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Scotland leaving the UK?
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Posting Junkie
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Nov 15, 2007, 06:09 PM
 
Maybe I'm just misunderstanding the tone of these articles, but is Scotland actually leaving the UK? The various articles I've been reading seem to be taking the position that Scottish independence is no more likely the Quebecois independence, but then again there's also quite a bit of English nationalism and arrogance evident in those same articles...

The Union of England and Scotland is over - Telegraph
Scotland 'independent in 10 years' - Telegraph

Regardless of how likely it actually is to happen, I'm curious what people think of the possibility as a thought experiment anyway. The political implications certainly would be interesting. Presumably they would gain their independence, and then apply to become an EU member nation. How long a gap would there likely be between independence and EU membership? Or would they automatically get to join because they're splitting of from an EU member nation?
     
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Nov 15, 2007, 11:39 PM
 
It seems the Scots are pretty determined to make a break for it as soon as they can and the English don't care much either way.


If that is indeed the case, then perhaps Scotland will indeed become an independant nation within a decade.

As for their future in the EU, I don't know. I'm no EU lawyer. I suspect that they would have to re-apply to the Union as would England (or whatever the rest of the UK would be called then).

I assume that re-application would just be rubber-stamped.

I wonder what the union between England, Waled and N-Ireland would be called

The oblitteration of Britain continues...

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Nov 16, 2007, 11:17 AM
 
Hmm, it never occurred to me that the UK might need to re-apply. That would be an interesting consequence. More interesting, I think, would be if either Scotland or the UK chose not to.

It seems possible that if Scotland is gaining their independence from one union they might not want to then throw their lot in with another. There might actually be significant advantages to them not joining the EU. For example, if they don't adopt the Euro and establish some other currency of their own (Scottish Pound? Scottish Dollar?), it will probably start out pretty weak which would make Scotland an extremely attractive choice for trade with other countries, especially English speaking ones (unless they decide to use a gold standard or something like that, I suppose, which would be interesting in its own right). This could serve to jump-start their nascent economy in a similar way that China has thanks to the weak Yuan. With the infrastructure and education Scotland already has, such a economic situation could lead to a massive influx of business without as much cost of development.

Of course EU membership would also be very attractive as without it Scottish citizens would lose the ability to travel so easily throughout Europe and, more importantly to England where many of them have family. But I imagine that even if they didn't join the EU, it would be in the best interests of both Scotland and the UK to form some sort of open borders agreement. Without such a thing, what would happen to all the Scots currently living and working in England and Wales?
     
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Nov 17, 2007, 08:47 AM
 
Britain has been British Isles since before Roman times long before England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales came about. All the money has always been in the south east so hard luck if someone wants to become independent from their historical capital. London (Londinium) was the capital of British commerce before the above nations and borders were formed. Right now a Scottish prime minister is in charge. The idea of Scottish independence is silly and unnecessarily harkens back to the 16th century. They'll become a fourth rate economy in Europe without the UK's welfare, tax rates and subsidies.
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Nov 17, 2007, 12:16 PM
 
It wouldn't make sense for the UK to reapply. If one part secedes, the remaining parts would still be the UK minus one, and that group would be the successor state, just as Russia was deemed the successor state to the Soviet Union (particularly important for purposes of existing treaties, UN security council seat, nuclear arms ownership, etc.).
     
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Nov 17, 2007, 05:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by PaperNotes View Post
Britain has been British Isles since before Roman times long before England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales came about. All the money has always been in the south east so hard luck if someone wants to become independent from their historical capital. London (Londinium) was the capital of British commerce before the above nations and borders were formed. Right now a Scottish prime minister is in charge. The idea of Scottish independence is silly and unnecessarily harkens back to the 16th century. They'll become a fourth rate economy in Europe without the UK's welfare, tax rates and subsidies.
Britain is the not the same as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Great Britain, is merely the name of the island on which England, Scotland, Wales, and Cornwall sit. If Scotland were to leave the UK, the Kingdom of Great Britain would just revert back to the Kingdom of England as it was prior to 1707, or to the Kingdom of England and Wales or something.

