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Referendum in Scotland

     
10:54 am on Feb 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

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How many people outside of the UK are aware of this year's independence referendum in Scotland (and its implications)?
11:30 pm on Feb 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

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>Isn't that something you should be told, before you vote?

I feel that's where a lot of the no vote is sitting. The nationalists have already spent over 100 million trying to decipher this legal and political nightmare (source: someone who works in Holyrood).

The UK and EU perhaps are not as willing to invest in the 'what if', and of course have their own agendas.

If it were all laid out bare, I feel the vote would sway towards yes. Bookies have the 'yes' vote at 4/1.
11:30 pm on Feb 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

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The UK joined the EU. Not Scotland, not Wales, and not England.

England, Wales and Scotland (plus Northern Ireland) are the UK.

Some of you are saying that if Scotland secedes from the UK it automatically leaves the EU.

So point to any law, treaty or other official document that backs up your case.

Soundbites from individual politicians are not the same thing at all.

you would think that salmond would want to get a definite answer either way, before september

Apologies for quoting Wikipedia again, but it does source the material:

Without any formal process for handling the breakup of any member state, the European Commission has offered, if requested by a member state, to provide an official view on the EU's position on Scottish EU membership in the event of its independence from the UK. The Scottish Government has requested that UK Prime Minister David Cameron place this request, but to date this request has not been made.

I have no dog in this fight, but I value informed debate.

...
11:56 pm on Feb 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Soundbites from individual politicians are not the same thing at all.
I don't listen to politicians. The fact is, it was the UK that joined the EU. End of.
12:56 am on Feb 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

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The fact is, it was the UK that joined the EU. End of.

You want facts?

The UK plus Gibraltar joined the European Economic Community in 1973.

Because of this Gibraltarians are now EU citizens and can vote in EU elections.

The EU was created by the UK and other EEC members in 1993.

Citizens of the following are now also EU citizens, but cannot vote in EU elections:

Anguilla
Bermuda
British Antarctic Territory
British Indian Ocean Territory
British Virgin Islands
Cayman Islands
Falkland Islands
Montserrat
Pitcairn Islands
Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
Turks and Caicos Islands

The Isle of Man and the Channel Islands are not in the EU.

But Scotland certainly is.

...
1:04 am on Feb 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

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<bangs head against wall>
1:07 am on Feb 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Stop speaking and writing in English.


Perhaps you should demand the same of our US cousins.

After all, they declared independence long ago.

Actually, we did. We speak American English and all our word processors the world (and UK, too) want to use, etc. have a separate dictionary function for UK English included for those that don't speak or spell right. :)

Be careful of what you wish for, you just might get it!
7:24 am on Feb 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

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@Samizdata, you do not seem to understand is that there is nothing in the EU law or treaties to say that country seceding from a EU member state is automatically an EU member state itself. Post-independence, Scotland will appear on this list:

[europa.eu ]

separately from the UK.

The question is does a new EU membership get automatically created, or does it need to be applied for?

I do not think Scotland will be rejected- the question is whether it will be a continuing member (i.e. the UK membership can be split into two) or a new member. It matters because new members have to adopt the Euro.

Assuming Scotland does not adopt the Euro, and keeps the pound it now looks like it will not get a currency union - which means Scottish banks will not have a lender of last resort and the Bank of England will set interest rates without taking the Scottish economy into account (this could be disastrous in some circumstances).

The debate has been getting rather nasty recently. A lot of Scots resented the early rejection a currency union, but Alex Salmond's threat not to take on a fair share of the national debt is even more resented by the rest of the UK.

The UK govt is likely to react (in the event of an yes vote, possibly threatening it before the vote) by not agreeing to independence until the Scots agree to take a slice of the national debt (as part of the negotiations). That will only make things nastier.

The whole thing is an illustration of how showing your hand weakens your position. The SNP has committed to keeping the pound, so the UK does not need to offer a currency union in order to keep Scotland using the same currency. If there was a real threat of an independent Scotland adopting the Euro (assuming it has a choice) or of creating its own currency, then it would have something to offer in return for a currency union.
8:13 am on Feb 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

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you do not seem to understand is that there is nothing in the EU law or treaties to say that country seceding from a EU member state is automatically an EU member state itself.

I understand it perfectly.

I have pointed out repeatedly that there is nothing automatic in place under any law or treaty.

I have stated that it will be a matter for negotiation.

Your argument is with those who claim otherwise.

I find the idea that 5 million European people will be stripped of EU citizenship overnight and their country expelled from the union on the basis of no law or treaty whatsoever extremely unlikely and entirely undemocratic.

