Scottish independence would “dramatically compromise” UK national security, a foreign policy expert has claimed, arguing Vladimir Putin could attempt to assert control over Scotland. Foreign policy expert Azeem Ibrahim told Express.co.uk Scottish independence would put the UK in a “very bizarre, dangerous situation”. He explained: “In the current economic environment, an independent Scotland is going to get an economic shock – interest rates would have to go up, there is a massive deficit they would have to fill.
“Businesses will certainly move out. Scotland – Edinburgh – is one of the leaders in life insurance, and most of those businesses have already said they will have to leave, putting Scotland in a very economically vulnerable position.
“And when you are economically vulnerable, the likes of Putin will come in to try to bail out Scotland in the hope of trying to get some sort of leverage.
“The UK then will be in a very bizarre, dangerous situation where you have a country to the north of you, which has been bailed out by the Chinese Communist Party, or bailed out by Putin.
“And this will compromise dramatically the rest of the UK. It’s not an ideal situation, but that vulnerability will definitely come to pass.”
The UK Government last month warned that independence could have a negative impact on the UK’s security as a whole.
Last week, the Scottish Affairs Committee opened up an inquiry into Scotland’s role in UK defense of the North Atlantic and the Arctic.
“As the world is exposed to increased geopolitical tensions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the security of the North Atlantic and the surrounding countries has never been so important in modern times.
“The UK Government’s Arctic Strategy, published earlier this year, recognizes this and outlines how the UK is operating in new ways to adapt to any threats.
“Our Committee will be examining the role that Scottish-based defense capabilities will play in this changing landscape, and how the Arctic Strategy is being delivered in Scotland.”
Professor Ibrahim said Scotland plays “an absolutely integral part of the security apparatus of the UK”.
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But he questioned whether it would be able to “maintain the same level of defense as it currently enjoys” if it were to become independent.
Last year, defense expert John Gower claimed that Trident may be forced overseas or halted if Scotland gains independence because key Trident assets – such as the Faslane submarine base, the warhead loading site at Coulport, and nearby testing ranges – are all located in Scotland or Scottish waters.
Mr Gower, a rear admiral at the time of the 2014 independence referendum, concluded in a European Leadership Network paper: “A Scottish secession would therefore generate fundamental operational and fiscal issues for the UK’s nuclear deterrent.”
The SNP and the Ministry of Defense have been contacted for comment.