May flunks key test with 'discredited nonsense'

The publication of a paper from the Westminster Government on security in an independent Scotland has been branded as “the same old tired and discredited nonsense”, and “’Project Fear’ at its worst”.

The paper raises questions on cross-border cooperation on policing – despite the fact that Scotland is already an independent jurisdiction for justice and policing issues, and the fact that European Arrest Warrants would apply. A close ongoing security relationship between an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK will also be in both countries’ interests.

Theresa May had sought to withdraw the UK from the European Arrest Warrant scheme, which would have made it easier for criminals to escape justice by leaving the country, but was forced into reversing her position on the issue earlier this year.

Last week Allan Burnett, the former Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS) Co-ordinator of Counter Terrorism made clear that “an excellent Scottish intelligence organisation could be developed in an independent country”.

Commenting, SNP MSP Christine Grahame, who chairs Holyrood’s Justice Committee said:

“Today was a key test of whether the Westminster Government would heed Alistair Carmichael’s advice to stop lecturing people in Scotland – and unsurprisingly Theresa May flunked it.

“All we have heard from Theresa May today is the same old tired and discredited nonsense reheated by Westminster once again.

“This is “Project Fear’ at its worst – trying to politicise issues of security and anti-terrorism in this way is the height of irresponsibility.

“This paper completely ignores the fact that Scotland is already an independent jurisdiction for justice and policing – and as such we already have lots of cross-border cooperation on counter-terrorism and other issues which will continue in an independent Scotland.

“It frankly beggars belief that Theresa May feels able to lecture anyone on arresting people in other countries after she was forced into an embarrassing U-turn on the European Arrest Warrant earlier this year.

“While Theresa May’s own record on security is one of cutting police officers by over 11,000 and undermining policy pay and conditions south of the border, the Scottish Government has a strong track record on standing by our police service.

“In Scotland we have delivered more than 1,000 additional police officers while protecting them from the deeply damaging Winsor changes to pay and conditions.

“The SNP has a record of delivering when it comes to policing and security and we will take no lessons from someone who has done so much to undermine this vital area south of the border.”

Allan Burnett’s comments can be viewed here: