/ discussion on the union WITHOUT mud slinging

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French Erick 15 Feb 2020

Long post ahead!

Getting rather tired of https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&ved=2ahUKEwjphIy6m9PnAhWxo3EKHVOcD4QQFjACegQIAxAB&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3Dva7qtkUYOgs&usg=AOvVaw01rxChqzYhrow_N4DAPzv5 from 04:04 

I am a pro independence but anti-SNP résident of Scotland. I am neither English nor Scottish and have acquired British citizenship over a year ago.

I am not a rabid nationalist but find policies chosen by the British electorate ( 84% of whom are English according to 2011 census!) in Westminster not to my taste. I accept that a not insignificant minority of the electorate in England does not particularly agree with Westminster policies. I also accept that a not insignificant minority of the electorate in Scotland agree after a fashion with the policies aforementioned.

I don’t have a chip on my shoulder. And I understand the way democracy works. You don’t get what you want, but what the majority wants. Therein is the crux of the matter for me. Whatever people want in England they will get. An idea, ideal or concept, however correct/wrong, progressist/backward, financially viable or not, holds sway in England will become British policy.

Now people in England are perfectly entitled to this. Their needs, quirks and aspirations are their own and that’s ok if they are not too different from the ones I sense around me in Scotland.

I would like to see the needs, quirks and aspirations of Scotland to be put to the vote again. I feel that the circumstances have changed significantly enough that it warrants another chance to get to decide. I am not in a hurry as to when this happens as long as it does within the next 5 years.

if I may try to make an analogy: We agreed to travel in the same vehicle on the assumption that our perceived/real understanding of the safety of said vehicle was sound. It turns out that we were using the same words with a different meaning when we assessed in theory (we’re not mechanics) about how good suspensions, break pads... were. And then we hit a proper big pothole at speed and now I don’t feel safe in that shared vehicle anymore. I want to have the right to decide to disembark ! Yes I may reach my destination in vehicle, but I am not willing to take that risk. Yes I may only make the destination at a later stage (economy) but I prefer to take that risk. The English driver is just telling me that under no circumstances they will stop the vehicle because of the way I feel and instead puts the foot to the floor! Meanwhile, I am bricking it more than ever and frantically wondering why this driver won’t stop- is it in an even worse condition than I thought that it cannot stop? Is the driver trying to kidnap me? Have lost it- as I have to say the driving feels pretty erratic.

If that were a real life situation, anyone would agree that I would be allowed to have doubts and that I should be granted the right to set foot on land and walk the rest, even if this might be wetter, longer and more tiring. No matter what the driver says, they have have lost my trust... I simply do not wish to be there anymore without a good thorough assessment of all the parameters - I am the population of Scotland (some of whom is perfectly happy to continue the ride whilst other have their hands on the door handled ready to open it at speed come what may) and the assessment is the referendum. 
 

We stop, we check that all seems in order. We have a wee chat with the driver fully focusing on my fears and doubts as opposed to only looking at the road ahead. I decide to be in that vehicle after until another significant event happens (we stop at a garage and get the whole clear MOT, we lose a wheel and import/export goes to shit/£crashes).
Whichever way, one things is for certain, the driver cannot keep me in that car just because I agreed a while back (2014) on my understanding of the situation then that it was fine. I had noticed then that the breaking distance was a bit longer than I would have liked but ok on a dry road, and the wipers looks like they’d seen better days.

In 2020, it’s pishing down, and windy has in storm Johnson and I have serious misgivings about my drivers abilities which they do not assuage by muttering to themselves and looking at me in the rearview mirrors with mutterings of « pesky Northerners! Not trusts in British cars! Good of me to have them in the car( forgetting I have put a bit towards petrol and maintenance money)...

let’s stop calling each other names, let’s stop unearthing old gripes ( Last century I told you I wanted to spray the car yellow and without asking me you got it in red...), let me stop speaking to myself in hushed angry undertones full of resentment! 
 

Let us reassess how long I am willing to share a ride with this driver!

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Wanderer100 15 Feb 2020
In reply to French Erick:

So what are you actually saying? That you blame the English for your perceived woes? How very French of you 😆

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Dr.S at work 15 Feb 2020
In reply to French Erick:

Hi Erick, I think it’s a fair point - and for me the time frame you suggest is a sensible one as it should allow for some clarity about the Brexit fallout. One of my strongest reasons for voting remain was the clear significant change in national direction which might have made some ‘passengers’ nervous.

The one  thing I would take issue with, and I appreciate you caveat it, is the use of English/ Scottish as monoliths, whilst also not including the significant chunk of folk who would consider themselves as British primarily and see no real distinction between, say, the fact that Bristol voted differently to North Somerset on this issue and Scotland voted differently to Wales. 

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tom_in_edinburgh 15 Feb 2020
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Coel Hellier 15 Feb 2020
In reply to French Erick:

> You don’t get what you want, but what the majority wants. [...]  Whatever people want in England they will get.

Not quite, since the English are often divided on the matter, and Scotland can then hold the balance. 

For example, after the 2010 election, David Cameron went into coalition with the LibDems because the Tories did not have a majority.  But in England alone they did have a majority.  Thus if it had been England-only, there would have been a Tory-majority government not a coalition.

Similarly, in the 1964 and 1974 elections a Labour-majority government was elected.  But, the Tories had a majority of English MPs; Labour only had a majority in Westminster owing to Scottish MPs.   

Also bear in mind that Scotland is over-represented in Westminster in terms of MPs per population.   Also bear in mind the Scottish-born or Scottish-bred prime minsters (Tony Blair and Gordon Brown being the most recent, there have been many others including Alec Douglas-Home, Ramsay McDonald, Bonar Law, and Arthur Balfour).

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In reply to French Erick:

Taking the long view, the overwhelming reason why Scotland went into union with England and Wales was because the country was broke. Famine stalked the land in the 1690's and Darien was a financial disaster. 

The British Empire brought the Scots immense benefits. Since its decline, it was only a matter of time before Scots sniffed the air and looked around. Could Scotland do better outwith the union? Would it be better off? It would certainly have more local control and would create policies that suited it's needs better.

Not, ironically,  unlike the argument for the UK to leave the EU. 

Post edited at 11:27
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L NERD 15 Feb 2020
In reply to French Erick:

Maybe it's a bit nuts but I think Pinky wants Scotland and Northern Ireland out of the UK. Does he have any desire to protect the union? If Scotland and Northern Ireland left today he'd hold 365 of around 580 seats I think. This would mean Labour + Lib Dems would need a much bigger swing, it could leave Pinky in power for 20 years.

I think that's why he's pushing for a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland, and I think he wants it open. Then he can set the EU/UK boarder between England and Scotland. Time will tell but I bet he changes his tune with regards to the Scottish referendum over the next year or two. 

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tom_in_edinburgh 15 Feb 2020
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Not quite, since the English are often divided on the matter, and Scotland can then hold the balance. 

Except that the Tories and Labour refuse to collaborate with the SNP on principle: unionism comes first. 

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Ridge 15 Feb 2020
In reply to Heartinthe highlands:

> The British Empire brought the Scots immense benefits. Since its decline, it was only a matter of time before Scots sniffed the air and looked around. Could Scotland do better outwith the union? Would it be better off? It would certainly have more local control and would create policies that suited it's needs better.

> Not, ironically,  unlike the argument for the UK to leave the EU. 

I think that's a pretty good summation. I think an independent Scotland is pretty much a foregone conclusion, as is a merged, (I hesitate to say united...), Ireland. Not sure what would then happen with England and Wales. Interesting times.

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French Erick 15 Feb 2020
In reply to Wanderer100:

Nice tongue in cheek comments. Let’s leave it at that level of banter.

you are correct in that I was born and bred in France, I have however now lived almost my entire adult life, which just about half my life too, here in Scotland. I feel I have made my home here, I have planted roots my kids were born and are being educated here. I have jumped through the hoops, paid for a right that I previously had by default before. I have earned the right to express myself. The fact that I am a French National should have no effect on what I have to say. 
 

People have the right to take apart my reasoning but not on the grounds that I am French. I actually don’t really have it in the nose like the older generations and I have no interest in football or rugby.

What happens in England is entirely up to the residents of that nation. I just would like to beg to differ and have an actual real chance that my voice be heard. 
Someone talked about Scotland over-representation in Westminster- it doesn’t count for very much because even if all those seats were in direct opposition to the general direction of governance (which is almost the case) the voice of Scotland is still drown in relation to the other vote (something entirely normal under the % of the population).

Westminster should let Scotland decide to hold a legally recognised referendum. This would not be a done deal anyway. 
 

Then it is up to me an other people to make the case for an independent Nation breaking away from the union.

I am almost willing to give everyone in the uk the right to vote for this. So many people seem to think that Scotland is not pulling its weight ( an argument I do not agree with, being of the school of we break even). Those people seem to think that Union isn’t working for them either! Probably not feasible and warranting more thoughts then some Tinternet musings.

Someone else although think that I was thinking in terms of English vs Scottish. I am not entirely sure this is the case more along the lines of a majority (meaning just over half as a minimum) of residents of both nations. 
 

I do prefer the tone of the conversation so far more courteous with less name calling (I am ok with the mild French thing going on and take it in good cheer)

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French Erick 15 Feb 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> Change must come.

Too patriotic and simplistic to me but there is truth in it

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French Erick 15 Feb 2020
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Most of that was before my time. Whilst nobody should ever overlook history, I think that most of that is no longer relevant. Also a Scottish person who decided to live in England has put their eggs in that basket. 
I know exactly how that feels as I am no longer au fait about this things in France and I have now chosen to only vote for one thing in French affaires - there is a speacial députés for French people abroad. That gives me as much representation as I deserve in my country of origin.

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rogerwebb 15 Feb 2020
In reply to Dr.S at work:

> The one  thing I would take issue with, and I appreciate you caveat it, is the use of English/ Scottish as monoliths, whilst also not including the significant chunk of folk who would consider themselves as British primarily and see no real distinction between, say, the fact that Bristol voted differently to North Somerset on this issue and Scotland voted differently to Wales. 

That is the point I would make. To me one of the tragedies of nationalism, of whatever kind, is it requires people to choose sides. It sees complex issues through a simplistic binary lens. Yes some things in some parts of Scotland would benefit from a different approach from that used in some parts of England and Wales. Equally some things in some parts of Scotland would benefit from a similar approach to that used in some parts of England and Wales. 

At the moment we do not know what the UK will look like in 5 years, neither can we forsee what the EU will look like. I think before any changes are made, which will be far more fundamental, disruptive and expensive than brexit we should have a better understanding of the choices. 

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tom_in_edinburgh 15 Feb 2020
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Also bear in mind that Scotland is over-represented in Westminster in terms of MPs per population.  

Something the Tories have already noticed and will no doubt address.   They're bound to try and redraw constituency boundaries to reflect population movement towards SE England.  Which means less influence for Scotland within the UK.

> Also bear in mind the Scottish-born or Scottish-bred prime minsters (Tony Blair and Gordon Brown being the most recent, there have been many others including Alec Douglas-Home, Ramsay McDonald, Bonar Law, and Arthur Balfour).

Scotland continuously loses talented and ambitious people because if you want power/wealth in the UK you need to go to London.    Once they make their career there and buy houses and have their kids in school there they're not really looking out for advantage for Scotland within the UK.  They're just London politicians same as MPs from England.

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Naechi 15 Feb 2020
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Who ends up as prime minister has nothing to do with representation - its decided by party members.  To win enough seats to form a UK governement even a Scottish PM would have to produce policies for an English electorate, if it benefits north of the border then its a bonus...  How does EVEL work when it comes to Scottish MP's in cabinet or the PM seat? Can they develop policies but not vote for them? If thats the case can we ever have another Scottish MP become PM?

Post edited at 13:25
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oldie 15 Feb 2020
In reply to French Erick:

As things stand it seems inevitable there will be another Scottish referendum and obviously likely that the result will be independence. I don't see Johnson allowing another referendum in this UK parliament, he stated so during the election which he easily won. That may well last the next five years due to the fixed term between elections (though I don't think that has ever been reached!). The Tories may well get yet another term and so I would suggest 10+ years is the  possible wait for a referendum. That does seem unfair and perhaps Sturgeon will call an advisory vote to give her some moral backing (I think she has said that is being considered).
The longer the wait the more agrieved Scotland may become and the more likely a vote for independence. At least the cons and pros (if any) of leaving the EU will be known. I see difficulties for both sides when there is a border on the mainland which will probably have to be Schengen, and if Scotland has to adopt the Euro (both of which are probably obligatory for nations joining the EU). Sorting out the assets between rUk and Scotland may well be contentious.
Scotland would do fine after independence though personally I would prefer the union to be maintained.
I'm from London, we voted to Remain but have no realistic option for independence. Selfishly I'm upset that losing the Scottish Westminster MPs would leave a "natural" Tory majority in rUK.
 

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Dr.S at work 15 Feb 2020
In reply to French Erick:

I appreciate that you dont want to be seen as French in this, French Erick, but I wonder how you would contrast the qualities of the UK with that of Franch in terms of the amount of devolution to the consituent states that encompass both countries (eg Savoy, Languedoc , Brittany, Normandy for France).

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TobyA 15 Feb 2020
In reply to French Erick:

> What happens in England is entirely up to the residents of that nation.

Arguably England is a nation, but it is not a nation-state. Technically, what happens in England is up to the citizens of the UK, not "the residents" of England, which to a limited degree is what happens to the other constituent nations of the UK that all have some devolved powers.

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Timmd 15 Feb 2020
In reply to TobyA: Which seems to be where the tension comes from. 

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Naechi 15 Feb 2020
In reply to TobyA:

It is up to English MPs what happens in England.  EVEL is bit like ultralight-devolution in all but name.  Scottish MPs cant vote on English only policy, but English only policy affects budgets and therefore barnett formula consequentials, therefore Scottish budgets and devolved policies...

Post edited at 14:02
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colinakmc 15 Feb 2020
In reply to French Erick:

Really constructive initial post producing the usual range of responses. You lift an interesting corner of the duvet by commenting that you’re not an SNP fan...part of the problem just now is that Scotland is starting to look ( quite mistakenly) like a one party state. We need Labour to jump ship and say they support indy2 and that they have a vision for an independent Scotland. But they can’t because they’re tied to the Unionist Labour Party. 

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subtle 15 Feb 2020
In reply to colinakmc:

I'm pro independence for Scotland but only an SNP voter by default - once devolution comes I doubt I will continue to vote SNP as other parties will emerge that will (once again?) be worth voting for

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elsewhere 15 Feb 2020
In reply to colinakmc:

> part of the problem just now is that Scotland is starting to look ( quite mistakenly) like a one party state. 

That's the weakness of FPTP, it produces results like SNP getting 47 to 56 out of 59 MPs.

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French Erick 15 Feb 2020
In reply to rogerwebb:

> At the moment we do not know what the UK will look like in 5 years, neither can we forsee what the EU will look like. I think before any changes are made, which will be far more fundamental, disruptive and expensive than brexit we should have a better understanding of the choices. 

I TOTALLY agree- hence a longer time-scale for some dust and high feeling to settle. It would also dull the edge of this “once in a generation” argument. A decade can see so much change! 

I know that you still have a lot of faith in the Union. I would love to discuss it around a good pint of ale. Your vision of Unionism I am very ready to listen to explore and be persuaded by if my fears are assuaged indeed.

I hope that I do not come across as too bigoted or extreme in my view. I have come to my conclusion by default and unfortunately not necessary through positive steps. I should hope that I could be made to change my mind with sane arguments pointing to benefits. At present, I will admit that looking south of the border I see nowt that brightens my day. All be it dramatic, and in Susan Cooper’s words about a very English adventure, when looking south all I want to say is: the Dark is rising.

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French Erick 15 Feb 2020
In reply to Dr.S at work:

> I appreciate that you dont want to be seen as French in this, French Erick, but I wonder how you would contrast the qualities of the UK with that of Franch in terms of the amount of devolution to the consituent states that encompass both countries (eg Savoy, Languedoc , Brittany, Normandy for France).

A fascinating question which has little sense in the French context. A tenet of my Country is “la République, une est indivisible”. That means that in the past, there was an extreme brand of centralisation that has, generations down the line, almost managed to completely level everything down. It was mostly a cultural genocide Chinese style which has wiped out most things. It took me years to understand the concept of the United Kingdom, it was so alien to me coming from such a unified block as France (forcibly so  but almost completely beyond living memory now).

Paris is a brain drainer for the rest of France and most ambitious people gravitate there, the well kenned phrase being “monter à la capitale”. 

As I no longer live there, I haven’t much of an opinion on the matter. Corsicans are a bit of a pain in the arse as they do detonate bombs on folks just doing their jobs (police and judges). I will admit to having never delved into it and thus I have to confess that I am more knowledgeable to the Scottish situation.

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French Erick 15 Feb 2020
In reply to subtle:

> I'm pro independence for Scotland but only an SNP voter by default - once devolution comes I doubt I will continue to vote SNP as other parties will emerge that will (once again?) be worth voting for

I am exactly in the same position. I do see what the end game is, but do not particularly like the way to get there- ignoring all else to obtain this. I suppose it’s the means to an end? Not sitting well with me however. 

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French Erick 15 Feb 2020
In reply to French Erick:

FFS, can winter conditions reliably materialise so that I get away from this keyboard hero role .... I cannot believe that yet again shite weather interferes with my time off!

This has got to be BJ’s fault. The winter of discontent! Have the Tories claimed all seasons yet ;)

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Wanderer100 15 Feb 2020
In reply to French Erick:

I'm coming up on Wednesday for a few days climbing. Tell the weather to behave itself for a few days!!!!! 

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French Erick 15 Feb 2020
In reply to Wanderer100:

Sorry to disappoint but my track record is pretty poor. Any worse and I may start talking about bridge projects! You may well strike gold however, as I see the mid week being pretty good thus far! I’ll have a stab at it myself on Tuesday (this being a long weekend for Highlands teachers).

I have successfully managed to derail my own thread.... back on track.

STATE OF THE UNION

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rogerwebb 15 Feb 2020
In reply to French Erick:

Perhaps a route and a pint? If the weather improves...

(took your thread off track again) 

Post edited at 15:12
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Dr.S at work 15 Feb 2020
In reply to French Erick:

> A fascinating question which has little sense in the French context. A tenet of my Country is “la République, une est indivisible”. That means that in the past, there was an extreme brand of centralisation that has, generations down the line, almost managed to completely level everything down. It was mostly a cultural genocide Chinese style which has wiped out most things. It took me years to understand the concept of the United Kingdom, it was so alien to me coming from such a unified block as France (forcibly so  but almost completely beyond living memory now).

Indeed - that was my understanding. What I'm trying to get at is the question is the UK style of constructing a state of many nations better or worse (or just different) than the French style. is a strength of the Union the fact that difference does exist  or is it its weakness?

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Dr.S at work 15 Feb 2020
In reply to French Erick:

If the Dark is Rising is a very English adventure then you may need to let the Tir na n-Og Awards guys know they need to ask for two back!

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Pefa 15 Feb 2020
In reply to French Erick:

If the Tories keep us locked up behind bars for another 5 to 10 years before they let us have the freedom of self determination then that gives them a great opportunity to use up as much of our oil and gas as they can get their hands on before then. So that by the time independence happens - if it does- then a huge amount of our most valuable resources will be gone.

I don't see why English MPs get to decide when we can and can't have self determination. I know it's rigged to keep the union but this is blatant. 

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RomTheBear 15 Feb 2020
In reply to French Erick:

> I don’t have a chip on my shoulder. And I understand the way democracy works. You don’t get what you want, but what the majority wants.

What you describe isn't a democracy, it's a tyranny of the majority. Democracy is about compromise and strong individual rights, it's not about a majority sticking it up the arse of the minority.

Post edited at 17:08
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TobyA 15 Feb 2020
In reply to French Erick:

> if I may try to make an analogy: We agreed to travel in the same vehicle on the assumption that our perceived/real understanding of the safety of said vehicle was sound.

This is the problem of analogies for discussing politics, they normally are picked to show whatever point the writer is trying to make.

You want the constituent nations of the UK to be different individuals in one vehicle. But all of us are citizens of the UK, not of England or Wales or Scotland or NI. If we are one demos, there's only one person in the car. Asking how one part of that person leaves the car makes it sounds a bit more complicated!

Please also note than even in just England, still less than half of the electorate (let alone of the population) voted Conservative in 2019 - this in a very good election for the Tories.

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elsewhere 15 Feb 2020
In reply to TobyA:

> This is the problem of analogies for discussing politics, they normally are picked to show whatever point the writer is trying to make.

> If we are one demos, there's only one person in the car.

That's the question - "are we one?". The answer isn't clear.

Or rather the answers are clear, but not uniform.

Post edited at 17:41
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French Erick 15 Feb 2020
In reply to Dr.S at work:

> If the Dark is Rising is a very English adventure then you may need to let the Tir na n-Og Awards guys know they need to ask for two back!

Most of it is about an English lad in the Thames valley. He does go on a holiday to Wales admittedly !

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Dax H 15 Feb 2020
In reply to French Erick:

I'm no so sure it's a Scotland Vs England thing, it's more a most of the UK Vs the South East thing. As a Yorkshire man I feel far more at home visiting and having friends in Scotland than I do heading south. 

If people are looking for independence how about the SE keeps the parliament they already have and the rest of the UK does its own thing together. 

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HansStuttgart 15 Feb 2020
In reply to RomTheBear:

> What you describe isn't a democracy, it's a tyranny of the majority. Democracy is about compromise and strong individual rights, it's not about a majority sticking it up the arse of the minority.


Agreed. Which is why the UK should pass legislation that major constitutional issues (such as the break-up of the kingdom) can only be implemented after a 67% majority has voted in favour. This should be done before indyref2 is called. Cameron's referendums to decide the future of the nation on a simple majority on one specific day were madness.

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Dr.S at work 15 Feb 2020
In reply to French Erick:

.....and its riddled with English, Norse and Welsh mythology - much more British than English ;-)

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tom_in_edinburgh 15 Feb 2020
In reply to HansStuttgart:

> Agreed. Which is why the UK should pass legislation that major constitutional issues (such as the break-up of the kingdom) can only be implemented after a 67% majority has voted in favour. This should be done before indyref2 is called. Cameron's referendums to decide the future of the nation on a simple majority on one specific day were madness.

The result of a crazy, unachievable criterion like that would be that people who want constitutional change would immediately skip to more direct methods to achieve it rather than waste their time pursuing a referendum.  The point of a referendum is to provide a legal way to effect change.

The UK parliament should actually have f*ck all say in how an indyref is organised and the criteria for YES: it is a matter for the Scottish Parliament.  If somebody said the EU should decide the criteria for the UK's Brexit referendum the Tories would have had kittens.

We already had one gerrymandered referendum in Scotland with a criterion designed by the unionists not to be fulfilled.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1979_Scottish_devolution_referendum

Post edited at 20:15
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tom_in_edinburgh 15 Feb 2020
In reply to TobyA:

> You want the constituent nations of the UK to be different individuals in one vehicle. But all of us are citizens of the UK, not of England or Wales or Scotland or NI. If we are one demos, there's only one person in the car.

Well, we aren't one demos.   Scotland is a nation that will one day become independent again.

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Wanderer100 15 Feb 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> The result of a crazy, unachievable criterion like that would be that people who want constitutional change would immediately skip to more direct methods to achieve it rather than waste their time pursuing a referendum.  The point of a referendum is to provide a legal way to effect change.

> The UK parliament should actually have f*ck all say in how an indyref is organised and the criteria for YES: it is a matter for the Scottish Parliament.  If somebody said the EU should decide the criteria for the UK's Brexit referendum the Tories would have had kittens.

> We already had one gerrymandered referendum in Scotland with a criterion designed by the unionists not to be fulfilled.

Awww. Diddums!

How on earth have you come to the conclusion that the UK government has gerrymandred the outcome of the  Independence referendum? You become more incoherent by the day. It may have escaped your attention but the EU is not a sovereign state whereas the UK Goverment is sovereign and as such exercises the right to govern across the UK as it sees fit.

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TobyA 15 Feb 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> Scotland is a nation that will one day become independent again.

Blood and soil eh?

Have you read "Imagined Communities" by Benedict Anderson? If you haven't, you should. It's an interesting book.

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tom_in_edinburgh 15 Feb 2020
In reply to Wanderer100:

> Awww. Diddums!

> How on earth have you come to the conclusion that the UK government has gerrymandred the outcome of the  Independence referendum? 

I was referring to the 1979 devolution referendum, as was pretty clear from the link I gave.

More than 50% of the votes cast were for devolution but it failed due to a second criterion about proportion of the electorate which was stuck in by the unionists.   The second part of the gerrymandering was that the electoral roll was out of date and unreliable with duplicates where people had moved and dead people who had not been removed making the percentage of the electorate criterion far harder to hit than it should have been.

