Scottish Defence Service – Things to Do Day 1

We have discussed the ins and outs of Scottish independence many times on Think Defence but as the vote looms I thought it would be interesting to try and capture the combined wisdom of the Think Defence readership and collate an issue list, or things to do, for a newly formed Scottish Defence Service, or Scottish Defence Force, or any other name.

Put your thoughts into the comments and I will collate into a list, all are welcome, but keep the politics to a minimum, lets be practical.

Try and think about the three domains of land, sea and air, electronic and communications, support and logistics, medical and veterinary, public duties and training, PFI’s and buildings, Search and Rescue and fisheries protection, Trident and shipbuilding, and, well, you get the picture.

Over to you…

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tweckyspat
September 16, 2014 8:19 pm

Too easy:

Ship to shore logistics interoperable with the CalMac ferries soon to be requisitioned as Ramped Craft Logistic. Obviously the powered logistic rafts required in addition would be McMexeflotes…

Allan
Allan
September 16, 2014 8:31 pm

There is a great series covering all of the points raised in TDs pertinent questions on the now retired ‘Thin Pinstriped Line’ Blog…..

http://thinpinstripedline.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/assessment-on-proposals-for-scottish.html

http://thinpinstripedline.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/for-your-scottish-eyes-only.html

wf
wf
September 16, 2014 8:35 pm

Scotland
————
– Split of NATS long term, sharing agreement short term
– fisheries patrols takeover
– customs split
– Faslane security arrangements
– SOSUS sharing agreement with the US
– procedure for Scottish personnel to join SC armed forces
– holding organisation for SC personnel (pay and rations)

rUK
—-
– arrangements for air defence, chain of command agreement
– ditto for naval defense
– kick off process for selecting new Trident/SSN bases
– transfer Scottish regiments, with arrangements for those that want to stay
– agreement for Faslane, garrison in meantime
– cancel all investments in Scotland, inform the likes of BAE they have to invest south of the border
– present bill for disposal of unused SSN/SSBN in Rosyth, to be counted with SC share of National Debt
– wait!

I expect the currency will be the fun part. SC economy will likely move into recession as UK public sector workers and subsidies move. rUK balance of payments will take a hit from loss of SC oil. The waiting game will benefit rUK rather than SC.

Robinson
Robinson
September 16, 2014 8:50 pm

Belfast/Larne ferries to resupply forces with Tayto crisps, Tattie bread, soda farls, and Ulster frys for healthy forces meals. All residents to be taught “proper Scots” not “proper/BBC English” to communicate efficiently with each unit, and confuse enemy. Reactivate the “aul alliance” and persuade the French to cancel standing military treaties with UK as it no longer is, and defer use of shared assets, cross training, and mutual defence treaties to favour of Caledonia. Being slightly satirical as ex pat Northern Irish, and big Scotophile, living in northern France, Chez les Ch’tis. Frankly Scotland – and i have a multitude of friends there and the odd clan member, it’s a lovely dream in another era, but modern financial practicalities make it only that. Like the Irish Republic not wanting Norn Irn as the financial support and infrastructure of Westminster etc holds it just about together, and too expensive to absorb, Scotland detaching from the system, is an administrative and financial nightmare. Hang on in with the Union me vociferous mad friends, we know your Scots not Scotch, and together as a unity we’re stronger. Yes the Inglezis will send you and us Ulstermen into battle and dirty jobs first, along with a few Taffs. If we leave the English on their own we’ll only have to fight to get more invasions out of the bottom half of the islands anyway with the hardest fighters in the top bits! We need the Union as Englishman, Irishman, Welshman, Scotsman jokes are funnier than taking the urine out of French. Strongest international coalition of small countries in world for centuries. Bit weakened by successive crappy govt cuts yes, but as an united entity we punch way far above our weight. Sorry but you can do little on your own, even joining NATO.

Rocket Banana
September 16, 2014 8:59 pm

4 x E2.
Two dozen Gripen with JSM.
4 x MQ-9 Reaper.

HMS Argyll and Montrose.
The three new OPVs.
Fort Victoria.
12 x NH90 NFH.
Eventual build of 4-6 SSKs.

An Army division of around 20,000 with a single deployable multi-role brigade consisting of a light airmobile battalion, a couple of infantry battalions, a couple of armoured regiments (CR2 from storage) and a couple of mechanised battalions (Boxer).
12 x NH90 TTH.
12 x T129 Mangusta

Deja Vu
Deja Vu
September 16, 2014 9:04 pm

Download as much as they can before their log on expires.

jim30
jim30
September 16, 2014 9:11 pm

Work out how you are going to rearm your defence forces when you realise that the ITAR veto means none of the good ‘killy stuff’ that you need has actually been transferred due to the conspiracy that is international law…

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
September 16, 2014 9:26 pm

I wonder about the Scottish Army.

Having had the privilege of serving in a Scottish Regiment (albeit as a mid career transplant), I have some insight into how the boys think, and I think the SNP might be sadly over-confident if they expect cheerful mass transfers, but the overall picture will be a bit spotty.

The vast majority of officers would opt to stay in the rUK Forces, for reasons of total career variety in operational deployments and career potential.

The very senior end of the SNCOs and those JNCOs not likely to be further promoted might opt to do their last few years in Scotland as they transition towards resettlement.

The majority of the JNCOs and boys would I feel opt for rUK as there is simply more fun to be had and opportunity. Let’s face it, few join the Army to be posted to some ghastly dump like Motherwell 8 miles from home, to then do bugger all for 22 years. Some might.

Scottish soldiers are tremendously proud of being Scotsmen, love the Ps and Ds, wave Saltires about and all the rest of it. But they have strong Unionist leanings, and certainly appreciate the variety and spice that worldwide deployments have given them.

If this all transpires, rUK would be wise to offer a new Ghurka type of deal. Young man, get yourself to Newcastle or Carlisle, join a Scottish-based Regiment, serve with Scotsmen in the rUK Army, and we won’t ask Wee Eck if he approves. We might even solve the Army 2020 numbers fiasco.

Mark
Mark
September 16, 2014 9:41 pm

Apply for ITAR

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
September 16, 2014 9:45 pm

It is really difficult to answer this question without knowing the Political circumstances of any negotiations. Is an I Scotland in or out of the EU. Is it a NATO member? On day one is it running some form of joint QRA out of Lossie with the RAF or running its own or doing an Ireland. Are we talking about meeting NATO level commitments or Irish level commitments?

I agree with RT rougly on the recruiting front, you wil see a lot of old and bold SNCOS who are already pensionable look to come across but disagree Officer Wise. If you are 16 years plus in and not planning to make a career out of 9 month tours and various sand pits, an immediate RN pension on top of an SDF Navy job may well prove attractive.

Within NATO
Force composition wise, I am not sure why the WP had MCMVs in it, would drop that requirement and await a modular based solution, they are too specialised and expensive for what an SDF would want. 2 post CAMM T23 and the 3 new OPVs would be a start, some form of small IPV and a support vessel. Enough fighters to maintain QRA with a shared RAF force and paymet towards required AAR capability. Small tactical helo force and 4 naval Wild Cats. Some transport aircraft and work towards MPA.
Not qualified to talk about ground forces but logic says an all out effort of a mech brigade in country supported by 2 “marine batalions”. the ability to deploy a mech BG overseas in support of short term NATO ops being desirable

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
September 16, 2014 10:06 pm

APATS,

What’s not to like about 9 month tours in interesting places? ;). You don’t get many opportunities to apply HMtQ’s bayonet to HMtQ’s enemy’s stomach while strung up alongside at some woeful anchorage. And you can never have enough op tours. I was disappointed to not have one a year, and once voluntarily did two six monther’s in the Balkans back to back because going back to Germany was just too sad for words.

Good point about the immediate pension though. Some people are indeed that money focussed. Not people you would trust, however.

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
September 16, 2014 10:14 pm

Bearing in mind how bloody dangerous the world looks at the moment, the UK PM should restore dignity, re-assure friends and set down a marker too enemies to the effect that:

“having lost 8% of our population, a lot of mostly empty land and some oil doesn’t alter the fact that we remain one of the World’s largest economies, we are growing strongly, we are one of the foremost expeditionary powers, with nukes and a UNSC Permanent Seat…and we have absolutely no intention whatsoever of stepping down from any of the responsibilities or benefits of those various positions simply because a small number of our people have taken a free and democratic decision to secede and we have accepted that with regret, but intend to keep calm and carry on…

…not least because other States such as Spain in respect of Catalonia, Belgium and Italy practically everywhere might want to take our lead in behaving in the right and proper way, as we have and always will…and it might be no bad thing if Czar Putin did the right thing in respect of various bits of Holy Mother Russia…or China, in respect of Tibet, Tsinkiang and possibly Hong Kong…who might even want to take a vote on leaving China first and then rejoining us afterwards as a full member of the UK…Sierra Leone and British Somaliland are also cordially invited to give the idea a bit of thought. :-)

In consequence, we do not anticipate any opportunity to take a defence dividend, and in fact we will need to increase that Budget to fund the relocation of CASD to Devonport…and we should advise our neighbours to the North that although we will make that move, we will NOT do so irresponsibly or on an unreasonably contracted timetable…and we have taken soundings amongst key NATO Allies on this point, and they are very happy that we should take the lead in brokering Scottish Accession to the Alliance.

In terms of conventional forces the configuration proposed in the last SDSR gave a much greater emphasis to constructive forward engagement alongside our allies than home defence…and as that will remain our main priority we see no reason to further reduce any of our forces; the cost may be a little heavier, but we will bear it as responsible and prominent citizens in a dangerous world. In fact, because Scotland will need to take on very substantial responsibilities for their own very large sea and airspace to meet their intended NATO obligations we may have rather more resources to deploy alongside our allies in the wider world.

That said, some capital expenditure will need to be re-profiled…we will need to bring forward the T26 Programme if we are to adhere to the timetable planned for a build on the Clyde in the new facilities that are now planned for the Tyne…as we must if we are to hand over two or three of the newer T23s to Scotland…

Etc…”

Here’s hoping…

GNB

Paul Robinson
Paul Robinson
September 16, 2014 10:21 pm
Reply to  Red Trousers

Red Trousers after my somewhat silly earlier start to comments, i apologise. I am pretty sure however you are right – for career reasons the majority will stay in the British or UK forces, or what are they actually going to be called if it’s not an united kingdom? Will rank structures stay the same, will officers, and ncos have to take rank and pay cuts in smaller forces, and have to wait longer for promotion? Read varying figures for overall military composition, but generally, even for civvy staff with all forces, the figure between 7.5 and 8% consist of personnel claiming to be or “legally” Scots. Out of touch with population numbers and demographics, but i have doubts even at full re enlistment in Scotland there will be enough bods to fill the holes. Will new reconstituted forces accept non nationals? I think little has been thought out. Many wish lists made, and little thought to reality we all know – London will give minimum budget, minimum ships, aircraft, equipment and bases (they have commercial potential to be sold off – and many run with private public partnerships, that will probably give private sector opportunity to buy, if military investment wanes). I suspect a little help and persuasion for a small reward for bases for US and some European nations will help, but probably too little too late for many. Sorry to sound so negative and doom and gloom, but surely you know Tory governments, or any government during austerity times by now.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
September 16, 2014 10:27 pm

@RT

If you read my sentence again it says 9 month tours and various sand pits. So for warfare guys in their early/mid 30s who have done 4 back to back sea jobs in which they may have done 3 or 4 foreign deployments amounting to say 26-29 months foreign plus a huge amount of UK based non deployed exercises and sea time. Then add in 6-8 months land based op tour they have done a fair amount of time away before they hit 30, probably 3-3.5 years out of the country and another year or so not getting home as at sea in UK or duty.
They then hit PWO course which rewards them with back to back sea jobs and at least another couple of deployments and an XO tour or staff job or another sand pit tri service tour and you are looking at promotable SO2s who before they have done 16 years will probably have done 5 years worth of overseas tours and another 2 or 3 where they cannot go home at night, now married kid on the way, you left.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
September 16, 2014 10:51 pm

APATS,

That was the huge fun of it, endless Op Tours. Mind you, I wasn’t married at the time, deliberately. Didn’t think of marrying till I was mid thirties. I only left because I wanted to do something different, and I wasn’t going to run my BFT and CFT any faster. Kids came only when I’d made that decision.

Having decided to leave, you need to leave properly, not sidle up to some herring fishing fleet with easy hours. Go and cut your teeth in high finance or high stakes at least. Engineer being sacked for nothing and head hunted on the same day, and take a combined 6 figure payoff and joining bonus. Anything for some adrenaline. I couldn’t abide being a shadow in some coastal militia from my late 30s.

martin
Editor
September 17, 2014 5:11 am

First thing is to get experienced personnel from UK forces. Offer a 10% pay bump to anyone transferring across from HM Forces to SDF.

