21 comments on “How come Cameron gave Scotland a referendum on leaving the EU and not the rest of us?

  1. Won’t Scottish independence be bad for UKIP? Because supposedly, at least, without Scotland the Conservatives will find things much easier, and can win outright majorities, and make some more conservative changes (in theory, anyway).

    (Although Labour would then have to move to the right to stay in the game, so that might change things again).

  2. But is it such a good question? Cameron will give the UK a referendum in 2017, if he becomes PM. But UKIP don’t want this because in fact they would lose that referendum (as the scottish nationalists will lose theirs next week). Enough horses will be traded that the ‘no’ will prevail. And where will that leave Nigel? He’s no fool – Nigel doesn’t want a referendum, he wants Ed.

  3. > Cameron will give the UK a referendum in 2017, if he becomes PM.

    But even if there is an EU referendum in 2017 (which is not at all guaranteed, even if Cameron does win), it will be fudged. For example, there will be some third halfway-house question on it which will sap the ‘Leave’ vote. (Some think the coalition erred by not doing the same with the Scottish vote.).

  4. Well if you listen to the Yes side, they still maintain we would remain a continuing member state of the EU while the (I can’t exactly divine their view here but I think they think) the fine detail of that continuing membership is agreed – this despite all comment from EU officials and politicians that this just aint gonna happen – we will be a new applicant member state.

    Further the Yes side do not seem to realise that new applicant EU member states must as a pre-requisite have their own currency and central bank, with a view to later joining the Euro. In order words 2 aims of the Yes campaign are fatally incompatible: maintaining sterling (with or without a currency union) and applying for EU membership. One or the other is possible, not both.

    However, this is yet another example of where the train is about to leave the rails, but the Yes camp are (in some cases) blissfully unaware – this certainly applies to the man on the street and the few sophisticates who know are keeping schtumm until the ball goes over the line.

    Apart from various other costs going up as a result of independence, there is also the near certainty that the UK’s specially negotiated VAT zero rating of certain categories of supply will also disappear to Scotland as a new EU applicant member (food, construction and sale of new homes, books, transport etc etc). There is the very real possibility of a minimum price hike of 15% to standard rate these items for VAT in future. Lovely!

    You would expect an honest and reasonable Yes campaign to point these sorts of things out, not keep quiet or lie about them.

    Ergo confirms my long-held belief that Salmond and Sturgeon are cvnts of the highest order, who should both be hanged if and when these sorts of disasters come to pass.

  5. My utterly cynical prediction is that it will cost the English when the Scots leave, and cost them again when the Scots come back having totally stuffed up. Nobody wants a failed state on their doorstep.

    (If of course they leave, which I still think they won’t.)

  6. @ Tank

    “Won’t Scottish independence be bad for UKIP?”

    More like the genie out of the bottle?

    If the Scots can vote for independence from the UK, surely the rest of us are then capable of voting to unshackle ourselves from the rotting corpse that is the EU (as Daniel Hannan like to call it)?

    We start thinking about “what’s possible” rather than hiding under a rock listening to all the scare stories.

  7. Sorry guys, he didn’t fudge this Scottish referendum, despite the mountain of trouble it has now caused him. So what is the authority for your claim that he will fudge the EU referendum?

  8. “More like the genie out of the bottle?”

    Well, maybe. I (cautiously) hope so. But it may also lead to the rebirth of the Conservatives.

  9. A thought:

    Since a large number of Scots voting next week don’t get that being independent means not entering a currency union with the big neighbour you’re supposed to want to be independent from and think the English are just bluffing, what is the betting a majority of Yes voters believe the EU is just bluffing as well and they really will end up as “Scotland, EU member”?

  10. @ Ironman

    I think you’re spot on.

    I think a lot of the yes vote hasn’t actually got round to working any of this “reality” stuff out. It’s simply “from the heart” and that really is it. Period!

  11. “Sorry guys, he didn’t fudge this Scottish referendum, despite the mountain of trouble it has now caused him. So what is the authority for your claim that he will fudge the EU referendum?”

    As is generally acknowledged Cameron and the rest of Parliament didn’t take seriously the idea that there was any chance of a Leave vote happening with Scotland, until a few weeks ago. Whereas Cameron and Parliament know full well that there is a decent chance of a ‘Leave the EU’ vote winning in any EU referendum, and that means that it will be fudged. My ‘authority’ for thinking that is just the past behaviour of politicians in situations like that.

    Also, the Scottish Parliament had considerable power over setting the terms of this referendum. It wasn’t just down to Cameron et al. There won’t be any equivalent group with sufficient power who will be able to do that with the EU referendum (well, not unless UKIP wins a mass of seats at the next election, but then that means it wasn’t down to Cameron).

    Finally, I think this because of the way Cameron constantly tries to make the issue about getting concessions for the UK. That’s how the debate has been framed.

  12. “Well, maybe. I (cautiously) hope so. But it may also lead to the rebirth of the Conservatives.”