...
9:37 am on Feb 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

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The way i understand it, no one is stripping you of anything. You are choosing to leave yourself. The uk is the member, and you are choosing to leave it. You cant go independent but keep hold of all the uk treaties. That is like having your cake and eating it
9:53 am on Feb 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Isn't that something you should be told, before you vote? Its kind of important... knowing whether you will be a member of the EU or not

This is another uninformed comment regularly quoted by "NO" supporters. Alex Salmond has been asking the UK government to get clarification on this issue from the EU for many months. they have refused consistently to do so. One can only surmise why? This and other similar Westminster obstructive tactics are causing a lot of bitterness here in Scotland.
10:02 am on Feb 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Incidentally this whole process is supposed to be conducted under the Edinburgh agreement. This is an agreement between Westminster and the Scottish government to ensure that the referendum is conducted fairly. The two governments agreed to work together. Westminster is already breaking that agreement and turning nasty.

Clause 30 of the Agreement.
30. The United Kingdom and Scottish Governments are committed, through the Memorandum of Understanding between them and others, to working together on matters of mutual interest and to the principles of good communication and mutual respect. The two governments have reached this agreement in that spirit. They look forward to a referendum that is legal and fair producing a decisive and respected outcome. The two governments are committed to continue to work together constructively in the light of the outcome, whatever it is, in the best interests of the people of Scotland and of the rest of the United Kingdom.

[edited by: BeeDeeDubbleU at 10:08 am (utc) on Feb 20, 2014]

10:07 am on Feb 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Clause 21 - Ensuring impartiality of broadcasters
21. The governments agree that it will be important to ensure that broadcast coverage of the Referendum is impartial. Broadcasters, Ofcom and the Electoral Commission will discuss the best way to achieve this.

Westminster is also breaking Clause 21 of the agreement by consistently allowing the BBC to openly demonstrate bias against the YES vote. The bias being shown is shameful. It has even been exposed in a University study, which the BBC has refused to acknowledge.
1:58 pm on Feb 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Some of these posts are starting to get personal. I'd hate to have to shut down an otherwise interesting thread.
2:53 pm on Feb 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Those arguing that a newly independent Scotland will no longer be a member of the EU and will have to apply for membership...

...might also have to concede that a newly independent England+Wales+NorthernIreland will also no longer be a member of the EU and will have to apply for membership.

Scotland, if it votes for independence, will not be "leaving" the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Without Scotland, there is no United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
3:07 pm on Feb 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

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it's like bill wyman leaving the rolling stones. they didn't stop being the stones just because he left exactly the same thing. that's how i look at it
4:21 pm on Feb 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

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But if the rolling stones as a band had corporate membership of say the Groucho Club, then Mr Wyman's membership would cease and he would have to reapply on his own merits as he would no longer share the merits of the rest of the band.
5:28 pm on Feb 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

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exactly. and he wouldnt be allowed to demand that keith keep playing lead guitar in his new band either, which is what scotland wants to do with the pound. this is a good analogy, i like this

bill wyman left the stones and formed his own band bill wyman and the rhythm kings. that is what scotland will become bill wyman's rhythm kings
6:10 pm on Feb 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

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no one is stripping you of anything. You are choosing to leave yourself.

I don't know why that remark was addressed to me.

For the record, I have no connection with Scotland whatsoever.

I have spent even less time there than Elvis Presley.

I don't care whether Scotland secedes from the UK or not.

Even if I did, it would still be none of my business.

But I dislike ignorance and I despise bigotry.

Scottish people are not voting this year on whether or not to leave the EU.

The only time they have ever voted on Europe (1975) a clear majority wanted to stay in.

They are now EU citizens and apparently wish to remain so.

I know of no valid reason - and no existing legal mechanism - to kick them out.

...
8:05 pm on Feb 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I've deleted several posts since my first warning. State your argument or observation or whatever, but do not make it personal. There will be no more warnings.
8:26 pm on Feb 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

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you should sit in the speaker's chair in parliament, lawman. there would be total silence every day - they'd have nothing left to say
8:51 pm on Feb 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

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<aside>
Lawman is an exceptionally good moderator. Years ago I promised him a round at PubCon for clearing up too many of my posts in Foo in the mid-2000s when hot-headed political enthusiasm got the better of me. Since I'm off to New Orleans at the end of next month, I might finally be able to make good on that pledge.
</aside>

I suspect Cameron's problem is that of historical legacy. Quite apart from what he wants and what his party's supporters want and what's good or bad for the economy (will England & Wales really be economically worse off without Scotland?) he simply cannot afford to let the Scottish Nationalists win, lest he be labelled forever...