Next thing to do would be to get as much of the equipment needed for the air force and the Army from the MOD.

Would need to get as many Tranche 2 Typhoons as possible. Also try to get 2 A400M’s as they can perform a dual tanker role.

Try and get enough Challenger 2’s an AS90’s to form an armored battalion. Also look to get some of the newer CVR(t).

For ships take one of the older T23’s and the try to get the three River Classes more for training than anything else.

All the new equipment procurement for the Scottish defence forces can then be directed at naval procurement. Order two T26 Frigates from BAE. This will keep the yard on the Clyde going for a few years. Then nationalise the yards on the Clyde. Then order 6 corvettes and 6 OPV’s. This should all keep the Clyde going for at least a decade maybe even longer if export orders can be secured. Either way it gives time to diversify the Clyde yards into commercial work like Ferries and Offshore Supply Vessels.

The main thing for Scotland would be to try and secure as many jobs as possible in the transition and wipe 1 billion pounds off of current defence spending. That added to the near billion saving from not having a foreign aid budget should cover almost half of Scotland’s structural fiscal deficit.

Military procurement beyond ship building should be paid for from oil revenues. In good years when oil revenues deliver a surplus equipment can be procured and in bad years the military can wait. High on the list of things to buy would be 5 C295 MPA’s, a Naval strike missile for Typhoon and probably two second hand SSK’s.

Scotland does not make planes or armored vehicles so it would be best to use Scotland’s entitlement to MOD assets to secure these items then build the ships we need. Any Scottish defence force would have to be a predominantly naval one anyway.

martin
Editor
September 17, 2014 5:31 am

@ RT – I would agree that many of the younger soldiers and sailors would want to stay in the rUK forces. Its worth also remembering that Irish nationals serve in HM forces and are not impeded in doing so as are other commonwealth countries.

Loss of Scotland will see the MOD budget reduced by 8% plus the associated cost of moving Faslane. So even if many want to stay in the rUK there is likley to be no budget for them.

Most in the Army seem to hold their regiment or battalion as the organization they hold their loyalty to and many of the battalions pre date the act of Union so I am sure many would transfer across. Currently Scotland has far too many battalions given its soze and budget so I am sure there would be few issues if rUk wanted to keep some.

The most important thing for Scotland would be to get experienced NCO’s as the force will have to be literally built up from scratch anyway. Indeed this is much the same way that force of Canada, NZ and Australia where built up.

Scotland will be a defacto member of NATO from day one as their is no way that the UK, EU or NATO are leaving a giant hole in their northern flank not to mention that presence of Trident on the Clyde for at least a decade.

Nick
Nick
September 17, 2014 7:07 am

Martin

Why do you think Scotland would want or need an armoured battalion. Given the size, I’d expect Scotland to behave more like Ireland, Denmark or the Baltics and deploy rather light forces in a police keeping role if it came to that. Its hard to see any need for a significant army based self defence force. Airforce, Navy side make sense to me as does your suggestion regarding the Clyde.

Salmond, rather like the Germans and their 2 % commitment, has talked about 10 years period, which gives him plenty of time to work things out. We should also remember that the SNP might not govern Scotland post independence (and certainly not after the first term). They need to change their mindset quite radically in any post independence scenario and decide their political philosophy. I find it hard to believe that the Scottish electorate has any long term need for two left leaning parties with broadly identical views.

I expect very intense and difficult negotiations during the 18 month transition period and the Scottish economy may well be saddled with a significant net debt to the UK. I expect EU (especially) and NATO membership. If Scotland weren’t made an EU member stare, then there would need to be extensive negotiations to create an legal framework between Scotland, the EU and The UK. Its probably easier to adopt status quo than start from scratch. The currency issue is probably the biggest problem.

The first 5 years post independence will be very challenging I think. I’d look to stimulate investment by dropping corporate tax rates and other incentives (especially on N Sea Oil), but that’s a medium term gain. I’d also look to try and build the image of Scotland and promote Scottish products (strong agricultural exports in Fish and there’s still plenty of scope to recover Beef exports from the BSE slump). The problem is paying for current spending whilst the investment generating steps start to kick in. Nothing impossible to do though.

Chris
Chris
September 17, 2014 7:23 am

Martin – I’m hoping its a misinterpretation on my part, but your shopping list reads like it was written by the man Salmond – “We’ll take what we like, we’ll refuse to take what we don’t like, and sod the interests of anyone south of our border.” While I think the idea to continue the development of the existing shipyards (Bonny Alba Engineers?) on the Clyde is sound although expensive in proportion to GDP, for the adoption of fast jets, new cargo lifters and a set of armour wouldn’t the position be more “Please may I have…”? With that list presumably you would also be ‘offered’ a chunk of all existing PFI contracts proportionate to whatever share ratio all other assets and liabilities are split (eg for IFR and the Army’s support vehicles) novated to Scottish ownership; thereafter the two parts of the current contracts would be entirely separate. And don’t think you’re escaping from your share of FRES…

It would be interesting for the various parties to declare their proposed Share Ratio and the basis upon which it is calculated; and to be really clear on the applicability of that ratio to assets and liabilities at least in broad brush terms. With less than 24hrs to go, I don’t think so far the independence advocates have declared such elemental detail? Its all a bit woolly really.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
September 17, 2014 7:55 am

Do not forget that assets would not only be split across Defence but across the entire spectrum, so it becomes very complex. Trade off the cost of PFI vs fixed asets etc. Armour vs the value of SSN/SSBN/T45 for instance. Or against assets from a totally different sphere, hugely complex and that is before you even consider intangibles, for instance continued use of Faslane for x years vs use of UK embassies for y years. My cross is going in No so we do not have to even try this. Though I have taken substantial insurance over the last 18 months via my PP account at very good odds and would immediately be 5 figures richer with a yes vote which would help cover the house move I suppose.

Topman
Topman
September 17, 2014 8:17 am

Just to got to personnel, I don’t think it will be too much of an issue. Although that depends on platform. If you are at Lossie and settled there it’s a bit of a bonus. People looking to settle down will take it easily. The SNP have said there will be offering the same Pay and condition, protected pension rights etc.
Infact the timing works out quite while with the wind down of Tr1 we can simply give them to the Scots.
Other platforms might be a bit tricky. Hercs and Chinooks might be a struggle to get people to go live in the far north of scotland. Although I’m sure if they offer enough, do a BAE/Saudi type wage, or loan people in like the navy have done, they’ll be fine.

Nick
Nick
September 17, 2014 8:22 am

APATS, Chris

The split is actually on all assets and liabilities owned by the UK not just defence assets, so the mess is much more complicated. Given Scottish GDP per head is about the same as SE England, at best the ratio would be 8% to 92 %. Its not possible to deal with commercial contracts like PFI arrangements with a renegotiation, which is costly and will take time. I think the UK will maintain all existing arrangements and have to enter into specific agreements with Scotland.

Apart from Scottish bases, I don’t think it means Scotland gets anything beyond a financial value for its 8 % of the Navy for example. Practically, we might agree that Scotland gets certain ships instead of the financial value or a commitment for the UK government to undertake a specific role for a specified period of time.

The truth is, until (and if) we actually negotiate the divorce nobody can know just what will be agreed. For example, we might place orders to build two type 26 on the Clyde before independence actually occurs, which would meet EU requirements, but satisfy the SNP government at the same time.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
September 17, 2014 8:26 am

@ Topman

The White paper talks about using Leuchars again and the aspiration of obtaining an MPA capability within 5 years of Independence so I guess they are thinking of FJ/MPA in Lossie and transport/rotary from Leuchars.

Topman
Topman
September 17, 2014 9:35 am

@APATS

Yes that does ring a bell, Leuchars is perhaps a better choice than Lossie for ME/Rotary. Still might be a struggle to get the people they need. Not sure we’d want to give up too many RW. Possibly a good home for the SK. I doubt they will use them much. An overhaul/major./LEP and they do for a few years till they got themselves up and running.

All moot I’m stilling going for a NO vote, about 53%. Bookies are 1/4 for NO, I think you can get 4/1 still for YES. They seem totally unconcerned be the latest polls.

Dunservin
Dunservin
September 17, 2014 10:13 am

Worth watching.

Legal consequences of Scottish independence. Prof Adam Tomkins (John Millar Professor of Public Law at the School of Law of the University of Glasgow) on shareout of UK assets:

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
September 17, 2014 10:20 am

With those numbers from the bookies, TD can now negotiate an authorised reprint of the thorough thinredline piece on this for Friday morning
– only bcz the blog is no more
– and of course an option only… You can see why the right, but not an obligation would be useful

Nick
Nick
September 17, 2014 10:49 am

Dunservin

Thanks for that. Its nice to hear a lawyer explain that what I thought would happen is broadly correct. The key point is that military assets (moveable assets like ships, planes) belong to the UK unless Scotland can prove they solely relate to the defence of Scotland.

The currency points are well made. However, it still going to be a negotiation, which means compromises will happen. It’s a shame he’s pro-union as I’d like to hear an independent view, which would be more nuanced.

Legally I believe UK government debt would remain UK government (which follows on from what he says), which must mean that Scotland’s 8 % share of that debt would be due to the UK as it would be commercially impossible to renegotiate each individual; debt contract and treasury instrument with the debt holder.

This means that the risk of Scottish economic failure would also be a major problem for the UK. Take another example, if RBS moved to the UK, then it would still have banking business in Scotland via a subsidiary or branch. This will create a “too big to fail risk” for the UK government as a wide ranging default by its Scottish business might be large enough for the entire bank to fail.

A lot of what he specifically mentions as going away are probably in place at a Scottish level (eg Scottish special branch) or actually won’t be needed on day 1.

Chris
Chris
September 17, 2014 10:57 am

Dunservin – good video – someone that seems to have a firm grasp of undesired consequences. To my eyes that makes a Yes vote by far the riskiest for Scotland.

Unfortunately, instead of getting this sort of message broadcast a year ago, the lacklustre Better Together bunch couldn’t be fussed to determine just how bad the break could be for Scotland; as a result in the last 10 day panic a raft of extra-special benefits have been promised without any form of parliamentary debate or agreement – almost bribes. Despite the SNP battlecries Scotland was already a winner in benefits per capita, this latest mularky promises even more advantage to the Scot – as someone of modest means living in the hugely crowded South East with its Londonesque living expenses and close to zero Gov’t support for infrastructure or regeneration projects, the ever greater cash being promised to Scotland erks more than a bit. Had proper clarity in terms of the consequences and downsides of separating been made clear by the No campaigners the need for this bribery would probably not have arisen. Part of me does wonder if Messrs Brown & Darling deliberately underplayed their official role knowing full well in the final panic they would get rash promises out of Westminster (wouldn’t have been the first time Brown cost the UK dearly in advancing his own agenda). As a result of all this extra funding being promised, this one time full advocate of the continuation of the Union thinks perhaps the UK would be better off if the SNP win their Yes vote…

Martin
Editor
September 17, 2014 11:27 am

@ Chris – I would suggest the assets. I earmark are the easiest of the MOd to give up. Plenty of Challengers and AS90’s going spare. Lots of Typhoons as well. Ine old frigate and three rivers that are about to be replaced anyway. The only controversial part would be the 2 A400m’s but given that Scotland would not be claiming SSN, SSBN, CVF, E3 etc I think its a bargain for the MOD.

Topman
Topman
September 17, 2014 11:44 am

@ Thread

For all the talk of splitting up and all the technicalities, who thinks there will actually be a YES vote?

Mike Wheatley
Mike Wheatley
September 17, 2014 11:51 am

Re: Orkney & Shetland referendum,
Independence won’t happen on the day after the vote, it will take some years. In that time, who has authority to grant a referendum to Orkney & The Shetlands? I would have thought it would in the preview of Westminster, no?
Shetlands oil for Shetland’s people?

Nick
Nick
September 17, 2014 11:51 am

Chris

Not almost, but actually is a bride designed to persuade Scot labour voters, which is why the used Brown (and Darling).

The real issue is the lack of sound economic data. Offsetting the benefit imbalance is the Oil (both gross income and tax revenue – 62 % rate on profits earned) and agricultural products (mostly whisky) export income. UK balance of payments without this would have been more 5 % of GDP consistently, which is arguably very unstable for the UK.

I have little reason to doubt that an independent Scotland in 1979 would look pretty much more like Norway today, due to Oil revenue alone, although just how much would have depended on modernization of reform of Scottish heavy industry as well. The problem the SNP has today is that oil production is falling and tax revenue is stagnating, making the economic case harder to sell.

