SNP’S STEWART McDONALD: NEW FIRST MINISTER NEEDS A FOREIGN POLICY STRATEGY
- Leading MP McDonald challenges broadcasters to question candidates on foreign policy during live debates
- Former SNP defence spokesperson authors new paper: Think Like a State, Act Like a State.
Stewart McDonald MP, the former SNP Defence spokesperson at Westminster, has challenged the candidates to be Scotland’s next First Minister to explain how they would tackle foreign policy, their strategy to project Scotland’s interests and values in the world, and to show their understanding of the growing links between domestic and foreign policy.
In his paper Think Like a State, Act Like a State, for the think tank Reform Scotland, McDonald argues that even while as a member of the UK, devolved Scotland needs a strategy to cope with the increasing military and economic power of authoritarian regimes, and the shift towards protectionism by democracies.
The paper calls for:
- future administrations in Edinburgh to assess the threat posed by hostile foreign states here in Scotland and lead a policy debate about the role our institutions can play in countering it.
- Scotland to use its size and geography to position itself as a North Atlantic state; the next leader of the SNP must be steadfast in their support for the twin security pillars of the European Union and NATO, recognising the importance of these alliances to our economic and military security.
- the new First Minister to work with Scotland’s financial institutions and universities to tackle malign actors, including those who use covert policing outposts, as has been alleged in the case of China. The Scottish Government should enhance its work as a public security actor.
- a reaffirmation of Scotland’s place as a global player in international development, as established by Lord McConnell and continued by his successors.
- Scotland’s devolved government to address the impact on Scotland’s energy, technology and research sectors of rising global protectionism.
- the new First Minister to recognise and enhance the value of Scotland’s defence manufacturing sector, well known for its track record in innovation and delivering highly skilled, well-paid jobs.