/ Scottish Independence
Seems to me that he wants to retain all the nice bits of the UK but get rid of the naughty bits.
Talk about wanting your haggis and eating it.
It's hard for Scotland to lose Sterling really ....
or even Stirling
Maybe he wants rid of the "naughty" bits, such as nuclear subs, as that has been the prevailing attitude with regard to locating them up to now?
> Seems to me that he wants to retain all the nice bits of the UK but get rid of the naughty bits.
> Talk about wanting your haggis and eating it.
Yup, keep the bits from the Border upwards, lose the bit from the Border down. Can't see what is wrong with that really. And I like haggis.
Without Sterling no one in Scotland would know where Tillicoultry is.
I assume he'll be reimbursing the Welsh and English taxpayer for RBS and HBOS too?
And setting up a new central bank, NHS, DVLA, Police, Fire, Border security, MOD, etc etc.... seems unlikely in a few short years.
Why given the evidence?
Will Dougie Donnelly still do the adverts? I must have a cast iron guarantee on this!
I've been through it when the A9 was blocked - although until this moment I was completely unaware of it.
It may have escaped your notice, but Police and Fire services and to a great degree the NHS already operate under seperate leadership. Can't imagine setting up a more effective DVLA than what we have across the UK at the moment could take longer than a few months, Border and MOD stuff will take a little longer, but they don't seem to be at risk of being overrun at the moment, unless of course you are expecting the English to invade as soon as the Scots declare their independence
I'll be opening an offie on the southbank of the Sark
Have you managed to download the white paper yet? I'm not getting anywhere fast but there is a download slowly running in the background. I have sent an email (somewhere, can't remember) asking how to get a paper copy.
No, the central bank is staying in London.
I haven't. I haven't gone onto the main site yet as I hear it's being overloaded. Will try to tonight.
> unless of course you are expecting the English to invade as soon as the Scots declare their independence
We will have oil, just got rid of nuclear weapons, and a military going through considerable change. I'm more worried about the Americans... :o)
Since he doesnt even know what currency we'll all be spending if he gets the goahead, I cant see it all happening as soon as he thinks. My view.
Cant see MOD puming money into the clyde BAE shipyard if Scotland is a foreign country. Changes the landscape of clyde ship building as we know it?
So many little thkngs that would really change the way of life. The SNP just seems like a romanticised group of oldtimers. I often wonder, what would Robert the bruce and W. Wallace say? They'd say ' thingas arent the same as they were' Scoland is not being presecuted anymore, calm down..
That's my view. I'm sure others will disagree, but it seems liek one mans quest at the expense of a nation.
I'm going to give up for the moment, it's given up the ghost again at about 13%. I'll try again later tonight.
You make some going points but I think it is worth bearing in mind that the entire political set up of what we call the UK right now will change. In other words, whilst there is no precedent of building warships outside the UK currently, given the best place to build them is on the Clyde and Scotland having some of the most strategic waters in the world (the most?), a new arrangement will be found which doesn't have a precedent in current times. Unless Westminster decides to become like North Korea and all isolationist.
If you think this is anything to do with William Wallace you have a lot of catching up to do on this subject.
NHS Scotland and Police/Fire services are already devolved and do just fine. I can't imagine things wouldn change too much.
The MOD already pay for ship building outwith the UK - Daewoo picked up a contract to build ships in South Korea.
Free Uni education for the all the English and Welsh in Scotland though!
Might even consider doing another degree!
Only because there are no British shipyards capable of doing the work. Anyone who thinks that warship building would be done in Scotland in preference to Portsmouth is being optimistic in the extreme.
You might not have as much oil as you would like - extrapolate the England Scotland border across the NS - looks to me a diagonal cutting through blocks 28 and 22 - so a chunk of the Central Graben would remain English.
Will I be able to migrate there once the independence is set :-)
Get in with the yes campaigners now!
I have, and Been guaranteed citizenship. Im off up north of the border, if vote goes yes.
Wouldnt stay here in what would be perpetual Tory land. Itd be hell.
I was joking. I hope you are too with regards to your simplistic line drawing approach to dividing up the North Sea!
"but it seems liek one mans quest at the expense of a nation".
My view precisely. Talk about trying to raise a monument to oneself. It won't happen anyway.
You'd be surprised how important simplistic linedrawing in the sea is .. or maybe you wouldn't
> We will have oil, just got rid of nuclear weapons, and a military going through considerable change. I'm more worried about the Americans... :o)
Wouldn't worry about that, the Americans don't know where you are
As the IFS report of last week pointed out, although it was obvious to anyone who has read up Scotlands economics without wearing tartan tinted spectacles, oil revenues will drop to a fraction of what they are now within a few years. How fast is a matter of some debate but we're not talking about that long before revenue enters an irreversible decline.
After that an Independent Scotland would be stuffed, regardless of all the other issues of currency, EU membership, the loss of much of the defence industry. The SNP's paper last week on how the economy of an independent Scotland could be grown offered no great ideas, it merely fiddled around the edges of the tax system and pointed to a few initiatives carried out in other countries as our passport to riches. The reality is that an independent Scotland would have to plug a 15% gap in it's economy in 15 years.
For those reasons the white paper, as summarised on the BBC website this morning is really a wish list.
You can't redistribute wealth if there isn't any wealth left to re distribute.
I can understand why Scotland would prefer the Pound over the Euro right now, and having the Bank of England as 'lender of last resort' sounds pretty comforting. What's in it for England/Wales?
It was with reference to the "diagonal" of the border. For starters, it's not a straight line, and secondly, following your approach, we would gain some of Cumbria.
> Wouldn't worry about that, the Americans don't know where you are
Sadly Trump does. Well, his pilot does anyway.
Thanks for that, I've downloaded a pdf copy. Just in time to go to work..
I think it's important to see the oil industry in the UK in more than just the mature Central North Sea oil fields. West of Shetland and the Atlanic Margin do offer some significant prospectivity - so the story that the UK oil industry is going to pack up and go away in the 10 to 20 years isn't probably accurate. So as far as Scottish revenues go it's actually reasonable for the SNP to include it in economic forcasts.
You can have Silloth, Maryport, Workington and Whitehaven - and we'll chuck Calder Bridge and the surrounding land in coz we're nice like that
See, that's the problem. Happy to give us the duff bits, but hang onto the nice bits :o)
You get the bit where Henry 1st died - that should cheer you all up.
I can't speak for everyone up here, but my general feeling is that we don't get "cheered up" by places where people died, whether you hang onto them or not.
I would rather the scots stayed with us , personally , for no particular reason .
The only thing about the whole process which is annoying me is that 16 year olds in Scotland are being given a say in it . Obviously a huge number will vote yes , carried along on a wave of Braveheart inspired enthusiasm . They will influence long term future of Scotland , but 16 year olds in England and Wales are not even trusted to have a say in the next 4 years of Government !
A big bargaining chip, should there be a 'yes' result?
This. the majority of 16 years olds I've met in the central belt are far too immature to have a clue about politics. mind you, we could guarantee a NO vote if we told them all there'd be no more buckfast if scotland became independant.
Interestingly I have been in communication with the authors of the IFS report (Gemma Tatlow).
I asked her several questions and in particular what cost base they were basing an independent Scotland on. She confirmed that the costs used to calculate those for Scotland are merely a proportional sum of the current UK costs and that any cost the UK currently has has been included (including Trident, HS2, Crossrail etc) in the nominal costs of an independent Scotland. Further, she confirmed that the oil forecasts are based upon the OBR's most negative scenario (not shared by oil and gas UK) and thus in their analysis costs are maximised and income minimised. In other words it's a presentation of the worst case scenario dressed up as hard fact. I wonder why????
It did not say an independent Scotland would be stuffed. That is your own, narrow, view. I say narrow, as it's very clear that no matter what is said, you firmly believe in keeping control of important things that affect peoples' lives with an institution which is utterly out of date and incompetent.
No matter what is said you firmly believe that the Tories should have power over Scotland despite them only having one MP. That is backward and utterly unsustainable.
What is becoming more and more clear is that the agenda is increasinly being set by those with vision, regardless of whether you agree with that vision. What is also apparent is that no matter what is said, the UK Government will do everything to frustrate any drive for control over anything (regardless of benefit to population) unless it's on their terms.
Everything is a wish list to an extent. All party manifestos and policies are.
People are asking for cast iron guarantees over things that can't be guaranteed. Of course they know this but simply banging their same old tired argument and constant stream of negativity is becoming less and less effective. Only time will tell if the next few months will see that view weakened to the point of more turning to yes.
That's possibly not true. There was a sample poll of 16- and 17-year-olds a few months back, and the overwhelming majority voted No.
"Mr Salmond also made a raft of pledges for voters to encourage them to vote for independence, including a three percentage-point cut in corporation tax, a 50 per cent cut in air passenger duty and free childcare for all one-year-olds. The paper also says there would be no rise in general taxation to fund public spending."
Surely these are party political policies that have nothing to do with independence, or are they going to be codified into Scotland's new written constitution?
"No matter what is said you firmly believe that the party voted in at a general election should have power over the united kingdom regardless of how many MPs that party has in Scotland or England or Wales or N.Ireland. That is democracy."
fixed that for you
Yes you are right and that mirrors my experience and also the vote at Nairn Academy last week.
In general young people are pretty conservative and the slightest hint that the X Factor might not be available then it's straight to No. I've seen it a fair few times.
Not sure who you are quoting there?
And the majority of adults are? Judging by the amount of copy that the Express/Mail/Record sell I'm not so sure. Had a chat with a 15 year old here in the office who was doing work experience and he seemed remarkably clued up. My daughter is 12 and her many of her mates seem to have a pretty good grasp on politics for their age.
They've carried out mock elections in a number of High Schools across Scotland and the trend so far is that the 'No' vote has had the higher percentage.
You would think so but given that the UK has spent about 80 years using domestic issues or those subject to the policies of one party as justification for voting no or that it wouldn't work that cat got out the bag years ago.
People are perfectly entitled to ask questions and have been doing so on these issues so it's good to get a take on them.
I think there's quite a lot of that. It's one thing saying that these are things that an SNP Government would like to do, it's another thing trying to consider what would actually happen, and yet another thing trying to consider what would happen under a different Government.
Except it's already happened... or are you saying that keeping the Clyde in preference to Portsmouth open is a post-referendum bribe...? ;-)
In reply to Saor Alba:
>No matter what is said you firmly believe that the Tories should have power over Scotland despite them only having one MP. That is backward and utterly unsustainable.
In any democracy it's always going to be possible that some area will vote heavily for a party that loses in the country overall.
Does that mean that the resulting parliament doesn't represent those areas? No it doesn't. There's nothing democractically illegitimate about a fairly-elected parliament in which Party A has a majority, even though area X voted en masse for Party B.
The only way of making it even seem illegitimate is to treat area X as a different electoral entity from the rest of the democracy.
In other words, this kind of result only looks illegitimate if you start by assuming that Scotland ought to be separate.
In other words again, this familiar Nationalist argument is question-begging.
It's obviously a pre-referendum bribe. If Scotland became independent, warship building would resume in Portsmouth. It's really not complicated.
Mind you, I don't really know why it's held up as much of an issue. It's not as if Scotland's success as an independent state would rest on its ability to build its own warships.
No that isn't the case unless you disagree with the Act of Union that recognises both nations are nations, not a small region like Yorkshire.
To the argument has legitimacy due to the very thing you wish to preserve
Agree with you there Tony and given the massive decline in ship building jobs in the UK (poor industrial strategy (in fact is there one?)) it is not a massive issue on one side but in terms of pride of the Clyde it is.
Hmm. I think you need to think this through a bit more.
(I expect to be saying that to Nationalists a lot in the next year or so. Along with everyone else.)
'Pre', that's what I meant. I've lurgy so my head's fuddled!
I think it's only the Better Together campaign that like to go on about it.
You are a nationalist yourself Tim as you believe in an independent Britain.
Flicked through the white paper over the last hour and it makes depressing reading. Too much aspiration and not enough (in fact not any) realisation of the harsh realities that a newly independent country faces.
Two things keep cropping up. Firstly a drive to make Scotland a 'fairer' society. Noble sentiments indeed and I don't think anyone would disagree. Most of this seems to involve spending, though, and I simply do not believe in the magic pot of money in the sea. So that means tax rises ('only for the richest in society' of course). The problem with this lies with 30% of your income tax being paid by 1% population (and 50% by 10%). There is discussion of simplifying the tax system to increase revenues by £250m but no mention of the inevitable exodus of high tax payers. And a fair Scotland would not be able to charge students from England for University as is claimed which would leave a pretty big hole in the already cash-strapped Scottish Universities.
Secondly, and most importantly, the majority of the argument for independence seems to come down to economics (thankfully there isn't too much of patriotism and all that nonsense). So many contradictions such as re-industrialise Scotland (good idea) while forcing minimum wage to rise at a faster rate than our immediate geographical neighbour (bad idea) - a 3% cut in corporation tax will not cover this after a few years. Creating a Scottish Energy Fund (good idea) presumably to borrow against (like Norway) while carrying a very high national debt (even higher than rUK if division is proportional and you account for pension commitments too - bad idea).
Sadly, for someone sitting on the fence, the paper is just a predictable list of wants with no attempt to allay the concerns of those with a greater understanding of national finance. A lack of trust in the SNP is pushing me to the no camp.
Nicola Sturgeon's response to not already offering childcare (this has already been devolved) to 1 year olds in Scotland was that the extra working women would be contributing tax to the UK, not Scotland alone. Therefore they won't consider it unless Scotland in independent.
Obviously this is another manifesto policy of the SNP rather than a guarantee from independence. But, if true does that seem completely fair and understandable? It seems a bit selfish to me to not help out Scottish mothers whilst part of the union. Is it just politics/spin/feel good teasers? I may have this wrong, interested in others thoughts
I downloaded the document and have read through to the end of the Summary and hope to get into the detailed sections later.
A key point for me is that "“Even without North Sea oil and gas, GDP (national economic output) per head in Scotland is virtually identical to that of the UK as a whole. With oil it is almost one-fifth bigger.” In other words, oil is just the icing on the cake.
Another key point is that "The pound is Scotland's currency just as much as it is the rest of the UK's.” This is also true for all the other assets that are currently part of the UK. It is not up to the UK or Westminster to decide what Scotland gets to keep. Scotland has a right to its fair share of the UK's current asset base for everything.
The argument that you can't be an independent country without your own currency is bogus. France, Germany etc are all part of a currency union and no one would seriously suggest they are not independent!
If Scotland chose to have a "pound" (I guess it would be known as the SP rather than GBP) what is the mechanism that allows it to tie it's value to the GBP - the same way as for example the Barbados dollar is tied to the US dollar - does the "parent" currency have a veto on whether the "daughter" currency can link to it?
Well since we have a single UK government, we kind of do disagree with this interpretation of the act of union. I don't want to come over all Al Evans, but this splitting of the UK into convenient bits for your argument is gash, folk in yorkshire or hampshire can feel just as hacked off when the party they did not vote for gets into power, but that's life in the UK as currently set up.
I'm all for a far more devolved UK system, and after looking at the summary of the white paper on the BBC website, that also appears to be what the SNP want....
but they are not. ask the greeks.
If you like. So what? <shrugs>
No. As I understand it, the proposal is to be part of a full currency union, not merely pegged to the Pound. Monetary policy would be decided by the Bank of England as it is now, but with input from Scottish representatives.
“Under such an arrangement, monetary policy will be set according to economic conditions across the Sterling Area with ownership and governance of the Bank of England undertaken on a shareholder basis.”
That's a pegged system...from wiki
" Reserve currency standardIn a reserve currency system, the currency of another country performs the functions that gold has in a gold standard. A country fixes its own currency value to a unit of another country’s currency, generally a currency that is prominently used in international transactions or is the currency of a major trading partner. For example, suppose India decided to fix its currency to the dollar at the exchange rate E₹/$ = 45.0. To maintain this fixed exchange rate, the Reserve Bank of India would need to hold dollars on reserve and stand ready to exchange rupees for dollars (or dollars for rupees) on demand at the specified exchange rate. In the gold standard the central bank held gold to exchange for its own currency, with a reserve currency standard it must hold a stock of the reserve currency.