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kolkrabe 15 Feb 2020
In reply to French Erick:

I was enjoying the mature and good natured vibe on this thread, sadly it seems to be slipping away.

Im also pro independence and view the SNP as merely a vehicle as do many of my friends including one who has been an SNP member for many years.

One of the things that sealed the decision for me last time around was that there didn't seem to be a decent positive case for remaining the in union other than staying in the EU. It got me thinking if Scotland were already independant would I want to join the UK?

Id genuinely like to see this pro union argument made by  folk of that persuasion rather than the "playing the man" type denigration tactics which often occur.

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Dr.S at work 15 Feb 2020
In reply to kolkrabe:

Hmm, interesting view - and I’d agree that I would not wish to join the U.K. as it’s currently set up if I was a citizen of a separate state. Something more like the EU? Yes.

Of course that does not mean breaking up the U.K. makes sense - the pieces are fairly well joined, and prising them apart will have some negatives, which may or may not overcome the perceived benefits.

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Dr.S at work 15 Feb 2020
In reply to kolkrabe:

So - a pro union argument.

Membership  of the Union gives Scotland:

Unfettered access to a population some 10 times its own, in which it can freely trade with common rules.

free movement within these isles 

A say in the governance of the Union roughly equivalent to its population.

the population of the Union has broadly similar social views to the population of Scotland, limiting friction which might otherwise arise.

The pooled resources of the nations of the Union are greater than the resources of any one member, allowing the Union as a whole to achieve things the individual nations could not.

When one section of the Union struggles, those pooled resources may be used to aid that area.

The Union allows significant level of devolution - in education, social policy, healthcare, agriculture policy, taxation, policing, legal system - in contrast to other states formed of multiple previous states (waves to Erick). This allows expression of the differences that do exist between nations, and allows for experiments in policy within the Union.

The Union is flexible and evolves - look at the last 30 years for clear evidence of this. It’s constitution has evolved massively over the last century and a half.

Unlike some other states made up of multiple previous states, the Union can countenance members leaving, and has provided mechanisms by which this could occur in the past.

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L NERD 15 Feb 2020
In reply to kolkrabe:

> I was enjoying the mature and good natured vibe on this thread, sadly it seems to be slipping away.

> Im also pro independence and view the SNP as merely a vehicle as do many of my friends including one who has been an SNP member for many years.

> One of the things that sealed the decision for me last time around was that there didn't seem to be a decent positive case for remaining the in union other than staying in the EU. It got me thinking if Scotland were already independant would I want to join the UK?

> Id genuinely like to see this pro union argument made by  folk of that persuasion rather than the "playing the man" type denigration tactics which often occur.

I'm English, didn't vote for in the referendum and I wasn't concerned with the result. I know it's an unpopular opinion but I can see big advantages in leaving the customs union and am looking forward to seeing how things turn out.

In the 2014 referendum one of the UK's main arguments was that the only way Scotland could be sure they'd stay in the EU would be to stay in the UK. Now that has changed of course Scotland should be allowed to choose which path to follow, they have a very different economy to the UK. I don't get this once in a generation thing when the UK has made such a big change, it doesn't make sense. 

I think Pinky will give Scotland the vote. The SNP are a thorn in his side, Ruth Davison is a thorn in his side, the entire country is. Look at his ambition, he doesn't want to be PM - he wants to be the longest serving PM ever. Scottish independence makes him so much more powerful and vastly increases his chances of keeping power.

That's why he wants a bridge and not a tunnel, because a bridge can easily be open but a tunnel probably couldn't. He'll never be popular in Scotland or Northern Ireland so he wants shot of them both, look how he screwed over the DUP the second he got the chance. They're the strongest voice in N Ireland for maintaining the union. 

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L NERD 15 Feb 2020
In reply to Dr.S at work:

Couldn't all those arguments be made for leaving the UK and joining the EU? 

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Dr.S at work 15 Feb 2020
In reply to NERD:

Some of them - I guess the question is what’s the dislocation cost of leaving one Union to join another. Also until we know the state of the U.K. EU relationship it’s going to be hard to judge where Scotland’s future best lies.

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French Erick 15 Feb 2020
In reply to Dr.S at work:

Thanks Dr S. that’s what I am after. Broad principles with sound logic behind them. Let’s not try to pull too much sway on figures as there’s so much out there that it’s now possible to prove the unprovable. I need to reflect on your reasons to join the UK but It will have to wait the morrow. Thanks for a good contribution- even if we may have to agree to disagree (which remains to be seen...pun intended)!

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L NERD 15 Feb 2020
In reply to Dr.S at work:

Yeah fair enough, I don't think it should happen this year, I think it should be after the no deal is confirmed ;) 

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tom_in_edinburgh 15 Feb 2020
In reply to Dr.S at work:

> Membership  of the Union gives Scotland:

> Unfettered access to a population some 10 times its own, in which it can freely trade with common rules.

and it removes unfettered access to 390 million people in the EU with whom it could trade freely if England hadn't voted to leave.

> free movement within these isles 

The Irish have that under the Common Travel Area and are still in the EU. 

> A say in the governance of the Union roughly equivalent to its population.

Which is useless because our SNP MP's are ignored at Westminster.  Even when the Tories had a very narrow majority successive Labour leaders refused to form an alliance with the SNP to defeat them.  

We've been in a position where logically the SNP should have held the balance of power but to make that happen it needs an alliance with Labour or the Tories.  They know this, and they won't do it.  Labour and the Tories both hate the SNP worse than each other.

> the population of the Union has broadly similar social views to the population of Scotland, limiting friction which might otherwise arise.

Maybe in the past.  Doesn't look that way now.

> The pooled resources of the nations of the Union are greater than the resources of any one member, allowing the Union as a whole to achieve things the individual nations could not.

Yes, but the pooled resources are used for things that Scotland actively does not want.

> When one section of the Union struggles, those pooled resources may be used to aid that area.

Doesn't happen.   When a major industry in Scotland struggles Westminster is happy to let it fail.  Steel, shipbuilding, mining, electronics.   Every industry will encounter tough times and face state backed competition at some point.  Every nation has its champions that it will fight for - cars for Germany, computer/internet for the US, electronics for Taiwan.   The UK government protects banking.  Any other industry is screwed as soon as push comes to shove.   They'll collect taxes when times are good and pay unemployment benefit when they are bad but they won't fight for regional industries to survive through tough times.

> The Union allows significant level of devolution - in education, social policy, healthcare, agriculture policy, taxation, policing, legal system - in contrast to other states formed of multiple previous states (waves to Erick). This allows expression of the differences that do exist between nations, and allows for experiments in policy within the Union.

They take back powers when it suits the e.g. to overrule devolved governments on Brexit related issues.  They don't give real power.  In theory Scotland has power over the police but it can't refuse to send Scottish cops to London to fight Extinction Rebellion or refuse to allow English cops to come to Scotland if there were Indy protests.  It can't have a different policy on drugs e,g, safe consumption rooms.  The tax powers are a trap designed to make the SNP unpopular if they are used.  What is needed is the ability to have different taxes, not bump up income tax by a percent. 

> The Union is flexible and evolves - look at the last 30 years for clear evidence of this. It’s constitution has evolved massively over the last century and a half.

It's still stuck in the past and the devolution settlement is illogical and unbalanced.  There's no English parliament.

The UK has crazy relics of the past like the House of Lords and the monarchy and one constituent state which is 10x the size of the others and effectively makes all the decisions.

> Unlike some other states made up of multiple previous states, the Union can countenance members leaving, and has provided mechanisms by which this could occur in the past.Most federal countries e.g. US and Germany have representation for the states in a second house which can veto central government. 

Fundamentally, Scotland does not need both the UK and the EU.  The EU offers a larger market, and a better set of external trade deals for far less loss of sovereignty and far lower contributions than the UK. 

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Dr.S at work 16 Feb 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Hi Tom, I think as ever you make some good points, re the influence of Scottish MP’s, I think the overt wish of the SNP MP’s to break up the Union inevitably weakens their ability to exert influence. Replace them with an equal number of Lib Dem’s and you probably get a very different picture.

Re: current structures - you know I agree completely that the current U.K. structure is not right - but it is an evolving structure and I’d prefer it to continue to evolve into a better one than to be broken apart.

See upthread as to which Union I would join now as an already independent entity. However that’s not the position Scotland finds itself in which changes the game.

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Coel Hellier 16 Feb 2020
In reply to NERD:

> Couldn't all those arguments be made for leaving the UK and joining the EU? 

I guess if you're happy with the direction the EU are going and want to join in, then yes it makes sense for Scotland to join the EU.

But there are dangers.  Scotland would a much smaller part of the EU than it is of the UK. It's not going to have that much influence within the EU, it will just have to go along with the big boys (though, as I say, you might be fine with that).  The EU is quite happy to put EU ideology above the interests of small nations (e.g. Greece).  

And they're already trying to grab a large chunk of Scottish fishing waters. One might think that the UK doesn't have that strong a hand in current negotiations with the EU, but an independent Scotland would have a weaker one (it would be "Just agree to all our policies, no opt-outs or lee-way, and your fishing waters are now communal EU property").

The North Sea would always add to cost of trade with the EU (and Ireland isn't big enough to be a significant trade partner, and there's the Irish Sea), which means that if there came to be a hard border with trade barriers between England and Scotland, then the Scottish economy could lose out.

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Coel Hellier 16 Feb 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> We've been in a position where logically the SNP should have held the balance of power but to make that happen it needs an alliance with Labour or the Tories.  They know this, and they won't do it.  Labour and the Tories both hate the SNP worse than each other.

That last bit is not true.  *Labour* hates the SNP, yes, because in order to form a Westminster majority they likely need their traditional 40 Scottish seats, but the SNP have now taken all of those; and so the idea of a pact is dangerous to Labour.

But as for the Tories, the idea of a Tory--SNP pact is ruled out by the SNP, not by the Tories, surely?   Hasn't Sturgeon declared flat against that?    The SNP would fear a Labour resurgence in Scotland if the SNP were perceived to be aiding the Tory party.

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neilh 16 Feb 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

You have had access to the EU market to sell to for the last few decades. Has it made any difference to the Scottish economy?Or is it wishful thinking that the economy will grow because you have access to all these 490 million people ( to whom you already have had access to).

you overlook that most trade in Scotland is with England , not Europe. 
 

whilst I have no issue with you having another referendum, you do seem to be in denial of where your true markets are based.

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Wingeing Old Git 16 Feb 2020
In reply to Naechi:

> It is up to English MPs what happens in England.  EVEL is bit like ultralight-devolution in all but name.  Scottish MPs cant vote on English only policy, but English only policy affects budgets and therefore barnett formula consequentials, therefore Scottish budgets and devolved policies...

“Scottish MPs can’t vote on English only policy.”

This is incorrect. In the House of Commons all bills, including bills deemed to affect only England, have to pass the Third Reading. All MPs, including MPs from Scotland, are allowed to vote in the Third Reading. Here are a couple of links to articles by the Lallands Peat Worrier, Andrew Tickell, a Scottish independence supporter. The articles explain in detail how EVEL works.

http://lallandspeatworrier.blogspot.com/2015/10/what-does-evel-actually-do.html

http://lallandspeatworrier.blogspot.com/2016/01/evel-is-milquetoast.html

Here is a link to show that Andrew Tickell is an expert on constitutional legal matters.

https://www.gcu.ac.uk/gsbs/staff/tickellandrew/

Post edited at 08:54
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Pefa 16 Feb 2020
In reply to Dr.S at work:

> Unlike some other states made up of multiple previous states, the Union can countenance members leaving, and has provided mechanisms by which this could occur in the past.

But presently and for the foreseeable future prevents the right of self determination when one part that wants to leave the UK, right after a huge change with reference to England and Wales voting to leave the EU when Scotland voted to stay in the EU.

So where are your "mechanisms" now?

There are mechanisms in place now to deny the freedom and desire of a small part of the union to suit one bigger part. There is nothing equal in that relationship in fact it is tyrannical. 

It seems our old Norse friends in Scandanavia are more than happy to welcome Scotland into their bloc within the EU. Which makes complete sense as we share so much more political and social values with them over Tory England.

https://www.thenational.scot/news/18234456.fed-brexit-britain-come-part-scandinavia/

Post edited at 10:07
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Naechi 16 Feb 2020
In reply to Wingeing Old Git:

Thanks

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L NERD 16 Feb 2020
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Hi Coel, good points. I'm not Scottish and I'm not saying they would be better in or out of the UK, I don't know the answer to that. All I'm saying in light of us leaving they should get another vote.

If Scotland leaves then I'll wish them good look and prosperity, and hope that them leaving the UK is the right decision. 

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Coel Hellier 16 Feb 2020
In reply to NERD:

> All I'm saying in light of us leaving they should get another vote.

Yes, agreed. But only once it's a lot clearer what Scotland would be voting on.  E.g. would there be a hard trade border between England and Scotland?   And to answer that we need the future relationship between the EU and rUK to be a lot clearer.    What deal would the EU offer Scotland? Would Scotland join the Euro?   Etc.

Once there is clarity on what is being voted on, then yes, have another referendum.  But, by recent precedent, having a vote where the shape of the resulting deal is entirely unclear does not seem wise.

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Coel Hellier 16 Feb 2020
In reply to Pefa:

> There are mechanisms in place now to deny the freedom and desire of a small part of the union to suit one bigger part. There is nothing equal in that relationship in fact it is tyrannical. 

Given that we're not that long after indyref1, isn't that rather melodramatic wording?    Especially as the polls in Scotland are close to 50:50 on whether Scots want independence. 

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tom_in_edinburgh 16 Feb 2020
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Yes, agreed. But only once it's a lot clearer what Scotland would be voting on.  E.g. would there be a hard trade border between England and Scotland?   And to answer that we need the future relationship between the EU and rUK to be a lot clearer.    What deal would the EU offer Scotland? Would Scotland join the Euro?   Etc.

If we wait then we are also locking in Brexit and making it hard to reverse.  The time to jump off a sinking ship is before it actually sinks.

You are never going to have certainty on anything that requires negotiation before you commit because you can't tell what the other sides bottom line is until the negotiation is for real.

It isn't up to the UK government or the English to tell us when we can have an independence referendum just like it wasn't for the EU to tell the UK when it could hold a Brexit one.    There's a mandate for a referendum.   It comes from the Holyrood election that put the SNP in Government based on a manifesto which said they would hold a referendum if there was a material change in circumstances.  Brexit is a material change in circumstances.  The Scottish Parliament then passed the legislation to hold a referendum. 

If the UK government tries to prevent a referendum being held it is giving Scotland the status of a colony rather than a nation in a voluntary union formed by a treaty. 

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Point of View 16 Feb 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Once in a generation.

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neilh 16 Feb 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Do the other Scottish parties agree with another referendum like in the last one in 2014? Just remember that there are people in Scotland who did not vote for the SNP.

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neilh 16 Feb 2020
In reply to Pefa:

Your Norse friends.How much trade does Scotland do with them compared with the rest of the UK?

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L NERD 16 Feb 2020
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Yes, agreed. But only once it's a lot clearer what Scotland would be voting on.  E.g. would there be a hard trade border between England and Scotland?   And to answer that we need the future relationship between the EU and rUK to be a lot clearer.    What deal would the EU offer Scotland? Would Scotland join the Euro?   Etc.

> Once there is clarity on what is being voted on, then yes, have another referendum.  But, by recent precedent, having a vote where the shape of the resulting deal is entirely unclear does not seem wise.

Yeah - I agree with that. 

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Pefa 16 Feb 2020
In reply to Coel Hellier:

I'm sure if one of our geopolitical goals was to remove one country/region from a bigger country and all our corporate press/military/Intel were screaming about this bigger country preventing self determination then you would be happy to call it tyrannical but when that big country is England then its 'how dare you'. 🙂 Oh your comment gives me so much room to branch out into many related issues but I'll refrain from that and stick to the subject at hand. 

England and Wales have dragged Scotland and NI out of the EU against our will which isn't fair.The least we can do now to give the people in these countries a say is to give them a say which is a fresh independence referendum free from English and Welsh interference. 

Edit--Now and not when it suits the Tories. 

Post edited at 11:40
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Coel Hellier 16 Feb 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

So if there were indyref2 this year, as Sturgeon wants, then I guess the indy campaign would be saying "yes, we will join the Euro", and "yes, there would have to be a hard border with England if it comes to that" and "yes, there would be trade barrier with England, if Brexit ends up with trade barriers between rUK and EU generally", along with "yes, we admit, we'd be in a weak bargaining position if the EU demanded large swathes of fishing waters and whatever else they want".     (OK, so they'd avoid saying the last, but they would say the others, right?)

I suspect you might then struggle to win the referendum, once people have had a hard think.  

If you think -- as I suspect you do -- that you think Brexit will be an utter disaster, then it's likely in your interests to wait until the "disaster" is more apparent and widely accepted.   

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elsewhere 16 Feb 2020
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Yes, agreed. But only once it's a lot clearer what Scotland would be voting on.  E.g. would there be a hard trade border between England and Scotland?   And to answer that we need the future relationship between the EU and rUK to be a lot clearer.    What deal would the EU offer Scotland? Would Scotland join the Euro?   Etc.

> Once there is clarity on what is being voted on, then yes, have another referendum.  But, by recent precedent, having a vote where the shape of the resulting deal is entirely unclear does not seem wise.

Those arguments haven't been enough for the uk to  cancel or delay Brexit. It's the way  the UK works now, we vote blind.

The constitution relies on good chaps* doing the right thing but that's looking shakier. Particularly as we have a pm willing to discuss beating up journalist, prorogue parliament and talking about shake up of judiciary & BBC. The lack of constitution+ to protect judiciary and parliament is looking less like a good idea.

Those factors mean UK lost the reputation for the safe non-ideological stability it had at the time of indyref1.

*https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/31/world/europe/uk-johnson-constitution-brexit.html

+a constitution is not really a constitution if you can't put it in an email

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Coel Hellier 16 Feb 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

> Those arguments haven't been enough for the uk to  cancel or delay Brexit. It's the way  the UK works now, we vote blind.

Well we did once, yes. Do you think that doing it blind was a good idea?

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elsewhere 16 Feb 2020
In reply to neilh:

> Do the other Scottish parties agree with another referendum like in the last one in 2014? Just remember that there are people in Scotland who did not vote for the SNP.

Thankfully we have a parliament that reflects views far better than FPTP. 

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elsewhere 16 Feb 2020
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Well we did once, yes. Do you think that doing it blind was a good idea?

No. But nor is it worth blindly following when that's the other option.

Arguments for economic continuity and political stability of the UK within the EU were convincing in 2014. Not anymore.

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tom_in_edinburgh 16 Feb 2020
In reply to neilh:

> You have had access to the EU market to sell to for the last few decades. Has it made any difference to the Scottish economy?Or is it wishful thinking that the economy will grow because you have access to all these 490 million people ( to whom you already have had access to).

The economy will shrink for sure if we have tariffs and border delays imposed between us and the EU.

The economy will shrink for sure if we couple ourselves to England and get messed up by all the other idiocies Boris and the Brexiteers want to perpetrate.

> you overlook that most trade in Scotland is with England, not Europe. 

Unionists keep talking about how much Scotland exports to England but we import even more.  There's leverage in any negotiations.   

Quite possibly we will be able to charge more for some of the things (e.g. electricity) we sell to England after independence because we won't be stuck with Westminster regulations and can play hardball.   

> whilst I have no issue with you having another referendum, you do seem to be in denial of where your true markets are based.

The EU are a rational trading partner with a reasonable set of processes.  Brexiteer England is not, it will continually use its scale to bully us.  If it comes to a choice, and I don't think it will, we should take the short term hit and go with the EU.

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Robert Durran 16 Feb 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> Unionists keep talking about how much Scotland exports to England but we import even more.  There's leverage in any negotiations. 

> Quite possibly we will be able to charge more for some of the things (e.g. electricity) we sell to England after independence because we won't be stuck with Westminster regulations and can play hardball.   

> The EU are a rational trading partner with a reasonable set of processes.  Brexiteer England is not, it will continually use its scale to bully us.  If it comes to a choice, and I don't think it will, we should take the short term hit and go with the EU.

If you replace England withe EU and EU with The World, these sound remarkably like the arguments that Brexiteers made for leaving the EU!

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r0x0r.wolfo 16 Feb 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> The economy will shrink for sure if we have tariffs and border delays imposed between us and the EU.

> The economy will shrink for sure if we couple ourselves to England and get messed up by all the other idiocies Boris and the Brexiteers want to perpetrate.

> Unionists keep talking about how much Scotland exports to England but we import even more.  There's leverage in any negotiations.   

> Quite possibly we will be able to charge more for some of the things (e.g. electricity) we sell to England after independence because we won't be stuck with Westminster regulations and can play hardball.   

> The EU are a rational trading partner with a reasonable set of processes.  Brexiteer England is not, it will continually use its scale to bully us.  If it comes to a choice, and I don't think it will, we should take the short term hit and go with the EU.

You sound like a brexiteer talking about regulations and the trade imbalance.

This is Scotland's brexit. It's all the same arguments on a smaller scale. Some people just want to be the same size fish in a smaller pond. 

Edit: Too slow!

Post edited at 14:42
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neilh 16 Feb 2020
In reply to Pefa:

My friend , you personally voted for Brexit!
 

You have said so on other posts !

your own will was to leave the EU. 

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elsewhere 16 Feb 2020
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:

> You sound like a brexiteer talking about regulations and the trade imbalance.

There are many parallels in sovereignty, economics and representation. The difference is that the alternative  of continuity (Scotland/UK/EU) not available, there is general acknowledgement of difficulties, a plan of sorts rather than a slogan and no claim that it will be the easiest deal in history.

Nothing that Scottish independence requires hasn't been done before by Ireland/UK, Czechia/Slovakia and Sweden/Norway and countless others.

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Pefa 16 Feb 2020
In reply to neilh:

We all make mistakes and that was one of mine. 

In a Soar Alba there is no reason to suppose Scots won't want English stuff and the other way around so we can keep the mutually beneficial trade status quo and all other links between us as we are the same people, same history and language. But we will be in complete control of all of our affairs and you will be of yours though we can maintain a special relationship through our shared emotional and cultural ties. I mean we love England and fully respect you but we want to control our bit instead of having people who are so removed from us politically (Tories) ruling over us because a majority of daft English vote them in continually. 

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Stichtplate 16 Feb 2020
In reply to Pefa:

> I mean we love England and fully respect you but we want to control our bit instead of having people who are so removed from us politically (Tories) ruling over us because a majority of daft English vote them in continually. 

"we love England and fully respect you" and later in the same sentence, "a majority of daft English". Do you see the problem here? and in a thread titled "discussion on the union WITHOUT mud slinging". 

Perhaps the UK would have a better chance of escaping the Tory quagmire if the Labour vote hadn't been split by three broadly left of centre Nationalist parties. 

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Roadrunner6 16 Feb 2020
In reply to Heartinthe highlands:

Post Brexit I think it's a foregone conclusion TBH.

I'm not sure the argument is similar to Brexit. 

Scotland wants to be part of a wider Union, the rest of the UK didn't. There's also an element of opportunitism though I'd have thought. How many companies now in perilous situations will watch Scotland and simply up and move if they go independent. Again though a lot depends on the EU, which you'd have thought would welcome Scotland with open arms.

Put simply Scotland seems to think it will be in a better position outside the UK but inside the EU. England (and Wales), thought it better to leave the EU.

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Roadrunner6 16 Feb 2020
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:

> You sound like a brexiteer talking about regulations and the trade imbalance.

> This is Scotland's brexit. It's all the same arguments on a smaller scale. Some people just want to be the same size fish in a smaller pond. 

> Edit: Too slow!

That's a bit simple, they want to jump from a small pond into a big pond again..

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neilh 16 Feb 2020
In reply to Pefa:

Having been bitten once I would ha e thought you might have reflected a bit more. 
 

Trust your job hunting is going OK. 

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Coel Hellier 16 Feb 2020
In reply to Pefa:

> But we will be in complete control of all of our affairs ...

As a member of the EU? 

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L NERD 16 Feb 2020
In reply to Roadrunner6:

> Scotland wants to be part of a wider Union, the rest of the UK didn't. There's also an element of opportunitism though I'd have thought. How many companies now in perilous situations will watch Scotland and simply up and move if they go independent. Again though a lot depends on the EU, which you'd have thought would welcome Scotland with open arms.

Britain wants to be part of a wider union, wider than the EU. 

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elsewhere 16 Feb 2020
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> As a member of the EU? 

Far more so than as a member of the UK.

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elsewhere 16 Feb 2020
In reply to NERD:

> Britain wants to be part of a wider union, wider than the EU. 

What is it called?

And whatever you do, don't mention there is a plan to join a wider union out loud!

