Brexit.... squeaky bum time

Unfortunately I don’t think there’s any chance that an independent UK nation can ever join the EU.
The veto likely to be exercised by Spain (think separatist regions…wishing to be separate EU nations themselves) would totally put the kibosh on the whole concept. They and other EU countries with separatist regions just couldn’t afford to give them any encouragement.

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I don’t think it really matters what Labour say or do now John, because I don’t think the UK (or, as you say, England & Wales) will be seriously talking about actually rejoining the EU for 5-10 years. How large do the policies of, say, Ed Milliband or Nick Clegg loom in our lives now? - and climate/ecological breakdown in 5-10 years is going to make everything look very different to voters anyway.

I do anticipate on-going discussions on specific areas of trade and co-operation, leading to lots of piecemeal agreements, constructing a Switzerland-like informal semi-EU membership - against a background of continuing economic decline, political chaos and constitutional crisis in the UK.
How radical its difficulties become will shape public attitudes to the Euro, etc - but I’m inclined to think rejoining will be in stages: after Switzerland-like status, formal EEA membership, then a few more years before rejoining the EU.

Two big elephants in the room that might derail SNP…Currency and the border, the former is manageable by having Scottish currency (the Dirk!?) pegged to sterling for a time or within a band, The border is the biggie, a re-run of the NI issue but on steroids!

if SNP get big (v likely) then he won’t be able too…the more he resists the more the Scots will demand it…including limited international pressure.
The only possibility is noise around a promise that the UK Gov offers to set up Royal commission to investigate and recommend moving to a federal structure a lá USA Germany, Aus, Canada, and led by Gordon Brown who has already floated informal credible suggestions, this might satisfy some independence waivers.

Merks (or Marks) and Punds :blush:
But we might just get the Euro.
One euro several yousero :grin:

We would have to keep the Scottish pound for at least two years as the Maastricht convergence criteria, which countries have to adhere to as a pre-requisite for joining the European Union, contains criteria about having a stable currency as part of the ERM II plan.

In short, you need to have a proven track record of running your own national currency before you can get into the Eurozone, this equates to minimum of two years before we could join the euro.

Also keeping the pound for some time mean the initial disruption to Scotland would be minimal. Contracts would not have to be renegotiated and transaction costs would remain at zero, they then have a breathing space.

I wonder also if the border is as big an issue as it seems. We used to live close to the border (Northumberland) - it’s nowhere near as long or complicated as the Irish border - nor (obviously) as difficult politically. Apart from the coastal routes (and even the A1 has non-dualed sections in Northumberland) most of the relatively few crossing points are pretty remote and quiet - rather like the Norway-Sweden EU border in many ways.

A bigger issue might be whether Berwick (just in England) will continue to play in the Scottish league - as they do now.

Assuming Scotland did have its own currency and of course a Central Bank to issue and guarantee it, I would expect it to sink like a stone in relation to the pound, purely on the grounds that the Scottish economy is relatively weak. When the independence question was last asked, there was a modest income available from oil, that has since reduced sharply. Furthermore, the Shetlands (where most recent finds have been made) have indicated they’d rather be governed by Oslo than Edinburgh, which would upset a few calculations, I’m sure. We’ve all seen the result of trying to force a schism in defiance of economic logic, it’s not an attractive proposition for anyone, including external investors. On top of that, as has already been noted, some EU countries such as Spain would be unhappy about the knock-on effect on their own restless provinces. All in all, it looks like a very dangerous risk all round to me. I have no axe to grind either way, but I just hope people take a long, realistic look at the situation before casting their votes.

If 52% of the UK can vote for Brexit then it’s certainly no more daft for the Scots to vote out Brian. I’m sure the numbers didn’t add up when Ireland made the leap either. In fact the only worthwhile industry on the Island was in the six counties, shipbuilding and linen, and that of course wasn’t part of the deal.

If Johnson was actually trying to encourage secession he couldn’t do a much better job that he is now.

'The problem is that unionists can’t use ‘the Scottish economy is relatively weak’ argument - at least they would be very stupid to do so - since if indeed it is relatively weak after 3 or 4 hundred years of being governed from London, that’s a really strong case for independence!

True enough, John, but the the PM tends to deal with one issue at a time and to hell with the rest. Your reference to the EU referendum underlines what I was obliquely recalling in my comment. Whilst a particular result might satisfy some emotional need, economic and practical reality makes a different demand. The logistics of getting, say, fresh seafood from Scotland via two borders and a third country (England) to the EU market would be daunting.

Well there has been squillions invested in Scotland over the years, but not always well (think Linwood). I have a theory that the problems with the Scottish economy are to some extent those of geography. For largely topological reasons, most of the population, industry and commerce is concentrated into a narrow strip between the Clyde and the Forth and there just hasn’t been the wider development that would have led to a broader, more stable economic base.

With regard to Scotland being unviable etc, there are many smaller states that manage ok and assuming it was accepted into the EU which is a top ambition it would sit above many smaller but successful sates… the Baltics, Slovenia. Slovakia, Czech Republic etc. Given they have proudly wanted there own destiny the Scots would make every sacrifice to make it work.

If the ferry route from Rosyth is opened again they would not need such a convaluted route, It can’t be any worse than the situation they are in now.
The squillions invested in Scotland over the years sounds like a Boris comment, if it wasn’t for us giving you all that money you would still be chasing haggis and all you ever do is squander it :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

“Linwood”. I hadn’t thought of Linwood since I sold my Hillman Imp (well I gave it away to a pal for parts really). One of he design “features” I seem to recall was a pneumatic throttle connection instead of a cable.

Actually, I think the Rosyth ferry still operates. Three sailings a week to Zeebrugge? I agree though, a greater frequency would solve a lot of problems.

Greater frequency and reinstate the passenger ferry again and make it a free port.

Exactly. As far as I’m aware, there are no sound arguments from either economics or geography against Scottish independence.

  • Too small? Not as small as most of the wealthiest European countries.
  • Peripheral location? Less so than the (now wealthier than the UK) Ireland.
  • Small population stuck on the northern border of big economy? Like Denmark, you mean?
  • Etc…

The fact is that most comparable northern European countries are actually doing really well.

The unionists will no doubt try to use ‘project fear’ tactics like last time - but this is obviously more difficult now as most of them are conservatives that have spent the last 5 years dismissing such arguments - and in more general terms, how can they use the whole range of ‘sovereignty’ and ‘taking back control’ arguments for ‘independence’ from the EU, then take precisely the opposite line when it comes to Scotland?