LONDON (AP) — The head of the Royal Navy says that Scottish independence would weaken Britain's sea forces.
Admiral George Zambellas told the BBC Tuesday that Britain's defenses would be damaged if Scotland breaks away after a September referendum.
Zambellas, the First Sea Lord, said Britain makes a substantial maritime contribution to NATO that would be undermined if Scotland became a separate country with a separate navy.
"The two components would not add up to the sum of the whole," he said.
Britain has ships and submarines as well as Royal Marine commando units based in Scotland.
Zambella says negotiations on these facilities would be long, difficult and expensive should Scotland become independent.
Scottish leaders have said the future of the military bases could be negotiated but nuclear submarines would have to go.