Row erupts over unconfirmed plans to dismantle world-famous Black Watch based at Fort George near Inverness
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A row has erupted over unconfirmed plans to dismantle the Black Watch – based at Fort George near Ardersier – as part of a new round of defence cuts.
Reports that the world-famous Scottish regiment could be in the firing line follow concerns this summer that the UK Government was planning to slash the Army by a quarter.
Defence minister Johnny Mercer played down reports in July that the Armed forces were bracing themselves for further cuts.
But amid ongoing concerns, the SNP has moved to object to reports over the 'proposals' for the Black Watch.
SNP defence spokesman Stewart McDonald MP said: "To dismantle this ancient regiment would be a serious betrayal of all who serve and who have served in the past.
"It would be unconscionable for any government to scrap the historic Black Watch and it would fly in the face of the promises made to the Scottish people, and those Scots serving in the armed forces, during the independence referendum - a promise that the government is already falling far short of."
The Black Watch was spared in the 2012 shake-up of the Army and currently has about 500 personnel based at Fort George.
The primary recruiting areas have been in Fife, Dundee, Angus and Perth and Kinross.