Makes entire sense to me

And you think this could not happen here? You should believe it could. Let me provide an example. There is now ample evidence that people in one country of our Union want to leave the UK. Their political leadership is asking for the democratic right to choose. And that is being denied to them. Is this very different from what Trump has been doing in defying and seeking to deny democratic choice? I see little difference. The contempt for the will of people is similar.

When politics ignores people’s wishes for proper representation democracy is at threat.

The bit I have a problem with is that let us assume this is true. Which, to be fair, I think it is – the IndyScot request for a referendum that is. OK, so why was the Brexit referendum, something which was actually won, something that should have been denied?

39 thoughts on “Makes entire sense to me”

  1. The difference is that there already was a recent IndyRef — which went the way it did mainly because English folk living in Scotland were allowed a vote, but the English in England were denied it.

  2. Is that country England? Wouldn’t surprise me that we don’t want to fund Wales, Scotland and NornIron anymore.

  3. With presidential elections you get another shot in a fixed period of time. If the Jocks ever vote out, they will not get another vote. That makes comparisons deceptive.

    With Trump there is a different problem. What is to stop cheating if the usual channels will not even investigate it?

  4. The most intriguing sentence in the gobbet above is

    Is this very different from what Trump has been doing in defying and seeking to deny democratic choice?

    in which Major Kartoffel makes clear his profound disdain for democracy

  5. There is now ample evidence that people in one country of our Union want to leave the UK.

    Sure, this is why we had a referendum on the matter a few years ago. Scotland voted Remain.

    Now, the thing about being part of a unitary state like the United Kingdom is that the political leadership of the unitary state is supposed to balance the interests of all its components. Much as the SNP would like weekly referenda until it gets the “right” answer – after which the people won’t be asked again – England, Wales, NornIron and the majority of Scots who voted No in 2014 have a legitimate interest in their lockdown-battered economies not being burdened with the perennial uncertainty of a neverendum.

    Can’t blame the SNP for asking, but only a barefaced liar could blame the Prime Minister for refusing.

    If Nicola is so desperate for freedom, she can always try the William Wallace approach. Sign up Carrie for the Ladies from Hell.

  6. I think we should give them a second referendum.
    Except this time, the entire Union gets a vote England, Scotland, Wales and N.Ireland all get to be asked.
    Vote split so that Scotland is counted is one side and the rest of UK is the other side.
    If either vote for them to leave, then Bye, Bye Scotland.
    If both to remain, no more referendums on it for 50 years
    Can’t say fairer than that surely?

  7. ‘ample evidence’ (dodgy polling data with no prospect of a referendum) that he chooses to believe rather than ‘actual evidence’ (the ‘once in a generation’ 2014 referendum) that he prefers to ignore

  8. Re the argument that there’s only just been a Scottish IndyRef, it is also fair to point out that there has been a pretty major constitutional change – Brexit – in the meantime, which would fundamentally change the question being asked, even if the wording on the ballot paper were the same. (Some SNP supporters go further than this by pointing out that the No side presented starting in the UK as the only way of staying in the EU, but I think that’s too much of a stretch; people say a lot of things in referendum campaigns!)

    Changing the subject a bit, I find John Major’s (and others’) suggestion, that there should be up to two referendums (referenda??), leads to an interesting thought-experiment. The idea is:
    R1 – should the Scottish government negotiate the terms of independence from the UK?
    R2 – ok, here are the terms. Now do you want independence?
    The main advantage is nobody can say, as Remainers of course have, that voters to leave didn’t know what they were voting for.

    I’d suspect R1, if conducted tomorrow, to be a landslide Yes.

    R2 would be much more interesting. The negotiation would potentially be vastly messier than the Brexit ones, whether or not it’s conducted before a second (/third) referendum: “independence” means considerably more in the Scotland/RUK context than it did in the UKIP context.

    Given the probable disparity of negotiating positions (unless Nicola can persuade the nuke captains that their primary allegiance is actually to Scotland ), it would be pretty trivial for RUK to insist on an outcome that is – and/or is seen to be – disastrous for Scotland. This would probably tend to put people off voting Yes in R2 … unless the SNP could present it as another reason to cut loose of what they would no doubt present as petty, over-bearing bullies.