I’m beginning to believe the commentators who are suggesting nothing will be the same again in the UK just might be true. There’s a guy in the Telegraph today pointing out that English tax payers ought to be upset and I saw a Welsh assembly guy pointing out that its unfair that Wales is poorer than Scotland, but gets less money. It feels like something has to give to me.

Observer
Observer
September 17, 2014 11:53 am

@Top

I’m sure some will vote Yes. My money’s on ~30%. Strange thing but the polls show a shift towards the “yes” side this close to the vote when normally it hovers around 1/3.

I see people saying Scotland will take MBTs, frigates etc. frankly I doubt it, my money is on them ending up with something like what the Irish have and using the proximity and the implied need to co-defend the islands to leave the bill for the heavy stuff to others. After all, why pay for FJ and high end assets when others are forced to defend you and you can get them to pay for it instead?

Nick
Nick
September 17, 2014 11:53 am

Mike

There is actually an official independence day (i think its 18 months to day after the vote happens)

Topman
Topman
September 17, 2014 12:01 pm

@ Observer

I think it will be higher, about 45%. Still be a NO vote overall.

Monty
September 17, 2014 12:18 pm

Scotland is going to need a very large Army indeed. It is also going to need a much larger Police force.

Within two years of becoming independent, most major businesses including banks, shipbuilding firms, companies supporting the North Sea oil industry will have relocated to England.

The problem will be exacerbated by successively higher taxes imposed by Alex Salmond.

The exodus of employers will cause increased unemployment.

The lack of tax income will lead to cuts in benefits and reduced investment in national infrastructure including schools and hospitals.

Scotland’s inability to support its own health service will cause an exodus of skilled doctors and nurse to England leading to falling care standards and massive waiting lists.

The cost of doing business in Scotland will lead to many English firms to avoid doing business in Scotland. Those that do will charge higher prices.

This will lead to a widespread shortages of vital products.

Gradually the dream of an independent Scotland will give way to a feeling of isolation as poverty grips the region.

Civil unrest will follow. Now that the Scots can no longer blame the English, they’ll start fighting amongst themselves. It will be only a matter of time before a new civil war erupts.

Alex Salmond Para-military forces will ruthlessly put-down dissent. Censorship will prevent bad news from reaching the masses.

Finally, the people of Perthshire will unite and demand independence from Scotland….

monkey
monkey
September 17, 2014 12:38 pm

@Nick
Its likely to be 24th June in the Future to celebrate the Scots victory at Bannockburn .
This year is the 700th anniversary and Salmond et al originally wanted the Referendum on that date this year but conceded that the Nationalistic upswing that happens on that day may have encourage less motivated yes voters to stagger out of the pub to vote :-)

A bit of a gloomy view point but if they do mismanaged the transition and the lawyers run away with all the money (shades of Bleak House) after years of squabbling of who pays for Dounreay’s clean up and 1000 year site maintenance programme or exactly where the EEZ boundary is etc it could turn nasty. Scotland was only united when fighting the English. When we left them alone due to other foreign wars they fought amongst themselves on tribal and religious grounds but that would never happen in todays world would it as that was way in the past , all is forgiven, the claymore(scimitar) buried what have you.

monkey
monkey
September 17, 2014 12:55 pm

On thread :-
Give them what they ask for in terms of planes , vehicles and ships even making sure its is the recently upgraded/later versions or if not give them the entire fleet of say for instance tranche 1 Typhoon to use as spares etc . We want Scotland’s forces to at least provide a credible defence for their own soil and EEZ and hampering them with inadequate and outdated kit is a bad plan for a Nation that may struggle initially financial and we all know Governments cut when things get tight first don’t we? We need to keep the ongoing defence aspect of their new Nation as integrated as possible with our own , joint exercises ,sharing training facilities .
Regarding new build Ships however due to the nature of assembly top secret equipment would be installed at an early stage and I would be happier if they were built in a rUK yard as over the next 10 to 20 years what will happen to security in the yards. As the T26’s are built , new Assault ships etc are built who knows. By all means Blocks without such kit preinstalled could be subbed out.

Nick
Nick
September 17, 2014 1:05 pm

Monkey

24 March 2016 apparently….

btw, short of a UK federal arrangement and a change in Westminster politics, personally I think devo-max (if that what actually happens) just serves to show the Scottish voters that they can run the country and it makes independence more likely than not ultimately.

Continuing Tory/UKIP minded government could also make this more likely. We should expect a tranche of Scottish labour seats to be SNP in the next Westminster election in any case.

Poor SNP governance could screw this, but if we’re giving them even more money than today, that’s less likely to happen. Independence is a mostly emotional issue rather than a hard headed economic one. There are plenty of successful European counties of a similar size to Scotland out there.

If you think the union camp PR blast has been bad, just wait for the pro-EU referendum will bring up. I cant wait to see what Deutsche Bank will proclaim.

monkey
monkey
September 17, 2014 1:42 pm

@ Nick
I know what they have said but choosing the same date as when the Scottish Royal Line took over the throne of England (24th March 1603 James VI became James I of England on the death on Elizabeth I ) smacks of either a lack of understanding of historical dates by the SNP or Salmond has ambitions such as James VI of Scotland harboured :-)
@TD
As well as properly equipping the iScottish Defence Force iSDF we need to ensure that they receive accurate intelligence and a relevant share of surveillance information based on what NATO will allow us to share and what is relevant to their declared goals. If they just want to protect and monitor their EEZ such as Eire do then what is relevant such as Russian aircraft/ships entering their area of interest or if on joint overseas operations what they need to do their role fully. We do not need to have it thrown in our faces that we withheld critical info which costs Scottish lives.
On NATO as a leading member we should get them signed up ASAP so they can lend their weight (15,0000 is not insignificant) to future deployments , a T23 joining anti-pirate duties for instance or the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards in their C2’s backing us up would be handy freeing up our assets for other duties. Again it will depend on what Defence policy Scotland adopts but it seems NATO is quite flexible, Turkey refusing strikes from NATO bases on their territory against IS due to their complex local politics and that IS hold 49 of their nationals hostage illustrates unless its a full on defence of a NATO member you can pick and choose your fights.
On the aspect of properly equipping the iSDF every pounds worth of equipment we hand over will be factored into the overall balance sheet for the division of the assets/liabilities of the existing UK.

Martin
Editor
September 17, 2014 1:47 pm

@ Monty – do you have any evidence to back up your assertions or are you just speaking from your bigoted view point?

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
September 17, 2014 2:46 pm

@ Martin

I actually thought Monty was joking? After all nobody seriously believes Scotland would be a failure when countries without half of its natural resources knock along quite happily.

Engineer Tom
Engineer Tom
September 17, 2014 2:56 pm

I am sitting here reading this and just realised HMS Edinburgh is sitting outside my window, why don’t we slap a new coat of paint on that and tow it up to Faslane, by the time they recruit any engineers to look in the engine room, and realise it doesn’t go anywhere, they will have had their independence day.

Monty
September 17, 2014 3:00 pm

,

As someone descended from a long line of Scots but who doesn’t get a vote, I think this whole referendum is an unconstitutional farce cooked up by the power-crazy Alex Salmond. So, yes i am biased. That said, my post was made with tongue placed firmly in cheek!

However, what I have suggested is not an impossible scenario. Some facts are fairly irrefutable. Businesses hate uncertainty and many will choose to relocate. If Salmond doesn’t hit his income targets, he’ll be forced to raise taxes. Whatever happens, there will not be the economies of scale that we have in England that make public spending work for the Scottish people (65 million versus 5 million).

I just don’t think Scotland is viable as an independent country. This independence malarky is simply an irrational hate of the English. Leaving is simply the Scots cutting of their noses to spite their faces.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
September 17, 2014 3:12 pm

@ Monty

You should have stopped at tongue in cheek as “I just don’t think Scotland is viable as an independent country. This independence malarky is simply an irrational hate of the English. Leaving is simply the Scots cutting of their noses to spite their faces”

After all Scots are uniquely too wee too stupid and too poor to make use of their abundant natural resources and people to support themselves are they? How do other countries of 5 million people ever manage to survive, they obviously do not have the curse of 60% of the EU oil reserves and 20% of the total fish caught as well as huge renewable potential, thriving tourism, food and drink and financial services. Look at GDP per Capita around the world then come back to economy of scale. Have not seen the Irish asking to rejoin, have you?
I am so glad we have people like you to tell us that we could not survive on our own Monty. I am a passionate No voter but BS comments like this which even the Politicians are not stupid enough to make tempt me to change.

Splitting up the UK would leave us all that bit poorer and I have seen very little hatred of the English, despair at Westminster, yes but not the English in general.

Rocket Banana
September 17, 2014 3:32 pm

A divorce of Scotland from England (UK) will be just that. A divoce. Pain. Anguish. Long drawn out bickering. And neither party happy until 5-10 years down the line… probably when they look into each other’s eyes again only to ask “was it all worth it?”.

Angus McLellan
Angus McLellan
September 17, 2014 3:46 pm

If it is a planning assumption that Trident would vanish between a Yes vote and whenever “day one” is then my willing suspension of disbelief isn’t up to the job. For as long as there was a large UK/NATO military presence on Scottish soil (into the 2020s?), the list of “day one” must-haves would be very short indeed. See also Ireland, where external, as opposed to internal, security only became much of a concern after the Treaty Ports were handed back, and Iceland. The “day one” things should be more “Homeland Security” than “Pentagon”.

The obvious gap is domestic intelligence. As a bloke from the Sun once put it to me, you could easily have the people who can’t stop drug & people smuggling, or catch gangsters, today do the same for terrorism & spying. Remove the journalistic cynicism and that’s pretty much what Ireland does, and Ireland had & has an actually existing terrorism threat far greater than can reasonably be expected to exist in Scotland. This, and minding the borders, would give some of Scotland’s over-numerous police something potentially useful to do, which would be nice. But the issue that would really concern me is that of parliamentary & public scrutiny.

Challenger
Challenger
September 17, 2014 5:04 pm

What really worries me is that in generalized terms Scotland has roughly 8% of the UK’s population and landmass so a fair split would see them getting 8% of the armed forces (albeit mostly lower tech stuff).

Problem is i really don’t see the responsibilities and taskings of the rump of the UK’s diminishing in line with Scotland’s independence. So we are probably going to see an already dangerously overstretched armed forces doing largely the same job but with a sizeable chunk of it’s assets lopped off in the process.

A seriously confused and damaging situation is brewing….

AS
AS
September 17, 2014 5:05 pm

Why do the media seam to think the British army will be split up having to giving up there cap badges. Shorly it will carry on as normal. The Scots with there new defence force can call there regiments what ever they like but that does not affect our army much like when the Irish left. We still kept the Irish guards etc.

Paul Robinson
Paul Robinson
September 17, 2014 5:17 pm

Sadly Monty does have the odd point. Over pessimistic perhaps but look at my former aul sod, Northern Ireland – business national and international has been attracted by tax incentives and improvements in security situation, and then left in droves as political infighting started, before even waiting for the sectarian crap to restart yet again. Sadly some of the significant large Scots cities have this sectarian undercurrent too, that either side could try to mobilise. Initially after the cease fires, which admittedly cannot be compared to the Scots “Independence Day” scenario, RAF, Royal Navy presence, forces support and ancillary services first to withdraw to “mainland”, the troops on ground slower to depart. The Royal Engineers main presence only in EOD units, was increased again after a while to dismantle border, and “Cowboy/Indian Country” surveillance towers and posts. The more elite units usually thumb twiddling in base waiting for call out to major incidents, that were minimal, and usually dealt with by Police (which in Northern Ireland remember are quasi military despite name changes – ex civvy staff in cop shops mesel), or the PBI units on ground in much smaller numbers. The Scottish Independence (think deserves capital I) issue different yes, but a (dithers what to call new entity as no longer an united kingdom), but forces will probably need to remain as facilities in Northern Ireland insufficient to facilitate Northern Approaches and Atlantic surveillance, more so after Russian resurgence in overflights, and brushing by surface and submarines of UK territorial waters and airspace. Their Arctic exercises must surely also be of interest to the southern based MOD (again what do you call reconstituted landmass of the new entity sans Scotland?) and northern Scottish bases both for naval and air assets, despite aerial refuelling, must be of importance to Westminster. MOD abandoned many fixed wing bases in Northern Ireland, and thought helicopters could all necessary tasking – RAF Aldergrove (at International Airport) became Army Air Corps base and ceased to exist only as refuelling and emergency landing and maintenance depot for the RAF. Now it’s reopened for the RAF as 502 Ulster Squadron reconstituted as training entity (or something more for conspiracy theorists?). Despite interim period for shutting down military bases i think that Scotland like Northern Ireland (and it’s bigots of all colours) will find it needs to forget ancient history, and remember the need for “a special relationship” with the English. Bases will be closed and reopened regularly for decades i suspect, as political dislikes, against international realities intervene. Scots are revered as a fighting nation – as well as scientifically and in engineering field highly innovative. A total withdrawal from the Union without a mutual defence and intelligence sharing policy would be insane for both sides. Again i think the present Independence thing is more of an historical throwback and wish from another time, rather than a practical economic, & political move a la Northern Ireland Unionists, and their opposites in the 36 Counties United Ireland mindset. 1690 is long done, and so has 1745 (with a prince more French than Scots, ditto Mary or rather Marie Riene d’Ecosse). I don’t wan’t to dissuade my multitude of Scots friends and the odd family/clan relations from self determination, but think militarily they do really need to think things through more seriously and in depth, just like financial implications – won’t get same “Peace Bonus” as Norn Irn muckers to offset the financial problems.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
September 17, 2014 5:27 pm

@PR

You may perhaps be looking at the wrong part of Ireland. An I Scotland would have left the UK. Northern Ireland most certainly never has :)

Observer
Observer
September 17, 2014 6:03 pm

Why would an independent Scotland want the higher end military equipment? They don’t have need for it and their concerns are strictly local, look at how none of the pro-independence politicians ever talked about anything beyond their borders, only “Scotland for the Scots”. If your concerns are local, you don’t see the need for frigates, destroyers and fighters. I doubt they’ll take the higher end stuff. My guess would be a copy of what the Irish have, OPVs and infantry units. After all, they’ll look at the Irish too and say “Ireland is perfectly fine without the expensive equipment, why should we take the economic burden?”.

