The strategic defence and security review and the national security strategy
Written evidence from Angus Robertson MP, Westminster Scottish National Party Leader and Defence Spokesman
1.1 The Scottish National Party (SNP) believe the haste in which the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) was conducted failed to take into account the large disparities in the Ministry of Defence (MoD) footprint across the nations and regions of the UK. The over-concentration of spending, basing and manning in certain regions has had the subsequent effect of greatly reducing capabilities elsewhere. The shrinking of the defence footprint in these areas serves no strategic or defence logic.
1.2 The SDSR has failed to take into account the detrimental effect of spending cuts on Scotland. The response by the MoD to base closures and bases currently under threat of closure has been haphazard, incomplete and insufficent in terms of support and analysis.
Information provided by the MoD shows that Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as some English regions, endured significant defence cuts over the last decade. All evidence emerging from the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) suggests that the MoD is set to continuing the trend of concentrating defence manpower, basing and spending in the South of England.
In Scotland for example, there were only 12,190 service-personnel shortly before the 2010 SDSR. Should two of the three RAF bases in Scotland close, as is widely reported, this will reduce uniformed manning levels in Scotland by nearly 25%. This is in addition to the loss of more than 10,500 service and civilian defence jobs in Scotland between the 1997 SDR and 2010 SDSR. MoD statistics show that the defence under-spend in Scotland totalled at least £5.6 billion over the same period. This under-spend constitutes a 36% budget shortfall.
I am unaware of either the last UK Government or the present UK Government explaining their rational for the ever growing geographic concentration of defence spending, manpower and capabilities. I am also unaware of the Defence Select Committee having looked into this.
The Committee may also wish to consider the recent decision by the Ministry of Defence to withhold information showing regional breakdowns of MoD spending. In recent years MoD statistics have confirmed the trend of job losses and spending patterns across the nations and regions of the UK- but the MoD has now said it will stop providing the statistics.
2. UK DEFENCE SPENDING IN NATIONS AND REGIONS
2.2 Defence Spending in Scotland
The UK Ministry of Defence has confirmed in a series of Parliamentary Answers  that there is a significant and widening structural defence under spend in Scotland. This is the gap between Scotland’s population share of spending and the amount actually spent in Scotland:
· The under spend in Scotland increased from £749m in 2002-03 to £1.259bn in 2007-2008, which represents a 68% increase in 6 years.
· Between 2002-2008 the under spend in Scotland has totalled a mammoth £5.622bn
· During 2005-2008 there was a drastic real terms year on year decline in defence spending in Scotland – in total the last UK Government slashed defence spending by £150m in these years.
· There was actually 3% cut in defence spending between 2006-7 and 2007-08
2.3 Regional Defence Spending in the UK
2.4 Comparisons between what each region receives as a percentage relative to their population (per capita) illustrate some significant trends. For instance:
§ The South East received 172% of its population share (in 2007/8).
§ The South West received 247% of its population share.
2.5 All other nations and regions get less than their population share. The ‘south’ taken to include London, South East and South West receives 50% of all expenditure yet only accounts for 37% of the population. If one excludes London, the two regions of South East and South West take up 45% of all expenditure yet only account for 22.1% of the population.
2.6 Spending as a percentage of total declared defence expenditure, including overseas since 2003/4 to 2007/8 has gone down in:
§ North East
§ North West
Spending has gone up in the:
§ South East
§ South West
§ East and West Midlands
2.7 All of these statistics prove that defence expenditure is being reduced in NI, Scotland and the North of England relative to concentrated and increasing spending in the South of England. More was spent on defence in London in 2007/8 than was spent in Scotland.
Increase in MoD spending as a percent from FY 2003/4 to 2007/8:
East Midlands up 25%
South East up 21 %
South West up 15.2%
Scotland down 9%
North East down 7.5%
3 SPENDING PER HEAD
· Scotland receives almost £150 per head less than England as a whole.
· Wales is by far the worst off, with only £130 per head
· Looking at the Government Office regions the disparity is even wider with an intense concentration of spending in the South East and West. The South West of England receives 4 times as much spending per head than Scotland. The South East of England more than double.
4 DEFENCE CAPABILITIES AND FACILITIES IN SCOTLAND
4.1 Capabilities and facilities lost in 2010 SDSR:
· Maritime Reconnaissance and long range Search and Rescue – Nimrod MRA4 (Cancelled and being scrapped)
· RAF Kinloss – Announced for Closure
4.2 Capabilities and facilities currently under threat:
· RAF Lossiemouth
· RAF Leuchars
· Fort George
· Senior Army Command (Craigiehall)
· Military Search and Rescue Helicopters
· SAR Flight HMS Gannet, Prestwick
· SAR Flight RAF Kinloss
· Aeronautical Rescue Co-ordination Centre (ARCC) at Kinloss
· RAF Mountain Rescue Teams (Kinloss and Leuchars)
5 DEFENCE MANNING
T he Ministry of Defence has confirmed i n Parliamentary Answers that:
• There are at least 10,480 fewer people employed in defence jobs in Scotland since the last Strategic Defence Review
• This amounts to 1880 less services personnel and 4600 civilian jobs in addition to the loss of another 4000 jobs that were supported by defence expenditure.