Post edited at 17:00
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Roadrunner6 16 Feb 2020
In reply to NERD:

That's a strange way of looking at it, the EU has slowly negotiated to be part of wider unions.

The UK is now years off being part of any thing similar. It takes years and years to develop wider free trade agreements. the best we can hope for is to negotiate a free trade deal with the EU which will undoubtably contain guarantees on free movement and regulatory cooperation.

The Government say "we aim to have 80% of UK trade covered by free trade agreements within the next three years, starting with the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Japan”. That is very very ambitious... 

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r0x0r.wolfo 16 Feb 2020
In reply to Roadrunner6:

> That's a bit simple, they want to jump from a small pond into a big pond again..

Well yeah if you buy the whole argument that we're leaving Europe to be more involved with the rest of the world.

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HansStuttgart 16 Feb 2020
In reply to French Erick:

Time for an unpopular opinion

I think the statement that Scotland is pro EU and is taken out of it by England which is pro-Brexit to be exaggerated. Scotland voted 60% remain and 40% leave. Thereby an independent Scotland would be by far the most EU-sceptic country in the EU. Most members are above 80% pro-EU*. The EU referendum was basically a coin toss because both England and Scotland are quite ambivalent about the EU. In England the coin fell to leave, in Scot land it fell to remain.

*https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/brexit-eu-survey-italy-ireland-portugal-eurosceptic-poll-a8888126.html

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L NERD 16 Feb 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

It's called.... Brick.  

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L NERD 16 Feb 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

Seriously though that's what the ERG want. This idea that they are small minded nationalists is just wrong. They are neo liberal internationalists, they don't care about free movement. 

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elsewhere 16 Feb 2020
In reply to NERD:

> It's called.... Brick.  

You'll have to explain that one, I'm felling thick (as a brick)!

Post edited at 17:58
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L NERD 16 Feb 2020
In reply to Roadrunner6:

> That's a strange way of looking at it, the EU has slowly negotiated to be part of wider unions.

> The UK is now years off being part of any thing similar. It takes years and years to develop wider free trade agreements. the best we can hope for is to negotiate a free trade deal with the EU which will undoubtably contain guarantees on free movement and regulatory cooperation.

> The Government say "we aim to have 80% of UK trade covered by free trade agreements within the next three years, starting with the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Japan”. That is very very ambitious... 

Yes it's going to take time to set up. The idea behind leaving is that we tailor our trade deals to suit our economy, rather than protecting EU industries from cheaper competition. 

I want trade deals with the following countries (roughly in order)

China

India

Brazil

South Korea 

Japan

Russia 

USA

EEA

Australia 

New Zealand 

The EU doesn't have trade deals with most of those countries. 

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elsewhere 16 Feb 2020
In reply to NERD:

> Yes it's going to take time to set up. The idea behind leaving is that we tailor our trade deals to suit our economy, rather than protecting EU industries from cheaper competition. 

> I want trade deals with the following countries (roughly in order)

> China

> India

> Brazil

> South Korea 

> Japan

> Russia 

> USA

> EEA

> Australia 

> New Zealand 

> The EU doesn't have trade deals with most of those countries. 

You don't always get what you want...

The issue for Scotland is the EU has more clout and is likely get a better deal than the UK. That means less compromise (or more sovereignty) for Scotland than if UK represents our interests. Maybe.

Under FPTP parties have very little interest in most of the seats they don't hold. Hence under FPTP they can prosper whilst ignoring swathes of the UK and swathes of opinion.

Post edited at 18:09
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THE.WALRUS 16 Feb 2020
In reply to French Erick:

I'm English, with a pro-Scottish Independence bias because I really don't feel that we in England get a decent return for the money we send north.

That said, I don't accept the suggestion that things will be any better from a political stand-point when you finally achieve emancipation.

Just as you feel that the Tories don't represent the best interests of people north of the border, many people in England don't feel that they represent us either.

And that's the problem..independence doesn't mean you'll get a government who will represent you any better than the Tories. You'll get whoever you get...probably the SNP, of whom you are not a fan.

Do you feel that your fight will have been worthwhile if, after independence, the political party you end-up with isn't the one you wanted?

I mean, what's the point if all you do is swap the Tories (who don't represent you) for the SNP (who also don't represent you).

Or better still, you end-up with the Scottish Tories!

That'd be a bitter victory!

Post edited at 18:15
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tom_in_edinburgh 16 Feb 2020
In reply to HansStuttgart:

> Time for an unpopular opinion

Not a fair comparison.  You can't compare a referendum in 2016 with an opinion poll in 2019.

First because by 2019 the disaster of Brexit was totally apparent so it isn't surprising that attitudes in the EU were more positive.

Second because an opinion poll is a completely different sampling method to a referendum.  The 2016 referendum was a non-event in Scotland.  Not a single major political party campaigned to Leave and everybody thought Remain would win by miles.   In an opinion poll you don't have to get off your backside and walk to a polling station.

Post edited at 18:09
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Roadrunner6 16 Feb 2020
In reply to HansStuttgart:

> Time for an unpopular opinion

> I think the statement that Scotland is pro EU and is taken out of it by England which is pro-Brexit to be exaggerated. Scotland voted 60% remain and 40% leave. Thereby an independent Scotland would be by far the most EU-sceptic country in the EU. Most members are above 80% pro-EU*. The EU referendum was basically a coin toss because both England and Scotland are quite ambivalent about the EU. In England the coin fell to leave, in Scot land it fell to remain.

So a 60-40 win wasn't enough? I'd say that's not ambivalent. 

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tom_in_edinburgh 16 Feb 2020
In reply to NERD:

> I want trade deals with the following countries (roughly in order)

> China

> India

> Brazil

> South Korea 

> Japan

> Russia 

> USA

> EEA

> Australia 

> New Zealand 

Why do you want 'trade deals' with all these countries, and what do you mean by 'trade deal'?  Completely free trade?

EEA = European Economic Area - I think the EU probably have a deal with them.

How is this all going to work?  For example the Tories want to buy 5G network equipment from China and immediately the USA and Australia start pressuring them not to.  USA say it could threaten the chance of a trade deal with them.   It's naive to think you can get a great deal with everyone.  Every time you sign a deal you agree terms which limit what you can offer on the next one.

Why do we want a free trade deal with countries which will undercut our industries and offer very little opportunity to our exporters?   What about non tariff barriers like food hygiene standards or banking regulations, are you going to scrap them as well?

Post edited at 18:25
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elsewhere 16 Feb 2020
In reply to THE.WALRUS:

> I'm English, with a pro-Scottish Independence bias because I really don't feel that we in England get a decent return for the money we send north.

> That said, I don't accept the suggestion that things will be any better from a political stand-point when you finally achieve emancipation.

> Just as you feel that the Tories don't represent the best interests of people north of the border, many people in England don't feel that they represent us here.

That's FPTP for you, a party can neglect areas where they're not popular and suffer no consequences for beyond not getting the seats they never get.

> And that's the problem..Independance doesn't mean you'll get a government who will represent you any better than the Tories.

It's not FPTP, it's much closer to vote share. SNP are in coallition with Greens, Tories are official opposition and previously we've had Brexit & Solidarity parties in Holyrood when they had the vote share.

> Do you feel that your fight will have been worth while if, after independence, the political party you end-up with isn't the one you want.

> I mean, what's the point if all you do is swap the Tories (who don't represent you) for the SNP (who also don't represent you). That'd be a bitter victory!

It's not the FPTP stupidity that gives SNP a silly 47 seats out of 59 at Westminster with 45% of the vote. At Holyrood SNP has 47% of the MSPs, SNP are likley to be the biggest party but other parties also have representation matching vote share.

Post edited at 18:27
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Coel Hellier 16 Feb 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> The 2016 referendum was a non-event in Scotland.  Not a single major political party campaigned to Leave

The turnout in Scotland, at 67%, was only a bit behind that in England (72%).  It does seem that the 38% of Scots who voted Brexit are one of the more overlooked sectors of the population in these debates.

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Dr.S at work 16 Feb 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

> That's FPTP for you, a party can neglect areas where they're not popular and suffer no consequences for beyond not getting the seats they never get.

Equally, a party can neglect seats it perceives as safe, and another party can target and grab them - see Labour Party (formally party of Scotland, formally party with a nice red wall). It will be interesting if BJ does pivot more to the concerns of the North of England.

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elsewhere 16 Feb 2020
In reply to Dr.S at work:

> Equally, a party can neglect seats it perceives as safe, and another party can target and grab them - see Labour Party (formally party of Scotland, formally party with a nice red wall). It will be interesting if BJ does pivot more to the concerns of the North of England.

That's the other side of my contempt for how FPTP works to divide the UK.

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Dr.S at work 16 Feb 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

yep its a shit system right enough.

When I'm God-Emporor the first thing I will do will be to adopt the system used for AM and MSP elections for Westminster.

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Robert Durran 16 Feb 2020
In reply to Coel Hellier:

>  It does seem that the 38% of Scots who voted Brexit are one of the more overlooked sectors of the population in these debates.

Absolutely. Although I can see good arguments for independence, it is clear that die-hard nationalists are completely blinkered to how horrribly and destructively divisive a narrow vote for independence would be. If we can learn one thing from Brexit it is that independence should require a super-majority or a confirmatory vote - sadly, I'm not sure I could bring myself to vote for independence without that safeguard.

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Jim Fraser 16 Feb 2020
In reply to Heartinthe highlands:

> Taking the long view, the overwhelming reason why Scotland went into union with England and Wales was because the country was broke. Famine stalked the land in the 1690's and Darien was a financial disaster. 

Certainly that is the continuing imperialist view.

Economically, the biggest problem was that the English couldn't keep their noses out of other people's business and kept getting involved in wars. Wars which they could barely afford and wars with some of Scotland's main trading partners.

It was either union or war essentially. The war would have been over differences in the laws of royal succession. 

And of course, then as now, you have to ask, if Scotland were as dreadfully useless as English say then why would they want anything to do with it?

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elsewhere 16 Feb 2020
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> The turnout in Scotland, at 67%, was only a bit behind that in England (72%).  It does seem that the 38% of Scots who voted Brexit are one of the more overlooked sectors of the population in these debates.

As are the 48% across the UK but in Holyrood the 38% have Brexit supporting parties to support and representing them.

A good reason for independence is that Holyrood is far more representative and ditches the political ossification of Westminster.

Post edited at 19:09
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elsewhere 16 Feb 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

> >  It does seem that the 38% of Scots who voted Brexit are one of the more overlooked sectors of the population in these debates.

> Absolutely. Although I can see good arguments for independence, it is clear that die-hard nationalists are completely blinkered to how horrribly and destructively divisive a narrow vote for independence would be. If we can learn one thing from Brexit it is that independence should require a super-majority or a confirmatory vote - sadly, I'm not sure I could bring myself to vote for independence without that safeguard.

Super-majority. That might suit me if it applied to Brexit too since I was previously pro UK and pro EU. Although still leaves us with FPTP.

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HansStuttgart 16 Feb 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> Not a fair comparison.  You can't compare a referendum in 2016 with an opinion poll in 2019.

True. But UK was always lowest in terms of support for EU before 2016. Do you have a poll of Scotland before 2016?

> The 2016 referendum was a non-event in Scotland. Not a single major political party campaigned to Leave and everybody thought Remain would win by miles. 

Complacency or simply not caring one way or another? Most EU politicians thought a leave victory reasonably likely and argued with Cameron not to hold a referendum...

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HansStuttgart 16 Feb 2020
In reply to Roadrunner6:

> So a 60-40 win wasn't enough? I'd say that's not ambivalent. 

Yes. Being part of the EU has far-ranging consequences on how your state is run. It is a constitutional issue and should therefore by supported by a super-majority.

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Dr.S at work 16 Feb 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

An equally good reason to stay in an reform.

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Dr.S at work 16 Feb 2020
In reply to Jim Fraser:

Was not the primary driver for the Darien scheme the lack of access to English trade, the monopolies of the East India company and so on?

One of the positives of the Union at that time being the creation of a common market where Scottish merchants had equal rights to English ones.

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elsewhere 16 Feb 2020
In reply to Dr.S at work:

> An equally good reason to stay in an reform.

A good reason. But not equally good reason. There is no will to reform. Idiots like JRM think Westminster is the sacred mother rather than the laughing stock of parliaments.

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Roadrunner6 16 Feb 2020
In reply to HansStuttgart:

> Yes. Being part of the EU has far-ranging consequences on how your state is run. It is a constitutional issue and should therefore by supported by a super-majority.

Isn't 62 - 38 enough? https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/supermajority

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supermajority#Three-fifths,_or_60_percent

They got the 3/5ths? Are you now deciding that only 2/3rds counts? Some even count 55% as a supermajority.

I agree it should have been but that's a big majority. It just seems odd to class a 52-48 decision in the same light as a 62-38 decision.

Post edited at 20:02
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THE.WALRUS 16 Feb 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

So, if you get rid of FPTP the party you voted for will always get in? 

The method of deciding who wins isn't the point, here.

The point is that if you think independence will mean that you get you the masters you want, many of you will be disapointed. That's democracy for you. 

Which poses the question; what's the point in fighting for independence if all that actually happens is you replace one party you don't want (the Tories) for another party you don't want (The SNP)? As would be the case for the IP, who, rather understandably, professes to dislike both.

Post edited at 20:11
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L NERD 16 Feb 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> Why do you want 'trade deals' with all these countries, and what do you mean by 'trade deal'?  Completely free trade?

Yes, free trade. Like the single market. 

> EEA = European Economic Area - I think the EU probably have a deal with them.

That's why I said most. They have a deal with South Korea, and possibly Japan but I can't be bothered to look. I think that's it, from my list. 

> How is this all going to work?  For example the Tories want to buy 5G network equipment from China and immediately the USA and Australia start pressuring them not to.  USA say it could threaten the chance of a trade deal with them.   It's naive to think you can get a great deal with everyone.  Every time you sign a deal you agree terms which limit what you can offer on the next one.

Well China are top of my list and USA are close to the bottom. I couldn't really give a toss about the US, its the developing nations I want deals with. The US can suck it or piss off, fortunately Pinky and The Brain seem to feel the same way. 

> Why do we want a free trade deal with countries which will undercut our industries and offer very little opportunity to our exporters?   What about non tariff barriers like food hygiene standards or banking regulations, are you going to scrap them as well?

Because we need a better economy, our economy sucks. I want to see it completely remodelled. If we're manufacturing something that can be manufactured in countries like China or India then its a dead industry and should be abandoned. We're going to need to increase farming subsidiaries significantly but I don't have a problem with that. That was I was getting at with the nation of shopkeepers thing, we're just too rich, labour is too expensive. 

We need to export our services more widely and not be bound by protectionist EU regulations. We need high end high tech industries that rely on innovation to survive. We need to massively increase construction on renewables, infrastructure and house building. 

All this can be possible with a Chinese trade deal, they've got their fingers in all the major natural resources in every part of the world, their shipping lines are colossal. We've got the money, with the introduction of free ports we could become a massive player in all that trade, we can get resources tariff free way cheaper then we do now which will fuel our construction industry. 

I'd happily leave the EU for one trade deal, China. I've felt this way since I started learning about the EU and international trade in 2015, until then I was a natural remainer. I didn't vote leave and when the country did I wanted the EEA option. I don't care about free movement or the ECJ, I just want out the customs union. I thought EEA was a much safer option than an FTA and I thought we could revisit the arrangement in a decade or so once our new trade lines are established. However as long as we are leaving the customs union then I support brexit.

You guys are part of the UK and I think you're better out too, if you stick with us. If you become independent (and I fully support another referendum) then I think you'd be better in the EU. I have no problem with Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales leaving the UK. I think every country has the right to self determination whenever they choose to take it. I don't think England should get a say in the matter. 

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HansStuttgart 16 Feb 2020
In reply to Roadrunner6:

> Isn't 62 - 38 enough

a 60% supermajority is new to me. My reference is the Dutch one which is 2/3. Probably because there are 150 seats in parliament....

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bouldery bits 16 Feb 2020
In reply to NERD:

> Yes it's going to take time to set up. The idea behind leaving is that we tailor our trade deals to suit our economy, rather than protecting EU industries from cheaper competition. 

> I want trade deals with the following countries (roughly in order)

> China

> India

> Brazil

> South Korea 

> Japan

> Russia 

> USA

> EEA

> Australia 

> New Zealand 

> The EU doesn't have trade deals with most of those countries. 

I want a hovercraft but that's not going to happen either. 

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elsewhere 16 Feb 2020
In reply to THE.WALRUS:

> So, if you get rid of FPTP the party you voted for will always get in? 

Parties are far more likely to ebb and flow with support than under the ossified system of FPTP where the youngest party to form a government is 120 years old. So no. 

SNP are a minority coalition government which is a fair reflection of their support.

> The method of deciding who wins isn't the point, here.

It's a major point.

> The point is that if you think independence will mean that you get you the masters you want, many of you will be disapointed. That's democracy for you. 

The disappointed should be a force in parliament in reflection of their support. FPTP fails to do that.

> Which poses the question; what's the point in fighting for independence if all that actually happens is you replace one party you don't want (the Tories) for another party you don't want (The SNP)?

It's not about party. It's about parties. More than two of them. And the birth and death of parties - Solidarity and Brexit have both done that (in terms of MSPs). The biggest party went to third place.None of that happens in FPTP.

England (90% of the Union) represented by MPs of just two* parties.

*half a dozen lib dem mps and 1 green MP represent the entirety of non-labour/Tory English opinion in Westminster.

Scotland is even stupider under FPTP, the SNP have reduced other parties to fringe groups. Note the contrast with Holyrood.

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L NERD 16 Feb 2020
In reply to bouldery bits:

> I want a hovercraft but that's not going to happen either. 

It's never going to happen with an attitude like that. 

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L NERD 16 Feb 2020
bouldery bits 16 Feb 2020
In reply to NERD:

You're not going but be popular with Mrs BB.... :P

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L NERD 16 Feb 2020
In reply to bouldery bits:

> You're not going but be popular with Mrs BB.... :P

Dude, she'll literally melt when you take her for a spin on the new hovercraft. Choose the right day and you could hover straight on over to Paris!

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THE.WALRUS 17 Feb 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

Sounds to me like the issue you have is more to do with the method used to weight the votes, than the union.

There's no panacea at the end of this, you know. Just a different bunch of dickheads representing their interests, rather than yours.

It may be that you're more comfortable being shat on by someone with a Scottish accent from Holyrood than an Eton accent from Westminster....but the end result is the same; a great big steaming turd.

Hardly seems worth it, to me.

I suspect our descendents will wonder what all of the fuss was about.

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Pefa 17 Feb 2020
In reply to Stichtplate:

> "we love England and fully respect you" and later in the same sentence, "a majority of daft English". Do you see the problem here? and in a thread titled "discussion on the union WITHOUT mud slinging". 

And I slung the mud at myself in that instance nearly as much as the equally but more daft English who continually vote for Tories. 

> Perhaps the UK would have a better chance of escaping the Tory quagmire if the Labour vote hadn't been split by three broadly left of centre Nationalist parties. 

And perhaps if the English didn't require a Labour Party to become Thatcherite before they would vote them into power then none of this mess would have happened in the first place. 

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Roadrunner6 17 Feb 2020
In reply to Pefa:

>

> And perhaps if the English didn't require a Labour Party to become Thatcherite before they would vote them into power then none of this mess would have happened in the first place. 

Eh? Have we just lost any sense of truth in political discussions these days?

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Pefa 17 Feb 2020
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> As a member of the EU? 

Yes. 

As much as you will have being a part of America. 

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Pefa 17 Feb 2020
In reply to Roadrunner6:

I don't like to waste time on asking for explanations as there should be no need for any on a forum so why have you not explained why there is no truth in what I wrote? 

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Roadrunner6 17 Feb 2020
In reply to Pefa:

You believe the labour party were thatcherite to win elections? New Labour were center left. Exactly what they said. They were a long way from Thatcherite. The Human Rights act? So much we wouldn't have had under Thatcher. Yes some policies continued and they spanned the spectrum, hence their success, but they were far from a Thatcherite party.

Peace in Nothern Ireland, sitting down with Adams? She'd have never done that. Reform and investment in Public Services? Introduced civil partnerships?

Putting cameron and Bojo's leadership battles on them is also a tad strange.

And you never explained why you thought either of two, you just threw them in. So if you explained your thnking I'd not have to question you..

Post edited at 00:47
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Pefa 17 Feb 2020
In reply to Roadrunner6:

> You believe the labour party were thatcherite to win elections? New Labour were center left. Exactly what they said. They were a long way from Thatcherite. The Human Rights act? So much we wouldn't have had under Thatcher. Yes some policies continued and they spanned the spectrum, hence their success, but they were far from a Thatcherite party.

Because Thatcher was so far to the right that she supported the fascist Pinochet,racist SA and the islamist throat cutters of the Mudjahideen doesn't mean to say Blair wasn't Thatcherite. Indeed economically he was by expanding privatisation, in fact by fully embracing it and privatising more than the old witch herself did. 

> Peace in Nothern Ireland, sitting down with Adams? She'd have never done that. Reform and investment in Public Services? Introduced civil partnerships? 

Didn't Thatcher negotiate with the Provos at one point? Didn't she keep the NHS and welfare state going? Yes Blair made some social reforms like civil partnerships and also the introduction of the minimum wage which you forgot to mention but his economic model was Thatcherite and neo-liberal. 

> Putting cameron and Bojo's leadership battles on them is also a tad strange.

I didn't. 

> And you never explained why you thought either of two, you just threw them in. So if you explained your thnking I'd not have to question you..

I am going back to why the English voted in Blair and that was because Murdoch told them to as he was acceptable to his ilk. 

Post edited at 01:08
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L NERD 17 Feb 2020
In reply to Pefa:

> I am going back to why the English voted in Blair and that was because Murdoch told them to as he was acceptable to his ilk. 

More Scottish people voted for Blair than English did, relatively. 

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Roadrunner6 17 Feb 2020
In reply to Pefa:

Of course he did, he was openly center left. So naturally he would have middle ground with the tories.

And no I didn't mention all his achievements, but he wasn't a right wing politician.

He convinced Murdoch he wasn't a traditional labour leader. And yes that was acceptable. But that was Blair's strategy. Move labour central and win successive elections. 

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Pefa 17 Feb 2020
In reply to NERD:

> More Scottish people voted for Blair than English did, relatively. 

And we voted for Kinnock to and Foot and the Labour Party in general which is what we continued to do with Blair that is my whole point. 

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Pefa 17 Feb 2020

In reply:

Don't blame the Scots for this push for independence btw, blame English Tories as they voted for it. They knew this would happen if they voted for Johnson and brexit but they did it anyway so let's put the blame where it lies which is on the people who have become that extreme and divisive that they have divided the UK and they are Tory voters who voted for Thatcher all the way through to Major, May and now the Trumplet.

You have split this island not us. 

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elsewhere 17 Feb 2020
In reply to THE.WALRUS:

> Sounds to me like the issue you have is more to do with the method used to weight the votes, than the union.

> There's no panacea at the end of this, you know. Just a different bunch of dickheads representing their interests, rather than yours.

> It may be that you're more comfortable being shat on by someone with a Scottish accent from Holyrood than an Eton accent from Westminster....but the end result is the same; a great big steaming turd.

> Hardly seems worth it, to me.

> I suspect our descendents will wonder what all of the fuss was about.

Do you see nothing attractive about the union for Scotland? Is there no positive case?

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French Erick 17 Feb 2020
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> So if there were indyref2 this year, as Sturgeon wants, then I guess the indy campaign would be saying "yes, we will join the Euro", and "yes, there would have to be a hard border with England if it comes to that" and "yes, there would be trade barrier with England, if Brexit ends up with trade barriers between rUK and EU generally", along with "yes, we admit, we'd be in a weak bargaining position if the EU demanded large swathes of fishing waters and whatever else they want".     (OK, so they'd avoid saying the last, but they would say the others, right?)

> I suspect you might then struggle to win the referendum, once people have had a hard think.  

Hi Coel, just catching with the thread. I would like another referendum towards the end of the current parliament, unlike Tom who would like it now, and I would precisely like those terms to be openly discussed. I would sooner lose the referendum with the truth then win it with a lie.

This is potentially why people like Boris Johnson or Donald Trump, lead by masterful liars and manipulators such as Dominic Cummings win, yet I cannot bring myself to even consider using the same techniques, or condone them. It is also why I am no politicians.

The euro is vilified by many people, is there real truth behind such mistrust? I am not naive enough to say it’s perfect but it’s not that bad surely.

The hard border between Scotland and England would definitely happen, in my opinion this is inevitable if Scotland decides to go it alone.It is worth remembering that had rUK, really mostly England, taken into the wishes of the majority of the residents of Northern Ireland, Scotland, London and latterly Wales. This border would have not been necessary.

