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MORI
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BBC

SNP outlines independence plans

Scotland's SNP government has set out its plans for a referendum on independence, despite opposition from the other main political parties.
Launching a "national conversation", First Minister Alex Salmond said no change was no longer an option.

The SNP leader said the white paper set out the full range of options which would be debated.


With all the media exposure today on Scottish Independence how does everyone feel about Scotland being Devolved from the Union

Could we go it alone? Discuss please.
 

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i'm from Malta, and Malta is an ex-British colony.. much like India or Cyprus. It's been independent since 1964 and even though there's still much to be done, Malta's independence has been successful.. at least successful enough to make it into the EU.

Which leads to the obvious comparison - if Malta, which is several hundred times smaller than Scotland, can do it, why not Scotland? So yep, for several reasons, i'm all for Scotland going it alone. Wish you all the best of luck with that ;)
 

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i'm from Malta, and Malta is an ex-British colony.. much like India or Cyprus. It's been independent since 1964 and even though there's still much to be done, Malta's independence has been successful.. at least successful enough to make it into the EU.

Which leads to the obvious comparison - if Malta, which is several hundred times smaller than Scotland, can do it, why not Scotland? So yep, for several reasons, i'm all for Scotland going it alone. Wish you all the best of luck with that ;)
Apples and oranges? But yes, Scotland could go it alone, no question, but imo it would have a big negative impact on the daily lives of millions, Scots working in England and English working in Scotland, people crossing the "border", naval shipyard workers on the Clyde, all kinds of military personnel, the issue of transfers from the South of England (which would stop) and so on. No need to change something that has been working very well for the past 300 years. Here is to another 300 years. :cheers:
 

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No question about that. Massive changes would have to happen. But that's missing the point entirely.
National identity to me is far more important than the issues you mention.. it's ultimately more rewarding. I'm sure some kind of deal can be struck with England to resolve those. Even EU membership can solve most of them (free movement etc..).
 

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Apples and oranges? But yes, Scotland could go it alone, no question, but imo it would have a big negative impact on the daily lives of millions, Scots working in England and English working in Scotland, people crossing the "border", naval shipyard workers on the Clyde, all kinds of military personnel, the issue of transfers from the South of England (which would stop) and so on. No need to change something that has been working very well for the past 300 years. Here is to another 300 years. :cheers:
I have to take issue with some of this.

I can give credence to concerns about military jobs, but some of what you've said is nothing less than unionist scaremongering.

The border: precisely whay problems do you invisage?
- Border check at every crossing? Ain't gonna happen in a million years. Why on earth would you suggest such a thing? You can drive from Norhtern Ireland to the RoI, and more often than not it's only tourist signs that let you know you've crossed at all!
Most of the crossings between European countries are unmanned - what possible justification do you have for saying that we'd do anything different?

As to the joys of the union - how can anyone possibly justify the simple fact that we come botton of the table in half the European leagues of health, violence, alcoholism, on and on they go?
Maybe the unionist parties just haven't had enough time to sort out the problems - after all, they've only been in power forever..
Look at the last election - it was the most negatively run campaign I can remember. It even outshone the Tories desperate wriggling when Major got booted out! Why weren't they singing the praises of the great union, instead of whining about the nats. This country is filled with useless councillors that have sat and squandered money for as long as I can remember. On a site like this, I'd be surprised if there were many who at some point hadn't come into contact with the staggering degrees of ineptitude that we take for granted in our local authorities. This has been allowed to continue for no other reason than the ruling party simply not bothering their arses to fix the problem! They know the denizens of much of scotland will vote the same way as their grandad, so slackness and corruption can continue unchecked.

Prior to the election, there were folk on this site predicting fire and brimstone if the nats got in. What happened there, then? Oops - they set out their stall, quickly and efficiantly, and have started to turn things around, and consequently their approval is up each day.

To anyone floating, not sure where to place their next vote - I suggest you read the witles, bitter, and snide editorialising to be found daily in the likes of the Daily Record (which has always been a rag), or The Scotsman (which has spent the last 12 years or so destroying its reputation as a 'newspaper' as best it can). Read either of these, and you'll soon realise that wherever they stand is somewhere anyone with a degree of intelligence should be avoiding at all costs!
 

