This is an archived page from 2013. For the April 2015 BAFF statement on the SNP manifesto pledge in the General Election please click this link:
This is the archived text dated 18 October 2013:
The Scottish National Party (SNP), at its annual national conference 2013, approved a plan to improve conditions for service personnel after independence. The plan includes "Official representation of service personnel". Unlike the UK government at present but in line with countries like Ireland, the Scandinavian countries, the Netherlands and Germany, the SNP would recognise the right of association for armed forces personnel.
While remaining neutral on the independence referendum question, BAFF welcomes the support of another political party for the principle of representation for service personnel.
The text of an SNP press release is below.
The Scottish National Party has today (Friday) approved a plan at its annual national conference in Perth to improve conditions for service personnel, military families and defence communities after independence.
The motion proposed by Westminster SNP leader and defence spokesperson Angus Robertson MP and Scottish Government Veterans Minister Keith Brown MSP, who served in the Falklands as a Royal Marines Commando, is as follows:
“Conference welcomes the opportunities independence offers Armed Forces personnel, their families and defence communities. Following years of disproportionate defence cuts in Scotland, involving cuts to: personnel, bases, historic military units and key capabilities as well as severe pressures on military families, a sovereign Scotland can make significant improvements. Conference calls on the Scottish Government to give consideration to a package of improved measures for Armed Forces personnel, families and defence communities, focussed on:
· Enhanced Terms and Conditions, such as no compulsory redundancies to military personnel during their service contract
· Full ranks career structure in Scotland
· Family stability with Scottish basing and better troop rotation
· Official representation of Service personnel.
Commenting, Westminster SNP Leader and defence spokesman Angus Robertson MP said:
“Being able to make defence and security decisions in Scotland with independence will bring real improvements to service personnel, military families and defence communities. Following a ‘Yes’ vote in the independence referendum there is a huge opportunity to rethink poor Westminster priorities and have a government which takes the welfare and interests of the service community in Scotland more seriously.
“Delegates at the annual conference of the Scottish National Party in Perth have had the opportunity to debate and approve a range of proposals aimed at emulating this best practice which can be seen in other countries. I am delighted to be proposing the motion together with Scottish Government Veteran’s Minister Keith Brown, who has real practical experience in this area having previously served with the Royal Marines.
“We believe that if Scotland has the power to make defence decisions after a ‘Yes’ vote in the 2014 independence referendum an SNP government should prioritise improved conditions for military personnel. This should include enhanced terms and conditions, such as no compulsory redundancies to military personnel during their service contract. Unlike the present time there should be full ranks career structure in Scotland and there can be enhanced family stability with Scottish basing and better troop rotation.
“Personnel should be properly represented within the military and with defence policy decision-makers. This is the norm in most other countries and recognised representation is part of the significant improvements the SNP is considering for Armed Forces personnel and their families.
Veterans Minister Keith Brown MSP said:
“Scotland has suffered from massive and disproportionate military job cuts and broken promises by successive Westminster governments. The experience in Scotland has been particularly bad. Even the UK Government has acknowledged the disproportionate job cuts: more than 28% in Scotland compared to 11% for the UK as a whole. Personnel numbers are now down to 11,000 in Scotland a record low, two of three airbases have been axed, we are a maritime nation without maritime patrol aircraft and there is not a single serious ocean going conventional naval vessel based in Scotland.
“Only with a Yes vote next year can we properly address the needs and priorities of defence in Scotland in the 21st century. Otherwise we will have more of the same. Cuts, cuts and more cuts with the insult of serving personnel being posted their p45s and the obscenity of Trident – the expensive, immoral and inherently unsafe nuclear missile system dumped on the Clyde .”
- SNP source: Plan to improve conditions for military personnel
- ADDED LINK: Enhanced terms for armed forces personnel on independence. SNP Defence Spokesperson Angus Robertson writes on the case for enhanced terms and conditions for armed forces personnel in an independent Scotland, ahead of a debate at SNP Conference.