I accept that that Scotland’s most common customer is England&Wales. However, I deem many of the policies emanating from its seat of power no longer to my taste and would rather get some cut on my earnings, work harder, for longer for a more aspirational and socialist future. It would hurt me financially in the short to mid term and whilst I do not particularly look forward to it, I am ok with this if it offers a future for my kids that seems more progressive on many grounds. I cannot guarantee it will work.

What I can guarantee is that the direction of travel of politics of Boris Johnson is not very palatable: it appears intolerant, inward looking, financially skewed towards corporations to a degree I do not accept. 

Yes those will still happen in an Independent Scotland but to a lesser extent with a population likely to be more reluctant towards these sore points... or so I hope anyways.

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neilh 17 Feb 2020
In reply to Pefa:

You voted Leave, so you need to accept responsibility. You split this Island, not me.

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French Erick 17 Feb 2020
In reply to THE.WALRUS:

> I'm English, with a pro-Scottish Independence bias because I really don't feel that we in England get a decent return for the money we send north.

> That said, I don't accept the suggestion that things will be any better from a political stand-point when you finally achieve emancipation.

> Just as you feel that the Tories don't represent the best interests of people north of the border, many people in England don't feel that they represent us either.

> And that's the problem..independence doesn't mean you'll get a government who will represent you any better than the Tories. You'll get whoever you get...probably the SNP, of whom you are not a fan.

> Do you feel that your fight will have been worthwhile if, after independence, the political party you end-up with isn't the one you wanted?

> I mean, what's the point if all you do is swap the Tories (who don't represent you) for the SNP (who also don't represent you).

> Or better still, you end-up with the Scottish Tories!

> That'd be a bitter victory!

It is all very true. And it is a risk I am willing to run. Thankfully I am not the sole decision maker on whether to run it out on that seemingly blank slab (let’s refer to climbing as this site is full of climbers). I have ability, trust my feet and whilst the rubber of my boots isn’t in its prime I have confidence in them. I accept the challenge despite a rather dismal fall opportunity. If anything, it will get me away from the other party on the ledge discussing and airing views I disagree with. I would abseil but it would seem the gear is too shoddy for that. What I am supposed to do? Remain on the ledge?

I still needs to discuss it with my partner though. We both need to be clear on the consequences of my eventual fall for both of us (referendum). I am also willing to stay a bit longer (wait the length of this Parliament) on the ledge to see if I utterly misunderstood the chat of the other party and if there is a chance that we could agree on join forces (their chosen route looks pretty blank too tbh) if we settle some principle first.

But you are correct though. There could be a Scottish Tory Government. They would probably be nearer to us and have closer concerns to mine.

SNP would die out, having done its job. What cement the broad-ish church together having been achieved.

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French Erick 17 Feb 2020
In reply to Dr.S at work:

> So - a pro union argument.

> Membership  of the Union gives Scotland:

> Unfettered access to a population some 10 times its own, in which it can freely trade with common rules.

Agreed, this an economic advantage that I am not too happy to decide to damage. However, rUK doing it alone would try to strike a deal with China, America and Brazil but not try the people nearest? Seems unlikely. So this becomes a moot point and thus does not any grist to our mill (is that an expression that I made up or is it the blend of a few???). No goal for either Union/Scotland

> free movement within these isles. Free movement with England, not with the Republic of Ireland and we don’t know how Northern Ireland would react to this. They’ve already been sacrificed by London and seemingly would have a different status. Free movement with the rest of EU is indeed no guaranteed- this I accept. So that is one goal for the Union

> A say in the governance of the Union roughly equivalent to its population.

Which is my main gripe about the union. It doesn’t matter what Scotland thinks, for every 1 Scotland resident, there are 10 England&Wales residents. I accept that neither the Union nor Scotland are homogeneous blocks but latest elections confirms that there are trends within each of them. One goal for iScotland.

> the population of the Union has broadly similar social views to the population of Scotland, limiting friction which might otherwise arise.

This is attached to the previous point made. How “broadly similar” are they truly? No goal for anyone

> The pooled resources of the nations of the Union are greater than the resources of any one member, allowing the Union as a whole to achieve things the individual nations could not.

I tend to find Tom-in-E’s arguments extremes at times, but I agree with him that London’s gravitational force seems o disown this theory. I’ll be magnanimous and agree to disagree and award no side a goal.

> When one section of the Union struggles, those pooled resources may be used to aid that area.

If the political will of England will allow- if doing so was annoying the electorate I have every confidence that Boris Johnson (Tory) or any later Prime minister of any party (Labour hasn’t got a great track record in Scotland since 2014) would quiet happily forgo that kind of assumption. Not willing to commit political suicide for the sake of the right thing to do. I will award myself a goal here.

> The Union allows significant level of devolution - in education, social policy, healthcare, agriculture policy, taxation, policing, legal system - in contrast to other states formed of multiple previous states (waves to Erick). This allows expression of the differences that do exist between nations, and allows for experiments in policy within the Union.

You are correct here and this a clear and clean ball in the net for you.

> The Union is flexible and evolves - look at the last 30 years for clear evidence of this. It’s constitution has evolved massively over the last century and a half.

I do not perceive it as being as flexible as you do. Is it a question of opinion? It seems to me that any change has been won through time. 30 years out of 300 is only 10% of its time. Can we assure that the rate of change will keep apace of the last 3 decades? Boris and his successor may just say no continuously. Or be ready to compromise? No goal for either of us because this is unknown quantity.

> Unlike some other states made up of multiple previous states, the Union can countenance members leaving, and has provided mechanisms by which this could occur in the past.

I am not sure I understand that one. If it refuses another referendum, then it is not providing the mechanism.

2 all and a few good opportunities. Seems no-one has a clear victory and each sides desperately try to claim the victory and spinning stuff to their disappointing supporters. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

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Coel Hellier 17 Feb 2020
In reply to French Erick:

> The hard border between Scotland and England would definitely happen, in my opinion this is inevitable if Scotland decides to go it alone.

But would the Indy campaign win a referendum if they were campaigning on "we'll have a hard trade border with England and a different currency from England"?

From central-belt Scotland, the English border is really not that far away.   (Whereas Rotterdam is over an ocean.)   It's hard to see the economy of Scotland benefiting from disengagement from England.

In the first Indyref, the Indy campaign knew this and clearly campaigned on "we'll keep the same currency as England and of course we'll maintain free trade with England".

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French Erick 17 Feb 2020
In reply to THE.WALRUS:

> Sounds to me like the issue you have is more to do with the method used to weight the votes, than the union.

> There's no panacea at the end of this, you know. Just a different bunch of dickheads representing their interests, rather than yours.

> It may be that you're more comfortable being shat on by someone with a Scottish accent from Holyrood than an Eton accent from Westminster....but the end result is the same; a great big steaming turd.

> Hardly seems worth it, to me.

> I suspect our descendents will wonder what all of the fuss was about.

Jeezo, and I thought I was rather defeatist with my default mode of going for independence stance in the face of my perceived/correctly accessed failure of the union (/ is for you to decide where YOU think I sit with this regard)!

The turd will most likely smell of haggis, irn bru, black pudding, potato scones, whisky, salmon... this might make it more fragrant?! I have never got on the scat fetish train ;)

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French Erick 17 Feb 2020
In reply to Coel Hellier:

As stated in my 8:51 post this am

I would like another referendum towards the end of the current parliament, unlike Tom who would like it now, and I would precisely like those terms to be openly discussed. I would sooner lose the referendum with the truth then win it with a lie.

I almost did no vote for independence because I thought this was too conveniently suggested, too often in 2014. But at least, in their defence SNP had a plan! Not like the Tories, and Boris, in 2016.

Their plan was flawed admittedly, in the same way that it is spurious to say that It will be easier to trade with Australia than it is to trade with Rotterdam.

The only reason in the end that I voted for independence in 2014 was that we already knew about Cameron’s intention about 2016. Whilst I do not claim I saw in a crystal ball, the future, as an EU citizen I feared the outcome of 2016 more than the one of 2014. I said so to my unionist step-family and they all told me that my fears were unfounded!

2014- remain in Union. My reaction: ok let’s make it work then.

2016- leave the UK. My instant reaction: don’t trust this woman. Start process of becoming British because I am being used as a negotiating chip and I did not like it one bit.

2018- Windrush scandal. My reaction to my colleagues and some acquaintances who thought me a fool for experiencing financial and holidays inconvenience in the process of becoming British. My position is vindicated. Governance will not look after people like me. Overall agenda is driven by people in the South who seem to have it in the nose for normal foreigners (as opposed to rich ones).

This timeline says why I am wanting Scotland to go it alone. It is my view that the erosion of open-mindedness, and progressive views makes me think that unfortunately Scotland is probably going to have a more benign  atmosphere if it goes it alone. It’s not because of Braveheart, kilt and bagpipes. It’s just the way I have seen things change since I first arrived in Scotland in 2002. That is as a spectator from Scotland about happenings in England&Wales. I have ”continental” friends that felt the brunt of this change in various cities in England and decided to leave.

I have decided to stay and decided to softly make a case for iScotland with my acquaintances, my step family, those of my fiends who are unionists (of which there aren’t as many now) and on UKC (I don’t do it on FB.... because I only really lurk in there for winter nick and family news from home).

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French Erick 17 Feb 2020
In reply to French Erick:

Just reading the WTO thread too.

For me all of what is happening does not just boils down to economics.

I accept that when times are harder people get twitchy but there are ethical principles too.

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THE.WALRUS 17 Feb 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

Well, the advantages and disadvantages of the union FOR SCOTLAND have been debated ad-infinitum on this thread and many others like it.

I've seen very little discussion regarding the benefits FOR ENGLAND. There appear to be very few.

As far as I can tell, we send a mountain of money north of the border, affording a far higher per-person spend than we get ourselves in terms of education and healthcare etc. 

In return for which, we get sneered at by Salmond, sniped at by the one who looks like Jimmy Crankey and loathed by a sizable proportion of the population.

So, no, I see few advantages to the union. I whole heartedly support Scottish independance. Go!

Post edited at 11:15
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tom_in_edinburgh 17 Feb 2020
In reply to THE.WALRUS:

> I've seen very little discussion regarding the benefits FOR ENGLAND. There appear to be very few.

Be very careful of believing your own propaganda.

The British Empire claimed it was subsidising India and India could not stand on its own but now Indian economists are calculating it actually robbed India of trillions of dollars.  They also claimed to be subsidising the US and that the US colonies couldn't stand on their own - clearly they could.   The people doing the accounting have an agenda and the GERS numbers for Scotland are in no way indicative of the outcome after independence.

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neilh 17 Feb 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

There are plenty of counterviews to that. I had not realised until recently how much the UK had invested in India during the days of the Empire. It was colossal.The investment for example in the railways, ports, telegraph and postal systems were eyewatering for the time.( it is easy to look back and criticise). Most done on the back of private investment, which is even more startling.

But that is the subject of another post.

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THE.WALRUS 17 Feb 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

I think that debating the activities of the East India Company would be going off mission...even for an SI thread.

That said, of all the pro-SI arguments out there, the economic one is by far the least compelling. I don't believe that Scotland is a Celtic financial tiger...just waiting to escape the cruel yoke of English imperialism.

It'd be wise to avoid believing too deeply in the propaganda pumped out by the SNP. 

I hope I'm wrong. Strong trading partners are good for everyone.

Post edited at 12:02
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mondite 17 Feb 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> The British Empire claimed it was subsidising India and India could not stand on its own but now Indian economists are calculating it actually robbed India of trillions of dollars. 

Good to see you choosing the neutral sources. Although, of course, you do need to separate the British Empire and the British East India company. The former having to take over after one too many expensive screwups by the latter.

> They also claimed to be subsidising the US and that the US colonies couldn't stand on their own - clearly they could.  

A major source of tension was, the not unreasonable belief, that the US colonies should contribute to their defence after the rather expensive 7 years war. Was a fair amount of mismanagement related to that again see the East India company.

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Jim Fraser 17 Feb 2020
In reply to Dr.S at work:

> Was not the primary driver for the Darien scheme the lack of access to English trade, the monopolies of the East India company and so on?

> One of the positives of the Union at that time being the creation of a common market where Scottish merchants had equal rights to English ones.

There was a ridiculous tit-for-tat battle of trade restrictions going on. Rather Trump-like in fact.

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Dr.S at work 17 Feb 2020
In reply to Jim Fraser:

indeed - something cut out by the formation of the union.

Probably we are both a bit daft worrying about events 300 years ago - especially when "the English" and "the Scottish" who actually made decisions at the time were largely drawn from the same bunch of Artistocratic Norman descendants who were all squabbling to make their personal power as great as possible, often at the expense of the peoples they wished to govern.

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MG 17 Feb 2020
In reply to French Erick:

Something to consider is what happens when the golden future claims of the Scottish independence movement don't happen.  As we are already seeing with the Brexit movement's claims turning to dust, the blame is just directed elsewhere.  Once "Westminster" can't be blamed, there is a significant danger of internal division.  I'd be very careful about what you wish for with nationalism.

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THE.WALRUS 17 Feb 2020
In reply to French Erick:

It's still a turd, bro! Is it really worth the fight?

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mondite 17 Feb 2020
In reply to MG:

> Once "Westminster" can't be blamed, there is a significant danger of internal division.  I'd be very careful about what you wish for with nationalism.

I am not sure that "Westminster" will be removed from the blame list. At the minimum you get a few years of "we are undoing the damage done by them" and more likely just keep the blame flowing anyway.

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Roadrunner6 17 Feb 2020
In reply to French Erick:

I think the next vote should wait until we know what Brexit means. Then people can make an informed choice between what they have and what they want.

i think that may change people’s views, Brexit in name only or a hard Brexit and severe economic restrictions. Right now we still don’t know.

Post edited at 14:46
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tom_in_edinburgh 17 Feb 2020
In reply to MG:

> Something to consider is what happens when the golden future claims of the Scottish independence movement don't happen. 

I don't see many 'golden claims'.  People are claiming the GERS numbers are crap, have a unionist agenda behind how they are calculated and do not reflect the economics of an independent country.  That's realistic, in fact the GERS numbers explicitly state they don't reflect the economics post independence although that's how they are always used.

Scotland is very like Ireland except with better mountains and oil.  The Irish are doing really well as an independent state within the EU when you take the medium/long term perspective although you wouldn't know it from the UK press.  GDP per person in the south is 2x that in Northern Ireland despite the fact that at the time of independence the north was more prosperous.

I have yet to see any convincing argument at all as to why Scotland with the advantage of oil can't do at least as well as Ireland.   Scotland is an extremely well educated country with a long track record of innovation.  If we sort out our economy and get money behind our businesses we can do well.  They key is stopping talent and money leaking away, set our economic and social policies according to our own needs and start attracting entrepreneurial Scots back home.

Post edited at 16:24
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MG 17 Feb 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Substitute UK and EU, and you have the brexiteers arguments pretty much precisely.

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tom_in_edinburgh 17 Feb 2020
In reply to MG:

> Something to consider is what happens when the golden future claims of the Scottish independence movement don't happen. 

Here's some interesting maths about where Scotland would be now if it had got independence in 1980.  The answer is £943 Billion better off than it is now as part of the UK.

https://www.businessforscotland.com/revealed-the-accounting-trick-that-hides-scotlands-wealth

Yes, the oil money is gradually falling off but oil is not the last economic opportunity Scotland will have.  If we stay in the UK the next one will be f*cked up for us in exactly the same way as the previous ones. 

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tom_in_edinburgh 17 Feb 2020
In reply to MG:

> Substitute UK and EU, and you have the brexiteers arguments pretty much precisely.

A pretty naive qualitative argument.  When you look at the details it is a completely different scenario.

EU takes 1% of UK GDP as contributions.  the UK takes ALL of Scotland's taxes, gives us half of them back and calls it a grant.

EU - UK can leave.   UK - Scotland is told it has to get permission and it is refused.

UK - FPTP England with 90% of population can do whatever it likes.  EU - PR, all kinds of checks and balances, veto on many issues.

UK - drags us into wars.  EU - doesn't

UK - soon to have f*ck all trade deals.  EU - best set of trade deals of any economic block in the world.

UK - freedom of movement to England  EU - freedom of movement to 27 countries.

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Coel Hellier 17 Feb 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> the UK takes ALL of Scotland's taxes, gives us half of them back and calls it a grant.

Are you suggesting that public spending in Scotland is half the tax take?   I'd be surprised, can you back that up?

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THE.WALRUS 17 Feb 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

The Irish are doing really well? Did I dream the financial crash and recession, or did it actually happen?

Here's a copy / paste from the Irish Independent, may help with those rose-tinted independence specs you're wearing!

SNAPSHOTS OF THE RECESSION

In the years following the crash, u­nemployment rose from 5pc to 15pc.

* Between 2007 and 2013, property prices fell by 54pc

* Calls to St Vincent De Paul doubled in the two years after the crash

* A survey by the Irish League of Credit Unions in 2011 showed almost a quarter of Irish people had less than €20 per week to live on once essential bills were paid.

* New car sales plummeted by 62pc in the year after the crash

* Alcohol consumption fell significantly from 13.2 litres of alcohol in 2007 to 11 litres in 2009

* A Bord Bia survey showed the average household spent €600 less on groceries two years after the crash

* Over 80,000 people gave up private health insurance between 2008 and 2011.

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tom_in_edinburgh 17 Feb 2020
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Are you suggesting that public spending in Scotland is half the tax take?   I'd be surprised, can you back that up?

I'm saying the Scottish Government gets roughly half the tax take. 

The UK government also spends money 'for the benefit of Scotland' on whatever it feels like billing to that account.  For example 5 million quid worth of advertising the benefits of the union, a large new office in central Edinburgh for their 'Viceroy' the Scottish Secretary, a 20 billion Boris bridge or 'our share' of HS2.

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tom_in_edinburgh 17 Feb 2020
In reply to THE.WALRUS:

> The Irish are doing really well? Did I dream the financial crash and recession, or did it actually happen?

No it happened and we had one too.  We handled them differently, the Irish experience was more intense and the UK one is going to be longer drawn out.

The UK press will give you wall to wall coverage of how bad things got in Ireland after the crash.  They don't show how good they were for years before the crash or the overall outcome looking back from today over 20 or 30 years.

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jimtitt 17 Feb 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> Scotland is very like Ireland except with better mountains and oil.  The Irish are doing really well as an independent state within the EU when you take the medium/long term perspective although you wouldn't know it from the UK press.  GDP per person in the south is 2x that in Northern Ireland despite the fact that at the time of independence the north was more prosperous.

I'd read up on some basic economics before making any connection between GDP and how well the population is thriving, especially in a country relying in part on the revenue for intellectual property rights belonging to outside countries.

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THE.WALRUS 17 Feb 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

That was from the Irish press, dude. 

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oldie 17 Feb 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> I'm saying the Scottish Government gets roughly half the tax take....<

Just tried to google if rUK gains from Scotland and gave up getting a simple answer.

 However Dec 2019 link:

https://www.channel4.com/news/factcheck/factcheck-has-scotland-subsidised-the-rest-of-the-uk

"the overall balance was close, according to one detailed analysis: even making concessions to nationalist arguments about Scotland’s likely historic debt, higher UK public spending on Scotland almost completely cancelled out any surplus created by “Scottish” oil."

"The fact that the Scottish government has not updated or revised these figures since 2013 makes it impossible for us to stand up Mr Blackford’s claim at the moment."

"The lack of directly comparable data for the most recent years is particularly important, because oil prices crashed after these experimental figures were published, weakening the fiscal position of a notional independent Scotland."

Apologies as these paragraphs are only my selection. But from above it does seem that any rUK claim that it significantly subsidizes Scotland is probably wrong, as would be an opposite claim.

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tom_in_edinburgh 17 Feb 2020
In reply to jimtitt:

> I'd read up on some basic economics before making any connection between GDP and how well the population is thriving, especially in a country relying in part on the revenue for intellectual property rights belonging to outside countries.

I spent years doing due diligence work for VC firms.  One of my main customers was an Irish VC in Dublin.   It was completely apparent to me that the tech startups in Ireland had similar access to capital as tech startups in Cambridge but massively better access to capital than tech startups in Scotland.  

Money from London was going into Cambridge, money from Scotland was going to London offices and then into Cambridge.  Scottish start ups were fighting for scraps from angel investors and looking for a couple of hundred K where the English and Irish companies were trying for and getting millions.   If Scotland was independent we'd be putting our money into Scottish companies and developing our own tech ecosystem like the Irish have done.

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MG 17 Feb 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

You "I don't see many 'golden claims'." 

Also you. 

"If Scotland was independent we'd be putting our money into Scottish companies"

"The answer is £943 Billion better off than it is now as part of the UK.​​​​​​" 

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Wingeing Old Git 17 Feb 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> I'm saying the Scottish Government gets roughly half the tax take. 

> The UK government also spends money 'for the benefit of Scotland' on whatever it feels like billing to that account.  For example 5 million quid worth of advertising the benefits of the union, a large new office in central Edinburgh for their 'Viceroy' the Scottish Secretary, a 20 billion Boris bridge or 'our share' of HS2.

Our share of HS2 is 2% of the cost, as negotiated between the Scottish and UK governments. This was done because, as I'm sure you know, transport is devolved and HS2 should have totally come out of English money. The reason that the Scottish Government agreed to this was that both governments agreed that Scotland benefited to a small extent from HS2. This is a notional contribution and the Scottish Government gets 8% of the cost of HS2 back due to Barnett consequentials. Therefore, the Scottish Government actually benefits financially from HS2. This is all explained in GERS, produced by the Scottish Government. - The GERS used in the White Paper as an economic justification for Scottish independence.

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tom_in_edinburgh 17 Feb 2020
In reply to MG:

> Also you. 

> "If Scotland was independent we'd be putting our money into Scottish companies"

The idea that the finance sector in an independent Scotland would invest/loan money to Scottish companies isn't a 'golden claim' it is totally obvious.

> "The answer is £943 Billion better off than it is now as part of the UK.​​​​​​" 

Why not read the link and see how that figure was arrived at.  It isn't a 'golden claim', it isn't really a claim at all because its based on historical data rather than speculation.  If the oil money had stayed in Scotland rather than being used to cover Englands deficit and loan interest and we'd invested it as effectively as Norway did with its oil money we'd have be £943 billion better off.

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French Erick 17 Feb 2020
In reply to THE.WALRUS:

> The Irish are doing really well? Did I dream the financial crash and recession, or did it actually happen?

> Here's a copy / paste from the Irish Independent, may help with those rose-tinted independence specs you're wearing!

> SNAPSHOTS OF THE RECESSION

> In the years following the crash, u­nemployment rose from 5pc to 15pc.

Agreed not great but 15% is not atrociously bad 

> * Between 2007 and 2013, property prices fell by 54pc

That only matters if you play the anglophone game with houses. I have one house my forever home and as I have no intentions to sell it, it’s value is not relevant beyond the fact that I pay monthly instalments for it. I don’t intend to remortgage for any vanity projects. I would only do it to pay for saving the life of one of my kids... at which point everything will have become irrelevant !

> * Calls to St Vincent De Paul doubled in the two years after the crash

i am assuming it’s some sort of Charity ? A bit like food bank increased use here. Agreed not good.

> * A survey by the Irish League of Credit Unions in 2011 showed almost a quarter of Irish people had less than €20 per week to live on once essential bills were paid.

there’s probably a good deal of folks like this already here. Agreed not good.

> * New car sales plummeted by 62pc in the year after the crash

probably a good thing in order to change our habits.... clutching at straws here.

> * Alcohol consumption fell significantly from 13.2 litres of alcohol in 2007 to 11 litres in 2009

That has to be good.

> * A Bord Bia survey showed the average household spent €600 less on groceries two years after the crash

that has to be bad

> * Over 80,000 people gave up private health insurance between 2008 and 2011.

That’s bab too.

 I think Ireland is doing fine enough. Tom is over optimistic presenting it as a great example but considering how low it started I would ok with results.

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tom_in_edinburgh 17 Feb 2020
In reply to Wingeing Old Git:

>  Therefore, the Scottish Government actually benefits financially from HS2. This is all explained in GERS, produced by the Scottish Government. - The GERS used in the White Paper as an economic justification for Scottish independence.

The other thing is that the UK government will be borrowing the money to finance all these Tory projects increasing the national debt and Scotland gets handed a share of the national debt interest based on relative population.    One of the biggest line items in Scotland's budget is interest on our share of the UK national debt.  

Apparently when student loans default and can't be sold to private companies that too results in an increase in the national debt.  Which means Scotland is funding a share of the broken English student loan system.

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THE.WALRUS 18 Feb 2020
In reply to French Erick:

If a crisis hit, economic train-wreck in which the populous can barely afford a pint of Guiness (let alone medical care) is your view of a bright future for an independent Scotland, you may need to have reassess your priorities.

