Andrew Neil quizzed on GB News departure by Fiona Bruce
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Constant calls for a second referendum on Scotland’s place in the UK has led to just as constant reminders of the damage this would inflict north of the border. But Mr Neil has highlighted it is not just the Scots that would be hurt a split, but the rest of the UK too.
Twitter user @Angelsfeartogo responded to the latest update from the Ministry of Defence noting: “All said… England and the US have magnificent Armed Forces and intelligence.”
Mr Neil was quick to respond, stressing the world ‘England’ should have been replaced – encompassing other parts of the union.
He said in a post on Twitter: “England has no armed forces.
“Britain, on the other hand, has magnificent armed forces.”
@Angelsfeartogo also duly corrected her mistake, joking: “Hah no, I meant all.”
She added: “#BetterTogether.”
Statistics differ and, indeed, are hard to measure given ‘British’ can often be selected for nationality as opposed to English/Scottish/Welsh/Northern Irish.
But it is understood around 10-11 percent of the UK Army are recruited in Scotland.
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Here again, ‘recruited in’ does not necessarily mean place of birth – though it could likewise be that a disproportionate number of Scots sign up in other parts of the UK, tilting the figures against their favour.
Even if 10-11 percent was taken as red, this is still higher than the proportion of Scottish nationals in the UK (roughly eight percent).
Mr Neil was, as such, quick to respond again to another claim that Scotland is not pulling its weight regarding UK defence.
Twitter user @paul86002225 told the Spectator Chairman: “England pays for British armed forces.”
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Mr Neil replied: “Scotland provides, per capita, a higher proportion of those who actually do the fighting.”
In his original post, Mr Neil commented on the latest British intelligence update on the ongoing conflict in Ukraine which reported “Russia has deployed conscript troops… despite previous public assurances from President Putin not to do so”.
He wrote: “Using conscripts to invade Ukraine big problem for Putin.
“April is when terms of service reviewed. Rotating invasion force is logistically impossible so their term will be extended.
“Very low morale will be even lower.”
He added: “US is mulling financial incentives to encourage deserters.”
Meanwhile, it has been suggested the break-up of the UK would play into Putin’s hands, thus formulating more calls for a second referendum to be held off, despite SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon insisting one should go ahead in 2023.
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