Currency board arrangements are the most widespread means of fixed exchange rates. Under this, a nation rigidly pegs its currency to a foreign currency, Special drawing rights (SDR) or a basket of currencies. The central bank's role in the country's monetary policy is therefore minimal. CBAs have been operational in many nations like
Like I said before, it is not for the rUK to decide. The pound and a share of the underlying gold assets are as much Scotland's as the rUK's.
Yes, it seems AS is suggesting that an independent Scotland becomes a shareholder of the BoE so it can have influence on monetary policy.
On the face of it and without understanding it more, that seems slightly arrogant and presumptious
Ta - I understand now
We have a fiat currency and most of our gold was sold off by Brown.
So what if the Bank of England says no to the money union, what do you do then, and why would you want this, surely your giving away a key element of national sovereignty?
Set up a separate Scottish pound or join the Euro. But do you really think that will happen? That the rUK will really decide to destabilise its own currency in this way? The pound would be shredded over night without the asset base of oil and untapped reserves. Given the debt basis of the City and personal debt the rUK economy would suddenly face very tough times.
This is one of these ones you just have to take your view on.
Why would it say no? The paper argues that it would be in both Scotland and the rUK's interest to maintain a currency union (Sterling Area if you like.)
On the second point, I refer you to my earlier answer re the Euro countries.
And why would that be a good thing for Scotland? Wouldn't it be better for Scotland to set its own monetary policy?
Scotland would have bigger input than it does currently so it would actually have a lot more control.
Gold assets? What, all 6 billion pounds worth? Is it all about the shiny baubles?
>The paper argues that it would be in both Scotland and the rUK's interest to maintain a currency union (Sterling Area if you like.)
That would be the Nationalist's rather biased Paper would it? I'd prefer to see some unbiased facts and figures thank you.
OK, whatever assets underwrite the Pound.
Have you read the paper?
Why would it not be better for Scotland to set its own interest rates and exchange rates?
You can't as the UK refuses to consider, negotiate or discuss multiple areas before the vote. In short create as much uncertainty as possible. Making an informed choice is not on their agenda.
I am referring to the currency union scenario, not the separate currency in which case it would be.
With respect, you're all looking at the wrong questions...ask yourselves this EVERYONE....
...why does the UK Westminster Government so fervently want to keep Scotland in the UK?
Once you realise what the answer to that question is, it's only possible to have one standpoint....
(A proud Yorkshireman, living in Scotland who will be voting FOR independence)
So if the ability to set its own interest rates and exchange rates would be preferable with a separate currency, why is that not the option being proposed? Why the insistence on allowing a London-based central bank to determine interest rates?
I didn't know the act of Union had a pre-nup.
You want out, why shouldn't that be at your expense?
To a point Andrew but there is a religious, fanatical element to the No vote camp also who no matter what, will find error with someone's ideas.
I was in Islay last week, Glenfinnan, Fort William and Port Rìgh yesterday. I've asked this question of many No voters and not once have they been able to answer it: Can you show me one thing, object, anything which I can touch, photograph, see, which you can say would have not been there if Scotland was independent. Not once have I had an answer.
They want to keep scotland because when independence fails they will want to come back to the uk. Not letting them go independant saves the cost of this.
> Once you realise what the answer to that question is, it's only possible to have one standpoint....
Would you care to let the rest of us in on the big secret then?
...you will never get an answer to this from anyone involved with the NO campaign....because they can never admit the truth...
You take that at face value? What happens if rUK doesn't want Scotland in this Sterling Area? If it does, why would a ~10% shareholder be given any power at all? Have you noticed the problems with Greece being part of a large currency with a remote central bank and no fiscal unity?
Why do YOU think they want to keep Scotland in the UK? It's no secret....
No one wants to "keep" Scotland. It's not a possession.
Because as I said above, the rUK currency would be shredded without the asset base that Scotland would then have.
> Why do YOU think they want to keep Scotland in the UK? It's no secret....
You don't really believe that do you?
...clearly wrong...as far as the NO campaign and Westminster is concerned, Scotland is a possession and they DO want to keep it in the UK...presumably that's why they called their NO campaign Better Together!
Surely if that was the case it would be "oi you belong to us"?
A fundemental nationalist misunderstanding
and they DO want to keep it in the UK...presumably that's why they called their NO campaign Better Together!
Probably they called it that because that think we are, umm, better together. Just a thought.
..and you wonder why people want an independent Scotland....
...so ...by your logic, you're back to the question why......
Don't make the mistake of thinking i'm a nationalist......
Why better together?
Deeper broader economy. More influence in trade, economics etc. Shared history, language, culture, religion. One (main) island. Etc. And Union St for SA to photograph.
I am simply curious as to how you jump to it being considered a possession from "Better together" rather than a phrase which would indicate that it is considered a possession?
> I was in Islay last week, Glenfinnan, Fort William and Port Rìgh yesterday. I've asked this question of many No voters and not once have they been able to answer it: Can you show me one thing, object, anything which I can touch, photograph, see, which you can say would have not been there if Scotland was independent. Not once have I had an answer.
Well there wouldn't be any staff in the RBS head office in Edinburgh now apart from security guards keeping the looters out ;-)
Deeper broader economy - according to the NO's Scotland's economy can't stand on it's own two feet.
More influence - over what? Europe? The Banks? Look where that got us...
Shared History etc - and this all goes if Scotland is independent?
One main island - so France and Germany should be one country.
..and this is my point...all these things England/Wales/NI will continue to have after independence...so WHY do you want to keep Scotland in the UK?
...back to the question...WHY do Westminster want to keep Scotland in the UK?
...not worthy of a reply....
> ...back to the question...WHY do Westminster want to keep Scotland in the UK?
Considering "Westminster" consists of a whole bunch of people who are often at odds at each other I am somewhat confused at how you expect anyone to give you a definitive answer.
That you seem to think this is a killer question indicates there isnt going to be much useful discussion though.
No one serious is saying that. They are saying both Scotand and the rest of the UK are better off as one economically.
Yes look - two major banks still standing. Also strong influence on all sorts in EU matters, WTO matters, etc etc. Much more say than would be possible as separate entities.
Well it wouldn't continue.
There are not an island - look at a map.
Well no, you have had several answers that you just dismiss childishly.
Someone seems a bit wound up. I didn't even get an ANdy.... lol
The smiley was there to indicate it was a tongue in cheek joke not to be taken too seriously.
Yes I do. 15% of all UK corporate tax is from oil, presently, never mind the future. That doesn't include spirits etc and everything else.
To believe that there will not be some affect is very naive and it's not going to be positive.
Because just as in any marital divorce, there are no winners except the lawyers. In this particular divorce, only one party seems to being given any say over it.
...don't describe someone as being childish just because you don't like the answers....
Agree with me or not, that's your right which I would defend....
But the NO campaign can't have it both ways...on the one hand they say Scotland cannot stand on it's own two feet, and on the other that Scotland is wonderful and they want to keep it in the UK. SO, I ask again (and again, and again) WHY is Westminster SO DESPERATE to keep Scotland in the UK?
I do wonder about you at times Martin. Do you come from a privileged background?
There are people using food banks, being evicted from their homes, infrastructure is pish and so on. The majority in the UK don't benefit from this supposed power. Quality of life is lower than the countries Scotland seeks to use as a model.
And could you answer this, with detail as you are clearly worried about it:
If Scotland becomes independent, in what way will that have any affect on language, religion or alter this being an island???????
This is like your definition of rare from another thread which was actually more often than not. Plain weird.
Who cares about the motivation at Westminster?
There's a referendum due so ask the question "WHY does the Scottish electorate want to keep Scotland in the UK?" if you want to win the vote.
Yes, I would deem it a killer question, and I would like an answer from someone/anyone from the Better Together standpoint...
So yes, still waiting....
Can I just clarify something - you count your post above as "answers" - but a worked out government paper is not?????? If that is the BT campaign I think my £10 is fairly safe.
More seriously though, I don't think the BT/Union campaign has the staying power here. I don't mean just up to September 2014, but in the event of no vote next year it won't last another time.
Apologies, your smiley didn't appear. Not wound up, just enjoying the debate and waiting for someone to nail their own colours to the mast....
...correct, people living in Scotland.
...mmm....thanks for that.
Realistically I think a Scottish currency is a no-go - it would be too weak. So it's probably a choice between interest rates etc being set in Westminster, or them being set in Brussels and joining the Euro.
A bit of a Hobson's choice really.
The question of independence should only be asked to the Scottish electorate, however I would hope that in the event of a Yes the rest of us would be given a vote on accepting any major separation settlements etc.
I would also hope we would get a vote in the case of a No vote but greater devolution powers. greater financial devolution in Scotland could potentially affect the rest of the UK so we should all get a say in a referendum. The system should look to improve devolution in England also either to an English parliament or to the counties not that regionalisation stuff Prescot tried to implement.
ah the classic keep asking until people give up and agree with you approach?
I think you could get around all of that expensive rigmarole by simply disallowing MPs representing constituencies outside England from voting on matters that only affect England.
Various people have been answering eg MG. Unfortunately you seem to want binary answers which obviously arent going to happen.
Personally I am ambivalent, there isnt the information to make any sort of informed decision and since I dont have a vote I only have a vague interest. So only become relevant to me if its a Yes vote and then need to do the terms and conditions.
Do you think that is workable? The whole point of electing people is to get them to do it on our behalf.
What happens in the event of the agreement being rejected?
- Thirty hours of childcare per week in term time for all three and four-year-olds, as well as vulnerable two-year-olds.
- Basic rate tax allowances and tax credits to rise at least in line with inflation.
- A safe, "triple-locked" pension system.
- Minimum wage to "rise alongside the cost of living".
Impressive stuff, but I can't help thinking that these are politicians promises that quietly get forgotten after the event. You know like "We will not introduce £9k tuition fees" or "I have abolished the days of boom and bust".
> Realistically I think a Scottish currency is a no-go - it would be too weak. So it's probably a choice between interest rates etc being set in Westminster, or them being set in Brussels and joining the Euro.
> A bit of a Hobson's choice really.
A scottish currency could become like a petro dollar and be very strong if it is backed by the north sea reserves. This in itself can be problematic as it fcks up other exporting industries (whiskey for example) as they become much more expensive for the importers (Dutch disease)
These aren't answers. They are vague, debatable notions which are not universally applied.
You can't seriously ask for detailed answers on subjects such as membership of the EU as it suits you, and then when someone asks questions about why stay together your own answers are stuff like we live on an island. On that argument the Republic of Ireland should unify with the North. You and MG can wade into that one. Good luck :-)
As far as im aware, any country can choose to Adopt any Internationally Tradeable currency it wishes.
Corporation tax accounts for about 10% of the total tax income, so oil-related corporation tax accounts for 1.5% of the total tax income. I don't think that loss would lead to a catastrophic slump in Sterling.
Given the importance of the oil and gas sector to the Scottish economy, it's a bit surprising that a dollar currency union isn't being suggested, since that the currency in which oil is traded.
You must be looking at different figure from me then:
"It shows how important oil and gas has been to Britain since the flow started nearly 40 years ago; in jobs (supporting 450,000 of them), in balance of trade (£32bn last year) and in tax revenue (more than £300bn in production tax over the years, £6.5bn of it in 2012-13, or 15% of corporation tax last year)."
To an extent but as the breaking up of the UK was not in any of the ruling parties manifestos when we elcted them the decision on separting the UKs assets is surely outside of their remit. If the government thinks they can hold a referenduman on Europe after a renegotiation, im sure its possible to do between rUK and Scotland. The settlment has to be ratified by the electorate in my opinion of course.
Remind me of the date for the EU referendum and how negotiations are going? Oh wait, no ones's got the faintest idea.
There is no chance of any settlement being put to a referendum.
That's true, see Dollariazation.
The problem is any county that does this has no autonomous monetary policy of it's own, and no 'lender of last resort', in our case the Bank of England.
The SNP want to keep the BOE as lender of last resort but that will be up for discussion.
Total tax revenue reported in the 2012 Budget was £592bn. £6.5bn is 1.1% of that total. I'm not saying it's not important, but I am suggesting that the loss might not be the catastrophe some are suggesting.
Interest rtes are not set in Westminster. They are set by an independent monetary committee of the Bank of England.
“The Bank of England is the central bank for Scotland, as well as for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It was formally nationalised in 1946 and is therefore an institution and asset owned both by Scotland and the rest of the UK.”
Total corporate tax revenue or total tax revenue?
So you are saying the BBC has got it wrong by a factor of ten?
Why do you say that? You clearly underestimate the London press and the fear they put into the government. If the deal put together appears to favour Scotland to England's loss, you can bet your last English pound that English opposition to the ending of the union will suddenly come into play.
At the moment, this whole topic is probably best described as the "Alex Salmond's side show" but once reality beds in, that is when the hard questions will be asked on all sides.
...so, no answer then....
For Scotland to be part of a Sterling Area would be in the rUK's interest because:
“Scotland is the second largest export market for the rest of the UK. It would be damaging to jobs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and to the economy of the rest of the UK, if Scotland did not continue to use the pound. It is estimated that the rest of the UK exported £59 billion to Scotland in 2012 - trade that supports tens of thousands of jobs elsewhere on these islands.
Continuing to share the pound with Scotland will also be beneficial for the value of Sterling. The Sterling Area's balance of payments will be supported by Scotland's broad range of assets and exports, including North Sea oil and gas. North Sea oil and gas production boosted the UK's balance of payments by £39 billion in 2012/13.”
Total tax revenue.
...you would think that everyone could work out why they want to keep Scotland in the UK from this....!
Not the point I am making the date is irrelevant. Im saying if the government thinks it can hold a referendum in that scenario then it could do the same in the event of any rUK/Scotland settlement.
You might be right you might be wrong who knows? If Scotland votes yes in 2014 by the time of actually breaking away the rUK could have new government. The settlement package could start under a conservative dominated coalition and end up being finalised by a sole conservative government or even a Labour government.
I am pretty sure the nature of the discussion will change after a Yes vote. Both labour and conservative will not want to be seen as weak in negotiation isolating themselves from core English votes.
Is the corollary of that the notion that if Scotland chose to use a different currency, albeit one in which it could set its own interest and exchange rates, it would be damaging to jobs in Scotland?
Except the SNP government has kept its no tuition fees promise! Their record on keeping prmises is pretty good as far as I can see.
The list of "benefits of independence" you quote is the list of the current government's commitments up to the first general election in an independent Scotland. At that point, other parties may put forward different policies and if the electorate prefers those, they will be elected. Independence is not about one political party.
The Scottish Government seems to think so, otherwise they wouldn't be pushing for a currency union.
So the Scottish economy is such that it couldn't support a separate currency without suffering job losses?
I hope it is debated furiously! There are objective facts in it as well as subjective interpretation. They are making the case for independence after all.
I don't think that necessarily follows. The paper is saying that a common currency would be *better* for both Scotland and rUK.
Monetary policy is just one of the levers of economic policy. Fiscal (ie taxation) policy is also important.
sounds like you may as well stay in the UK then?
I take the point about the larger asset base to support the currency, but if we assume AS is correct and the Scottish economy leaps ahead of the weak, hampered rUK - how will the currency union reflect the requirements for differing interest rates in the two areas? if Scotland has 10% of the shares, who will win the argument?
As far as debates are concerned...The more furious the better. In fact a frenzied, apoplectic, warpath type approach is my preference.
Because the UK with Scotland as part of it is a stronger country (in every sense) then with Scotland outside it?
Part of that is of course the natural assets that Scotland has.
Beyond that though a larger country, with a more diverse economy, can be argued to be more stable than a smaller one with a narrower base.
