Goodbye Scotland?

December 9, 2013 11:30 am

The problem with Scottish independence is that many Scottish people want independence because they dislike the fact that decisions made about their country come from an English parliament. As important as nationalism is, Scottish independence goes beyond it. There are economic and international issues that are important to consider when looking at the fate of a country.

scottish independenceThe main issue surrounds whether Scotland could afford to become independent, particularly in today’s economic climate. Scottish nationalists argue that if they were in charge of their own taxes and could decide for themselves how their money is spent, then of course they could afford independence. The SNP argue that Scotland’s economy is in a better condition than the rest of Britain, providing a stable economic foundation for Independence. English nationalists also argue that we spend more per head in Scotland than we do in England, and, therefore, if we let Scotland leave the union, we would see economic improvements for ourselves. However, every country in the world is experiencing economic difficulty and most of these have been around for a pretty long time. If established economies are struggling to stay afloat, one wonders how the Scottish will manage.

There are also the international implications to consider. If the Scottish vote “Yes” in the referendum, the SNP says that they want Scotland to become an EU member state in its own right. However this has never happened before. So how would we go about it? It would be difficult to say the least, with countries such as Spain already saying that Scotland would have to apply for membership status from the outside in the same way that all countries have to, with no guarantees. It would only take the “No” vote of one country to keep Scotland out of the EU. Mr Salmond seems to ignore this fact, however, arguing that as Scotland are already technically part of the EU they can negotiate membership status from the inside. Many have criticised Salmond for this, saying that his obvious lack of knowledge concerning international politics is yet another reason Scotland should not be allowed to become independent.

We must also not forget the implications that Scottish independence would have on the rest of Britain that she left behind. British politics would change, as the Labour party garner much of their support from Scotland. There is evidence that in previous elections, such as 1974, Labour would not have won without Scottish votes. And the idea of Britain forevermore being run by predecessors of Cameron is one that fills the hearts of many with terror I am sure.

And what about Sport? A less formal issue, but important all the same. What will become of British tennis if we lose Murray, or cycling if we lose Hoy? Scottish athletes contributed heavily in 2012, winning 6 Gold medals. Team GB would be in a much worse state if all ofandy_murray these athletes were lost to a Team Scotland. Another big issue is the one of North Sea oil. The UK gets most of its fossil fuel from the Scottish coast but if Scotland voted to go it alone, the SNP say they want complete control over the oil meaning that the rest of the UK would lose the revenue from the oil and revenue is not something that we want to be losing when our economy is not in the best shape as it is.

There are many considerations that the Scottish must take into account when they decide which way to vote in 2014. It is not simply as issue of nationalism. The economic issues should be at the forefront of people minds. No one is saying that Scotland cannot afford to go it alone, but there is a worry that they may struggle. They also need to think about the implications that it will have on their international standing. Membership to the EU will be of vital importance to a newly independent Scotland, and not something which should be brushed off.

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