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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)?
11:14 am on Feb 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I assume all British citizens outside the UK are aware of it, so that is about 6 million people to start with!

I am pretty sure that the vast majority of people here (in Sri Lanka) do not know about it, and those that do know about it know every little.

Most people here barely know very little about Scotland (whisky and, if they are educated, Burns etc.), and do not seem to understand the distinctions between England, Great Britain and the UK. Their image of the UK is dominated by London.

I asked one Scottish friend who is a very vocal "no" whether his views were influenced by having lived here for a while - his answer was "definitely, Scot-where?".
11:48 am on Feb 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I think it will be very, very interesting whatever happens and I wouldn't think it will affect my Glasgow based business much.
1:53 pm on Feb 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I am English based in Hampshire and my observations are:
1) It seems strange and divisive to want to form smaller politically independent entities when strength and wealth are more often generated by bigger entities. I would like to see a United States of Europe, and I do not want independence for Hampshire, or the Wessex region.

2) I am a trifle peeved that the voting on this issue is limited to Scotland. Surely the potential break up of our Union should be discussed by and ultimately voted on by the whole of the UK. We will all be affected in some way.

3) The true economics of the case for and against Scottish independence should be presented by an independent body rather than the politicians so everyone knows the true situation. On one side we hear that Scotland will be a virtual basket case without continuing subsidy from the UK taxpayers. On the other side we hear that the remains of the north sea oil and gas reserves are the property of Scotland so they will be relatively prosperous. Both views cannot be correct, and the Scots need to vote on the basis of cold hard facts not sentimental tribalism or anti (or pro) English prejudice.

I would be sad to see Scotland leave the United Kingdom but if that's what they want then good luck to them.
2:12 pm on Feb 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I agree with Old_Honky it would be sad to see Scotland leave.

On the other hand wealth and strength are not consistently generated by larger entities: Singapore, Hong Kong, Finland, Switzerland, and many more small countries are prosperous.

We are also close enough to a United States of Europe for Scottish independence to be a LOT less significant than it would have been without the EU. Everything from seatbelt laws to copyright to trade treaties (very import if you look at things like TPP and TIPP) are decided by the EU anyway.

As for oil and gas it depends on where the maritime border is drawn, how long it lasts, and how much it will cost to clean up. The rest of the economic outlook depends on the terms of independence - how national debt will be divided, whether Scotland keeps sterling (and on what terms), whether business will relocate or not etc.

Then there are legal unknowns - whether and independent Scotland can continue or re-enter the EU, whether it can continue to charge higher university fees to (rest of) UK students than it does to those from other EU countries etc.

A lot of this will be known only after an "yes" vote and a lot of negotiations.

In any case separatism (anywhere in the world) is based on national identity, not economics. Economic arguments either way are just a prop to support the real issues. Tribalism? Yes, but that is human nature - we have evolved to be tribal.
7:01 pm on Feb 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I am a trifle peeved that the voting on this issue is limited to Scotland. Surely the potential break up of our Union should be discussed by and ultimately voted on by the whole of the UK. We will all be affected in some way.
Seriously, do you really see any situation where a vote for independence would involve anyone other than the voters from the country seeking it? This is a question for Scotland with its basis in the law of the land. Scots are not voting for the break up of your Union, they are voting for their own independence.

The strange thing is that they could be one of the few (if any) countries who actually reject the idea of Independence in a vote.
10:05 pm on Feb 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

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The strange thing is that they could be one of the few (if any) countries who actually reject the idea of Independence in a vote.

Most yes/no issues aren't even brought to a vote in the first place unless there's a strong "yes" feeling. Witness Puerto Rico.

I am a trifle peeved that the voting on this issue is limited to Scotland.

Yes, imagine the outrage if a referendum on Tibetan independence were limited to the Tibetan territory instead of being decided by the population of China as a whole.
10:32 pm on Feb 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

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australia voted no in their referendum. So did gibraltar and the falkland islands in theirs. All of the recent ones have voted no.

I dont mind the english not getting a vote, but i think its a bit out of order that he's not letting scottish people who live abroad vote (and by "abroad" that might just mean ten minutes over the english border). These people are genuine scots, through and through, who might just work in england. He's just trying to rig the vote in his favour.