    It also seems highly unlikely that the EU would commit, even in principle, to admitting an independent Scotland before it actually becomes independent, let alone on what terms, and the prospect of regaining EU membership seems to be a major reason for the increase in support for independence. Again, this would hurt the R2 Yes campaign.

    Even the passage of time would hurt the Yes campaign: if complex negotiations between R1 and R2 took so long that someone less toxic north of the border replaced BoJo, for example.

  9. In a democracy, even a flawed democracy, the will of the people will always eventually catch up with the politicians. Trump was not the cause of Trumpism and his departure will not remove the reasons for his election in the first place. Brexit was a reaction to being ignored by the ‘bien pensants’ for far too long. Patrick’s predictions for the next thing(s) that will catch up with the powers that be at some point:
    1. Death of wokeism – a kickback on cancel culture, and a culture war being fought more openly by both sides
    2. The NHS is not the messiah, it’s a very naughty boy
    3. A strong movement towards free speech – and codifying properly that this includes the right to offend.

  10. Wee Krankie’s calls are nothing to do with actually making The Socialist Republic of Jockistan a separate country, but rather a way to weasel even more cash from the English.

  11. I find something strangely agreeable about the minority of Scots who want out of the EU, and also out of the UK.
    If Scotland had voted 86% Remain on an 86% turnout then the UK would still be an EU member.
    A terrifying thought. Thank goodness it didn’t happen.

  12. “Changing the subject a bit, I find John Major’s (and others’) suggestion, that there should be up to two referendums (referenda??), leads to an interesting thought-experiment. The idea is:
    R1 – should the Scottish government negotiate the terms of independence from the UK?
    R2 – ok, here are the terms. Now do you want independence?
    The main advantage is nobody can say, as Remainers of course have, that voters to leave didn’t know what they were voting for.”

    Its an interesting idea. My first thought was that all that would happen is that the rUK government bent over backwards to accommodate the Nats at every opportunity. But of course that presupposes the rUK government want a Yes vote in R2. Which I assume they don’t, even the Deep State that runs everything doesn’t seem to want to break the UK up formally. Its happy to give the Nats everything else at the expense of the English, but I think it baulks at splitting the UK up. So one supposes the R1 negotiations would be pretty hard core. Forcing the Nats to make very hard decisions about currency, debt, access to Uk markets etc etc. Which could make for a pretty stark R2 vote.

    That all being said I’m sure that the Deep State would find some way of selling the English out if they possibly could.

  13. Bloke on A720. FFS, the 2014 SNP manifesto explicitly stated (pages 60,206,279,335,461) that a vote to stay in the UK may mean being forced to leave the EU in the planned in/out referendum. The Scots made their choice in full knowledge of the facts.
    I would suggest a vote by the English only on Scotland remaining in the union but with the degree of stupidity currently being shown by the electorate in England they’d probably vote for the Jocks to stay.

  14. As I said in 2014 the question for any Indyref is very straightforward

    Do you wish Scotland to become Northern Zimbabwe ?

    O Yes

    O Please hurry up

  15. @Patrick “Trump was not the cause of Trumpism and his departure will not remove the reasons for his election in the first place.”
    Quite so. America is on course to becoming a Latin American republic by end of century; its citizens were never asked, and such polls as exist suggest the historic majority would rather not.

    @MrKing
    “but rather a way to weasel even more cash from the English.”
    True, but the incentives are for different factions within the SNSP to outbid each other to garner votes, so they may wake up one day to find a majority of voters want full independence even if it’s not rational on economic grounds.

    @Steve
    “weekly referenda until it gets the “right” answer – after which the people won’t be asked again ” I believe this is the plan in Northern Ireland, ref. every 7 years if I recall?, until IRA/Sinn Fein win.

  16. @Jim

    “the rUK government bent over backwards to accommodate the Nats at every opportunity. But of course that presupposes the rUK government want a Yes vote in R2.”

