SNP Glasgow South MP Stewart McDonald, who is also the party's spokesperson for defence and a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, took to Twit
SNP Glasgow South MP Stewart McDonald, who is also the party’s spokesperson for defence and a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, took to Twitter to praise a speech from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Monday. Speaking at the Brookings Institution think tank in Washington, Ms Sturgeon reaffirmed her party’s commitment to joining the alliance if Scotland leaves the UK. She also insisted NATO membership would be a “cornerstone” of an independent Scotland’s security policy.
Mr McDonald wrote on Twitter: “An excellent speech by @NicolaSturgeon at @BrookingsInst, reaffirming our commitment to an independent Scotland being a positive contributor to Euro-Atlantic security and energy resilience, underpinned by Scottish membership of NATO and the EU.
“‘I am even more firm in my view today that – coupled with a strong relationship with the United Kingdom – membership of the European Union and membership of NATO will be cornerstones of an independent Scotland’s security policy’.
“Lots of important takeaways in this speech.”
But the praise for Ms Sturgeon’s was met with a furious backlash from Nile Gardiner, a Washington-based foreign policy expert and former aide to Margaret Thatcher.
He raged on Twitter: “Delusional propaganda from the Scottish Nationalists.
“The Scottish people voted to remain part of the United Kingdom, and continue to express majority opposition in current polling to leaving the UK.”
Ms Sturgeon made her latest comments on independence in Washington as part of a foreign outreach trip.
The First Minister said: “The party I lead, the Scottish National Party determined back in 2012 – at that time a reversal of a longstanding position – that should Scotland become independent it should seek membership of NATO.
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“There is no doubt that the events of the last three months have strengthened my conviction that this position is absolutely the right and essential one.
“I am even more firm in my view today that, coupled with a strong relationship with the United Kingdom, membership of the European Union and membership of NATO will be cornerstones of an independent Scotland’s security policy.”
Following the Scottish elections in May 2021, the SNP and Scottish Greens signed a power-sharing agreement in what was seen as a huge boost for Nationalists after Ms Sturgeon’s party narrowly missed out on an overall majority.
The power-sharing saw both of the party’s co-leaders given junior ministerial jobs and the publication of a broad shared policy platform.
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But in a sign of friction between the two political partners, Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie said although he wants Scotland to “work in a cooperative way with our neighbours”, he insisted it could be done without becoming a NATO member.
Speaking to the Daily Record newspaper, he said did not see “any appetite” among Green members to change the party’s position.
The opposition from the Greens to being a member of NATO is based on the party’s continued rejection of nuclear weapons.
Mr Harvie said: “What I do see is a recognition that strategic cooperation is really important – that our peace and security depends on countries working together.
“One of the interesting things about the current crisis is it’s an attempt to show that coordinated concerted economic measures can be used as an alternative to military intervention.
“An institution like the EU is, in some ways, more critical than NATO in the immediate term.”