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Author Topic: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?  (Read 1380 times)

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Offline RemielTopic starter

Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« on: September 17, 2014, 01:43:04 PM »
So I have CNN.com as my home page, and this is the headline I see:

Scotland's Vote on Independence: What You Need To Know

The first question that popped in my head was: what the fuck?  How did I not know about this?  Why is this not getting more media coverage?   I mean, sure, it may not be as huge as, say,  the dissolution of the USSR, but it's still pretty big damn news.  It's also, like the collapse of Communism, something I never thought I'd see during my lifetime.

Are there any Elliquian Scots, I wonder?  What do you guys think about this?

Offline ambrosial

Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2014, 02:05:03 PM »
It's plastered literally all over the American news sites that I visit, so I suppose it's simply a matter of what the outlets choose to cover (as with everything, of course).

The vote isn't until Thursday the 18th, and should the referendum receive a "yes," well, nothing much will happen right away as it stands. It would take quite a bit of time to work out the fine details of a movement for independence, and should that happen, I believe the proposed "Independence Day" would be in March 2016. In the event of a "no," there would still be some not-insignificant changes to Scotland's authority.

This article also provides a very basic overview for those not already familiar with the topic.

I have no pony in this race, so I'll be stepping away now, but there's some more information in a quick summary if it helps.

Offline Ebb

Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2014, 03:32:52 PM »
NPR has being doing pretty consistent coverage of it.

It's encouraging to hear that regardless of the rhetoric before tomorrow's vote, the overwhelming consensus among Scots on both sides of the fence (as well as those undecided) seems to be "Well, if the vote goes the wrong way tomorrow, I expect we'll sit down, have a drink, and make the best of it."

My main concern (as a self-centered resident of the US) isn't so much for Scotland, which I expect will find a way to work things out as an independent country, though perhaps at great cost. It's that the departure of all of the generally more liberal Scottish representatives from the UK Parliament will drive that body pretty hard to the conservative end of the spectrum.

Offline Cycle

Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2014, 05:15:15 PM »
Most of the time when I see something on the news the first question that pops in my head tends to be: what the fuck?

But that's neither here nor there.  I just wanted to clutter your thread.  Have a nice day.  :-)


Offline consortium11

Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2014, 05:29:35 PM »
I intended to post about this a lot earlier and it kept sort of slipping past me.

Obviously it's huge news over here.

One of the key issues that has made the debate awkward and frequently pretty personal is that so many of the things you'd hope could be viewed as "facts" in this sort of debate are simply unknown. It's hard to debate the future of Scotland when the structure and situation it will find itself in are so unclear.

Let's take a simple example... Scotland's place in the EU.

Will it be automatically accepted or will it have to go through an application process?
What happens to free trade while it's being accepted?
How long would an acceptance process take... six months? Five years.
Does it have to sign up to the Euro if it wants acceptance?
Does it have to start to put it's economy on a path the Eurozone likes so it can be accepted for the Euro so it can be accepted into the EU?
Will it have to sign up to the Schengen Agreement to be accepted?
Will it keep any of the rUK's (rump United Kingdom) opt-outs?
Will it keep rUK's veto?

There's a couple of other EU countries notably Spain and Belgium who have their own issues with areas wanting independence and so may deliberately want to make life difficult for Scotland if it does go independent to discourage the movements in their own countries. Scotland can put some pressure on Spain to accept by causing issues for their fishing fleet but Belgium? Belgium could kick up a real stink without Scotland being able to do much about it.

There are a whole load of other areas where uncertainty reigns... will Scotland attempt to keep the pound? If it does will there be a currency union or will it be subservient to rUK fiscal policy? How will the national debt be split? What rights with Scotland have to North Sea Oil? If Scotland is, however briefly, out of the EU how will that affect businesses and prices? That's just a short list.

Because an independent Scotland would be pretty much the first country to be in that situation the simple fact is we don't know. We can make somewhat educated guesses but all too often the debate devolves into "oh yes we will", "oh no you won't" back and forth followed by personal insults.

