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Independent Scotland would keep the pound, the Queen and oil and gas reserves

Wednesday, November 27th 2013 - 07:21 UTC
Full article 69 comments

Scottish leader Alex Salmond unveiled on Tuesday what he called a “mission statement” for the country’s future: a 649-page paper detailing many of the terms for an independent Scotland. The country’s first minister released his Scottish National Party’s so-called white paper ahead of a referendum on independence from the United Kingdom set for next September. Read full article

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  • Redrow

    His plan appears to be increase spending and decrease taxes but without increasing the deficit and debt (maybe INDEC could help him with the figures). Though once he goes bust, the Bank of England will be expected to bail him out again! Is that not what lead to the Act of Union in the first place?

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 07:42 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Britworker

    This is in essence a wish list, that's it, a wish list 10 months before supposed independence. None of what he 'wishes' has been agreed with the UK by a long shot. This guy seems to think he can everything he wants and that the rest of the UK have no say in the matter whatsoever. Wrong!

    It's hysterical really. The EU are very clear, any new member state must be a part of Schengen. Why the hell does he think that this doesn't apply to Scotland?
    I am afraid that as far as a the SNP are concerned it is independence at any price, regardless of of how severe the consequences will end up being for Scotland.

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 08:44 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Be serious

    Good luck to our Scottish cousins. They certainly could go it alone and if that's what they want that's good enough for me. They can keep the £ the rate setting will continue to be carried out in London. Border controls would have to be put in place but that would be good for both countries and would create employment on both sides of the border. The EU would welcome Scotland with open arms I'm sure. As for Northern Ireland the kinship has always been with Scotland rather than England and I wonder whether they will join Scotland or Eire, perhaps they will choose independence also.

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 09:01 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Anglotino

    I am all for Scottish independence if that is what the Scottish people want.

    Self determination for different people is a right that many countries don't espouse: Russia, China, Spain, Serbia, Argentina, Indonesia etc. However several do and more importantly they discuss many of the issues and pros and cons openly before they allow the vote: the UK, Canada, New Zealand.

    Whether Scotland will retain the pound and gain accession to the EU is not up Scotland. But it can aspire. Staying out of Schengen is potentially possible due to historical reasons and logistics and again it will be up to the EU to decide.

    For some of the anti-English people on here, it must be galling that the Kingdom of Scotland will retain the same monarch and share that monarch with 16 other countries including the UK.

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 09:41 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Gordo1

    An award for children's fiction should be given to the fairy story author, Alex Salmond.

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 09:44 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Britworker

    @3
    You are of course correct, Scotland has a perfect right to do whatever it wants, that is democracy. The same reason that NI is not part of the republic, they democratically chose not to be, but you glossed over that fact.

    The bit you have wrong is the part about the EU. There are many EU citizens that are part of wannabe breakaway republics all over Europe, not just in Spain or the UK. This independence vote is being watched with interest all over. Hence the reason the EU has had to be very clear about the rules, Scotland is not a special case, they will have to apply for EU membership as a new republic the same as anyone else and they will have to be integrated into Schengen. Then there will have to be an agreement of all member states, seriously, when do they agree on anything!

    The other bit you are correct about is the border. It will have to be substantial if Scotland are in Schengen.

    There is not a cat in hells chance that Scotland will be able to keep sterling, that is the bit you have wrong. Scotland will go bust, because despite all of the emotive Braveheart reasons Scotland would like independence, the maths are all wrong. The tax revenue of 5 million people will not keep them afloat to service their borrowings and their projections of receipts from North Sea Oil and gas are all best case scenarios, this is waht Alistair Darling was telling them yesterday, 'There is no B-plan'. There is no way the rest of the UK will stand as a financial guarantor for an independent Scotland as a part of a sterling zone.

    So yes good luck to Scotland and their democratic choices, but independence is what it says on the tin, not what Alex Salmond would wish it to be.

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 09:44 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • golfcronie

    Alex Salmond is only doing this so that he can go down in history books as ” the man that a) nearly got independence for Scotland or b) got indepenence for Scotland. He is on an ego trip.

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 10:11 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • LEPRecon

    @7 golfcronie

    You forgot c) the man who destroyed Scotland and made it a 3rd world country.

    As regards to Scotland joining the EU. It is entirely possible, but they will have no choice but to adopt the Euro. If they refuse to adopt the Euro then they won't be allowed to join the club.

    Also there aren't actually 5 million taxpayers in Scotland. The number is far less than that, because the 5.2 million Scottish people who reside in Scotland include Children (who don't pay tax), Students (who don't pay tax), unemployed (who don't pay tax) and Pensioners (who don't pay tax).

    Take these people out of the equation and you'll find that Scotlands taxable population less than 4 million people.

