Uncertainty over Moray bases could damage local economy


Senior UK Government Ministers are being warned of imminent serious economic and social consequences in Moray while Westminster considers the closure of both local RAF bases.

Defence Secretary Liam Fox, Treasury Secretary Danny Alexander and Scottish Secretary Michael Moore have been sent an urgent message by Moray MP Angus Robertson (pictured) saying that a lack of intervention and support from the UK Government could lead to major job losses within weeks.

The UK Government Ministers have been closely involved with UK spending cuts, including the closure of RAF Kinloss and will make a decision about RAF Lossiemouth in the early New Year.

In his urgent message Westminster SNP Leader and Moray MP Angus Robertson said:

“The UK Government has known for months that the closure of one air base in Moray would be a disaster, whilst a double closure would be unthinkable.

“Despite this knowledge, no support or economic package was prepared in advance of the defence announcement and nothing concrete has been delivered since.

“I am now warning you that as a result there are serious economic and social consequences and that they will be felt within the next days and weeks.

“Massive uncertainty has been created and this is leading to tangible negative effects in the private sector. I fear that this will lead to significant civilian job losses even before decisions are made about military redundancies.

“The approach of the UK government is frankly reckless and is creating a dangerous vacuum and lack of confidence.

“You must act swiftly to announce concrete support measure. Having had months to understand and anticipate the consequences of your decisions there is no excuse for your prevarication and inaction. Further meetings and fact-finding by Westminster civil servants is no substitute for real action and it is your Government’s responsibility to do so.”

Background: Angus Robertson MP is currently in Brussels where he is briefing Scottish officials who work with the European institutions about the consequences of base closures in Scotland. Amongst other meetings Mr Robertson is visiting Scotland House, which hosts representatives of the Scottish Government and local authorities.