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Stone claims the union between Scotland and rest of the UK is essential for defence of the country


By Gordon Calder

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A UNITED Kingdom is essential for the defence of Britain, according to Caithness, Sutherland and easter Ross MP, Jamie Stone.

The Liberal Democrat spokesman on defence said the union between Scotland and the rest of the UK is vital for the

security of the nation and claimed that Ministry of Defence (MoD) spending positively impacts job and trading opportunities at military bases north of the border. Military activity generates around £1.9 billion in the north-west and east of Scotland.

Jamie Stone says union is essential for defence of the country. Picture Jessica Taylor
Jamie Stone says union is essential for defence of the country. Picture Jessica Taylor

Mr Stone said: "A United Kingdom is essential for the defence of the realm. More MoD spending in Scotland creates jobs and trading opportunities and that is a very good thing indeed.

"We are in troubling and uncertain times; a war continues to unfold just next door. Fracturing Scotland from the UK would weaken us all, financially and militarily. A united front is the only way to keep us safe, from the very tip of the far north, down to the coasts of the south-west."

Mr Stone raised the issue in the House of Commons during a debate earlier this week. Addressing the defence secretary, Ben Wallace, he highlighted the benefits bases and military exercises have in Scotland.

"When Joint Warrior comes to the north-west of my constituency, brisk trade is done. Does the Secretary of State accept that there are spin-off jobs that benefit from MOD expenditure the length and breadth of the UK?

Mr Wallace replied: "Yes. I am delighted that military activity in the north-west and the east of Scotland brings in not just investment and industry – the £1.99 billion that I have talked about – but economic engagement with the community, which helps to sustain jobs, often in low season rather than the tourist season. It is Britain’s armed forces and British defence that help to keep us all safe, from the very tip of the hon. Gentleman’s constituency right down to the south-west."


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