    The reason successive governments have “bent over backwards” (the things I think of are devolution and, if one accepts that it’s disproportionately favourable to Scotland, the Barnet formula; what else did you have in mind?) is surely to make independence less likely, no?

    Surely, even BoJo – who might be tempted to help ease Scotland out on the Union if he could find a way of doing so without losing office, given that he’d then become PM for life – wouldn’t want to go down in history as the PM who oversaw the breakup of the UK.

    … anyway, setting aside all the “Deep State” silliness, we end up at the same place: pretty hard-core negotiations. I suspect the result would be a no vote in R2. Quite possibly part of the reason Major would prefer this model.

    @Adddolff

    I haven’t been able to immediately lay my hands on the manifesto in question to see the exact wording, but surely the key word there is “may”:
    – floating voters for whom remaining in the EU is important
    – note the SNP making worst case predictions about the possible consequences of staying in the UK
    – may agree that it’s a risk (and I don’t think – may be wrong – Cameron had yet promised the EU Ref in his 2015 manifesto by that point, so “planned” may be a bit strong) but ultimately decide it’s SNP scare-mongering and not sufficiently likely to sway them to vote to leave UK.

    A few years later, the likelihood of the UK not being in the EU is, of course, 100%. Hence the referendum question is a different one.

    To put it another way, re “full knowledge of the facts”: so yeah, they knew there was a possibility of the UK leaving the EU. It’s now a certainty. Hence, the facts have changed. It definitely lends weight to the argument in favour of a further independence referendum; whether it’s enough is a matter of degree and opinion.

  17. One problem with the R1/R2 idea is that if the UK gvt put down a really nasty/threatening offer for R2 in the hopes of scaring Scots into backing the Union, it risks creating very deep and lasting ill will even if Scotland voted to stay second time around – likely enough to keep nationalists in power for another political generation, maybe enough to make eventual departure inevitable. Would certainly make the Old Union “over the water” in Brussels shine more fondly in Scottish affections as a potentially more welcoming and less hostile home to berth themselves in the future.

    And forgetting any fantasy that a UK gvt would go into such a referendum hoping to lose it, what else would be the point of such a manoeuvre other than to scare Scots away from straying? No UK gvt that embraced the double-ref concept would be laying down generous terms for a smooth and stable independence at stage two – if they were going to do that, they wouldn’t have bothered with a second referendum. Their best strategy for winning would have been a single-stage process with deliberately cultivated uncertainty (always a friend of the status quo in referenda) as to what independence would look like. Major was clearly presenting dual referenda as a way to get Scotland to stay, just as he hoped a second Brexit ref “once the terms are clear and level heads prevail” would persuade Brits to remain. His fear as a conservative is that nationalism can brew up an intoxicating (and unrealistic) fantasy vision of Scotland as a free country which the generally narrow pragmatism of Unionism will struggle to contend with at the polls, unless Scots are made to vote on a more detailed practical agenda spelling out how its relations with rUK would function post-independence. But such a strategem doesn’t make the Union fundamentally more attractive to Scots, nor resolve the various socio-cultural, political and constitutional centrifugal forces that are currently pulling the Union apart. And the ploy would be actively unhelpful in this task if perceived in Scotland as yet another example of Westminster bullying, and especially if Scots had voted for independence “in principle” just felt they had not received appropriate terms yet.

    Quebec stayed in Canada very, very narrowly at its second indyref and largely hasn’t looked like leaving since, but quite a lot of accommodations were made. I’m not sure a second indyref win for the Union in Scotland would seal matters – and if Unionism does win, it will be close run thing – unless there’s appetite in London for a substantially restructured constitutional settlement. Such a task may require reshaping the status of Wales and (even more thorny) NI too. I’m not even sure that would be politically feasible – was rather easier for the Canadians to handle the special situation of Quebec as it was both the pressing difficulty and the exception. Rejigging the UK’s structure brings other hard-to-fit pieces into play. But if the majority in Scotland desire greater independence from London, and this cannot be accommodated within the UK, then there’s a very deep instability baked in to the system and at some point something is going to have to give. Playing fun and games with the referendum process can only get you so far on that front.