Sounds like Independence at all costs, rather than Independence because it's a good idea, to me. 

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Wingeing Old Git 18 Feb 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

    One of the biggest line items in Scotland's budget is interest on our share of the UK national debt.  

Not according to the latest GERS figures.

https://www.gov.scot/publications/government-expenditure-revenue-scotland-gers/pages/5/

I'm bowing out now. Life's too short. - A lot shorter for me than for you I suspect.

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tom_in_edinburgh 18 Feb 2020
In reply to Wingeing Old Git:

>     One of the biggest line items in Scotland's budget is interest on our share of the UK national debt.  

> Not according to the latest GERS figures.

Well, yeah - its 6th on that list (ignoring 'Accounting Adjustments' which isn't a real expenditure) and its not far off what we spend on 'Defence' and 'Transport'.

The only line items which are a lot larger than debt interest are 'Social Protection', 'Health' and 'Education'.

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French Erick 18 Feb 2020
In reply to THE.WALRUS:

Not at all costs. I want to wait and see what happens with this Parliament first so give it a few years before we get to have a referendum. However a referendum is to my mind absolutely essential and cannot be denied.

once people know what the direction of the Uk is, then they can decide with a better understanding. I don’t want it blind as what happened in 2016.

I am ready to feel some pain and put my mouth where my purse is though, if people choose to break the Union. If they don’t, then I’ll have to participate and make it work.

 I would like to re-iterate: had we not been dragged out of something against the will of the region( Scotland) then bar gross injustice I would have continued with the Union. It might have been grudgingly and probably without a say as I wouldn’t have become British.

 I think that you may view me as a diehard nationalist. I don’t feel that I am. Circumstances made me into a mild one... I am very close to the fence and may still change my mind? May be the world will heal itself, glacier grow back or even less likely , the Boris Johnson contingent might come up with decent, possible and equitable policies? I am ready to eat humble pie and apologise if that were the case

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Harry Jarvis 18 Feb 2020
In reply to French Erick:

>  I think that you may view me as a diehard nationalist. I don’t feel that I am. Circumstances made me into a mild one... I am very close to the fence and may still change my mind?

I think there are a lot of people in Scotland in a similar position - I know I am. I was undecided in the 2014 referendum right up to the point of marking my ballot paper. I am now slightly more likely to vote positively for independence, I think for similar reasons as yourself. The current situation is not a happy one, with a Scottish electorate with no representation in government, little apparent sympathy from Westminster, and divergent political paths. I have lived in England and Scotland in almost equal measure through mos of my life, and while there have always been cultural differences, the overall direction of travel has generally been the same, until the last 10 years or so. It does now feel that the people of Scotland have significantly different aspirations to those of England. 

As you say, the Johnson government may surprise us and reveal a hitherto unknown consideration for the aspirations of Scots. Sadly, I am not optimistic. 

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THE.WALRUS 18 Feb 2020
In reply to French Erick:

Well, there are difficult decisions ahead.

Accept the status-quo - unacceptable to a sizable minority, but probably the safest bet. Increasingly unpopular on both sides of the border.

Leave, with aspirations to join the EU - and swap one union for a rather more expensive alternative; one whose mantra of 'ever closer unity' is at odds with Scottish aspirations of independence and self governance. 

Go-it-alone as a small nation - outcome uncertain, and impossible to predict.

In my opinion, the independance-at-all-costs brigade are gaining traction and will ultimately win the day, regardless of the success (or otherwise) of Boris Johnsons government.

Next, I predict a huge scrap over EU membership. 

What will happen after that is anyone's guess. It'll certainly make for interesting viewing.

Post edited at 17:36
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Dr.S at work 18 Feb 2020
In reply to Harry Jarvis:

When you say there is no Scottish representation in government are you not ignoring the tory MP's?

I appreciate they are a small proportion of the Scottish MP's, but they are in government.

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Dr.S at work 18 Feb 2020
In reply to French Erick:

> Agreed, this an economic advantage that I am not too happy to decide to damage. However, rUK doing it alone would try to strike a deal with China, America and Brazil but not try the people nearest? Seems unlikely. So this becomes a moot point and thus does not any grist to our mill (is that an expression that I made up or is it the blend of a few???). No goal for either Union/Scotland

Well that depends where iScotland ends up - in the EU then it looks like a fairly hard border at the moment with rUK.

> Which is my main gripe about the union. It doesn’t matter what Scotland thinks, for every 1 Scotland resident, there are 10 England&Wales residents. I accept that neither the Union nor Scotland are homogeneous blocks but latest elections confirms that there are trends within each of them. One goal for iScotland.

This is the real point of cognitive dissonance - I see these people as British voters, so the vote of a scot is equal to the vote of a Yorkshire man, I dont really understand the 'Scotland has no say' line in this context as every seat has an equal say. If you want power vote for a party that can win power. If you want that party to reflect your views join  it (cf momentum).

> This is attached to the previous point made. How “broadly similar” are they truly? No goal for anyone

> I tend to find Tom-in-E’s arguments extremes at times, but I agree with him that London’s gravitational force seems o disown this theory. I’ll be magnanimous and agree to disagree and award no side a goal.

> I do not perceive it as being as flexible as you do. Is it a question of opinion? It seems to me that any change has been won through time. 30 years out of 300 is only 10% of its time. Can we assure that the rate of change will keep apace of the last 3 decades? Boris and his successor may just say no continuously. Or be ready to compromise? No goal for either of us because this is unknown quantity.

Clearly the pace of change has varied overtime, but a review of the history of the UK over the last 300 years will show it has changed consistently as its institutions evolve.

> I am not sure I understand that one. If it refuses another referendum, then it is not providing the mechanism.

The mechanism is clear in law - it just needs consent from the UK govenrment which has been given twice in the past, not to mention the devolution referendum. Now I would tend to agree with you that it would be better if this final decision rested at holyrood - but the recent history shows the UK has allowed referenda on this point. compare and contrast to Spain, and also consider the likely response of france or germany in a similar position.

> 2 all and a few good opportunities. Seems no-one has a clear victory and each sides desperately try to claim the victory and spinning stuff to their disappointing supporters. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

I'm not trying to claim victory - i was trying to give you some pro union points. You will note I've avoided much 'emotional/identity' stuff - but i do think this is important - as depressingly evidenced by the brexit fallout.

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Harry Jarvis 18 Feb 2020
In reply to Dr.S at work:

> When you say there is no Scottish representation in government are you not ignoring the tory MP's?

> I appreciate they are a small proportion of the Scottish MP's, but they are in government.

To be honest, I must admit I'd quite forgotten about them. Having been through times when you could count the number of Scottish Tory MPs on the fingers of one hand, I have rather got into the habit of assuming they have no meaningful presence. You're quite right, they are there. 

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French Erick 18 Feb 2020
In reply to Dr.S at work:

Thanks for your measured answer. I hope I come across as measured too. I will have to chew and digest the cognitive dissonance claim however. I’ll come back to you later.

E

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Dr.S at work 18 Feb 2020
In reply to French Erick:

Not a criticism of you, just an attempt to highlight the real difference in view on how the U.K. is constituted - 4 nations with 4 people’s, or 4 nations with one people. 

Of course the reality is a bit of both - but that’s a pretty confusing headspace!

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Dr.S at work 18 Feb 2020
In reply to Harry Jarvis:

It’s truly amazing that there are now more pandas in Scotland than labour MP’s!

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JimR 18 Feb 2020
In reply to French Erick:

When the independence referendum happens, it would be good if northern England also had a referendum to see if they’d like to rejoin Scotland. If Cumbria Yorkshire and Northumberland rejoined Scotland it would make a logically and historically better split based on 12th c precedent 

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L NERD 18 Feb 2020
In reply to Dr.S at work:

> It’s truly amazing that there are now more pandas in Scotland than labour MP’s!

That made me laugh. 

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Dr.S at work 18 Feb 2020
In reply to JimR:

Hmmm, I think Yorkshire, Cumbria and Northumberland combined have a bigger population than Scotland - who would be joining who, and would Scotland welcome so many Tory voting brexiteers?

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French Erick 19 Feb 2020
In reply to JimR:

or even earlier: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernicia

not sure how would pan out as it has a rather big population compared to Scotland. They also seem to have voted with a majority to leave the EU- it raises the question of similarity of thought and mentality ? Joking apart, I am already talking about splitting the Union... not sure I would lightly propose to split England 😉

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elsewhere 19 Feb 2020
In reply to JimR:

> When the independence referendum happens, it would be good if northern England also had a referendum to see if they’d like to rejoin Scotland. If Cumbria Yorkshire and Northumberland rejoined Scotland it would make a logically and historically better split based on 12th c precedent 

That's a topic of bitter debate within The Scottish Government between the rather paternalistic Scottish Colonial office and the more robust Department of Border Reivers.

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JimR 19 Feb 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

As a descendant of the Black Douglas with a few Scotts in the family mix, I'm firmly in the Border Reiver camp ;-)

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JimR 19 Feb 2020
In reply to French Erick:

Also why not split England? Most of the issue is that England has no national identity binding the nation together which has encouraged the xenophobia of the brexiteers by providing a vacant space for the growth of identity by focusing on the "we don't like them" rather than the more positive "wha's like us".

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rogerwebb 19 Feb 2020
In reply to JimR:

> When the independence referendum happens, it would be good if northern England also had a referendum to see if they’d like to rejoin Scotland. If Cumbria Yorkshire and Northumberland rejoined Scotland it would make a logically and historically better split based on 12th c precedent 

Which 12th century precedent?

The boundaries of England have been established give or take Berwick and some debatable bits since the mid 10th century. 

Going back to 12th century borders might be more beneficial to Norway than anyone else. 

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JimR 19 Feb 2020
In reply to rogerwebb:

from wikopedia:

David I of Scotland[edit]

With the death of Henry I in 1135, England fell into a civil war, known as The Anarchy. Stephen of Blois contested the English crown with Henry's daughter, Matilda (or Maude). David I of Scotland, who was Prince of the Cumbrians (1113–1124), and Earl of Northampton and Huntingdon, had been King of Scots since 1124. Having been brought up in the court of his mentor and uncle, Henry I, as very much a Norman prince, he supported the claims of Matilda over those of her cousin, Stephen of Blois.

Professor Barrow asserts that, even at the beginning of his reign, David was thinking of the lands of Carlisle and Cumberland, believing, as he did, that "Cumbria" (that is, the previous entity of Strathclyde/Cumbria, covered by the diocese of Glasgow) was under the overlordship of the King of Scots, and stretched as far as Westmorland and possibly down to north Lancashire or even to the River Ribble.[145] The (first) Treaty of Durham (1136) ceded Carlisle and Cumberland to David.

St Mary's Church, Abbeytown : all that is left of Holmcultram Abbey, founded by David I, King of Scots, and his son, Earl Henry, in 1150

David may have been intending to enlarge his control of northern England when he fought at the Battle of the Standard, some of the soldiers of David's force being Cumbrians (from south of the Solway-Esk line, that is). Despite losing the battle, David kept his Cumbrian lands, and his son Henry was made Earl of Northumberland at the (second) Treaty of Durham (1139). This arrangement lasted another twenty years, during which David minted his own coins using the silver from the Alston mines, founded the abbey at Holm Cultram, kept the north largely out of the civil war of Stephen and Matilda, and, by the "Carlisle settlement" of 1149, obtained a promise from Henry of Anjou that, upon the latter's becoming King of England, he would not challenge the King of Scots's rule over Carlisle and Cumberland. David died at Carlisle in 1153, a year after his son Henry.

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rogerwebb 19 Feb 2020
In reply to JimR:

Interesting, but really a description of an ultimately unsuccessful attempt by the ruler of one state to take advantage of turmoil in the neighbouring state to take possession of part of it. Rather similar to Edward 1st taking advantage of  turmoil in Scotland to try to take it over a century later.

Or another way of looking at it is just more inter Norman feudal squabbling with lethal results for ordinary people. Behaviour that happily has gone out of fashion on this island. 

Post edited at 13:04
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colinakmc 19 Feb 2020
In reply to Dax H;

> If people are looking for independence how about the SE keeps the parliament they already have and the rest of the UK does its own thing together. 

Problem with that is that the main places that wanted to stay in the EU were London, Scotland and (less decisively) N Ireland. While I agree that Yorkshire and points north feel less foreign than the south of England, and in other ways there’d be a lot of economic and social benefit from a northern axis,  we’d struggle to set an overall direction that folk could get behind.

Post edited at 13:38
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Archy Styrigg 19 Feb 2020
In reply to JimR:

> When the independence referendum happens, it would be good if northern England also had a referendum to see if they’d like to rejoin Scotland. If Cumbria Yorkshire and Northumberland rejoined Scotland it would make a logically and historically better split based on 12th c precedent 


No Lancashire and Manchester?
The greatest city in the North.  Your loss!

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JimR 19 Feb 2020
In reply to Archy Styrigg:

Definitely Lancashire and Manchester. Took that as being part of the "old" Cumbria ;-) We can maybe donate Liverpool to the Irish and they can build a big bridge via the IoM ;-)

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Catat10 19 Feb 2020

I'm not trying to be provocative, sorry if it comes across that way, this is a question I’ve struggled to get a clear answer on:

Why do non-Celtic unionists want to maintain the union?

I understand the concerns Celtic unionists have with independence, I was one until recently, but I don’t understand why non-Celtic brits hold on to the union so hard.

Around half of Scotland and almost a third of Wales want independence. While those numbers may vary over time they will never ever go away, ever!

Tensions in Northern Ireland as part of the UK will also be there forever, if Ireland re-unifies those tensions will be gone within 100 years.

The UK has a close relationship with Ireland, a similar relationship could be had with independent Scotland and Wales.

Freedom of movement etc. could be maintained, if you want to go climbing in Llanberis or Glen Coe on the weekend it would be just as easy as it is today to go to Fair Head.

Norway, Sweden and Denmark were once one kingdom, they now have a great relationship with each other, we could do the same, along with the other 62 nations that have achieved independence from the UK over the past 80 years.

So, why do non-Celtic brits want to maintain the union?

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MG 19 Feb 2020
In reply to Catat10:

What the hell is a non-celtic Brit!?

Post edited at 14:22
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Catat10 19 Feb 2020
In reply to MG:

A brit who is not Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish, I'm trying not to say English. 

If I ask "why do the English want to maintain the union so bad?" it pisses people off and I get crappy answers. This is a genuine question that I'd like to understand. I don't intend to confuse or provoke.

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Archy Styrigg 19 Feb 2020
In reply to MG:

> What the hell is a non-celtic Brit!?


Someone who is fluent in Gaelic.
I wonder how many Scottish Nationalists actually have the slightest inkling of their country's true language?

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Coel Hellier 19 Feb 2020
In reply to Catat10:

> So, why do non-Celtic brits want to maintain the union?

Well I for one don't particularly. 

NI is only a source of trouble and expense.  If they want to unify then fine. 

Scotland: it would definitely lead to a more grown-up attitude in Scottish politics (as oppose to a rebellious-teenager attitude) if they were independent.

Wales: That's trickier, in that in practical terms independence makes less sense. 

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Harry Jarvis 19 Feb 2020
In reply to Catat10:

> A brit who is not Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish, I'm trying not to say English. 

Your logic doesn't really work. Not all Scots (or Welsh or N Irish) are Celtic. It's perfectly possible to be a non-Celtic Scot who supports independence. Some English are Celtic. Some of these may or may not have an opinion on Scottish independence. 

I don't really know many people who identify as Celtic ahead of their nationality. 

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Catat10 19 Feb 2020
In reply to Harry Jarvis:

I think it's commonly understood that Celtic nations are primarily Ireland, Wales and Scotland.

Please, can we not get hung up on my quirky way of avoiding saying English. When I do, for some reason it offends. 

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Catat10 19 Feb 2020
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Wales: That's trickier, in that in practical terms independence makes less sense. 

This was my view until 6 months ago. Now after extensive researching I firmly believe Wales would benefit from independence.

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knthrak1982 19 Feb 2020
In reply to Catat10:

> Please, can we not get hung up on my quirky way of avoiding saying English. When I do, for some reason it offends. 

Yes, for some reason people find ethno-nationalism offensive. 

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jimtitt 19 Feb 2020
In reply to Catat10:

> Around half of Scotland and almost a third of Wales want independence. While those numbers may vary over time they will never ever go away, ever!

> Norway, Sweden and Denmark were once one kingdom, they now have a great relationship with each other, we could do the same, along with the other 62 nations that have achieved independence from the UK over the past 80 years.

Some selective history there, Norway, Sweden and Denmark were soveriegn states under a common king. Until 1523.

Norway and Denmark were under one king until a plebescite in Norway in 1905 led to independence. The vote was 368,392 for, 184 against. Do you think the SNP  will get that sort of vote?

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MG 19 Feb 2020
In reply to Catat10:

Well I'd like to continue to have one country for historic, geographic, linguistic, economic, cultural, diplomatic and defensive reasons.  A pretty compelling case, I'd say.  Against this, currently, is politics but on balance I think divergence here is short-term.

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Pefa 19 Feb 2020
In reply to French Erick:

Another crucial reason we need an updated new independence referendum is the latest immigration rules spewed out from No10-

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/feb/19/uk-immigration-plans-prompt-criticism-and-fresh-calls-for-scottish-visa

Unrelated but it contains the best quote of the year so far-

He said: “The average salary in the sector is £17,000 and the UK government refuses to designate our sector in Scotland as experiencing a skills shortage.

But I am deeply offended by equating social care as low skilled, when frontline care requires great skill, empathy and compassion. The UK government says it should be possible to encourage the long-term unemployed to do these jobs, but we don’t want just anybody looking after our most vulnerable people.”

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mondite 19 Feb 2020
In reply to JimR:

> As a descendant of the Black Douglas with a few Scotts in the family mix, I'm firmly in the Border Reiver camp ;-)

So English when Scottish officials are asking and vice versa?

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Pefa 19 Feb 2020
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Scotland: it would definitely lead to a more grown-up attitude in Scottish politics (as oppose to a rebellious-teenager attitude) if they were independent.

Dismisses an entire country as being childlike then wonders why we don't want anything to do with them and their "grown-up" politics that make 14 million of their people in poverty of which 34% are children and 4 million are in absolute poverty. 

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mondite 19 Feb 2020
In reply to Pefa:

> Dismisses an entire country as being childlike

They did say politics not "entire country". Although admittedly it seems a flawed statement even at that level given the childlike politics on display in westminster.

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Pefa 19 Feb 2020
In reply to mondite:

He was probably just trolling Scottish people. 

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Coel Hellier 19 Feb 2020
In reply to Pefa:

> Dismisses an entire country as being childlike ...

Only some of the political attitudes, not the entire country!

> ... politics that make 14 million of their people in poverty of which 34% are children and 4 million are in absolute poverty. 

... and it's all the fault of those wicked Tories, who eat working-class babies for breakfast. 

Don't you think that the term "poverty" is losing any meaning these days through activist-pushed concept creep?    (Just like many other terms, such as "misogynist", "racist", "Nazi", "harm" and "violence")

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Pefa 19 Feb 2020
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Oh do grow up!

😎

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Catat10 19 Feb 2020
In reply to MG:

> Well I'd like to continue to have one country for historic, geographic, linguistic, economic, cultural, diplomatic and defensive reasons.  A pretty compelling case, I'd say.  Against this, currently, is politics but on balance I think divergence here is short-term.

Again, I don't intend to offend.

Historic – For many Welsh and Scottish, British history is not great. In Wales we have many castles, known as the iron ring to keep us in control. This is just one example of historic persecution towards Celtic nations.

Geographic – We won’t be going anywhere.

Linguistic – We speak Welsh in Wales. Have you ever heard of the Welsh Knot?

Economic – My opinion is each constituent nation would be economically better off on their own.

Culturally nothing would change.

We can still be diplomatic.

Defence – The UK has a history of wanting to be a military power. As an independent nation, I would like to see Wales be more like Switzerland.

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MG 19 Feb 2020
In reply to Catat10:

>In Wales we have many castles, known as the iron ring to keep us in control.

Eh?

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mondite 19 Feb 2020
In reply to Catat10:

> Historic – For many Welsh and Scottish, British history is not great. In Wales we have many castles, known as the iron ring to keep us in control. This is just one example of historic persecution towards Celtic nations.

So what were the castles in England for?

> Geographic – We won’t be going anywhere.

Wait until Johnson finds his bridge wont work and comes up with a big ditch instead.

> Defence – The UK has a history of wanting to be a military power. As an independent nation, I would like to see Wales be more like Switzerland.

Several hundred years of exporting mercenaries to unstabilise other parts of the world before switching to just providing dubious financial services to the dicators it used to provide troops for. I guess thats one goal in life but personally I would aim higher.

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Coel Hellier 19 Feb 2020
In reply to Catat10:

> In Wales we have many castles, known as the iron ring to keep us in control.

Yeah, but that was the French!   Or at least the Norman-French, and those same people oppressed the English (Anglo-Saxons) just as much as the Welsh.   

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rogerwebb 19 Feb 2020
In reply to Catat10:

> A brit who is not Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish, I'm trying not to say English. 

I am a 'brit' (I used to be a European as well) but I am non, or all, of the above.

One of the objections I have to nationalism is that requires people to make such choices without which it cannot prosper.

If they decline to do so it makes the choice for them.

Post edited at 17:57
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Catat10 19 Feb 2020
Catat10 19 Feb 2020
In reply to Coel Hellier:

No they weren't. They were built by Edward 1 also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots, King of ...

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MG 19 Feb 2020
In reply to Catat10:

A) they werr to control Wales not the other way around. 

B) they were 800 years ago

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mondite 19 Feb 2020
In reply to Catat10:

> No they weren't. They were built by Edward 1 also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots, King of ...

Who was Norman (its a bit unfair blaming the French). Whilst it was under the Plantagenets the royal house did become truly English that was only after being booted out of their continental possessions (a process started when the Plantagenet name after giving up on getting Anjou back and so Angevin started sounding silly).

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Dr.S at work 19 Feb 2020
In reply to Catat10:

The King of England does not have to be English, just ask everyone since Harold Godwinson

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Catat10 19 Feb 2020
In reply to MG:

> A) they werr to control Wales not the other way around. 

Yes, exactly!

> B) they were 800 years ago

You raised history. And as I mentioned, it was one example. There are many others, plenty from more recent times too - Tryweryn.

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MG 19 Feb 2020
In reply to Catat10:

> Yes, exactly

Well that wasnt what you wrote

> You raised history. And as I mentioned, it was one example. 

Dredging up 800 year old power struggles as a reason for independence seems odd to me. The last 200 or more years of history show E+W working very well as a unit, overall. 

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Catat10 19 Feb 2020
In reply to MG:

> The last 200...show E+W working very well as a unit, overall. 

No, not at all true. 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_relationship_between_the_Welsh_and_the_English

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MG 19 Feb 2020
In reply to Catat10:

Whatever. Enjoy your little bubble. 

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Coel Hellier 19 Feb 2020
In reply to Catat10:

> No they weren't. They were built by Edward 1 ...

"French was the mother tongue of every English king from William the Conqueror (1066–1087) until Henry IV (1399–1413)." (wiki)

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knthrak1982 19 Feb 2020
In reply to Catat10:

> I understand the concerns Celtic unionists have with independence, I was one until recently, but I don’t understand why non-Celtic brits hold on to the union so hard.

Just to clarify your original point here, you are talking about ethnicity right? Not country of residence? So an English person living in Scotland would be a "non-Celtic Brit", right?

If so, why is it understandable that a Scotsman living in Scotland would have concerns about independence, but not an Englishman living in Scotland?

Not to mention the wider implication of your comment that someone in Saltash should be able to comment on Scottish independence, but his neighbours in Plymouth should STFU.

Post edited at 19:11
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Catat10 19 Feb 2020
In reply to Coel Hellier:

So are you saying England wasn't England until 1413 because the English language wasn't spoken by the monarch of England?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_England

Can we get back on topic now? 

What's your opposition to Welsh and Scottish having the freedom to choose independence?

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Coel Hellier 19 Feb 2020
In reply to Catat10:

> So are you saying England wasn't England until 1413 because the English language wasn't spoken by the monarch of England?

I'm more saying that the King of England (who ordered those castles built) was a French-speaking nobleman of Norman-French descent. 

> Can we get back on topic now? 

Yes, do carry on, just ignore me. 

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French Erick 19 Feb 2020
In reply to MG:

MG I find your contribution rather interesting. You make very valid points and raise some great questions but then you just do this thing which I find easy to spot but extremely hard to explain.

I shall try to describe my perception of it. In many ways it’s symptomatic of why some people from the 3 other nations of the Uk get annoyed at the Union: you bring things back to England and how these things are perceived there. We all do (bring things to what we know best-home) but we also see it the way of the majority (England) because we don’t have a choice.

