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Monday 19th November 2012 | 15:50
Scottish National Party press release
The Scottish National Party (SNP) has issued a warning about the potential impact on Scotland of the military basing review by the UK Government, which will be announced shortly.
Ministers are expected to announce the return of troops from Germany, new basing roles including RAF Leuchars and RM Condor in Scotland and new army unit organisation, whilst continuing a massive programme of conventional defence cuts.
Westminster SNP Leader Angus Robertson and defence spokesman Angus Robertson MP is currently visiting the north-western German region which is home to Scottish military units that should return home shortly.
He said: "The UK Government has already started backtracking on its commitments to Scotland and there are serious concerns about the forthcoming review announcements. The MOD is aware of recent disproportionate defence cuts in Scotland and has made promises about bringing troops home and the structures and bases that they will return to".
While Mr Robertson is in Germany he is meeting with the Premier of Lower Saxony David McAllister and visiting Bad Fallingbostel, which is currently home to the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, The Highlanders and many other units.
In 2011, the then Secretary of State for Defence Liam Fox promised that the low number of Army personnel in Scotland would be doubled by returning units from Germany, which would be organised into a Multi-Role Brigade, with a new training area in the Borders and a purpose built barracks at Kirknewton in West Lothian.
Speaking about the forthcoming base review announcement Mr Robertson said:
"The UK Government has already decided to end flying operations at two out of three Scottish RAF bases and massively cut RAF personnel and they promised to more than make up the difference by doubling the low Army numbers in Scotland.
"However they have already gone back on their promise to build the appropriate barracks, and I fear we will see the continuation of shoddy defence decisions for Scotland.
"There is great uncertainty amongst service personnel currently based in Germany and the communities that have hosted them for decades.
"No sane sovereign Scottish Government of any mainstream persuasion would deal with defence in Scotland in this way. This underlines why defence decisions should be made in the Scottish parliament and we can make this happen after a Yes vote in the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence.”