Angus MP Mike Weir joined a cross-party effort to secure the identity of Scotland’s historic army regiments, including the Black Watch which has huge historical connections with Angus and whose members recently took part in a welcome home parade in Forfar.
The SNP has stepped up demands for the UK Government to rule-out the further amalgamation and disbandment of Scottish raised units as a parliamentary question revealed that less than 3 per cent of regular army units are now stationed in Scotland.
Mr Weir said: “The Black Watch is more than a name, it is part of the history of Angus and Perthshire. I have very many constituents who have a family connection with the regiment, often going back several generations, and are fiercely proud of the regiment and its traditions.
“There were major demonstrations against the last Labour government when they amalgamated the Black Watch into the Royal Regiment of Scotland, but that is dwarfed by the anger that the present Conservative led government intend to abolish the name altogether. Their action also completely flys in the face of promises by the Tories when they were in opposition that they would reinstate Scottish army units.”
Pete Wishart, who represents the home of the Black Watch, added: “It is clear that proposals to merge the names of the Black Watch and Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders are just a cack-handed attempt to mask MoD cuts to the army in Scotland.
“Nobody outside of Whitehall wanted to see the amalgamation of Scottish regiments - it was a small comfort that the unique identities of the battalions would be preserved and now even that seems to be at risk.
“We should make better defence decisions in Scotland and not leave it to London.”