in an attempt to create a good relationship with Scotland, the current projects (like Astute) would stay there for sure in my opinion.

Later projects like the T26 are different.
Submarine builds are Barrow in Furness, Cumbria. The carriers would be finished off at Rosyth as there's nowhere else presently to complete them and the major blocks would be finished for both by the time the decision came up.

After that, I can't see any reason we'd send work to a foreign country (which is basically what Scotland would become) -if we did, then there are yards around which are much cheaper as I've said.

Basically, if the SNP pull the trigger on the "move Trident" election promise, I'd see a "toys out of pram" scenario fairly rapidly and the bases in Scotland would come up for instant closure, followed by the SNP having a rethink.
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Old March 13th, 2012   #17
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Submarine builds are Barrow in Furness, Cumbria. The carriers would be finished off at Rosyth as there's nowhere else presently to complete them and the major blocks would be finished for both by the time the decision came up.
Ah, i see. I was under the impression more work was completed in Scotland itself, my mistake.

Once the construction work on HMNB Portsmouth is done it seems like the RN will have the capacity to not need to use Rosyth anymore (if my interpretation of the work is correct)

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After that, I can't see any reason we'd send work to a foreign country (which is basically what Scotland would become) -if we did, then there are yards around which are much cheaper as I've said.

Basically, if the SNP pull the trigger on the "move Trident" election promise, I'd see a "toys out of pram" scenario fairly rapidly and the bases in Scotland would come up for instant closure, followed by the SNP having a rethink.
True, like the Korean situation with the tankers, but again i wouldn't be suprised if a few bones were thrown here and there to keep up a rapport.

The issue with Trident is that AFAIK there are no bases to move them too nor any plans to create any (any information to the contrary would be welcomed), some ideas thrown around is to keep them there but pay the Scottish government for the privilege but it's unlikely.

If Trident is to be moved + rebasing Trafalgar/Astute class SSNs, where do you think would be the most likely location?
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Old March 13th, 2012   #18
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Ah, i see. I was under the impression more work was completed in Scotland itself, my mistake.

Once the construction work on HMNB Portsmouth is done it seems like the RN will have the capacity to not need to use Rosyth anymore (if my interpretation of the work is correct)



True, like the Korean situation with the tankers, but again i wouldn't be suprised if a few bones were thrown here and there to keep up a rapport.

The issue with Trident is that AFAIK there are no bases to move them too nor any plans to create any (any information to the contrary would be welcomed), some ideas thrown around is to keep them there but pay the Scottish government for the privilege but it's unlikely.

If Trident is to be moved + rebasing Trafalgar/Astute class SSNs, where do you think would be the most likely location?
There'd be British yards crying out for work so playing core work like surface combatants with a foreign yard would be contrary to policy voiced so far by the MOD.

On Trident, no-one's run the numbers yet as the vote for independence would be a resounding "no" if current surveys are to be believed - there are more people in England in favour of the matter than in Scotland.

However, theoretically, we could temporarily beg and borrow from neighbours I suppose. It'd be hard work to accomplish however. I've expressed my view as to what would happen when reality met expressed party policy in this thread previously, no sense in repeating myself,

Ian
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Old March 13th, 2012   #19
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There'd be British yards crying out for work so playing core work like surface combatants with a foreign yard would be contrary to policy voiced so far by the MOD.

On Trident, no-one's run the numbers yet as the vote for independence would be a resounding "no" if current surveys are to be believed - there are more people in England in favour of the matter than in Scotland
True, True.

I don't put much faith in any current surveys, there's loads of polls on the issue and the response varies with each (Interestingly a common trait is English people want a referendum ASAP and think Scotland will be worse off being independant, what a sadistic bunch we are )

I've found an interesting document about relocating Trident although granted it is from an anti-nuclear source it talks about the potential of relocating Polaris in the past

http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct...LjRn5tCcB1lXSw

What the article puts across is that there are currently no suitable sites for basing Trident in England/Wales which don't incur some nasty problems.
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Old March 13th, 2012   #20
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Tranche 1 Tiffy was something I'd thought about - we need to shift out some 1's anyway.Can't see where they'd want or need to be running frigates as I suspect once they get to grasps with how near the knuckle their economy is, they'll be wanting to keep costs low. One idea that did occur to me was that they could possibly trade out for the four type 22's that have been paid off to give Rosyth some rework experience - they're a reasonably large and capable escort, take a leaf out of the Chilean experience with their own 22's.