Monty, the 45% shift was what I meant when I said that it was a strange deviation, normally it hovers around 30%, 1/3. No idea why there was a sudden jump, someone screwed up the random sampling? Media blitz? Biased counting? Propaganda attempt? Problem with such a close run thing is that it encourages them to make a 2nd attempt a few years down the road. They’ll say “almost 50% of Scots want independence, if not for English vote rigging, we would be independent! We’ll have a real vote in a few years time to show the real will of the Scots!”. Not like election sore losers are unique, and accusations like that are very common after someone loses.

I’m still wondering why there hasn’t been many caricatures about Salmond and his need to swim against the current. Can’t help but think that a few decades ago, his face would have been plastered on a cartoon fish swimming upriver!

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
September 17, 2014 6:09 pm

I don’t see why Scotland could not field armed forces very similar to Denmark without too much difficulty, and play as much an active part in NATO as they do.

It would also be in our interest to assist them in achieving their goal as quickly as possible, with training and allowing them to integrate with our spares and support packages for an initial period.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
September 17, 2014 6:42 pm

I see that the MP for Orkney and Shetland (who is also currently the Sec of State for Scotland) has raised the exciting possibility of the Islands having their own referendum to leave Scotland in the event of a Yes vote in which locally the islands had voted No. Apparently, there is strong support for the Union on the islands, they don’t feel particularly Scottish given their very Norse history, and much more excitingly, they have a large percentage of “Scotland’s” oil as measured by international standard maritime boundaries.

The proposal being not being to revert to part of the UK, but to become something like the Isle of Man or the FI, a Crown Dependency.

I don’t know if that is all blather, as unversed as I am in Shetland politics. But it would be screamingly funny. My instinct suggests that Salmon would instantly become a dictator and bar them a referendum at all.

as
as
September 17, 2014 6:48 pm

Europe goes back to the Middle Ages: Map shows how patchwork continent would look if every separatist movement got their wish

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2758795/Europe-divided-Map-shows-continent-look-separatist-movement-got-wish.html
There are far more separatist groups then in the article so there could be even more countries.

Observer
Observer
September 17, 2014 7:08 pm

David, the problem is not if they can or can’t. The problem is if they want to or not. The Scottish politicians don’t show themselves to be very outward looking.

I suspect it’ll be hard times for Scotland if they split for a while. I’m not as pessimistic as Monty, independent countries are much more robust than people give them credit for, but because of the lack of outward focus, I don’t think the SNP really knows how much of their funding comes from overseas. British universities are hot international commodities, their banking sector is within the world’s top 3, and tourism to the UK is a massive income earner. All this sucks money in from the international community. And they want to cut themselves off from this source. In terms of international links, they are reliant on Aberdeen harbour. Can the harbour handle all the traffic that is rerouted if manufacturers avoid the new border to England? Or their airport? Their tourism is also dependent on overflow from England, people visit England and Scotland as a set, but does Scotland itself have enough of a brand name to draw people on it’s own? Same with banking, Scottish banks tap into the wider market via English contacts. Cut this off, and you’re talking about massive cashflow constrictions.

Is there anything in Scotland that can be considered a niche product to make a living on the world market? Other than whisky and that one’s a cheat considering the number of whisky producers worldwide. Electronics is a maybe at 7% of the world market, but other than that?

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
September 17, 2014 7:13 pm

@ Observer

Reliant on Aberdeen Harbour :)

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
September 17, 2014 7:13 pm

@as – Interesting – the only thing missing is the Army of the New Caliph marching through the Balkans…bear in mind that the Arab, Mameluke, and Ottoman States all had tribal/nomadic roots and their conquests had strong elements of a “Society on the Move” until at least the twelfth century…

That’s part of the reason why European Kings needed to create consolidated states in the first place, and indeed secured some support from the mercantile and aristocratic classes in doing so.

GNB

Observer
Observer
September 17, 2014 7:25 pm

APATS, too small? Or enough for the job? Or did I miss another important port? I suspect a lot of their exports are rerouted to English ports before shipped overseas. If that is true, it’s going to be bad.

I did a quick scan, think I know why the vote turned in favour of Yes, the Yes supporters are getting rather aggressive and chasing off some fraction of No voters off the streets. I bet they’ll show up on voting day and put the thumbs in the eye of their aggressors, but until then, think they’re lying low.

Emotion is quite high apparently, which might mean trouble if they lost. Emotional people tend to be sore losers.

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
September 17, 2014 7:35 pm

@Observer – no doubt in my mind that Scotland could make a go of it, although as you say I think the split from the rest of us would make it much tougher than Salmond says, or the majority of his supporters think…but they would need to become tough minded traders with a quite limited social provision to do so, not unlike yourselves…and from my vantage point the dream being sold is of a limitlessly generous welfare bureaucracy; and they are proudly claiming that many people voting for them haven’t even registered to vote for years. Which suggests to me that they are quite possibly the residents of run-down Council Estates who have been dependent on the state, in some cases for generations…as evidenced by the numbers saying they were Labour but haven’t voted for years in unintelligible Doric on the Vox Pops.

At one level, it is clever politics…but it could leave a very nasty hangover in the morning.

On the Defence issue specifically I have believed from the get-go that the SNP’s very late conversion from Neutrality to NATO (two or three years ago) was a device to reassure the wider electorate, and is planned to disintegrate during the negotiations over defence, probably around Trident…”forcing them to pursue Neutrality akin to Ireland because of the perfidy and intransigence of the wicked English bastards led by the evil Tories”.

We will then need to take up the slack…

GNB

monkey
monkey
September 17, 2014 7:36 pm

@RT
re the Shetlands and Orkney Islands going independent would be so so funny I would die laughing at Salmond’s face when half the revenue and reserves he has been calculating on , all be it on the back of a fag packet it seems, reverted back to part of the UK. If after a separatist yes vote in the Islands referendum the Scots kicked up a fuss I sure the RM would lend a hand to secure the Northern Isles for the Crown.
A yes vote would be a no brainer , that’s £2,000,000,000 a year in revenue divided by 20,000 population equals £100,000 each per year per capita , who wouldn’t vote for that?http://cdn2.spectator.co.uk/wp-content/blogs.dir/11/files/2012/07/218.jpg

Observer
Observer
September 17, 2014 7:43 pm

Gloomy, my parents tell me of the time when the overall tax rate was 50%. Rough days. And our “founding father” wrote a book telling of how some of the ministers had to literally go around the world begging for investment business, literally door to door, salesman-like with brochures and all.

His summary: ” We threw the British out in a fit of nationalistic zeal and were left trying to clean up the pieces”. Not exact, but you get the picture. Some things just never change.

APATS, I did a check on the harbour.

Ouch. Didn’t see a single crane capable of handling an ISO container. Maybe they have it hidden, but the statistics on the harbour says an annual handling of 5 million tons. Not very impressive, definitely a constriction.

monkey, share and share all alike? :) Communism uber alles! More likely you’ll get a trickle of funds per year. It’s not like you can strip mine the sea bed.

McZ
McZ
September 17, 2014 7:46 pm

@DN
“I don’t see why Scotland could not field armed forces very similar to Denmark without too much difficulty, and play as much an active part in NATO as they do.”

Yes, if funds and will are coming together. Neither is the case. Scotlands Budget has a £12b overspend, they would have to pay premium interest. And Salmond is a social-democrat; welfare state before defence.

So, no chance to let it happen. It would be Ireland II.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
September 17, 2014 7:55 pm

@monkey, in my spare time I wrote the template for your two favourite island groups to use for their Crown Dependency status:
– adding that the Governor General only has a say, beyond external and internal security, in the allocation of any subsidy” from the mainland”:

“Autonomous Regime

Åland is a Swedish-speaking autonomous region within Finland. In 1921 according to the decision of the League of Nations Finland gained sovereignty over the Islands while the Ålanders were guaranteed the preservation of their language, culture and local customs. The .-
Legislative autonomy
The division of authority between Finland and its self-governed region is based on the principle that the Ålanders shall have freedom to decide about their internal affairs as long as it does not breach the internal and external security of the state.

Read more

Economic self-government
It is the Åland Parliament who decides upon the distribution of Åland’s budget. The income consist of Åland’s own revenues and the amount of equalisation transferred from the national government. ”

Now, put that on a ballot paper…

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
September 17, 2014 7:57 pm

@ Observer

You managed to miss the entire Clydeport facility including the container and cruise terminal at Greenock. All of Forth Ports including the Hound Point Oil terminal and Grangemouth. Grangemouth handles 9 million tonnes of cargo including containers. Hound Point handles Panamax oil tankerrs and is in addition to the pipeline to the refinery in Grangemouth.
Then you have the massive deep water facilities in the Cromarty Firth and the Sullom Voe facilities.
Aberdeen is a medium sized harbour that deals with ferries and rig support.

Observer
Observer
September 17, 2014 8:07 pm

APATS, actually I didn’t miss Hound Point, I was focusing more on the container transport as that links in with their wider economy. Hard to feed in computer chips through an oil pipe. :) But the rest? Mel Cuppa. I’ll look up Grangemount, Greenock and the others. You think the transshipping capability is there to support Scottish exports?

El Sid
El Sid
September 17, 2014 8:11 pm

I assume @RT has been reading the Guardian again :
http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/sep/17/shetland-may-reconsider-place-scotland-yes-vote-alistair-carmichael

The boundaries get complicated – all they’re guaranteed is the 12-mile limit which doesn’t have any oil to speak of. The oil is beyond 12 miles, which means it all depends whether they get treated as enclaves or not. It would be subject to negotiation – for instance St Pierre & Miquelon got significantly more than their 12-mile limit. The best way to guarantee they get “their” oil would be to join Norway or the Faroes, so that the EEZs merge without an enclave and shut out Scotland. This article discusses some of the historical examples : http://www.ejil.org/pdfs/12/1/505.pdf

monkey
monkey
September 17, 2014 8:11 pm

@Observer
The map I showed gave the Northern Isles a large share of the existing fields all ready in production and a new strike discovered very recently could double the existing reserves in what would be their EEZ. The figure I mentioned was existing production revenues.
http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/business/industries/naturalresources/article4131449.ece
If Singapore in its EEZ found a large oil strike just which of your neighbours would you share and share alike?
Happy days for the future of the Northern Isles and by the looks of this lot at an annual festival in the Isles celebrating their Viking heritage not to be messed with :-)
http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02466/viking-boat-1_2466272k.jpg

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
September 17, 2014 8:13 pm

@observer

Yes and then some but it is hardly likely we are going to have some sort of blockade in reality.

@All

If the Shetlands declared Independence they would have a negotiated EEZ if they remained in UK or joined another country they would be an enclave.

Observer
Observer
September 17, 2014 8:16 pm

APATS, I was more worried about paperwork than blockade! :) You can run a blockade, you can’t run from “Fill Form A12 in triplicate and Form B 37 in quadruplicate.”

