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The Scottish independence referendum.
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Smithington



Joined: 14 Dec 2011

PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:42 pm    Post subject: The Scottish independence referendum. Reply with quote

In September the Scottish will vote on independence from the UK. Do you think the nationalists have a chance of winning? If they do will it be a mature parting of ways or will it be a bitter, hard fought divorce? What effect will it have on Wales and Northern Ireland? Will Scotland stay within the Commonwealth - even keep the Queen as head of state as Australia, Canada and New Zealand do?

If there are any Scots here on Daves how do you plan to vote? As for other Brits, what do you think of those Scots who want out of the UK? Irish posters, do you think Scottish independence will bring the Troubles back to N. Ireland. Will it encourage Irish republicans? Will Northern Ireland become something akin to "west Pakistan", stuck between two foreign countries (in this case Scotland and the Irish Republic). Is that sustainable? In geographical terms it will certainly be rather unorthodox.

Interesting times ahead.
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PigeonFart



Joined: 27 Apr 2006

PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So there will actually be a referendum in September? Amazing.

If they play some re-runs of 'Braveheart' coming up to the election then that will have a huge influence on the likelihood of independence! Wink

I'm not Scottish but will be watching with great interest.
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Chaparrastique



Joined: 01 Jan 2014

PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please, just go. They must go and be Scottish and wallow in braveheart re-runs to their hearts content.

The break must be complete, they must have their own currency. if not, the victimhood mentality will continue.
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Scorpion



Joined: 15 Apr 2012

PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What makes it more interesting is if Scotland gets independence and retains membership in the EU, then the UK (minus Scotland) votes to sever its links with the EU altogether. This is a very real possibility. So Scotland and Southern Ireland will not only be republics, but they'll be sharing the two islands with a foreign country that is no longer even a member of the European community. And that foreign country will be divided up between the two islands. England and Wales on the one, and Northern Ireland on the other....It's almost too comical to think about. But come September who knows what will happen.
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young_clinton



Joined: 09 Sep 2009

PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would be sad to see the 300 year old dream collapse. I always thought the two countries were so intermixed that the idea of different countries wouldn't even come up.
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Chaparrastique



Joined: 01 Jan 2014

PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

young_clinton wrote:
It would be sad to see the 300 year old dream collapse. I always thought the two countries were so intermixed that the idea of different countries wouldn't even come up.



I can understand the Scots getting a bit annoyed by the fact that all new laws are tried out in Scotland for one year before getting introduced to England. They've basically been treated like the sidekick for a long time.
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young_clinton



Joined: 09 Sep 2009

PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chaparrastique wrote:
young_clinton wrote:
It would be sad to see the 300 year old dream collapse. I always thought the two countries were so intermixed that the idea of different countries wouldn't even come up.



I can understand the Scots getting a bit annoyed by the fact that all new laws are tried out in Scotland for one year before getting introduced to England. They've basically been treated like the sidekick for a long time.


Laughing
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young_clinton



Joined: 09 Sep 2009

PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scotland is heavily subsidized by England, but some people say that when Scotland unhooks itself it can get more money by other means, stuff like tourism etc.
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Smithington



Joined: 14 Dec 2011

PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just yesterday the three main British political parties voted to deny Scotland use of the pound after independence. Salmond accused them of 'bullying' Scottish voters. They replied that Scottish nationalists must face reality. The reality is that there is no half-way house. You are in, or you are out. So it looks like it's the Eoro-zone for Scotland. Confused

Wouldn't it be ironic if an independent Scotland ended up like Greece and needed to be bailed out by the UK.