They'd need to generate some ship yard work in the near future to offset the lack of work coming from south of the border is what I'm thinking.
The thing about the frigates is that they'll expect a share of the UK forces, & since they can't have the big ships (you can't give them 20% of an LPD), they'd have to get a bigger share of the rest. That's logical, as they have a big EEZ. Otherwise, they could demand cash compensation, & I don't see that being agreed to.

If they don't get any frigates, what do they get? All the OPVs? Still less than their share of the navy, & we'd have to build more OPVs to make up for those we've handed over.

Denmark & Norway (similar populations, lossa fish-filled waters, offshore energy, particularly Norway) have frigates/destroyers, & intend to keep them. Both have built or are building new ones. They also both have much bigger patrol fleets (look at the Norwegian Coast Guard!) than Scotland can inherit from the RN.
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Old March 13th, 2012   #21
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The thing about the frigates is that they'll expect a share of the UK forces, & since they can't have the big ships (you can't give them 20% of an LPD), they'd have to get a bigger share of the rest. That's logical, as they have a big EEZ. Otherwise, they could demand cash compensation, & I don't see that being agreed to.

If they don't get any frigates, what do they get? All the OPVs? Still less than their share of the navy, & we'd have to build more OPVs to make up for those we've handed over.

Denmark & Norway (similar populations, lossa fish-filled waters, offshore energy, particularly Norway) have frigates/destroyers, & intend to keep them. Both have built or are building new ones. They also both have much bigger patrol fleets (look at the Norwegian Coast Guard!) than Scotland can inherit from the RN.

I take your point but we could always just say "Ocean, here, take her away...or Lusty if you prefer?" Ocean is almost reasonable but not very useful for the Scots and Lusty would be a poison chalice given her crew requirements.
Scotland really would want OPV's as they're cheap to run - it'd be dirt cheap for the UK to just buy out the commitment by some adjustment in cash to the order of a couple of hundred million to provide for a fleet of new build OPV's - instant political success for Salmond as it's "new jobs for Scotland" and win for the UK as we'd not be letting go of surface combatants we still need but Scotland can't realistically crew.

The Navy element is the worst, most complex conundrum to resolve - the army has plenty of spare heavyweight gear in mothballs to hand over, thanks to recent cuts, the RAF can let go of Tiffy Tranche 1 - but the RN has a job to do that doesn't get less stretched if we let go of Scotland.

Scotland realistically doesn't want to spend a lot of cash on defence - the SNP is basically a left wing, socialist undertaking, nationalistic and inward looking. The less they spend on defence, the happier they get in terms of balance of payments.

It'll be like most divorces, difficult and unsatisfactory in terms of who gets which car, but possible.

Ian
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Old March 13th, 2012   #22
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The issue with Trident is that AFAIK there are no bases to move them too nor any plans to create any (any information to the contrary would be welcomed), some ideas thrown around is to keep them there but pay the Scottish government for the privilege but it's unlikely.
If Trident is to be moved + rebasing Trafalgar/Astute class SSNs, where do you think would be the most likely location?
Probably this could be moved somewhere south of the new border?
http://cat.army-uk.com/news_detail.php?id=1133
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Old March 13th, 2012   #23
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Probably this could be moved somewhere south of the new border?
New floating jetty for Astute submarines arrives at naval base. Vehicles FOR SALE! CATERPILLAR
AFAIK that jetty is specifically designed for the Astute class (but can accommodate the Trafalgar class) but can't find anything about it being Vanguard compatible.