To say that Scotland should always be subject to London because 'that's the way it's always been' is not only ridiculous but patently false. As is the argument that the economy should be held back by traditional dynamics.

In modern times, it is no longer necessary that Scottish commerce with Europe go through England. We have flying machines now. Not to mention the internet. There's no reason that Scotland couldn't have a vibrant economy independent of the rest of Great Britain just as Ireland now has, also in defiance of history.
( Last edited by nonhuman; Nov 17, 2007 at 05:38 PM. )
     
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Nov 18, 2007, 01:00 PM
 
I think this whole thing is crazy, Scotland would probably loose more than it would gain by leaving the UK (primarily from the economic view).

But to progress the argument a bit more, what would the position of the monarchy be? The Queen is also the monarch of Scotland, and we have shared a monarch since James I and VI ventured south after Elizabeth I died. Would this create a situation akin to Australia or Canada whereby the Queen is Scotland's head of state but they have a separate PM?

A more practical view as well - would it be worth the cost? Imagine all the laws that would have to be changed, the various institutions altered (not least Parliament), the complexities of Scottish politicians already in the House of Commons (and even Lords I assume). We all know that the English and Scottish are both now rubbish at doing things efficiently. For example, the cost of the Scottish parliament and any government project in the UK. I can understand the nationalist sentiment, but it could become a huge embarrassment for both countries.
     
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Nov 18, 2007, 01:08 PM
 
That'd be great, then I could move to Scotland and not have to deal with living under the tyranny that is the UK. Potentially.
     
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Nov 18, 2007, 01:44 PM
 
Hey, we started a trend!
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Nov 18, 2007, 02:56 PM
 
William Wallace must be smiling somewhere right now. It appears to me that Scotland has slowly be preparing to secede from the UK for quite some time now.

I'm not certain they'll go through with it, but if they will I'm very interested in seeing what paths Wales and N-Ireland choose to go down.

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Nov 18, 2007, 06:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cipher13 View Post
That'd be great, then I could move to Scotland and not have to deal with living under the tyranny that is the UK. Potentially.
That's pretty much what I've been thinking.
     
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Nov 18, 2007, 06:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by monkeybrain View Post
I think this whole thing is crazy, Scotland would probably loose more than it would gain by leaving the UK (primarily from the economic view).
It all depends on relative value. Would you rather be wealthy or independent with the possibility of future wealth?

I'd choose the latter.

But to progress the argument a bit more, what would the position of the monarchy be? The Queen is also the monarch of Scotland, and we have shared a monarch since James I and VI ventured south after Elizabeth I died. Would this create a situation akin to Australia or Canada whereby the Queen is Scotland's head of state but they have a separate PM?
Really that would be entirely up to the people of Scotland. They could choose to reject the monarchy entirely, or they could choose to have an arrangement similar to Australia's or Canada's. As a practical matter, the idea of keeping the monarchy isn't necessary one that hurts Scottish nationalism: the Queen is half Scottish herself.

A more practical view as well - would it be worth the cost? Imagine all the laws that would have to be changed, the various institutions altered (not least Parliament), the complexities of Scottish politicians already in the House of Commons (and even Lords I assume). We all know that the English and Scottish are both now rubbish at doing things efficiently. For example, the cost of the Scottish parliament and any government project in the UK. I can understand the nationalist sentiment, but it could become a huge embarrassment for both countries.
But think of the advantages that could come. Scotland would have the opportunity to re-build their government from the ground up according to whatever blueprint they want. They could choose to take ideas from England, from the US, from Japan, whatever. Scottish independence represents an opportunity to continue the experiment of democracy and try and improve on what we already have without having to be bound by the traditions of the past.
     
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Nov 18, 2007, 06:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cipher13 View Post
That'd be great, then I could move to Scotland and not have to deal with living under the tyranny that is the UK.
The current tyranny in the UK is actually caused by all the Scottish tossers being down here. Well, that and the rotting corpse of Marx spreading its poison from Highgate Cemetery.