    Salmond is making wild promises that he can't hope to fulfil, in the hopes that enough Scottish people will vote for independence and economic suicide.

    The Scottish should look as to what happened in Ireland when they became independent. The rabid Irish Nationalists refused to have anything to do with the British Empire (the largest trading block in the world at that time) and bankrupted themselves overnight.

    Did this act by the Irish Nationalists hurt the UK? No, it didn't. In fact it helped UK cities because they took up the slack causes by Dublin banning British ships and goods.

    Salmond believes that Scotland can have it's cake and eat it. In this he is sorely mistaken. Scotland won't get ALL the North Sea gas and oil (that is wishful thinking), Scotland will have to take on it's portion of the national debt.

    Scotland will have trouble 'giving' the same standard of free healthcare that they currently get, and have to cut free education, and they probably won't be able to fund the free child care places at all.

    I urge the people of Scotland to remember that there's no such thing as a free lunch. They may get short term benefits, but in the long term they'll bankrupt themselves, my guess within 5-10 years of independence.

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 10:22 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Anglotino

    Actually after a little bit of reading, Scotland may be correct that it is possible to remain in the EU under article 48 of the Lisbon Treaty.

    Scotland already is a member of the EU as part of the UK and it would seem the EU has the ability to alter the Treaty to create a continuation of membership. The EU would not really gain anything by making Scotland start from scratch and it will be mindful of the precedent that is being set as this may be the first case but probably won't be the last case.

    Also, as it will not issue its own currency of be part of the ERM II, it will not be eligible for joining the Euro.

    The EU can be pragmatic when it needs to and it will be so if there is an independent Scotland.

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 10:30 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Be serious

    Good points Britworker.
    What I was trying to say was that Scotland can use the £ as its currency but that it would be controlled by the Bank of England.
    North Sea oil is still producing the goods but is indeed running down. I didn't seek to gloss over the position with Northern Ireland but demographically the position there is changing and in the future there is a possibility that a majority will choose to join with Eire. But you are right, for the present, the options for NI are England/Wales, Scotland or Independence.
    England and Wales have no interest is seeing their neighbours impoverished as this would have a direct impact on our own economy. Look how quick the UK moved to assist Eire when its economy went into meltdown. These loans were made at a time when the UK was under serious financial pressure. The same would apply to Scotland who would become a major trading partner overnight. There is more that binds English, Scottish, Irish, N.Irish and Welsh together than anything those seeking division can imagine. If it doesn't work out for Scotland then depending on terms and conditions I would certainly vote to reconstitute the Union in any future England/Wales referendum.

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 10:39 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • GALlamosa

    Whatever the arguments about the size of the tax paying population, 4,5 or 6 million people is easily enough to support an independent nation. But will Scotland have to inherit 12% of the UK national debt, or does Salmond think he can just walk away from all historical obligations.

    A great deal to think about, and I wish our Scottish cousins all the wisdom to make the right decision. It is their choice, and that is how is is in international law.

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 10:42 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • aussie sunshine

    scotland has the same chance of becoming indepenedent as me winning the lottery
    this weekend..and EVERYBODY KNOWS IT.!!!

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 10:58 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • CabezaDura

    Poor Salmond, his entire political career based on a promiss he cant deliver. One of the very few independence campaings where the issue is not of being independent itself but getting a good deal out of the whole thing...

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 11:13 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Redrow

    @Anglotino - maybe, maybe not but Britworker's point above is key. There are other regions of the EU that might fancy breaking away from their nation states if the EU makes the process too easy and too favourable. Off the top of my head, Spain, Italy and Belgium each have potentially secessionist regions and so the EU would need to drive a sufficiently hard bargain for Scotland “pour discourager les autres”.

    If Scotland truly wants national independence at any cost then they should just go for it regardless of whether it makes them poorer or not. But the polls show only a third (or just over) of Scots take that view and this has barely budged over the last year. Thus to get that up to 50.1% Salmond needs to convince another 10% (who do not want it at any cost) that almost nothing will really change at all and in fact a few things will get better. The problem with this tactic is that it begs the question “why bother taking such a big risk if the intention is to keep everything the same?”.

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 11:25 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • CabezaDura

    14) “If Scotland truly wants national independence at any cost then they should just go for it regardless of whether it makes them poorer or not” Exactly.

    Seems to me Scotie is unhappy with her spouse but cant really bother of going alone because she rather prefers enduring the bitterness of marriage in order to keep the benefits of her wealthy husbund

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 11:44 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Redrow

    @15 Exactly CD - but isn't this like all successful marriages!! The problem with yesterday's white paper is that Salmond doesn't propose a completely fresh start somewhere else - he merely proposes moving into a shed at the bottom of the garden and having people bring his dinner out for him.

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 12:08 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Faz

    Independent Scotland... Far fewer Labour MPs in England's Parliament, less socialism in England, fewer scroungers, unfettered Tory government. Go for it you Scots!

