Saturday, 11 February 2017

How to respond to Nationalist threats

Before finally deciding to campaign for Brexit, Boris Johnson prepared two articles for his regular Telegraph column. The first explained why he was choosing to vote Leave the other why he was choosing to vote for Remain. Many people would see this as a sign that his eventual decision was calculating and based on self-interest. I would hope that most of us make decisions by means of calculating the pros and cons and I would suggest that few indeed are the people that do not at least take into account self-interest when they decide to do anything. Moreover, as events showed the Theresa May route of backing Remain while not doing so enthusiastically was the path more likely to lead to the big prize. The important point however, is that on certain issues people are genuinely torn. I know I was. It is these people who decide elections.

The decision in the EU referendum was difficult because of our inability to see into the future. Many British people perhaps didn’t much like the EU, but they could see that there were risks involved in leaving. Voting to stay meant that things would go on more or less the same in the near future. If you thought life wasn’t so bad this had its attractions. What if all the horrible things the Remain campaign predicted turned out to be true? After a few months it is becoming clearer that the sky will not fall in. Of course, we haven’t left yet, but the predictions made by Remain were that the UK would immediately suffer from choosing to leave the EU. The reverse has been the case.

There is an important lesson here for Pro UK people. I do not agree with some Scottish commentators that it shows a lack of understanding of the Scottish people for English Tories to suggest that Theresa May should say “No” to a second independence referendum. I think these commentators misunderstand the risk of saying go ahead. Let Nicola Sturgeon have a tantrum. Let the Scottish Nationalists go on demonstrations. Let Scottish opinion be inflamed. So what? Like a toddler on the floor of a supermarket screaming its head off such actions have nowhere to go. If we hold firm, we can block the SNP indefinitely. If we don’t, we might lose our country for ever. Every single European country, plus each member of the Security Council would agree that Theresa May was within her rights to say “No Nicola, you have had your referendum and you will have to wait some years to have another.”

British Prime Ministers blocked the desire for an EU referendum for years even though they knew there was huge support for one. George Osborne thought David Cameron’s decision to hold a referendum was foolish. Must we really live in a world where we are continually held to ransom by Nicola Sturgeon? If Theresa May has the legal right to say “No” then let her say “No”. The Scottish Parliament does not have control over constitutional matters and therefore cannot have a mandate over such issues. There is nothing remotely undemocratic about saying this is an issue for us not you. This is an issue that was settled decisively only a short time ago. Demonstrate and fume all you like.

But until and unless we hear authoritatively that there is not going to be a second independence referendum any time soon we must prepare as if there will be. Many Pro UK people are foolishly optimistic. It’s almost as if they are singing “We’re going to hang out the washing on the Siegfried Line”. Sorry folks you are completely deluded. We dislike the SNP. We dislike Nicola Sturgeon and think her arguments are poor. But if there were another General Election tomorrow the SNP would still win most of the seats. If there were another Scottish Parliament election they would still win a majority, perhaps even an overall majority. If there were a second independence referendum they would have to gain just a few percentage points to win it. At various points Leave was far further behind Remain in the polls. Who anyway can trust polls? The reality is that a second independence referendum would be a toss of a coin. We might have a slight advantage. But the SNP could well win. What’s more if they lost they would just dust themselves down and try again a few years later. After all we can’t inflame Scottish opinion and we couldn’t possibly deny them the chance.

Some folks may find me overly pessimistic. I would suggest they have short memories of the last campaign. Remember how our lead just vanished over the summer. One poor performance in a debate and the SNP had the lead. We spent the last week or two not knowing if we would win or lose. Never fight a battle that you might lose if you can avoid it. But above all else remember that Goliath thought he had no chance of being beaten.  

The best ways to avoid battle is to prepare for it. It is crucial that Pro UK people are aware of the strengths of our position and its weaknesses. The biggest weakness and the reason we are where we are is the nature of Scottish public opinion. The reason that Remain lost the EU referendum is that few British people much like the EU. We may have thought it was useful, but we never had much love for it. The same goes for the majority of Scots with regard to the UK. Hatred of the UK obviously corresponds to support for Scottish nationalism. Those people who deny their British citizenship (Scottish not British) are far more likely to vote for independence than anyone else. These people make up the hard core 25-30% of Scottish opinion. There are around 30-40% of Scots who think of themselves as British and Scottish. These people will always vote to preserve the UK. That leaves around 30% in the middle who can be persuaded either way. The trouble is that these people have little love for Britain. They might be bought off by thinking we are “better together” but if they thought they’d get a few hundred pounds a year extra they’d happily vote for Scottish independence.

