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Stewart McDonald MP @StewartMcDonald
, 10 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
This is worth everyone’s time but misses out on some of the bigger picture stuff that we must consider. A few thoughts on the issues that it raises...
Firstly there is no squeamishness. We seek to create a new state that would be a full and active member of international institutions, and we are very aware of the challenges and threats that an independent Scotland will need to deal with in the short & long term as it does so.
The last thing the Government of Russia wants is another small independent country in the UN, NATO and the EU pushing an agenda based on human rights, liberal values and international norms - as Scotland would be.
That is why the @SNPDefence team has been engaged in a programme of work that involves independent experts, researchers and engagement with allies from various international embassies to assess in depth the challenges a country like Scotland would need to navigate through.
The world has changed a lot since 2014 and as such we must continuously challenge assumptions that many took for granted at that time. The same goes for the UK, who concluded in the 2015 SDSR that state-on-state threats were of limited consideration.
Our engagement with international partners is not only to understand how they best deal with security and defence matters but is also to show them that Scotland would be a cooperative ally on security issues - particularly in key areas such as the North Atlantic, High North & IG.
Russian interference may have been an abstract threat to many, but it is a threat that we must be aware of and our plans for independence must reflect that so that our allies and, crucially, the public see that we take it seriously.
It is also important that we can demonstrate this to the rest of the UK. Our single most important security relationship after independence will be with rUK and we have a responsibility to demonstrate that independence is no threat, but instead delivers a true ally to the North.
Which is partly why our response to Salisbury matters. Had we won in 2014, would Scotland - England’s closest neighbour - really have stood out from the Netherlands, France, Denmark & others and not have offered support to England? That would be ridiculous.
Our engagement with these issues must be driven by our mutual security interests - which the public expect us to apply the most serious thinking. So let us live up to our maxim: Think like a state. Act like a state. That is the business we are in we are at our best when we do it.
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