Sunday, June 12, 2011

Britain warns independent Scotland

Source: Press TV

British defence secretary, Liam Fox has warned Scottish First Minister, Alex Salmond against pushing for independence, media reports say.

Speaking to the Commons Scottish Affairs select committee, the defence secretary cautioned Salmond, saying that any plan for independence could threaten the future of Scotland's military bases and shipping industry, the Daily Telegraph reported.

In an explicit warning to Salmond, Fox said if Scotland would decide to go ahead with an independence bid there would “clear implications” for the positioning of the United Kingdom's army, navy and air force bases.

He also warned that separation could harm Scottish shipbuilding as it creates “uncertainty” among foreign countries interested in buying British warships.

Fox went on to threaten that shipyards in a separate Scotland could not expect military orders from the remainder of the UK.

However, he said the sites of military bases have not yet been influenced by the threat of Scottish independence as it remains “hypothetical.”

But pressed by Ian Davidson, the committee's convener, regarding what happens to the bases if Scotland would become a “foreign country,” the Defence Secretary said, “There would be clear implications for that.”

“I would be wanting to look with my colleagues across government at what the implications may be and how we might deal with them. It could potentially be a serious issue,” Fox said.

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