  18. “the rUK government bent over backwards to accommodate the Nats”

    Forwards, I think, is more accurate.

  19. “The reason successive governments have “bent over backwards” (the things I think of are devolution and, if one accepts that it’s disproportionately favourable to Scotland, the Barnet formula; what else did you have in mind?) is surely to make independence less likely, no?”

    So thats why independence is the only game in town now, for Scottish politics? There has been lots of accommodation of Scotland (more powers than anywhere else in the UK, more money) and still we get nothing but grievances from North of the border. Tory Austerity! English scum! Not my Prime Minister! etc etc, but always Gie’us more money! as well. Better to have stamped on it hard at the beginning and given nothing, they might still want to leave but at least it would have been cheaper. If you appease the Dane he always comes back. Scotland should be told to stay and shut up or f*ck off IMO.

    “setting aside all the “Deep State” silliness”

    Yes because the permanent apparatus of the State never has its own agenda……..

  20. Bloke on A720. We ask people a question with an option A & B. We explicitly lay out the possible consequences of their chosen option A or B.
    They choose option A and one of the explicitly stated consequences occurs. In your world we can negate this because it is now a definite consequence instead of a possible consequence.
    You are mad.

  21. My point about the Deep State was more that the terms of any future Scotland/rUK relationship would never be subject to any democratic consent within the rUK. Whatever ‘deal’ was done would be entirely a concoction of the (no longer smoke filled) rooms of Whitehall. And as Whitehall largely hates the English any deal done would undoubtedly be to our detriment.

    If the R1/R2 referendum was ever to come about, the R2 part should be offered to the rUK to vote on as much as Scotland.

  22. @Adddolff

    You need to read what I wrote:

    “It definitely lends weight to the argument in favour of a further independence referendum; whether it’s enough is a matter of degree and opinion.”

    I never said “we can negate it”, nor that I think we should negate it. Stop putting words in my mouth, please. I was merely flagging up that (to paraphrase your penultimate sentence) any argument to negate this is bolstered because it is now a definite consequence instead of a possible consequence, which is clearly the case.

  23. @Jim

    “So [bending over backwards is] why independence is the only game in town now, for Scottish politics?”

    In keeping with the general lack of faith in the competence of government around here, I’m not sure we can take the result of the backwards(/forwards)-bending policy (to the extent it is the result of this policy – don’t underestimate the impact of the profound antipathy towards BoJo and Brexit up here) as evidence that it was actually the result that was intended.

    “Yes because the permanent apparatus of the State never has its own agenda……..”

    Hmm. Having formerly been a middle-ranking civil servant (and, given the “middle-ranking” not, perhaps not “deep” enough, admittedly), my sense was always that the agenda of those at permanent secretary level, or who had realistic aspirations of getting to that level, almost certainly went no further than furthering their own career, an interest that, by definition, had to be broadly aligned with the wishes of the government of the day. This generally meant accommodating those wishes as best they could up to the point at which they would entail serious inconvenience to the Civil Service itself (reorganisations, efficiency-savings, etc), but I don’t see that there would ever be much opportunity, or indeed wish, to try to impose any particular broader political agenda.

    “as Whitehall largely hates the English”

    Now this is intriguing. What makes you say this?

    “If the R1/R2 referendum was ever to come about, the R2 part should be offered to the rUK to vote on as much as Scotland.”

    Now this is interesting.

    I can see why it’s desirable for the wishes of the rUK to be taken into account, but how would this work in practice?

    Presumably you mean just go with a simple majority of all views across the UK? Can you imagine how you (as, I assume, a Brexit voter) would have felt if the UK had voted for Brexit but we’d stayed in because the EU voted for us to stay?

    Of course that couldn’t have happened. Whereas the EU position – as codified in A50 – is that a member state can always leave if it wants to, Scotland has to basically beg the UK Parliament (formally the Queen, I suppose?) to let it leave. Maybe it’s sort of reasonable that a territory that was basically conquered – if not militarily, then economically post-Darien – isn’t able to unilaterally choose to be un-conquered, but it would seem odd to give Scotland a referendum but then to ignore the Scottish electorate’s choice if it differs from that of the rUK.

