No campaign promises crumble as axe falls on historic Scottish military sites
MILITARY SITES ACROSS Scotland will be abandoned by the ministry of defence, some after centuries of use, minister Michael Fallon has confirmed.
Twenty per cent of the total military bases will be downgraded in the plans, announced last night [Monday 7 November] in London without consultation with the Scottish Government.
Sites earmarked for closure include: Glencorse Barracks, Penicuik; Redford cavalry and infantry barracks, Edinburgh; Fort George near Inverness; MOD Caledonia in Rosyth; Forthside barracks, Stirling; Meadowforth barracks, Stirling; and Craigiehall barracks, Edinburgh.
“Trident renewal is veering out of any financial control and conventional defence spending is plundered because of the Tories' utter incompetence and communities all round Scotland are now paying for it.” Brendan O’Hara
Bases like Fort George, established to quell Jacobite rebellions, have been military sites for centuries.
SNP military spokesperson Brendan O’Hara MP said: “These announcements are yet another worrying blow and worse than expected. The UK government has made this another bleak day for defence in Scotland.
“Defence has already been cut to the bone in Scotland – with the country suffering disproportionately for years – so these new cuts are unacceptable.”
Scotland has endured some of the deepest cuts to military spending of any part of the UK.
Between 2000 and 2010, cuts to personnel in Scotland totalled 28 per cent compared to 11.6 per cent across the UK.
O’Hara added: “Today’s announcement highlights just how utterly damaging the Westminster nuclear obsession with Trident is. Trident renewal is veering out of any financial control and conventional defence spending is plundered because of the Tories' utter incompetence and communities all round Scotland are now paying for it.”
Deputy first minister John Swinney described the announcement as a “huge blow for the country”, and emphasised that no consultation with the Scottish Government had taken place over the decision.
The campaign against Scottish independence promised that a No vote was the best way to protect military jobs, yet since the 2014 result military numbers, MoD civil servants, and now military bases have all received deep cuts.
There also remains disquiet over shipbuilding contracts for the Clyde, with the GMB union criticising broken promises.
Defending the decision, Fallon said existing military bases were “too vast” and that closures would provide better value for money.
Picture courtesy of Liz Smith
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