"The PM who lost Scotland."
9:29 pm on Feb 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I have spent even less time there than Elvis Presley.

LOL! But - I doubt many of those reading will know what you mean!
9:40 pm on Feb 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

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The problem with the Scottish independence debate, in my opinion, is that the people that know the least about it are Alex Salmond and David Cameron.
10:16 pm on Feb 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Really? Alex Salmond who has led the elected Scottish parliament for the last seven years on an independence card knows nothing about the referendum? Hrrrmmm.
9:29 am on Feb 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

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@Samizdata, you say:

I have stated that it will be a matter for negotiation.


and

Scottish people are not voting this year on whether or not to leave the EU.


The problem is not that Scotland will be refused EU membership, but that the terms of that membership (continuing or new member) are unknown pending the negotiations.

Even The "Yes" campaign website admits that Scotland will need to negotiate its continued membership of the EU:

[yesscotland.net ]

@ronin,

might also have to concede that a newly independent England+Wales+NorthernIreland will also no longer be a member of the EU and will have to apply for membership


No. Think of the UK as something like the holding company of a group of companies (with England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland being subsidiaries). If its spins off one subsidiary (Scotland) the holding company remains the same legal entity.

I do not believe the BBC is biased against Scottish independence: if anything, its culture will tend the other way.

[edited by: graeme_p at 9:51 am (utc) on Feb 21, 2014]

9:36 am on Feb 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

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This has also brought up another question:

1) Do all Scots lose their citizenship of the UK?

2) Will any Scottish people living elsewhere in the UK be entitled to Scottish citizenship?

3) How will the appropriate citizenship (of the remainin OK or of Scotland) be determined for British citizens living abroad (bearing in mind that there are more of us than the population of Scotland).

I also wonder why Northern Ireland should stay in the UK if Scotland leaves. Its closes UK ties seem to be with Scotland.
11:01 am on Feb 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I do not believe the BBC is biased against Scottish independence: if anything, its culture will tend the other way.

Research by Dr John Robertson and a team at the University of the West of Scotland concluded that the BBC first year of referendum coverage (to September 2013) "has not been fair or balanced". Dr Robertson's team reported that the BBC coverage was biased towards the pro Unionist No campaign."

[edited by: lawman at 11:07 am (utc) on Feb 21, 2014]

11:12 am on Feb 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

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This has also brought up another question:

1) Do all Scots lose their citizenship of the UK?

2) Will any Scottish people living elsewhere in the UK be entitled to Scottish citizenship?

3) How will the appropriate citizenship (of the remainin OK or of Scotland) be determined for British citizens living abroad (bearing in mind that there are more of us than the population of Scotland).

I also wonder why Northern Ireland should stay in the UK if Scotland leaves. Its closes UK ties seem to be with Scotland.


1) No

2) Yes

3) I think this link is OK. All your questions are answered in detail there.

[yesscotland.net...]
11:33 am on Feb 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

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No. Think of the UK as something like the holding company of a group of companies (with England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland being subsidiaries). If its spins off one subsidiary (Scotland) the holding company remains the same legal entity.


I understand this point of view, graeme_p, but I am not 100% persuaded this is the case. If it is, then the UK is really badly named - because at present, the name indicates explicitly that it is:

A union between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

(ie. Not a co-equal union between England and Wales and Scotland and Northern Ireland - not a "United Kingdoms of the British Isles").

If you want to see it as a DOM tree excerpt, it's like:

Parent Node
United Kingdom is the parent node.

Child Nodes of United Kingdom
Northern Ireland & Great Britain (sibling nodes)

Child Nodes of Great Britain
Scotland and England+Wales (sibling nodes)

If the UK were a parent node with 4 sibling nodes as children, I would agree with your holding company analogy.

But the name implies it isn't.

[edited by: ronin at 12:38 pm (utc) on Feb 21, 2014]

12:30 pm on Feb 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

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@BeeDeeDubbleU,

1) your link does not say so explicitly, but it said the same on another site. It does not seem fair to me, and is not what has happened when other countries have seceded.

2) and 3) seems reasonable and is based on current UK law. Ok except for some edge cases and I can see some complications for Scots who already have dual nationality of a country that has restrictions in it.

@ronin, trying to find the link: I recently read that Wales is a kingdom (despite there being a Prince of Wales), putting it on an equal footing with England and Scotland. This seems to say the same [ons.gov.uk ]

In any case, removing the Scotland node from your tree does not remove the UK parent node. It would still have two child nodes. At worst you would have:

parent node
United Kingdom

Child nodes

Northern Ireland and England+Wales.

and England+Wales has two child nodes, so even if you removed Northern Ireland you would still have a tree.
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