Leave the toadying and anti-Irish sentiments to the Unionists?

At the end of an otherwise well-judged piece in Foreign Policy on 16th March 2021, An Independent Scotland Would Bring No Surprises for Allies: Scotland is in a great position to be a good global citizen, SNP MPs Alyn Smith and Stewart McDonald write:

Like Ireland, Scotland will be a smaller state but within a global A-Team, a good news story for the EU out of the despond of Brexit. Unlike Ireland, Scotland will seek to be a reliable NATO partner; it’s in too vital a strategic position not to be.

Unlike Ireland? Global A-Team? Here’s the situation:

In 1999 when Ireland became a signatory to NATO’s Partnership for Peace programme and the alliance’s Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. Since then, NATO and Ireland have actively cooperated on peacekeeping, humanitarian, rescue, and crisis management issues and have developed practical cooperation in other military areas of mutual interest, under Ireland’s Individual Partnership Programme (IPP) and Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme (IPCP), which is jointly agreed every two years. Irish cooperation with NATO is centred around the country’s historic policy of neutrality in armed conflicts, which allows the Irish military to deploy on peacekeeping and humanitarian missions where there is a mandate from the United Nations (UN Security Council resolution or UN General Assembly resolution), subject to cabinet and Dáil Éireann (Irish parliament) approval. This is known as Ireland’s “triple-lock” policy.


Given the NATO A-Team’s disastrous bloody interventions in Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq and Yugoslavia, the above makes a lot of sense to me and I’m not alone in thinking that in Scotland.

In 2012:

Alex Salmond has won a narrow victory in his attempts to overturn the Scottish National party’s long-standing opposition to membership of Nato. After a debate that split the party’s annual conference, delegates voted by 394 to 365 to back a new policy to support membership of Nato if the SNP wins the 2014 Scottish independence referendum. The result was far narrower than SNP leaders had expected, after numerous delegates said it would be hypocritical to join Nato while upholding the party’s historic opposition to nuclear weapons, with the UK’s nuclear arsenal based on the Clyde near Glasgow. To boos, Angus Robertson, the SNP’s defence spokesman, said that 75% of Scots wanted the country inside Nato and their support was essential if the SNP wanted to win the referendum.


I don’t know what the basis for Angus Robertson’s claim was but I’ve seen no evidence that Scots, if told just what NATO has done, would want us to be a more reliable partner than Ireland.

I mean, really, we leave one militaristic union for another, even bigger?

7 thoughts on “Leave the toadying and anti-Irish sentiments to the Unionists?

  1. A referendum on Scottish Independence
    A referendum on membership of NATO
    A referendum on membership of the EU

    They can all be done but i think we should get the nuclear base in Scotland shut down and the subs moved back to england the day after Scottish independence

    Switzerland have many referendums each year to settle important public issues

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Not so much the subs but the nuclear arsenal at Coulport.
      If nothing else,Coulport must be a top priority target for any enemy of the UK.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree, Alex.

      OTOH, people will surely want to have a rough idea of what sort of decisions were likely to be made after Independence. Otherwise it might come across as an airy “Oh, we’ll decide all that afterwards…”.

      It did last time. I’m not saying that was the case. Just that that was how it came across to the punter-in-the-street.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think the position lies somewhere in the middle in that policy making follows independence; but for the punter-in-the-street it’s important that we do have some possibilities lined up especially to counter specious arguments.

        Of course, questions can also be turned back on the questioner, asking for their views on what should happen.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hi, peeliewallie

        That’s why I said “rough idea”. It stands to reason that no definitive answers can be given. But I think broad brushstrokes are essential.

        As you say, somewhere in the middle. Something between ‘It’ll be alright on the night’ and a 600+ page plan. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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