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The border: precisely whay problems do you invisage?
- Border check at every crossing? Ain't gonna happen in a million years. Why on earth would you suggest such a thing? You can drive from Norhtern Ireland to the RoI, and more often than not it's only tourist signs that let you know you've crossed at all!
Most of the crossings between European countries are unmanned - what possible justification do you have for saying that we'd do anything different?
The situation in NI is so because of bilateral agreements that have taken ages to negotiate, in Europe it's because of Shengen which the UK is no part of. Thinking nothing will change and no one in England will have bad feelings is just naive. The EU has already said by the way that parts of countries breaking away would have to renegotiate entering the EU, potentially the remaining UK could veto this, depending on how hostile things get under Salmonds "leadership". I'm not saying it will happen certainly, I'm saying if this goes along it might lead to massive disadvantages. And there are more problems, what about business? The main business for the Royal Bank of Scotland is in England and the USA, not Scotland, do you think they won't relocate some time in the future? What about BAE Systems, an "English" navy wouldn't build 40% of the new carriers in Scotland, what about the currency? Will it be pegged to the pound or a totally new one, or adoption of the euro (that would be rather ironic)? What about the BBC? It is largely paid in England, so Scotland might need a new broadcaster or somehow would get BBC Scotland. What about the Monarchy? What about the Commonwealth? What about Scotland's role in Europe? In no way do I want people to feel bad about Scotland, it is a great country, and everyone can and should be proud of it, but also people should realise that the Union works in favour of Scotland (and also England, Wales and Ulster in my opinion.). And so on, these are questions the SNP keep undercover because they want to portray the whole thing as a really easy thing to do, it isn't and it isn't sensible either in my opinion.

Maybe the unionist parties just haven't had enough time to sort out the problems - after all, they've only been in power forever..
Look at the last election - it was the most negatively run campaign I can remember. It even outshone the Tories desperate wriggling when Major got booted out! Why weren't they singing the praises of the great union, instead of whining about the nats. This country is filled with useless councillors that have sat and squandered money for as long as I can remember. On a site like this, I'd be surprised if there were many who at some point hadn't come into contact with the staggering degrees of ineptitude that we take for granted in our local authorities. This has been allowed to continue for no other reason than the ruling party simply not bothering their arses to fix the problem! They know the denizens of much of scotland will vote the same way as their grandad, so slackness and corruption can continue unchecked.
And what does the SNP do? Against any resonable predictions they promise huge amounts of oil, huge amounts of additional spending and so on, things that are not realistic. And as for fixing problems, how will everyday problems be fixed if the minority government only cares about a single issue, that is starting a brawl with England? If you really are concerned about Scotland you'd want either the status quo in regards to devolution or more devolution within the UK, independence just loses the benefits of the union for Scotland and doesn't add any benefits whatsoever.

Prior to the election, there were folk on this site predicting fire and brimstone if the nats got in. What happened there, then? Oops - they set out their stall, quickly and efficiantly, and have started to turn things around, and consequently their approval is up each day.
I haven't heard any of that. The only thing that seems to have started is an obsession with disagreeing with Brown and trying to manipulate people. As for their "approval", don't rely on the pollster called Scottish opinion, they are notoriously unreliable posting polls totally contradicting each other within a week in iirc April 2007.

To anyone floating, not sure where to place their next vote - I suggest you read the witles, bitter, and snide editorialising to be found daily in the likes of the Daily Record (which has always been a rag), or The Scotsman (which has spent the last 12 years or so destroying its reputation as a 'newspaper' as best it can). Read either of these, and you'll soon realise that wherever they stand is somewhere anyone with a degree of intelligence should be avoiding at all costs!
I take offence at you basically calling unionist idiots absolutely by the way. :eek:hno:
 

