Dangers of Scotland leaving the UK

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Dangers of Scotland leaving the UK

Post by Tizer » 17 Jul 2014, 09:15

On September 18th the Scots will have the chance to vote on the question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?" The rest of us in England, Wales and N. Ireland don't get a vote yet we too would be affected by the decision. As a UK citizen I resent not having a vote and have concerns that we may all suffer as the result of a Yes decision by the Scots. My concerns were heightened on listening to a 12th July broadcast of Paul Lewis's `Money Box' programme which was devoted to this issue. The programme demonstrated that there are many serious concerns about how our savings, pensions and insurance policies could be adversely affected. Members of the public challenged Paul Lewis with issues which I haven't heard discussed elsewhere and in some cases could not be adequately resolved by Stewart Hosie MP, the Treasury Spokesman for the Scottish National Party, and the UK Treasury Minister Danny Alexander who were on the programme to answer questions. I think the matter is very important and justifies a separate topic here to ensure it comes to the attention of as many people as possible.

You can read a full copy for free of the transcript on this BBC web page:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/p ... uly_14.pdf
or you can download the podcast here and listen to it on your computer, Ipad etc (it's the one titled `An independent Scotland: 12 July 14'):
http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/moneybox

I'd advise everyone to listen to it and find out how little is really understood about how the decisions could affect us all, both in Scotland or in the UK more widely.

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Re: Dangers of Scotland leaving the UK

Post by Stanley » 18 Jul 2014, 05:01

I agree with you and would go even further, I'd like to express an opinion whether, in the event of a YES vote the North of England could join Scotland! It would never happen but would be a clear signal to the government that the growth of the SE at the expense of the rest of the country has gone on for far too long.
We have often commented on the site about the 'law of unintended consequences'. I don't think I have ever seen a policy decision with a bigger potential for nasty surprises. I favour devolution maximum for Scotland and devolution minimum for the SE! For far too long London has treated anything North of Watford as a colonial possession, milking the assets and denigrating the inhabitants. That's right, I think breaking the union will be a disaster.
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Re: Dangers of Scotland leaving the UK

Post by Tizer » 18 Jul 2014, 08:41

It amazes me that the `non-Scottish' people of the UK are taking so little interest in the debate, you'd expect them to be out on the streets protesting. It all suggests that they are still unaware of the dangers for them, they think the only risk is to the Scots. The Paul Lewis programme put that idea to rest! If only we could get the rest of the UK to listen to his programme, it tells us much more than the Government is telling us. I'll be interested to see if anyone else comments in this topic besides you and me!

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Re: Dangers of Scotland leaving the UK

Post by Stanley » 19 Jul 2014, 05:44

The national disease.... Apathy.
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Re: Dangers of Scotland leaving the UK

Post by PanBiker » 19 Jul 2014, 09:57

I also think that as this is going to effect the Union all other partners should have a say in the matter. Why should it be an exclusive Scottish vote? Regardless of whether the rest of the member countries of the Union get a vote ,the sheer number of people of Scottish extraction who will be disenfranchised should render the election void but it wont of course.
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Re: Dangers of Scotland leaving the UK

Post by Tizer » 19 Jul 2014, 10:23

There's also a major issue around the currency, as you'll see from near the end of the Paul Lewis transcript. The SNP want to use the pound but if they join the EU they'll have to adopt the euro unless they can win a unanimous vote for special treatment. Their chance of winning that is low because Spain looks likely to vote against - with their Basque separatist problems they're afraid of a precedent being set. So if Scotland does separate from the rest of the UK we and they may all have to cope with different currencies in this island!

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Re: Dangers of Scotland leaving the UK

Post by Pluggy » 19 Jul 2014, 11:52

The problem with people outside Scotland having a say is that somebody has to decide exactly who is eligable to vote. Its very likely those outside of Scotland would all vote to keep Scotland in the union and it would swamp the Scottish vote. Its an hideously complex issue if they did vote for Independance, the devil is in the detail, and the detail has barely been looked at. I would vote against Independance, but I think only Scotland having the decision is the right one,
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Re: Dangers of Scotland leaving the UK

Post by Wendyf » 19 Jul 2014, 12:01

My Scottish friends who visited last week have concerns about 16 and 17 year old school children being able to vote in the referendum.