And being bigger can allow some other advantages - Having a bigger overall budget allows countries to have niche 'services' that may not be available to smaller states - that might be funding research in odd areas, or having particular specialist services in the medical or military fields.
There is also for me an emotional aspect - I feel British, and I think a lot of other folk do as well - I'm fairly sure that this is a factor for a fair proportion of separatists - not in a bad way, just what folk feel they are.
I think there are some good arguments for independence - small flexible state, quicker response time etc. But think on balance that further devolution (especially in England) would allow a more balanced UK which could maintain the 'large state' advantages whilst gaining some of the 'small state' benefits.
I work in a multinational company, (also operating allover the UK) at a recent seminar, the management were asked had they made any contingency plans for Scottish Independence.
Answer - No.
They would take it as it comes, if the new government ( of whatever political party) made it more difficult to operate in Scotland they would react accordingly
( same as if was made more difficult to operate in England or Ireland)
For what I can hear, the only people who seem want to make it more difficult for business to operate in Scotland is the UK government .
They seem strangely attached to the scrounging Scots who get more per head ( apparently) than others in the UK. This makes me suspicious that maybe someone has been telling porkies.
.If YOU got a chance to get rid of a liability, you would jump at it. The UK government seem to be rather more reluctant . Why?
in a business yes, not perhaps in politics ( not that I think Scotland is a liability)
It would be pretty unusual for the UK govt to regard any part of the UK as a liability they want to get rid of.
I can't think of any current examples where a government is trying to dispose of some territory - are there any?
Why? What currency you use is not the be all and end all of the independence argument.
There is a lot more convergence between the Scottish and rUK economies than between the core Euro countries and the Mediterranean periphery.
That is true now - but might not be in the future. I thought one of the points of Scottish independence was to unleash the economy which has been held back by the dead hand of Westminster?
So let me get this straight. Are you arguing Scotland should be independent, but not be part of a currency union with rUK?
On a different tack :
Had to smile at the one about all the mothers that would suddenly return to work, providing extra income tax revenues, when the new childcare proposal started.
Where exactly are they going to get jobs ? It's not as if there is currently full employment and lots of jobs not being filled. The latest unemployment figures are that 7.2% of the working population ( 199,000 ) are unemployed. All this will do is add to that figure ( I accept it will create some new jobs for nursery teachers, but a lot less than the number of people who will suddenly be looking for work ).
I'm not saying that providing nursery care for kids is bad, just picking holes in the extra income tax revenue part of the message.
I'm aware of these oil fields and while they may be substantial they don't change the situation I was outlining.
The OBR assume 12 billion barrels left the SNP assume 24 billion. We can probably assume it will be somewhere in between.
Have a look at this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2F-H01Qm1I
He echoes what most other experts seem to be saying on oil reserves.
There are about twenty thousand jobs at stake in the defence industry as a whole.
That's a pretty big deal.
If Scottish shipyards offered the best value for the rUK's naval procurement, why wouldn't they use them? Except out of spite.
What you haven't said, probably because the white paper doesn't explain it, is that our spending is proportionally higher as well. So, it's not just icing on the cake. It's what allows us to maintain higher spending on services than the rest of the UK.
Even at that I think the SNP are being a bit careless with actualities there. I can't find the figures right now but I think if you take away oil Scotland's GDP per capita is lower than the UK average.
Because there are jobs at stake.
These decisions are hugely political.
No one appears to be pressing you for an answer.
Think you should do the decent thing ,and divulge ,or perhaps maybe give us more of an idea.
The blinkered ,and uneducated amongst us could be floating unnecessarily.a bit of enlightenment might point us in the right/wrong direction.
Is part of it cos Big Alec keeps the puddin industry in Yorkshire afloat?
And how is that different today?
"There’s nothing stopping an independent Scotland continuing in its use of sterling. But the implications of that are huge.
In order to use sterling, an independent Scotland would have to accept limits on its budget deficit and government debt.
The UK government has said that a negotiated agreement “would be likely to include rigorous oversight of Scotland’s economic and fiscal plans by the UK authorities”.
What’s more, by entering a “sterling zone”, Scotland would forfeit the ability to set its own interest rate. That would be set by the Bank of England."
A definition of independence is a country's ability to set it's own policies on tax and spend. How can any country be independent when it has to get it's budgets approved by another country?
..and in reality it's unlikely that the UK government would allow an independent Scotland to use the BoE as a lender of last resort.
People who want a properly independent country should plump for their own currency and staying out of the EU. If you want economic stability then Scotland's best interests lie in staying in the UK.
“Over the period from 2007/08 to 2011/12 the ratio of public spending to GDP was estimated to be lower for Scotland than in the UK as a whole.”
“Even without North Sea oil and gas, GDP (national economic output) per head in Scotland is virtually identical to that of the UK as a whole. With oil it is almost one-fifth bigger.”
Be interested to hear otherwise if you can find the source.
Today Scotland is part of the UK and the UK government needs to consider the interests of those in Scotland just the same as those anywhere else in the UK. We're citizens of the UK.
Your being bamboozled by people cherry picking the data they want you to see.
I'll have a look but I can tell just by looking at that sentence that they're having you on a bit. Oil revenue is about 16% of GDP, not 20%.
What's your source?
Because it would retain the money within their own economy. Unlike a company knock on costs become a lot more important eg saving x million sending work offshore aint bad for a business but may result in paying y million in unemployment benefits. It would be rather foolish for a government not to consider that as well.
an independent Scotland continuing in its use of sterling. But the implications of that are huge.
Which are projected to be lower than rUK.
Well they would say that wouldn't they? This is part of the "Vote no or the puppy gets it" strategy.
Which is an independent policy body in which Scotland would have a share.
Why not? Unless, again, out of spite. In fact, that would be like cutting off your nose to spite your face. The trend is towards more international cooperation in aid of financial stability, not less.
“The Bank of England, accountable to both countries, will continue to provide lender of last resort facilities and retain its role in dealing with financial institutions which posed a systemic risk.
"Where financial resource was required to secure financial stability, there will be shared contributions from both the Scottish and Westminster Governments based on the principle that financial stability is of mutual benefit to consumers in both countries.
"This will reflect the fact that financial institutions both in Scotland and the UK operate - and will continue to operate - with customers in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland and their stability will benefit all concerned.”
I'm sure France and Germany would be surprised to hear that they are not proper independent countries.
I was quoting from the Scottish Government's white paper.
Interests rate are set in order that the UK economy does what the government wants it to do, most importantly keep inflation below a certain figure.
If and I doubt the UK Government would ever want Scotland to use the BoE as it's central bank, interest rates and monetray policy as a whole would be set in the interests of the rest of the UK, not Scotland.
In fact they aren't really but as they are the largest economies in the Euro zone, they call the shots and economic policy is skewed to suit them. In order to do well the reality is that other EU countries have to adopt the same kind of economies.
You're right to be sceptical of the claims in the white paper. They need to be challenged and tested. That is the only way we will arrive at the facts. But I would be equally sceptical of counter-arguments from the Treasury and unionist think tanks.
Yes Jim, my question exactly.....why?
No, I'm suggesting that if the SNP's arguments for independence are correct, that the currency union does not make sense.
If they argue that currency union makes sense, then at least part of the argument for remaining in the union is made.
...Big Alex IS the puddin' industry !
Back in the days of the referendum in the '70's, the Westminster Government of the day lied about Oil & gas revenues (they were supressed) - that was shown to be true in released government & cabinet papers and is no longer disputed nor denied. The then UK government was willing to do anything to avoid losing the revenues that the oil & gas generated because they were being used to prop up old state industries, such as coal, car & steel.
Apply the same principal now and look at the figures. The loss of the oil & gas revenues would leave a huge hole in the balance of payments and tax revenues of Westminster. The sooner that everyone in Scotland wakes up and realises that the ONLY reason Westminster wants to keep Scotland is for its' money the better it would be for Scotland.
And anyhow, why would anyone in Scotland NOT vote for independence when the alternative is a UK government who's only idea for how to regenerate its' economy is to create yet another short term housing boom which is the process by which we got into a mess in the first place ?
I'm convinced...I hope others become so too.
Hi Andy, I've given an answer at 18:09, but in brief, symbiosis rather than parasitism.
"Former Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer Denis Healey has sensationally admitted that his party hid the true worth of Scotland’s oil in the seventies in order to persuade Scots against voting for home rule.
Speaking to Holyrood magazine, the former Cabinet Minister said that the current UK government is "worried stiff" that Scots might vote Yes in the 2014 referendum which will mean Westminster losing billions in tax receipts from North Sea oil."
NOTHING has changed.....
Apart from the fact that Denis is now 94 and probably isn't really on the pulse of what the UK Coalition Govt is thinking.
And ignoring any debate as to the actual net contribution. BTW a couple of billion is pissing in the wind for ENG/SCO/GBR so all in all if you are basing such a major decision on this quote from Denis Healey, then well............
But don't worry, AS is obviously telling the truth about the reserves, 24 zillion billion barrels (the top end of every estimate from what I can find with a couple of minutes googling, and yes I know it's 12-24 billion). What happens if he is 10% out, which is extremely likely as the estimates include, likely finds, probable finds, possible finds and finds that might become economic once oil hits a zillion dollars a barrel.
I'll take a guess at OIL
Probably withdraw troops from both Iraq & Afgan for "domestic duties" once they do lose another part of the empire;-)
I do look at figures with a critical eye. Regarding the IFS report which Donald went on at length to criticise. I was careful not to quote it verbatim because I knew it was pessimistic. It's the OBR's job to be conservative. However the general thrust of their argument s valid. Oil revenues are dropping and will continue to drop. It will take longer than five years for the oil to dry up but it won't take anything like 50. A decade or a decade and a half before they become a minor part of the Scottish economy. I realise too that their borrowing figures were conservative but the trend is the same. We may not have to raise income tax by 6%, it might be "only" 2% but why would we want to get ourselves in that position anyway?
Regarding the currency thing. Rather than hoping that the UK Government would play ball with a Scottish Government and let them use the BoE as the Scottish central bank thus effectively letting the UK dictate strict limits to Scotland's monetary policy, why not just stay in the UK and have, as a minimum, a load of MP's directly lobbying the UK chancellor who is responsible for the financial well being of the whole of the UK? You never know, you might even end up with a Scottish MP actually running the UK economy ;-).
Love your positive approach....
This retort to the IFS projections is far more eloquent than I could hope to be:
No, I went to explain my communications with the author of the report which underpinned what I wrote. This may not fit with your view but it wasn't criticism per se, more point out the flaws.
As for a 2% rise in income tax, I would be happy with that apart from on the lowest tax bands and want it on the upper bands.
So to answer your question, in a mature discussion it may be that it's best to look at the whole picture beyond your own personal tax situation and think that to create a better society some might have to pay more.
Oh and we have to cut out the Lords and other unelected people who cost too much.
Just a little question, when you say "Westminster" in your questions higher up the thread, what exactly do you mean - the present government? People who live in Westminster, the MPs in Parliament? Donald used to like this word in previous threads, and he wasn't very clear either, could you be clearer?
For example, if you mean the present Conservative + 1 government when you ask why "Westminster" wants to hang on to Scotland then one of the reasons is easy, they are conservative so they like to conserve things as they are, they dislike change. If you mean the elected reps of the British people in Parliament then one answer could be that they have a memory and remember the strategic interest on having no land borders... if you mean the good citizens of Westminster, it's hard to say, except that being mostly rather wealthy they are likely to be Conservatives, so see answer 1, although that would just be a guess.
If you are more precise in your questions, and avoid spin words like "Westminster" maybe you would get more answers... if your really want answers, that is, as it isn't very hard to work out for yourself any number of reasons for maintaining the present union.
Lets get positive then and embrace AS's guesses. 24 billion barrels, the top estimate. Yeah, they are all there, every single drop. And with every single drop that AS promises he can deliver every single socialist pledge that he has made. Yeah get real.
I happen to believe in the caring society that AS is promising, it would be brilliant if it could happen. But it won't. The big corps that run the world also run Scotland so they won't let it happen.
No you haven't and unfortunately never will. The big corps that run the world already own Scotland and always will. As a little player you will get f*cked over even more on your own.
Here's one thing that sways me: because so much of Dundee's infrastructure depends on things like UK research grants to Dundee University's Life Sciences, I personally know at least 4 people here in Dundee who will lose their jobs if Scotland votes Yes. And I know *of* hundreds of others who will also lose their jobs in that case.
But I don't know a single person who will lose his job if Scotland votes No, except possibly Alex Salmond.
Just to be clear--apart from that last bit about Eck, none of this is speculation about people possibly losing jobs. It is what is going to happen if Dundee loses access to RCUK funding.
Economically, Dundee University is one of the mainstays of this city. If Dundee votes Yes we are cutting our own throats: not literally, but not that far off literally.
Donald used to start his proselytising rants with, its not about 'politics'...then rambled on and on,about 'Tories, westminster, The Lords' , etc etc.... I just got bored shitless with his same old agenda, we've been hearing it for ever!
(Still undecided Btw!)
My flat price wouldn't be there, my savings would have gone too, my job and probably me would be gone, as I'd have to follow the rest of the educated to get work after the crash, leaving only the yes voters in Scotland to complain about the mess the countries in and how it isn't their fault and no-one could have predicted this.
Ah but Tim, that will not happen, because the SNP will:
"Maintain a "common research area" across the UK between universities"
Explain please. I am asking for exacts
I think what he is alluding to, is that , like Iceland (AS favourite poster boy before the crash) had Scotland been independent and RBS was still headquartered in Edinburgh then there would have been an economic collapse that the government would not have been able to contain. The resulting collapse of RBS would have had ramifications globally but particularly for the Scottish government and would have affected his savings, flat price and possibly his job.
All speculation of course, because as we know, the UK as a whole stepped in to rescue RBS.
You've some cheek asking for "exacts," when the entire argument for independence is made up! Even the waffle about Scottish government more able to make decisions for Scotland is flawed. Still, you "feel," it is right, so it must be ok.
Its not difficult. Westminster = the UK Parliament. Westminster Government = UK Government
Not really, you just need to look at what fish face is bribing voters with to see that the country will crash fairly soon after. Free childcare, tax relief, "locked," pensions (otherwise known as government stepping in to cover the difference if the pension company lose money,) bigger homes for those on benefits all cost money that doesn't exist. Yes, it can be borrowed, but that just costs more when it needs paid back so is passing the problem on. There isn't enough earners in Scotland to support the level of welfare, education and health that is wanted,so it's going to crash...
According to the white paper, in the 2011/12 academic year, UKRC grants accounted for 25% of Scottish research funding, while 1/3 came from the block grant of the Scottish Funding Council (devolved budget).
I'm not minimising the effect of losing a quarter of your funding in a worst case scenario, but would argue that this needn't happen and that the element of common funding could continue. The SG says it would be prepared to offer direct funding to UK-wide research councils based on population share. It could make up any shortfall from European sources or directly from its own budgets.
The SNP seem a lot more committed to funding research than the slash and burn Westminster crew.
Where do you get that the money doesn't exist? It is a question of priorities. i would rather my tax money was spent on a fairer society than nuclear weapons and high speed trains that don't come anywhere near me.
That sounds like another area where the existing Union has sufficient merits that the Scottish Government want to keep it.
all very laudable but one can't help but wonder where the f*ck they're getting the money from? Payday loan companies perhaps?
Ah! the mythical infinite resources of the Scottish oilfields. i should have guessed
It's a trick question that can not be answered without a time machine. You could equally ask a Shetlander what they wouldn't have if Shetland was independent from Scotland etc.
If Scotland had always been independent then perhaps we would have joined/made a North Sea pact with Scandanavia. Then maybe we wouldn't have had the roads and bridges that Europe have funded, or maybe we would. A question that is impossible to answer.
Sorry but these things are open to debate. Not certain. You cannot say that your flat price would fall or rise in an independent Scotland or that that is the result of the union. It may be your opinion but it's just that.
