Westminster delays creating uncertain Christmas
- Published on Monday, 17 December 2012 09:57
- Posted by Vicki Mitchem
Delays in drawing up military basing requirements at Westminster is presenting communities and service personnel with the prospect of an uncertain Christmas.
The failure of the Westminster Government to stick to its timetable on announcing plans for the return of troops for Germany and the future of basing requirements across the UK has been described as 'deeply troubling'.
Last year the then Defence Secretary Liam Fox promised that between 6,500 and 7,000 personnel would return to Scotland and be part of a new multi-role brigade, new barracks would be built at Kirknewton in West Lothian and a new training area would be established in the Borders.
However, as reported in today's Sunday Post, it is widely anticipated that the Westminster Government may be preparing to row back on these commitments, and the failure to stick to the timetable for announcing the coalition's plans will only add to existing concerns in communities surrounding military bases in Scotland.
Commenting, SNP Defence Spokesperson Angus Robertson MP said:
"Service personnel and the communities surrounding military bases in Scotland will be extremely concerned by this delay and deserve answers from the MoD.
"The Westminster Government promised that there would be clarity on what they have planned by Christmas, but it seems that this is another case of the coalition not keeping its word.
"Scotland has already borne the brunt of damaging and disproportionate defence cuts and the possibility that Westminster will do more damage to Scotland's defence footprint by reneging on their commitments is deeply troubling.
"People deserve to know what the future holds for their community, but thanks to Westminster the uncertainty goes on and on.
"The continued neglect and incompetence that seems to be the hallmark of successive UK Governments when it comes to Scotland's defence footprint shows why we need the powers of an independent Scotland to mange our own defence interests."