Scottish independence: Scotland 'would have to apply', Nato chief says

Anders Fogh Rasmussen Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he was not going to "interfere" with the referendum campaign

An independent Scotland would have to apply to Nato as a new state, secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said.

In an interview published in the Times, Mr Rasmussen is quoted saying Scotland's membership would have to be approved by the other member states.

The Scottish government said membership was "in the strong interests of the rest of the alliance".

Pro-Union campaigners claimed the SNP's plan to join Nato "isn't credible" if it removes Trident nuclear weapons.

"I am not going to interfere at all with a campaign leading up to the referendum in Scotland, but I can inform you about procedures and the facts," Mr Rasmussen told The Times.

"In [the] case that Scotland voted in favour of independence then Scotland would have to apply for membership of Nato as a new independent state.

"A decision on accession would have to be taken by unanimity, by consensus as always in Nato."

He added: "Some aspiring countries have waited for many years. Others enjoy a very short procedure depending on how close they are to fulfilling the necessary criteria."

Founder member

The UK is a founder member of the Nato alliance, which now encompasses 28 states.

In 2012 the SNP, which currently forms the Scottish government, voted to end its 30-year opposition to Nato. Two MSPs, John Finnie and Jean Urquhart, left the party in protest at the policy change.

The party has maintained support for nuclear disarmament and has committed to removing the UK's Trident weapons system from Scotland if voters back independence in the forthcoming referendum.

Speaking for the Better Together campaign, former UK Defence Secretary Lord Browne said: "Alex Salmond has not explained how he intends to remove our nuclear deterrent whilst simultaneously rejoining a nuclear alliance. It simply isn't credible.

"Today we have the ability to make a difference in our world. We have seat at the top table in Nato, the EU, the UN and the G7.

"Our membership of Nato as part of the UK gives us a level of security that cannot be guaranteed if we vote for independence. Why put that at risk?"

A spokesman for the Scottish government said: "The Nato secretary general has simply outlined the process we are already aware of.

"We have made clear that, following a vote for independence, the Scottish government will notify Nato of our intention to join the alliance and negotiate a transition from membership as part of the UK to independent membership, taking our place as one of the many non-nuclear members.

"Nato's own stated intention is for membership to be open to all European democracies that meet the membership criteria — and given that Scotland occupies a key strategic location in the North Atlantic we believe our continued membership will be in the strong interests of the rest of the alliance."

In a previous interview in June, Mr Rasmussen said Nato had not discussed the implications of a "Yes" vote in the referendum, adding that the issue was "for the Scottish people to decide".

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Scotland Decides

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Scotland Decides: SCOTLAND VOTES NO

  1. No 2,001,926
  2. Yes 1,617,989
After 32 of 32 counts Results in detail

Referendum Live

  1.  
    09:04: Yes 'feeling persists'

    Independence campaigners, broadcaster Lesley Riddoch and musician Pat King, have been talking to BBC Radio Scotland about where the Yes movement goes from here.

    Riddoch says strong feelings on Scottish independence "are still there in spades".

    While King says: "One of the next things the Yes movement can do - and I think a Yes movement persists - is to find a way to talk to itself, to meet with itself, and to educate itself.

    "The one thing that caused a No vote was an argument about viable economics or currency - we all need to become economists. What that will do is give us a basic confidence in the viability of [an independent] Scotland."

     
  2.  
    09:00: 'Funds to decrease'

    The Times reports that public funding given to Scotland by Westminster could fall over time as more fiscal powers are devolved.

    The Times

    The three UK party leaders have vowed to retain the Barnett formula as part of efforts to persuade Scottish voters to remain in the Union.

    But since last week's vote, Tory MPs have voiced anger at the funding model, which grants £1,600 a head more in public money to Scotland than England.

     
  3.  
    Text 80295 08:57: Referendum - Get Involved

    Stephen, Ayr: Can the failed Yes brigade stop blaming everyone else for an overwhelming No. The majority have spoken. Accept it and move on.

    Jon, East Kilbride: Give us all a rest from this debate. The Yes were well beaten and now harping on about anything: accept you were thumped and get on with life.

    Iain Brown, Dundee (weare45): I believe 16/17-year-olds should be allowed to vote because their contribution to society can make a difference for the future. At the same time, over 70-year-olds should not be allowed to vote. The reason being the kids want what's best for the country going forward, whereas over 70s are stuck in the past and make no work-related contribution to our society.

     
  4.  
    @bbcscotlandnews 08:51: Andy Murray - Your Views

    Alistair Gellatly tweets: And neither he should. Plenty people gave their opinion, many with less right to do so.

     
  5.  
    08:43: Referendum - Get Involved Louise White Presenter, Morning Call

    Alex Salmond is expected to call for 16 and 17-year-olds to be given the vote in all future elections. Do you agree?

    Do you feel more empowered as a result of the referendum?

    Morning Call

    Get in touch via 0500 92 95 00 or text 80295 and listen live to the programme here.

     
  6.  
    08:39: View from NI Mark Devenport BBC News NI Political Editor

    There tends to be a different message here if you talk to nationalists and unionists.