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Re: Dangers of Scotland leaving the UK

Post by Tizer » 20 Jul 2014, 11:51

Pluggy wrote:...but I think only Scotland having the decision is the right one,
Even if there is a strong chance of a Yes decision by the 5 million Scots causing serious problems for the 59 million other UK citizens as well as for themselves?

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Re: Dangers of Scotland leaving the UK

Post by Pluggy » 20 Jul 2014, 12:33

Tizer wrote:
Pluggy wrote:...but I think only Scotland having the decision is the right one,
Even if there is a strong chance of a Yes decision by the 5 million Scots causing serious problems for the 59 million other UK citizens as well as for themselves?
Yes, even though I know Scotland being independant will effect everyone in the UK, but I doubt it will cause serious problems for most. Problems, yes, serious (life threatening, life changing) probably not. If Yorkshire decided to offer a referendum on leaving the union, would we/they (depending on your position on Barnoldswicks position) give the Lancastrians a say ?. I suspect many would be up in arms if we did. Its the same for Scotland.

The bookies are fairly convinced it isn't going to happen judging by their odds.
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Re: Dangers of Scotland leaving the UK

Post by Big Kev » 20 Jul 2014, 12:40

Stanley wrote:The national disease.... Apathy.
On this issue it's the only way to go, it'll drag on for years otherwise. Get it out of the way and sort out any potential issues afterwards :grin:
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Re: Dangers of Scotland leaving the UK

Post by Bruff » 21 Jul 2014, 08:39

An independent Scotland would have among other things, a written constitution; a fair voting system; a fully-elected second chamber. It would also be a society that welcomes immigration, respecting all its citizens and so not looking to scapegoat for example, the unemployed, the sick, the disabled as scroungers or some such. It would be proudly pro-Europe. It would not look to project a misplaced sense of 'power' through the holding of nuclear weapons nor eagerly join in with latest military adventure. It would certainly continue with an excellent education system unchanged for decades, something quite beyond the English for whom constant disruption seems the norm.

Apart from the latter point on education, all the other issues are routinely denied the Scots by the overwhelmingly English voters among that 59M people. Our electoral system ensures the English time and time again deliver the Scots a Westminster Government hopelessly at odds with what the Scots see as a decent society. For these very few reasons whatever the impact on the rest of the UK, the decision on independence is and should be, one for the Scots alone.

I don't think enough Scots will this time say 'enough', but I wager the vote will be 60/40 at worse and as such devolution max will almost certainly follow, with independence in my lifetime - perhaps sooner should English voters force the Scots to leave Europe following the (likely) referendum in 2017. If I lived in Scotland, I'd have a vote, and I'd vote a firm 'yes'.

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Re: Dangers of Scotland leaving the UK

Post by Tizer » 21 Jul 2014, 09:43

If the Scottish system is so much better than the UK system then perhaps instead of having a vote on whether Scotland leaves the UK there should be a UK referendum to decide whether the UK should adopt the Scottish system. :smile:

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Re: Dangers of Scotland leaving the UK

Post by Stanley » 22 Jul 2014, 04:01

I'd go for that!
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Re: Dangers of Scotland leaving the UK

Post by Stanley » 24 Jul 2014, 07:55

The Libdems have said that if Cameron goes to Scotland for two weeks before the vote it will be a disaster for the 'NO' vote.
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Re: Dangers of Scotland leaving the UK

Post by Tizer » 24 Jul 2014, 09:29

On the other hand the presence of Alex Salmond might be a disaster for the No vote! :grin:

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Re: Dangers of Scotland leaving the UK

Post by Stanley » 25 Jul 2014, 04:55

Questions are being raised about possibility of Customs Posts on the border!
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Re: Dangers of Scotland leaving the UK

Post by David Whipp » 25 Jul 2014, 06:34

Smuggling!