    But,sadly, its not going to happen....

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 12:24 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ChrisR

    A lot of Scots are insular and distrust the sassenachs from south of the border. I have personal knowledge of this because I have done business with them for over 35 years until I retired to Uruguay.

    So let them trust Salmon face, I would rather trust a salmon (the fish) to tell me the truth.

    Good luck to them but it will be no good bleating to come back into the fold when it all turns to shit and we all know that is the inevitable conclusion of this little foray to getting rid of the English by Salmond.

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 12:34 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Briton

    [W]ales
    [I]reland
    [S]cotland
    [E] ngland

    WISE indeed, gentlemen, 2014 she will decide ,
    will she or wont she ,
    but one thing is certain,
    great Britain will march on regardless with the union jack...

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 12:41 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Anglotino

    Redrow

    It is not so much the EU that would be against the secession of different regions from other countries but those countries themselves. The EU gains from having smaller member states as such states are more likely to favour EU membership as a way of protecting themselves and gaining influence or “punching above their weight”.

    Italy and Spain would do everything possible to let Scotland set a precedent that their own restive regions would emulate. Belgium only hangs together by the thread of the EU anyway and honestly will probably happen when the EU can work out the legality of hiving Brussels out of an independent Flanders to be an EU equivalent of DC or the ACT or a Distrito Federal.

    However the changes to the Treaty do not need to be unanimous so more enlightened countries might be able to pass it. A good breakdown would be those EU members that recognise an independent Kosovo and those that don't. Four of the five of those that don't: Spain, Romania, Cyprus and Greece; all have minority or secessionist issues that prevent them.

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 12:43 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • LEPRecon

    @11 GALlamosa

    No one is saying Scotland couldn't become an independent nation, but to be an independent nation with EVERYTHING they currently get PLUS all the new 'incentives' proposed by the Scottish Nationalists, including their own military AND paying LESS taxes AND being £600 a year better off, isn't viable - especially in the long term.

    Independence for Scotland will take a lot of hard work and sacrifice. It won't be the smooth bed of roses that the Scottish Nationalists are trying to sell. It will be costly and the Scottish can expect to lose some key services, probably the free university placements first, and increased taxes 2nd.

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 12:44 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Condorito

    @Be Serious
    “There is more that binds English, Scottish, Irish, N.Irish and Welsh together than anything those seeking division can imagine”

    That has always been my impression too.

    The UK should take advantage of the current spotlight on the Union to put forward some major constitutional changes that will make the Union work better.

    @11 GALlamosa
    “But will Scotland have to inherit 12% of the UK national debt, or does Salmond think he can just walk away from all historical obligations.”

    If the debt is UK debt then an independent Scotland would have no technical obligation to it.

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 12:52 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Briton

    The sooner we get out of the unmighty EU the better.

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 12:52 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Conqueror

    Salmond has lost it completely. Like CFK, he's off in some la-la land where he can have whatever he wants. Scotland WILL NOT remain in the EU. The EU has already said so. It can “keep” the scottish pound if it wants. But it won't be backed by the Bank of England. The UK has told him that. Scotland “might” get the oil and gas reserves the UK is prepared to allow. The UK will institute border controls. As would be necessary for any non-EU enemy country. Come “Independence Day”, Scotland will be OUT of the EU. Scotland will be excluded from the British Common Travel Area. Why will things be this way? Because the English are tired of the scrounging, lying Scots. 53 million English people will tell the government that “independence” means just that. And the 5 million Scots can go whistle.
    @4 I wonder that you think an independent Scotland can share the same monarch. Do you understand the UK system? That decision will be for Her Majesty's government. Who will “advise” Her Majesty. Remember dog and tail. In the UK, the government is the dog. And if “the people” overwhelmingly say that Her Majesty will NOT be the monarch of Scotland?
    @8 Small point. Can you tell me at what point pensioners stopped paying tax. Because I'm a pensioner and I'm still paying!
    @9 Another small point. Have you noticed that all member states have to ratify an amendment?
    @10 Have to disagree with you. Will the Bank of England back or underwrite the scottish pound? No, it won't. Salmond has already been told that. Would be “unwise” to print and use the pound sterling without authorisation. Watch the British government step in with charges of counterfeiting. And Scotland is a different case to Eire. Salmond is a fraudster. And England won't support assistance to scrounging Scotland.
    @11 http://anotheronething.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/och-aye-oh-no-price-of-scotland.html#!/2012/01/och-aye-oh-no-price-of-scotland.html

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 01:28 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Redrow

    @20 Anglo. That the EU has a different view to the individual states is entirely the problem with the EU, it has taken on a life of its own. And yes you are quite right that it might suit the EU to break up the nation states but for now the nation states remain sovereign and the UK isn't the only country concerned by what the EU is becoming. But did you really mean to suggest that Spain and Italy actively want their wealthy secessionist regions to depart - I would be very surprised if that were the case.