The SNP have the patriotic Scottish card. It is about the only argument they have. But it is a very powerful argument. I sometimes think it is the most powerful argument in human history. In certain circumstances it trumps every other argument. The Pro British patriotic card is much weaker in Scotland because relatively few Scots feel particularly British. For the past decades there has been a concerted attempt to eradicate our feeling of unity with the rest of the UK and to erase our common identity. It has to a great extent succeeded. The SNP with their education policies are doing all that they can to increase the sense of being Scottish but not British. The Scottish establishment appear happy to help. Our Pro UK patriotic card is therefore much weaker than it ought to be. But we must play it nevertheless.

There is a reason why Remain did not run a positive campaign about the EU. There is far too much about the EU that ordinary British people simply don’t like. The core EU developments of the past decades are not going well. How are you supposed to run a positive campaign about Schengen, the Euro and Jean-Claude Juncker? It was for this reason that George Osborne and friends decided to go negative again. The trouble is they overdid it.

There came a point last spring when the succession of world leaders and economists producing ever more lurid stories about what would happen if the UK voted to leave the EU became counterproductive. When David Cameron suggested World War III might result the reaction from ordinary Brits was not fear but ridicule. It is this that we must guard against.

We have the chance to run both a positive and a negative campaign about UK unity. There are lots of things that Scots like about the UK. Even those Scottish nationalists who hate Britain were desperate that certain things we all like about living in the UK would continue after independence. The key Pro UK message is that the things we like about living in the UK may well depend on keeping the UK intact and that the easiest way to keep them is to stay. In this way the campaign is both positive and negative at the same time. Uncertainty is our friend. There is no need to say that you will definitely lose something if you vote for independence. It’s enough to say that you  might. 

The campaign must be rooted in our history and what we have achieved as the UK. But it must also look forward to what we can do in the future. I think leaving the EU gives Britain a new role in the world. We have the chance to increase our free trade relations with the rest of the world, while maintaining an excellent relationship with our friends in Europe. We have not been particularly happy in the EU. This has caused difficulties for them and for us. Let us instead be good friends and neighbours. This positive story about our Post EU future is crucial to defeating the SNP. Even if you voted to Remain, make a virtue out of a necessity and help us make a success of our post EU future. If it becomes ever more obvious that the UK is going to do well, then Scots won’t want to leave. 

The negative side of our campaign must focus on those swing voters who are persuadable either way. Don’t waste any time whatsoever debating with Wings and Co. Don’t answer them, don’t even talk to them. You will just get insults and abuse for your troubles. They are an asset to our campaign and hurt the nationalists. Who wants to vote for snarling losers?

A lot of former Labour voters have switched to the SNP because they hope that Scottish independence might bring them socialism/social democracy. These people believed SNP claims that independence would make them better off. This argument was false last time, but it is still more obviously false this time. The economic fundamentals are against the SNP.

Leaving the EU will made it much harder for the SNP to come up with a persuasive argument. The reason for this is that Scotland’s prosperity depends crucially on our relationship with the other parts of the UK.

The Republic of Ireland has a more important relationship with the UK than it does with Poland. The reason for this is that we have a shared language and history. Ireland joined the then Common Market at the same time as the UK for a very good reason. They waited for they knew it would damage their economy to be a in a different trade bloc to the UK. Unfortunately it will be hugely damaging to the Republic when the UK leaves the EU.  Some have gone so far as to suggest it might force Ireland to leave too.

What goes for Ireland obviously goes for Scotland. To suppose that leaving the UK’s single market would make Scots wealthier is going to be a very tough sell for the SNP. For this reason they have been scrambling around looking for a way to maintain both membership of the EU’s single market and the UK’s single market. The SNP have hinted that they might not even want to join the EU if they achieve independence. They might want to be like Norway.

The problem is that the Norway option doesn’t really help the SNP. Why has Nicola Sturgeon been complaining about Scotland’s Remain vote being ignored if she herself is willing to ignore it? 55% of Scots voted to stay in the UK, while 62% voted to stay in the EU. Scottish independence with the Norway option gives neither group what they wanted. It becomes ever clearer that it is Nicola Sturgeon who is ignoring the wishes of Scots.

