GLASGOW and Edinburgh airports, in an independent Scotland, could be bombed by an English government if it was threatened by an unfriendly country, a former deputy leader of the UK Conservative Party has warned.

Lord Fraser of Carmyllie also warned that SNP policies removing nuclear forces from Scottish bases and reducing Scotland's navy "essentially" to fishery protection vessels could make Scotland a war zone. He said a country with a few fishery protection vessels was "asking to be invaded".

The former Lord Advocate and Solicitor General said he did not see who might have "evil intentions" against England but he had missed "the import of the Balkan crisis and the ramifications of 9/11" and would hesitate "to predict the crises even in the rest of the century".

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He foresaw the possibility of an enemy commander ordering the runways at Scottish airports to be cleared because his planes would be landing and "if that were to happen what alternative would England have but to come and bomb the hell out of Glasgow airport and Edinburgh airport".

He suggested one solution would be to base the nuclear fleet, currently based on the Clyde, to Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands.