The Liberal Democrat party at its national conference in Glasgow this week has confirmed its support for organised representation of armed forces personnel.
The party approved this proposal as part of the 'Forces welfare' section of a major policy paper, Defending the Future: Britain's Defence in the 21st Century:
Offering the Armed Forces the opportunity to organise representation along the lines of the Police Federation but without the right to strike.
Lib Dem support for representation is not new. But the inclusion of this policy as part of a major policy paper adopted by the party (and not only by its parliemanetary leadership) is regarded as a significant step forward.
It is hoped that the Scottish National Party at their conference next month will support the right of representation for the personnel of a Scottish Defence Force - and that as a Westminster party the SNP will also now support representation within the present UK armed forces.