Personally I'm largely ambivalent either way. I'm no great defender of the Union but I suspect Scotland may find life harder than it expects (or at least the SNP claim) once it breaks free. What does slightly concern me is that the UK's politicians have pretty much offered a bribe to Scotland to stay in with regards to more powers and more money being spent without the rest of us having a say. While I think it is fair and right that it is the Scots (although technically those living in Scotland as opposed to Scottish people) get the vote on independence I think the rest of the UK should have the chance to vote on a form of "super devolution" if it is offered.

Offline Caehlim

Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2014, 09:26:03 PM »
My country went through the same process 113 years ago, so it can work and wishing all the luck to Scotland that things go well for them.

Anyway, as a commonwealth country it's all over the media here. Particular since it's yet another issue that our Prime Minister has made stupid comments on.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2014, 11:54:02 PM »
Let's take a simple example... Scotland's place in the EU.

Will it be automatically accepted or will it have to go through an application process?
What happens to free trade while it's being accepted?
How long would an acceptance process take... six months? Five years.
Does it have to sign up to the Euro if it wants acceptance?
Does it have to start to put it's economy on a path the Eurozone likes so it can be accepted for the Euro so it can be accepted into the EU?
Will it have to sign up to the Schengen Agreement to be accepted?
Will it keep any of the rUK's (rump United Kingdom) opt-outs?
Will it keep rUK's veto?

Plus of course the colossal fun and games a Brexit would cause (leaving aside for the moment what an incredibly stupid decision that would be).  That, to me, is the number one reason a currency union is impossible.  A currency union between an EU member and a non EU member simply isn't feasible and we won't have solidified our position on that by the time Scots start wondering what exactly they should buy their cigarettes and premium strength lager with.

Schengen simply doesn't some realistic to me but again the common travel area would be impossible if we left the EU.  I don't think anyone terribly wants border controls in the Borders but Salmond's flat out insistence that it won't happen is a step too far.  As are practically all of Salmond's proclamations that the world works precisely as he thinks it does and anyone claiming otherwise is trying to bully poor wee Scotland.  Dick.

I share consortium's concern about the major constitutional changes being proposed without consultation or a mandate and honestly feel there will be a fairly extreme backlash on that which can only favour the English Democrats, UKIP, etc.7

I personally want Scotland to leave, though I don't think they will.

Offline Missy

Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2014, 01:33:45 AM »
I'm an ethnic Celt and I like the idea of the Celtic nations breaking away and forming our own country/countries.

I also don't buy into the shared currency thing, especially after that debacle with the greek economy. I don't really think anyone should be sharing currency unless your federalizing your two countries.


EDIT:

I also don't get why it's such a big deal with the British Prime Minister being pressured to resign about it though, I'm just thinking wtf?

Offline Kythia

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Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2014, 10:37:06 AM »
I agree there'd be no reason for Cameron to resign.  The logic, such as it is, seems to be a variation on "He was in charge of four regions and lost one, why the hell would we trust him with the other three" coupled with his having committed so forcefully to a No vote.  Which seems superficially correct but in fact misses an awful lot.

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2014, 06:45:00 PM »

The impression that I am getting is that Scotland is perceived as a financial burden to England?  If this is true, then it seems a little contradictory that England would want Scotland to stay? It could just be that I'm not fully up to speed on things, but this bit smells a little fishy to me.


Offline consortium11

Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2014, 07:31:56 PM »
The impression that I am getting is that Scotland is perceived as a financial burden to England?  If this is true, then it seems a little contradictory that England would want Scotland to stay? It could just be that I'm not fully up to speed on things, but this bit smells a little fishy to me.

The financial situation is one of the great unknowns.

The amount of money spent on welfare in Scotland is extremely high per-capita but that's balanced out by North Sea Oil and other resources. Depending who you ask, what day of the week you ask, what hour of the day and what they had for breakfast you'll get different answers as to whether Scotland is a drain, asset or somewhere in the middle to the UK financially.