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 01:31 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Anglotino

    Conq nice to see you off the turps!

    “I wonder that you think an independent Scotland can share the same monarch. Do you understand the UK system? That decision will be for Her Majesty's government. Who will “advise” Her Majesty. Remember dog and tail. In the UK, the government is the dog. And if “the people” overwhelmingly say that Her Majesty will NOT be the monarch of Scotland?”

    That is not a decision of the UK government. HM Government in Westminster will have no say over Queen Elizabeth being the Queen of Scotland.

    Just as she is 'Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen of Australia and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth' - the UK government does not control her in that capacity.

    No matter what, the Queen will not let Westminster do anything untoward. Sometimes the tail does indeed wag the dog. Scotland will still have the same head of state as it does now. Those negotiations will be between Scotland and the Queen and not with the government in Westminster as the Queen already holds the crown of Scotland and did so before the Acts of Union.

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 01:46 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • LEPRecon

    @22 Condorito

    Be Serious is correct. The Scottish will have to take on their fair share of the national debt accrued before their independence.

    Most of the debt was caused by the mismanagement by the Labour government under the auspices of Gordon Brown (Scottish) when he was Chancellor, and later Prime Minister, so it's only fair, isn't it?

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 01:59 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • JuanGabriel

    @22 “If the debt is UK debt then an independent Scotland would have no technical obligation to it.”

    But also in that case independent Scotland would have no technical entitlement to any of UK assets - equipment, overseas offices etc - which they are assuming in the White Paper will be apportioned.

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 02:26 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • LEPRecon

    @26 Anglotino

    I agree with most of what you have said regarding the Monarch, Conquerer is certainly wrong.

    Prior to the Act of Union, the King of England was also the King of Scotland, and it seemed to work okay.

    All that would happen, as in the case of Australia, Canada and New Zealand (plus the other countries that have the Queen as Head of State), is Her Majesty would appoint a representative to be her Governor General.

    Unlike Australia, Canada and New Zealand, Her Majesty would probably divide her time up between the two Kingdoms.

    However, I hope that this will be a mute point and that the Union stays together.

    @28 JuanGabriel

    Good points.

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 02:31 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Condorito

    @27 LEPRecon
    I am sure it would be only fair for Scotland to assume their share of the debt.

    JuanGabriel makes the other side of the argument that if Scotland is to assume their share of the debt, then they can also assume their share of what was purchased with that debt.

    It is all hypothetical because it's not going to happen.

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 03:23 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • aussie sunshine

    *23 Tell that to the Gibraltans!! They will never have any of that!!
    I

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 05:16 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Be serious

    I often wondered when the great geographical events of the world were unfolding how they knew when to prevent any oil forming south of Berwick upon Tweed in the North Sea. It now turns out they didn't and oil extends well south, off the Northumberland, Durham and North Yorkshire coast. It also turns out that Northern England is sitting on the most valuable shale gas deposits yet discovered outside the USA. We can only hope those English counties North of the Humber decide to stay part of England once Scotland departs.

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 05:48 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Frank

    Who wrote this?
    'Brits who live in Scotland would be able to gain Scottish citizenship.'

    So 'Brits' is now a contraction of englanders not britishers?

    This whole thing is hypothetical..... too many english living in scotland while the scots living outside scotland aren't getting a vote. If the expat scots could vote I reckon the referendum would have a bit of a show... expat scots probably think the same way as the Boston irish....

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 06:22 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • A_Voice

    32
    Amazing what appears to come out of the woodwork...
    You appear to have a lot to say.....most of it wrong....
    If you don't mind me saying, your views appear to those of neither an Englishman nor a Scot ....you seem to be unfamiliar with UK history.....
    Are you an Immigrant?

    ...“We can only hope those English counties North of the Humber decide to stay part of England once Scotland departs.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_England_devolution_referendums,_2004
    33
    ...“So 'Brits' is now a contraction of englanders not britishers?”
    ....we all knew what they meant....Other Brits living in Scotland that were not born Scots....English, Welsh and Northern Irish and other Brits not born in the UK but holding the right of abode in the UK and living in Scotland at the time of Independence and on the Electoral role
    .....like Slatzz who will automatically become a Scottish citizen...whether he likes it or not....

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 06:42 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • nota

    Actually anglotino. The Westminster government can do what it wants. As soon as Scotland goes independent then the Westminster government is then duty bound to look after the best interests of the remaining regions of the UK. So if it feels a joint currency area with Scotland will jeopardise the remaining arts of the U.K. they can and will reject it. No matter what H.M says or does. Same as a land border etc. Reading the book it makes a lot of assumptions that everything will go Scotlands way and they will get everything they ask for, which is very optimistic. There is also this walking away from the debts and withdrawal of oil and gas rights. Only when you point out the majority of the gas is in English waters and is imported through the interconecter in east anglia do shuffling of feet occurs. It has already been described by smp as defaulting or plan b running away.