I am talking about things that are tangible to which we can say, with certainty, would or would not be there.
Aye but remember Jonnie wants spending allocated on per head of population only which would result in massive cuts in many areas of Scotland which are in severe need. I think we are fairly safe from that extreme Tory view in terms of electorate in Scotland, but the irony is we have the policies as a result of the Union.
No one is suggesting they are infinite, but there could be as much to come as has already been extracted. The proposal to set up an Oil Fund along the lines of Norway's is a sound one.
Also, according to the white paper, even without oil GDP per head in Scotland is virtually identical to that of the rUK.
Correct Dave as are multiple ones that the No camp are asking. Of course you knew that. They are even asking questions which only they can answer (EU membership).
"With the publication of its massive white paper on the case for independence, the Scottish government has sought to silence critics who claim it has not thought through the implications of separation.
The 670-page document may be short of Braveheart-like passages designed to tug at the heart strings. But its purpose is not to fire up the committed. Instead Alex Salmond, leader of the Scottish National party, has crafted a highly detailed technocratic treatise designed to reassure the fearful. He is after converts, not the allegiance of those who have already made up their minds.
Whatever the result of next September’s referendum, much will remain the same north of the border. In the nationalist vision, Scotland would keep the monarch and the pound. The country’s frail fiscal condition would inevitably constrain the use of its new economic freedoms. But this has not stopped Mr Salmond from scattering a few fiscal goodies over the post-independence gruel. Business taxes would be cut and promises made to fund free childcare for two-year-olds. Unpopular measures, such as the “bedroom tax” and the Tory-backed married couples tax allowance, would be scrapped.
While the Financial Times strongly favours the continuation of the union, we accept that there is an arguable – if flawed – case for independence. Scottish voters must ultimately decide whether Scotland would prosper more under Holyrood than it does as part of the UK.
However, what must also be acknowledged is that a hard choice must be made. Scotland cannot demand a free hand while also freeriding on the rest of the UK.
Mr Salmond has been criticised for publishing what amounts to a wishlist in the guise of a prospectus. The precise terms of any separation would need to be negotiated subsequently should Scotland vote for exit. Many of the decisions required to give effect to his programme would require the consent of non-Scots and Scots alike.
Perhaps Mr Salmond’s most contentious demand concerns Scotland’s post-independence currency arrangements. There is nothing objectionable about wanting Scotland to continue using sterling as its currency. What raises eyebrows is the expectation that the rest of the UK would create a single currency area simply to accommodate 5m Scottish citizens alongside its 58m remaining inhabitants. Such a move would risk replicating the euro-muddle of monetary union without full fiscal union. This is not a comforting precedent.
The white paper argues that currency union would be in the interests of the UK because its balance of payments would deteriorate were Scottish oil receipts to be excluded from the balance of payments of the sterling area. This is a highly questionable assumption, and ignores the possible benefit to the UK of a weaker currency.
Another nationalist argument is that Scotland would be entitled to a continuing say in the Bank of England’s operations, and hence to impose a currency zone on the rest of the UK, because of its historic stake in the central bank’s assets.
This is to misconstrue the nature of the divorce that would occur should Scotland leave. There would have to be a division of the UK’s assets and liabilities – a process that Mr Salmond aims to conclude in just 18 months. But while this might involve the transfer of assets and compensation where such transfers were impossible, it would not confer any continuing control over institutions.
Splitting up the UK would be very bruising. The SNP has already hinted that it might link its assumption of part of the UK’s national debt to Westminster’s agreement on the currency zone. This is not the language of politicians who believe in their own “win-win” rhetoric. It does however recognise the rancour that separation would entail. "
Very true (re RBS I mean) and it's purely conjecture if it might have happened or not in an independent Scotland. You could say yes, I could say no. Both would be as right as the other.
But it is a funny world we live in when stability is measured in how many crashes there are.
Has the Iceland quality of life fallen to that of the UK as a result of their crash?
You are 100% right but it's on which system those assets are divided. My understanding is that debt is allocated by head of population and oil on territorial mineral rights which leave the majority with Scotland.
Most likely there would be an agreement drawn up as to which systems to use on these.
I can't find much to disagree with there but there is a notable absence of opinion on what might happen to the pound and rUK should they refuse a currency union. It certainly wouldn't be business as usual.
Thanks for posting it. "Paywall" - good term!
Well unemployment tripled, currency devaluation effectively cut salaries by 50% and pension funds lost up to 25% of their value. Quality of life is subjective. Having travelled all over Iceland, I can say that you cannot easily compare a lava moonscape country with barely any trees, no train network, rotten egg smelling water, high cost of food and crap weather with the UK. But suspect it is probably better than Scotland QoL would be had it been independent in 2008 ;-)
A fairer society than the one we have? At the moment you work hard to get knowledge, then people pay for the knowledge and your time. The less hard it is to get the knowledge the less money you are paid. You think that people who work less hard should get hand outs from the government to allow them to make as much money as the harder workers and think it is fair? I disagree. Why is this unfair?
Where has all this "unfairness," argument come from anyway? I don't remember it being harped on about last year. It looks like the SNP is realising they are going to lose so have borrowed another parties election promises again.
"Right, we want the green vote, so build wind turbines and tell nuclear subs to go away, they will forget that we will be turning Scotland into an nation relying on selling oil and gas to exist."
"OK, so the liberals want free education, lets copy that too, and win the youth vote by making the education really easy."
"How about getting the socialist vote by offering loads of benefits so people that don't want to work don't have to? If we offer a solid pension we get labour too."
"Hmm, it's still not working, how about winning the conservatives over by offering independence but not changing anything? You know, keep the pound, the BBC, the Bank of England."
"I like that, the nationalists will still vote, if we offer a Scottish passport they'll be even happier."
"We can tell women they'll get more work as well!"
"An embassy in Pakistan should encourage their vote."
"Shall we rename? The Scottish Green Liberal Socialist Labour Conservative Nationalist Feminist Islamic Party?"
"Aye, a true Scottish Peoples Party."
I have seen a good question posed, wondering if anyone has an answer to it
"The Scots currently get more per head in public spend than the rest of the UK. What would be the net effect of this against the loss of North Sea oil revenue for the rUK should they leave?"
So why are you comparing it then if you say you cannot easily compare it?
I think Ireland and Norway have the best comparisons both of which are double edged swords for both camps.
Well yes but given the international precedents of allocating assets (not mineral ones I mean) I don't think there is any big issue. The fine detail is where the disagreement will be.
From the FT editorial:
"The white paper argues that currency union would be in the interests of the UK because its balance of payments would deteriorate were Scottish oil receipts to be excluded from the balance of payments of the sterling area. This is a highly questionable assumption, and ignores the possible benefit to the UK of a weaker currency."
So what's stopping them from devaluing the Pound now?
I don't understand the question?
>[...] what might happen to the pound and rUK should they refuse a currency union. It certainly wouldn't be business as usual.
Let's say you and I were business partners, running a furniture shop. I own 80% of the business and you own 20%. You want to leave and set up another furniture shop right next door to mine.
Why should I act as guarantor of your loans? What possible benefit do I get from that?
interest rates are at record lows and they are still applying QE. They are trying to keep it weak
Ha, I see you now understand what an opinion is! If the UK stayed the same, we would continue the slow rise in investments we have. If Scotland left we may continue the rise, or they may fall. I don't see the need for the gamble. What is so great about an "independent Scotland," compared to Scotland that it is worth the risk?
If there is no change why bother? Do you like your tax being spent on rebranding? New computer systems for the DVLA, nationalising the Post Office? New overseas emabssies? Or will the extra benefits offered cover the extra taxes needed for the rebranding?
Scotland vote "yes"
The rUK loses oil revenue but gains from no longer having to pay for the public spend in Scotland (which is apparently higher than the rest of the UK)
What is the net result of this for the rUK?
I think the value of the gamble, more an informed choice I would say, is that we would be able to implement policies which are more suited to Scotland. I don't just mean on the economy. I mean social policy as well.
For example on the Crown Estate which extracts from communities putting very little back. (I haven't been to the Glenlivet Trails yet :-)
On rebranding, I have no problem with that. We could pay for it out of the savings on HS2.
We need rid of the Queen and all the other anachronistic garbage that passes for government in the UK.
The BBC could never have been what it is today without the work and vision of John Charles Walsham Reith of Stonehaven, now resting in Rothiemurchus. If the English think it was all their idea then they can think again.
Currency union is, and always has been, a quite common thing around Europe. Presumably, any English people who want GBP to continue to be the fourth most traded currency on the planet will want the Scots to keep it since that position is largely about OIL.
Talking of oil, that is the funding source that the DEVIL BITCH used to persuade all tiny-minded cretins in the UK that we could run an economy on this scale with income tax at these ridiculously low levels. It has been spent on political gifts to morons so that they could spend it on frivolous and meaningless cheap Chinese goods instead of having it invested in our futures.
'Nation shall speak peace unto nation' :-)
But Scotland is made up of many different areas that are all better at looking after themselves. There is no point in Scotland being independent if the Borders are going to run differently to the Central Belt, which will be run differently to the west coast, to the Highlands to the Hebrides, to Orkney, Shetland and Grampian! A policy that works well in one place won't in another! That is why we have councils!!
But they will at least get a railway from it. We will get new signs and well off design agencies. They are borrowing the money as well so we'd have to do the same.
Seeing as that is not going to change will you vote for or against independence?
And morons will spout rubbish. 30 years on from your memories, the current system is quite different. I honestly think that retired people should not get a vote as they will not have to live with the consequences of it. Funny that you mention Chinese goods! How do the pandas at Edinburgh zoo cost again?
Arguably the single biggest catalyst for the indpendence movement in the past fifty years was the damage that an interest rate policy appropriate for England did to the Scottish economy in the 1980s.
Why is the movement so keen to maintain subservience to an interest rate policy over which it will have even less influence?
Obviously not the mineral ones, that would be silly.
They already are run differently through local authorities.
You are right, they will get a railway and we are paying £5billion for it with no railway. That, by itself, is good reason to vote yes.
Scotland can't borrow much as it's a reserved power apart from recent changes to the Scotland Act.
If you are worried about signs and design agencies then I think you have ever so slightly, missed the point of all this.
I don't think I have ever heard a single person mention that when talking about independence and reasons why. In fact, I think anyone would be hard pushed to find someone to even mention it.
Or you will have missed the point that the whole thing is unnecessary and it is all money being chucked down a hole.
I see. That's something for the rUK to consider. But I think the higher public spending in Scotland per capita is in any case a result of how the Scottish government chooses to allocate its priorities. It comes from the devolved budget.
So don't think the Thatcher era and what she was perceived to have done to Scotland was a driver for the independence movement?
Well if you are happy with everything the UK does then yes, it is unnecessary but I amn't. For example, the infrastructure in Scotland is rubbish. Roads are falling to bits and it's not through lack of powers are Holyrood, it's lack of money. And if you look at year 16-17 and don't shiver at the budget cuts to come then look soon.
What is your job btw?
No I didn't say that. I just said that what you identify as a catalyst isn't really the main catalyst. It's part of a bigger picture. I'd say oil, a growing sense of identity within Scotland (long before I was born), the 1979 referendum, run down of industry and more travel (leading people to compare and contrast) have been the main catalysts.
What Thatcher did, is a secondary motivation, terrible as that was but it really isn't what people are saying in meetings and in the street etc.
But the run down of industry is consistently blamed on Thatcher! Anyway, how do you think Scotland can be genuinely independent if its interest rates are set by a foreign country?
Yes it is, and rightly so. but I don't think that is the primary catalyst. Not so hard to understand?
It depends what you mean by genuinely independent. A currency union is an agreement. That is the point of independence - you agree to things you want to do. We might have joined the Euro in other circumstances which is still a possibility. If there was one the same would true for rUK as Scotland would then be foreign to them.
With independence there is the facility to join or otherwise other countries in doing things. Without it, there isn't.
If you mean genuinely independant like North Korea then, no.
So the fact that rUK is "foreign" is not an issue, it's what the agreement is. Maybe in fact we could be in a currency union with Norway as the rUK pound would be in real trouble without the currency union.
It's the councils that should be fixing the roads, but they are more interested in internal politics, pay rises and pensions than doing a job. Having several layers of government above them doesn't help to control them.
Civil Engineer, don't see how that helps!
Nice balanced view of the case for Scottish independence there Jim, good work. :0)
So then Norway sets Scotland's interest rates, how very independent.
The dominance of London and the damage it has done to Scotland would seem to me to be a pretty big catalyst. Look at the rise of the independent movement post 1980.
I mean the independent ability to control the main powers that effect the economy. If you were driving a car but a somebody else was changing the gears, regardless of your instructions, would you regard yourself as in charge of the car?
Why would the pound be in real trouble without a currency union?
> Why would the pound be in real trouble without a currency union?
This is a good question and relates directly to my question above (which nobody anywhere seems to have an answer for)
If Scotland vote "yes"
The rUK loses oil revenue but gains from no longer having to pay for the public spend in Scotland (which is apparently higher than the rest of the UK)
What is the net result of this for the rUK?
Em no, that is not a currency union.
and in doing so, is removed from the volatility which accompanies the oil markets, which might seem to be a good thing.
Because with the astronomical debt the UK has and without the majority of oil, the asset base on which the pound etc is based is much lower. Importantly also, the rUK would have no access to potential new discoveries of oil and that coupled with a neighbour with new vigor to the north and no longer subject to the same economic restrictions then the pound would continue its fall from once the majority reserve currency to much less status.
Who knows? It's complicated. rUK loses the tax take from the working Scots and the oil revenue, so I suspect it's a significant net loss.
Because Scotland would almost certainly join the Euro. At which point everyone in Scotland plus all the businesses in England and that trade with Scotland would need to sell pounds and buy Euros. The banks would see this coming and start trying to get out of pounds in advance.
Even once this had stabilized any English business with trade in Scotland would need to have a Euro bank account. Shops in the North of England would get used to customers wanting to spend Euros. Chucking Scotland out of the pound could quite likely destabilize the pound to an extent that forced the whole of the UK into the Euro.
By how much is that asset base reduced relative to debt?
In that case, why would it not be better for Scotland to have full control over interest rates and exchange rates?
It seems to be an outdated view of sterling as a "petrocurrency" which is no longer really relevant. Essentially the rump of the UK would lose some oil related tax revenues and lose some spending on Scotland, which would roughly cancel each other out. I guess the balance of payments would deteriorate a bit but not enough to put sterling "in real trouble".
How [much] do the pandas at Edinburgh zoo cost again?
Have you mistakenly got the impression that the Holyrood Government is paying?
So instead of having its interest rates set by the Bank of England, Scotland would have its interest rates set by the Central European Bank.
One of the outcomes of the eurozone failings over recent years is the notion that all eurozone countries will have to have their budgets approved by the Central European Bank, which may mean constraints on public spending.
Thats not what moves currencies. What is relevant is the ability to pay the interest on the debt and there is no reason to think that would be significantly impaired.
You say it would be in 'real trouble', well it can either go up or down... down might actually be useful atm. The status of the pound as a reserve currency doesn't matter.
I do think the SNP have missed an opportunity here, and I say that as someone who sympathises with some of the nationalist arguments. Scotland would have little negotiation power in setting up this currency union, the SNP should have been bolder and set out what they would do if they could not get acceptable deal.
I though they said they would not take on a proportion of national debt. That would lead to an amicable split...
To that I don't know the answer straight off the top of my head. I also don't disagree with your second point either and I think the desire to keep the pound, from the the SNP hierarchy, is more a stepping stone to ensure some transition. It could leave if it wanted (Scotland I mean). If the Euro recovers beyond that of the pound and the rUK refuses this currency union then it might be in a lot more trouble. I think Tom is right.
Really, you don't think ability to repay debt would be affected by moving from having all the oil to having very little and no tax receipts? I do. It will change everything.
Agree with you. It's a case of damned if you do, damned if you don't. I think there is a huge awareness that the SNP is not in a postion to set all policy for an independent Scotland and therefore pulls back from that understandably.