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Re: Dangers of Scotland leaving the UK

Post by Tizer » 25 Jul 2014, 08:35

Just wait until Cornwall separates from the UK, then you'll see the experts at smuggling.

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Re: Dangers of Scotland leaving the UK

Post by Tizer » 08 Aug 2014, 08:57

It looks like Alex Salmond will be the best weapon the No campaign has in its armoury. He's claiming that: "It is Scotland's pound. It doesn't belong to George Osborne, it doesn't belong to Ed Balls. It's Scotland's pound and we are keeping it" and refusing to consider any alternative. Others have tried to get him to understand, to no avail, that its' not Scotland's pound nor is it England's pound; it's the UK's pound and if Scotland leaves the union then it leaves the UK pound. The National Institute of Social and Economic Research has looked at other currency options and according to the BBC "It warned options for creating a lender of last resort for Scottish institutions may involve `terms that are unlikely to be acceptable to an independent government'. It also said an informal union would have consequences for Scotland's financial sector and its capacity to export financial services."
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-s ... s-28695125

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Re: Dangers of Scotland leaving the UK

Post by Stanley » 09 Aug 2014, 05:09

The closer we get to the vote, the more questions are being asked. So much is currently unclear and causing concern. Voting 'yes' looks like one of the biggest gambles ever. I think this is going to be crucial in the decision.
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Re: Dangers of Scotland leaving the UK

Post by Tizer » 09 Aug 2014, 10:39

If Scotland leaves the UK in order to seek the benefits that Bruff mentions above, such as dissatisfaction with the UK political parties and government, will the rest of us be able to do the same? Could the good people of Barlick, for instance, say "We've had enough", we're going to leave the UK? I know that sounds fanciful but it raises the question "How large does a group of people have to be in order to do what Alex Salmond wants Scotland to do?

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Re: Dangers of Scotland leaving the UK

Post by Stanley » 10 Aug 2014, 04:31

That's the question Tom Paine was continually asking.....
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Re: Dangers of Scotland leaving the UK

Post by Stanley » 13 Aug 2014, 06:36

I heard an original point of view on BBC R4 last night in a discussion about 'what if' Scotland left the union. If this happens, what would be the effect on the disunited kingdom's place at the oft vaunted 'top table' of world affairs. Politicians are always talking about us being a 'big hitter' and this status would be diminished. If this did happen all to the good. For far to long we have sought to perpetuate the myth of England as a world power, spending money on expensive toys like Trident and enormous aircraft carriers and clinging to the 'special relationship' with the US.
I hate all this macho crap. We are a small island off Europe with the peculiar advantage of a time zone that makes international trading easier but offset by a banking system riddled with corruption. It would make a lot more sense if we spent the money wasted on toys on education and scientific research, two fields where we are genuine world leaders and can truly make a difference. The barrier to this is self-important politicians who want to strut on the world stage and assume the mantle of statesman. I'm afraid they fail miserably even in this role.
So, if Scotland's departure leads to a recalibration of our ambitions on the world stage I'm all for it.
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Re: Dangers of Scotland leaving the UK

Post by Whyperion » 13 Aug 2014, 10:07

I think there are some fears for consequences of the Union of Britain (the new name for England&Wales?) and Northern Ireland.

Personally a united Ireland as a member of Europe to me makes logical economic sense, though the desire of many in Ulster wanting to have the English Monarch (Elizabeth I of Scotland?) as head of state would be a difficult consitution to create.

There was also talk of Berwick moving under Scotish control- if it desired.

Much of the detail of shared currency/debts/defense can be worked out after the referendum, which is more about the principle of Scottish Independence (though if it remains part of the EU I can see many of its local laws are going to need to be further revised following forthcoming Directives, etc). I see no difficulties for corporations currently based in Scotland to change significantly any of their trading (change to Euro excepted- some update of computer systems etc might be needed- or split for Scotland/Britain as a new multi-national is formed)

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