ALYN Smith MP states that an independent Scotland in the EU was “integral to [the SNP’s] proposition in 2014, and I am firmly of the view that it remains so” (How Yes movement and SNP can best use this time, April 8). But can Mr Smith tell us if he still believes EU membership is integral to Scottish interests if it means sacrificing the independent defence capability of Scotland in the future?

The reality of the EU’s integrationist vision on defence co-operation with Nato was laid bare when the European Political Strategy Centre’s briefing, Joining Forces – The Way Towards the European Defence Union, was published in February 2019. It highlights how the EU-Nato strategic partnership has become an integral pillar for strengthening European defence.

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Not only does the whole direction of this EU defence strategy seriously endanger the traditional neutrality of EU members such as Austria, Ireland, Finland, Malta, and Sweden, but will render practically stillborn the hope that an independent Scotland in the EU will be able to retain Nato membership yet shed its nuclear weapons. The increased pressure for ever closer defence integration will make it not only highly unlikely that the Norway option will be open to Scotland under the proposed European Defence Union, but that Oslo itself will come under sustained pressure to accept the nuclear option.

On September 12 2018, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said in his State of the Union address that the geopolitical situation makes this Europe’s hour: the time for European sovereignty has come. As one who has campaigned for full Scottish sovereignty for the last 40 years I am very clear that it would be fatal to the cause to try and promote independence as a choice between two unions. Finally, Mr Smith should be aware that the Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar condemned the EU budget in February of this year as detrimental to Ireland’s interests. This might be how Mr Smith wants Scotland to be treated, but I have more ambition for our country.

Cllr Andy Doig (Independent),
Johnstone North, Kilbarchan, Howwood, and Lochwinnoch Ward

Renfrewshire Council

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