Scotland should stay where it is.
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm fairly certain that Scotland could keep using the pound whether the UK government assented or not, though it obviously could not issue new pounds. From a long term perspective, though, I suspect the smartest move for an independent Scotland would simply be to adopt its own currency. Joining the suicide pact that is the Euro would be a bad idea, but keeping the pound would not be much better.
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aq8knyus



Joined: 28 Jul 2010
Location: London

PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 4:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fox wrote:
I'm fairly certain that Scotland could keep using the pound whether the UK government assented or not, though it obviously could not issue new pounds. From a long term perspective, though, I suspect the smartest move for an independent Scotland would simply be to adopt its own currency. Joining the suicide pact that is the Euro would be a bad idea, but keeping the pound would not be much better.


How?

If they just kept on using the pound they would be like Kosovo and Montenegro using the Euro. It would leave them without any say in monetary policy and leave them completely at the mercy of rUK. If they go down that route it wouldn't give them much independence.

If they peg it to the pound, even at a 1:1 rate, that would still essentially leave them at the mercy of rUK. Look at what happened to Ireland in the seventies when they tried that policy, it didn't end very well.

Also the big problem when it comes to establishing their own currency is that they dont have the economy to back it up. Their financial sector is far too big to be underwritten by an independent Scotland, without a currency union say goodbye to that industry.

Furthermore the EU rules that new members must adopt the Euro, now if they were in a currency union with a veto wielding big 4 EU member they could have avoided that fate. However, it is hard to see the EU being accepting of a tiny economy, around half the size of London, coming in with a new currency.
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young_clinton



Joined: 09 Sep 2009

PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 4:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A pretty reasonable scenario could be that they get independence, watch their earnings go to hell and ask to be readmitted and this is allowed.
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aq8knyus



Joined: 28 Jul 2010
Location: London

PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't see the logic behind Scottish independence simply because if, as Alex Salmond claims, nothing great will change why bother changing at all.

Economically Scotland is not Catalonia, it can get by just fine, but it is not going to be in for any cash windfall. They keep going on about North Sea oil, but the money they get from that is notoriously volatile. Some years they have a bumper profit and produce more than they get in tax subsidies, other years they are very much in the red. Another problem with the Scottish dream of becoming some sort of petro-state is that the reserves are running low.

Politically as a source of almost 60 seats in the UK parliament, they get a lot of influence in a country that possess the largest military (not counting the US) and second/third largest economy in Europe. I must admit I previously thought it would be nice for Britain to break up into charming little Northern European welfare states, but that is just a fantasy. Recent history has shown what happens to small countries that cant pay their debts.

The emotional argument is even more powerful as over half of Scots have relatives in the rest of the UK. I myself have extensive family in every part of the UK except N Ireland. We are one people by and large and I dont mean that in some weird ethnic way, but in a cultural and linguistic sense. Sure their is diversity, but that is what makes the UK great. The Britain of today does not stifle and repress minority cultures.

Imposing more imaginary political divides on peoples who are so similar to one another just doesn't make any sense.
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aq8knyus wrote:
Fox wrote:
I'm fairly certain that Scotland could keep using the pound whether the UK government assented or not, though it obviously could not issue new pounds. From a long term perspective, though, I suspect the smartest move for an independent Scotland would simply be to adopt its own currency. Joining the suicide pact that is the Euro would be a bad idea, but keeping the pound would not be much better.


How?

If they just kept on using the pound they would be like Kosovo and Montenegro using the Euro. It would leave them without any say in monetary policy and leave them completely at the mercy of rUK. If they go down that route it wouldn't give them much independence.


That's more or less the position of every nation using the Euro already (how much real say does Greece have over monetary policy?). It's a terrible idea (for the same reason the Euro is a terrible idea), but of course it's possible. So when you ask me, "How?" and then go on to point out two ways they could do so (either by using the pound directly or by pegging their own currency to the pound), I'm confused as to what you want me to say. You're essentially arguing, "Well, they could use the pound, but it's a bad idea," but that's exactly what I said myself.

aq8knyus wrote:
Also the big problem when it comes to establishing their own currency is that they dont have the economy to back it up. Their financial sector is far too big to be underwritten by an independent Scotland, without a currency union say goodbye to that industry.