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 07:08 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • CaptainSilver

    Talk to anyone with half a brain in Scotland and they think Salmond is nuts. There is no way Salmond will get a yes and he knows it. Its all just a ploy to wring more autonomy out of Westminster.
    The sensible thing for Westminster to do is to hand over greater autonomy and get Scottish politicians out of Westminster. Withdraw the naval shipbuilding and split it between the Tyne and Portsmouth. Move Trident to Plymouth and let the fishy duo raise their own taxes and spend it all on the scroungers up there. That's what they want, let them have it. I know one Scottish multi millionaire who will be heading south of the border and many other sensible educated people who will be doing the same.

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 07:51 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Briton

    31 aussie sunshine
    Gibraltar will follow the UK out of Europe,
    Or vote to be independent and stay in,
    And be assimilated,

    Simple choice….
    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
    According to whatever poll you listen to,
    Scotland will remain within the UK ,
    We will soon find out one way or another.

    .

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 07:52 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • A_Voice

    36
    This was the latest poll before the White Paper it will be interesting to see the results of the next poll....

    THE No campaign on Scottish independence has a nine point lead in the latest opinion poll, issued ahead of the publication of the white paper on independence this week.
    The Panelbase survey, conducted for The Sunday Times and Real Radio Scotland, puts support for a Yes vote at 38%, with those backing a No vote at 47%. A total of 15% said they did not know which way they would go.

    Pro-independence campaigners said the poll shows they need less than a five point swing to take the lead.
    http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/top-stories/scottish-independence-no-ahead-by-9-new-poll-1-3201333

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 08:22 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Pete Bog

    “Scotland’s economic output per head, even without oil and gas, is virtually the same as the UK as a whole. So oil and gas is a bonus,” it states.”

    Scottish or other friends comment please. I was given to understand that the money subsidy now passed to Scotland from the UK government is roughly equal to the output of North Sea oil,, in Scottish territory.

    So rather than be a bonus, won't the accumulation of the money from oil be countered by the withdrawal of the UK subsidy to Scotland in place since the 1970s?

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 09:42 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • A_Voice

    39
    The basic facts are that Scotland accounts for 8.4% of the UK population, 8.3% of the UK's total output and 8.3% of the UK's non-oil tax revenues - but 9.2% of total UK public spending.
    If you add the oil revenue....Scotland would provide 9.4% of total UK revenues as opposed to 'only' 9.2% of UK public spending.
    If you define a subsidy as getting more in spending than you put back in revenues, it's worth remembering that all of the UK are being subsidised by the Treasury these days. It's just that when we're talking about the UK they call it a budget deficit....
    If you apply the same kind calculation to the UK as a whole, the net 'subsidy' for the average person was well over £2,000 last year compared to the Scottish subsidy of £3,150 per head .....without oil revenue...
    A small bonus perhaps... but still a bonus...but when the oil runs out......???

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 10:11 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Britworker

    Oh dear, Spain has openly stated tonight that they will veto Scotland's entry to the EU as predicted. That officially means that Salmond has no plan B if the UK refuse to enter into a Sterling zone, which they will.
    I think the Scots had better start emptying their monopoly sets!

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 11:38 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Redrow

    @38 Think

    Panelbase gives the highest Yes % but uses potentially skewing introductory questions. YouGov gives No a 20pt lead, TNS gives No a 19pt lead and ICM gives No a 17pt lead. I would doubt that too many No's will switch - you either want independence or you don't - therefore he will need to get an awful lot of don't knows to commit and his figures have hardly budged in a year.

    Nov 27th, 2013 - 11:47 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • redp0ll

    Should Scotland vote for independence at the ballotbox, I am sure that the Uk govt will respect their decision.
    Yes the old slogan “Its Scotlands oil” but is it?
    An awfull lot of it lies in Orkney and Shetland waters and only 8%of the inhabitants of those islands voted SNP last time
    Mr Salmond should perhaps consult Kristina in Argentina as to how to deal with that incipient problem in case the Orcadians and Shetlanders decide to seceed from an independant Scots state

    Nov 28th, 2013 - 01:41 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • rule_britannia

    #41 I, for one, have no wish to see the UK without Scotland or Spain without Catalonia.

    Nov 28th, 2013 - 03:36 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Be serious

    Amazing what comes out of Tink it dover's backside.

    Nov 28th, 2013 - 06:07 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Musky

    Scotland cannot share the pound. It can only keep a share of north sea oil. Scottish islands want to stick with UK. Scotland will not be automatic euro member. Scotland will loose defense contracts. Scotland will loose lots of public sector jobs. Scotland will loose clout on world stage.