I reckon if he let the english vote then he'd probably have a better chance of winning it!
10:38 pm on Feb 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I'm a "no", but can't vote anyway as I'm in Canada. I do own a property there so I could maybe swing a vote if I really wanted to.

I think economically there's not much gain or loss either way, but it seems like a political and legal nightmare.

One thing I've wondered is this issue of currency, where the nationalists want to keep the pound and have a currency union but the UK parties have all opposed the idea. I thought the 'Act of Union' was the joining of two parts, and those two parts should have an equal say in GBP, otherwise the currency is more English/Welsh/NI than Scottish. No doubt it's something for the solicitors to figure out from 300 year old documents.
10:48 pm on Feb 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

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It wasn't the joining of two equal parts though, not even 300 years ago (population wise, and financially, i mean). If we gave them equal say then that would have been a rum deal

[edited by: londrum at 10:49 pm (utc) on Feb 12, 2014]

10:49 pm on Feb 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

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If you want go back to 1707 Scotland was actually sold to the English by the nobility ("the Parcel o' Rogues") in exchange for bribes in 1707. There was no vote.
10:52 pm on Feb 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

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londrum, Scotland has a 1/4 of the population of England back in the day. So if 3/10ths of England doesn't mind the currency union there's a majority ;o)
10:54 pm on Feb 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Regarding the Falklands and Gibraltar, I wonder why they decided to stay with the UK, eh?

One thing that is really disappointing is that virtually all the UK press and TV are totally biased in favour of retaining the Union. This makes it very hard to find the real truth. The BBC was actually found to be biased by a team at the University of Scotland who monitored broadcasts related to the independence debate for one year. There was clear evidence of bias.
11:08 pm on Feb 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

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One thing i find funny, is that he's trying to wipe away every trace of what independence really is. He wants to keep the same money, the same head of state, and keep the borders open. Whats going to change? You will even have the same politicians in charge — the exact same ones that you've got sitting in your parliament right now. You will wake up in five years time and everything will still be the same.
8:04 am on Feb 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

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He wants to keep the same money, the same head of state, and keep the borders open. Whats going to change? You will even have the same politicians in charge — the exact same ones that you've got sitting in your parliament right now.

You do not seem not to understand what is happening here in Scotland. This is a purely a vote for Independence from the UK not a vote for Alex Salmond or the SNP. If it happens then we revert to a normal party political system. Subsequent elected Scottish governments will decide future policy.
12:14 pm on Feb 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

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virtually all the UK press and TV are totally biased

The last time anyone in the London media looked at a map of Scotland was probably on the day they first heard that Argentine troops had invaded and occupied the Falkland Islands.

If the Scots choose independence what TLD will their webmasters use?

...
12:46 pm on Feb 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

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We have that in hand. :)
[scotsman.com...]
3:51 pm on Feb 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Whats going to change?

If the SNP get their way nothing obvious at first will change. But little things will build up.

Snail mail prices from UK will presumably go up to the same rates as to the Irish Republic.
Shops delivering from Carlisle and Berwick will have problems if consumer regulations get out of sync.

I doubt if UKBA will be as relaxed about an open border with England as they are over the border in Ireland.
4:35 pm on Feb 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I doubt if UKBA will be as relaxed about an open border with England as they are over the border in Ireland.

I am intrigued, why would they be any less relaxed? Scotland does not or did not send terrorists to England to kill innocent people.
4:35 pm on Feb 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

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(Although the attitude of the Westminster government towards Scotland right now would suggest otherwise.) ;)
8:17 pm on Feb 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

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If the Scots choose independence
will all the Scottish people in England who passed their driving test in Scotland have to take the English test after 6 months ?
If the Scots choose independence
and are not able to join the EU.... will all the Scottish people in England get Scottish passports and become illegal immigrants, or will they say they seeking asylum ?
12:07 am on Feb 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

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all the Scottish people in England

I believe the plan is to round them all up and put them in an internment camp near Corby.

Most will apparently be forced to work in the local porridge mines, those with red hair will be shot as spies, and the rest will be made to stand on Hadrian's Wall wearing kilts and be used as a human shield until the war begins.