Anglophones do this all the times with regards to Anglophone culture and Global culture. Recently, on a failed pub evening- shockingly decided to close at 20:30 on a Friday!- a few of us get together in a kitchen. 4 Brits and 2 long-standing residents of Britain. I am French and the other is Slovakian, and we both speak good English. At some point someone refers to the expression: Hearing through the grapevine which I knew but not my Slovakian friend. Trying to explain it the others make reference to Marvin Gaye- leaving the Slovak utterly confused and me slightly bemused. The other cannot believe we don’t know MG well. To slagging to the tune of “surely everyone knows of MG”!

After a while, I point out that inevitable in the English speaking world doesn’t mean it is truly global.

All that to say that England does not equates the UK even if it makes up for most of it!

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MG 19 Feb 2020
In reply to French Erick:

> MG I find your contribution rather interesting. You make very valid points and raise some great questions but then you just do this thing which I find easy to spot but extremely hard to explain.

It's most easily explained by me baiting Catat10's, perhaps childishly

> I shall try to describe my perception of it. In many ways it’s symptomatic of why some people from the 3 other nations of the Uk get annoyed at the Union: you bring things back to England and how these things are perceived there. We all do (bring things to what we know best-home) but we also see it the way of the majority (England) because we don’t have a choice.

You are making some assumptions here I think - I have lived most of my adult  life in Scotland and will shortly return, and I have other connections there..  I think my perspective is pretty balanced between English and Scottish.

> Anglophones do this all the times with regards to Anglophone culture and Global culture. Recently, on a failed pub evening- shockingly decided to close at 20:30 on a Friday!- a few of us get together in a kitchen. 4 Brits and 2 long-standing residents of Britain. I am French and the other is Slovakian, and we both speak good English. At some point someone refers to the expression: Hearing through the grapevine which I knew but not my Slovakian friend. Trying to explain it the others make reference to Marvin Gaye- leaving the Slovak utterly confused and me slightly bemused. The other cannot believe we don’t know MG well. To slagging to the tune of “surely everyone knows of MG”!

Sorry, I am completely lost here too!

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Catat10 19 Feb 2020
In reply to knthrak1982:

You've got the wrong end of the stick. I think those who identify themselves as Welsh or Scottish (or Cornish or Manx) i.e. Celtic, should have the freedom to pursue independence if they choose. Wales shouldn't have a say on Scottish independence an vice versa. If the north of England wanted to be independent it would be up to them not me. I'm not from there, don't live there as such don't identify myself as a northern Englishman, I don't have a say on it. I've never considered Ireland being any further away than Scotland, yet Ireland are an independent nation.

When you go abroad and meet people do you say you are from Britain or from England?

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Archy Styrigg 19 Feb 2020
In reply to Catat10:

Identify, f*ck me, I don't think I can express how much contemt I have for that word.

I'm a hetrosexual male, who is part Lancastrian, part Yorkshire, a fair bit of Scottish, and God help me, there maybe some Irish in there somewhere.

Who the f*ck am I?

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Archy Styrigg 19 Feb 2020
In reply to Pefa:

> But I am deeply offended by equating social care as low skilled, when frontline care requires great skill, empathy and compassion.

Oh yes. People who class carers have no skills haven't got a f*cking clue.
Could bore you senseless about, but I'd be preaching to the converted with you.
£66 a week, certainly gets you the skills of squeezing every nanogram of value from cash!

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Catat10 19 Feb 2020
In reply to Archy Styrigg:

Whatever you want to be! Where is "home" to you?

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JimR 19 Feb 2020
In reply to Archy Styrigg:

I’m a mix of Celtic, Anglosaxon,Viking, Norman just like most of us

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Dr.S at work 19 Feb 2020
In reply to Catat10:

> Can we get back on topic now? 

> What's your opposition to Welsh and Scottish having the freedom to choose independence?

I dontthinkthatsthetopic, and most of the pro union folk who have so far posted have supported the right of the inhabitants of any given area to choose. There are quibbles about sensible timing I think, and arguments about what may be best, but that’s all.

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knthrak1982 20 Feb 2020
In reply to Catat10:

> You've got the wrong end of the stick. I think those who identify themselves as Welsh or Scottish (or Cornish or Manx) i.e. Celtic, should have the freedom to pursue independence if they choose.

But the people who live in those places are equally affected, irrespective of ethnicity or personal identity. I live in Cornwall. I'm not Cornish, but my wife's as pure-blooded a Celt as you can get. Nevertheless, should Cornwall get a devolved assembly, it would affect us both equally hence we would each get an equal vote on the matter. That's how it should be isn't it?

> Wales shouldn't have a say on Scottish independence an vice versa.

What about Welsh people who live in Scotland? What about non-Celts who live in Scotland?

> If the north of England wanted to be independent it would be up to them not me. I'm not from there, don't live there as such don't identify myself as a northern Englishman, I don't have a say on it.

Again, it's living there that would affect your say on it, not your identity or ethnicity. Why bring these things into the debate (the SNP don't).

> I've never considered Ireland being any further away than Scotland, yet Ireland are an independent nation.

Fine. Doesn't challenge anything I've said. 

> When you go abroad and meet people do you say you are from Britain or from England?

Depends on context. If I'm speaking to a Frenchman who likes rugby, then I'm definitely English. If I'm talking politics with an American, I'd probably say I'm from the UK. I never say I'm a Saxon, or an Anglo-Norman, you understand. I'm a mongrel, mostly English but no ancestral region so to speak*; they're all over the place. Czech surname from my father's side. Bit of Belgian and French thrown in if you go far enough back. Mongrel and proud.

*Fortunately they let us vote in the constituency of residence and not ancestral home. If they did the "census of quirinius" thing every time we voted, I'd just have to sit it out. 

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JimR 20 Feb 2020
In reply to French Erick:

In all seriousness, I think the main issue with politics in the UK is the FPTP system which perpetuates the two party elected dictatorship system. It is not a breeding ground for smaller parties as peopel see their vote as wasted when they do vote for them and certainly does not encourage consensus politics which is where most of us want to be.

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wynaptomos 20 Feb 2020
In reply to knthrak1982:

‘Again, it's living there that would affect your say on it, not your identity or ethnicity. Why bring these things into the debate (the SNP don't).’

Agreed. I think you have misunderstood catat10s arguments. Everyone campigning on Welsh, Scottish indy believes it is down to everyone who lives in those countries. 

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Jim Hamilton 20 Feb 2020
In reply to Catat10:

> If I ask "why do the English want to maintain the union so bad?" it pisses people off and I get crappy answers. This is a genuine question that I'd like to understand. I don't intend to confuse or provoke.

I assume one reason is that dismantling it will be a "can of worms", and a lot worse than exiting the European Union.

Using Erick's illustration, even though he wants to get out of the car, I don't think he will be able to just step into a nice new one provided by the EU!

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elsewhere 20 Feb 2020
In reply to knthrak1982:

>  I'm a mongrel

That qualifies you as a true (insert any, some or all UK nationality or identity here).

As an island we've been a convenient place to invade, raid, or colonise for 2000 years. Then we industrialised and urbanised early so there is three hundred years of population shifts within the UK. I would also expect most urban families have a sprinkling of immigration from Europe into 19th century industrialised UK.

PS for an early example, see crew nationalities of HMS Victory at Trafalgar (the pinnacle of Britishness!) .

https://www.hms-victory.com/restoration-log/hms-victory-and-her-crew-battle-trafalgar

Post edited at 12:11
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knthrak1982 20 Feb 2020
In reply to wynaptomos:

> Agreed. I think you have misunderstood catat10s arguments. Everyone campigning on Welsh, Scottish indy believes it is down to everyone who lives in those countries. 

So "non-celts", later explained to mean "English", does in fact mean "people who don't live in Scotland (and that includes Welsh people in Wales)." Can you see where my misunderstanding has come from?

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elsewhere 20 Feb 2020
In reply to Jim Hamilton:

> I assume one reason is that dismantling it will be a "can of worms", and a lot worse than exiting the European Union.

> Using Erick's illustration, even though he wants to get out of the car, I don't think he will be able to just step into a nice new one provided by the EU!

Independence means being responsible for your own car. Nobody provides one, although it would be rude to reject a freebie....

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French Erick 20 Feb 2020
In reply to Jim Hamilton:

> I assume one reason is that dismantling it will be a "can of worms", and a lot worse than exiting the European Union.

> Using Erick's illustration, even though he wants to get out of the car, I don't think he will be able to just step into a nice new one provided by the EU!

I want to stop the car look at it and from that assessment decide whether I am climbing back onboard or walk the rest. "Better late than never" is the way I see it, even though walking might be long unpleasant and even maybe entirely unnecessary (the car might have made it to the destination without any issues). I don't expect anyone else to come pick me up but I might try some hitch-hiking. I have done a fair bit of the latter and remember turning a ride down because the dude looked drunk!

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French Erick 20 Feb 2020
In reply to French Erick:

Good effort folks!

Only a couple of tangents here: history, ethnology, musicology, economics and mechanics. We, I feel, managed to stay clear of racism and general unpleasantness. The thread has probably run its course now?

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HansStuttgart 20 Feb 2020
In reply to knthrak1982:

> But the people who live in those places are equally affected, irrespective of ethnicity or personal identity. I live in Cornwall. I'm not Cornish, but my wife's as pure-blooded a Celt as you can get. Nevertheless, should Cornwall get a devolved assembly, it would affect us both equally hence we would each get an equal vote on the matter. That's how it should be isn't it?

It depends....

Countries grant citizenship based on a mixture between bloodline (jus sanguinis) or location of birth (jus soli). America is on one side of this, Europe on the other. Creating a new country forces the new country to choose some criterion for citizenship. Residence at the time of the creation of the country is simply one possibility, ethnicity another.

It won't be trivial to decide who becomes a citizen of an independent Cornwall...

It is a general problem of independence movements. You need to define boundaries that weren't necessary before, thereby creating misery.

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Dr.S at work 20 Feb 2020
In reply to Catat10:

> When you go abroad and meet people do you say you are from Britain or from England?

Britain.

and that’s one reason why folk who live in England would want to maintain the Union, because they culturally associative with it. My family is very much a product of the Union, until recently I’ve felt at home across Britain, some of the mood music from Scotland now makes me feel less at home there.

The other reasons relate to the fact that Scotland adds a huge amount to the Union in terms of people and resources - Scotland leaving does not make the rUK any better, and probably worse.

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elsewhere 20 Feb 2020
In reply to Dr.S at work:

"culturally associative" - agree with that - sentiment not logic or economics determines affiliations.

Sorry you feel less welcome in Scotland.

Post edited at 23:36
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rogerwebb 21 Feb 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

> "culturally associative" - agree with that - sentiment not logic or economics determines affiliations.

> Sorry you feel less welcome in Scotland.

I think that, whatever some proponents believe, is an inevitable consequence of nationalism. To prosper it must differentiate between people on the basis of labels or identities that they would not necessarily choose for themselves. That differentiation is necessary to provide the impetus for the division required to achieve separation from the original state. Once 'us' and 'them' have been created alienation of not only 'them' but those who decline to choose is an almost certain outcome.

How deep and how wounding that alienation becomes depends greatly on the attitude of 'us' but alienation there will be.

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JimR 21 Feb 2020
In reply to rogerwebb:

I'm a Scot with an English wife and children. I have noted the difference in attitude in Scotland when meeting people if I'm the first to speak or they are. There are certainly some very rude nationalist people in Scotland who do their cause no favours.

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Naechi 21 Feb 2020
In reply to JimR:

There are very rude nationalist people everywhere...

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wercat 21 Feb 2020
In reply to French Erick:

It's hard to avoid mudslinging at times when a bunion causes an awkward gait

my grandad suffered much in this way

Post edited at 10:41
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tom_in_edinburgh 21 Feb 2020
In reply to rogerwebb:

> How deep and how wounding that alienation becomes depends greatly on the attitude of 'us' but alienation there will be.

The blame for this should be directed at the Brexiteer Tories in Westminster.   They took the UK on a diametrically opposite path to that desired by the people of Scotland and then they asserted colonial rule by refusing an s30 order for an independence referendum. 

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MargieB 21 Feb 2020
In reply to Dr.S at work:

I  want to develop your point about evolving politics a bit more  because it seems relevant to the trajectory towards Scottish independence or not.

The failure of the last GE was the failure to evolve the Labour and Lib Dem parties into an effective opposition, either by policy or coalition.

Their future failure or success in this area will have the knock on effect on the Scottish independence debate. At the moment this position is in flux.

Of course the other influential  factor is the economic impact of the Brexit situation on Scotland and that is currently in flux. 

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rogerwebb 21 Feb 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> The blame for this should be directed at the Brexiteer Tories in Westminster.   They took the UK on a diametrically opposite path to that desired by the people of Scotland and then they asserted colonial rule by refusing an s30 order for an independence referendum. 

 I don't think any nationalism can escape the necessity to define, differentiate and divide. How damaging that is to the society within which it exists largely depends upon how its proponents conduct themselves. That conduct is their affair and theirs alone. 

I am not convinced that blaming others for our own conduct is ever wise. 

Post edited at 11:23
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neilh 21 Feb 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

So what you are saying is that the SNP would have given up their desire for an independent Scotland if the referendum vote had of been " yes" to staying in the EU?

Some how I think not, you would have still wanted another independence referendum, otherwise SNP may as well have given up and folded.

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Harry Jarvis 21 Feb 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> The blame for this should be directed at the Brexiteer Tories in Westminster.   

I think this approach is a fundamental flaw in the arguments of nationalists like yourself. Simply blaming everything on Westminster fails to acknowledge the very wide range of views in Scotland. Scots and Scotland have to take responsibility for their actions. If some people in Scotland feel alienated as a result of the actions of nationalists, those nationalists have to look at themselves and look at what they are doing to cause such alienation. That has nothing to do with England or Westminster or the Tories. It's why yours is a particularly unpersuasive brand of nationalism. 

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tom_in_edinburgh 21 Feb 2020
In reply to neilh:

> So what you are saying is that the SNP would have given up their desire for an independent Scotland if the referendum vote had of been " yes" to staying in the EU?

Of course the SNP wouldn't have given up their desire for an independent Scotland, they are never going to do that, the clue is in the name.

However, they would not have pushed for a second indyref.  Firstly, because their mandate to call the second indyref is based on Brexit being a material change in circumstances.  Second because there would be no point, before Brexit happened there wasn't a majority for YES.

> Some how I think not, you would have still wanted another independence referendum, otherwise SNP may as well have given up and folded.

Without Brexit it would be clear that there was no chance of an early indyref and everyone would have got behind the 'gradualist' long term path to independence by incrementally growing the power of the Scottish Parliament.  

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tom_in_edinburgh 21 Feb 2020
In reply to Harry Jarvis:

> I think this approach is a fundamental flaw in the arguments of nationalists like yourself. Simply blaming everything on Westminster fails to acknowledge the very wide range of views in Scotland. Scots and Scotland have to take responsibility for their actions. If some people in Scotland feel alienated as a result of the actions of nationalists, those nationalists have to look at themselves and look at what they are doing to cause such alienation. That has nothing to do with England or Westminster or the Tories. It's why yours is a particularly unpersuasive brand of nationalism. 

Well it is persuading more than 50% of voters and growing.   The unionist parties are scared of indyref2 and because they can't get elected to Holyrood using their influence with England to block it.  When you block the legal path to independence via a referendum and come out with sh*t like 'not in your lifetime' or 'Catalonia Solution' you are stirring up alienation and confrontation.

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neilh 21 Feb 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Basically the SNP wants another  referendum , any political opportunity to bring it forward is snatched at and dressed up accordingly. The driver is an indpendent Scotland , simple as that.

If the next one referndum produces another " no" to independence, the SNP will want another one and so on.

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Harry Jarvis 21 Feb 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

I disagree. If people feel alienated as a result of something said or done by nationalists, it's the responsibility of the nationalists. Take responsibility for the consequences of your words and deeds. 

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elsewhere 21 Feb 2020
In reply to neilh:

> Basically the SNP wants another  referendum , any political opportunity to bring it forward is snatched at and dressed up accordingly. The driver is an indpendent Scotland , simple as that.

> If the next one referndum produces another " no" to independence, the SNP will want another one and so on.

What other manifesto would they try to implement other than the one they are elected on with a mandate from the voters?

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elsewhere 21 Feb 2020
In reply to Harry Jarvis:

> I disagree. If people feel alienated as a result of something said or done by nationalists, it's the responsibility of the nationalists. Take responsibility for the consequences of your words and deeds. 

That alienation of EU citizens by UKIPers seems to be less of a factor here in Scotland.

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neilh 21 Feb 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

Totally agree. I just find it perverse that SNP voters blame everyone else for a reason to push for another referendum. A bit of brutal honesty would help.But that is only imho.

Brexit is just a politcial excuse to get the referendum. It could easily be somethign else,the death of the Queen will be another at any time soon.

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Harry Jarvis 21 Feb 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

> That alienation of EU citizens by UKIPers seems to be less of a factor here in Scotland.

There are probably a few reasons for that. For a start, there are, thankfully, fewer UKIP supporters in Scotland. Between them, UIP and the Brexit party only mustered 16500 votes in the 2019 election.

I do think there is a different opinion towards EU citizens and migrants generally in Scotland, and I wonder if it relates to the fact that there are proportionally fewer migrants, and there are few distinct areas with high levels of migration. We don't have places similar to Boston, Lincs, or many of the deindustrialised areas where migrants are blamed for all the woes of the world as is the case south of the border. 

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elsewhere 21 Feb 2020
In reply to neilh:

> Totally agree. I just find it perverse that SNP voters blame everyone else for a reason to push for another referendum. A bit of brutal honesty would help.But that is only imho.

> Brexit is just a politcial excuse to get the referendum. It could easily be somethign else,the death of the Queen will be another at any time soon.

It seems legit to blame those who have disregarded the indyref promise of Scotland in UK to remain in EU. 

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elsewhere 21 Feb 2020
In reply to Harry Jarvis:

> There are probably a few reasons for that. For a start, there are, thankfully, fewer UKIP supporters in Scotland. Between them, UIP and the Brexit party only mustered 16500 votes in the 2019 election.

> I do think there is a different opinion towards EU citizens and migrants generally in Scotland, and I wonder if it relates to the fact that there are proportionally fewer migrants, and there are few distinct areas with high levels of migration. We don't have places similar to Boston, Lincs, or many of the deindustrialised areas where migrants are blamed for all the woes of the world as is the case south of the border. 

Fair points but compare images of SNP & UKIP ads. The contrast is striking.

https://www.google.com/search?q=snp+ad&tbm=isch

https://www.google.com/search?q=ukip+ad&tbm=isch

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French Erick 21 Feb 2020
In reply to neilh:

> Totally agree. I just find it perverse that SNP voters blame everyone else for a reason to push for another referendum. A bit of brutal honesty would help.But that is only imho.

> Brexit is just a politcial excuse to get the referendum. It could easily be somethign else,the death of the Queen will be another at any time soon.

And I agree to a certain extent!

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neilh 21 Feb 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

I do not recollect any such formal promise in the indy ref.

Can you point me to a written political declaration from say the House of  Parliament or all the various Political Leaders at the time of the last Referendum stating that this was the case.

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tom_in_edinburgh 21 Feb 2020
In reply to neilh:

> Brexit is just a politcial excuse to get the referendum. It could easily be somethign else,the death of the Queen will be another at any time soon.

There is no 'excuse' to hold a referendum, it was in the SNP manifesto for the last Holyrood election.  It explicitly states that being taken out of the EU against our will was a change of circumstances that would justify a second indy referendum.  The SNP got elected based on that manifesto.  The Scottish Parliament passed the relevant legislation.  Since then the SNP have been elected in both Euro and Westminster elections.   

"We believe that the Scottish Parliament should have the right to hold another referendum if there is clear and sustained evidence that independence has become the preferred option of a majority of the Scottish people - or if there is a significant and material change in the circumstances that prevailed in 2014, such as Scotland being taken out of the EU against our will."

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neilh 21 Feb 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

I understand that is the SNP's argument.

Quite frankly its unimpressive, I would expect them to say that.

But where is the political declaration from the other partys or even the H of P that they are in agreement and that was what was the agreement in place at the last independence referendum.

Post edited at 14:13
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JimR 21 Feb 2020
In reply to neilh:

A major argument in the last indie referendum was that Scotland would have to leave the Eu. Two years on that changed, and I agree that there has been a material change in circumstances. Eg last time I was vehemently opposed to independence, next I would not be.

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tom_in_edinburgh 21 Feb 2020
In reply to neilh:

> But where is the political declaration from the other partys or even the H of P that they are in agreement and that was what was the agreement in place at the last independence referendum.

Where's the declaration from the other parties that they are in agreement with all the sh*te the Tory government is trying to do?

The SNP put it in their manifesto and they won the election.   

Post edited at 14:29
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neilh 21 Feb 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Well get the other Scottish partys to change their view on it. It is what has always happened in previous referndums. Unanimous agreemt. Then it has political clout.

Meanwhile it wll just bewishfull thinking and stalemate.

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tom_in_edinburgh 21 Feb 2020
In reply to neilh:

> Well get the other Scottish partys to change their view on it. It is what has always happened in previous referndums. Unanimous agreemt. Then it has political clout.

The only time the unionist parties will agree to an indyref is if they are sure they can win it.  Otherwise they'll do what they are doing now and play for time by getting Westminster to block it.

The unionist parties do not get a veto on independence.  If they want to run Scotland they need to get elected.

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tom_in_edinburgh 21 Feb 2020
In reply to neilh:

> Meanwhile it wll just bewishfull thinking and stalemate.

The Tories can't stop the 2021 Holyrood election.  If they keep blocking an s30 for an indyref the next Holyrood election will turn into a proxy for one.

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elsewhere 21 Feb 2020
In reply to neilh:

The no campaign made it clear that yes to independence the route to exiting the EU. 

The no campaign did not campaign on no to independence being the route to exiting the EU.

Post edited at 17:28
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THE.WALRUS 21 Feb 2020
In reply to JimR:

> A major argument in the last indie referendum was that Scotland would have to leave the Eu. Two years on that changed, and I agree that there has been a material change in circumstances. Eg last time I was vehemently opposed to independence, next I would not be.

This is an interesting point.

It's rather duplicitous for the SNP suggest that that their dissatisfaction at Brexit is reason enough to demand another referrendum.

And yet, they were more than happy to be forced to leave the EU as consequence of a successful 2016 referendum.

Lends weight to the suggestion that any old excuse will do.

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Robert Durran 21 Feb 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> The Tories can't stop the 2021 Holyrood election.  If they keep blocking an s30 for an indyref the next Holyrood election will turn into a proxy for one.

If that's what they make it, then they would need to get at least 50% of the popular vote to have a mandate for it.

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tom_in_edinburgh 21 Feb 2020
In reply to THE.WALRUS:

> It's rather duplicitous for the SNP suggest that that their dissatisfaction at Brexit is reason enough to demand another referrendum.

There is absolutely nothing duplicitous about a political party putting their policy in their manifesto and then working to carry it out when they get elected.

The duplicitous thing is for MSPs from unionist parties to use their friends in Westminster to block a decision of the Scottish Parliament.  

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tom_in_edinburgh 21 Feb 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

> If that's what they make it, then they would need to get at least 50% of the popular vote to have a mandate for it.

The actual way to do this is with indyref2, but if Westminster blocks it then there needs to be a credible alternative, if only as a negotiating position to get leverage for indyref2.   The SNP could e.g. put in their manifesto that if elected they will request an s30 for indyref2 and if it is denied then it is UDI.

I could see the '50% of the popular vote argument' applying to an 'unofficial' referendum which was boycotted by the unionists.  I wouldn't agree with it but I could see where it was coming from and it is one reason why I'm dubious about an 'unofficial' consultative indyref even if a court ruled it was legal.

I don't see the argument applying in a Holyrood election.   If unionists choose to boycott an official Holyrood election that's their problem. 

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Robert Durran 21 Feb 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> The SNP could e.g. put in their manifesto that if elected they will request an s30 for indyref2 and if it is denied then it is UDI.

If UDI were declared with, say, 40% of the popular vote, it would be a recipe for a level of divisiveness which would make Brexit look like childs play. An absolutely appalling prospect. It is absolutely essential for the future of the country that the proper channels to independence are followed however obstructive Westminster is - it may be a longer game than some would wish for, but if there is a majority for a referendum and independence, then it will come eventually.

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THE.WALRUS 21 Feb 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

How can you explain that nationalists sudden aversion to the UK leaving the EU, given that 4 years ago, they would have been happy to leave, if leaving came as a consequence of Scottish independence.

It's absolute duplicity. And the tears of departing MSP's from their Brussels offices were absolutely laughable, given that they would have been delighted to leave a few years previously.