    There is an element of common ground. Which is that Northern Ireland has long been asking for control over its own rate of corporation tax - that's because the headline rate for this tax in the Irish republic is much lower than the UK rate.

    Unionists and nationalists are generally saying 'Look we do want to get that power' and we're expecting David Cameron to make a decision on this - expected to be a positive one - once the Scottish referendum is out of the way.

    But in relation to any broader powers I think there is quite a lot of both economic and political disagreement, with nationalists, in particular Sinn Fein, calling for full fiscal to be devolved to Stormont but unionists saying 'Hang on, we're not sure politically about this' because it would dilute the union or economically.

     
  7.  
    08:30: Harman: PM being divisive

    Ms Harman says she finds it "a bit depressing an unworthy" that the prime minister should approach the devolution issue with the attitude: "'Oh well, if Scotland's going to have extra powers then we'll divide everyone up in England against Scotland'.

    Harriet Harman

    "I think that's divisive and not the right way to do things."

     
  8.  
    08:20: Harman: Powers have to happen

    "It was an absolute promise that was made," says Ms Harman on the issue of further powers for Scotland, adding: "It has absolutely got to be delivered. If you make a promise on the eve of an election... than that it absolutely what is going to happen."

    She says shadow chancellor Ed Balls "absolutely" backs the idea of devolving income tax and other powers to Scotland.

    What is being promised to England "makes no difference" to what is being promised to Scotland, she adds.

     
  9.  
    08:15: Harman on Scotland 'alienation'

    Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman says there is a "major issue" in Scotland with people feeling they cannot have any confidence about jobs or their futures.

    The party needs to address that feeling of "alienation and resentment that was so clearly there," she tells BBC Radio Scotland.

     
  10.  
    08:14: Murray would rethink indyref tweet

    Andy Murray has spoken publicly for the first time about comments he made on the eve of the Scottish referendum. The tennis star was criticised for sending a tweet supporting independence.

    Andy Murray

    "I don't regret giving an opinion. I think everyone should be allowed that," he said.

    "The way I did it, yeah, it wasn't something I would do it again. It was a very emotional day for Scottish people and the whole country and the whole of the UK - it was a big day.

    "The way it was worded, the way I sent it, is not really in my character. I don't normally do stuff like that. So, yeah, I was a bit disappointed by that. It's time to move on.

    "I can't go back on that and I'll concentrate on my tennis for the next few months."

     
  11.  
    08:03: View from Wales Sian Elin Dafydd BBC News

    Wales First Minister Carwyn Jones has emphatically said there is a need to rebuild the UK and give more powers to Wales.

    He's repeatedly called for a constitutional convention on the devolution of the UK. He's been doing it for more than two years - and some say he's been ignored.

    Yesterday he told the Labour Party Conference in Manchester that support for Welsh independence would grow unless Labour honoured its commitment to rebuild the UK.

    He says people don't want independence but they are attracted to parties like the SNP, UKIP and Plaid Cymru because they are so fed up with the status quo.

     
  12.  
    07:56: Lamont 'quitting' rumours Glenn Campbell BBC Scotland news

    Several newspapers are reporting rumours speculating that Labour leader Johann Lamont is considering stepping down as leader of the Scottish Labour party.

    Johann Lamont and Ed Miliband at the Labour Party conference in Manchester

    Her press spokesperson denied that last night and pointed to her Labour conference speech about leading the party into the 2016 Holyrood elections.

    It doesn't seem that there is any imminent announcement from her.

     
  13.  
    07:52: Harriet Harman interview coming up... Gary Robertson BBC Radio Scotland

    As Ed Miliband delivers his leaders' speech to Labour's conference @HarrietHarman #bbcgms 0810.

     
  14.  
    07:49: Analysis Glenn Campbell BBC Scotland news

    I think Alex Salmond will tell MSPs that, in his view, the referendum was a success.

    Clearly he didn't win independence, but he'll argue the high levels of voter participation and the high levels of interest from media from all over the world are things that people on both sides of the argument can be proud of.

    I think he'll also commit the Scottish government - and the SNP - to hold the UK political parties to the promises they made on further devolution and protecting the funding formula that supplies the Scottish government with the cash to spend on devolved services.

    Outgoing First Minister Alex Salmond

    He'll also call for votes for 16-year-olds in the next UK general election and subsequent polls because of the interest and engagement they showed in the independence referendum.

    I know that Labour leader Ed Miliband has been supportive in the past and there were reports overnight that he will commit to this in his conference speech later.

    The Lib Dems are also in favour of this but the Conservatives are against it.

     
  15.  
    Text 80295 07:45: Referendum - Get Involved

    ATB, from Sunny Leith by Sea, Zane: One of the funniest things I've heard this week (it is only Tuesday, mind you) it all boils down to a simple slogan - "Wales misses out on funding of around £300m per year, but there is some doubt over the funding calculations." They're going to struggle to get that out on Twitter, since the slogan itself is 113 characters!

    Norrie in Stevenston: Everybody, including the media, keep going on about more powers for Scotland but this wasn't on the referendum ballot paper. Why do we need more powers? Just more layers of bureaucracy and expense we don't need; things are fine the way they are thanks.

