RAF Marham is in a “commanding position” to stay open, Norfolk MP claims
South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss has said she thinks under threat RAF Marham is in a strong position to remain a Tornado base following comments made by Defence Secretary Liam Fox on Tuesday.
The county's last flying RAF base could be closed under government plans to reduce the size of the force's Tornado fleet and locate it at a single airfield, possibly in Lossiemouth, Scotland.
The Defence Secretary told Scottish MPs on Tuesday that 'no decision' had been made over the future of RAF Marham and other RAF bases across the country.
But he also told Westminster's Scottish Affairs Committee that the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) will be founded on the strategic as well as the economic arguments for each base.
The Conservative MP, whose constituency covers RAF Marham, said: 'I am greatly encouraged by the Secretary of State's comments and pleased that he notes the strategic and economic importance in the final decision making which I believe places Marham in a commanding position.'
She added: 'It is imperative that any decision over the Scottish bases is followed by a swift announcement as to the future of Marham.'
Mr Fox also told the Scottish Affairs Committee that his team are working towards making an announcement on the basing review before the start of the summer recess (July 19).
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He added that when the decision is made it will be what is 'best for the defence of the UK'.
The Defence Secretary was also repeatedly questioned on the future of Scottish bases should Scotland achieve complete devolution to become 'a foreign nation'.
But he refused to comment on the 'hypothetical' consequences of independence.
'We do not view the UK as a collection of states,' Fox said. 'This is a unitary United Kingdom. We look to defence across the whole of the UK. I hope that [independence] is not something we ever have to consider. I don't believe the people of Scotland with their very proud history would like to see that.'