You're an extremist - Independence at all costs!

Post edited at 19:26
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THE.WALRUS 21 Feb 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

And it's extremely disingenuous to blame Boris Johnson for the clamour for independence, when you'd be demanding a referendum regardless of the political climate in London.

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Robert Durran 21 Feb 2020
In reply to THE.WALRUS:

> And it's extremely disingenuous to blame Boris Johnson for the clamour for independence.

Nonsense. I was very strongly No in 2014. As a result of Brexit and the course the UK now seems to be taking, I am now very much on the fence. Of course Johnson had got a lot to do with that.

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THE.WALRUS 21 Feb 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

Actually, that comment was aimed at Tom, in reference to the SNP's tendency to blame whichever prime minister is in power, and whichever political proclivities are in play, as a reason for the increasing demand for Independence. 

When, in reality, they'd be demanding Independence regardless of Westminster's political meanderingly.

They'd be better-off admitting that, come-what-may, they'll insist in on referendum-after-referendum until they get what they want, regardless of the political climate at Westminster.

I have no objection to Scottish Independence, and I think that ultimately it will happen. I do object to the scapegoating of the English by radical members of the SNP. 

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elsewhere 21 Feb 2020
In reply to THE.WALRUS:

> Actually, that comment was aimed at Tom, in reference to the SNP's tendency to blame whichever prime minister is in power, and whichever political proclivities are in play, as a reason for the increasing demand for Independence. 

You mean playing party politics.

> When, in reality, they'd be demanding Independence regardless of Westminster's political meanderingly.

Yes. It's the party's founding principle.

> They'd be better-off admitting that, come-what-may, they'll insist in on referendum-after-referendum until they get what they want, regardless of the political climate at Westminster.

There is no reason to admit what is core to the party, stated in every manifesto and known to every supporter and opponent.

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elsewhere 21 Feb 2020
In reply to THE.WALRUS:

> And it's extremely disingenuous to blame Boris Johnson for the clamour for independence, when you'd be demanding a referendum regardless of the political climate in London.

Have you actually looked at how Johnson has polled in Scotland?

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THE.WALRUS 21 Feb 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

Yes. As a fellow loather of the Tories in general, and B.J's Tories in particular, I understand why he's pushing swing-voters towards the SNP. Can't say I blame them.

But that's not my point.

My point is that the Brexit, Boris (and all the rest of it) are irrelevant to the SNP. They'd still be clamouring for independance even if Jesus Christ himself were the PM. 

So why fixate on them, if not to use any excuse to whip up anti-English sentiment by taking a page out of the UKIP playbook?

And how can you trust a party that would have pulled Scotland out of the EU at the drop of a hat afew years ago...but whose MEP's were spotted melodramatically sobbing over Brexit as they left their Brussels offices last week?! 

Such an outrageous about-turn over an issue as important at EU membership doesn't exactly instil confidence!

No better than Farage's mob.

Post edited at 21:55
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Robert Durran 21 Feb 2020
In reply to THE.WALRUS:

> And how can you trust a party that would have pulled Scotland out of the EU at the drop of a hat a few years ago.

Why do you think that?

Anyway,a vote for independence will not be a vote for the SNP; it will be a vote the people of Scotland to be able to elect the government of their choice.

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elsewhere 21 Feb 2020
In reply to THE.WALRUS:

> Yes. As a fellow loather of the Tories in general, and B.J's Tories in particular, I understand why he's pushing swing-voters towards the SNP. Can't say I blame them.

> But that's not my point.

> My point is that the Brexit, Boris (and all the rest of it) are irrelevant to the SNP. They'd still be clamouring for independance even if Jesus Christ himself were the PM. 

Well that is the reason the party exists and is in every campaign so why would you expect anything else?

> So why fixate on them, if not to use any excuse to whip up anti-English sentiment by taking a page out of the UKIP playbook?

Bollocks. Anti-brexit and anti-boris is NOT anti-english. 

https://www.google.com/search?q=snp+ad&tbm=isch

The SNP above does NOT follow the UKIP playbook below.

https://www.google.com/search?q=ukip+ad&tbm=isch

Can you give some examples of official SNP ads or statements that are anti-english?

> And how can you trust a party that would have pulled Scotland out of the EU at the drop of a hat afew years ago...but whose MEP's were spotted melodramatically sobbing over Brexit as they left their Brussels offices last week?! 

In 2014 they contended they would remain in or rejoin EU asap.

> Such an outrageous about-turn over an issue as important at EU membership doesn't exactly instil confidence!

> No better than Farage's mob.

This really is bollocks. See ukip and SNP ads above. UKIP all about hostility to EU. SNP ads don't even mention England, although do mention Westminster.

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tom_in_edinburgh 22 Feb 2020
In reply to THE.WALRUS:

> They'd be better-off admitting that, come-what-may, they'll insist in on referendum-after-referendum until they get what they want, regardless of the political climate at Westminster.

The reason there's been referendum after referendum is that the issue isn't settled.  Public opinion is around 50:50 and moving towards YES.   A lot of that has to do with the Tories at Westminster and Brexit.

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tom_in_edinburgh 22 Feb 2020
In reply to THE.WALRUS:

> How can you explain that nationalists sudden aversion to the UK leaving the EU, given that 4 years ago, they would have been happy to leave, if leaving came as a consequence of Scottish independence.

Not true,  SNP policy was for an independent Scotland to remain within the EU.  The unionist propaganda machine asserted this was impossible as a tactic to scare EU citizens and their families away from voting YES.  

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rogerwebb 22 Feb 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> Not true,  SNP policy was for an independent Scotland to remain within the EU.  The unionist propaganda machine asserted this was impossible as a tactic to scare EU citizens and their families away from voting YES.  

That SNP policy to remain in the EU was pure assertion with no basis in law. The EU is a treaty organisation made up of sovereign states whose representatives have signed the relevant treaty. 

In 2014 Scotland was not a sovereign state and it's representative had not signed the treaty. When it was said that voting no was the only way to remain in the EU it was an accurate statement of reality.

I note that the legal opinion that Alex Salmond alluded to having saying otherwise has never been published. 

At present any vote for independence would not be a vote to become an EU member, that is not in the gift of any politicians within Scotland, the UK or any other non member state. It would at best be a vote for the possibility to apply for EU membership. While that may be the intention of the current Scottish government neither that application, its outcome or the timescale is certain. 

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Pefa 22 Feb 2020
In reply to French Erick:

The bottom line is that English and Welsh people took Scotland out of the EU against our wishes so we Scots want another independence referendum because of what English and Welsh voters did to our country.

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rogerwebb 22 Feb 2020
In reply to Pefa:

> The bottom line is that English and Welsh people took Scotland out of the EU against our wishes so we Scots want another independence referendum because of what English and Welsh voters did to our country.

Or, a small majority of voters within the UK voted to leave the EU. Within Scotland, as in London and many other places within the UK, the majority of voters, but by no means all, voted to remain.

I live in Scotland, I voted remain, remain lost. I do not blame that on 'the English', 'the Welsh' or the membership any other arbitrarily assigned group.

I do blame, if blame is the correct word, Ukip, Nigel Farage and the paucity, and in the case of Scotland the virtual absence of, the remain campaign. 

Neither does my remain vote mean that I wish another independence vote. Having seen the damage leaving the EU has made, and is making, I have no desire to make a bad situation worse. However, if after 2021, there is a mandate well so be it. We will have to go through it all again. 

Post edited at 10:36
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Pefa 22 Feb 2020
In reply to rogerwebb:

And a very large majority of Scots voted to remain in the EU but we have been removed from it by English and Welsh voters in the EU referendum then again by voting in the Tories. 

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Glug 22 Feb 2020
In reply to Pefa:

Pretty sure you said that you voted to leave 🤔 

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Pefa 22 Feb 2020
In reply to Glug:

This isn't about me it's about the 60% of Scots that voted remain. 

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tom_in_edinburgh 22 Feb 2020
In reply to rogerwebb:

> That SNP policy to remain in the EU was pure assertion with no basis in law. The EU is a treaty organisation made up of sovereign states whose representatives have signed the relevant treaty. 

Absolute nonsense.  It's a phony legalistic argument which takes no account of the overriding political reality that the EU does not want to shrink its territory and Scotland does not want to leave.   When the desires of both sides in a negotiation are aligned the lawyers can figure out how to fix the detail.

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rogerwebb 22 Feb 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> Absolute nonsense.  It's a phony legalistic argument which takes no account of the overriding political reality that the EU does not want to shrink its territory and Scotland does not want to leave.   When the desires of both sides in a negotiation are aligned the lawyers can figure out how to fix the detail.

Not if that detail is fundamental. The EU is a creature of law and is bound by the treaties that created it. It cannot simply ignore them. 

I am sure that the EU would accept an application from Scotland providing Scotland complied with the EU's terms but it is not inevitable that Scotland will wish to do so.

There is no continuity option. 

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elsewhere 22 Feb 2020
In reply to rogerwebb:

> There is no continuity option. 

Which has shifted political opinion in Scotland a few percentage points in favour of Independence.

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rogerwebb 22 Feb 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

> Which has shifted political opinion in Scotland a few percentage points in favour of Independence.

Quite so. Whether that remains the case will depend upon how events unfold. 

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jimtitt 22 Feb 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> Absolute nonsense.  It's a phony legalistic argument which takes no account of the overriding political reality that the EU does not want to shrink its territory and Scotland does not want to leave.   When the desires of both sides in a negotiation are aligned the lawyers can figure out how to fix the detail.


The political reality is that at that time the EU would not accept states splitting up and give the leavers membership of the EU, probably every state would have vetoed it. This is stil the political reality in the EU, ask the Spanish, French, Belgians etc.

No country allows parts to leave just because some rabble-rousers take advantage of a short-term circumstance, the commitment to a union is a long-term one with it's ups and downs, for example German lander can leave the Bundesrepublic by a simple 2/3 majority vote. Of the population of the other lander.

Post edited at 16:34
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Glug 22 Feb 2020
In reply to Pefa:

Really!! you blamed the English for dragging you out of the EU, but admit that it's what you voted for, I think you might need to have a little think about what it is you really want😉

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Blunderbuss 22 Feb 2020
In reply to Glug:

> Really!! you blamed the English for dragging you out of the EU, but admit that it's what you voted for, I think you might need to have a little think about what it is you really want😉

Complaining about getting exactly what you voted for is a new one for me! 

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Pefa 22 Feb 2020
In reply to Glug:

I made a mistake in voting to leave the EU which I rectified by voting for JC in the last GE which would have given us another vote on EU membership. Unfortunately English and Welsh voters were determined to get brexit even after the lies spread by the Vote Leave campaign were exposed,so they voted in a party that has nothing to do with the politics in Scotland, again.

If English and Welsh voters are so easily fooled by the Tories and their billionaires who own the British media then why should we in Scotland who never vote them into power continually get stuck with their decisions? 

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graeme jackson 09:03 Sun
In reply to Pefa:

> I made a mistake in voting to leave the EU 

So you and a bunch of other halfwits win a referendum to leave the UK and now you're blaming the tory government for enacting the wishes of the electorate? Whilst I despise the tory government, it's people like you I'd happily punch on the nose.  

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Glug 11:37 Sun
In reply to Pefa:

> I made a mistake in voting to leave the EU🤢, Unfortunately English and Welsh voters were determined to get brexit even after the lies spread by the Vote Leave campaign were exposed,so they voted in a party that has nothing to do with the politics in Scotland, again.

> If English and Welsh voters are so easily fooled by the Tories and their billionaires who own the British media then why should we in Scotland who never vote them into power continually get stuck with their decisions? 

So you are saying it was OK for you to be stupid enough to be taken in by the Tory billionaires😉 but all the English and Welsh voters should know better, you really are thick aren't you😉

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THE.WALRUS 11:49 Sun
In reply to Glug:

Yeah. It's this blaming of 'the English' that I really despise...the irony being that pro-leave 'English' gave the Scottish independance movement their greatest ever boost!

Really, they should be queuing-up to thank Farage for all he's done to support their cause. 

I long for the day when they'll have noone to blame but themselves. 

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MargieB 22:20 Sun
In reply to rogerwebb:

A condition of application to EU is sound economic position:I believe a requirement of joining EU is that the  budget deficit should not exceed 3%. of GDP.That relates to public spending. I believe. Currently Scotland's is running at 7% of GDP if assessed in isolation, Well that was something I heard on Andrew Marr Show.I'm pretty sure I heard that correctly. From a personal point of view we have so many variables at the moment it is hard to assess the situation.

Post edited at 22:44
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Andy Hardy 22:43 Sun
In reply to graeme jackson:

That dislike was mine. At least Pefa is honest enough to admit a mistake, which puts her streets ahead of most leavers in my opinion.

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In reply to rogerwebb:

> Not if that detail is fundamental. The EU is a creature of law and is bound by the treaties that created it. It cannot simply ignore them

It wouldn't ignore them.  It would either modify them or find wiggle room in them or figure out another way of getting the same effect.

We don't find out if there is a continuity option until we do the negotiation for real.   It is the EU that decides what the EU will and will not do not UK unionists.   

Let's assume that there isn't a continuity option.  An accession agreement can be negotiated quickly given that Scotland has been inside the EU for decades and the EU can put most of the important things you get with EU membership into it including access to the single market, customs union and freedom of movement.

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rogerwebb 11:52 Mon
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> It wouldn't ignore them.  It would either modify them or find wiggle room in them or figure out another way of getting the same effect.

There is no wiggle room or another way of getting the same effect for the fundamental requirements of a treaty between sovereign states. In this case the existence of a sovereign state and its signature on the relevant treaties

> We don't find out if there is a continuity option until we do the negotiation for real.   It is the EU that decides what the EU will and will not do not UK unionists. 

There is no continuity option. Firstly the UK has left the EU. Any entry of Scotland to the EU will require a border between Scotland and rUK. This will have practical effects. Secondly the EU will have changed, it has just lost one of its biggest net contributors. Things cannot simply continue as they were that money has to come from somewhere or some projects will have to be cut. Thirdly to join the EU Scotland will require a change of currency.

>Let's assume that there isn't a continuity option.  An accession agreement can be negotiated quickly given that Scotland has been inside the EU for decades and the EU can put most of the important things you get with EU membership into it including access to the single market, customs union and freedom of movement.

An accession agreement could indeed be negotiated quickly, after the negotiations to break up the UK have been completed (however long that may take), if Scotland could simply agree to the EU's terms without question. It may not wish to. There is at least one clear sticking point from the initial EU/UK negotiations which would be an issue for EU/Scotland talks, fishing. There will be others.

The EU would be under no pressure and in no hurry and would be trying to get the best deal for its members.

 Once the terms of accession have been agreed it might be democratic to have a referendum. The result of that may not be the foregone conclusion assumed by may.

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Jim Fraser 12:14 Mon
In reply to rogerwebb:

> There is no wiggle room or another way of getting the same effect for the fundamental requirements of a treaty between sovereign states. In this case the existence of a sovereign state and its signature on the relevant treaties

The UK has been chief-wiggler since the 70s. In the light of its atrocious trouble-making behaviour, it's ridiculous to say there is no wiggle room. 

Additionally, having Scotland wanting in and England slowly dying on its doorstep doesn't exactly look bad for the EU. So there will be pressure for accommodation.

> There is no continuity option. Firstly the UK has left the EU. Any entry of Scotland to the EU will require a border between Scotland and rUK. This will have practical effects. Secondly the EU will have changed, it has just lost one of its biggest net contributors. Things cannot simply continue as they were that money has to come from somewhere or some projects will have to be cut. Thirdly to join the EU Scotland will require a change of currency.

Border? Border! Other people do borders all the time. Roger, to put it in plain english, even johnny foreigners do this.

And "rUK", sorry but without Scotland there is no UK of any kind.

> >Let's assume that there isn't a continuity option.  An accession agreement can be negotiated quickly given that Scotland has been inside the EU for decades and the EU can put most of the important things you get with EU membership into it including access to the single market, customs union and freedom of movement.

> An accession agreement could indeed be negotiated quickly, after the negotiations to break up the UK have been completed (however long that may take), if Scotland could simply agree to the EU's terms without question. It may not wish to. There is at least one clear sticking point from the initial EU/UK negotiations which would be an issue for EU/Scotland talks, fishing. There will be others.

> The EU would be under no pressure and in no hurry and would be trying to get the best deal for its members. 

Best deal for its members is union with resource-rich nations with an established European ethos, socially and politically. 

>  Once the terms of accession have been agreed it might be democratic to have a referendum. The result of that may not be the foregone conclusion assumed by may.

We already have the numbers for that! 

Post edited at 12:15
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In reply to rogerwebb:

> There is no wiggle room or another way of getting the same effect for the fundamental requirements of a treaty between sovereign states. In this case the existence of a sovereign state and its signature on the relevant treaties

There's tons of wiggle room.  That's the way the treaties are drafted.  Just look at the arguments about how to construe A50.   

There are ways of getting the same effect.  They can have separate agreements like accession agreements or the withdrawal agreement.  They key things are getting back in the single market and customs union and having freedom of movement again.

> There is no continuity option. Firstly the UK has left the EU. Any entry of Scotland to the EU will require a border between Scotland and rUK. This will have practical effects. Secondly the EU will have changed, it has just lost one of its biggest net contributors. Things cannot simply continue as they were that money has to come from somewhere or some projects will have to be cut. Thirdly to join the EU Scotland will require a change of currency.

We were talking about the 2014 referendum before.  Obviously the UK has now left the EU and it is absolutely unforgivable that the English Tories imposed this on Scotland.

We are in deeper shit now than we were in 2014 but the consequences of not leaving and letting these Tory c*nts lock us into hard to reverse treaties with the US are even worse.   This is no longer about rosy futures it is about leaving a burning building.

Your argument that the EU has lost a contributor just gives it another reason to get part of that contributor back.

I don't think they need to cut projects.  In fact the best thing they could do is to do more at the EU level rather than duplicating functions among all 27 nations.  This could be an incentive for the EU to get more efficient and take more advantage of the opportunities of further integration.

> An accession agreement could indeed be negotiated quickly, after the negotiations to break up the UK have been completed (however long that may take), if Scotland could simply agree to the EU's terms without question. It may not wish to. There is at least one clear sticking point from the initial EU/UK negotiations which would be an issue for EU/Scotland talks, fishing. There will be others.

Most of the fishing industry is owned by about four families who already sold their quotas.   It's a minor industry which gets far too much attention.   Whoever is in power is going to do a deal over fishing quotas in exchange for something more important.   The way things have been for the last 40 years is just fine, we should put it back as quickly as possible.

> The EU would be under no pressure and in no hurry and would be trying to get the best deal for its members.

You just said they had a budget hole they'd want to address, doesn't that make them in a hurry?

Scotland has been in the EU for decades.  There's nothing to negotiate, just put things back the way they were and say thank you.   I hope we join Schengen and the Euro as soon as we can meet the convergence criteria.  

>  Once the terms of accession have been agreed it might be democratic to have a referendum. The result of that may not be the foregone conclusion assumed by may.

If we get Indy then we jump back in the EU as fast as they can get the paperwork ready.  No dicking about.  Out of the UK, back Into the EU as enthusiastic members and move on.

I predict the next referendum after Indy will be about abolishing the monarchy.

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Sir Chasm 13:01 Mon
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

You can't "just put things back the way they were", Scotland wasn't an eu member (I'm surprised you didn't know that) so going back to that situation makes no sense.

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In reply to Sir Chasm:

> You can't "just put things back the way they were", Scotland wasn't an eu member (I'm surprised you didn't know that) so going back to that situation makes no sense.

Of course we can put things back the way they were.  In the single market, in the customs union, with passports that let us move freely around Europe and all the other services provided by Europe at our disposal.

After that we can become a member state in our own right and have better representation at the EU level than we ever had when London was in the way.

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Sir Chasm 13:38 Mon
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Scotland can become a member state, but Scotland can't go back to being a member state because Scotland never was a member state. If Scotland becomes independent and things did actually go "back the way they were" then that would mean Scotland rejoining the uk and the uk rejoining the eu. But even then things would never be the "way they were", you can't jump in the same river twice. 

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In reply to Sir Chasm:

> Scotland can become a member state, but Scotland can't go back to being a member state because Scotland never was a member state.

We are talking at cross purposes.   I'm talking about the practicality, not the technicalities.    What people and businesses actually see in their everyday life is the single market, customs union and freedom of movement and we can get that back relatively quickly with an acccession agreement.

Later Scotland can become a member state and have the political representation and hopefully also join the Euro and Schengen area.   At that point things will be better than they were before.

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THE.WALRUS 14:36 Mon
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Doesn't this clash with the ethos of the independence movement? 

To quote that great champion of Scottish emancipation, Mel Gibson, you'd win your frreeedddddooooom from the English oppressors only to hand it to Brussels.

How do you reconcile this?

You claim the problems of the union are that you have insufficient representation at the governmental table and your laws and regulations are made by far away people in far away places.

The EU is no lover of small nations, or nationalistic sentiments. You'd have even less representation in Europe and your laws would be made by people who are even more remote.

At last count, 38% of Scots voted to leave the EU. You'd be perilously close to losing the democratic mandate to join...assuming you manage to realign your economy in the first place.

Best case; you end up with the same hideous polarisation that has been caused by Brexit...and a sizable proportion of the population demanding a return to the union! 

Post edited at 14:43
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rogerwebb 15:55 Mon
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> There's tons of wiggle room.  That's the way the treaties are drafted.  Just look at the arguments about how to construe A50.   

A state has either signed a treaty or it has not. Scotland has not signed the Treaty of Rome or any of its associated treaties. There is no wiggle room on that. 

> Your argument that the EU has lost a contributor just gives it another reason to get part of that contributor back.

If it is a contributor... 

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rogerwebb 16:26 Mon
In reply to Jim Fraser:

> The UK has been chief-wiggler since the 70s. In the light of its atrocious trouble-making behaviour, it's ridiculous to say there is no wiggle room. 

> Additionally, having Scotland wanting in and England slowly dying on its doorstep doesn't exactly look bad for the EU. So there will be pressure for accommodation.

> Border? Border! Other people do borders all the time. Roger, to put it in plain english, even johnny foreigners do this.

Quite, however we have not had one on this island for 300 years and I think you will agree borders are bad for trade. That is one of the reasons I did want to leave the EU. Whether or not that border would be more or less damaging than the new border with the EU is a question that is yet to be answered. 

> And "rUK", sorry but without Scotland there is no UK of any kind.

Absolutely, but rUK has become the commonlly used term. I think the whole matter is one that neither the London or Edinburgh governments have addressed. I doubt very much that it will make things easier and quicker. 

> Best deal for its members is union with resource-rich nations with an established European ethos, socially and politically. 

> We already have the numbers for that! 

Perhaps, but, until the terms of any UK break up are settled, the EU has reordered itself and the terms of any accession are negotiated it would unwise to be certain that the situation won't change. 

Anyone who votes for independence in any future referendum should be prepared for life outside the EU as well as in it. 

Post edited at 16:27
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In reply to THE.WALRUS:

> Doesn't this clash with the ethos of the independence movement? 

No.  Not at all.

> To quote that great champion of Scottish emancipation, Mel Gibson, you'd win your frreeedddddooooom from the English oppressors only to hand it to Brussels.

> How do you reconcile this?

For starters the UK contribution to the EU was 0.47% of GDP.  Scotland sends ALL of its tax to England and the Scottish Parliament gets a 'grant' of about half that tax back.

Countries can leave the EU.  England thinks it can refuse permission for Scotland to leave the UK.

The EU has a proper federal system with vetos on many areas.  The UK lumps everything together so that the state with the majority of the population makes all the decisions.

The EU doesn't force members into wars or put unsafe nuclear facilities on their territory.

It doesn't centralise everything in Brussels and run the whole economy based on what suits Belgium.

The EU provides a larger single market and a far better set of trade deals than the UK.

The EU is not run by Trump loving Tories.

> You claim the problems of the union are that you have insufficient representation at the governmental table and your laws and regulations are made by far away people in far away places.

> The EU is no lover of small nations, or nationalistic sentiments. You'd have even less representation in Europe and your laws would be made by people who are even more remote.

We would have more representation in Europe as an independent state than we did as a region of the UK.  Especially since we wouldn't be getting English Tories to speak for us at the national level.

> At last count, 38% of Scots voted to leave the EU. You'd be perilously close to losing the democratic mandate to join...assuming you manage to realign your economy in the first place.

We could argue about that.  I don't think the remain vote was motivated to come out because there was absolutely no sign of Leave in many constituencies.  But 62% is still a healthy majority.

> Best case; you end up with the same hideous polarisation that has been caused by Brexit...and a sizable proportion of the population demanding a return to the union! 

When we get indy it will be because even more people want to leave.  