“If Singapore in its EEZ found a large oil strike just which of your neighbours would you share and share alike?”

Whoever we’re trying to bribe! :P Remember, we’re the transshipping point for the region, so a chunk of it is going to come back to us in fees anyway, and it ties them further into reliance on us. Bwhahaha! :P

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
September 17, 2014 8:33 pm

@Observer
‘The problem is if they want to or not’

If they want to join NATO they have to have a minimum capability to offer after the negotiations are all said and done 2% of GDP at the least. They will need to hold/assist the Northern flank at least maybe offer their ground troops as an alternative to our Marines for the role with an MPA capability? who knows. I don’t think they are going to shrink that far away from the world to not need a credible defence of what they have chosen to defend (oil fields at the very least) plus I doubt they will get a free ride in NATO to the extent the Baltic states have, especially considering the training and equipment they have will all be up to Western standard.

‘It would be Ireland II’

Why Ireland 2, and not the very least New Zealand?

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
September 17, 2014 8:35 pm

Re Shetland,

I once did a 5 day recce by the then new Lynx Mk 9 of the entire Scottish coast, checking out the Cold War early warning radar and AD sites which were typically concrete lily pads on clifftops. We went up to Shetland. All good. For shits and giggles the pair of WO2 pilots and I agreed we’d get some photos of me “marooned” on Out Stack Rock, a mile or so north of Muckle Flugga and thus the very most northern piece of UK sovereign territory. Stinks of bird shit, and the gulls were not terribly impressed by my invasion. We did the same dropping me on top of the Old Man of Hoy a day later. Still got that photo on my downstairs bog wall, on top of the rock wearing combats and a grey beret, with no sign of climbing equipment: I am honest however if people ask. I am a frankly rubbish Alpinist, with not enough grip in my fingers.

We also dropped in on our family distillery on Isla. Two cases of 24 year old in exchange for giving some of the workers there a joy ride around their island in a Lynx. We all thought that a bargain, and we made the local press. Sadly GOC Scotland confiscated a case for Craigiehall to compensate for me not doing any of the previous paperwork. ;)

Mike W
September 17, 2014 8:40 pm

“Unfortunately, instead of getting this sort of message broadcast a year ago, the lacklustre Better Together bunch couldn’t be fussed to determine just how bad the break could be for Scotland;”

Agree absolutely. The “No” campaign has been uninspiring, to say the least. If they had chosen, say, ten key points concerning the Economy (including currency, public expenditure, banking, welfare, pensions) Oil, the NHS, Europe, the Monarchy, Immigration and Defence, and really hammered those across over the last two or three weeks, then the situation now might be very different.

Instead of concrete facts and figures, we have had vague and woolly appeals to tradition, loyalty, patriotism, togetherness, etc. and I don’t think they have worked.

I’ll give you a few examples:

CURRENCY Westminster will, beyond any shadow of doubt, refuse currency union. If Scotland used the pound anyway, it would have no Bank of England to act as lender of last resort. It might then have to try to join the Euro – but see below. With confusion over the currency, big investors would pull out of Scotland and borrowing money would be far more difficult.

THE EUROPEAN UNION If there is a yes vote, Scotland will have to go through an extremely complex application procedure to join and there has to be unanimous approval from other countries. In that respect, Spain, with its own secessionist problems, would have serious doubts.

PUBLIC EXPENDITURE Scotland already does very well out of the UK in terms of public expenditure. Thanks to the Barnett formula such spending is £1,600 higher per head there than it is in England. Scotland’s public spending would have to fall and there would have to be an increase in taxation, at least in the short term.

OIL The Yes campaign’s estimates about how much oil is left in the North Sea are wildly optimistic. The oil billionaire, Sir Ian Wood, has claimed the Yes movement is wrong in claiming that there are 24 billion barrels left and the true figure is probably closer to 15 to 16 billion.

THE MONARCHY If a “Yes” vote went ahead, the Monarchy would be a risk from demands for a referendum to remove it from Scotland. (Salmond for President?)

DEFENCE The “Yes” movement is playing fast and loose with UK security. A Scotland without Trident would not get into NATO. No UK Government would give work to Scottish shipyards after independence and therefore the Clyde yards would be closed and work moved to English ones (BAE has intimated something along those lines today).The facilities at Faslane would have to be moved south to England. Other defence assets e.g. Rosyth, Lossiemouth are also likely to go. There would be a massive loss of jobs, not only from closure of bases but from loss in supporting business e.g. shops.

THE NHS The scare stories about the NHS being privatised are nonsensical. The Scottish Parliament has full control over the NHS in Scotland and only they could decide to privatise it.

IMMIGRATION With the remainder of the UK so worried about immigration, a border of some sort being set up is highly likely, even if it not a full one with passport checks, although that is not beyond the realms of possibility.

And so on, and so on. I haven’t even started on Pensions.

I fear the worst tomorrow, I really do. There, that’s cheered you up, hasn’t it, GNB?

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
September 17, 2014 8:51 pm

@MW

The points you highlight are exactly what the BT campaign have been doing. The issue is that they came across as scaremongering. Not helped by Government Ministers saying a CU makes sense :(
The issue is that both sides have experts that counter others. Ian Woods estimates wer not helped by the fact he had previously stated there were 25 billion barrels in a report he authored. People like Alex Kemp also ridiculed his claim.
As demonstrated last night by monkeys hraphs Scotland has actually run a lower deficit than the UK over the last 5 years.
It is exactly the sort of either easily disproven or muddled message negative campaign that has seen us where we are tonight.

Observer
Observer
September 17, 2014 8:51 pm

I really don’t see Scotland wanting to join NATO. Why should they?

A part of me really wants to see a Yes vote, just to see those guys trying to get by on emotive appeals fall flat on their faces when they can’t deliver and I really want a picture of their faces when they see their income and budget for post-Independence Scotland. Unfortunately, like a vase, once something is broken, it’s going to be very difficult to unbreak it, even glue can’t erase the cracks, so once they go, chances are high they’ll stay gone.

I don’t think that will happen though, so we’re left with another decade of “Yes” movements.

El Sid
El Sid
September 17, 2014 11:46 pm

@Observer
I really don’t see Scotland wanting to join NATO. Why should they?

Because they are America’s bitches.

Well, that’s part of the reason. Scotland’s bit of the GIUK gap and Norwegian Sea is fundamental to how NATO works, so the US is very keen that someone is keeping an eye on it. And since the Scots wouldn’t have access to AWACS etc otherwise, they need help from NATO on that front.

The SNP used to be very anti-NATO, but have come round from no NATO, to Partnership for Peace, to wanting to become full members. Part of it is that voters are very pro NATO, and the Nats are so desperate for Yes votes they pretty much sacrifice every other principle that might give people a reason not to vote Yes, no matter how incoherent it ends up being. The currency thing is the obvious example – Scots want to keep the pound by 4:1, so that’s why Salmond has ended up wanting to keep sterling at any cost, even if it means sterlingisation which means he loses much of his financial industry and hands over interest rates to a BoE that doesn’t have to take Scotland’s interests into account.

El Sid
El Sid
September 17, 2014 11:58 pm

@APatS
The Wood review merely cited existing DECC 2013 forecasts of 12-24 billion barrels. Their 2014 forecast is 11.1-21 billion barrels – so 16 is just the midpoint, but to be honest anything much more than 16 seems a bit hairy without a bit of pixie dust – it would need something like UK shale being a lot more successful than it looks at the moment (and most of that would be in England). Kemp seems to be being misinterpreted – he forecast three discoveries a year on average (compared to the record of 29 in a year), his central prediction was 16.75-18.75 billion barrels with a bit of help from the taxman.

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
September 18, 2014 12:05 am

@el Sid – I disagree – I think having got the precious “yes” vote with no way back, Salmond will ensure that he doesn’t join NATO provided he can find a way to blame the English (which he will, probably around the Trident discussion)…he will then revert to Free State style Neutrality, confident in the knowledge that we have no choice but to take up the slack between us.

Independence is a vehicle for his ambition, and provided he goes down in history as the modern successor to Braveheart, he cares nothing for what Scotland looks like in the wake of his triumph…and less than nothing for the impact on his neighbours…although as a default position he would normally choose the course that does England harm…

GNB

Observer
Observer
September 18, 2014 12:10 am

El Sid, America cares about the GIUK and the old SOSUS line, Scotland can get along fine without it. And is there really a reason to remain pro-NATO once the vote is over?

Observer
Observer
September 18, 2014 12:34 am

Amazing how many people here thinks Salmond is going to keep his word. :) He really seems to have a PR problem!

El Sid
El Sid
September 18, 2014 12:55 am

You both missed my first point. The US very much wants Scotland in NATO, and can make it very awkward for Scotland if that doesn’t happen. For instance, it would be quite difficult to be a modern Western economy with ~20% of GDP from financial services without membership of the World Bank, IMF, UN etc etc. The US can stop/delay all those things from happening.

There’s also the practical problem, that Salmond’s envisaged SDF has very little by way of long-range ISR assets, would not be party to Five Eyes etc etc. Even just operating their T23’s and Typhoons will probably involve ripping out a whole lot of kit before NATO allows them to be handed over.

@Observer
Conversely, you think that Salmond will be in power for ever. The Scottish parliament is structured to make an outright majority very hard to achieve, 2011 was a bit of a freak result because the main opposition was in such complete chaos that many unionists ended up voting SNP. It’s likely there will be at least one Holyrood election before independence is achieved.

Observer
Observer
September 18, 2014 1:06 am

Sid, think you overestimate the US in both their reach and their ability to plan ahead. The US doesn’t act. it reacts. Which means that probably no one is thinking of the GIUK gap at all. The younger generation may not even know what that is.

“Conversely, you think that Salmond will be in power for ever.”

Nah, think that’s Monty who thinks Salmond will try for the post “President for Life”. :) Me? I know elections make a revolving door of authority.

Martin
Editor
September 18, 2014 4:36 am

@ APATS

Well said, I was on the NO side until a few years ago. Its funny how being told how crap and incompetent you are by a group of people can change the mind and foster a desire to prove them wrong.

I keep hearing about the UK being one of the most successful unions in blah blah blah which was true up to about 1870. Its worth noting that today the UK is the second poorest English speaking western nation in the world. Only New Zealand has a lower per capita GDP than the UK. The Republic of Ireland was the poorest part of the UK and even after all its troubles in recent years it still has a per capita GDP above the UK. People who seem to think of the Union as successful seem to generally live quite close to the M25. Take a stroll through Sheffield or Burnley or the East end of Glasgow and then tell me how successful this union currently is.

Observer
Observer
September 18, 2014 5:16 am

Martin, I really don’t mind them going independent, but the problem is that the situation is being sold as the cure to all problems. Any potential budget shortfall is being plastered over by “pump more oil” like a mantra and there is no plan for an increase in manufacturing or new industries for diversification. I was also worried about the ability to ship, but APATS said that the capacity is there, so I’ll take his word for it.

Then there is the inward looking focus that I mentioned before. To get big as a country, you need to look beyond your borders and export, local domestic markets simply can’t cut it. If the SNP had said something like “our ministers spent the last year looking around the globe for overseas investors and have a list lined up” or “we planned for an increase in industries and will upgrade the ports to handle increased trade”, it would be massively reassuring that even if financial ties to England was cut off, money is still flowing in and manufacturing would go up. I really have not seen the outward focus of anyone from the SNP yet, they are mostly strictly local unless prodded by members of the public. My bet is that post-independence, they’ll simply coast on market tides.

Money doesn’t just roll in, you have to work for it.

Think the whole SNP platform can be summed up like this.

Nick
Nick
September 18, 2014 6:52 am

I think its pretty safe assumption that what the Scottish people want to have isn’t that far from what a lot of northern England (where I was born and grew up), wales, the south west and the midlands want as well.

The majority want an economy which creates jobs for them (and not in coffee shops or macdonalds) and their families, which give them a decent standard of living. They mostly don’t work in professional or financial services industries and these sectors don’t contribute much to the local economy. Outside direct government investment (eg rebuilding the arndale centre are after the IRA bomb in Manchester, redevelopment of parts of Tyneside) large chunks of the economy haven’t really recovered from the end of large scale manufacturing in the UK. All of these areas are poorer than Scotland is by any measure.

The SE and London benefits hugely from the financial services and professional services industries plus all of the scale effects which come from the sheer size of London (and remember there are a lot of hot money from overseas investing in London property as well). It may be that eventually the whole country becomes London commuter belt (the proposed high speed rail link will primarily has this effect), but that is still a long way away.

