The UK’s former ambassador to Nato has said that an independent Scotland would be welcomed into the military alliance – and that she will vote Yes.
The intervention of Dame Mariot Leslie, Nato ambassador from 2010 to this year, delivered a major blow to claims that the SNP’s anti-nuclear stance would derail its bid to join the organisation.
Clearly timed to coincide with the start of the Nato summit in Wales today and tomorrow, the Edinburgh-born diplomat said: “I am in no doubt that the other 28 Nato allies would see it in their interests to welcome an independent Scotland into Nato.
“No ally would wish to interrupt the integrated Nato defence arrangements in the North Sea and North Atlantic – least of all at a time of heightened tension with Russia.”
Angus Robertson, Moray MP and SNP defence spokesman, welcomed the comments.
“Dame Mariot’s intervention makes it clear beyond doubt that there is a valuable and valued place in the international community for Scotland,” he said.
Mr Robertson also raised the issue at prime minister’s questions in Westminster yesterday.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “On Nato, I prefer to listen to Lord Robertson, the former secretary-general of Nato, who is absolutely clear that Scotland will be better off inside the United Kingdom and that the United Kingdom will be better off with Scotland.
“The problem with the honourable gentleman is that when it comes to all of the big questions–what currency would a separate Scotland use, what would be its position in Nato, what would be its position in the European Union?–they have not been able to provide a single, credible answer.”