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British Experts: Scottish Security Plan Fundamentally Flawed, Unrealistic

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An Independent Scotland will not be able to offer the same level of security it enjoys while being a part of the UK, according to former British intelligence chief.

MOSCOW, September 6 (RIA Novosti), Ekaterina Blinova - An Independent Scotland will not be able to offer the same level of security it enjoys while being a part of the UK, according to former British intelligence chief.

"In my view the Scottish government proposals will not offer the level of protection and support currently provided by the highly sophisticated British security and intelligence agencies," writes Sir John Scarlett, a former head of MI6 in The Times.

According to the Scottish Government's White Paper, a new efficient intelligence agency is expected to be formed in 18 months. It will be responsible for wide range of functions including cyber security. The SNP government underscores that Scotland and UK will work together in cyber security field, stating that it expects an "appropriate recognition of Scottish taxpayers' proportionate contribution to the UK's current cyber security program," the white paper reads.

However, the independence proponents have not presented the program's overall cost estimates yet, the Telegraph stresses.
The plan has come under attack from prominent UK security and military specialists.

Sir David Omand, a former director of Britain's GCHQ (The Government Communications Headquarters) has expressed his concern regarding the SNP security plan as saying: "As a Scot I want security for Scotland… The SNP white paper is fundamentally flawed on how either part of that condition could be achieved, especially how the different security demands can be accommodated within the security budget said to be available for the first few years of independence," he emphasized as cited by the Press and Journal.

Gemma Doyle, Shadow Minister for Defense, has also criticized the SNP and, particularly, Alex Salmond.

"Yet again, we see the experts saying one thing and Alex Salmond another," she said as cited by the Herald Scotland, "The SNP's defense and security policies fall apart under scrutiny. It makes no sense for us to pay more money for less security."

General Sir Richard Shirreff, a former NATO commander, has called the security plan 'amateurish' and 'unrealistic.' He warned the SNP government that the independent Scotland would unlikely to be able to join NATO soon, as the alliance is still considering the requests of Ukraine and Georgia. He reminded that according to the NATO rules, if one of the alliance's members votes against Scotland's membership, its request would be rejected.

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