Obviously, those who already have UK citizenship will be exempt.

...
2:27 am on Feb 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

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One of the conditions of allowing Scottish people to remain in England is that they must swear allegiance to the England Football team and buy and wear the latest kit.

That is a policy developed from Norman Tebbit's helpful "Which cricket team do you support" suggestion which did so much to endear him to British citizens who originated from the Indian sub continent.
3:55 am on Feb 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I think the entire referendum is going to cause long term problems for Scotland no matter what way the vote goes.

I will be voting "No" but I think a lot of votes will be cast with little regard for politics. Scotland has a massive sectarian divide, and I can be fairly certain what way people are going to vote based on what side of the divide they are on.

My reason for the no vote is simple. We are already in a financial crisis, why do we need to choose this moment to take a leap into the unknown.

I am a trifle peeved that the voting on this issue is limited to Scotland.


I'm Scottish and I can understand why. The consequences of breaking the union will go far beyond the borders of Scotland. There could be knock on effects for all of the UK.

I think it will be very, very interesting whatever happens and I wouldn't think it will affect my Glasgow based business much.


I wouldn’t be so sure. It may become more difficult to secure financing etc for companies within Scotland simply because of the unknown quantity that will be the independent Scottish economy.

That coupled to the fact we don’t even know what currency we may end up trading in.

One of the conditions of allowing Scottish people to remain in England is that they must swear allegiance to the England Football team and buy and wear the latest kit.


Now you’re pushing it lol :-)

Mack.
8:21 am on Feb 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I note with interest the attempts at jocularity using Scottish stereotyping. I watched Question Time last night (a UK nationally broadcast, weekly political program). During this I was consoled by some of the comments from a couple of the English people in the southern audience. I was also shocked at the breathtaking ignorance of some others including a couple of the panel members.

A giggling audience heard one guy contemptuously referring to "whinging Scots". No one felt that this was inappropriate and it was greeted with some chortling from the audience. No admonishment from the chairman was forthcoming. Had anyone mentioned "whinging blacks", "whinging Muslims" or "whinging gays" there would have been a massive outcry but no, we Scots are seen as fair game by a significant percentage of the English population and this is where the problem lies.

Like some of you here, a couple of panel members thought that the rest of the UK should have some say in this vote. Actually this is just nonsense. Scotland won the right to this vote through a democratic process. The Nationalists did not bomb London or set fire to the houses of parliament! All they did was vote in (by a large majority) a Nationalist government to the Scottish assembly, which was committed to this referendum.

Our US friends may want to ask themselves if they should be allowed to vote in important issues in a neighbouring state because decisions taken there could have a knock on effect on them? I mean you are all part of the USA so why not?

[edited by: BeeDeeDubbleU at 8:38 am (utc) on Feb 14, 2014]

8:37 am on Feb 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Incidentally we now have the tools at our disposal to quickly monitor stuff this. If you want any evidence of the contempt that many English people (including media people) have for Scots just Google "whinging Scots". Now do the same for "whinging English" and note the differing results. ;)
8:56 am on Feb 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Our US friends may want to ask themselves if they should be allowed to vote in important issues in a neighbouring state because decisions taken there could have a knock on effect on them? I mean you are all part of the USA so why not?

No... not as a voter with no horse in the race. I will say that most Americans have no clue, nor likely care, about the upcoming referendum. Then again, most Americans have no clue regarding their own state capitol(s) or can find the USA on a world globe.

As an American, viewing the process from afar, I can only offer all best wishes and civility to one and all.
9:53 am on Feb 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Our US friends may want to ask themselves if they should be allowed to vote in important issues in a neighbouring state because decisions taken there could have a knock on effect on them? I mean you are all part of the USA so why not?


Depends upon the vote. Last time several states here tried to become independent, Abraham Lincoln was President. A war ensued.
10:28 am on Feb 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

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That was because they did not use the democratic process. We did. ;)
10:38 am on Feb 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

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well... apart from trying to rig the vote. he's reduced the usual voting age because he thinks the young will be on his side. and he's barred all scots abroad from voting because he doesn't think they'll vote his way
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