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The situation in NI is so because of bilateral agreements that have taken ages to negotiate, in Europe it's because of Shengen which the UK is no part of. Thinking nothing will change and no one in England will have bad feelings is just naive. The EU has already said by the way that parts of countries breaking away would have to renegotiate entering the EU, potentially the remaining UK could veto this, depending on how hostile things get under Salmonds "leadership". I'm not saying it will happen certainly, I'm saying if this goes along it might lead to massive disadvantages.
You brought up the border. If you didn't have any specific concerns, why do so?
Tell me how you thnk these problems might manifest themselves.
Do you think the EU would seriously set out to impede Scotland in these matters?
Vague prophesies of doom don't do your argument any favours.
And what does the SNP do? Against any resonable predictions they promise huge amounts of oil, huge amounts of additional spending and so on, things that are not realistic. And as for fixing problems, how will everyday problems be fixed if the minority government only cares about a single issue, that is starting a brawl with England? If you really are concerned about Scotland you'd want either the status quo in regards to devolution or more devolution within the UK, independence just loses the benefits of the union for Scotland and doesn't add any benefits whatsoever.
Right - I'm happy to argue this issue with you, but not if you can't do so honestly.
There isn't a single case you can give of the SNP "promising" any amounts of oil that there isn't scientific data to back up. To suggest that they're simply pulling figues out the air is disengenuous at best.

Also, to suggest that their "single issue" is "starting a brawl with England" goes further than being disengenuous - it's an outright lie, and a childish one at that. Their manifesto -as I'm sure you're aware- contained as many objectives on the issues we face as any other party. To suggest otherwise is nothing lass than deliberately making a false statement.
As to the "starting a brawl".. it's been months since the election - haven't you come up with anything better yet?
Perhaps you'd be good enough to elucidate why, out of the leaders in Holyrood and Westminster, it was Alex Salmond that openly stated that he would like to work with Gordon Brown, whereas Brown stated precisely the opposite?
Methinks the brawl-starting is coming from the other direction so far.
I haven't heard any of that. The only thing that seems to have started is an obsession with disagreeing with Brown and trying to manipulate people. As for their "approval", don't rely on the pollster called Scottish opinion, they are notoriously unreliable posting polls totally contradicting each other within a week in iirc April 2007.
"trying to manipulate people"?
You have, I assume, specific instances in mind, which set out the SNP's approach as being devilishly different from that of all other political parties ever?
Do tell.

I take offence at you basically calling unionist idiots absolutely by the way. :eek:hno:
..except I didn't say any such thing.
I said that the simplistic approach of two specific papers is something anyone of intelligence would wish to avoid siding with.
If you wish to infer that that makes you [and all unionists] an idiot, then that is entirely at your discretion, however I would disagree. I've read many very good arguments in favour of the union, and there are sections of the media, such as the Herald, where the notions of journalistic integrity still seem to mean something (the Herald's editorial sland is still ostensibly erring on the unionist side, but at least they pesent honest and well constructed criticism most of the time).
If you think the Daily Record is a decent news resource, I really don't see that it would up to me to list the reasons I disagree, but disagree I would.

Again, I'm happy to discuss al this with you - but I will not accept weak strwament arguments or words being put into my mouth
 

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I think for most of us we realise that things are pretty good right now, low unemployment, record jobs growth and investment but what it is that I think a lot people are wondering is - could it be even better? Thats the $64million question. We look at the smaller countries around us like Ireland, Denmark and Norway and think hmm, I wonder. It would be a MASSIVE step to take though and a huge upheaval in the short-term, would it be worth the risk? Scotland is a country hugely rich in natural resources and outstanding natural beauty - it really should be a gem of a country to live in. At the forefront theres always the oil question - theres still reckoned to be half the North Sea oil reserves left worth over a £1 trillion - that is an awful lot of money. I like Norways oil fund which ensures economic stability and meaning massive infrastructure programmes you could never get here in the UK are small fry to them and the money is always there. A Scotland backed up with its oil wealth could lower taxes and make the country a very attractive place for business and exiles from around the world and we would be controlling our own destiny. The country could also invest in renewable energy and probably be self-sufficient with the right schemes. You'll also be aware that as a new, small nation within the EU Scotland would probably recieve substantial funding to ease the transition. Is it worth the risk? I really dont know. I have a selfish view and think the short-term ( first 5-10 years at least ) could be rather rocky and do I want to spend the best years of my life living in that climate? No, I'm sad to admit.
 

