Confusion and misinformation around the future of a RM Condor has plagued Arbroath for years and the Secretary of State for Scotland, Alistair Carmichael has admitted that the fate of military bases cannot be guaranteed.
“As the world changes our military needs change, the configuration of our armed forces will always change, that’s a given,” he explained. “Nobody genuinely knows and cannot genuinely know at the moment what the Ministry of Defence will do to individual bases in the future.”
The Ministry of Defence reviews the way the armed forces operate every 10 to 15 years to analyse the correct balance between the regiments and forces.
It is the result of these reviews that cannot be predicted with certainty and could result in a particular base becoming vulnerable to change at some stage.
“It would be easy for me to say, if Scotland becomes independent then 45 are out of here but I don’t know honestly what would happen. It’s possible that they would but I think the real problem is somewhere further down the line.
“Even if they didn’t go immediately, if for some bizarre arrangement they stayed, Scotland would not have a say in what happens as they would be guests in a Scottish Defence Force base.
“I’m not wanting to be alarmist. I’m not trying to overstate it or scare anybody. Having 45 Commando at RM Condor works well at the moment and to go down the route of independence does introduce an element of uncertainty,” said Mr Carmichael. “From talking to the people in town and at the base, this is an arrangement that works really well.