Defence U-turn

Less than two years ago, the UK Ministry of Defence promised that over 6,000 army personnel currently based in Germany would relocate to Scotland, with hundreds destined for Rosyth. HMS Caledonia was even renamed MoD Caledonia.  Now we know none will come to west Fife and few will relocate elsewhere in Scotland.

Right at the beginning I expressed reservations about the relocation, as I feared army demand pushing out our traditional naval presence in west Fife. I shall always argue for a strong naval presence on the east coast of Scotland. We need it to guard our North Sea oil and gas industry, our fishing grounds and the sea routes to the Continent. However, this U-turn has cost Fifers an estimated £500,000 in setting up a Fife Defence Transition Task Force. The UK Government should be called to account for this.

With its obsession for Trident nuclear submarines on the Clyde, the Westminster Government is doing its best to undermine all forms of conventional defence. London political arrogance requires nuclear weapons to maintain its claimed status as a global power. It’s as simple as that, but this goes against the interests of Scotland and of world peace. If London wants to cut military budgets, let them cut current and planned Trident weapons, which will save billions a year.

When voting in the Independence Referendum, west Fifers might want to consider the value of promises made by Westminster politicians.

The above was originally written for Bill’s Dunfermline Press column. This version may vary slightly.

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