If Scotland remained part of the EU single market while the other parts of the UK left, then Scotland’s trade relationship with the UK would depend on what the EU negotiated with the UK. If the EU chose to impose tariffs on UK goods then Scotland would have to do likewise. Furthermore membership of the EU’s single market means that Scotland would have to accept free movement of people. But it is exactly to avoid this that the UK is leaving the EU’s single market. The danger then for Scotland is that it might be necessary to show passports at the English border.

The SNP argument always turns on the relationship of Scotland with the other parts of the UK. There are lots of things even Scottish nationalists like about being in the UK. They like free trade, they like an open border and the fact that it is easy to do business and move about our country, live and work where they please with no trouble and no form filling. But it is becoming ever more obvious that the easiest perhaps the only way to maintain these things is to stay a part of the UK.

Leaving the EU is going to make it much harder for the SNP to convincingly argue that life would continue as before. The EU guaranteed that citizens would have more or less the same rights in each other’s countries. But when the UK leaves the EU, the rights of Scots with regard to the UK would depend on negotiation. The UK would cease to exist if Scotland became independent. The Union flag and a name involving the word "United" could not continue. The citizens of the former UK might not see this as a particularly friendly act. They might not be inclined to allow Scots to maintain their British citizenship and they might not be inclined to be particularly helpful. If you think this is fanciful then you only have to look at the relation between Ukraine and Russia.

I hope there is never going to be another Scottish independence referendum, but if there is we must be ready with a positive story about the UK’s future. We must also recognise that negative campaigning that is grounded in fundamentals and in truth is effective. Those swing voting Scots who might think that independence would bring them a little more prosperity must be asked the following questions. Do you really want to live in a Scotland where we no longer use the pound you have used all your life. A Scottish currency might be pegged to Sterling, but what would happen to your mortgage if that peg broke? Would you be pleased if the relationship between Scotland and the other parts of the UK became much worse and much less friendly? How would you feel if you had to show your passport to visit relations in England? What if you had to gain permission to live and work in Wales? We don’t know what would happen if Scotland voted to leave the UK. But now that the UK is leaving the EU there are no more guarantees. Do you really think you’d be better off?


  1. excellent sums it up to a tee Sturgeon and SNP are only concerned with one thing independence and to hell with everything else They are doing more damage to Scotland then leaving the EU could ever do

  2. one of the problems is that organizations ie biz for scotland are promoting indy and they are so obviously SNP but people will listen to them as they try to play the neutral card and think that organizations like that talkk sense I wholehearty agree that we should not respond to the bile and xenophobic comments let them rant but keep pushing the facts and failures of the Govt by doing that we may swing the undecided

  3. The two most dangerous people in the Uk at the moment are Sturgeon and Salmond.

    1. I don't know if I would include Salmond in that - a failed backbencher who now does all he can to grab attention. He cuts an increasungly sad figure.

      Strugglin could be dangerous - but only if the Westminster parliament and the Scottish people fail to collectively restrain her.

    2. Big Aldo makes his judgement..... calling Salmond a loser while he himself spends his time crusing Yoon Porn on the internet What has been your great gift to humanity Aldo ? Apart from saving the Union ?

    3. That's easy. I'm an educator. I achieve more for humanity in a single afternoon than the fat agitator has achieved in his life.

  4. Before any 2nd referendum and during it we need to put the SNP into a box where they are forced to be in favour of being outside the UK Union AND the European Union, and look like independence obsessed cranks.

    1. Why leave a successful fiscal, political, cultural and monetary Union that's lasted 300+ years to join a stagnant one that's been in crisis for over a decade?

    2. Why should the SNP get another referendum because of the UK leaving the EU if they're not in favour of Scotland joining the EU? (Norway option) Do Scots want to vote for a party that is obviously making up the position as they go along?

    3. How independent would Scotland be inside the EU when it is forced to join the Euro, Schengen and the rest? Do Scots want the Europeans Central Bank to be able to shut down cash machines in Edinburgh, as they did in Athens, when you could just keep the Pound instead?

    4. The SNP position is that "the most important decisions" should be taken by the "people of Scotland" (Scotlands Future). Yet Scotland has far more power within the devolved UK than it would have within the centralised EU. It currently has 9% of MPs at Westminster, in the EU it would have about 2% or less. That's worse, right? Scotland has a big infulence in the U.K. - how much influence does Slovakia have in the EU?