    Nov 28th, 2013 - 06:20 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Heisenbergcontext

    ...and no more British Open at St Andrews I guess.

    Nov 28th, 2013 - 07:24 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • LEPRecon

    Salmond has not released even more benefits the Scottish will get upon independence plus a brand new energy source!

    http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/international/independent-scotland-to-have-a-jacuzzi-2013112681467

    http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/international/independent-scotland-to-have-a-jacuzzi-2013112681467

    I wonder which way the Scottish electorate will go with these new offers?

    Nov 28th, 2013 - 12:48 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • rupertbrooks0

    47 Heisenbergcontext

    Actually it's called “The Open” not the British Open. As the oldest major golf tournament (from 1860) it started out as the only open tournament and therefore needed no national designation to identify it. If it had started with a nation designation it would of course be the “Scottish Open”

    Equally there is no British “Open” tennis tournament, its just “Wimbledon” Also as the world first and oldest Football Association the English association is simply called THE Football Association.

    Thats the advantage in having invented everything, you get there first before everyone else does.

    Nov 28th, 2013 - 12:55 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • CabezaDura

    44) But Catalonia gives far more that it gets from Madrid. In case of Scotland- London is the opposite

    Nov 28th, 2013 - 01:06 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Heisenbergcontext

    @49

    Rupert - I certainly wouldn't argue with you about the official title of this wonderful tournament, but I can guarantee you that I if use 'The Open' in casual conversation people are going to look at me blankly. If I call the same event 'The British Open' - everyone will know exactly what I mean.

    As to your last sentence, I think it's safe to say you didn't invent pedantry.

    Nov 28th, 2013 - 01:24 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Trunce!

    @43

    “An awfull lot of it lies in Orkney and Shetland waters ”

    And they know it. Come along Scots, play nicely and share ; )

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/mar/17/scottish-independence-islands-home-rule

    Nov 28th, 2013 - 02:05 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Be serious

    Catalonia has an absolute right to Independence as have the Basques. I look forward to the day that these oppressed people achieve Nationhood. Rajoy makes all these threats about EU membership but even if he's right, membership of the corrupt and dysfunctional EU is hardly a persuasive argument.

    Nov 28th, 2013 - 02:06 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • rule_britannia

    #50. In 2011, Madrid raised 66,000 million euros in income tax, VAT and excise but it got only 11,474 million back from the state, ie, only 17.6% of what it contributed. Conversely. Catalonia raised 27,000 million euros and received almost 15,800, 60% of the total, according to official Treasury data. In relative terms, this means that the Catalan Government received almost four times the Madrid Government in terms of what it collected.

    Moreover, Catalonia benefits indirectly from markets in the rest of Spain. You won't find many firms from Andalusia, Astruias or Castile and Leon in Catalonia, but there are plenty of Catalonian firms all over Spain. Remove the principle of solidarity (by the richest regions have to contribute to improve the financial capacity of the disadvantaged) and these businesses may as well pack up and go home.

    Nov 28th, 2013 - 02:19 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • CabezaDura

    But how much did Catalonia give to Madrid of that amount for that matter in 2011 ?? 49% on income tax is what you get at maximum in the region. Catalans are the most taxed regions of Spain and are losing to Madrid at least 12 billion Euros per year to them than they recive for services like hospitals and schools... The Catalan companies can do business in France or Italy, remove the principle of solidarity and the money stays in Catalonia

    Nov 28th, 2013 - 02:46 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Clyde15

    #36
    It's interesting to see a latent English dislike of the Scots surfacing at last. I have been aware of this all my life It has always been there but now there is a chance to express it.
    Yes, there is a lot wrong with Scotland BUT have you ever looked in a mirror at England's own reflection ? It might not be as pleasant as you think.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but at the Act of Union were the Orkneys and Shetlands mentioned separately or were they subsumed with Scotland. As far as I know they are an integral part of Scotland and there is no mechanism for a county to leave it's country.

    If you believe this, then what is to stop the “home counties” ceding from England and then further breaking into smaller divisions such as the city of Westminster, etc.
    You will be back at the time of Alfred the Great with separate “kingdoms” viz..Wessex ,Mercia, East Anglia and Northumbria et al.

    #24
    One benefit of independance would be to distance ourselves from arseholes like YOU. As to designating Scotland as an enemy country, I really don't think you want to do that. We would mind our own business BUT we do have deserved reputation for not taking crap from the likes of people such as you.

    Any way, what could YOU do. You have allocated ALL the “English ” armed forces to the Falklands to punch up the Argies, so we could just wander in and seize your coffee shops...no problem.