    I can sort of see some logic to putting a question asking the lines of “do you want Scotland to piss off” to rUK voters and running with the answer no matter what voters in that conquered territory think, but it feels a bit wrong and I suspect there’s not a great deal of historical precedent for it. I’d be intrigued if there is.

    I suppose you could envisage a situation where rUK voters have a different R2 question: “if Scotland votes to leave today, do you ratify the terms of departure”, but if Scotland voted yes and rUK voted no what next? Renegotiation and Neverendum cycle?

    The EU delegated the decision on whether to ratify the various Brexit agreements to its elected officials. I think this would probably be the only option open to rUK as well at the R2 point (or indeed after a more plausible decision to leave made in a single referendum).

    No easy answers…

  24. Surreptitious Evil

    Wee Krankie’s calls are nothing to do with actually making The Socialist Republic of Jockistan a separate country, but rather a way to weasel even more cash from the English.

    Sorry but, no, this is bollocks. They really do believe in this. Freedumb and freedumber, if you wish. They lie to themselves as well as to their supporters.

  25. @ Surreptitious Evil

    She’d piss her knickers if she had to give austerity to the Porridge Wogs when they had to live within their fiscal means.

  26. She’d piss her knickers if she had to give austerity to the Porridge Wogs when they had to live within their fiscal means.

    Which would be the day after independence, since The Independent Republic of Jockistan would be insolvent at birth, having a deficit of £9 billion a year today. I suspect that deficit would grow massively between a successful independence referendum and actual independence as people and companies vote with their feet and before the Great Fascist Protection Rampart is laid across Hadrians Wall.

    There would be no way of preventing genuine austerity (i.e. balancing income against expenditure) since neither the UK nor the EU would fund the gap between any transition of Scotland being in the UK and Scotland being in the EU, a transition that would take a decade at least and mean the EU taking on YET ANOTHER pauper nation.

    No, I suspect that the EU’s accession requirements for an Independent Scotland would look quite bleak from where they are at the moment, including a managed deficit not exceeding 3% of GDP, giving up the Pound Sterling for the Euro, etc., etc.

    Let’s not also forget about Scotland’s share of the national debt.

  27. Devolution has failed; the COVID chaos illustrates this sharply. But it’s not just that; it is the the transformation of Scotland into the tartan GDR and Welsh Labour killing its voters by running the NHS (amazingly) even more poorly than it’s run in England.

    As the Porridge Wogs are bleating for a referendum, let’s give them one, with 2 options:

    1) Independence: hard border, no pound, FTA if you want it, take on your share of the debt but we’ll write it off over 50 years of nuclear sub station rental if you want, otherwise you’re going to have to issue some groat-denominated bonds sharpish.

    2) Become a proper part of the UK with no toytown parliament and no local laws. We couple this with more autonomy for local authorities, including local taxation.

    Same for Wales. I suspect this would lead to the end of devolution in Wales and the end of Scotland in the UK, which suits me. As Rod Liddle points out in the latest Spectator, Scotland was once arguably the leading intellectual driving force in Europe. Perhaps after independence (and ideally some sort of civil war, which the woad-painted fascists lose) it will be again, rather than a collection of moaning losers with their hand out and their teeth bared.

    NI is a bit of a problem here because we can’t offer the alternative of reunification unless the republic agrees and without devolution we’d have murderous bogtrotters causing trouble again. Best if we just ignore it and hope they don’t notice that no-one is sending them money any longer.

  28. @MrKing

    As SE says, they’re actually serious about this indie stuff. But the economic hit is an interesting question. Far as I can see there are several different approaches among the Yes! Camp (SNP, Scottish Greens and a few minor socialist groups) with a degree of overlap between them and differing degrees of realism.

    Some strands argue there’s actually no economic hit. Remember Richie on GERS? Lot of Nats honestly believe the claim that the UK subsidises Scotland is an outright lie anyway, just the result of statistical massaging, so nothing to lose by breaking free. Closely related to the “England stole/is still stealing our oil and gas” school of thought.