    5. Scots would lose out on the benefits of Brexit. If the UK negotiates a free trade deal, Scotland gets the benefit. I wonder how many Americans would buy more whiskey at zero tariffs? As the UK regains control over agriculture, fishing, VAT, and other matters, these could be devolved to Holyrood

    6. If you're not in either Union, how are you closing the 9.5% deficit, the worst in the industrial world? The rUK is paying that right now, but the EU won't. Do you want to take the risk of borrowing billions in the "Salmond" currency?

    7. Scotland is far more important and special to the UK than it would be to the EU. Scotland and its people invented the telephone, wrote 'Auld Lang Syne', created the theory of economics and Harry Potter, won loads of cycling Golds (and Wimbledon again), saved the entire nation in the Battle of Britain (Radar), and gave us 6 Prime Ministers (though 2 of those - Brown & Blair - you can have back). Why not keep the existing connections of culture and kinship, business and friendship, that we've built up for hundreds of years?

    8. The SNP likes to portray itself as "progressive" and waves around "love not hate" - how likely is it that leaving the UK will improve relations between Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland after the SNP has destroyed the country we all live in?

    1. Brilliant summary. I particularly like the idea of a positive and TRUTHFUL negative campaign ruining hand in hand. We must also push hard on the fact the we do FOUR times as much trade with the rest of the UK as we do with the eu and leaving the UK could possibly put that in jeopardy. Plus how the 9.5% public spending v GDP deficit and the £15 BILLION deficit are figures that would not be acceptable to the eu. Then of course there is the 2 "small" matters of getting into the eu with having to join the queue and then there is Spain with their veto.
      As Mark points out above, we enjoy having a major input into British politics but that will almost all but disappear with an indy Scotland in the eu.
      I also asked many times in 2014 about the SNP having no plans for a second chamber something which is akin to a dictatorship and how every true democracy MUST have a second chamber.

    2. I'll be as brief as I can, as you've covered quite a bit of ground, and here probably isn't the place to debate in detail, but to present "the other side of the coin" as it were:

      1. Because the majority of Scots don't agree with your characterisation. An overwhelming majority just voted to Remain in the EU. Most indy supporters, and it seems a large number of anti-indy folk, appear to be prioritising remaining in the EU over remaining part of the union. I can see why britnats don't like that, but it would be facile to deny it's happening.

      2. The Scots get to have as many referendums as they like, whenever they like; it's called democracy. A sure fire way of ensuring a majority for independence would be for unionist parties to attempt to veto such a referendum, particularly one which has a clear mandate from the electorate, and a majority for holding it at Holyrood. Of course, they could try, but the Scottish government is overwhelmingly likely to ignore any attempted veto and proceed in any case. You should note nothing in either Scotland Act prohibits the holding of referendums (check the excellent article on the subject on-line by lawyers Halliday Campbell for detailed discussion).

      3. It isn't forced to do either; this silly britnat meme has been so comprehensively debunked, I'm surprised you have the courage to trot it out with such ease. Scotland is not Greece, but by all means carry on exhibiting your "proud Scot, but.." cringe; it does a power of good for the independence camp. It isn't necessary for you and you supporters to use the actual phrase "too wee, too poor, too stupid" for the underlying atavistic self-loathing to be crystal clear to a wider readership. I'm just surprised you feel it's a vote winner? 1/2

    3. 2/2

      4. An independent Scotland will have much more influence in the EU than it currently does now, when its interests are routinely subsumed by those of the UK, even where they do not coincide. Similarly, an independent Scotland will have control over its own affairs, including defence and foreign policy, which it lacks now. Like most other Remain voters in Scotland, I'd far rather pool and share a limited amount of sovereignty with the EU, than with a shambolic, regressive, crypto-medieval failing state like the UK.

      5. We'll take our chances in the EU single market thanks. I know brexiteers "think" they have a powerful hand, and that they're going to get great deals, but they probably aren't. We've already seen that the devolution of areas of policy from EU to Holyrood previously promised isn't going to happen. More lies, just like the much vaunted Vow of "as near federalism as possible" resulting in control over road signs.

      6. Scotland doesn't have a deficit, the UK does. The size of an independent Scotland's deficit is an unknowable, because we've no idea what the negotiated split of assets and liabilities will be, nor do we know other important variables like spending plans, tax plans, the price of oil at independence, the amount Scotland will save on areas like defence & other areas of spending currently not recorded properly or not allocated. Nobody with an ounce of sense believes an independent Scotland can't survive quite well on its own own. It could hardly do worse than remaining part of the dystopian brexishambles nightmare in store as part of the UK.