I'd also note that even if Scotland is a net drain that doesn't mean people would necessarily want it to go. The Union has been around for a long time and a lot of people have deep ties to it... there are sentimental as well as economic reasons why people might want to keep it. If a US State was contemplating leaving I doubt the only consideration would be to check the federal profit/loss account and see how it stacked up.

There's also some real-politique at work here. Despite the rise of it's nationalist part over recent elections, Scotland is a stronghold for the Labour party, tends to lean left politically and the conservatives have very little representation there. Labour has 257 MP's at Westminster, of which 40 represent Scottish constituencies. The Conservative party has 304 of which one represents a Scottish constituency. It's not a deathblow to Labour but losing around 15% of its MP's (and generally in safe seats) is going to hurt its chances of forming a government while the Tories barely suffer at all. As such there's been a bit of soul searching on the left... setting aside more serious and direct reasons for supporting or opposing independance many would quite like to see it happen because it could be seen as a punch in the face to a Prime Minister and government they dislike... but by doing so they make it more likely that Prime Minister and government remain.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2014, 09:10:23 PM »
The impression that I am getting is that Scotland is perceived as a financial burden to England?  If this is true, then it seems a little contradictory that England would want Scotland to stay? It could just be that I'm not fully up to speed on things, but this bit smells a little fishy to me.

This has been critiicised as one of the major failings of the "No" (Scotland stays) campaign.  A focus on economic benefits, risks, etc. rather than the nationalism and pride that the "Yes" campaign has had.  Too few people saying "I like the Union, I want Scotland to stay". 

My own personal point of view is that that's ridiculous - as I said above I want Scotland to go (though with about four hours until results are announced it doesn't look likely) because I am no more "loyal" to the UK than I am to NATO or G7 or any other political entity my country happens to be part of.  Great Britain is the name of the island I live on, the UK is one of many organisations my country belongs to, England is my country.

Offline consortium11

Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2014, 09:23:35 PM »
As Kythia says it's early days, but so far it looks like the No Campaign/Better together (i.e. stay in the United Kingdom) has it and may even have it by quite a significant margin. Of the four areas that have declared the No campaign has won all of them; while two were expected, the other two were seen as being likely Yes campaign wins.

A relatively small percent of the population has been declared so far so things could really change when the big urban centres pile in (as the referendum is on a pure numbers as opposed to constituency basis), but things aren't looking particularly good there; the turnout is low in comparison (reportedly 75% in Glasgow against 85% in many other areas for example) and the races reportedly close; the Yes campaign needs a high turnout and big victories by the looks of things.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2014, 09:26:58 PM »
Of the four areas that have declared the No campaign has won all of them; while two were expected, the other two were seen as being likely Yes campaign wins.

Clackmannanshire was a deal more than "likely" even.  It was basically a certainty.  Just reading now that Credit Suisse rated it as 10/10 for the Yes campaign and there were the jokes about the "aye pods".

Offline consortium11

Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2014, 09:40:29 PM »
Clackmannanshire was a deal more than "likely" even.  It was basically a certainty.  Just reading now that Credit Suisse rated it as 10/10 for the Yes campaign and there were the jokes about the "aye pods".

In contrast Inverclyde was seen as 50/50 and ended up being pretty much exactly that (50.1% vs 49.9%)... in 50,000+ votes the difference was 86 votes. The no's still edged it but it's a demonstration how even if the on-going trend seems to be a somewhat comfortable No victory, things can go off script... and if one of the big cities really goes off script things could change radically.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2014, 09:43:03 PM »
Yeah.  I think they're expecting Glasgow and Edinburgh at about five ish - until then it's basically just entrail reading.  Not that thats gonna stop me of course, but those two and Aberdeen will be when it becomes possible to say something with any degree of confidence.

Offline consortium11

Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #16 on: September 18, 2014, 09:59:20 PM »
Big win for Yes in Dundee but the low turnout means it isn't as big as people might have expected.