The way the UK economy has been run since 1980 (I think that’s a reasonable inflexion point) has focused on London and the SE (plus Edinburgh and Aberdeen) primarily. This is the reason why there are so few tory MPs in any of these areas and why Cameron now runs a coalition government and may not win in 2015.

Realistically, it is impossible to say what an independent Scotland’s economy would look like, but it is reasonable to say that Denmark, Ireland, Norway all confirm that it is possible to be an independent country of that size (Sweden is only a little bigger). SNP have to sell independence on the idea and hope and not on the facts, which can’t be proven by either side.

That better together has failed to sell any reason why the both kingdoms should actually stay together except that its too difficult, too expensive, to divorce. A campaign based on fear may well work today (and remember, that perhaps there is only 30 % core support for independence right now), but with devo-max coming and even less interest in what happens in Westminster politically outside what will appear as negatives to most Scottish voters, the likelihood of independence will most likely increase with time.

I also think that Scottish devo-max will play well in wales (which will increasing want the same with the same share of the economic pie) and may eventually play well in part of England outside the SE/London.

Mark
Mark
September 18, 2014 7:33 am

There’s an old saying be careful what you wish for you just might get it.

http://www.whatinvestment.co.uk/financial-news/banking-and-savings/2470687/stephanie-flanders-what-investors-should-worry-about-if-scotland-votes-for-independence.thtml

Flanders continued: ‘For example, it is possible that wrangling over the separation arrangements will dent UK economic confidence and activity in the coming months, putting the first interest rate rise from the Bank of England on hold. The loss of oil revenues might not be a net loss to the exchequer, given that the remainder UK would no longer be sending slightly more money up to Scotland than it gets back in tax revenues. But oil exports would clearly be affected. Other things equal, lower interest rates and a higher current deficit would point in the direction of a lower pound.’

Much market discussion has centred on the scale of the banking and financial sectors’ contribution to the UK economy, and the possible impact on the sectors following a yes vote. Flanders remarked: ‘The total assets of Scottish banks total around 1,254 per cent of an independent Scotland’s GDP compared to the UK’s current position of 492 per cent.

‘Given the scale of the financial institutions concerned and their importance to the UK financial system, it is safe to assume that contingency plans are under way at the Bank of England to reassure savers and investors in the immediate aftermath of any yes vote and prevent any damaging run.’

Oil is 1.5 percent of uk GDP and falling a rounding error at eu wide GDP the majority of which is domestic consumption the only obsession with North Sea oil is in Scotland.

Chris
Chris
September 18, 2014 7:46 am

Nick – as I noted above some time back, the South East has its own problems, masked entirely by the ghoul of London. An example; the local councils all state there is a housing shortage and one that is getting worse exponentially; looking at their projections the biggest (by orders of magnitude) driver are the migrants coming to our area because there is a perception there’s easy money down here. But its not so simple – by numbers the pressure is brought by arriving migrants (from where is not stated, as in whether these be immigrants from abroad or people from other regions in the UK), however a second pressure is that of the over-wealthy of London who look at the Southern & Home Counties as a resource for country living and buy second/third homes as trinkets to burn a few pounds off the bonus. By monetary value, this is the greatest pressure. Hence the councils want new homes for the not exceptionally wealthy including much affordable housing and so approve many (too many) housing developments, but the greedy developers follow the money and build Executive Homes targeted at the weekend pad market for the Wig-headed Bankers* of foul London. Result? A huge number of over-spec’ed new builds on tiny plots sold at prices way outside the budget of the council’s needy families. The locals find they cannot compete with the second-home brigade, moreover prices generally for all sorts of basic goods & services in the area are driven upwards. The housing need is unsatiated, the countryside is turned to ugly suburbia (most modern estates bear stronger resemblance to Her Majesty’s Prisons than to country villages), the influx of the undeserving and overpaid wrecks the local values such that those that were here for generations find themselves a sub-class beneath the new strata of cash-flashing weekend commuters.

So its not just the overtly poor areas of the country that struggle. The overspill of city players from London masks much the same issues for normal folk in the South East. If you don’t understand the scale of the problem, try moving on the arterial routes in/out of London on Friday afternoon when the city pukes out its undeserved wealthy to their pads in the country and on Sunday evenings when it gulps them all back again.

In a just world, second homes would be taxed to the hilt as the unnecessary luxury they are; the council would be able to negotiate with the developer to allow only the housing that is needed and not that which the developer will get richest by building; and for good measure the self-proclaimed important bankers would be paid what they’re worth not what they think they deserve.

*wig-headed bankers – see what Dr Spooner had to say about them

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
September 18, 2014 7:49 am

@ Mark

“The loss of oil revenues might not be a net loss to the exchequer, given that the remainder UK would no longer be sending slightly more money up to Scotland than it gets back in tax revenues”

As Monkeys tables pointed out though the money spent in Scotland compared to tax revenues is better than the UK as a whole. Scotland has ran a lower deficit than the UK, an average of 1.2% lower over the last 5 years.
1.5% of UK GDP would be about 16% of Scottish GDP and then you have things like the Clair Ridge coming online which may contain 5-6 Billion Barrels and see the Atlantic overtake the North Sea.
As I like to say to the doom mongers, Scotland would be the unluckiest small country in the world being cursed with that Oil if Ireland had it then they would be begging to rejoin the UK.
Scaremongering has brought us to where we are today :(

Mental Crumble
Mental Crumble
September 18, 2014 8:12 am

The question alluded to a “to do” list.

Six years after the financial crisis and the books of Lehman are still being unwound. Unwinding the UK will be immeasurably more complex and difficult. In the highly unlikely event of a yes vote things will not happen quickly if for no other reason than HMG has done no preparatory work. In the meantime, our armed forces may be called upon at any time to to get their boots dirty. The maintenance of morale therefore must be job No 1.

On day one, ie tomorrow, every serviceman, Scottish and otherwise should be told by HMG, through their CO’s that every serviceman’s job is guaranteed within their normal term of service. That every Scot serving in the British Army, and anyone serving in a Scottish regiment will be given a choice as to where they serve when the time eventually comes to cut the line.

Nick
Nick
September 18, 2014 8:12 am

Chris

I understand that problem too. There are plenty of poor areas in London, before you look outside. The Ghoul as you call it is going to eat itself (and its political supporters if we’re lucky) I think. Hope anyway. Whilst I’m currently an expat (job relocated) I lived in London and the SE East for the last 30 years. I’m not exactly poorly paid, but it would be touch and go whether we could afford to buy the central London flat we lived in today. Property prices are forcing working Londoners ever further from their jobs. This can’t be sustainable in the long run.

Topman
Topman
September 18, 2014 8:14 am

@ Chris

‘the council would be able to negotiate with the developer to allow only the housing that is needed and not that which the developer will get richest by building; ‘

That happens now, you can only build what you get permission for.

Topman
Topman
September 18, 2014 8:24 am

@Mental Crumble

‘On day one, ie tomorrow…’

In fairness they can’t. No-one knows how big each force will be.

(Still going for a NO vote anyway)

Nick
Nick
September 18, 2014 8:33 am

APATS, Martin

I understand the sentimental attachment the English have to the Union with Scotland (and vice versa) and I do feel our shared history for the last 300 hundred years is a valuable “asset”, which shouldn’t underplayed, but.

I can understand the better together fear campaign highlighting the problems, unknowns, risks etc being used to keep the union, but I don’t think I’ve heard a single positive reason why we are better together today. Even Gordon Brown, who does seem to be passionate about this, seems silent in the London media coverage. Has the case been better set out in Scottish media (I know there is little media support for the yes campaign).

If we were negotiating the union today, I think a pertinent question to ask today, is what is the economic case for Union for England.

We’ve heard all the negative reasons that have been given to Scotland, but it must follow that these should mostly be positive reasons for the English economy ?

The only one I find convincing is the forex cost of translating from UK pound to Scots pound (or euro) post independence. This is hardly a unique issue, but perhaps would be bigger impact as the number of export/importers would increase ?

The Bartnet formula subsidy can be offset by the positive effects on UK balance of trade from Oil and Whiskey revenue (very important in the 1980s and 1990s, but less so today)..

Banking is neutral really. The issue is that RBS/HBOS would be much too big to be supported by the Scottish economy GDP (after all sorting out both was almost to big for the UK economy as a whole). Like HBOS, when it bought Midland Bank, The Bank of England would force both banks to relocate to London if they wanted to continue to have a significant banking present in E&W (even before you consider the loan book).

Chris
Chris
September 18, 2014 8:35 am

topman – then there is a disconnect between the stated need in the Local Development Plan and the developments permitted. Wherever the break is, it needs to be sorted before the whole of the South East becomes a suburban sprawl of tacky executive hovels with interspersed leisure centres, the only green fields being the executive golf courses.

Interesting to note according to Wiki (fountain of all truth) the UK manufacturing sector has a greater contribution to GDP than banking & finance: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_the_United_Kingdom Perhaps we should reduce the Investment Banker’s income to that of the factory worker and see how well he works then? Or up the shopfloor wages to banker standard and watch the effect on growth in exports?

Nick
Nick
September 18, 2014 8:36 am

Topman

re developers. True, but it really depends on who is giving the permission. That comes down to which party flavor is in power locally and in Westminster (Edinburgh) which has final approval powers. Money talks generally to either party.

Nick
Nick
September 18, 2014 8:40 am

Chris

The wiki numbers you refer to come from a tax analysis HMG undertook. The original report was covered in a briefing which came across my desk a few years ago (you know the sort which isn’t publically available, which you can sign up to for free or at a cost).

The difference is that you have many more smaller diverse manufacturing companies as opposed to a small number of really massive banks and trading businesses. Fewer of them are in London either.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
September 18, 2014 8:43 am

@ Nick

RBS and HBOS pay their corporation tax to who? They can take their name plate wherever they like. Unless Scotland is going to become the only country in the world not to use banks then they are going to require banks. Scotland already runs a lower deficit than the UK does so Barnett subsidy is a myth as the subsidy required by the rest of the UK is over 1% greater, it just does not have a name.
Look around the world at the countries with the highest levels of equality and GDP per capita they tend to be the smaller more socially democratic countries. I personally believe that both the RUk and an I Scotland would be worse off apart than together but when you look at the evidence and success of Ireland, Norway, Belgium, Denmark, sweden, Finland etc then you begin to see the attraction and with the exception of Norway none of those countries have been blessed with the natural resources that Scotland has.
Do you really believe Scots are too stupid to be a successful as those countries?

Mark
Mark
September 18, 2014 8:48 am

It’s not scare mongering apas it’s simple fact. Salmon has a vision of a Scottish future were all it’s major companies and finance centre will not be based in Scotland with a currency controlled else were and the end on major shipbuilding and where large swaths of its defence industry will simply end. A future were he talks about green economies and social responsibly but bets the farm on big oil. I welcome a yes vote.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
September 18, 2014 8:57 am

@Mark

The vote is not about Salmond it would be about the people of Scotland making decisions based in Scotland for Scotland. The one thing I agree with him on is his proposal for a cross party team to negotiate and immediate elections on Independence. The evidence of other small countries without Scotlands resources show how successful it can be when you have full economic levers and set policy to suit.That is what is attracting Yes voters, that and being told they will fail by the likes of you of course.
What makes me vote No si that I do not believe that the pain will be worth it and I like the UK, there would be difficulties for an I Scotland but the simple fact is that unless you think Scots uniquely incapable compared to the Irish, Finns, Swedes, Danes etc then there is no argument.

Nick
Nick
September 18, 2014 9:14 am

APATS

I don’t know enough about either bank, but I would suspect that as Scottish registered companies, at worst moving their head office function to London would impact a few hundred to a few thousand jobs. For RBS, the Natwest business they acquired will be heavily administered from London already (and their international business will be managed from London anyway). For HBOS, the same is true for the Halifax.

When it comes to Corporate tax, this is effectively paid into Westminster (like business rates) even if it is administered in Scotland. Whilst you might notionally say the both groups (AVIVA as well) corporate tax bill will be lost to Scotland, that tax isn’t part of the Scottish budget anyway (essentially it comes back via Westminster funding). The businesses Scottish subsidiaries or branches will pay corporate tax on their Scottish business to Edinburgh post independence.

This is why I think the economic arguments set out by both sides of the debate are not to be trusted. The real economic situation post independence for both parties is an unknown publically (HMG might have a better idea, but that would require very detailed analysis of a lot of different data sets going back many years. I doubt that this has been done). I find the fear arguments generally to be poorly argued personally and more propaganda than fact.