Then there's the issue of still having to base the jetty which - i think - has a displacement of around 44k tonnes.
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Old March 14th, 2012   #24
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Firstly Scotland would not need as much independent defense for its boarders as some of you would presume, England would not allow a none UK nation to invade Scotland in anyway, both politically and militarily for England's sake it would not be allowed by the allies.

Secondly I highly doubt that England and Scotland would not be allies, let alone hostile. Why has the joint army been ruled out? ANZAC's are a good example.Just cause they are an independent nation does not mean that they can't have joint ventures, even if England is the first in command, they would still work together. The military could not really afford not too.
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Old March 14th, 2012   #25
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Firstly Scotland would not need as much independent defense for its boarders as some of you would presume, England would not allow a none UK nation to invade Scotland in anyway, both politically and militarily for England's sake it would not be allowed by the allies.

Secondly I highly doubt that England and Scotland would not be allies, let alone hostile. Why has the joint army been ruled out? ANZAC's are a good example.Just cause they are an independent nation does not mean that they can't have joint ventures, even if England is the first in command, they would still work together. The military could not really afford not too.
The Australian and New Zealand militaries may cooperate heavily, and have/are moving towards greater integration, but they aren't a joint force. Even the WWI/II forces weren't joint, so much as they were (generally) in a unified command and used together. They were still completely different units.

Also, just because the UK would not 'allow' an invasion of Scotland doesn't mean they shouldn't take responsibility for their own defence. You only need to look at the resentment the perceived reliance NZ has on Australia for defence (real or imagined) to know that it doesn't do anything to help relations or the image said country presents to the world.

The primary reason a unified force wouldn't work is for the same reason certain parties in Scotland want independence... different priorities, policy and objectives. What's do you think would happen if the UK goes to war with Argentina over the Falklands again and Scotland wants nothing to do with it? If Scotland gets independence, it would be better for both parties if it's a clean, sweeping break so they can both do their own thing, rather than being dangerously entwined without the ability to act in concert.
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Old March 14th, 2012   #26
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The Australian and New Zealand militaries may cooperate heavily, and have/are moving towards greater integration, but they aren't a joint force. Even the WWI/II forces weren't joint, so much as they were (generally) in a unified command and used together. They were still completely different units.

Also, just because the UK would not 'allow' an invasion of Scotland doesn't mean they shouldn't take responsibility for their own defence. You only need to look at the resentment the perceived reliance NZ has on Australia for defence (real or imagined) to know that it doesn't do anything to help relations or the image said country presents to the world.

The primary reason a unified force wouldn't work is for the same reason certain parties in Scotland want independence... different priorities, policy and objectives. What's do you think would happen if the UK goes to war with Argentina over the Falklands again and Scotland wants nothing to do with it? If Scotland gets independence, it would be better for both parties if it's a clean, sweeping break so they can both do their own thing, rather than being dangerously entwined without the ability to act in concert.
Some good points... Although this is a none point I was making reference to the Anzac's as you describe them a "unified command" which is why I stated England would be the higher command but this is irrelevant.

I would disagree with your complete break theory though, although a lot of time and thought will need to go into it, the UK will need to stay somewhat unified despite a Scottish Independence. A miny EU if you know what I mean.
Perhaps a joint defensive force as this is where both countries will forever share a common need? thoughts?
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Old March 14th, 2012   #27
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Some good points... Although this is a none point I was making reference to the Anzac's as you describe them a "unified command" which is why I stated England would be the higher command but this is irrelevant.

I would disagree with your complete break theory though, although a lot of time and thought will need to go into it, the UK will need to stay somewhat unified despite a Scottish Independence. A miny EU if you know what I mean.
Perhaps a joint defensive force as this is where both countries will forever share a common need? thoughts?
Fair enough, but if they are working together then that brings up other issues, such as force structure, requirements etc. From what I understand, that and the stuff that goes along with it would be opposite of what those who wish independence for Scotland want. Especially with the UK being the higher authority, as if I am not wrong, that's a pretty central part of why Scotland wants independence...