While the vast majority of the English would actually quite like Scotland to bugger off, it's not going to happen. Scotland would go broke extremely quickly if it wasn't for their mooching off the English (we're subsidising them to the tune of £1,200 per person per year - that's right, £1,200 of my taxes each year is going to support some obese, lazy porridge muncher). They know this, so there's no way they're going to wean themselves off that particular teat. Not forgetting that all of those oil fields they keep going on about are actually in English waters.

And yes, according to some EU lawyer types I've spoken to, both England and Scotland would technically have to reapply to join the EU (and Wales, and NI).

BTW, about the border controls. This week sees us no longer being able to travel freely within the Union anyway, as we'll soon need a passport to travel to NI.
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Nov 19, 2007, 02:46 AM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
Britain is the not the same as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Great Britain, is merely the name of the island on which England, Scotland, Wales, and Cornwall sit.
And they have never been independent from one another culturally speaking. If it wasn't for Hadrian's Wall and the invasion of the Scots from Ireland there wouldn't be a Scotland. The whole of the mainland is one country that has always relied on the economic ties created in the south.

If we want to bring historionics into it then the Irish and the Scandinavians should bugger off and give northern Britain back to the Picts. You see how silly it is to take on a Mel Gibsonian view (a view expressed by many illogical Americians who read too much Tolkien and think the British Empire was pure evil just because Hollywood employs RADA's actors as villains)) of the British Isles?


There's no reason that Scotland couldn't have a vibrant economy independent of the rest of Great Britain just as Ireland now has, also in defiance of history.
There is a reason and it is resources. Apart from basic staples such as whiskey and tourism Scotland has far less resources and pure trade than Ireland. It has more people leaving it than are going to it, the opposite of Ireland which has seen a lot of immigrants. Scotland isn't attractive for business so all you'll see is the same as today, ambitious Scots leaving for elsewhere, except that the Scotland will recieve subsidies and eventually tax laws from Europe instead of Britain. It's welfare system would struggle. Now what rational reason is there to accept the possibility of high European taxes versus the UK's great taxes and tax loopholes? European business flock to the UK for a reason and will always do so.
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Nov 19, 2007, 09:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by PaperNotes View Post
And they have never been independent from one another culturally speaking. If it wasn't for Hadrian's Wall and the invasion of the Scots from Ireland there wouldn't be a Scotland. The whole of the mainland is one country that has always relied on the economic ties created in the south.
If there was no cultural independence in Scotland, there'd be no drive for political independence. The history of why there's a Scottish people is irrelevant; there is a Scottish people and if they have a desire for independence and self-determination—which they've demonstrated—then they should have it.

If we want to bring historionics into it then the Irish and the Scandinavians should bugger off and give northern Britain back to the Picts. You see how silly it is to take on a Mel Gibsonian view (a view expressed by many illogical Americians who read too much Tolkien and think the British Empire was pure evil just because Hollywood employs RADA's actors as villains)) of the British Isles?
I'm not entirely sure how this is relevant. Is anyone appealing to Mel Gibson or Tolkien here? Who ever said that 'the British Empire is pure evil'?

This isn't an issue of making right with history, this is an issue of making the best of what we have. If the Scottish people think they should be independent, and they think that they can do things better on their own then they shouldn't let anyone stand in the way of doing so.

There is a reason and it is resources. Apart from basic staples such as whiskey and tourism Scotland has far less resources and pure trade than Ireland. It has more people leaving it than are going to it, the opposite of Ireland which has seen a lot of immigrants. Scotland isn't attractive for business so all you'll see is the same as today, ambitious Scots leaving for elsewhere, except that the Scotland will recieve subsidies and eventually tax laws from Europe instead of Britain. It's welfare system would struggle. Now what rational reason is there to accept the possibility of high European taxes versus the UK's great taxes and tax loopholes? European business flock to the UK for a reason and will always do so.
If Scotland isn't attractive to business, then it's because of the current political atmosphere in Scotland which is currently inexorably linked to England. This isn't to say that independence would necessarily make things better, but it might. It presents an opportunity to do things differently, which means it's also an opportunity to do things better.
     