In recent years UK Governments have cutback manpower, amalgamated regiments and closed facilities in Scotland.
Not only has there been a multi-billion-pound defence under-spend north of the Border, there have been thousands of defence jobs cut in Scotland since 1997, as well as a litany of base closures and regimental amalgamations.
To many, the abolition and amalgamation of the historic Scottish regiments and dissolving the "Golden Thread" are the most visible manifestations of UK defence cuts in Scotland.
In 2005 Labour launched a round of amalgamations and cuts. This involved:
• Scottish infantry regiments incorporated into one Royal Regiment of Scotland
• Regiments reduced to battalions.
• KOSB and Royal Scots amalgamated out of free- standing existence.
These amalgamations and cuts are not the first by London Governments:
Tories ‘Front Line First’:
· D owngrading of Rosyth.
· A malgamation of the 1 st Bn, Queen’s Own Highlanders (Seaforth and Camerons) and the 1 st Bn, The Gordon Highlanders into the 1 st Bn, The Highlanders (Seaforth, Gordons, and Camerons).
Labour’s ‘Healey Review’:
· Al l TA battalions were reduced to the 51 st Highland Volunteers and 52 nd Lowland Volunteers.
· Highland Brigade and the Lowland Brigade amalgamated into the Scottish Division.
· 1 st Bn, The Cameronians disbanded.
Conservative ‘Sandys Review’:
· D isbandment of the 2 nd Bn, The Black Watch.
· A malgamation of the 1 st Bn, The Royal Scots Fusiliers and the 1 st Bn, The Highland Light Infantry into the 1 st Bn, The Royal Highland Fusiliers.
· A malgamation of the 1 st Bn, Seaforth Highlanders and the 1 st Bn, The Queen’s Own. Cameron Highlanders into the 1 st Bn, Queen’s Own Highlanders (Seaforth and Camerons).
At the same time as these cuts to the army, there were matching closures and rundowns of Air Force and Navy facilities in Scotland. These are just some of the defence cuts since 1997:
• 340 service jobs terminated, 50 civilian jobs phased out
• 700 service jobs terminated
• 160 service jobs terminated
• 180 service jobs terminated
RAF Buchan - Closed
• 55 civilian jobs lost, and 200 RAF jobs relocated
RAF Stornaway - Closed
• 23 service jobs terminated, 5 civilian jobs terminated
RAF Machrihanish - passed to Defence Estates
• 128 service jobs terminated
Royal Navy Mooring and Support Depot, Fairlie - Closed
• 50 service jobs lost
Royal Naval Storage Depot at Rosyth - closed
• Affecting 200 workers at Rosyth
• 245 service jobs lost and 107 civilian jobs cut
• 700 job losses in 2002 between 3 shipyards
• 265 jobs axed in 2003
Meanwhile, more than half of Scotland’s locally recruited units are not even based in Scotland:
Royal Regiment of Scotland
• 1 st Btn Royal Borderers Dreghorn, Edinburgh
• 2 nd Btn Royal Highland Fusiliers Glencourse, Penicuik
• 3 rd Btn Black Watch Fort George, Inverness
• 4 th Btn Highlanders Fallingbostel, Germany
• 5 th Btn Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Canterbury, Kent
Scots Guards Catterick/London
Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Fallingbostel, Germany
1 st Royal Tank Regiment Warminster, Wiltshire
19 th Regiment Royal Artillery – Highland Gunners Tidworth, Wiltshire
40 th Regiment Royal Artillery – Lowland Gunners Lisburn, Northern Ireland
The Black Watch are set to be moved from Fort George to Colchester and there are no plans for a replacement unit or operations at the barracks outside Inverness .
Recent parliamentary answers from the Ministry of Defence (MOD) confirm how few senior military personnel are stationed in Scotland (2.1%), Wales (0.4%) and Northern Ireland (0.6%).
Only 3 of the top 110 senior Royal Navy officers, 5 out of 230 senior Army Officers and 2 out of 130 senior Royal Air Force officers are based in Scotland. None of the 18 most senior Royal Marine officers are based in Scotland
Annex 1 - 06/09/10
Departmental Public Expenditure
Alun Cairns: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department has spent in total in each (a) nation and (b) region of the UK in each of the last five years. 
Mr Robathan: Estimated direct Ministry of Defence (MOD) expenditure for the nations of the United Kingdom and the regions of for the latest five years where data are available are presented in the following tables. These estimates cover MOD expenditure on equipment, non-equipment, service and civilian personnel costs.
13 February 2011
 PQ October 22 2009: Column 1635W  http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200809/cmhansrd/cm091022/text/91022w0018.htm ; PQ September 9 2009  Column 2000W http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200809/cmhansrd/cm090909/text/90909w0023.htm#0909102000011
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