     
  16.  
    07:41: 'Why I bet £900k on the indyref'

    One man bet £900,000 on a No vote in the Scottish independence referendum...and won.

    Indyref bet

    He has given a fascinating insight to the BBC on his thought process for a significant political gamble...

     
  17.  
    07:36: SNP 'surge'

    The Herald reports that the SNP is on course to become the UK's third biggest political party, with a 62% surge in membership following the referendum.

    The Herald newspaper

    And comedian Billy Connolly predicts trouble ahead should Prime Minister David Cameron fail to honour his promise of further powers for Scotland.

    Read our newspaper round-up here.

     
  18.  
    @bbcscotlandnews 07:34: Referendum - Your Views

    Julie Thomson tweets: A No vote doesn't mean a #Labour vote. #SNP membership growing.

     
  19.  
    07:31: Scottish papers

    The Scottish newspapers are continuing to reflect on the fallout from the referendum.

    The Scotsman

    The Scotsman quotes the Leader of the House of Commons, William Hague, as saying that the pledge of flagship new powers for Scotland will be honoured.

     
  20.  
    07:30: After the dust settled... James Cook Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    Politicians return to Holyrood after Scotland rejected independence.

    Holyrood
     
  21.  
    07:26: The Big Yin fires a warnin...

    Billy Connolly has been giving his thoughts on Scotland's referendum.

    The comedian said there would be trouble if David Cameron did not honour his promise of further powers.

    Billy Connolly

    Speaking at the London premiere of What We Did On Our Holiday, he said: "It's 50:50 - 50% of the country are delighted, 50% are disappointed. But Scotland will get used to the idea.

    "If Mr Cameron keeps up his promises we should be okay. If he doesn't there'll be hell to pay."

     
  22.  
    Text 80295 07:24: Referendum reaction

    Dave, Aberdeen: I believe William Hague said a few days ago that any money raised by new powers over income tax would be clawed back with a £ for £ reduction in the Barnett Formula. Is this true?

     
  23.  
    07:21: 'Bitter-sweet occasion' Colin Blane BBC Scotland news

    This will be a bitter-sweet occasion for Scotland's outgoing first minister.

    Alex Salmond lost the referendum and is preparing to stand down but he does so against the backdrop of a sudden surge in membership for the pro-independence parties.

    His own SNP has added more than 20,000 new members in four days - an 80% increase - which means it has nudged ahead of the Lib Dems to become the third largest party in the UK.

    Mr Salmond is expected to tell the Scottish Parliament that both sides in the referendum can take pride in the campaign and in the huge turnout.

    He'll also say the way 16 and 17-year-olds participated makes the case for them to be given the vote in all elections.

     
  24.  
    07:20: Get Involved Thomas McGuigan BBC Scotland News

    Something you want to get off your chest following Scotland's referendum vote? Send us your thoughts via email, text 80295 or tweet @bbcscotlandnews using #bbcindyref

     
  25.  
    07:18: 'Reflection time'

    Ahead of today's debate, Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick will open proceedings with "time for reflection", a Holyrood slot normally reserved for spiritual or philosophical contributions from religious or secular figureheads.

     
  26.  
    07:16: Holyrood debate

    The debate on the future of Scotland that follow Salmond's statement will go on for two days.

    Alex Salmond

    We'll bring you all the latest lines today and tomorrow as they happen.

     
  27.  
    07:12: Scots made right choice - Miliband
    Miliband speaking

    Also coming up - Labour leader Ed Miliband is expected to tell his party's conference in Manchester that Scotland made the right choice voting against independence.

    But he will say a country that comes close to splitting apart "is not a country in good health".

     
  28.  
    07:09: Salmond successor

    The SNP parliamentary group will also meet today, with nominations for Mr Salmond's successor expected to open on Wednesday.

    Nicola Sturgeon

    Almost every member of the Scottish cabinet has publicly backed his deputy, Nicola Sturgeon, to replace him as SNP leader and first minister.

     
  29.  
    07:05: Parties respond

    The Scottish Labour, Lib Dem and the Conservative parties will also offer their response to the electorate's decision to reject independence by 55% to 45%.

    Labour leader Johann Lamont is likely to offer to find common ground with the SNP.

    The Lib Dems are expected to urge Yes campaigners not to be bystanders as Holyrood pushes for further powers.

    And the Conservatives will accuse the Nationalists of having no intention of accepting the referendum result.

     
  30.  
    07:02: Salmond vote call

    Mr Salmond, who announced after the No result that he would stand down in November, is also expected to call for 16 and 17-year-olds to be given the vote at future elections.

    Outgoing first minister Alex Salmond

    He is also to vow to hold the UK parties to account over further powers.

     
  31.  
    07:01: Holyrood debate

    First Minister Alex Salmond is to address the Scottish Parliament later - for the first time since Scotland voted against independence.

    MSPs will also hold a debate on the outcome of the referendum.

     
  32.  
    07:00: Referendum reaction Thomas McGuigan BBC Scotland News

    Good morning and welcome to today's live page coverage of the latest post-referendum news and analysis.

     

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