      7. Romantic, nostalgic nonsense. We'll still share the same island. Things will carry on much as before. The sky will not fall down. My English relatives will not suddenly be any less related, or any less welcome. Things change; when they change enough, people of good will are honest enough to accommodate changing circumstances. Scotland is the rest of the UK's biggest export market; bigger than the USA or than China, India & Brazil combined, just as rUK is Scotland's biggest market. That won't change and it's in the interests of both parties to ensure the best possible relationship going forwards.

      8. More likely than having several million dissatisfied Scots being taken out of the EU against their will, ensuring a hard brexit they don't support, led by a party they didn't elect egged on by right wing extremists who advocate banning further referendums, and like the idea of copying up to Trump, Erdogan and Netanyahu? In the end of course, folk will deal with what happens, just like Yes voters coped after the defeat in 2014. Stuff happens; if we vote Yes in 2018 doubtless folk will deal with that too. It's called democracy.

    4. Please enlighten us , as you seem to miss the facts made, when did Scotland , England , Wales or Northern Ireland as stand alone nations became members of the EU ? Remind us please what the ballot paper said ?

      Obfuscate issues and misrepresent facts is rife in the SNP and it's support , I bet you believe we have an export tax !

    5. 1/2

      "An overwhelming majority just voted to Remain in the EU"

      And a majority also voted to stay in the UK. Your view that a "large number of folk" are "prioritising remaining in the EU over remaining part of the union" isn't reflected in recent opinion polls of Scotland, and that is likely why even the SNP are now floating the idea of joining the EEA rather than the EU.

      "The Scots get to have as many referendums as they like, whenever they like; it's called democracy"

      Sure, and there is something called honesty: so when the SNP says a referendum is a "once in a generation" vote, it's unreasonable to demand another one a few years later. This is divisive, generates uncertainty for business and society (hurting Scotland as well as the rUK), and I don't think liars should be rewarded. That doesn't mean "blocking" a referendum, but certainly the SNP don't get to demand one on their terms.

      "It isn't forced to do either (join the Euro or Schengen); this silly britnat meme has been so comprehensively debunked, I'm surprised you have the courage to trot it out with such ease"

      So, the facts are that any new member of the EU is required by the accession treaties to legally commit to joining the Euro. While obviously true anyway by looking at the treaties, and the recent history of all new entrants, this was recently confirmed by the EU Commission ambassador to UK, who said Scotland would have to commit to joining the Euro. It might take a while, but that commitment has to be made to join. As an aside, this also very likely means a new Scottish currency - nobody has ever joined the Euro without their own currency. You can't debunk a fact, in fact you didn't even try, you just asserted this fact was wrong. If you want to reassert it again, you'll have to show why (a) the the EU Commission said it's true (b) the treaties and ERM say it's true and (c) recent historical reality shows it's true.

      "Scotland is not Greece"

      You're right, Scotland's estimated deficit is about X3 worse. And it is a fact that the ECB can cut off liquidity to a Eurozone country, and has done so, resulting in Athens cash machines running dry. What I said is precisely accurate. The more interesting question is why anyone in Scotland would want to join the Euro - I suspect they don't, since opinion polls show <10% support and the SNP tried the "keep Sterling" ploy last time around.

      "An independent Scotland will have much more influence in the EU than it currently does now, when its interests are routinely subsumed by those of the UK"

      The problem with "influence" is that there is no agreed way of measuring it, but claiming Scotland will have more influence in the EU than in the UK can't just be asserted - you need to back it up with something. I said that Scotland has 9% of MPs in Parliament, and would probably have 2% of MEPs in the European Parliament. That's less ability to direct and change laws, which makes sense since Scotlands size relative to the UK is much larger than its size relative to the EU. Scotland would also have much less influence over monetary and financial policy compared to the Bank of England versus the European Central Bank. Common sense says less influence.

    6. 2/2

      I also find it hard to reconcile your view that "it's in the interests of both parties to ensure the best possible relationship going forwards" when you consider the *current* relationship is with a "shambolic, regressive, crypto-medieval failing state like the UK" (your words). Why do you want a good relationship with such a place? I want a good relationship for Scotland within the UK as I think it's a great nation and its people make the UK better.

      "We'll take our chances in the EU single market thanks"

      Why take the chance to join a market that represents 20% of Scotlands trade, at the risk of a market that's about 60%?