So who do you think sets the interest rates in a currency union?
The currency union does, not one part of it as you are implying. That is the point of the union.
No, oil tax revenues account for less than 2% of UK tax revenues. Why would that (and losing expenditure on Scotland) "change everything"
And if, on the interest rate setting committee, Scotland has 10% of the voting power and rUK has 90%, who is setting the interest rate?
"In 2011, financial and insurance services contributed £125.4 billion in gross value added (GVA) to the UK economy, 9.4% of the UK’s total GVA. London accounted for 45.8% of the total financial and insurance sector GVA in the UK in 2009. The sector’s contribution to UK jobs is around 3.6%. Trade in financial services makes up a substantial proportion of the UK’s trade surplus in services. In 2010-11 the banking sector alone contributed £21.0 billion to UK tax receipts in corporation tax, income tax and national insurance."
"Revenues from UK oil and gas production increased from £7.4 billion in 2007-08 to £12.4 billion in 2008-09, an increase of around 67%. Revenues fell in 2009-10 to £5.9 billion, a reduction of around 50% from the prev
ious year. This was mainly the result of record high oil prices for 2008 pushing up revenues to the highest ever level. A drop in oil prices, declining oil and gas production and increased capital expenditure
for 2009 led to the considerable fall in revenues in 2009-10. Although expenditure increased and production continued to decline for 2010, the increase in oil prices led
to a significant rise in 2010-11 revenues.
This trend continued in 2011-12 and receipts were further enhanced by an increase to the supplementary charge from 20% to 32%
from 24th March 2011. In 2012-13 however, revenues dropped by over 40% as a
result of lower production and higher expenditure."
"In 2010 there was record £8.5 billion gap between UK Government spending on welfare and pensions in Scotland and all the revenue raised from North Sea oil and gas."
Just for some comparative numbers.
I wouldn't be basing my argument around how much worse off rUK is going to be without Scottish oil revenues if rUK isn't contributing to the Scottish welfare fund.
How many times do I have to say this? If the rUK suddenly has a lower revenue and less diverse base as well as huge liabilities then clearly the ability to repay debt is going to be affected.
The oil has put in £300 billion over time and Scottish tax revenues are (from memory) £47 billion. So you are going to keep Trident (where?), continue with HS2 without £5 billion from Scotland, build Crossrail 2 all with less money but zero affect on your ability to pay debt???? The pound would be shredded.
As I keep saying to you, the committee does. Currently it has zero influence and as Postmanpat says the interest rate policy was a driver.
What are the liabilities for that?
All the Scots assets are *currently* in pounds. They'd need to convert them to Euros. The pound would be a significantly smaller currency doing a much larger portion of its international trade in Euros.
I think Scotland would be ok sticking with the pound without a currency union. It would mean tighter fiscal conditions but as a means to setting up an independent country it is the best option, and paves the way for Euro adoption down the line.
That is your opinion, you can say it as many times as you like.
Look at the figures above, oil revenues are running at about £6 billion a year. The £300 billion earned over time is history, it's been burned. HS2 and crossrail can quite easily be shelved if there aren't funds to pay for it, but Scotland's welfare bill and pensions can't just be shelved. I've no problem with Scottish independence, I think it will make not one jot of difference to the people and infrastructure of the area where I live, but your forecast of doom for rUK is, in my opinion, misguided.
Only their cash or quasi cash assets are in pounds. There would be one off conversion that would be managed to avoid volatility and that would pretty much be that
Assuming the trade balance between Scotland and the UK is in balance then there would be no subsequent impact.
The grouse shooting.
Bit of a loaded question there.
Thanks Donald. I'm sure that'll explain a lot to those who didn't already know that.
I've asked myself that. the financial flows are pretty much a wash and the energy reserves don't contribute all that much to the exchequer and have peaked. So it guess it must be the submarine base. Really.....?
I've just got a leaflet through the door asking for foodbank contributions. People have every right to be concerned about independence but they'd also do well to have a look around themselves and see the benefits the UK is currently delivering to those struggling to get by.
A biased report threatening me with a loss of £1000 a year under independence fell on deaf ears in this house as I wasn't sure if that was on top of the several thousand our house is already down under the present UK government.
Scare stories work on some people, they don't work on me.
Do you think that there are only people in Scotland struggling to get by and everyone in rUK is sitting pretty? Do you think that independence is going to bring an end to that?
It's all of the points I mentioned. Having said that, the loss of Faslane as a Trident base may mean the loss of the UK nuclear deterrent. Loss of UK nuclear deterrent may mean loss of a permanent place at the UN Security Council. That alone would concern Westminster - big style.
And another thing; it looks like 10 or 15 years from now most of England outside of London will have the majority of the population in unsustainable personal debt. Many in the other home nations will be the same.
What will eventually happen because of that will make anything in Greece or Spain or Ireland look tame. Yet government still ignores or stigmatises the poor, preferring to support gamblers in the financial sector and the poor underfed defence contractors. Everyone begs for more house price inflation so that in the short term they don't need to get off their lazy f4t 4r5es and in the medium term we can bring the country to its knees.
Something has to change.
Do you honestly think it is all some Macheavellian plot to "keep" Scotland by scheming politicians? Rather than say a genuiune belief that it makes more sense for everyone to have combined economic, defence, and foreign policy and so on, and a shared feeling of Britishness?
But as I said, only the Faslane point is really true. Doesn't seem impossible that the UK could cut a deal on that does it?
No Pete I'd say that the UK is in a pretty poor state. That means I'm more inclined to take the opportunity to vote for independence. If you like I genuinely believe things couldn't get any worse under independence, I'm not sure if that is the case under the UK. I don't expect to wake up one post independence morning and find everything is milk and honey but I do know things will be better, even if only marginally so.
Why? Of the 4 countries which most popularly agitate for a permanent seat (Japan, Brazil, Germany and India) alongside the existing members, 3 are non-nuclear.
The history of the Security Council and Article 23 do not appear support your view. Daily Star readers might agree but, very fortunately, they do not have representation in the General Assembly.
Nice. I do hope that scotland doesn't decide to go all stalin and kill half its people!
No, as I already said it's all of the points.
If the rUK wanted a deal on Faslane then that would be up to the people and politicians of the day on both sides of any new divide. It's fair to say it would be hardball but played by equals. Ultimately if Scotland says that nuclear missles have to be removed there is nothing rUK can do about it.
I know that Scotland will be governing itself, that is better. Perhaps you can't understand that simple notion but it is a fairly important one.
I understand, you want independence because you know it will be better. And you know being independence is better because it's independent.
I pointed that out yesterday. It all seemed to go quiet after that.
I don't know what you are reading in the Daily Star but articles and treaties can change, that is kind of what we are discussing.
Other than move them, presumably to another rUK base. Presumably, any defence shipbuilding contracts would go the same way. A nuclear free Scotland is noble idea, but what effect would the loss of revenue from those activities have on the Scottish economy? It may well be peanuts, I don't know.
No, you don't understand at all.
I reckon there's a long way to go with Faslane. It's not that long ago that SNP policy was not to be a member of NATO. That's changed, to the upset of a few MSPs. It's also now proposed that NATO vessels carrying nuclear weapons will be allowed to use Scottish facilities on a 'don't ask don't tell basis.' There's no guarantee that post-independence negotiations wouldn't lead to a retention of Faslane as a nuclear base.
And how do you reconcile either point with the facts: that oil revenues are only £6bn out of £550 and that excluding those Scotland receives at least as much in spending as it generates in tax?
Please do Eric. Let them know when doing so that I would cut the House of Lords, nuclear weapons, the Crown Estate and so on and reorganise the system for their benefit.
It didn't go quite. I simply disagree and I thought you were referring to total tax Tony? Is that link I posted saying that 15% of all corporate tax comes from oil wrong?
What do you disagree with, the numbers or the conclusion drawn from them?
This is where I fall down too, please explain how this simple notion is better.
The conclusion that rUK will not be in serious trouble without tax revenues from Scotland including oil.
In which case it behaves you to explain why a one off £6bn loss of revenues will cause "serious trouble" when regular falls and rises year on year of £20bn or more do not. I'm all ears.
I was referring to total tax. Oil tax revenues account for about 15% of Corporation Tax. Corporation Tax accounts for about 10% of total tax revenues. Therefore, oil tax revenues account for about 1.5% of all tax revenues.
Although using slightly more precise figures (total tax revenue £592bn, oil tax revenue £6.5bn) it's about 1.1%.
Or, putting it another way, if you take the oil tax revenues out of the total tax revenue, you're left with £585.5bn.
So when you said something along the lines of "having very little and no tax receipts", you clearly weren't referring to rUK tax revenues.
Sorry you misunderstand. I mean the total tax take. I simply don't accept that cutting off access to income from Crown Estate, general taxation, oil, spirits and so on is going to have no negative effect.
However if I am wrong as you suggest, it's win-win as Scotland gets the above and rUK can walk away happier.
Correct, I wasn't. I was referring to the tax receipts from Scotland. We have managed to clear that up now.
Are you against Scottish independence and if so, why?
I've been trying to absorb the arguments from both sides and will continue to do so, but so far it leaves me feeling little the wiser.
Essentially, that's because everyone's trying to predict the future. There's not much precedent to suggest that human beings, even clever ones, are very good at that. So much data and projection; does anyone really have an objective view, or is it, in reality, a faithful commitment to what suits your prejudices?
Most will presumably admit that there will be advantages and disadvantages of either outcome, yet it comes down to a binary decision.
At the moment, I'm inclining marginally towards Yes for the simple reason that as a bewildered individual in a big complicated world, I would rather project my tiny democratic voice into a smaller arena. Nationalism has nothing to do with it.
I wonder what I'll vote in September?
I can honestly say I have no idea what you're taking about. What did you mean by:
"Really, you don't think ability to repay debt would be affected by moving from having all the oil to having very little and no tax receipts? I do. It will change everything."
What was the "very little and no tax receipts" about?
Aye the good old vague, fallacious statements, 'out of date' and 'incompetant'. Right, lets see if 'out of touch', 'cronies' and of course repeated use of 'westminster'. I think the thread title needs to be changed to independent holyrood...
Oh no, its he 'religious and fanatical' card. To be fair you did back this up with 'All the peopIe I've talked to'....
Keep it up man.
I'm ambivalent. In terms of its practical impact on the rest of the UK I don't think it will be that big.
I have a kind of nostalgic attachment to the Union because I think it worked very well for both partners for so long. However, given the resentment it seems to cause to so many Scots and the matching and growing resentment sparked in England I tend to think its time has passed.
I think independence will be more traumatic economically for the Scots than is understood but that ultimately it may be the catalyst for a swing toward the economic right and growing prosperity.
I guess on those bases I am, somewhat reluctantly, in favour.
Interesting and I think many agree with you. Patrick Harvie made a good point recently when he said everyone, every country, face challenges. This is true for Scotland and the UK regardless of what happens.
He went on to say that in his view the best way of facing these challenges is to have the tools ready to address them and face them with confidence.
The "swing factor" is the oil based tax revenue which will result in an overall tax loss to the UK ex but as I've said! it is very small.
Which is exactly the opposite economic reason given by the Yes campaign!
I can't keep up with all these questions.
What I meant was that the rUK will have little (zero?) tax receipts from Scotland should it become independent. Currently it enjoys the entire tax receipt and moving from that to pretty much zero will create an additional challenge.
Given the nature of some of the tax receipts, current and future (oil and spirits) not having access to these will cause investors and lenders to reappraise the risk of lending and I don't think that appraisal will result in a safer debt that is currently the case.
Obviously the costs go too and Scotland has to pay for that.
Em yes, that is because they don't agree. In some ways this demonstrate the binary nature of a referendum. If you vote you have to decide between one or the other. No options.
So if the income AND the costs go and are roughly equal there's no problem is there?!!!!!
Not according to you. I disagree and I think the rUK would be quite exposed on a less diverse and stable tax basis that it is right now. For that reason, I think it would quickly agree to a currency union etc.
Why is the Scottish tax base either significantly more stable or diverse. What is your evidence for this?
That's the whole point of the argument. The total tax take closely matches the total costs. The total tax take without oil revenues is slightly lower than the total cost, with oil revenues it's slightly more than total cost. For the UK as a whole, and for rUK in the case of an independent Scotland it doesn't make a big difference either way. The oil revenues do make a big difference for an Independent Scotland because when you look at it in terms of GDP per capita, you have to take into account that you're looking at a relatively small population to divide the total cost / revenue amongst. I'll reiterate what I said above, I don't think independence will affect rUK much, and there could be some short term benefits for Scotland whilst there's oil coming out of the ground, but don't base all your economic argument on oil because it's too volatile and finite.
Dude, I am not saying that. Please take some time to read and understand what I am saying.
I am referring to rUK tax base being less stable when you take Scotland out. And, to start a sentence with that word, I am saying that the affect of this less stable situation for the rUK will not be positive.
I can't open that link at work. If it is the recent IFS report see my reply to Eric some distance above.
Over the past 12 months, the price of oil has varied between about $118 and $98. If, as you're suggesting, a stable tax base is desirable, the volatility of oil prices would suggest that Scotland would need some kind of buffer against such instability.
Why would that be? It would not be subject to the volatility of the oil market.
I don't dispute that but I do dispute that in the long run it would be the big issue it's made out to be. Remember we have zero access to these taxes right now.
Next you will be doing an Iain Gray on this ;-)
Are we speaking the same language? I have explained this multiple times.
The debt of the UK and other liabilities is huge. Personal debt is huge. Housing prices are rising.
Are you genuinely saying that if the rUK has no input at all from Scotland to it's tax receipts then there will be no effect? Markets will take no view, at all, on the stability of the rUK in light of £50 billion plus (oil + general) suddenly not being there?
But with no explanation! Excluding oil and gas the profile of Scotland's tax base is very similar to that of the UK as a whole so it doesn't add diversity. It is driven by the same factors.
So you're left with the argument that shrinking the total by 8% somehow makes it unstable. How?
You must have a touching loyalty to Nicola if you try and justify that party line. You do realise she'll change it all around before September don't you? Don't get left high and dry.
Yes it is. How long ago did you respond to Eric? There's a lot of thread to wade through!
I think you may have meant diverse rather than stable - the former is certainly true, the latter is debateable, depending on whether you think adding/removing a volatile source of receipts adds overall stability through the diversity or whether it brings instability through its own volatility.
Again, I'd agree if you said diverse, but I think the big loser in terms of tax base stability from a separation would be Scotland since volatile oil tax receipts make up a far higher proportion of the tax take.
I think people are saying pretty much that. Probably "very little" rather than "no" effect. You are hugely exaggerating the influence of the Scottish economy on the UK economy. That said, even a small effect is undesirable and this is one reason why I think keeping the UK is a good idea. However, it is much more of a good idea economically for Scotland than rUK.
That's a fair answer, I'm not sure I agree with all of it though. The nostalgic feeling about the Union applies to a lot of Scots as well, a close member of my own family thinks voting Yes is a slap in the face to those who fought for Britain in WW2, I disagree but there you go.
I just think it's a normal state of affairs to run your own country, and it abnormal not to. What I think is irrelevant and if I can make one of those educated guesses I'd say the No vote will win the referendum albeit by a smaller margin that the polls currently say so.
I hope I'm wrong but ..
Why don't you understand this?????????
I am *not* referring to the tax base of Scotland. For the last 20+ posts I have been referring to the tax base of the rUK. For some reason, despite me saying this several times, you still don't follow.
Once again (this is my explanation), suddenly removing £50billion + of tax receipts from the rUK will in my view cause markets etc to appraise the debt, as they do all the time. This is where we disagree - my opinion is that without the oil (small as you say it is) and the spirits plus general taxation and massively reduced territory and a new competitor on the scene, those markets will assess the rUK as a bigger risk that it is right now.
You think everything will be fine. I admire your faith.