Post edited at 16:37
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In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

"For starters the UK contribution to the EU was 0.47% of GDP.  Scotland sends ALL of its tax to England and the Scottish Parliament gets a 'grant' of about half that tax back."

Wasn't this debunked further up thread? How do you come to this calculation? Are you claiming things like defense spending are purely for the protection of the English? 

What does Scotland pay in tax to the coffers of the UK? 

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Robert Durran 17:05 Mon
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> Wasn't this debunked further up thread? How do you come to this calculation? Are you claiming things like defense spending are purely for the protection of the English? 

I think he seemed to be claiming that any national spending that he personally didn't like was only for the benefit of the English.

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rogerwebb 17:15 Mon
In reply to rogerwebb:

for Jim. I have just read my post in reply to you. I have missed out a 'not'

For avoidance of doubt I did not want to leave the EU.

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In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> Wasn't this debunked further up thread? How do you come to this calculation? Are you claiming things like defense spending are purely for the protection of the English? 

It wasn't debunked because it is true.

Scotland sends all its tax to England.  The Scottish Government then get half of it back as a grant.  The English then spend money 'on behalf of Scotland' on whatever the f*ck they like and bill it to us.  The GERS numbers include the money spent on behalf of Scotland as well as the money actually spent by the Scottish Government.

One of the big costs is debt interest because unlike the Scottish Government the English Government is allowed to borrow and the Tories have borrowed a ton of money.  If Scotland had been independent it would have zero national debt, we would have been running a surplus based on the oil money and, in fact if we'd invested the surplus as well as Norway did we'd be sitting on about 1 trillion dollars wealth fund.

Obviously defence spending is not only for the protection of the English but we don't get a choice on how much is spent or what it is spent on.  We don't need to pay for England's dreams of imperial greatness or weapons systems it can't afford to do properly but buys anyway or the huge numbers of admirals and generals it pays for despite shrinking the actual combat force.  Scotland could have perfectly adequate defence for a small country in a peaceful part of the world for a lot less money.

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rogerwebb 17:39 Mon
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> Obviously defence spending is not only for the protection of the English but we don't get a choice on how much is spent or what it is spent on.  We don't need to pay for England's dreams of imperial greatness or weapons systems it can't afford to do properly but buys anyway or the huge numbers of admirals and generals it pays for despite shrinking the actual combat force.  Scotland could have perfectly adequate defence for a small country in a peaceful part of the world for a lot less money.

That amount of defence spending would I suppose depend upon whether or not Scotland joined Nato. If Scotland did then it's level of defence budget would be in proportion to the current UK one. 

But perhaps Scotland wouldn't join Nato. 

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THE.WALRUS 17:53 Mon
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> No.  Not at all.

Of course it does!

By no definition of the word are EU members 'independent'.

I don't doubt the many benefits of EU membership, which you allude to, but one of the benefits you don't get is independance.

The nub of the matter is that you want independence FROM ENGLAND, seemingly due to your thinly veiled hatred of 'THE ENGLISH'... although I'm pretty unclear about who they are, exactly.

Post edited at 17:55
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rogerwebb 18:02 Mon
In reply to THE.WALRUS:

I don't think  that hating the English is a requirement for support for independence any more than hating Europeans is a necessary part of supporting brexit.  

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elsewhere 18:24 Mon
In reply to THE.WALRUS:

> By no definition of the word are EU members 'independent'.

They are by the definition of the UN since they're UN members.

They are by the definition of the UK since we exchange ambassadors.

EU members meets the definition of independent used by the 190 countries worldwide who diplomatically recognise each and every EU member.

> I don't doubt the many benefits of EU membership, which you allude to, but one of the benefits you don't get is independance.

> The nub of the matter is that you want independence FROM ENGLAND, seemingly due to your thinly veiled hatred of 'THE ENGLISH'... although I'm pretty unclear about who they are, exactly.

As an Englishman in Glasgow for almost 30 years I don't feel hated. What is it in your life but not mine that makes you feel the English are so hated?

Post edited at 18:31
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Jim Fraser 19:28 Mon
In reply to rogerwebb:

> That amount of defence spending would I suppose depend upon whether or not Scotland joined Nato. If Scotland did then it's level of defence budget would be in proportion to the current UK one. 

> But perhaps Scotland wouldn't join Nato. 

The White Paper sets NATO membership as a defence priority. From NATO's point of view this is a must have. An independent Scotland not in NATO, along with Ireland not in NATO, is a serious northern flank risk (and might be seen as a Russian victory), so can't happen. 

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Jim Fraser 19:39 Mon
In reply to rogerwebb:

> Quite, however we have not had one on this island for 300 years and I think you will agree borders are bad for trade. That is one of the reasons I did want to leave the EU. Whether or not that border would be more or less damaging than the new border with the EU is a question that is yet to be answered. 

The previous Greek situation with non-contiguous EU territory provides some administrative precedent though it's not a perfect fit. 

> Absolutely, but rUK has become the commonly used term. I think the whole matter is one that neither the London or Edinburgh governments have addressed.  ... 

All credit to the Blair Govt for at least making an attempt at constitutional reform that could have ended up levelling the playing field.

> Perhaps, but, until the terms of any UK break up are settled, the EU has reordered itself and the terms of any accession are negotiated it would unwise to be certain that the situation won't change. 

> Anyone who votes for independence in any future referendum should be prepared for life outside the EU as well as in it. 

Scotland has the advantage of having an economy that is small enough to be a non-threatening newbie in EFTA/EEA.

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Coel Hellier 19:41 Mon
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> Obviously defence spending is not only for the protection of the English but we don't get a choice on how much is spent or what it is spent on. 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't an individual voter in Scotland get pretty much the same amount of say as an individual voter in England?

Sure, the choice of someone in Scotland does not necessarily prevail, but then nor does the choice of someone from Yorkshire. 

And yes, pro-EU votes in Scotland can be out-weighed by Brexit votes elsewhere, but then, similarly,  pro-Brexit votes by 38% of Scots would be out-weighed if Scotland became independent and rejoined the EU.

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THE.WALRUS 21:03 Mon
In reply to elsewhere:

Well, if handing over large areas of daily governance to Brussela fits your definition of independence...then independance it is. I'm sure the nationalists will be over-the-moon when, after years of fighting to break away from England, they are absorbed by the pan-European superstate! 

I was last in Glasgow during the rederendum, and witnessed first hand the pissed-up, hate-filled nationalists mobs in action. There was a lot of anti-English sentiment on display.

I have no idea why you're so popular, though. Probably just one of those things.

Post edited at 21:04
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elsewhere 21:14 Mon
In reply to THE.WALRUS:

> Well, if handing over large areas of daily governance to Brussela fits your definition of independence...then independance it is. 

Not my definition. The definition of about 190 countries.

> I was last in Glasgow during the rederendum, and witnessed first hand the pissed-up, hate-filled nationalists mobs in action. There was a lot of anti-English sentiment on display.

I don't recall pissed up mobs.

> I have no idea why you're so popular, though. Probably just one of those things.

It's my charm, beauty, intelligence and above all, my modesty.

Post edited at 21:21
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In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't an individual voter in Scotland get pretty much the same amount of say as an individual voter in England?

No.  We could have the same say if we accepted that the only choice on offer was Westminster Labour or Westminster Tory.

Scotland hasn't voted Tory since the second world war and we've been under Tory governments for more than half the time.  We don't want the same things as England and under the Westminster system we will always be overruled by the 10x larger population in England. We've had our oil and now our European nationality stolen and it is time to leave, and make our own way.

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In reply to elsewhere:

> I don't recall pissed up mobs.

There certainly weren't any in Edinburgh.  It was all very friendly and festival like.

The only report I remember about violence and cops being involved was from the Rangers lot in George Square after the vote.

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rogerwebb 21:33 Mon
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh: 

>It was all very friendly and festival like.

Not my experience. More edgy, intimidating and deeply unpleasant. 

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rogerwebb 21:46 Mon
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> No.  We could have the same say if we accepted that the only choice on offer was Westminster Labour or Westminster Tory.

> Scotland hasn't voted Tory since the second world war 

It did in 1955, returning 36 Conservative MPs. 

Still a while ago though. 

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In reply to rogerwebb:

> That amount of defence spending would I suppose depend upon whether or not Scotland joined Nato. If Scotland did then it's level of defence budget would be in proportion to the current UK one. 

Or in proportion to the German one.  Plenty of NATO countries don't hit the 2%.

Maybe we'd choose to let defence spending slip to 1% of GDP for a few years while the economy adjusts to the split with England or maybe we'd keep it at 2% but focus it on procurement that benefits local defence industries.  

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Pefa 01:43 Tue
In reply to Glug:

> So you are saying it was OK for you to be stupid enough to be taken in by the Tory billionaires😉 but all the English and Welsh voters should know better, you really are thick aren't you😉

The Tory billionaires who own the British media didn't fool me at the last general election as I voted for JC. 

I came at the EU referendum from the trade union side that seen the EU as bad for workers rights and a hindrance to socialism ie. No2eu etc and not so much the lies told by your Dominic Cummings mob in the EU referendum. 

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Pefa 01:56 Tue
In reply to THE.WALRUS:

> Yeah. It's this blaming of 'the English' that I really despise...the irony being that pro-leave 'English' gave the Scottish independance movement their greatest ever boost!

> Really, they should be queuing-up to thank Farage for all he's done to support their cause. 

> I long for the day when they'll have noone to blame but themselves. 

Your above reply was to a reply that was to me but I was never an independence voter as I always thought the workers of Scotland were always better with the union as far as having greater power goes because if we split then we in Scotland have less clout against the huge transnationals whose power has not split.

I am undecided as to how I would vote in a new independence referendum but the new situation that has been forced on us by English Tories voting in Boris and ratifying brexit has changed our situation in Scotland against the wishes of the overwhelming majority, to such an extent that it makes perfect sense for Scots to have a fresh independence referendum. 

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Glug 08:46 Tue
In reply to Pefa:

> The Tory billionaires who own the British media didn't fool me at the last general election as I voted for JC. 

Seems like you don't learn from your mistakes then!

> I came at the EU referendum from the trade union side that seen the EU as bad for workers rights and a hindrance to socialism ie. No2eu etc and not so much the lies told by your Dominic Cummings mob in the EU referendum. 

So you voted to leave because you thought it was better to be out of the EU, you've changed your mind, and now you like to blame the English and Welsh, who voted the same way as you did in the referendum😂Maybe before you vote on something again you try doing a bit of research so you don't regret your choices😉

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Coel Hellier 09:45 Tue
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> Scotland hasn't voted Tory since the second world war and we've been under Tory governments for more than half the time.  We don't want the same things as England and under the Westminster system we will always be overruled by the 10x larger population in England.

How is that any different from any solid-Labour constituency in England?    (For that matter, how would it be any different from a Tory-voting area of Scotland, after independence?)

Yes, there's a case for independence, but that argument is not a good one. 

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In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

"No.  We could have the same say if we accepted that the only choice on offer was Westminster Labour or Westminster Tory."

Well why don't the SNP field candidates in English constituencies? They might do well?

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In reply to Coel Hellier:

> How is that any different from any solid-Labour constituency in England?    (For that matter, how would it be any different from a Tory-voting area of Scotland, after independence?)

First of all Scotland is a country not a region of England.

Second of all we don;t want Labour either.  We don't want any of the Westminster parties, they are all London centric.  We will never get the government we want from Westminster.

> Yes, there's a case for independence, but that argument is not a good one. 

Well, that is your opinion as someone who doesn't live in Scotland and has no say on the matter.  Right now 52% of people who do have a say on the matter think otherwise.

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In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> Well why don't the SNP field candidates in English constituencies? 

The clue is in the name.

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mondite 10:25 Tue
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't an individual voter in Scotland get pretty much the same amount of say as an individual voter in England?

I think they actually have a slightly higher "say" with the constituencies being smaller.

The SNP do well on the votes per seat as well.

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In reply to French Erick:

Here is an interesting analysis of the economic impact of the proposed third runway at Heathrow.  The summary is that it will increase the economic activity of London and the South East by between £12 and £48 billion but it will displace between £10 and £42 billion of economic activity from the rest of the UK.  So overall for the UK as a whole they see a small increase but London gets a huge benefit and the rest of the country - and Scotland in particular - takes a huge loss as business and people get attracted to London and the SE.

This exactly what happens with every other large scale infrastructure investment in London and it is why Scotland needs to get out of the UK.  The union and the centralisation in London that comes from it is completely against our interests.  It hurts our economy and depopulates our country.  Then we get told we are being 'subsidised'.  We wouldn't need subsidised if we looked out for ourselves, put the infrastructure in Scotland, cancelled the expensive sh*t we don't need and set the levers for economy so we could compete with England for business.

https://talkingupscotlandtwo.com/2020/02/25/heathrow-third-runway-devastating-for-glasgow-and-scotland/

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rogerwebb 10:46 Tue
In reply to Jim Fraser:

> Scotland has the advantage of having an economy that is small enough to be a non-threatening newbie in EFTA/EEA.

I think that is the likely destination for an independent Scotland in at least the medium term. Whether that would require a new currency I don't know but I suspect not. 

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Jim Fraser 11:52 Tue
In reply to rogerwebb:

It's a fallback position but for an EU-aligned country with a 40+ union history it's an unlikely path. As for currency, probably 99% of what has been said or written about that is utter hogwash. 

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Coel Hellier 12:27 Tue
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> We will never get the government we want from Westminster.

Saying that you (Scots overall) want to go in a different direction from England is indeed a good argument for independence.

Trying to make out that the voting system is horribly unfair to you and that you don't get a say, is not a good argument, since it's not true. 

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Jim Fraser 15:05 Tue
In reply to Coel Hellier:

When you do not have a proper constitution (examine US Senate vs US Congress plus state ALL have own govt) these two points are easily both true and derive from the same factors.

At the most fundamental level, this is about civilisation. Now maybe you thought there was such a thing as civilised British values, but the evidence of recent times appears to suggest that these are Scottish, Welsh and Irish values and England is away off in some other direction. We know this because Scottish, Welsh and Irish people keep voting for people who profess those values and have a record of putting them into practice. At the same time, English people have been voting for populist lunatics. 

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elsewhere 15:26 Tue
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Saying that you (Scots overall) want to go in a different direction from England is indeed a good argument for independence.

> Trying to make out that the voting system is horribly unfair to you and that you don't get a say, is not a good argument, since it's not true. 

To whom is the voting system fair?

It's not fair to Cons, Lab, SNP, Plaid Cymru, DUP & SF who are over represented in parliament and it's not fair that Cons, Lab, SNP, Plaid Cymru, DUP & SF voters get no party representation in other constituencies they don't win. This artificial amplification of difference between constituencies divides the UK and might destroy the UK. 

It's not fair to Lib Dem, Green & Brexit voters who are under represented in parliament. 

It's not fair that it is so difficult for new parties to enter parliament. 

It's not fair that minority of votes results in majority of MPs in parliament.

It's not fair that minority parties in a constituency get no representation, it's no fair that this might disenfranchise a voter from parliamentary representation in 400-450 safe seats.

It's not fair that parliamentary representation is sensitive to opinion shifts in marginals.

It's not fair that parliamentary representation is insensitive to opinion shifts in safe seats.

There is no perfect system but FPTP is too far from reflecting party support.

Post edited at 15:35
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In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Trying to make out that the voting system is horribly unfair to you and that you don't get a say, is not a good argument, since it's not true. 

Imagine England was joined on to the US and the votes of the 55 million English who overwhelmingly voted Tory were always overruled by the votes from the 250 million Americans who only voted for Democrats and the Republicans.   That the small number of Tory senators stood there and the Democrats and Republicans jeered or walked out when they gave a speech and horse traded with each other but refused to engage in any deal making with Tories.  Oh, and instead of the House of Representatives the US had an unelected second chamber appointed by Democrat and Republican presidents which had no Tories in it.  And the president was a complete dickhead only interested in appeasing his base but point blank refusing a referendum on England leaving.

Is England fairly represented?

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neilh 16:08 Tue
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Its not like that yet, just remember how many voters did not vote for the SNP in Scotland . Possibly you are arguing agianst yourself with this post??? 

I would almost suggest you delete this post

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knthrak1982 16:26 Tue
In reply to neilh:

> Its not like that yet, just remember how many voters did not vote for the SNP in Scotland .

Not sure the English overwhelmingly voted Tory either. 

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Pefa 16:53 Tue
In reply to Glug:

> Seems like you don't learn from your mistakes then!

How so? Labour were offering a second EU referendum, so I would have had the chance to correct my initial error. 

> So you voted to leave because you thought it was better to be out of the EU, you've changed your mind, and now you like to blame the English and Welsh, who voted the same way as you did in the referendum😂

English and Welsh who voted Tory stopped me personally from correcting my mistake but on a national level for all Scots the English and Welsh Tory voters ratified brexit by voting for Boris and taking Scotland out of the EU against Scotlands wishes Which is why there must be a fresh independence referendum. 

> Maybe before you vote on something again you try doing a bit of research so you don't regret your choices😉

I definitely cannot be faulted on my political research as I did far more than the average person and came down on the Tony Benn and Bob Crow side on the EU,which does stand true yet on reflection perhaps the plusses of the EU outweigh the negatives. 

Post edited at 16:54
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Archy Styrigg 17:49 Tue
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

What are your thoughts and feelings on the fact, were Scotland to gain independence within the next four years, that you would be handing the Tories a 127 seat majority overnight?
You'd be condemning us to Tory rule for decades, if not for the rest of century.
As I've said to Pefa a while back; who, if IRC was quite apologetic and concerned about her fellow Socialists, it's a serious dilemma; I'd never forgive the Scottish people, sorry, I mean the Nationalists, seeing as the majority of Scots have never voted for the SNP.

Post edited at 17:58
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wynaptomos 23:54 Tue
In reply to Pefa:

Wales did not vote tory majority. They never have, unlike Scotland!

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In reply to Archy Styrigg:

> What are your thoughts and feelings on the fact, were Scotland to gain independence within the next four years, that you would be handing the Tories a 127 seat majority overnight?

I wouldn't give it the slightest thought.

If the English want to vote Tory that's their problem as long as they don't inflict it on Scotland.

In any case, whether their majority is 80 or 127 makes zero difference, they can still do whatever they like.  Scotland can't save England from itself.

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Harry Jarvis 09:04 Wed
In reply to Archy Styrigg:

> What are your thoughts and feelings on the fact, were Scotland to gain independence within the next four years, that you would be handing the Tories a 127 seat majority overnight?

> You'd be condemning us to Tory rule for decades, if not for the rest of century.

> As I've said to Pefa a while back; who, if IRC was quite apologetic and concerned about her fellow Socialists, it's a serious dilemma; I'd never forgive the Scottish people, sorry, I mean the Nationalists, seeing as the majority of Scots have never voted for the SNP.

Surely it's for the English to work this one out? They need to learn to stand on their own feet, in the way the Scots would have to do should independence be attained. If you're bothered about a Tory majority of whatever size, the people you should never forgive would be the people who vote Tory - they're the ones who make a Tory majority happen. 

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JimR 17:45 Wed

I'm also thinking that if Scotland were sensible enought to vote for independence then that would be a good time to dump the sovereign as head of state and actually get a proper constitution with proper checks and balances. 

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MargieB 12:56 Thu
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

A caveat I would apply in my decision to go independent is , are the economics showing a weakness for reapplying to the EU- so do you, in your enthusiasm, create the political notion the we won't have to reapply? Look, this could get as creative as Boris' side of a bus..........I'm very wary of this trajectory.

Once bitten twice shy. And that confirmatory referendum thingy tooooooo.

But comparison has to be achieved objectively. We, have nothing  fully understood to compare one against another in the independence discussion. Only pointers and some of the same arguments of 2014.

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In reply to MargieB:

> A caveat I would apply in my decision to go independent is , are the economics showing a weakness for reapplying to the EU- so do you, in your enthusiasm, create the political notion the we won't have to reapply? Look, this could get as creative as Boris' side of a bus..........I'm very wary of this trajectory.

The situation is different from 2014.  Since the UK has now left the EU, Scotland would need to apply to rejoin.   My view is that we'd get a very positive reception and that it wouldn't be nearly as big a deal as the unionists make out.   The fact is Scotland has been in the EU for 40 years, many aspects of the EU relationship are devolved matters and Scotland has many friends in the EU.  I don't see any reason why two sides in a negotiation whose interests are clearly aligned and who just want to put things back the way they were need to take a long time to come to an agreement.  

The mechanism would probably be an accession agreement which quickly restored the key services of the EU such as access to the single market quickly and from the point of view of individuals and businesses made it feel like we are in the EU - just like the UK under its withdrawal agreement currently feels like it is in the EU even though technically it isn't.

> But comparison has to be achieved objectively. We, have nothing  fully understood to compare one against another in the independence discussion. Only pointers and some of the same arguments of 2014.

I don't think it is about details any more.  It's about a fundamental divergence of paths.  The Tories are in charge of the UK and they want a fundamental shift from a European style economy with social protections to a US or even Singapore style economy where your only protection is though financial services and insurance.   If we want to have an NHS and free University education then we need to jump before they lock us into their US trade agreement.  

The other fundamental issue is the Tories and Labour are clearly London centric parties.  Every time there is an important decision to make they will favour London.   London and the South East is going to keep sucking in skilled people and money from the rest of the UK, Scottish industry will always be underfunded and policy will always be set according to the requirements of the South East.  This is a three hundred year trend and it isn't going to change while Westminster is in charge.

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MargieB 16:59 Thu
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

if you are going to compare an independent Scotland with a Brexit UK there will be some points of comparison that are not positives. EU has  economic requirements for joining. If what I heard was correct on Andrew Marr show one of those is a 3% public spending of GDP not the 7% currently enjoyed by Scotland {of Scottish GDP} that works for us because we are joined to UK. Now, I presume Scottish austerity might be the price to reach that goal. Digging for oil might fill the gap but not that right on. I may live in Scotland but I don't want to live in a Greek economy which joined EU in an unfit state- yes Greece is very poor in its corruption,- but the principle is there for us to have a sense of realism at the heart of everything.

The comparison may well be with a UK in which Brexit is a dystopia for Scotland. That dystopia versus the risk may be worth it. We may, through Sturgeon's efforts, actually gain federal powers from Brexit that satisfy a lot and bear a positive comparison to an independent Scotland. Good thing was a battering ram of a vote if the 2019 GE.

 Lots of variables and yes, lots of truths in what you say but it will be a" weighing up "in the final instance. We don't quite know what we are comparing what with what at the moment.

Post edited at 17:12
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In reply to MargieB:

> if you are going to compare an independent Scotland with a Brexit UK there will be some points of comparison that are not positives. EU has  economic requirements for joining.

The unionists keep quoting the requirements to join the Eurozone as if they were the requirements to join the EU.  They aren't.

If what I heard was correct on Andrew Marr show one of those is a 3% public spending of GDP not the 7% currently enjoyed by Scotland {of Scottish GDP} that works for us because we are joined to UK.

The 3% thing is a Eurozone requirement.  Plenty of EU countries are not in the Euro. We can be in an agreement which gets access to the single market, customs union and freedom of movement before we formally join the EU.

The 7% thing is GERS and the whole point of GERS is to prove Scotland is too weak to leave.  It is not a prediction of a deficit level in an independent economy.    GERS is like your budget when you give your next door neighbour your credit card to spend money on your behalf, when you hold it yourself you look out for your own interests.   There are things Westminster buys on our behalf we don't need or want, there are things it sources in England we could buy cheaper from somewhere else and there are things we'd be far better off doing within Scotland.

> Now, I presume Scottish austerity might be the price to reach that goal. Digging for oil might fill the gap but not that right on.

The first reaction shouldn't be to look for austerity to shrink our costs  it should be to look for opportunity to grow our revenue.   With all the levers of the economy under our own control and hundreds of years of under-investment relative to England there are plenty of those.  Like Ireland we should look for the industry we want to attract to Scotland and be aggressive in attracting it.  Too much of the high-value stuff in the UK goes to London, after independence we are able to compete with regulations, incentives and tax policies to get our share back to Scotland.

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TobyA 22:23 Thu
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> The 3% thing is a Eurozone requirement.  Plenty of EU countries are not in the Euro.

But not any new member states. Isn't it now in the treaties that any state joining the EU has to also accept the Euro? And those that aren't have an obligation to converge and join (although this can be fudged). Now we're out I think it's only Denmark that has an exemption to the goal of joining.

Post edited at 22:24
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In reply to TobyA:

> But not any new member states. Isn't it now in the treaties that any state joining the EU has to also accept the Euro? And those that aren't have an obligation to converge and join (although this can be fudged). Now we're out I think it's only Denmark that has an exemption to the goal of joining.

It's 'in principle we'd like to join the Euro at some point' without any timetable or pressure as to when.   

Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Sweden all don't use the Euro, it's 20 years after the Euro launched and they can go on like that as long as they like.

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