      Everything might well turn out ok, but in trade/market terms Scotland leaving the UK is vastly different than the UK leaving the EU. rUK is 60% of Scotlands trade, the EU is only 45% of the UK's and falling fast.

      "I know brexiteers "think" they have a powerful hand, and that they're going to get great deals, but they probably aren't"

      You might well be right, but this seems logically inconsistent. You seem to be implying the UK of 65m people and the 5th largest world economy doesn't have a "powerful hand" when dealing with the EU. So why will Scotland at 10% the size get a good deal negotiating joining the EU?

      "Scotland doesn't have a deficit, the UK does. The size of an independent Scotland's deficit is an unknowable"

      Let's be serious: Scotlands deficit can be estimated, and it is estimated at 9.5-9.7% of GDP, the worst in the industrial world. I'd suggest those pushing for independence come up with a plan to deal with this problem rather than pretending it doesn't exist.

      "Nobody with an ounce of sense believes an independent Scotland can't survive quite well on its own own."

      Surely that same logic applies to the UK (including Scotland) outside of the EU?

      "More likely than having several million dissatisfied Scots being taken out of the EU against their will, ensuring a hard brexit they don't support"

      I'm not sure you even believe this yourself. If Brexit is going to be so bad, surely that's going to help the SNPs cause? Scotland can't join the EU before 2020 (again, according to the EU Commission), so why not sit back and wait for the opinion polls to decisively shift in your favour. I suspect it's because the SNPs high point is right now, and you really fear Brexit could be a success, the EU continues to fail, and the SNP ends up looking a busted flush.

      "It's called democracy"

      As demonstrated in 2014 and on the 23rd June, both of which the SNP don't respect.

  5. Excellent summary. The basic question is how can Sturgeon and SNP relate to an independence from the UK and at the same time want dependance on the EU which is anything but a democratic organisation. It is totally authoritarian and far removed from the SNP concept of independance.
    Further more we are already having to face increased taxes from the Scottish Government. It has to get worse with Independance

  6. We also need to make use of history and nostalgia in any campaign. We have been friends, relations, comrades and compatriots for 300 years.

    As you say, the exciting prospect of Britain trading with the Commonwealth and the world, including all the economic, social, cultural and travel opportunities that would involve and the strengthening andvre-establishing of ties with the Scottish and British diaspora should be held out as a juicy carrot against the false hope of independence.

    It was the prospect of Scottish access to the Empire that was originally one of the things that encouraged the Union and a British and Scottish renaissance after leaving the EU offers something of the exciting spirit of Empire without its baggage.

  7. Remaining in the UK offers the exciting spirt of Empire without, oh yes, an Empire.

  8. Scottish voters should be aware of the Bns of pounds & Ks of Jobs tied up in MOD contracts on the Clyde, at Rosyth & Faslane. Furthermore more Bases may have to close as a result of the SNPs Myopic obsession on Independence. Effie is absolutely correct that the Scottish population need to be informed of the Financial implications & Hardship Independence will bring to Scotland.

  9. Another tour de force. Keep 'em coming Effie.

  10. Shared History, Shared Future

    Shared History Towards A Shared Future

    Those are my first thoughts re our slogan but I know they both need an injection of, for the want of a better term, positive-negativity.
    Anyone else got a slogan ready to use, or at least to use as a base?

  11. Problem is that although everything she says here is true, the bigger problem is the fact that a large amount of the anti snp message descends into calling them nazis and spreading abuse. This is going on at the same time as the UK is fast falling under a populist movement that actually has far more in common with the fascist movement of the 30's than that of the snp. The economic argument failed to work during the eu referendum and may well have less of an effect this time round, the crys of all the defence jobs and ship building jobs being lost could be a drop in the ocean compared to the number of jobs lost in finance and other industries if the UK government gets a poor brexit deal.The fact is that the brexit deal will decide the future of the UK more than any other thing, a bad deal that damages the people's wealth and future will lead to a rise in the support for independence. It will be difficult to talk up a union that has caused damage to the financial wellbeing of a population through a vote which has a large amount of flag waving nationalism in the same vane as some of the snp use. The fact is that if there is a 2nd referendum we will be being asked to choose between nationalist Scotland and nationalist UK and the political outlook of the two countries is massively different. The reality is that the tories are scared of letting a 2nd referendum for good reason as I think the chances of independence in about 2 years time could be way over 60%.