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Nov 19, 2007, 09:33 AM
 
Anyway, can anyone answer my original question? Is there actually any chance of this happening? Is it something that's being spoken of realistically, or are the journos having a bit of fun? Being removed from the situation as I am, I can't really tell, and the tone of the articles doesn't much help.
     
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Nov 19, 2007, 10:09 AM
 
Could it happen? Yeah. Will it likely happen? Doubtful.

I agree with what was said earlier, Scotland needs GB much more than they need Scotland. Scotland seems to be quite a resource drain.

Nice place though, I enjoyed my time in Edinburgh, despite some of the local food.
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Nov 19, 2007, 10:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
Anyway, can anyone answer my original question? Is there actually any chance of this happening?
Not a popsicle's chance in hell.

Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
Is it something that's being spoken of realistically, or are the journos having a bit of fun?
There's a hardcore of porridge munchers who seem to think it's a realistic prospect. However, none of the said porridge munchers have ever answered the West Lothian question and are completely oblivious to just how much Scotland would suffer if it went independent.

Strangely enough, what they all seem to want is an independent Scotland which is in the EU - which sort of proves that they absolutely nothing about politics, since no country in the EU basically has any power over itself whatsoever.
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Nov 20, 2007, 05:27 AM
 
Well first of all there need to be some adjustments to the Union Jack


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Nov 20, 2007, 09:08 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
There's a hardcore of porridge munchers who seem to think it's a realistic prospect. However, none of the said porridge munchers have ever answered the West Lothian question and are completely oblivious to just how much Scotland would suffer if it went independent.
Where's your condescending attitude towards the Scottish coming from? I have just returned from a trip to England and Scotland and found them to be very kind and funny people.
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Nov 20, 2007, 10:43 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Where's your condescending attitude towards the Scottish coming from?
Here and here and here and here.

It's just the little things, you know, like:

Scotland: Free nursing homes for the elderly, paid for by the English.
England: No free nursing homes.

Scotland: Free prescriptions, paid for by the English.
England: No free prescriptions.

Scotland: Free university education, paid for by the English.
England: No free university education.

And then there's stuff like this.

The vast majority of the English would be quite happy if Scotland would bugger off already. Even back in the day, Hadrian had the right idea with that wall building project of his.
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Nov 20, 2007, 06:48 PM
 
Nobody really cares. An 'independent' Scotland in the EU would differ so little in practice from the current UK Scotland that it is neither here nor there. Yes, they would loose subsidy from the UK, but they would likely gain it from the EU. No one would need a passport, and the UK pound would continue to be accepted. The only significance would be an interesting precedent of how mature states deal with secessionist desires. It would become an interesting model for the rest of the world.
I actually think it's unlikely to happen, precisely because so little is at stake.
     
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Nov 27, 2007, 02:50 AM
 
There is talk of employing a Scandinavian model of self-sufficiency in a devolved Scotland. I'd like to see how far that goes without comparable oil resources and the absence of English subsidies.

I'm sure this reductive view of Scottish independence would go over well in the US, where ill-informed Americans conjure up Braveheart-esque notions of a poor, oppressed minority, which may even trigger a slight feeling of guilt about the brutal way America had dealt with Indians, Cajuns, Southerners, etc.
     
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Nov 27, 2007, 06:31 PM
 
If you think anybody but Southerners is going to feel bad for Southerners, you straight trippin'.
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Nov 28, 2007, 09:45 AM
 
Originally Posted by Kerrigan View Post
There is talk of employing a Scandinavian model of self-sufficiency in a devolved Scotland. I'd like to see how far that goes without comparable oil resources and the absence of English subsidies.
Only Norway has oil of the Scandos.

Since a lot of UK oil is in Scottish waters, they may well benefit in a similar way as the Norwegians. If Scotland would break from the UK, there is a provision in UK law that would split these oil fields between the rest of the UK and Scotland.

Think before opening the FUD cannons Kerrigan.

