Sometimes an article so boneheadedly wrong appears one has to take an hour or so to see if its a mistake, pisstake or real. Thus it is with this risible piece of nonsense in Think Scotland (please do….)
Much of the debate on putative Scottish independence strikes me, from a distance, as somewhat odd. On the independence side there is a a strong debate on what currency to use when the real issue is the ability of an independent Scotland, within or without the EU/Euro to manage its very very large banking system. On the unionist side much commentary seems to see it as inherently impossible that such a small state as Scotland could possibly thrive.
One small state that has survived is of course Ireland. It is not that different, in culture and orientation, to Scotland. If we can survive, one might ask why might not Scotland? How do the two stack up? Continue reading
Source: SCOT goes POP!
There has been a lot of talk in recent days about devising a model that would allow Scotland, Gibraltar and possibly Northern Ireland to remain part of both the UK and the EU. Here are a few reasons why that is very unlikely to happen –
1) Even if England and Wales received Greenland-style exemptions from the treaties, the United Kingdom itself would almost certainly have to remain a member state of the European Union – and it has just voted to Leave. Continued membership would arguably only be a technicality, but the triumphalist Brexiteers still wouldn’t stand for it.
2) It would be almost impossible to resolve the dilemma of whether Northern Ireland should be in the UK’s “EU zone” or “zone libre”, because its government is split. The DUP are likely to take the view that leaving the EU is a UK-wide decision and that Northern Ireland – regardless of how it voted – must leave along with the rest of the UK.
3) In many ways, Scotland would become a de facto independent country anyway. To reverse the catchphrase of the American revolution, you can’t have representation without taxation, and so if only Scotland and Gibraltar were contributing to the EU budget, it logically follows that the Scottish and Gibraltarian governments would control the UK’s vote in the Council of Ministers, and would also be responsible for determining the UK’s negotiating position on future treaties or treaty amendments. That’s an enormous power that has thus far been reserved for sovereign governments, and in practice would presumably be wielded by the Scottish Government in consultation with Gibraltar (given the huge disparity between the populations, it’s hard to see how Scotland and Gibraltar could be on a completely equal footing). Can anyone imagine London agreeing to that?
4) There would have to be a real border between Scotland and England. That would be the case even if Boris Johnson gets his miracle “Norway minus” deal – because even that would involve restrictions on freedom of movement, but only within the UK’s “zone libre”, ie. England and Wales. So movement between Scotland and England would have to be controlled just as much as movement between England and France. People will understandably be inclined to think – if all this is going to happen anyway, what is the point in Scotland not becoming formally independent?
One of the arguments around the Scottish referendum on independence is centred on its banks. These are, simply, ginormous at around 1200% GDP. There is no way that an independent Scotland could, if push came to shove, bail them out. QED, don’t take the risk. Stick with the Treasury and the UK…
Hmm. Not quite as simple as it seems when you look at Ireland.
The Irish banking collapse of 2008 saw us borrow money hither and yon, from the IMF, the EU, and …the UK. The UK lent us money to defray this, as did the Danes and the Swedes. Why? Bilateral trade. These nations trade a lot with us and we with them. And its not good for your exports if the trading partner is utterly bankrupt, so best to lend a hand. A soft hand.
Ireland accounts for about €27b of uk exports, Scotland for about three times that from the rest of the UK. So, and independent Scotland would be a large and important trading partner with the rUK, and not one whom the Treasury would wish to see go under. Hence, were push to come to shove, despite all the warnings and threats, it would be in the best interest of the rUK to extend soft loans to Scottish banks and the government in the event of a rerun of 2008. Nothing political, just business.
Scotland will vote in September on whether to break from the rest of the UK. (RUK) The polls suggest they wont, but its all coming to a boil. A, possibly THE, major issue is the economy. Bill Clinton could have told Salmond that – it’s the economy stupid. At the heart of the debate seems not to be oil/gas but instead which currency a future independent Scotland, lets call it Alba, would use were it to return to the international stage.