  12. Ms Deans as ever writes an interesting blog but overlooks a crucial factor in saving the union; if it is to be achieved then pro union parties in Scotland need stronger autonomy.

    There are many factors responsible for the rise of Scottish nationalism, but the central argument rests on this central premise 'why should Scotland be run by Tory governments it doesn't vote for?' The answer seems to be, looking at history, that Scotland DOES vote Tory if it has a Tory party of its own.

    If you type Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party Wikipedia into your internet search engine and look at the party's share of the vote in general elections there is a marked contrast between its performances before 1965 and after.

    That year marked the occasion when the Scottish Conservative party ceased to be a fully autonomous organisation and was fully amalgamated with the rest of UK party. After that, an interesting pattern emerges.

    Before 1885 and 1965 the Scottish Conservative party was a significant force in Scottish politics, regularly polling between 30 and 40% of the Scottish vote in general elections, on occasions even passing the 50% mark. In only one of the 21 general election that were held in that time period there was only election (1922) where it’s share of the vote dropped below the 30% mark.

    After the amalgamation of 1965, there is a marked contrast. 1964 marked the point when the Conservative vote in Scottish general elections passed the 40% mark. In the 4 UK general elections that were held in the 1970s, the share of the vote in Scotland hovers at around the 35% mark (in the 1979 general election the Conservative party had fewer votes in Scotland in a general election that they won than in a 1974 election that they lost).

    There were many factors responsible for the even more dramatic fall of the Conservative vote in Scotland during the 1980s, deindustrialisation and the Poll Tax being the key ones but the party still performed respectably, taking around 25% of the vote. In the general election of 1997 of course it was completely wiped out as a political force in Scotland and failed to recover in the three subsequent general elections of ’01, ’05 and 2010, but after David Cameron granted it significant autonomy a year after coming to power, an interesting upsurge in its fortunes occurred. While it’s general election performances failed to revive significantly, the Scottish elections a significant change occurs if you look at the pattern; it’s share of the vote rose by 10% and it more than doubled its number of seats in Hollyrood.

    The moral of the story seems to be, more autonomy, more votes. I know Ms Deans disagrees with me that a federal system of government for the whole of the UK is the best way of preserving the union but the point remains that if the Scottish Labour and Liberal Democrats parties were to do the same thing, they would attract votes from pro unionist centre left voters. In the meantime, Mrs May should say no to a 2nd referendum. Therein lies the key to defeating the separatist movement.

    1. Just to correct myself, the Conservative party in Scotland regularly polled over 40% of the Scottish vote before 1965. just being precise.

  13. Of all the political leaders in Scotland, Ruth Davidson has consistently stood up for Scotland's place in the UK. Your link on Twitter suggests that the Tories are in danger of losing pro-UK support but where else would these voters go? I only see the Liberal Democrats as a viable option. As it stands though, it is only the Conservative party that is respecting the result of both the referendums in 2014 and 2016.

    I agree with you and I'm inclined to believe that the Prime Minister should block another attempt for an independence referendum, at least for this current UK parliament or until 2020. However, I am not of the opinion and never have been that all referendums should be blocked permanently. I don't think you're of that view either.

    Above all else, the SNP government should be held to the Edinburgh Agreement which they quite clearly disregarded the day after they lost the referendum. I don't think that there should be any second independence referendum in decades, if at all. It was 'once in a generation', not once every three years.

  14. Great article as usual , although I would vehemently argue against your assertion the SNP would get most MPs or a majority at Holyrood if elections were held tomorrow !

    I see it wholly differently, they are in a panic and they know Brexit done right could kill independence , as you rightly pointed out tariff's could be imposed on goods to our biggest market , that's a hard sell ! Brexit gives the pro UK side to show two things , 1 / It's a clear certain choice between our biggest trading partner or the one 4 times less in trade and jobs the EU . 2 / It will further show the Anglophobia rife within the SNP have and I would refer you all to the wee flea blog !

    I look at the SNP failures in nearly every department brief they run and support is slowly eroding for them , I would again suggest reading the wee flea blog , they are running scared and that is why they did the deal with the Greens on the budget , they knew they would lose seats if forced into another election !

    Then add to that the new tax policy's and business rates which will kill small business and increase unemployment in areas like the small hoteliers , cafe owners etc who hire lot's of local people in the service industry , I mean if you are facing triple rates and more with thousands of pounds added to bills, the first thing small business owners will do is let people go and work more hours themselves to try and save the businesses they built !