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Sure Scotland run the UK anyway, from the top down. Mr Salmond/the scottish people, all this should we stay or should we go nonsense being debated. The way to sort this out is have a referendum in England as to whether you really need or want Scotland then boot them out, charge them for crossing the border, bring the jobs back to England no more subsidizing the highlands and islands - great. The sooner the better
 

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You brought up the border. If you didn't have any specific concerns, why do so?
I have specific concerns and I have expressed them, yet no one can predict the future. Neither me nor the SNP, but the people of Scotland should be informed about the risks of what the SNP is actually proposing.

Tell me how you thnk these problems might manifest themselves.
Concerning borders of course in the sense of border controls. This might or might not happen, but just saying "it'll all be good" is misleading and not truthful, breaking away from the UK might not be the Anglo-Scottish "love in" the SNP is trying to portray it. Again, it might not happen, but not debating it is not an option because it is so important. And I have another set of problems that should be pondered. Assuming Scotland is admitted to the EU, do you think Scotland could defend it's part of the British rebate? Do you think Scotland wouldn't be totally sidelined in key policy decisions? Will Scotland join the euro and if yes what effect would it have on Scottish-British (keeping the pound) trade? Will Scotland be able to defend key "opt outs" the UK has if it wished to do so? Again, I am not saying the worst possible outcome for Scotland will happen, but a pro-independence politician not seriously pondering these questions has not deserved the trust of the Scottish people.

Do you think the EU would seriously set out to impede Scotland in these matters?
The EU has already said a breakaway country will have to reapply. Just like the EU insists on a 55% majority for independence referendums to be acknowledged by them. But has anyone in the SNP actually taken this seriously? No, because their leadership is reckless.

The EC stressed that Scotland's entry as a member state would have to be "negotiated" and would not be the "seamless" transition the SNP has claimed.

The Commission's representative in Scotland, Neil Mitchison, confirmed that Scotland would not be granted automatic entry into the EU, as the Nationalists insist.

"The situation is unprecedented and therefore negotiations would be needed. Things would have to be discussed and negotiated," he said.

An expert in constitutional law from Edinburgh University backed this up by stressing that Scotland would have to negotiate its accession to the EU and warning that Europe might insist upon the adoption of the euro as a precondition of entry.
Link.
http://www.openeurope.org.uk/media-centre/article.aspx?newsid=1729

Vague prophesies of doom don't do your argument any favours.
They are not "vague" at all. What is "vague" about the EU representative saying Scotland would have to negotiate entry into the EU? What is "vague" about falling oil revenues (commonally accepted) or a usually accepted structural deficit? But again, it isn't about somehow making Scotland bad, not at all, it is about trying to make it clear that the Union is good for Scotland and the Union is also good for England, Wales and Ulster. I'd prefer using the Clyde yards for Royal Navy ships than some perhaps not so good yard in England for example. In the Union every country brings their best skills to the table and that is why it is such a successful nation.

Living in a "everything will go fine" world doesn't help either. The difference is I said these might be problems and I also said I think Scotland is a great part of the United Kingdom, but you don't seem to even acknowledge there might be massive problems across the whole of Scotland in many areas of civic life. You haven't responded to any of the potential problems I talked about, do you think these are all non-existant or do you think they are too small to be debated? Just curious.

Right - I'm happy to argue this issue with you, but not if you can't do so honestly.
There isn't a single case you can give of the SNP "promising" any amounts of oil that there isn't scientific data to back up. To suggest that they're simply pulling figues out the air is disengenuous at best.
No, they have done exactly that. The longterm trend for oil revenue is falling. Their data is seens as more controversial than the then Labour executive's. And as you probably won't accept the Scotsman as a source (nor I believe the Scotland office), here is the Economist. A professor from Oxford disagrees with the SNP's claim of Scotland having a surplus of 600 million pounds if oil is included. Whilst it is a hotly debated matter the vast majority of neutral experts will come to the conclusion that oil won't keep Scotland in the black.