Why would it need to stay somewhat unified? Frankly if I was the UK I'd do what StobieWan suggested and tell the Scottish Government to shove it up their collective posteriors. If they want independence, they can have it--along with everything that comes along with it. The UK can't be expected to shelter Scotland. Also, once again, something like a 'mini-EU' would be contrary to the idea of independence in the first place. On that note, I have also read that Scotland was more interested in working with the Scandinavian countries? Or something like that, rather than the UK/Europe.
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Old March 14th, 2012   #28
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Some good points... Although this is a none point I was making reference to the Anzac's as you describe them a "unified command" which is why I stated England would be the higher command but this is irrelevant.

I would disagree with your complete break theory though, although a lot of time and thought will need to go into it, the UK will need to stay somewhat unified despite a Scottish Independence. A miny EU if you know what I mean.
Perhaps a joint defensive force as this is where both countries will forever share a common need? thoughts?
Well, as far as I understand it, the SNP are stating they want to keep the pound as a currency, continue to acknowledge the Royal Family as a constitutional head - and I'm sure that both countries will work well together and create structures that permit common security of borders. There's certainly no suggestion that the two countries would be in any sense anything less than close working partners.

I've Scots blood on both sides of my family, come from an area of England which culturally and socially has more in common with Scotland than England (the North of England, where voting patterns and so forth are similar to Scotland) I'm also sure we'll continue to recruit heavily from the Scots for the UK forces there's a scary percentage of the paratroops and SAS that are Scots so there's no argument that there's a strong common martial tradition.

The SNP however, would be impossible to work with as a national unified military command - at least from all that has been said in terms of their attitude towards international military ventures.

If they vote for independence, that's what they get - all the good stuff that makes money comes home - the SNP continue to promulgate the odd notion that they can dispose of Trident at massive impact to the UK but retain Lossiemouth, Kinloss, and probably Faslane if can make it a nuclear powered but not nuclear armed limitation.
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Old March 14th, 2012   #29
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Hi All,

Just wanted to start a topic on the Implications of Scottish Independence if the Scottish were to vote for full Independence.

Such as what would happen to the :

Trident nuclear weapons
Defense industry as a whole
EU implications
NATO Implications
Permanent seat at the UN

will we both have to re-negotiate memberships?
My main question is what effect this would have as a whole to the UK and its military, any input would be grateful
Scottland would very likely not gain controll of nuclear weapons, if they became independent. It could be juged as break of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty if the UK gives the Scotts nukes.
Defence industry will very likely not be affected by the theoretical declaration of Scottish independence, at least unless one of the countries (UK or Scottland) decided to adopt new laws.
Scottland would likely be accepted as member of the EU and NATO if they decided to become independent. There are quite a lot things in Scotland which have been financed with EU money (like streets in the middle of nowhere). Germany didn't have to join NATO/EU again (or to vote wether they want to be in it), after they reunited (which is exactly the opposite).
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Old March 14th, 2012   #30
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Scottland would very likely not gain controll of nuclear weapons, if they became independent. It could be juged as break of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty if the UK gives the Scotts nukes.
Defence industry will very likely not be affected by the theoretical declaration of Scottish independence, at least unless one of the countries (UK or Scottland) decided to adopt new laws.
Scottland would likely be accepted as member of the EU and NATO if they decided to become independent. There are quite a lot things in Scotland which have been financed with EU money (like streets in the middle of nowhere). Germany didn't have to join NATO/EU again (or to vote wether they want to be in it), after they reunited (which is exactly the opposite).
There's never been any suggestion of Scotland *wanting* nuclear weapons - the SNP have a policy of a nuclear free Scotland, and are insisting that in the even of independence, we'd need to relocate any nuclear weapons from Scotland.

If you think the Scottish defence industries won't be hit by suddenly finding themselves in a country with no major desire for defence spending, you're badly wrong Scotland would be a separate country, raising it's own taxes, spending it's own budget, managing it's own deficit etc.

Some suppliers may keep up existing relationships but Rosyth will be hit badly for one.
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