Scotland Referendum: does a straight yes/no question...

(11 Posts)
CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 15-Oct-12 15:21:25

...make independence more or less likely? IME Without 'devo max' as an option, I think Scots will be less likely to vote for independence. Has Salmond lost the first skirmish?

Xenia Mon 15-Oct-12 17:11:58

SO it was suggested on Radio 4 but apparently both sides think they have won. It is certainly simpler and clearer to have a yes or no vote. I don't think the English are too bothered. If the Scots want to go let them go.

Foibles Mon 15-Oct-12 20:15:33

I think the English are very bothered about this, and so they should be - if it ever comes to anything.

Because what about the Welsh and Northern Irish? In the Welsh Assembly they are treating this very seriously - I think they said that of 150 MPs only 10 would be Welsh. (Is that right?)

So could we be looking at four separate countries or states, a few years down the line? How strong would a Tory England feel, in the middle of a Labour-led Wales and a Labour or SNP Scotland?

Are the cross-border sheep-stealing raids going to start up again?

Foibles Mon 15-Oct-12 20:19:31

If they did, the English should be very scared indeed, since the Scots make up such a huge proportion of the Armed Forces.

Nah - they'll never let it happen. Cameron and co would go down in history as the Tories whose policies were responsible for the break-up of the UK.

Xenia Tue 16-Oct-12 21:04:33

I thnk they are pretty sure the Scots will not vote in favour.
1. The Scots cannot just take on the pound - we have not agreed to be in a single currency with them. They may have to join the euro.
2. The Scots would have to join the EU as a new member with an accession period and join the euro.
3. They would hvae to take on their share of things eg if they want 10% of the navy's boats they may have to take on their fair share of RBS bank bail out debt which is about90% of it as it is a Scottish company and an aboslutely massive debt and many other things too.

niceguy2 Tue 16-Oct-12 21:51:31

2014 is still a long way away.

Much will depend on the economy and how the Tories do over the next couple of years.

I'm hoping for a coordinated cross party attempt to push the case for Scotland to remain in the UK. I'm hoping the Tories don't make some huge gaffe like the other week where that minister said only 12% of Scots are net contributors.

Salmond is clearly selling a dream. But it's a weird one. It's one where Scotland can be 'independent' and then quickly join the EU and be a little player being bossed around by France & Germany whilst keeping the pound as the currency for the forseeable future. The latter meaning England effectively controls the interest rate & money supply. And of course the English would be setting the rate to suit itself rather than Scotland.

Xenia Just to clarify a few things

1. Pound sterling is a 'fully tradeable currency', meaning Japan could start using it if it wanted. Scotland wouldn't need permission.
2. Leaving the UK does not mean automatically leaving the EU, Scotland would not have to reapply.
3. Scotland would pay it's share of all UK debt, for RBS this is about 10% as 10% of RBS's operations are based in Scotland.

More detail here and here

OldLadyKnowsNothing Wed 17-Oct-12 01:11:42

Thanks for that, Ria, I am surprised to find Xenia so ill-informed. Genuinely.

Xenia Wed 17-Oct-12 07:11:56

I know that anyone can use anyone's currency - Panama where my island is uses the US dollar but I don't think it's quite as simple as just using it. The Times yesterday said if say Scotland messes up their economy just as we don't want to be in a euro with the Greeks we would not want Scotland affecting the value of the pound so I am not sure how it will be linked.

The joining the EU thing is not as simple as people are saying.

RBS is SCottish - why should Scotland not bear all the bail out cost after all it was s Scottish Prime Minster who at least in part got England into the mess it is in.

Xenia Wed 17-Oct-12 07:13:01

On the euro issue this is one article from the Times yesterday

Alex Salmond’s repeated claim that an independent Scotland would inherit Britain’s opt-outs from the euro and passport-free travel in the European Union was badly undermined by three constitutional experts yesterday.

They told a House of Commons committee that if Scotland voted to leave the United Kingdom in 2014, it would lose all of its international rights and obligations while the rest of Britain would continue as before.

The experts’ view flew in the face of the assertion from the Scottish government that Scotland would become a joint-successor state, along with the rest of Britain, to the existing international treaties and memberships.

They told the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee that Scotland would start with “a clean slate”, potentially losing all of the UK’s opt-outs from the euro currency and the Schengen Agreement, which allows for passport-free travel, as well as its share of the UK’s budget rebate.

Jo Eric Murkens, senior lecturer at the London School of Economics law school, took issue with the Scottish government’s insistence that independence would herald the dissolution of the Act Of Union and reinstate Scotland’s historic status as a nation state.

“Nobody is seriously suggesting that we could go back to 1707,” he said. “The legal entities that existed at the time would exist no more. Scotland would secede, and the rest of the UK would effectively continue as the UK so there would be no change south of the border. Dissolution does not correspond to international practice.

“When we look at the relevant precedent cases, particularly the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1990-91, it was very clear that the international community wanted Russia as the continuing state. A main factor in that case was the existence of nuclear weapons, and the international community wanted Russia to take control because they were scattered around the Soviet Union and it was very clear that they didn’t want small states with a nuclear ability.

“I think this is an exact parallel with the UK, and the international community would want the UK to continue and for Scotland to start afresh.”

Matthew Craven, director of the Centre for the Study of Colonialism, Empire and International Law at the University of London, confirmed that the only example of a state dissolving into its previous entities was the short-lived United Arab Republic, where Egypt and Syria came together from 1958-60.

“That was a very exceptional situation,” he said. “In all other cases one would be thinking either the breaking apart and creation of two entirely new states, or a scenario where one part of it continues as the successor state.”

The experts also said that Scotland would have to reapply to join the EU, and while they would probably be fast-tracked, they would have to sign up to all of the mandatory rules of membership, such as accepting the euro and Schengen. “There is no doubt in my mind that Scotland would qualify as a new member state, but my only issue is with the word ‘automatically’,” Dr Murkens said.

“Scotland would not inherit the opt-outs to the euro and Schengen. The only two countries that have the opt-out from the euro are Denmark and the UK and those opt-outs were secured in the Maastricht Treaty negotiations in 1992. That offer has not been extended to any new member states.”

A Scottish government spokesman again insisted last night that an independent Scotland would inherit exactly the same international treaty rights and obligations as the rest of the UK, as equal successor states.

If Scotland starts with 'a clean slate' the rights and obligations it would lose include national debt (a brand new country has no financial history), can't see Cameron agreeing to that.

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