The currency debate is the most significant, but I don’t think setting up a Scottish central bank and currency to be an insurmountable obstacle. The liquidity on the international debt market would be quite low initially, but that would change with time. Remember, iScotland would divorce owing (probably) a fair sum to the UK. The effect of Scottish default on the UK economy would imply a degree of implicit support as the impact would too negative on the UK to contemplate for the Bank of England.

wf
wf
September 18, 2014 9:19 am

Apparently devolution was a mirage :-)

More seriously, I Scotland *won’t* have the most important economic levers in the form of monetary policy. What’s more, the Yes campaign boast about just that, despite everyone else quite reasonably, after the Euro’s example, ruling out their preferred option. If they said we’ll use the pound until we set up a SC pound, it would all make sense. I get the impression that the SNP’s default position is still “independence within EU”. Unfortunately, that’s not on offer either!

I think the campaign has been very poorly managed. Quite rightly, BT emphasized the negative bits first like the pound, the EU, difficulties in over reliance on oil income. What I then expected was that they would switch over to the positive stuff later on. Selling the benefits of a Union that produced the biggest and most benign empire the world has ever seen, spawned the worlds most popular language and legal system (OK, that’s English, but there’s plenty of Scot’s working in the UK legal system!), led the abolition of the slave trade, saved Europe from totalitarian’s several times, and even now is ahead of the game in Europe’s development (no one is going to look at the Euro zone and say “great idea!”) seems like an easy sell to me. And they even speak the same language!

I’m hoping for a No, and I’m also hoping for full devo max for all our nations. Tax and spend locally on the same things, and if some of us were speaking with forked tongues, it will be obvious soon enough.

Chris
Chris
September 18, 2014 9:23 am

Apats – personally I don’t think its a question of a departed Scotland failing or not – very few states in the world fail as such – but whether Scotland (and the UK) would suffer less prosperity and greater cost. Clearly it was in the SNP’s best interest to decry any opposition to their masterplan in terms of “They think we will fail!” and equally clearly that perception struck a chord. By tomorrow the decision will be known and we all move on from there.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
September 18, 2014 9:24 am

@ Nick

There would be much to negotiate but I think you sum it up with “real economic situation post independence for both parties is an unknown publically (HMG might have a better idea, but that would require very detailed analysis of a lot of different data sets going back many years. I doubt that this has been done). I find the fear arguments generally to be poorly argued personally and more propaganda than fact”

One side has painted a picture based on a series of extremely favourable events but instead of a reasoned positive campaign and highlighting the difficulties yet likely outcome involved in these events the other side simply went to the opposite end of the spectrum :(
The incompetence of the BT campaign has led us to face a nervous 24 hours :(

@ chris

I do not think the SNP have done that and the UK Government certainly has not. Even David Cameron has said Scotland could be a successful small country, some posters on here have however. The problem the BT campaign had was in opposing everything. See my para above.

Freyja Celeste
Freyja Celeste
September 18, 2014 9:26 am

Which one or two star from the rBritish Armed Forces will move over to be the Chief of the SDF? I don’t suspect they need more than a two star leader. Then which RAF/RN/Army officer will move over to the SDF? Don’t tell me they will “kidnap” the Commander of 51st Infantry Brigade?

Topman
Topman
September 18, 2014 9:54 am

‘then there is a disconnect between the stated need in the Local Development Plan and the developments permitted.’

Perhaps in your area yes. The development plans have to sign off by a central gov audit team. This means they have to meet the variuous requirements, correct planning, costings, extra schools etc.

I think you can ask to see it once it’s been OK’d.

Topman
Topman
September 18, 2014 9:57 am

@ Nick

‘That comes down to which party flavor is in power locally and in Westminster (Edinburgh) which has final approval powers.’

It does depend. Generally the framework is signed off by the gov centrally. Then each decision is upto the council, unless it’s ‘called in’

The Other Chris
September 18, 2014 10:56 am

I am half-Scandinavian, half-Scottish. I’ve lived and worked extensively in the countries whose models have been used as the basis for SNP independence future planning which I have considered in detail (business requirement, personal imperative), with access to professional advice.

The Scottish public will experience difficulty adapting culturally to the demands on lifestyle and labour pool that underpins these structures, and these demands have not been discussed effectively in public. Sturgeon alluded to it on Question Time in 2012, however it was quickly glossed over. Scots are UK-ingrained in mindset, or at least are far closer to the overall UK mindset than the Scandinavian one.

Consequently I do not believe a Scottish culture shift can be enacted in short enough a space of time to prevent an adverse impact on the country, which will see enforced changes to established public institutions over the next two decades contrary to SNP desires.

It took realisation of a post-WWII world with Scandianvian resources to effect the needed cultural changes in Scandinavia. They’re a couple of generations into the “project” now, and it’s still not working perfectly for them.

If Scotland wants more control over their own governance (beyond a dovolved government while still retaining MP’s in Westminster) but desire to retain the societal structure they have now, they should seize the offer of “DevoMax” and vote “No”.

Engineer Tom
Engineer Tom
September 18, 2014 11:18 am

Frankly right now I am worried whatever the outcome;

A Yes vote will lead to years of uncertainty etc etc.

But then again a No vote will lead to Westminster handing Salmond anything he asks for in terms of new powers, without real consultation or risk assessment.

Then there is the question of England, surely if Scotland gets devo max there is no question any longer about having a devolved English parliament, without it England will never have anyone advocating for it. Westminster MP’s will always be elected on both English and UK policys + Scottish MP’s will have a say on what happens in England. A Westminster where MP’s are purely elected on UK wide policies, with a seperate English parliament electing members on English policies is the only way.

Swimming Trunks
Swimming Trunks
September 18, 2014 11:35 am
monkey
monkey
September 18, 2014 11:39 am

If Scotland does give a Yes vote and as implied will default on the its ‘share’ of the existing UK National Debt GBP1,425bn at the moment (but if you want nightmares watch this http://www.nationaldebtclock.co.uk/ ) at 8% would give a iScotland share of GBP114bn that’s debit. Writing it off would be political suicide FOREVER for which every party controls rUK ,a coalition of some sort next May. Could the rUK actually afford the increased debt burden of loosing 8% of its GDP and the Tax revenue from Scotland including the OIL/GAS revenues , our economy is all ready very fragile ,spending cuts or tax hikes to maintain the payments to keep the GBP financial position in the world would be very damaging long term. I bet the Germans are very glad now we are not in the Euro after sorting out Greece etc.
How would we recover this amount ? Bailiffs ?Sanctions ? Blockade with the RN and Excise seizing a portion of each ships cargo (Scotland is surrounded by sea and us remember – note to MoD don’t give iScotland any SSN). Invade? Are we about to get a hidden offshoot of the Kim family north of our border :-)
http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2013/4/5/1365156537199/North-Korean-leaders-009.jpg
https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS2CNTLI4LLE4-5NvXm9VwmfbSLlghvrmPgNNBAHTBu5j6wWqxNvw

Nick
Nick
September 18, 2014 12:11 pm

Monkey

Actual default is never do option unless you’re mad (just look at Argentina). My observation is that the significant risk of Scotland defaulting on UK debt, means that the UK exposure to Scotland must be a prime concern. In practice, the UK will effectively have to implicitly under-write Scottish debt to avoid having that default risk implied into the UK position. This is what the Bank of England announced on UK current debt a few months ago (ie whatever happens re independence, he UK stands behind the entire amount).

(if you’ve read any of the discussion 2008/10 on the too big to fail banks and their implicit national “guarantee” you’ll know what I mean. Robert Peston’s blog at BBC had relatively good coverage).

I think the 8 % 114 billion number is probably too large as Net UK government assets are almost certainly greater than debt. Remember much of that asset isn’t valued at all (or valued at depreciated cost not market value). A large chunk of old UK debt is at historically quite low rates (as is all the current new debt which has been raised since 2008) and at a quite long repayment date (10 year plus). Although the total debt number iScotland might acquire on independence is high, the debt terms should be pretty good.

Again context – 114 billion is roughly what the UK raised to fund the deficit in 2008 to 2012 annually.

monkey
monkey
September 18, 2014 12:16 pm

Article from the Telegraph by Niall Ferguson, a pro Unionist, on how is own country has disintegrated into the pro-Union camp and anti-English camp.
On if the SNP failed to lead iScotland into a Scandinavian paradise he feels iScotland will revert back to its historic divisions.
“For most of the early modern period, the Scots kingdom was Europe’s Afghanistan. In the Highlands and the Hebrides, feudal warlords ruled over an utterly impoverished populace in conditions of lawlessness and internecine clan conflict. In the Lowlands, religious zealots who fantasised about a Calvinist theocracy – government by the godly Elect – prohibited dancing, drinking and drama. John Knox and his ilk were the Taliban of the Reformation. Witches were burnt in large numbers in Scotland, not in England. ”
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/scottish-independence/11102126/Scottish-referendum-Alone-Scotland-will-go-back-to-being-a-failed-state.html

wf
wf
September 18, 2014 12:17 pm

@Nick: like you, I think default would be insane for iScotland. But don’t rule it out. If they vote yes, Salmond seems to be of the opinion he holds all the cards. Barring the effect of the oil on rUK’s balance of payments, I think the rUK holds all the cards and can afford to wait. That’s not going to go down well, and given the amount of thought the SNP has put into this (not a lot, despite pushing this variant of independence for 30+ years), doing something stupid is entirely possible :-(

The Other Chris
September 18, 2014 12:18 pm

A “Yes” vote does not mean Scotland gets everything inside Scottish borders on Friday.

It’s a mandate to negotiate independence.

Two key aspects:

1) The referendum must be decisive. Would a 5% majority count as decisive? 10%? 1%?

2) Transfer of assets is from the UK to Scotland. The Bill states that transfers and agreements must be in the best interests of Scotland and in the best interests of the rest of the UK.

Nick
Nick
September 18, 2014 12:37 pm

TOC

An interesting question on the majority. If there is one, it will be very small I think. However, the opposite applies to. For Better Together to put the issue off the agenda for 25+ years, the no majority needs to be 60:40 or 70:30.

Actually 49/51 (if that’s what we get) actually works for Salmond and the SNP. They get Devo-max to consolidate their power in Scotland (and gives them time to replace Labour as the party of the left in power) and diminishes Westminster’s influence and importance (as well as giving an excuse for all the things that might go wrong). Most commentators seem to think Salmond was playing a longer game and devo-max was his preference anyway.

The current vote doesn’t look like being a good result for the Union (or Labour in Scotland).

Martin
Editor
September 18, 2014 12:40 pm

@ Nick – Not sure if you are aware but All Scotrish banks (not that they are particularly Scottish) have already announced they will redomocile in London.

All these banks already have more employees in London anyway than Edinburgh. Of the staff they do have in Scotland most if not all will stay put as its simply to expensive to move the jobs to London and why fix it if it ain’t broken. Given that most if these banks already run significant parts if their UK banking operations in India, Malaysia and the Philippines its unlikely to be particularly difficult for them to do it from Edinburgh.

@ APATS

You sure you are voting no? would you not feel better voting yes?

@ Observer

How does Singapore manage then? I would say given Singapore’s divorce from a union with Malaysia it’s done pretty well for its self?

The SNP does not have to line up international investors. Scotland’s industries are working close to maximum (we only have 6% unemployment) and our two principal exports of Whisky and Oil are doing pretty well and are likely to continue to do so. we may see some loss of cross border services with England but then we are more likely to begin supplying services domestically. ship building on the Clyde is likely to improve after we get rid of BAE. we all know for a fact that the Royal Navy has probably 8 and at best 13 surface ship orders for the next 30 years. That’s not going to keep even a single yard open in Glasgow. Removing the SSBN force from the Clyde also allows us to begin drilling in the west coast where we know their is oil. Glasgow is much more likely to benefit from an oil boom than a few scraps from the MOD table.

monkey
monkey
September 18, 2014 12:44 pm

From http://www.uklife.org/yield-curve
“We must finance ~£530Bn of debt in the next 3 years, and over 1 trillion in the next 6 years.”
At the moment due to global market confidence in the strongest recovering European Nation we are getting very low short term renewal investment rates (5 year Gilts).We have been using these rates to provide the Quantative easing and renewing/additional Government debt .
If our repayment burden remains the same with less income how do you think the markets will react in terms of risk assessment on the interest rates offered. An example of how the market reacted to various nations inability to pay.
(reset the top left toggle box to 2010 – the hight of the Euro crisis)
Historic Greek bond rates :-
http://www.tradingeconomics.com/greece/government-bond-yield
Historic Spanish bond rates :-
http://www.tradingeconomics.com/spain/government-bond-yield
Historic Italian bond rates :-
http://www.tradingeconomics.com/italy/government-bond-yield
If we are saddled with a large extra burden the Sovereign Investment Funds around the world that own the bulk of the Worlds Governments debt will capitalize on our vulnerability and make us pay considerably higher rates to renew the half trillion plus worth of bonds maturing in the next three years . The key word is capitalize , they are in it for what they can make for their own countries benefit not ours.