    #36
    It's comforting to note that we are all scroungers up there and that we contribute NOTHING to the UK economy.
    Move Trident to Plymouth...good idea. However, where is England going to find the money to build the new subs. AND build a base and secure nuclear storage area for the missiles ? Borrow more money ?
    The residents of Plymouth will be only too happy to have a colossal bomb dump in their vicinity. How about the Rame peninsula?
    That could be destroyed to build nuclear storage facilities.
    How about Chatham, think of the jobs you could save in that area.

    I am being facetious !

    Nov 28th, 2013 - 06:42 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Briton

    calm down gents,

    Thin Pinstriped Line

    Assessment on the proposals for a Scottish Defence Force (Part 1)
    http://thinpinstripedline.blogspot.co.uk/search?updated-min=2013-01-01T00:00:00Z&updated-max=2014-01-01T00:00:00Z&max-results=15

    If you are interested in just the navy,
    Read this,
    Very interesting..
    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
    some of us hope the union will remain,
    for we are stronger together,

    as for the subs,
    I think either more pressure would be put on to scrap it,
    if it was moved, or an age old idea of building a sub/missile base on one of our pacific islands, far enough away yet powerful enough to reach any country, and well protected,,, I believe this was turned down as far to expensive costing billions,, yet to re-locate the nuclear base from Scotland may well cost billions,

    so I heard
    still,
    united we stand, ,for another 300 years..

    just a thought.

    Nov 28th, 2013 - 07:09 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • rule_britannia

    #55 Catalonia didn't lose anything to Madrid. Madrid is an autonomous community the same as Catalonia and actually contributes more to the rest of Spain than Catalonia does.

    In Spain, the Basque-speaking provinces, have a “chartered regime” whereby they would not only manage their own finances, like all other communities, but also levy and collect all taxes. In the rest of Spain's communities, all taxes are levied and collected by (or for) the central government and then redistributed among the communities.

    Nov 28th, 2013 - 09:13 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • The Truth PaTroll

    WHO WROTE THIS TRASH?

    This is the ultimate proof, if it is a Mercopress redactor, that they are a BIASED PRO-BRITISH website, which NEVER lays a finger in criticizing the UK.

    If it is a copy and paste job, ditto. Because then they obviously choose articles that always put the UK in a good light, and everyone else badly. PATHETIC>

    Nov 28th, 2013 - 09:57 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • CabezaDura

    58) When I say “Madrid” I mean the Spain's central Gov't

    http://www.it-intransit.eu/articles/catalonia-has-highest-taxes-spain

    Nov 28th, 2013 - 10:30 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • redp0ll

    Oh dear Clyde. Nemo me impune lacesit?
    I am not ante Scot and still have some very distant rellles in Orkney,so I do red the local press
    If you think MP is vituperatively anti Scot, read some of the comment blogs in your own national press. I gave up reading that rubbish over a year ago.
    I fear you have fallen for exactly the same argument as Argentina uses over the Falklands
    It's ours and the wishes of the inhabitants one way or the other are of no importance .
    A different aspect is to who owns Rockall, incorporated into the UK in 1955.
    With possible oil potential the sovrienty is disputed by Ireland, Iceland, Denmark on behalf of the Faroese and UK.
    No inhabitants there unless the guillemots gt the right to vote, so it's a question of straight sovrienty.
    PS don't encourage A Voice in old dreams of ancient Northubria. As king of West Hartlepool he might claim your capital, Edwinsborough off you

    Nov 29th, 2013 - 12:46 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • rule_britannia

    Catalonia has high taxes because, for historical reasons, the two richest regions, Navarre and the Basque Country, have a “chartered regime”. This puts an additional burden on Madrid and Catalonia. But, as I explained earlier, Catalonia gets far more back percentage-wise than Madrid.

    In the article you recommend, the Catalonians complain that people in other communities get stuff for free that Catalonians have to pay for. Here is the ranking of Spanish autonomies by gross regional product per capita at purchasing power parity (PPP) in 2010 international dollars

    Region USD Comparable country
    19 Extremadura 21,742 Antigua and Barbuda
    18 Andalusia 22,487 Saudi Arabia
    17 Castile–La Mancha 22,766 Barbados
    16 Region of Murcia 24,101 Malta
    15 Canary Islands 25,512 Oman
    14 Galicia 26,283 Bahrain
    13 Valencia 26,441 Bahrain
    12 Melilla 26,915 Bahrain
    11 Asturias 28,271 Slovenia
    10 Ceuta 28,372 Greece
    9 Castile and León 29,682 Israel
    8 Cantabria 30,315 The Bahamas
    7 Balearic Islands 31,876 The Bahamas
    6 Aragon 32,152 Japan
    5 La Rioja 32,326 Japan
    4 Catalonia 34,952 New Hampshire
    3 Madrid 38,712 Kuwait
    2 Navarre 38,736 Kuwait
    1 Basque Country 40,457 Netherlands
    --------------------------------------------
    Average: Spain 29,810 South Korea

    “The Catalan companies can do business in France or Italy”

    Those that can, do.

