THE SNP has urged the Westminster government to appoint an Arctic ambassador to represent the UK’s interests in the polar regions.

During a debate in the House of Commons, SNP MP Douglas Chapman also called for the Government to make representations to Nato allies for the new Nato command to be based in Scotland.

The ambassador’s call follows the Arctic Forum’s three-day conference in Edinburgh last week. The Scottish Government recently launched an Arctic Strategy for Scotland, and all eight Arctic states have appointed special Arctic envoys, ambassadors or other representatives.

Some non-Arctic countries have appointed ambassadors in charge of Arctic affairs. Chapman said: “Having an Arctic ambassador would allow greater scrutiny and coordination of policy development, provide a central point for initiating trade missions and demonstrate a commitment to increasing the UK’s engagement with Arctic countries on areas of mutual interest, such as energy, defence, shipping and environmental protection.”