    Another strand argues that in the long term indy makes Scotland richer so any short term hit, if there is one, is worth it. A bit Green New Deal-y. Think “Saudi Arabia of wind” etc. Leaving the UK means not being tied to Tory austerity in the long term. A more eco, more equal, more socialised, and generally nicer-all-round economy which will “regenerate” the country. Also aligned with the view that after having escaped the Little Englanders, Scotland will be able to strut its stuff on the world stage again – though the most usual claim advanced for why this is good economically seems to be “we will rejoin the EU and increase our trade that way”, so not a terribly globalist outlook, more a regionalist backyard one.

    But that also ties in with a third alternative – someone else will pick up the tab. EU membership suggests access to structural funds (though Scotland will be rich compared to Eastern and Balkan members so I’m not sure how much they’d get nett). But there are also occasional suggestions that rUK might still finance things, whether explicitly in the form of reparations / debt forgiveness (don’t think this is the SNP official line at all but you can certainly find Nats who are big on this – whether it is for centuries of “English rule” or more specifically related to the perceived oil theft) or implicitly e.g. granting access to the benefits of certain institutions like the Bank of England, standing as the guarantor of “too big to fail, and too big for Scotland to handle” banks.

    Those north of the border will have a better grasp than me as to which part of the Yes! coalition are more closely aligned with which strands of thought. But if you read The National or have a look at ScotNat blogs and twitter occasionally, I think you’ll soon see everything I mentioned. Perhaps some other approaches too. No doubt some think “it will hurt and it will make us poorer but I’m prepared to pay that price for our freedom” but unsurprisingly that’s not the sort of messaging any of the politicos put out. They either tend to be more upbeat about the economic side or more vague about it.

  29. After Furher Drakeford’s performance during Covid, it will be interesting to see how many people vote for the Abolish the Welsh Assembly party this year…

  30. Scots Independence is a bad joke and the joke is they could do it but only by flushing socialism and their love of it down the shitter and they NEVER will. Because they are Mugs in Tartan.*

    So long as Scots are up the arse of socialism they will remain on the downbound train and welfare bums to someone else. And since their range of payers is small ….

    *Mugs in Tartan is a good name for a Scots based comedy. All that’s needed now is a glimmer of how to make Scotland funny in someway that doesn’t leave a sour taste in the mouth after the laughter. Perhaps a show featuring Wicked Wichts who live in the glued together cracks under Edinburgh Castle–or another kind of Scots fairy running a locked down hairdressers on Sauchiehall Street or…..

  31. Mr Ecks, I vividly remember a late 80’s BBC comedy show (remember them?) called Naked Video – the birthplace I think, of the only Scotsman worth listening to, Rab C. Nesbitt. They had a sketch of a talk show on which the question was “Why is Scotland crap?”.

  32. Bloke in North Dorset

    I don’t understand why there would be an economic problem in Indy Scotland: sovereign country, slack in the economy, ability to print your own currency – that must be an MMTers wet dream.

    What could possibly go wrong?

  33. I can see why it’s desirable for the wishes of the rUK to be taken into account, but how would this work in practice?

    Presumably you mean just go with a simple majority of all views across the UK? Can you imagine how you (as, I assume, a Brexit voter) would have felt if the UK had voted for Brexit but we’d stayed in because the EU voted for us to stay?

    I think the suggestion is that, if either jockistan or rUK votes for joxit, then we all get to celebrate independence. The only way we stay lumbered with the sweaties is if both sides vote remain.

    As a thought experiment, I was wondering what might happen if the UK government offered the porridge wog hot air shop full fiscal autonomy. ie, no more transfers of cash from England, what they spend they have to raise themselves. They get to keep all the income tax and corporation taxes from north of the border, and VAT etc from sales of haggis and bucky. Suggest it maybe as a “try independence without making it irrevocable” sort of thing. Would Wee Jimmie Krankie accept the offer?

  34. Surely we can expect Gina Miller to take the government to court if it has another Scottish independence referendum without giving the rest of the UK a voice.