    “...remove the principle of solidarity and the money stays in Catalonia”

    Remove the principle of solidarity and you will have a flood of migrant workers to Catalonia from the rest of Spain.

    Nov 29th, 2013 - 12:52 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Clyde15

    #61
    I am NOT anti-English. My son-in -law, daughter - in - law and grand-daughter are English. I also have friends who are English.
    The problem with the independence debate is that it is perceived that we, as a country, do not like the English. Yes, there are cadre of nutters who like to blame England for all the faults in society which are the same south of the border. Conversely, there are a percentage of English who dislike the Scots for whatever reason.
    The further you go from London the less relevant national politics appear. When I watch the BBC news, most of the items are what I would term as English matters, school curriculums, London's underground, expansion of SE airports, high speed trains-not for us.
    Gales and snow sweep England - country grinds to a halt. This weather is common up here and we just get on with it.
    I sometimes think I am listening to news from a foreign country.
    The continual use of England when the term UK should be used.
    The last example may seem trivial but it has the effect of making Scots feel excluded. The old chestnut of Scot crashes out of Wimbledon and Briton wins Wimbledon title still applies.

    I am afraid I did not understand your analogy to Argentina and the Falklands.

    As to the debate, it's down to the usual bunch of lying politicians on both sides peddling half truths. Nobody has yet come out with the figures.
    To me, the only definite plus item to independence is that we would not get involved in any foreign wars or adventures. We would be no threat to anyone and would not need to posture on the world's stage to bolster the egos of the political classes.

    Nov 29th, 2013 - 01:14 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • CabezaDura

    62) You might have a fair point, I should have to do far more research into the Catalan- Spain issue

    Nov 29th, 2013 - 03:15 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • A_Voice

    61
    Oooo..very good, I like the PS, you've been reading and learning....
    Now perhaps folk may see the difference between the Scottish West and East and the deep seated connections between the English North and Scotland. Kings and Rulers fall but the people remain the same.
    Edwin the Anglian King...ruler of Edinburgh and Lothian 400 years before it was annexed by the Scots...and why the Highlanders call the Lowlands Sassanachs...
    .
    .
    .....I agree with Clyde... @56...all you Southern English Fannies and Wannabes!
    .....I will take you all on ...with one arm tied behind my back....
    .... “Go prick thy face and over-red thy fear, thou lily livered boy.”...Macbeth 5:3:15:

    Nov 29th, 2013 - 07:37 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Briton

    Nobody should be anti English, Scottish , welsh , ect,
    After 300 years of integration it would be like dropping bloody 60 odd million piece jigsaw and say, [sort that lot out ]

    We are British,, just as Texans or Missourians or Kentuckians are proud, they are all and one American,

    You cannot just tear up 300 years of everything and say [independence is mine]
    It’s a fallacy,

    but purely out of silly interest, could or has mr salmon have a claim or part claim on Gibraltar or the Falklands or even the rest of the BOTs, after all they are part of a combined UK asset,

    Justa a silly thought,
    But as a unionist I think Scot will go nowhere and she will stay put.

    peace my friends , don't give these argies ammunition against us..

    Nov 29th, 2013 - 07:46 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • rule_britannia

    @63: “The continual use of England when the term UK should be used”

    That's a mistake often made by non-Brits but not by the English or the Scots themselves.

    Dec 01st, 2013 - 03:43 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Clyde15

    #67
    No, I have to disagree on that one. I have often heard references to William as a future King of England...not Britain. These were comments made by English people in interviews
    In historical programs about WW2, Waterloo, Trafalgar etc it is the English army who beat Napoleon, the English Navy that won Trafalgar, the English that defeated Hitler. These comments were made by English presenters. It may be that my ear is more sensitively tuned to this. I am sure that it is not a conscious decision to use the term instead of the UK or Britain, but that it is so deeply ingrained in their soul that it just comes out naturally. I am also sure that it is not meant in a derogatory way - in most cases -but just from an ingrained thought process.
    A colleague of mine from way back - a Lancastrian -used to say about this that we were giving you a compliment calling you English! !

    Dec 01st, 2013 - 02:16 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • redp0ll

    @68 Clyde
    Nobody had ever heard the term Great Britain until it was invented by a Scotsman
    Aye man your own King Jamie Saxt aka James 1st, king of Great Britain
    He had a few other terretorial ambitions as well.Kingof France being one!
    I still have some old envelopes from a while back addressed to .. “Orkney Islands, North Britain” !!!!

    Dec 01st, 2013 - 08:40 pm - Link - Report abuse 0

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