Martin
Editor
September 18, 2014 12:46 pm

@ Nick – Devo max was Salmond’s hope because until two weeks ago their was no chance of Scotland going independent.

Its amazing what a media terror campaign run by English Toffs from London can do in such a short period of time.

I wonder what would happen in England if the European Union spent 4 years before a referendum telling them how poor and stupid they are how they could not even wipe their own backsides without Brussels supplying the toilet paper.

what’s even more amazing is that the very same people using these arguments about Scotland being too small and stupid are the very same people advocating the UK leaving the EU. They say their is no chance of Scotland getting membership of the EU and in the same breath they say that the EU will give the UK everything it wants when it leaves.

Nick
Nick
September 18, 2014 12:56 pm

Martin

There’s been a lot of discoveries in the Norwegian sector at roughly Shetlands latitude and some interesting finds to the west of Shetland. Norway has very good exploration incentives (but a higher tax rate than the UK on production). I don’t know how well explored north of Orkney is or off the western isles, but incentivizing more exploration work would be a prime concern for an iScotland.

Our current government is incentivizing onshore shale gas exploration.

Nick
Nick
September 18, 2014 1:09 pm

Martin

The irony amuses me immensely. The Brexit referendum will be even more divisive as you’ll be pitching European opinion, Big Finance, Big Industry and a chunk of UK politicians against mostly Tories and UKIPers supported by the Sun/Times (Murdoch), Daily Mail (Harmsworth family), Telegraph (Barclay brothers) et al.

This splits the anti-yes vote coalition down the middle. Opinion poles suggest the UK public is more evenly matched on this issue than Scottish opinion was a couple of months ago. Both sides will open the gates of hell to convince us they’re right. Cameron will try and head this off (if he’s in power) by announcing the deal of the century, but I doubt he’ll be able to carry much of his party with him as the terms wont be good enough for the UKIPer element.

I expect the Brexit coalition will try and derail any chance of a Labour government in 2015 and if not try and force Labour to hold the referendum anyway.

Topman
Topman
September 18, 2014 1:18 pm

@ martin

‘Its amazing what a media terror campaign run by English Toffs from London can do in such a short period of time. ‘

I take you mean DC, that’s interesting. I take it you live in scotland? For my perspective it’s the labour politcians that seem to be scrabbling around to keep the union intact. Well that and all it’s MPs ;)

‘I wonder what would happen in England if the European Union spent 4 years before a referendum telling them how poor and stupid they are how they could not even wipe their own backsides without Brussels supplying the toilet paper. ‘

Turn a big majority into some sort N Korean election type majority !

Martin
Editor
September 18, 2014 1:37 pm

@ Nick – There have been several discoveries in the Atlantic basin but little drilling has actually happened. It worth noting that one of the reasons oil revenues have dropped recently is the tax grab by Osborne on the North Sea in 2011 despite the fact the Office for Budgetary responsibility (Treasury Toffs Club) guaranteed us the tax rise would not affect oil production.

A better tax regime copying Norway in the Arctic should allow for more production in hard to get to places in the future.

@ Topman

The Labour no campaign in Scotland has been abysmal but it has tried to steer clear of calling the Scots useless.

Cameron is pretty much a none figure he is smart enough to keep his mouth shut. The Toffs causing the problem are George Osborne, Anyone that writes for the Telegraph and the Daily Mail and pretty much the entire Tory party. Osborne has been especially good for the Yes campaign. every time he opens his gob he adds about 5% to the Yes Campaign. Unfortunately they have caught on to the fact and taken him off the TV for the last ten days. The Spanish are starting to be quite handy for the yes campaign now as well as are the technocrats in Brussels. The best way to get Scotland to stay is to follow the lead of Kate Moss and David Bowie and ask it to stay. Milliband has also been a really good win for the Yes campaign as well.

wf
wf
September 18, 2014 1:39 pm

@Topman: “I wonder what would happen in England if the European Union spent 4 years before a referendum telling them how poor and stupid they are how they could not even wipe their own backsides without Brussels supplying the toilet paper. ‘
Turn a big majority into some sort N Korean election type majority !”

Nonsense. They would hold referendum’s non-stop until they got the “correct” result ;-)

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
September 18, 2014 1:49 pm

Enough referendum bollocks.

Day One.

1. Ensure the full Chain of Command is laid out and understood, this has to include the interface with Civilian Government and Civilian Authorities.
2. Ensure the JOC is up and running. Battle rhythm is laid out and understood and comms are in place. These will have to include secure comms with Allies as required. (could tell some funny stories about a NATO HQ trying to speak to a USN HQ and Northwood securely).
3. Have clear CONOPS across all 3 services and ROE.
4. Ensure that all support services are in place. Logistics and medical.
5. have the required personnel and equipment to conduct day one tasking (QRA? OFsshore patrol? Alone or in conjunction with UK/NATO forces?)
6. A thousand other things :)

Topman
Topman
September 18, 2014 1:52 pm

@ martin

Well I think it does matter where you are, I get the anti-conservative feel in the majority of Scotland. Something that is fairly unique across such a wide area. It’s a little hard to imagine such widespread dislike if I’m honest where I live it’s Con stronghold, then UKIP and a fair few Ind. More likely to see a pig in the sky than a labour or l/d politician!

Me I think they (DC and GO) only support the union because traditionally they do so in their party. I think they know they are unpopular and think they themselves will be politically better off with a YES vote. In certain parts of England it will be popular and then there are far fewer Labour MPs to worry about.

Topman
Topman
September 18, 2014 1:53 pm

7. Replace JPA with something useful ;)

Rocket Banana
September 18, 2014 2:01 pm

I’m not surprised Mr Cameron is not saying much.

If they vote yes, it’ll be a conservative victory in the next GE.
If they vote no, he’s saved “The Union”.

I’m surprised Mr Labour didn’t cotton onto this and rally the “yes” voters.

Observer
Observer
September 18, 2014 3:16 pm

Actually, you guys got a more immediate problem than future split military command. If the vote goes the way I think it might, there is a chance of riots. Always a problem when you run politics on an emotional platform.

martin, yes we (and you :) ) made out better in the long run, but that does not mean the first few years were not a mad scramble. As I said, I would have a lot more respect for the SNP if they did run it this way, saying outright that the first few years would be bad as people got used to the new equation before the situation improves or that they planned for a potential drop in revenue and have taken steps to balance this than this current “18 months and all is well” fairytale they are peddling. But hey, politicians. When truth comes out of their mouths, you know they need to cut back on the alcohol. :P

Anyway, good luck in Scotland, hopefully no rioting.

Chris.B.
Chris.B.
September 18, 2014 3:34 pm

Any notion that Scotland would collapse into an economic heap is ridiculous. They’ll be fine, broadly speaking.

The problem is that tax revenue will likely go down and borrowing costs up in the short term. That means that Salmond and co. either have to cut spending or raise taxes. I wonder if he’s pointed out to voters that most “small, prosperous nations like ours” tend to have quite high tax rates and yet often don’t provide a lot of the freebies and other treats he’s promised to keep?

That’s the real issue for iScotland, whether it can afford to underwrite all of Salmonds promises over the next decade or so.

Chris
Chris
September 18, 2014 3:36 pm

Apats – ref Point 6 – I think you wrote that down verbatim from the SNP Defence White Paper?

Chris
Chris
September 18, 2014 3:38 pm

Chris.B – crikey! A point on which we entirely agree!

Chris.B.
Chris.B.
September 18, 2014 3:41 pm

@ Chris,

It’s a champagne moment!!!

Martin
Editor
September 18, 2014 4:35 pm

@ Observer – I Think few are under the illusion that their won’t be challenges in the early years. Clearly there will be and clearly like Singapore and Ireland we will over come them, Compared to Singapore and Irish Independence Scottish independence will be a piece of piss.

However one of the major misunderstandings of the No campaign is to bang on and on about the NHS, Pensions and the benefit system.

They did not expect the young to get involved and cuts to the NHS, Pensions and benefits but maintaining free University education and a future sovereign wealth fund sound pretty good to me and quite a few other under 40’s.

Unfortunately the political establishment in the UK seems to think that social justice involves dishing out ever larger amounts of dole money to wasters and increasing state pensions by what ever the grey vote wants. They have no new ideas just pumping ever more money into a 70 year old welfare system which is fundamentally flawed.

Living in a smaller country that does not just go out and borrow billions to buy votes does not sound like a negative to me and its interesting that our right of centre party (also known as the Conservatives, Tory’s or simple the English national party) seems to be against fiscal prudence and its only defence of the union seems to be that it can borrow more money and print it as well. The UK is a fairly small country in the bigger scheme of things and it will eventually pay the price. Better for Scotland to deal with those issues now while we can still bring in fresh blood from overseas and we have 40 years of oil revenue left.

monkey
monkey
September 18, 2014 4:38 pm

Just for information the term iScotland has been cursed publicly http://upgrade.forargyll.info/?cid=2731096
and along with rUK made it onto the watch list of the Oxford Dictionary for potential future incorporation

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
September 18, 2014 4:55 pm

B. & Chris – surely a whiskey moment before we all boycott it tomorrow morning? I have to say I think Salmond’s biggest potential problem is directly tied to his greatest triumph, which is to get people who have not even registered to vote for years to turn out on his side, apparently in defence of a more generous welfare state. The difficulty he may soon now face is that unless Scotland is very different to the rest of the UK there is a very strong class bias to both registering to vote, and then actually turning out to do it…with working people who own their homes and pay taxes being much more likely to do both, and people dependent on state benefit living in social housing much less likely to do either.

So a possibility exists that a large number of people who have never previously voted have just turned out to award themselves a pay rise with other people’s money that they may not get, or more charitably an old fashioned manufacturing job that it might be difficult to create…a state of affairs that may not end well, as far as I can see…

More generally, I note that the Shetland/Orkney Home Rule idea has popped up in all the London-based broadsheets again…is there anyone out there resident in those remarkable Islands with a view on that?

Given an imaginative Government with a bit of vision if there is a no vote we could take the opportunity to reform the set-up root and branch…personally, I’d use the Commons as an English Parliament and turn the Lords into a directly elected UK Parliament with responsibility for Defence and Foreign Affairs, Financial Stability and the Currency Union, maintaining an Independent Judiciary and ensuring Constitutional Propriety in the various components of the Kingdom…and take the opportunity to give seats there to the Channel Islands, Man and the BOTs…and indeed Shetland/Orkney…

GNB

Mike W
September 18, 2014 5:01 pm

Simon

“If they vote yes, it’ll be a conservative victory in the next GE.
If they vote no, he’s saved “The Union”.

I’m surprised Mr Labour didn’t cotton onto this and rally the “yes” voters.”

Simon, I agree with the two first statements but can’t see how the third follows on logically. If The “Yes” voters won, Scotland would become an independent country and Labour would lose 40 of their seats in the Westminster parliament. That could mean that they would find it difficult ever to get elected again. Or have I missed something?

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
September 18, 2014 5:01 pm

– are you sure all your fellow secessionists are voting for free higher education, a sovereign wealth fund and higher immigration…if necessary at the expense of expenditure on health, benefits and pensions?

Certainly doesn’t look like that from here…

GNB

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
September 18, 2014 5:28 pm

I tried my best to steer the thread back on track.

@ Martin

My biggest problem with the yes campaign was that they peddled an unrealistic line which was totally reliant upon everybody falling in line with their wished and somehow managed to convinve a block of voters you can have Scandinavian style services with Uk style taxation. A bit more honesty would have won my respect at least. I would have no issues paying more to get more but do not pretend it would not be required.

wf
wf
September 18, 2014 6:16 pm

: I know Scotland has a bit of an issue with it’s age profile. But I’m really not sure inviting in a load more immigrants is going to be very popular. The other option of persuading the welfared-classes to get off their arses seems rather unpopular too, since it’s terribly “Tory” apparently. Of course, perhaps the SNP’s secret weapon is that those hated English will pay for said pensions. Time for another snifter methinks!

monkey
monkey
September 18, 2014 6:40 pm

If the Northern Isles choose to remain under the umbrella of the rUK then how about the traditional home of the Home Fleet being resurrected. The Flotta Refinery could produce all the Heavy fuel oil for the fleet and the Jet Fuel for the planes as well as a new base for the deterrent. Huge deep natural harbour with numerous entrance/exit points .Our ships could wave to the mainland of iScotland with any gesture they thought (in)appropriate as they sailed by :-)

Mike W