  35. Ecks: your Mugs in Tartan idea reminded me of a thought I had. The afternoon DJ on Radio 2 (Steve Wright?) has an interlude he calls “Serious Jockin'”. It’s to do with playing records, but I always think of something Scottish but hard. Think The White Heather Club with neds. A Peter Mullan or James Cosmo character instead of Andy Stewart, and perhaps Maggie Bell or Sharleen Spiteri instead of Moira Anderson. I’m sure Rab could fit in there, and Begbie too for a bit of a ruck.

  36. ““as Whitehall largely hates the English”

    Now this is intriguing. What makes you say this?”

    Looking around me at the way the English are treated within the UK as a whole. Everyone else gets to run their own affairs to a greater or lesser extent, uninhibited by English votes, but the English have to be governed by all the votes of the UK, ie all the Celtic fringe get a say in English affairs, but we get no say in theirs. I can only assume this policy is deliberate, as the unfairness is blatant.

    “I can see why it’s desirable for the wishes of the rUK to be taken into account, but how would this work in practice?”

    My point on offering the rUK a vote on the terms of Scotland leaving was not to to stop them going if they wanted to, more to stop Whitehall selling the English down the river with the terms they negotiate with Scotland. Scotland can leave any time under a sort of ‘No deal’ basis (which would be pretty brutal one suspects) but if it wants access to UK markets and institutions and transitional arrangements etc etc then the deal must cut both ways, both sides should have to agree to it. I can see a scenario where Whitehall grants an independent Scotland all manner of favours upon independence and gains little or nothing in return. I think the rUK should have a say (via a referendum) on those terms. If we voted them down that doesn’t mean Scotland can’t leave, just not under such favourable terms.

  37. @BiW

    “… full fiscal autonomy. ie, no more transfers of cash from England, what they spend they have to raise themselves. They get to keep all the income tax and corporation taxes from north of the border, and VAT etc from sales of haggis and bucky. Suggest it maybe as a “try independence without making it irrevocable” sort of thing.”

    Interesting thought. In reality I can’t imagine the Treasury being up for offering that, and there are a number of ways in which cross-border flows would remain eg overseas aid and military budgets would presumably be nabbed from Scotland’s slice, including funding for nukes which they’d disavow given the chance, and payments on the UK national debt.

    Issuing debt would have a big role in an indy Scotland’s fiscal policy, at least to tide over the transition period, with the hopes that it is either transition to a golden greener future where they don’t need external funding, or that joining the EU won’t take too long and there’ll be a pot of gold that way. If HM Treasury’s tap were to be cut off abruptly inside the UK, you’d have to let Scotland borrow in a quasi-sovereign way or the economic shock would be devastating.

    The Nat argument against this kind of semi-independence is that it doesn’t let Scotland do several things it wants to do – scrap nukes, join the EU – that would actually let them tradition to their imagined golden future, so it would be like being stuck in limbo. While Scotland continues to accept the constraints of the Union it must surely, they’d argue, receive its “fair share”, based on solidarity and equity considerations, or even as a form of compensation for the limits Scotland has had put on it. I think your hypothetical offer would be seen as a transparent trick to trap Scots within the confines of the Union and brutally impoverish them until they “learned their lesson.” I don’t think it would put committed indy voters off independence (at the most extreme end they see the root cause of Scotland’s poverty as due to being a colonised people and the only route to prosperity within that analysis has to be to shake off their imperialist overlords and oppressors, at almost any short-term cost) while I don’t think “fine, we aren’t going to fund you any more” would endear the Union to any floating voters.

  38. If Karen McHaggis wants a referendum, what is to prevent her from arranging one on her own? I’m sure the Holyrood Parliament could arrange it without Westminster’s permission if she was serious. Then she could proclaim UDI and deal with the ensuing capital flight, brain drain and cessation of English subsidies. God knows the English, Welsh and Northern Irish would welcome it.

  39. I believe that Scotland wants to import a lot of immigrants (for some bizarre reasons i don’t understand- see here -https://www.gov.scot/publications/scotlands-population-needs-migration-policy/)In England we’ve got plenty of immigrants we would well be rid of * insert your preference here* If Scotland becomes independent then they are welcome to them. I’ll even chip in for the bus fare.

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