, Volume 90, Number 4

Colin Fleming
The Scottish government’s white paper on independence, Scotland’s future, sets out its defence blueprint following a ‘yes’ vote. It makes clear that its defence plans would be subject to a Strategic Defence and Security Review in 2016, as well as negotiation on the division of assets with London. However, it also provides a strong indication of how it envisages its defence posture as an independent state—a major pillar of which is founded upon strong and continued defence cooperation with the rest of the United Kingdom. Is this a realistic assumption? And, if so, how would it work in practice? Contextualized by the increased emphasis on defence cooperation which sits at the heart of NATO’s Smart Defence initiative, as well as the European Defence Agency’s ‘pooling and sharing’ programme, the article assesses the benefits and challenges that might be encountered in a defence cooperation agreement between an independent Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom in the event of a ‘yes’ vote in September’s referendum.

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