Expected result and it does show the impact the cities can have; that Dundee result reduces a gap that was getting towards 20k back to around three or four thousand. That said Dundee is on paper pretty much the most guaranteed Yes result one could have and only getting 57% of the vote on a 79% turnout has to be a disappointment for the Yes side; they would have likely wanted more and it's not the sort of huge blow they would have liked.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #17 on: September 18, 2014, 10:03:24 PM »
Quote
At the moment it is 178,811 NO, against 172,426 YES

According to the Telegraph.  Again, the big cities are where its going to be fought.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #18 on: September 18, 2014, 10:37:01 PM »
Some massive No results there.  If this holds true then we're keeping Scotland.  Ah well.  Going for a shower.

Also - I miss Dimbleby.  It's somehow not a proper election without him.

Offline consortium11

Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #19 on: September 18, 2014, 11:02:05 PM »
It's all over bar the screaming; a huge win in Glasgow was pretty much "No's" last chance. Edinburgh looks like to be at least 50/50 if not a No win and that's the only outside shot that yes has. In places the No vote was expected to win they've won by more than expected, in places where the Yes vote was expected to win they either haven't won or haven't won by as much as expected.

Some of these margins are wider than expected and the final percentage could be closer to 60/40 in favour of No... that's a pretty big win when most opinion polls had it as 55/45 at the widest.

It looks pretty certain at this point that the UK will remain. Attention now turns to the awkward question of what new powers Scotland will get... and what the other parts of the UK will push for themselves.

Offline consortium11

Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #20 on: September 18, 2014, 11:27:09 PM »
You've got to love Nicola Sturgeon, even if nothing she says makes sense.

Scotland has just voted "no" (to all extents and purposes) to the question if it wanted change. She appears on TV and what is pretty much the first thing she says (slightly paraphrasing):

"This result shows an overwhelming attitude for change in Scotland".

No it doesn't Nicola. Some of the people who voted No may have been swayed by the promise of new powers that came late in the day but when there are two options on the referendum, one of which reads "change" and the other of which reads "no change", saying that people voting for "no change" actually shows the overwhelming wish for change is pretty much double speech.

Here comes another one...

"I'm not going to do the politician thing and try to spin this... I'm personally deeply disappointed by the result but exhilarated by the campaign and Scotland has changed forever."

Offline Kythia

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Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #21 on: September 18, 2014, 11:29:37 PM »
I was just thinking the same.  Not only have people actively voted against change, but they've voted against it in numbers far exceeding what anyone thought.

Offline consortium11

Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #22 on: September 18, 2014, 11:41:37 PM »
I was just thinking the same.  Not only have people actively voted against change, but they've voted against it in numbers far exceeding what anyone thought.

It also strikes me as somewhat counter-productive for the SNP. These days the SNP aren't the plucky outsiders riding a wave of popular momentum to victory in Scotland... they're the Scottish establishment. They have an absolute majority in the Scottish Parliament and the first minister. An argument against the status-quo in Scotland is an argument against the SNP.

I appreciate that it's the go to option when spinning a defeat to talk about how a message has been sent and how things will have to change but it rings a completely hollow note in these circumstances.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #23 on: September 18, 2014, 11:48:38 PM »
Honestly I'm not clear - and I suspect they're not either - on the point of the SNP now.  Devo max in some form or another seems to be a given, independence isn't happening...what are the SNPs policies?  What is their platform?  Continuing to exist as the Scottish National Party seems to be nothing more than a constant reminder that they overwhelmingly lost the only battle they've ever really fought.  Salmond's position is untenable, I think, but I really could see this dragging the existence of the party down with it.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Scotland getting a "Divorce" from the UK?
« Reply #24 on: September 19, 2014, 12:02:07 AM »
Salmond tweets:
Quote
Well done to Glasgow, our commonwealth city, and to the people of Scotland for such a incredible support

Is there not an elephant in the room with you there, sweetheart?  Honestly, from that tweet I can't tell if he actually knows he lost.