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Nov 28, 2007, 04:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by Weyland-Yutani View Post
Think before opening the FUD cannons Kerrigan.
...Says the person who confidently states Scotland will break away "in a decade", makes the bold generalisation "England doesn't care either way", admits no knowledge of EU law, speaks of the "obliteration of Britain", and tries to bring William Wallace into the discussion, as though a figure popularized by a Mel Gibson movie has anything to do with historical continuities or political/economic realities. I'll let this speak for itself, and then offer you the advice "Think before you think, Weyland".

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Nov 28, 2007, 06:08 PM
 
Hey, the new liberation front in Scotland would be the SIA, pronounced "See ya!"
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Nov 29, 2007, 11:00 AM
 
Originally Posted by Kerrigan View Post
...Says the person who confidently states Scotland will break away "in a decade", makes the bold generalisation "England doesn't care either way", admits no knowledge of EU law, speaks of the "obliteration of Britain", and tries to bring William Wallace into the discussion, as though a figure popularized by a Mel Gibson movie has anything to do with historical continuities or political/economic realities. I'll let this speak for itself, and then offer you the advice "Think before you think, Weyland".

I knew there was a reason I had stopped coming to MacNN regularly: all the dumbasses here
I make predictions, not judgents. I offer opinion, not FUD. I am better, you are worse.

You are an English nationalist, I am not an English nationalist.

I admit some knowledge of EU law. I wrote I wasn't an EU lawer. Reading comprehension is such a valuable asset when trying to make a point in written media. You failed.

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Nov 30, 2007, 06:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by Weyland-Yutani View Post
You are an English nationalist, I am not an English nationalist.
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but IIRC last time I looked Kerrigan was in Edinburgh.
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Nov 30, 2007, 07:34 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but IIRC last time I looked Kerrigan was in Edinburgh.
You know the odd thing is I can't discern from the way Kerrigan approaches this matter anything else than he's an English nationalist.

As opposed to a Scottish unionist, if you will.

Now I've seen stranger things happen than a Scottish person acting like an English nationalist on these forums. (If indeed Kerrigan is Scottish and not English)

I seem to recall a certain gay lawyer-wannabe who was born and raised in the UK and acted like he was more American than the concentrated pulp of the founding fathers. That was just creepy.

Also, I would like to point out that I am no seperatist. I'm largely playing the devil's advocate here in this discussion. I personally think England needs Scotland at least as much as Scotland needs England.

If the seperation is amicable though, I'd be perfectly fine with it. I'm still not advocating the seperation. I am however still employed by the devil as his advocate.

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Nov 30, 2007, 08:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by Weyland-Yutani View Post
You know the odd thing is I can't discern from the way Kerrigan approaches this matter anything else than he's an English nationalist.

As opposed to a Scottish unionist, if you will.

Now I've seen stranger things happen than a Scottish person acting like an English nationalist on these forums. (If indeed Kerrigan is Scottish and not English)
Well, I have no idea on whether Kerrigan is actually a proper porridge muncher or not. But if he is, he's probably not a leftie.

See, the main fault line in this constitutional argument isn't between the Scottish and English - it's between lefties and everyone else. The vast majority of conservative types want the Union to remain (and want to rid of this devolution lark too). It's the hardcore anti-Thatcherites who're pushing this.

My personal view is basically this: I'd quite like the Union to remain in place, but something must be done about West Lothian and Barnett. But, when all said and done, if the porridge munchers want to leave it's their call so good luck to them and will they please take their fascists (Brown, Blair, etc.) back.
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Nov 30, 2007, 08:42 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
My personal view is basically this: I'd quite like the Union to remain in place, but something must be done about West Lothian and Barnett. But, when all said and done, if the porridge munchers want to leave it's their call so good luck to them and will they please take their fascists (Brown, Blair, etc.) back.
Hehe yes, I think we can agree there. One has to wonder about Brown.. he's both a leftie and Scottish and yet a strong supporter for the union. At least officially.

AFAIK it is only the SNP and the extreme commies who actually support seperation is Scotland.

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