There would be some short term pain. If the Scottish choose independence, they're going to have to reconcile themselves to that no matter what.

aq8knyus wrote:
Furthermore the EU rules that new members must adopt the Euro...


An independent Scotland should avoid joining the EU, for the same reason Iceland was smart enough to cut off membership talks. Yes, again, there'd be some pain, and Scotland would have to live within its means, but that's not impossible, and over time Scotland could build towards real, sustainable prosperity, something unlikely either as a junior participant in the UK or a fringe participant of the EU.

I have no opinion on whether Scotland should break with the UK or not, but if they do, I see no better long-term option for them than setting up their own currency, avoiding EU membership, and building up their nation through the hard work of their citizens and wise (read: protectionist) trade policy.
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aq8knyus



Joined: 28 Jul 2010
Location: London

PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fox wrote:
aq8knyus wrote:
Fox wrote:
I'm fairly certain that Scotland could keep using the pound whether the UK government assented or not, though it obviously could not issue new pounds. From a long term perspective, though, I suspect the smartest move for an independent Scotland would simply be to adopt its own currency. Joining the suicide pact that is the Euro would be a bad idea, but keeping the pound would not be much better.


How?

If they just kept on using the pound they would be like Kosovo and Montenegro using the Euro. It would leave them without any say in monetary policy and leave them completely at the mercy of rUK. If they go down that route it wouldn't give them much independence.


That's more or less the position of every nation using the Euro already (how much real say does Greece have over monetary policy?). It's a terrible idea (for the same reason the Euro is a terrible idea), but of course it's possible. So when you ask me, "How?" and then go on to point out two ways they could do so (either by using the pound directly or by pegging their own currency to the pound), I'm confused as to what you want me to say. You're essentially arguing, "Well, they could use the pound, but it's a bad idea," but that's exactly what I said myself.

aq8knyus wrote:
Also the big problem when it comes to establishing their own currency is that they dont have the economy to back it up. Their financial sector is far too big to be underwritten by an independent Scotland, without a currency union say goodbye to that industry.


There would be some short term pain. If the Scottish choose independence, they're going to have to reconcile themselves to that no matter what.

aq8knyus wrote:
Furthermore the EU rules that new members must adopt the Euro...


An independent Scotland should avoid joining the EU, for the same reason Iceland was smart enough to cut off membership talks. Yes, again, there'd be some pain, and Scotland would have to live within its means, but that's not impossible, and over time Scotland could build towards real, sustainable prosperity, something unlikely either as a junior participant in the UK or a fringe participant of the EU.

I have no opinion on whether Scotland should break with the UK or not, but if they do, I see no better long-term option for them than setting up their own currency, avoiding EU membership, and building up their nation through the hard work of their citizens and wise (read: protectionist) trade policy.


Apologies for any confusion.

You are right to a certain extent that other countries surrender a share of control over their own monetary policy when they join the Eurozone, but all those countries have their own central bank. That bank acts as a last-resort as well as an issuer of the currency itself.

By keeping the pound without a currency union Scotland will have no central bank and no lender of last resort. All scottish banks would therefore have to leave Scotland, ending the entire industry, which would be a huge blow to the Scottish economy.

Also EU membership is central to the entire project, the nationalists want EU membership badly. The only problem is that if they dont have a central bank so other EU nations would have to provide capital to gurantee the Scots and their banking industry. There is no way the EU will agree to Scottish freeriding.

So in short, they cannot reconcile their desire to join the EU and still hold onto the pound without a currency Union.

They could of course try for their own currency, but it would be nothing like what they are used to as a part of the UK. We know from experience the problems the Irish went through establishing their own currency.

As I said though EU membership is at the core of nationalist strategy and as a result any new currency would simply be a stopgap measure. As a new EU member they will have to join the Euro, the EU will not accept a small nation with a an economy no larger than 2% of the EU economy coming in on its own terms.

Independence = the Euro
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