Both sets of figures include debatable estimates. Most economists think the executive's figures are closer to the mark on Scotland's basic fiscal situation. According to Iain McLean, a professor of politics at Oxford University, “Even if you include oil, Scotland has a structural deficit.”
Link.
http://www.economist.com/research/articlesBySubject/displaystory.cfm?subjectid=478046&story_id=9086511

Also, to suggest that their "single issue" is "starting a brawl with England" goes further than being disengenuous - it's an outright lie, and a childish one at that. Their manifesto -as I'm sure you're aware- contained as many objectives on the issues we face as any other party. To suggest otherwise is nothing lass than deliberately making a false statement.
And yet, the two really large policy statements so far have been an Independence White Paper and trying to get more Scottish broadcasting. Both issues have directly to do with devolution or independence.

As to the "starting a brawl".. it's been months since the election - haven't you come up with anything better yet?
Why? It's true. Just look at all the debates here since the SNP formed the minority government. On the other hand Brown has been extremly generous, just recently awarding contracts worth close to 4 billion pounds for two new aircraft carriers to a consortium that will build them to 40% in Scotland and at the same time snubbing the French who wanted to build parts of it. Of course this is not a social programme, but imo no one can say Brown isn't very positive about Scotland, after all he is a Scot.

Perhaps you'd be good enough to elucidate why, out of the leaders in Holyrood and Westminster, it was Alex Salmond that openly stated that he would like to work with Gordon Brown, whereas Brown stated precisely the opposite?
Tactics obviously. Salmond has to work with Brown because a referendum on independence is iirc a reserved matter that only Westminster can decide.

You have, I assume, specific instances in mind, which set out the SNP's approach as being devilishly different from that of all other political parties ever?
Do tell.
Yes, the SNP is constantly trying to pretend that people who aren't for independence are less Scottish than SNP supporters. I admit that is my personal feeling.

Here is a recent specific instant of SNP manipulation. Why not mention current powers?

Mr Salmond makes no bones about his desire to see a fully independent Scotland, albeit one that retains the British monarch as head of state, and the document includes full details of the powers withheld from the Scottish Parliament but not those it currently possesses or has yet to use.
Link.
http://news.scotsman.com/opinion.cfm?id=1288602007

..except I didn't say any such thing.
I said that the simplistic approach of two specific papers is something anyone of intelligence would wish to avoid siding with.
Not quite. For the correct quote of yourself, see below. The Scotsman and the Daily Record are both rather Unionist newspapers, thus where they stand (Unionism) seems to be a place any intelligent people should avoid according to you. Not perhaps directly said, but pretty clear what it meant.

Read either of these, and you'll soon realise that wherever they stand is somewhere anyone with a degree of intelligence should be avoiding at all costs!
If you wish to infer that that makes you [and all unionists] an idiot, then that is entirely at your discretion, however I would disagree.
Good to see that the comment was just unfortunate or misunderstood by me. :)

...which has areas with the worst health and life expectancy in the whole of Europe.
Which are those (especially life expectancy)? But so or so the United Kingdom is also a country with areas that have some of the lowest unemployment rates, some of the highest growth rates, some of the highest GDP per capita numbers and some of the best universities in the world. In Europe, the UK has around 34 universities in the top 100. That is an incredibly good number. And after all, of those 34 universities 5 are Scottish (Edinburgh, Glasgow, St. Andrews, Dundee and Aberdeen) which is a very good quota.

Link.
http://ed.sjtu.edu.cn/rank/2007/ARWU2007_TopEuro.htm

Sorry if I made this slightly more political than intended by the thread creator. :)
 

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Personally I couldn't give a toss what you lot choose to do, but I do find it quite strange that the further you get away from Scotland, into SE England, the opinions seem to firm up stronger and stronger.

It's all very odd.
 

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Can anybody in favour of breaking the greatest Union in the world give me a good reason for doing so? Why would we want to turn ourself into an isolated back water on the Western edge of Europe? Its not about if Scotland could sustain itself or not, its about why should we go it alone? Its not as if we are hard done by is it? We are all British so breaking the country up does not make sense............

I found it amusing that the Union was to blame for Scotlands poor health record. Nothing to do with the 300,000 over weight and work shy drunks in Glasgow then?
 
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