No, you haven't explained it. You've made numerous assertions without very much by way of evidence. Simply saying the same thing over and over again doesn't make it more convincing.
That's the whole of the UK - Scotland included.
No, I'm not saying that. But at some point yesterday you suggested that "The pound would be shredded over night without the asset base of oil and untapped reserves"
I don't think you've said anything that gives that statement any weight. As has been pointed out, oil tax revenue at just 1% of total tax revenue would not be an insurmountable problem.
Looks like we agree then and small is not how I would describe it. If you are right it's all good then for the rUK.
That's because Tony we are talking about the future. It's all speculation.
However, I am wrong, can you provide some hard evidence which demonstrates that the rUK will not be less stable. Evidence as you say, not assertion.
No we don't
and small is not how I would describe it.
The point you seem to be missing is that the ~£50 billion tax "not there" for rUK in the case of independence is roughly offset by the £50b no longer spent in Scotland. The tax in the rUK will be ~£500b rather than ~$550b for UK currently - not a huge difference really.
Try turning this round and you may see why peolple are struggling with your claim.
Currently UK tax take is £550b. On independence £500b from rUK will no longer be available to Scotland, therefore chaos and mayhem for the Scottish currency, economy etc.
Do you believe that? If not, why do you think the rUK (with a much smaller proportional change) will have problems.
Once again, I am not missing that at all. The only thing I am saying is the debt of the rUK will be assessed as more risky in my view. Not in yours. Fair enough.
You're only looking at the tax receipts though! Scotland comes with costs as well as tax receipts, so only the net transfer position matters. Which is I assume far less than £50bn. And one assumes that Scotland is taking some proportion of the national debt with it - don't the snp want to do it by population and the rUk by GDP or something? There's obviously some sort of formula there to work it out.
So if, and obviously there is debate, Scotland isn't a massively net debtor or creditor in the overall balance of income vs expenditure, and it takes a relatively fair share of the debt with it, why do you believe the rest of the uk is screwed?
The markets will deem the 2 separate countries a bigger risk than the one combined. That much is certain. But that's a long way from being screwed.
And whether a larger country with a more diverse tax base is more or less screwed than a smaller one with a heavy reliance in the short to medium term on a volatile source of income is a question which I'm sure the ratings agencies have already suggested an answer to - wasn't there a suggestion that Scotland would come in with quite a low rating in the short term because of the risks associated with it being a new country and the associated disruption, combined with heavier reliance on oil tax than the current Uk entity as a whole has? I'd have to look it up to be sure.
How much is removed from UK Government spending when the Scottish block grant is taken away? If it's of a similar size to the tax receipts, why would the markets suddenly take fright, if the fundamental ratios stay pretty much the same.
Oh £500 billion is available to Scotland? Good, the A9 dualling is £3 billion - when will the UK be doing this?
Donald, the whole of Scotland's GDP is a quarter of the GDP of one city in the South East of England. Get over it.
It's just as available to Scotland as your £50b is to rUK. I really don't think you understand this, despite what you claim.
I thought I'd seen it somewhere. So likely investment grade but not AAA (at a time when the UK as a whole was). Unlikely that the relative positioning, a few notches below, will have shifted that much in the past year or so...
I've done that. The volatility in oil prices leads to instability. Remove such volatility and the economy doesn't have to account for the instabilities. As was pointed out earlier,
"Revenues from UK oil and gas production increased from £7.4 billion in 2007-08 to £12.4 billion in 2008-09, an increase of around 67%. Revenues fell in 2009-10 to £5.9 billion, a reduction of around 50% from the prev
ious year. This was mainly the result of record high oil prices for 2008 pushing up revenues to the highest ever level. A drop in oil prices, declining oil and gas production and increased capital expenditure
for 2009 led to the considerable fall in revenues in 2009-10. Although expenditure increased and production continued to decline for 2010, the increase in oil prices led to a significant rise in 2010-11 revenues.
This trend continued in 2011-12 and receipts were further enhanced by an increase to the supplementary charge from 20% to 32% from 24th March 2011. In 2012-13 however, revenues dropped by over 40% as a result of lower production and higher expenditure."
Year-on-year variations of 50% are significant, and become more significant when they form a larger part of the overall revenue. Within the UK, such variations can be accommodated, but are far from ideal. Within a country with a much smaller overall tax revenue, the variations are likely to be more challenging.
Something along these lines:
Due the nature of the receipts. I have explained my view multiple times now.
As I am sure you will understand, explaining to people who are utterly against independence is slightly pointless as they have no intention of listening.
My will for this is waning.
In the last 24 hours I have been called a racist, bigot, liar, nationalist zealot and so on. This is all on Facebook by people utterly unable to understand or willing to listen on points like the difference of using the pound as part or otherwise of a currency union. When the situation of Croatia or Sweden, both not currently using the Euro is pointed out, these people respond with the most nasty, aggressive and ignorant language I can imagine.
Behaviour like this is more and more the hallmark of many on the No side and it's getting worse. I think many of these people need to take a long look at how they deal with new ideas and the sort of language they use.
I don't mean this about you or MG etc. You guys are above that but the bile and nastiness to prevalent on the No camp is getting worse and I ask all to think about how they phrase their responses.
For what it is worth, I think you and I have debated robustly (I don't know what you think) and that is positive but the sheer venom and aggression by the No camp is quite startling. Yes, I do think it is worse on the No camp.
And all this in reaction to a perfectly reasonable notion of self determination.
Time for a cup of tea.
Ah, I'd missed them giving an opinion on the rUK as well.
Also interesting to see how they suggest the existing debt would be dealt with - I had been idly wondering about how that split would occur in terms of actual payment logistics.
So have I. I am looking at the tax base of the UK before and after. I've simply said that reducing both the tax take and the expenditue of the UK is Scotland leaves is of minimal impact. It makes virtually no impact of financing the debt or the deficit. It makes no difference on the diversity of the tax base.
Its simply a little less. You have given no explanation as to why this would worry markets.
If I sold a property I rented out so that my income fell by £10k, but my mortgage payments also fell by £10k would my bank panic abut me?
We know that we will not have to carry the burden of a financial sector based on gambling that bleeds the life out of the economy.
Though we have out own areas of deprivation and poor economic performance, we will be insulated from England's timebombs of under-investment, social exclusion and racial tension.
We know that we will not slavishly follow the American imperial machine.
Of four neighbours or near-neighbours that have achieved independence since 1900, though two have experienced severe economic setbacks in the last decade, all are currently economically on the up. Only one has a GNI per capita below that of the UK but it is catching up fast. One has a GNI per capita over twice that of the UK. They include world-class beacons of human rights and all punch well above their weight in the international arena.
We know that the English could never win an oil war.
'Nemo me impune lacessit'
We have our own.
Instead you slavishly follow the Salmond independence machine (really?!? You can see he puts massive spin on everything he says?)
But we are not joining them, we are starting new.
What is this oil war? How do expect the separator from a union to get anything like fair terms. There are no divorce lawyer for this.
Is that not a British Army motto? You realise which side they are on?
You haven't had any personal abuse on this site, maybe if facebook is full of venomous and aggressive No campaigners you should stay here.
If you do I'd quite like an answer to my question posted at 10:05
Lucky independence didnt happen in 2008 then when Salmond was busy cheerleading RBS and HBOS.
You must understand that you are mucking about with peoples futures! For the last year and a half the "no camp," and the undecided (still me, but I want to make the right choice,) have been told lots of stuff by the yes camp but have not been given any evidence apart from the same statements time and time again. When you get abuse, it may be because you are trotting out the same line that has been used for the last 18 months which has no evidence to support it. Drmarten earlier in the thread says "I know that Scotland will be governing itself, that is better. Perhaps you can't understand that simple notion but it is a fairly important one." I genuinely see no evidence that it is better, I asked for clarification and was ignored. The same argument has been suggested for the last year and a half, yet no one from your side answers! Why not? You understand that it is 18 months of frustration of not seeing what you do in the deal?
Don't include me in that. I'm still deciding, but I'm genuinely perplexed by the idea that it's better to leave control over interest rates and exchange rates with the Bank of England.
I can understand that.
I wouldn't bother engaging with people like that - nothing useful to be gained one way or another.
A fair point, but I also think the Yes side would do well to look at the way they respond to critical comments on their proposals. Someone raising a contrary viewpoint isn't always 'ridiculous', despite what Nicola Sturgeon would have us believe.
Agreed, but I still think you could help yourself by using the Quote original facility - it might help avoid some of the misunderstandings.
Fine plan - I have one in front of me while I think about getting back to work editing a Higher Maths book
There is little evidence! We're talking about future possibilities, hopes, many of which will be based in the outcome of negotiation with the rest of the UK, and which the UK refuses to engage with in advance of the fact. As such it is inevitable to have pretty aspirational white paper. For me, aspiration and ambition are most important and in contrast sentiments of nationalism send me running. From Alastair Darling's Newsnight Scotland interview it seems clear that a sterling area is the most likely and favoured outcome for Scotland and the rest of the UK, but will leave us with a situation where a degree of bargaining will be inevitable in setting budgets as a part of a common economic union. I find it difficult to believe Scotland would not have more autonomy than it has now, and ultimately, I think that would be good, but I'm not sure what I want couldn't be achieved by some kind of devo max option, and I wish the no campaign would start being articulate about what future options there actually are for Scotland outwith independence.
You shouldn't unless you enter a business arrangement with me. If you don't, then I am liable for my debts. If you do, we decide jointly on the policies we adopt.
At meetings of the board I want full representation of my opinions and I don't want you making decisions on my behalf anymore.
With many people talking as though somehow an independent Scotland wouldn't have access to the oil around its coast, what exactly do they expect to happen? You are right. An oil war is silly. However, while people continue to talk as though things that are clearly Scottish will somehow not be Scottish, I shall continue to provide such provocation.
You are ill-informed in at least two ways.
So, almost all the powers that be in Europe have finally recognized that the ultimate outcome of currency upon union has to be economic and political union but the Scottish independence movements clings to the idea that the opposite is true. Odd, to say the least.
Who has said that on this thread?
'Nemo me impune lacessit'
Is the motto on the Scottish Coat of Arms, and can be seen in every Scottish Court.
In any event I would rather hope that the British Army is not choosing up sides. At least one of the people you are debating with is in the forces.
Like many other assertions that are supposed to be evidence of how awful Scotland is, this is an issue that shows how awful the UK is.
Sorry, sometimes I see things as too obvious, it doesn't register with me that an explanation would be required.
For me it boils down to the fact that it is better that you make your own decisions rather than have someone make them for you.
Do you believe it is better that Scotland is governed from Westminster than from Edinburgh? It sounds like you do, why is that?
So we're agreed then it's not in our interest to create a currency union.
Apart from "no change," how articulate do you have to be to see that.
There are four options.
UK stays together and carries on as normal or better. I find this acceptable.
UK stays together and goes downhill. I don't think this will happen based on the performance over the last 10 years of dramas.
Scotland separates and carries on as normal or better. I would find this acceptable.
Scotland separates and goes downhill. My cynicism of politicians promises and lack of contrary evidence other than lots of hope and dreams suggests this may happen.
Of the four options, if I vote yes, I think it more likely that the result will not be the acceptable one. If I vote no, I think the result will be the acceptable one.
I don't see the point of an independent Scotland, it seems a pointless risk to my future.
Nevertheless, it's true that Salmond was cheerleading the RBS and was an enthusiastic supporter of the ABN Amro takeover. That went well.
Currency union without economic and political union doesn't work. That is what the Euro fiasco has confirmed.
Of course it was the UK. However I was specifically referencing the claim that an independent Scotland would avoid " burden of a financial sector based on gambling that bleeds the life out of the economy."
So unless you can show exactly when, prior to the crash the SNP was pushing for tighter financial regulation etc as opposed to cheerleading it, just like the other parties, I have to take the claim that Scotland would somehow avoid that burden with scepticism.
What measures are being proposed to control that sector and how to they vary from the current UK government policy?
As I've pointed out before, the convergence between the Scottish and rUK economies is far greater than that between the core Euro zone countries (Germany, France, Benelux) and the periphery (Greece, Portugal et al).
Who said without "economic union"? That's the point isn't it.. ..it will still be an economic union, it will just be less fiscally united than it currently is, which was Darling's point, and the reason why it question begs how devo max wouldn't actually be what many want. Besides which, the problem with the euro zone was that central banks weren't central banks acting with a primary interest in their currency. I think the small geographic and proximal economic nature of a sterling currency zone would be far less risky than in your eurozone comparison.
If you have downloaded the white paper, this is explained on pp 248-250:
“An independent Scotland will establish our own regulator, as is the case in all other EU countries.
"For the first aspect of financial regulation - financial stability - in light of reforms to improve the resilience of the global financial sector, the clear trend toward cross-border co‑ordination and with significant financial firms operating across Scotland and the UK, financial stability policy will be conducted on a consistent basis across the Sterling Area. This is in line with the proposal of the Fiscal Commission. It is also consistent with international trends, which includes the creation of a European Banking Union with the European Central Bank taking responsibility for regulating the largest Euro Area banks.
“There are a number of practical arrangements for how this could be achieved.
"The Fiscal Commission set out that the Bank of England Financial Policy Committee will continue to set macroprudential policy and identify systemic risks across the whole of the Sterling Area. There could be a shared Sterling Area prudential regulatory authority for deposit takers, insurance companies and investment firms. Alternatively this could be undertaken by the regulatory arm of a Scottish Monetary Institute working alongside the equivalent UK authority on a consistent and harmonised basis.
"The Bank of England, accountable to both countries, will continue to provide lender of last resort facilities and retain its role in dealing with financial institutions which posed a systemic risk.
"Where financial resource was required to secure financial stability, there will be shared contributions from both the Scottish and Westminster Governments based on the principle that financial stability is of mutual benefit to consumers in both countries.
"This will reflect the fact that financial institutions both in Scotland and the UK operate - and will continue to operate - with customers in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland and their stability will benefit all concerned.
"Scotland will play our full part in protecting the financial system on these isles, taking responsibility for activity within Scotland as part of joint action across the Sterling Area.
"Such a framework is consistent with the clear trend toward greater international co‑operation on financial stability. An additional key lesson from the recent financial crisis was the need for more robust frameworks to monitor financial risks across borders and to establish frameworks so that financial institutions cannot be 'too big to fail'. Our approach is consistent with this.”
Barclays wanted ABN, RBS wanted ABN, Santander wanted ABN, Fortis wanted ABN. Therefore, not a Scottish problem but a Scottish, English, Spanish and Dutch problem with a large dose of American stupidity blended into it.
I am not messing with anyone's future more so than anyone else who has an opinion. This is a vote. A democratic choice which has been conducted properly and with an open mind.
I am not getting abuse because of anything other than bile, ignorance and aggression. (Yes I know you don't know the incident I am referring to so can't comment).
I fully understand and accept your position. Good for actually taking one as this is passing many people by.
What I can't accept, but will have to, is the increasingly aggressive tone of people who are against independence but instead of providing a reasoned case, indulge in the most nasty language they can think of.
The term "cybernats" has been thrown around by the unionist media in an attempt to make out there is some bullying campaign. In my experience and observation, the problem is on the no side who are often unable to conduct a conversation without using abusive language.
And this was it from the "no" campaign man:
> What I can't accept, but will have to, is the increasingly aggressive tone of people who are against independence but instead of providing a reasoned case, indulge in the most nasty language they can think of.
Sadly this goes both ways, unreasoned aggression is not the exclusive preserve of either side.
Cameron says he is up for the discussion of more powers for Scotland, but just won't have it until after the referendum.. ..if that makes the referendum a vote for "no change", then it pushes me to vote yes. If they are prepared to consider some kind of devo max option, at least entertain the idea of what they might consider putting to the electorate, e.g. in their manifesto.
Too true. I had a nice lad who was on a night out in Oban a few years back tell me how great independence was going to be, and then tell me if I went into Glencoe with my English accent I'd get killed. Which I suppose you could argue was him trying to be friendly and keep me out of trouble, but somehow it didn't feel quite like that at the time!
