Scottish Independence

Anyone watching the UK news will know we are living in turbulent times. In a few days the people of Scotland will decide if they are going to become independent. I believe the people have the right to decide what happens to them, so if the “Yes” vote comes out on top I wish them well. What does seem interesting is people on either side of the debate making very definitive statements about the success or failure of independence when a couple of very important points are yet to be decided.

  1. Will an independent Scotland be part of the EU? *
  2. What currency will an independent Scotland be using? *

Of course, there are lots of other important questions, but just focussing on these two for a minute, how can anyone make any firm predictions about the success or failure of independence without at least knowing the answer to these questions up front? How can you predict the economic impact of a split without knowing this? This not only affects the internal economy of Scotland, but it seems like it will have a massive impact on import/export side of the economy.

I’m not a politician and I’m not an economist, so I freely admit that I have no clue about this stuff, but it strikes me that everything I’m hearing from both sides sounds like complete bullshit. If I were a Scottish person I would be really confused about which way to go, because there seems to be very little in the way of solid facts.

I really hope the Scottish don’t choose to leave us, but time will tell. It will certainly be a major talking point for quite some time!

Cheers

Tim…

* As Jason Arneil pointed out in the comments, both questions have been answered by the pro-independence folks. They say yes to the EU and yes to keeping the pound. My issue is, there does not seem to be a definitive answer based on fact. It’s just propaganda coming from both sides. My understanding is:

  1. There will be no definitive answer to the EU issue until after a successful Yes vote, because negotiations with the EU will not start until after the result is known.
  2. The big 3 parties in the UK currently say they will not accept an independent Scotland using the pound. The Yes camp suggest this is a bluff.

As I’ve said, I’m not an expert in this and both sides are doing a propaganda assault at the moment, so it is hard to know the real truth, but it seems to me there is no consensus on the “real” answers to these questions. If I was a voter in this, I would have no clue what the reality of this situation is.

Author: Tim...

DBA, Developer, Author, Trainer.

7 thoughts on “Scottish Independence”

  1. How, can I vote NO, without “knowing” whether the UK will be in the EU after 2017?

    It would seem to me, and independent Scotland has more chance of being in the EU after 2017 than staying with UK.

    The answers to the above have been given. We will use the pound. We will be in the EU.

    I still fully expect a NO vote.

  2. Jason: From what I’ve read, that is the response from the pro-independence camp, but it does not appear to be based in fact. It would seem to me:

    – There will be no definitive answer to the EU issue until after a successful Yes vote, because negotiations with the EU will not start until after the result is known.

    – The big 3 parties currently say they will not accept Scotland using the pound. Assuming that is not bravado, then it would appear Scotland would not be using the pound in it’s current form.

    I don’t think either of those questions has been answered in a satisfactory way at all and probably won’t be until after a Yes vote is successful and the hard questions have to be answered properly.

    As for the UKs membership of the EU, I concede that point. Who knows what the great unwashed will decide? 🙂

    Personally, I expect the Yes vote to keep adding momentum in the polls, then at the last minute voters will get nervous and pick the “safe bet” and vote No. It won’t be long before we know for sure…

    Cheers

    Tim…

  3. I thought the issue of “who gets the oil” and whether oil revenue exceeded the current level of net tax transfers toward Scotland from the rest of the UK was also significant.

  4. Mark: That’s certainly an important question, but once again, it’s an issue that will not be finalised until after a successful “Yes” vote.

    There are differing guestimates of geographical borders based on legal jurisdiction and fisheries, but there is no definitive statement on how the oil is shared out.

    I saw one set of statistics (which are probably lies), that suggested that if they got all the oil money, but they lost the funding that comes out of being part of the UK they would be left at a considerable loss. More money is (allegedly) spent per head on Scottish people than on the people of England, Northern Ireland and Wales. Once again, we won’t really know the truth of it unless it happens. Each side has a vested interest in painting the picture in a specific way. 🙂

    Cheers

    Tim…

  5. After a ‘Yes’, Scotland would no longer be part of the UK and hence no longer part of the EU. They would have to apply for membership.

    ‘Yes’ have stated they want to keep the £ and use the Bank of England as a lender of last resort. Whether the UK Government would agree to this or a currency union isn’t clear.

  6. Hi Tim

    Taking the questions in reverse order (the Irish in me I guess). The immediate answer to the second question is that Scotland would continue with the pound. The English cannot in fact stop this, consider the various countries that already use the US Dollar as their currency. The real question at dispute is, will Scotland require its own central bank and finance system, but that’s a much larger question as both sides know well – for example, Scotland could in principle refuse to acknowledge any of its share of historic national debt if refused use of the B of E as lender of last resort, after all the liability lies with the B of E.

    The euro question is similar, yes there won’t be a definitive answer, but there is a clear negotiation to have, and a fairly clear eventual outcome :).

    Both of these though I would say are clear side issues to the real question (the one to the politico’s credit) that is on the paper, is Scotland to be an independent nation, or to be a continuing part of a close federation of sovereign states governed centrally? The political and economic arrangements should flow from this decision, not the other way around. I know which way I hope it goes from my perspective (NO), but it isn’t and shouldn’t be my decision. When I was a teenager we fought a war on the basis that people should be able to choose who governed them. Isn’t it better that we allow people that choice clearly and democratically today.

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