    And/or maybe the rebirth of New Labour, as the Brown/Miliband-style Labour becomes unelectable.

  13. I have serious concerns about the last minute panic-fest being cobbled together by Westminster politicians, to shore up the No vote.
    A win for NO, wouldn’t mean No, it would mean Not Yet. We would have another five years of domestic strife in the UK, until the next referendum. (And that strife could well include attacks on soft targets in England, by a new cohort of “militants”). And in the end, Scotland will become independant anyway.
    Whilst I agree with everything that BraveFart has said above at 10.55, such wise counsel will cut no ice. I am convinced that many in the Yes camp actually do know and understand these very real constraints and pitfalls. They just don’t care, right now the decision making is happening at the visceral, rather than the cerebral level. No amount of rational discourse will prevail against that.

  14. I think that if they vote Yes, everything will be muddled through south of the border in the way that England usually muddles stuff through, or did in the age before PaulB’s permanent gold standard protocols.

    The £ might dip for a while, so good for tourism and exports, and a few companies will relocate one side or the other, but for most of us it will make very little difference.

    In the short term, Scotland will go hard left and it will be highly amusing. I might set up a popcorn stand at Hadrian’s Wall.

    In the longer term, the Scots will come to their senses, and our own English left will be ruined forever.

    This will be because their lunatic policies will have been exposed by having been forced on people who speak the same language as us, and are nearby and intermarried with us, and can tell us the truth about the nightmare, rather than it being intermediated and lied about by the BBC.

    Until now, this insane bollocks has only ever been inflicted on people a long way away who speak a foreign tongue and about whom we don’t much care, such as your Argies, Venezuelans, Russkis and what not.

  15. I would bet a very large sum of money that Scotland would be retained as an EU member.

    Yes, senior EU officials tried to make it clear that Scotland joining would be “almost impossible”, but this was truly baffling. Clearly there was some sort of game being played, and a deep one at that.

    Very simply, the EU seeks to expand at all times. Scotland is already a member, and the SNP is pro-EU. The idea that the EU would try and block Scotland is simply not credible, and the rules can be bent or broken to make the process a smooth one.

    The question remains, why did EU officials make those statements? What was the game?

  16. @ Monty

    This is exactly the issue that is increasingly leading me to think “what the hell” and perhaps want Scotland to say Yes.

    With the rank stupidity of our political class, trying to appease the Scots and offer them everything to say No, basically we are going to get screwed whichever way you look at it.

    Even if one doesn’t fully take Sean Thomas’s view as to the dire repercussions of a Yes, it’s going to mean lots of dog poo for rUK, whichever way the vote goes.

    And, in which case, we might as well get the pain over and done with, wish them good luck, and move forwards. I think it’s about attitude and ambition as much as anything; and if the Scots want to try and forge their own path, then let’s just do it.

    I guess an upside will be that a lot of the smarter ones may well come south – as Salmond inevitably attempts a variation of the Venezuelan experiment – and hence the predicted adverse economic effects on rUK may not be so bad. If Scotland tries increasing benefits, there may even be movement in both directions..:)

    A different shape of rUK then more has the confidence to reject an out of touch Brussels that will increasingly be under pressure from events. If Scotland – then never mind Catalonia, Flanders could be next, then what for Brussels (!!), but that’ll be their problem…

    And, having successfully unshackled ourselves from the rotting corpse, and facing out to the world, rUK could increasingly start to look very attractive, luring the best and brightest from elsewhere…

  17. @ Jack C

    “The question remains, why did EU officials make those statements? What was the game?”

    Catalonia, the Basque region, Flanders, and I suspect others are watching very closely…

  18. PF,
    Yes, but the Regional Master Plan is about diminishing the nation state, with the regions (such as Catalonia and Scotland) reporting to Brussels.

    So your explanation is just another reason why the EU should have been supportive, isn’t it?

  19. @ Jack C

    Yes, but the Regional Master Plan is about diminishing the nation state, with the regions (such as Catalonia and Scotland) reporting to Brussels.

    So your explanation is just another reason why the EU should have been supportive, isn’t it?

    Interesting.. Yep, the logic sounds good. I guess I was thinking more about the pressure from countries themselves. Ie, are the EU functionaries simply reflecting the likely actions (and probable vetos) that countries such as Spain would look to enforce (if Scotland reapplied for membership for example)?

  20. Both Spain and Italy would be likely to give Scottish accession a rough passage in any circumstances.
    I suspect many Yes camp supporters are just kidding themselves that they would be able to slipstream into the EU with all the opt outs previously secured by the UK, but that is never going to happen. Given the recent history of the Eurozone, they are highly unlikely to bend their entry criteria again for anyone, especially an entrant with a dwindling oil resource, a top heavy financial sector already in special recovery measures, and no credit record.

    They are voting to jump, they aren’t even thinking about what they might land in.
    BUT, all that is not a problem for the rest of us. All we have to do, is secure our border to the north. There is no accession procedure to the UK.

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