Listen to the interview with Darling...he's not supporting your case!
Anyone worry that things in the Balkans might have started with angry exchanges like this? I think things are going to get far more polarised as time goes on
I have listened to it! I just don't agree with his final conclusion.. ..as I said in my original post, I cannot believe that this would result in less autonomy for Scotland. Negotiation.. ..sure, a lack of freedom, sure (but I don't believe there is any such thing anyway), but less political autonomy than the status quo.. ..I don't buy it.
Bit late for that now! What do you think the whole point of setting the question ages ago was? So you could moan about it later?
I'm against Scottish Parliament completely. Just a bunch of numpty politicians screwing more taxes out. Westminister to council, i.e. a group that know the area they are serving was much better.
And what does "currency union" mean? It means that Scotland remains in sterling after independence. So the Bank of England goes on setting Scotland's fiscal policy, as it does at present; except that after independence Scotland will have no way of influencing the Bank of England via parliament.
In short, an "independent Scotland" will actually be *less* independent, in the vital matter of fiscal policy, than Scotland is right now, with clear parliamentary and democratic ways of making its voice heard to the Bank of England. Right now Eddie George has to listen when Scottish MPs lobby him. Once Scotland's a separate country, why should he prioritise anything they say over the views of those who remain in the UK?
Aye, and we have enough stupid violence in Scotland already. It would be better if there was a clear case for either, but with one side wholly made up of a "belief that it is better," you can't get logic through and emotion comes out.
Cheers although I think explained is pushing it a bit since would be expecting a few more pages.
I cant see where Jim Fraser gets how it will deal with the financial sector though. Since while the proposals are a tad vague it seems to be indicating they would be wanting to close cooperation with the BofE.
So exactly what is being changed to give this positive outcome he is suggesting?
Did you see my post at 09:53? I think the policy is to win conservative voters!
Eddie George??? And you remember the bank being granted independence, don't you?
I think the snp dream is an agreement where they get a Scottish member on the mpc or some sort of arrangement along those lines - the committee would decide on the appropriate interest rate for the entire "old UK" in the same way it does now.
I think you're getting confused between monetary policy (which the BoE monetary policy committee sets) and fiscal policy (what the government decides to raise in taxes, borrow and spend).
Being part of the UK with a devolved government in Scotland is the best of both worlds. There's no doubt about that.
The only debate is where the split of responsibilities and powers lie.
Some would say there is a doubt about that, that is exactly why we're having a referendum on independence.
Which responsibilities do you personally think Scotland should not be allowed to have?
Agreed. And in many ways, the real nightmare starts the moment the vote is over. That's the moment at which England says "OK, you want a divorce. So what do you reckon I'm going to let you take with you?"
That is a process which really could open up some horrible wounds, on both sides. I'm very keen it should never start.
There is plenty of doubt. Ask people at soup kitchens and losing their jobs at shipyards.
Under the Union, "Scotland" has them all. It has some via Westminster and some via Holyrood. The question is not the loaded one you're asking; it's which responsibilities via which executive.
No. It was to prevent the conflation by the yes group of a yes for devo max and a yes for independence together. It did not have to mean shutting up completely about what other options might be available under what clearly will not be a future involving the status quo in Scotland.
Guess what? That happens in England and Wales and Northern Ireland too. And you know another thing? Not every evil in the world is the Union's fault.
Bit late for that now! What do you think the whole point of devolution was? So you could moan about it later? We're only going to get more devolved!
Hmm, seems the biggest danger to research grants comes not from independence, but elsewhere.
What say you?
You don't understand. An independent Scotland would have no social problems and shipyards galore. It probably says so in the whitepaper near the bit about yellow paving materials.
I say cuts to resarch funding is short-sighted but perhaps inevititable given the general shortage of cash.
I say such cuts would occur in an independent Scotland but more so because of the predicted more acute shortage of cash.
I also say collaborative grants between universities are valuable and tricky to arrange across borders
I further say assumming there will be a joint research council is very optimistic.
Finally I say Prof Cox appears to have never had any research funding.
I would have preferred he answered himself, but if you are his alter ego I'll ask you the second question that follows your/his/her? answer: if this is the case why not use these terms themselves? The main thing that seems to be lacking in this debate is precision.
No Tim that is what you'd like the question to be. The question on the table is whether we take all the responsibilities normal countries have, you know like raising and spending our own taxes or sending our money to another country and then argue about how much we're getting back.
... is evidence that any kind of mess will be better than London letting go of any fragment of power.
There follows the only good thing I will say about Tony Blair. He had the good ideas about devolution that included (and remember where his constituency is) devolution in parts of England. This is just short of the ancient Liberal policy of a federal Britain.
We currently have four home nations and four different ways of governing them. It is a mess. A federal Britain with between 4 and 8 federated states would be sensible. There does not seem to be a lot of support for sensible.
The resurgence of English national consciousness of recent years has been heartening to watch but its not pay the rent and gas bill in Hull or Whitley Bay.
The South seems happy for the North of England to be left to rot and nobody is prepared to stand up and say "We gave you the industrial revolution and we're not prepared to watch you f3ck it up any longer".
Don't forget all the oil and half the BoE.
Looks like England will have most of the Shale Gas reserves.
Perhaps they should be the ones to get protective of their resources.
Oh really! Are you watching the news just now?
Sounds like someone is making mischief with the figures, the current investment tells a different story, and whilst the company I work for sees a diminishing return for other areas , like coal, they see oil being a growth area for our future work for many years.
You just have to decide if the information you are being given is independent, and credible.
It is easy to snipe from the sidelines, it is something else to put your money where your mouth is, and those investing billions tell me a different story.
The estimates have always been of a North Sea half empty, when in fact it was more than half full.
I think the phrase is - cutting off your nose to spite your face.
Cutting off the nose to spite the face - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Cutting off the nose to spite the face" is an expression used to describe a needlessly self-destructive over-reaction to a problem:
Jim the numbers are big, they have to be, I'm aware of the investments and it doesn't change my views.
As some fields run down others come on stream and require a lot of cash in the process.
What about different areas of Scotland. Won't Glasgow be sending it's money to Edinburgh to then argue about how much it's getting back?
Does not Manchester send it's taxes to London to have it then debated about how much it gets back?
Does not London generate a wedge of tax that ends up paying for Scottish people on benefits?
I'm sick of paying for those damn hospitals in Scotland damn it! It's just a bullshit line of reasoning that could argue for/against just about anything.
I agree in principle to a federal Britain but only 4 states, what would your 8 potentially be? And how would it be administered, would you give England one voice or regionalise?
Surely the failure of Prescots plan for regionalisation summed up English resentment of being butchered in to fake, non existent politically administered areas?. I think the question of what to do with England will be the big political question for the survival of the UK in future years if Scotland decides to stay in the union.
The English question is a hard one most people identify firstly with cities and counties etc and then the state.
Makes you wonder why Cameron was against a Devo Max question.
I have to think, what is the likelyhood that if Cameron gets the vote he wants, is he likely to see Devo Max , a priority.
That will be a NO CHANCE.
When you are a politician , and have got someone by the short and curlys
( as they will have the Scots after a no vote)
Do you then give away that power, or do you smile and say :-' fooled you' and screw them?
What, and have to go through the whole thing again in a few years time? Dubious personally. The way to settle it properly is to settle it well, otherwise you'll have another demand for another referendum and you won't win the second time if you've shafted people after the first. I mean, ffs, that's dumb politics.
Because that would open up a can of worms elsewhere.
Independence vote is for the Scottish alone.
A Devo Max wouldnt be.
I was intrigued by this report and ferreted out the interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfNojcBDuMU
The report is, as usual for the separatist propaganda, extremely selective in what it reports. Check it out for yourself after about 8.30 minutes.
What Alistair darling does say that yes, for Scotland a currency Union would be the best option but that would mean a fiscal alignment with the rest of the UK which logically leads to political union and you're back to where you've started.
So no, he didn't ever say it was in Scotland's interest.
This is what gets me about the Guess campaign though. It seems to think it's permissible to con people if it will further their cause.
Shale gas whilst interesting isn't a new bonanza. It's nearly destroyed some companies in America - they bet the farm on it and it ended up driving the gas price down so the return is very poor and they're struggling to stay in business. England whilst having some suitable formations for shale gas doesn't have the huge shale beds such as the Marcellus shale that can be found in the USA so I'm not too worried.
The reason there are only two questions on the ballot paper is because a third option could have resulted in separation getting in by the back door. If you look on YouGov and places like that you'll find some explanations.
Yes, I've seen the whole interview, and I disagree it says anything more than in that selection of it, though there is another clip going around on twitter that is conveniently curtailed to make Darling's point seem more favourable to the Yes group. I've discussed this with MG above. I agree with Darling's assessment, but not his conclusion. I just do not think it, as you put it, it "logically" follows. Perhaps you could set out the "logical" algorithm implied. As I said, I find it very difficult to believe this wouldn't result in more, not less autonomy.
Is there a second question? What is it?
I agree - I can see england being split into - The North, east and west midlands, south west, south east and london. But would prefer a county based system for English devolution - some counties clubbing together for efficiency ( Devon and Cornwall, Cumbria and Northumberland, A reunited Yorkshire) - after all the big english counties are of similar population to Wales and NI.
Why do these people not understand that the Bank of England, the BBC and the Diplomatic Service are shared assets that we've paid our share for and as such Scotland would be entitled to a fair share. Katie Hopkins (who?) doesn't understand who the Queen is either.
She then started wittering about why we were getting a referendum question anyway.
So who is Katie 'f*ckwit'Hopkins?
I don't know but I think it is indicative of a wider misunderstanding of the UK itself and the interchangeability of UK/England as a generic term.
It is a private business, and we are not allowed to know who owns it( apparently) the Queen is a good bet as one of the shareholders though.
"But what would surprise everybody is that the Bank Of England, which is entitled to issue cash, then lend it and charge interest to the government, is still essentially a private business."
How would you see that being administered?
If I am honest I am not too sure about regionalisation within a federal Britain. The problems and thoughts in my mind:
1) Is England too big and diverse for one parliament similar to Scotland within the UK?
2) Would each English region be given the same powers as say Scotland etc?
3) Would England benefit from one voice i.e. a high council/parliament of England dealing with national devolved English matters such as laws, NHS, tax etc? With the local stuff being dealt with by the Counties and city regions.
4) Does option 3 just add an extra unnecessary burden of administration?
5) Could regionalisation lead to the complete political eradication of England? I.e. you end up with a Britain of Nations (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) and British regions made up of the English Regions. If each region was given the same devolved power of the nations then there is no England politically within the UK state as they will be acting in their own interest to compete with the nations etc.
Its an interesting dilemma.
I'd argue for the last option - have a UK govt that basically deals with external affairs, everything else done at a 2-8 million population level......
>I've discussed this with MG above. I agree with Darling's assessment, but not his conclusion. I just do not think it, as you put it, it "logically" follows. Perhaps you could set out the "logical" algorithm implied. As I said, I find it very difficult to believe this wouldn't result in more, not less autonomy.
So you understood his point that a currency union was the best of a number of rotten choices for Scotland which would result in a loss of independence and eventual political union. That was his point in it's entirety. In the context of the discussion earlier your brief post implied that Alistair Darling thought that currency Union would be a good thing for Scotland.
Regarding political union, have a read at Gavin Hewitt's "Lost Continent". The reasons why currency union inevitably pushes countries towards political union is a bit involved but is explained in there. It's also worth reading to get a clear view of what happens in European politics, where Europe may be heading and what sovereignty may mean inside Europe. Important topics which we'll all have to think about in the near future.
Aye Jim! I didn't think I gave you a very satisfactory answer to your points a couple of hours ago so I had a wee look around the interweb for oil reserves west of Shetland.
You're right that there are large reserves out there, some report something like 20% of the total remaining UK reserves. That's a big number but not a game changer by any manner or means.
Is this the project you're working on now? http://www.shetlandtimes.co.uk/2013/11/15/major-north-sea-oil-investment-approved/
The numbers do sound huge but the UK produces about 1 million barrels a day so a field with 137 million barrels in it isn't really that big despite the £4 Billion investment. So even if it's still producing oil in 2040 it won't be contributing a huge amount to the national income.
Here's a link to how much we produce: http://www.eia.gov/countries/cab.cfm?fips=UK
I read last weekend that last year we produced 1.5 million boe (barrel of oil equivalent i.e. oil + gas) per day and this year it'll be down to about 1.2 million boe.
But you already do.
See BBC Scotland for details.
Political, expected, understandable, difficult nor the yes campaign, not definitive
The reason there are only two questions on the ballot paper is because a third option could have resulted in separation getting in by the back door.
The reason there is only one question with two choices on the ballot paper is the electoral commission decided, rightly or wrongly, that any more would cause confusion amongst voters and recommended it be limited to a straightforward yes or no.
As a result, what is probably the most popular outcome amongst the Scottish population just now is something we are not able to vote for.
He thought it was a roundabout way to get to the status quo. He isn't saying it's worse than the currency status quo, just that it's not necessary given what he asserts and you too is the necessity of political union. So again.. ..where is that logical path? Or where in modern history is the example of that logical path that shows political union is the inevitable endpoint in a currency union? If all you are saying is that there will be some necessary cross border agreements, budgets set.. ..well yes, of course, but I do not accept it would be anything less autonomous than now.
Pretty much the same as me then.
Be honest if leading up to the vote the EU released an official statement saying Scotland would have to negotiate from the outside would it sway your decision?
What if a member state such as Spain officially stated it would veto Scotlands application? Bearing in mind all new states have to have all 28 member states vote yes to gain entry and the issue spain is having with catalonia etc.
The issue with the independence debate so far is that post independence we only have the SNPs interpretation of how things will work. Negotiation with he EU from the inside may not be possible as well as many other things.
Still personally undecided which way to vote. I think devo max would have been the best option for now as a progressive step, work with that then look at independence in a decade or so if it was still deemed beneficial to the people of Scotland. The decision is a permanent one so why rush into it?
I do feel there is a lot of unanswered questions regarding currency, EU membership etc. But isn't this the sly game Cameron is playing:- the EU will only discuss issues (e.g. on joining Euro currency, EU membership) with the UK, and Cameron won't entertain anything which would provide the population with the information to make an informed choice.
I'm no big Salmond fan, but I can't help feeling that anything has got to be an improvement on David Cameron, particularly considering his recent actions with the European parliament regarding agricultural subsidies and banker bonuses.
You are right Alan. We don't have a definitive position as the UK refuses to ask for it.
I think the critical point is that if there is a yes vote Scotland isn't independent the next day. That would happen a year or so later. Therefore, the negotiations on membership would take place as part of a member state. There is no precedent for this so a new situation would be arrived at. A classic European fudge I expect.
I don't think there would be any issue with membership though. Do you?
No, and that is my very point. If Scotland is the liability soaking up more money than it contributes, ( it is often being portrayed). then it would make sense to take the opportunity to get rid of it. Why don't they?
I can't see it being a major stumbling block. Scotland being part of the UK has helped shape the EU from its original trade zone to what we have now plus Scotland has resources etc.
But... my concern is how the SNP is displaying the information so far its coming across as if its a fact. Spain isnt the only EU state to have suggested that Scotland would be seen as a new state requiing an application from the outside.
Same for the sterling zone and BoE etc etc we dont know what the Westminster governments official stance is. The other limitation I see is that not long after the independence vote the UK will have a general election any settlement discussion could change depending on the rulng party of the UK at the time.
Simply put theres the SNPs world, the rUKs world and the EU 28 members world all needing to agree on major decisions. I can personally see Spain vetoing an application. Catalonia is looking to hold an unofficial referendum asking an independence question soon but Spains official stance is to not recognise the vote. An independent Scotland could be Spains worst nightmare! !!
