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Moore's 'small Scotland' warning

Scottish Secretary Michael Moore has claimed that the Scottish Government's "small Scotland" approach risks relegating the nation to the sidelines in future international military interventions.

Speaking after the death of Col Gaddafi and the planned winding down of Nato operations in Libya, Mr Moore insisted that a "separate Scotland could not have protected Libyans from Gaddafi".

However, a spokesman for First Minister Alex Salmond described Mr Moore's statement as "bizarre", "inaccurate", "tasteless" and "ignorant" of the fact that 17 countries took part in the Libyan operation.

Mr Moore said UK Cabinet members, MPs, officials and diplomats from Scotland had helped deliver the UK position on Libya. He added: "I think people in Scotland would agree we should not lose that influence through the 'small Scotland' approach of the Scottish Government.

"Our experience in Libya proves we shouldn't be looking to downsize Scotland's international influence. We should be proud of it and prepared to use it to achieve good where we can.

"The Scottish Government needs to answer exactly what its defence force would look like outside the UK and whether it would be part of international memberships like Nato.

"Scotland deserves to know whether it is going to be part of making the world more secure or simply watching from the sidelines in the future."

The Scottish Government's Your Scotland, Your Voice paper states that an SNP-led independent Scottish Government would co-operate with international alliances such as Nato while not being a member.

Mr Salmond's spokesman said: "This bizarre statement from Michael Moore is as inaccurate as it is tasteless - he has shown a complete lack of judgment in issuing it.

"The SNP and Scottish Government fully supported the military action in Libya because it was endorsed by the international community through a Security Council Resolution - we opposed the disastrous and illegal war in Iraq which was so enthusiastically backed by the Tories, the Lib Dems' coalition partners."


From Belfast Telegraph