I will admit that Scottish independence affects me indirectly in that one day in 2016 I could wake up with the majority of my family having a different nationality/living in another country etc. Its creating some interesting debates in our family at the moment the Scottish contingent is split about 50/50. I'm just following the debate really and just posing questions.
It is less than that.
"oil revenues will drop to a fraction of what they are now within a few years. How fast is a matter of some debate but we're not talking about that long before revenue enters an irreversible decline."
You are very positive about painting a very bleak picture.
This is a view that has been touted before and similar predictions have been made that all the oil would have gone by now( and were wrong)
All I'm saying when there is a drop in production when oil prices drop and stop exploration, when there is more exploration, and new techniques , there are new discoveries, and better yields from old and new fields. So sometimes there are then gaps in production , and there are time lags before new discoveries get exploited.
And revenues is not production , so the fields could progressively decline, but still produce more revenue, if the price goes up.
I'm just saying you could be wrong in using the word 'WILL' and stating categorically:-
""oil revenues WILL drop to a fraction of what they are now within a few years. "
What fraction, and how few years ?
Will it be 20% of current revenues in 5 years, (as that is what your gloomy words say to me)
So what are the figures and timescales you are predicting ?
( just so the UKC can look back and see if your predictions were correct)
I wouldn't want to take a burst pay packet home to Ms Sturgeon.
True, and for me, the nervousness I have comes with talk of passports, who does and doesn't have the right to be a Scottish citizen, borders etc I have come across much anti estate sentiment, which isn't just distal disfavour with lands held by wealthy estate owners, but is already involves a degree of mobilisation using academic resumption experts, and using whatever advantage can be gained to get ahold of land from estates, or get involved in aggressive buy outs of estates. I worry that this sentiment will be released in an independent Scotland!
The citizenship bit is simple:
“British citizens "habitually resident" in Scotland on independence will automatically be considered Scottish citizens. This will include British citizens who hold dual citizenship with another country. Scottish-born British citizens currently living outside of Scotland will also automatically be considered Scottish citizens. Other people will be able to register or apply for Scottish citizenship on independence based on clear criteria.”
Is there to be no choice in this?
I know. He was destroyed last night. He made some good points though but was outfoxed and out thought on almost every point.
Question Time tonight should be interesting :-)
Scotland has nothing to fear from having to go through the formalities of applying to join the EU as a new entrant; as Darling said yesterday, nobody seriously believes that Scotland would be refused admission. It is only "difficult for the Yes campaign" because of their "don't frighten the horses" fantasy that Scotland would be allowed to opt out of Schengen and opt out of the Euro. Perhaps the Yes campaign should show some balls and reassure the electors that neither of these two issues is much to be afraid of? Having to wave an electronic document at the border with England doesn't seem like much of a hassle to me.
I don't think your question can be answered as that continuing British Citizenship would be for Scotland and rUK to decide and the UK refuses to negotiate on anything at all right now.
I don't know the answer to this but has Croatia agreed to Schengen?
I note they are not using the Euro so while in theory you are 100% correct, in practice there are precendents for no using the Euro. Anyway, it doesn't worry me that much or the other thing you said.
However, what is 100% clear, is that if the UK left the EU as a result of the referendum it would have to apply for full membership again. No rebate there methinks!
Talking about some clear criteria but then they don't mention it, very clear;-)
Interesting point, but are you really expecting a white paper to set out the entire terms and conditions, structure and rules of things like citizenship before you are able to contemplate taking a decision in principle?
This vote should be about whether the Scots feel themselves socially and politically distinct enough to warrant having their own country, as opposed to being a region of the UK. The UK might have it's problems but the Scots and the rest of us are grown up enough to handle a split fairly and amicably.
That's a fair point - I actually pondered this issue a bit four years ago in relation to the Spanish non-recognition of Kosovar independence http://lightfromthenorth.blogspot.fi/2009/03/scotland-and-not-recognising-kosovo.html
You could see similar stresses within the EU over Scottish independence/entry to EU.
Its an important question that could be answered by the current Scottish Government, it particularly effects those of us not born here. I may wish to become a Scottish citizen but I would like the choice.
It is worth bearing in mind that the UK cannot negotiate on behalf of rUK as rUk does not exist as yet. The UK government represents the UK as currently constituted and bears responsibility for events in Scotland and for the interests of the Scottish people. rUK will have no such responsibility and may have different views from the UK.
Yes I think you are right. The whole thing has now become a battle of percentages which is much more difficult for the yes campaign. In the heat of battle I think some important points are being lost and little is being asked about the financial stability of the UK.
For example, whilst Nicola Sturgeon outclassed and out debated Alistair Carmichael last night on TV, she did miss a point when he asked what she would have cut to pay for other things. I would have answered Lib Dems Lords, Trident, HS2 and so on.
How can it answer it when it doesn't have control of it. It can only answer the bit it controls or would do under independence. You will need to ask the UK Government.
The UK can negotiate and that is why the EC said that only the UK Government can seek advice on membership of the EU for Scotland. The UK refuses to do this.
So if you want advice on passports in the rUK, but you say the UK or rUK can't give you that I think you will have to wait.
With regards to Scottish Citizenship it's fairly clear.
It's not a joined yet but is legally bound to by its accession agreement I think. They say they'll comply technically within two years according to this http://www.sloveniatimes.com/croatia-could-join-schengen-zone-in-three-years
I'm not quite sure but it isn't the same situation now that aspirant member states have to aim to join the Euro too?
I thought the euro was a part and parcel for anyone new too - we and Denmark have an opt out, and the swedes are in some sort of complicated no mans land (I think - they've agreed to join the euro but never agreed to one of the things that's a prerequisite for euro membership, so technically they're on the way to it but are never going to complete? Or something? A piece of quality fudging) but that those are anomalies the EU wishes weren't there and wouldn't want to extend to anyone else.
No. Kosovo is a disputed territory. An independent Scotland after a no vote, which was sanctioned by the UK government, would not be.
Please don't engage me in the War of the Links.... I lose the will to live when I see that.
I think you are right on the Euro but they have to meet convergence criteria and that's how they avoid not joining by not meeting them. I presume that should the UK leave the EU it would have to agree to Schengnen and Euro if it wanted to rejoin. Now that would be interesting.
Thanks for the info though.
the perfect way to describe the campaign for Independence. Thank you jim.
But it does have control of this question. It is the Scottish Government that has said that 'British citizens habitually resident in Scotland will automatically be considered Scottish citizens' It could equally have substituted 'will have the right to' for 'automatically'.
Absolutely with you on this!
Yes. Can't say I like it.
However, as was well said above ,this should be a debate on principle not detail, so I will leave this point, but please accept that there is a real issue here, dual nationality means that you do not have the 'protection' (for want of a better word) of the one country whilst within the other. Hopefully this will not be an issue on either side of the border but given some of the rantings (from both (perhaps there are more than two?) sides of the debate) a choice on this would be good.
I just assumed that sentence to mean for people other than British citizens habitually resident in Scotland and Scotland-born British citizens living elsewhere. i.e. aspirant immigrants.
I think they've talked about a points-based system for that.
I can't imagine there wouldn't be a choice.
'yes' vote, of course.
Really? I think the lack of detail is a problem for the Yes campaign. If I was resident in Scotland I think I'd largely be in favour of independence and complete self government, but at the same time, I wouldn't want my personal lot to be worse. Voting for independence and a move away from the status quo, in a way that is likely to be irreversible, would be a hard decision to make without all the facts about personal taxation, business taxation, public spending etc etc. These are things which impact on our everyday lives and a white paper that resembles a shopping list of wants and hopes rather than guarantees wouldn't do much to allay my fears. Obviously the Yes campaign are in a difficult position to put meat on the bones if none of the detail can be negotiated with a future rUK government if it doesn't exist yet, but it makes a Yes vote a vote from the heart rather than the head.
Well it seems to me that citizenship is kind of a fundamental thing. Whether I'll be able to live and work in Scotland as I do now if it becomes independent will kind of influence my vote greatly (I am an immigrant in Scotland myself).
Absolutely. This is not a vote for an SNP government, it's a vote for a new state. Public spending, taxation ect, these are all thing Scots would be voting for in the election following the referendum.
If you feel this new state would not be good for you then it is because you do not feel politically distinct from the UK, you make your vote and it's counted.
I'm English and ambivalent on this, but some stuff I hear from the 'no' campaign makes us sound like pathetic human beings, who couldn't manage to do what other countries have done ie arrange an amicable split.
For the rest I am all for independence, heart over head decision really, but is it really a decision that can be taken rationally ? I mean there are too many variables to know whether an independent Scotland will be better off or worse, especially it will depend greatly on what we actually do with independence once we have it.
I do accept it Roger, please be assured of that. I think the principle is the biggest thing actually.
Looking at the UK and Ireland setting up a common travel area I don't think there is going to be a big issue here.
That's the problem though, isn't it. Many of the "promises" made so far are what Salmond's government say they would do. His document sets out a manifesto for policies on all sorts of things from immigration to benefits to spending priorities. If somebody else is elected to form a government, there's absolutely no saying what they would do.
I don't know what the solution is, I can't see how you can separate the two. However there's a definite danger that it's used as a way of making all sorts of empty promises while at the same time being able to duck any criticism by saying "you're not voting for a government".
Out of interest, which other countries have arranged an amicable split? Not that I can see any reason why our split from Scotland couldn't be both amicable and constructive if approached properly.
It is! The problem is with the yes campaign/SNP campaign, especially after this white paper. They've effectively combined the 2 in the minds of many voters.
I think this is a big problem for getting the right result. On Radio 4 the other day they were interviewing some Glasgow mums and the majority of them were saying they were undecided but the additional childcare promises being offered by the SNP / Yes campaign were very tempting. Now if they vote yes based on that promise and free childcare doesn't come around in the event of an independent Scotland, they're going to be mighty p*ssed off. People do vote for single points sometimes.
Yes you are right but considering the electorate is demanding that and the UK Government has been shouting about this for many years, it's understandable.
In most countries a the electorate can decide in principle. In Scotland and the UK it seems people need to know the exact detail of every aspect of life before this can be decided on.
I understand why but it's pushed everyone into an impossible game of arguing.
Yes you are right and it should be a vote on a single point - Do you think Scotland should have the powers of a sovereign state, etc.
However, as evidenced on this thread, the press and media and UKG, the aggressive demands for detail on every area have forced the debate to become something else.
It has the recognition of the majority of other sovereign states/UN members. If/when Scotland becomes independent other countries don't have to recognise it as independent - I have no idea if Spain wouldn't, but it at least could refuse to recognise it.
Czechoslovakia is a much better example - trying to think of others... Norway and Sweden arguably; many other border changes of that era led to war. Perhaps even closer to the UK/Scotland case would be Canada, Australia and New Zealand all becoming independent sovereign states.
The crucial difference is Serbia don't recognise it.
As I said, considering the regional difficulties they have done ok. With the advantages we have compared to them we would be fine.
Still makes me uncomfortable, especially without the clear criteria being asserted in advance.. ..why can they not let it be known what those criteria are?
I think that's a sensible approach.
There will be more tax raising powers given to Scotland in the next year or so. Further I expect that you'll see the Pro UK parties start to talk about what they feel could be on offer re extending the powers of the Scottish Government. They're already having internal discussions on the subject. After all, with 12 years of devolved Government behind us it seems like an appropriate time to be thinking about what we can change to improve devolution.
Many of the arguments for leaving the UK could be equally well made for Devo Max.
By the way, I don't disagree with your point about the reason behind there only being two questions. It's just like the rest of life, there often isn't just one clear and unequivocal answer.
I could only bare a couple of minutes, but I presume the rest carried on likewise, which is to say the expression of extremely superficial uninformed views that certainly don't concur with the reality I'm aware of. I'm not sure it's very representative though, the majority being somewhere between there and the interest from those on UKC. Friends in London I saw a couple of months ago, and who I'd grown up with and gone to the same school as, both now working in the financial industry, had thought little about it, and just presumed it wouldn't happen, and nobody wanted it. They were very surprised when said I was considering voting yes.
It will be less than it is now but no one really knows what the income will be. Have a look at the YOUTUBE clip I posted near the top of the thread. With a finite resource that is an inescapable fact and rather than believe me, why not have a look around the internet yourself for these sorts of predictions. Having done that myself my guess would be that by 2020 we'd see a significant drop in income.
You're right about the link between revenue, production and oil price but bear in mind that the UK oil fields are in competition with oil fields all over the world some of which are just coming on stream like those in the arctic and those off the West coast of Africa. When the prices drop companies just stop or reduce production from the UK.
Alternatively of course you could tell me what you think future oil revenue will be. I'll bet your immediate answer is "I don't really know."...and if you don't know why take a gamble on the prosperity of you and your family when you don't have to?
Did you watch Scotland Tonight last night? When Nicola Sturgeon raised the issue of child poverty (forecast to rise to 100,000 in Scotland) Alistair Carmichael, that good Ìleach, wasn't even on the same page and couldn't respond. This is meant to be the most senior politician in Scotland.
I don't see what the problem would be for you, if you are a British citizen living in Scotland, or were born in Scotland but are living somewhere else. The "clear criteria" only applies to immigrants.
Pardon me, I will retract that.
I would suggest the gamble is to stay with the Union, not leave it. I say this based upon child poverty figures and the figures showing that there will be a significant cut income as you say, by staying part of the UK.
Many families are struggling and the UK is failing them. The gamble is to stay, not leave.
I'd say that Scotland is more like Ireland than Norway, would Ireland be better or worse of as it is or part of UK?
Too early to say.
Impossible to to say. Worse I would guess.
Correct but since the UK is a long way behind on this currently and it's forecast to get worse I'll take my chances on trying something different.
That's what I mean. It's a gamble either way. Jeez!
Well yes but it's the odds that matter.
On one hand we can stay in the UK, we'll get some more tax raising powers maybe more stuff but we can fairly sure how things will pan out.
On the other hand we can put our faith in a proposal to leave the UK which is underpinned by economics based on hopelessly over optimistic projections, heroic assumptions and a wilful suspension of disbelief.
Take your pick.
Will we? What's the guarantee of that then? And how much is "some"? And which party is offering this?
Hopelessly optimistic? Even if you exclude oil from the calculation, the GDP / person in Scotland is around the same as the UK, which suggests that while Scotland will have to prioritise spending, and probably raise taxes, "hopelessly optimistic" seems an indication of an underlying emotive viewpoint.
As far as tax raising powers - already in the pipeline in the Scotland act 2012
Yes but we spend more per capita than the rest of the UK.
..and anyway, even if we didn't end up woith higher borrowing costs, the loss of large segments of manufacturing industry and suchlike, by your logic we'd be in exactly the same finacial situation as the rest of the UK in terms of Government expenditure but the wish list published on Tuesday is heavy on spending, buying back the post Office for example, but light on saving.
I see that Alex has been trying to mislead Parliament again by selectively quoting from a letter he seems to have downloaded off the internet. He told Parliament, “The ongoing democratic process is a matter for the UK and Scottish Governments and the Scottish people, and as you say, it would of course be legally possible to re-negotiate the situation of UK and Scotland within the EU.”
What he didn't then go on to read out was the nest sentence. “Of course, this would imply a change of the Treaties which could only be done by unanimity of all Member States.”
Unbelievable. The Scottish people deserve better than this.
Correct. However, at the moment the situation appears to be that we will need independence before we can get rid of the ignorant f4t b45t4ard.
Elsewhere on the site
F ounded in 1993, Mountain Hardwear are a pretty young mountaineering clothing and equipment manufacturer but are also one of... Read more
The release of Peter Jackson's new film The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies on 12th December may not appear to link to... Read more
PowerFingers is a simple, easy to use product which is incredibly effective for Climbers who require finger strength and... Read more
Will Sim and Andy Inglis have made the second ascent of VIII,9 on Ben Nevis, followed by Will making a rare... Read more
Perhaps the perfect Xmas gift for the climber in your life... Wild Country's Crack School has two of the worlds best crack... Read more