    There are plenty other examples from gutter politicians like Mr Mason etc and the alternative false facts so easily tweeted in under 140 characters which is turning the tide , a tide that could turn Scotland to the Tory's and Lib Dems , with the exception of maybe Glasgow and Dundee , but I can easily see the farming , fishing , financial and oil areas of Scotland now seek an alternative thanks to the Green / SNP alliance !

    1. The problem with your assumptions is that there is any chance of a good brexit deal. The same areas you talked about ie fishing, finance etc will also likely switch to the independence view if it does go bad. The fact that there is a reliance on another type of nationalism to defeat the snp to me is a badly flawed plan.

    2. British Nationalism is good, it's wot won the war dontcha know !!!!! Ohh the Royal Family dontcha just luv em....

  15. I must admit to being in that 30% Effie mentions that represent the swing voters. I am not a Scottish, British or even EU patriot. What I care about is the prosperity, freedom and safety of my family and my community, and I will select when asked the constitutional model which I believe supports those goals.

    It was my judgement that Scotland as part of the UK, which itself was part of the EU was the best way to acheive that. So I voted No, and Remain.

    Now Brexit was sold on certain claims and visions, none of which I find plausible, but I think we should allow the Brexiteers to try & do this before even contemplating other steps. The results will be obvious, if they fail then maybe the people of the UK can come together to resolve it, or maybe Scottish Indpendence will become attractive to us in the swing 30%, but first we want to see what happens. That is why the polls shows no particular desire for another referendum yet.

    So Brexit works, Indyref2 goes away, If it fails then I strongly suspect it will come & the SNP will succeed. For Theresa May the stakes are high, not just in Scotland of course, as Brexit failure will sink her Government in the rest of the UK too.

    I would also suggest that Brexit went beyond the EU, people on the UK genuinely do feel they need to take back control. People in the NE of England have little say over their future, they have no devolved Government, the political party they normally vote for looks unlikely to get into power at Westminster. So I would suggest as well as Brexit, the UK needs serious political reform to give those people that control. Perhaps England could have similar devolution to the English regions that Scotland has, PR to elect the Westminster Government. As well as giving underrepresented regions more control, it would bring Scotland more in line with the rest of the UK, disarm the representation arguments & actually move us to a more united front.

    1. "People in the NE of England have little say over their future"

      They send MPs to the UK pariliament and elect councils to run things locally.

      They were asked whether they wanted devolution and they said no as many saw it for what it is, a job creation scheme for a further tier of 'so so' politicians.

      As a reward to populations for rejecting devolution they ought to have received additional funding equal to the amounts that devolved areas receive to run their additional talking shops.

      "So I would suggest as well as Brexit, the UK needs serious political reform to give those people that control"

      Sick to the teeth with all the consitutional tinkering over the past 20 years.

      Politicians outght to stick to improving the lives of those rather than the distraction of re-arranging constitutional deck chairs.

      We don't need more constitional reform, politicians are hopeless at it as evidenced by the pigs ear we have now.

    2. For a politically moderate, geographically small island nation its absolutely insane that we have adopted this jigsaw of devolved governments. The expense of it alone must be astronomical.

  16. This is actually a very sensible proposal Ian which, for the record, has been advocated by leading Scottish Tories like Murdo Fraser. What we need as a federal system of government; each individual country of the UK having its own parliament with power devolved to the local regions with the main decisions on the economy and defence and international relations being made in Westminster. All the pro-union parties should devolve autonomy to their local regions; had David Cameron proposed this as an option on the ballot paper as a choice between that an independence the referendum would have been a walkover.

    Ms Deans has been sceptical but a report by the Constitutional Reform Group has proposed this; I have a link for it here. Make of it what you will: -

  17. Wow, just put them in a box and don't allow them to vote....Please do that , it will be a recruitment campaign for independence.

    There can be no third option now, its dependence under the Tories or Independence. No one will swallow another Vow,Constitutional Conventaion or Devomagic....

    People need to choose , its simply London or Edinburgh. Please don't patronise me the ruled from Brussels nonsense. Its a UKIP soundbite that stands no scrutiny.

    Come back when Brussels start looking to remove employment rights, take all of our tax and give pocket money back and then take us out of HRA.

    1. "Don't give me that ruled from Brussels nonsense"

      The facts - the EU five presidents report states the following as the aim of the EU by 2025:

      *In spite of the undeniable importance of economic and fiscal rules and respect for them, [the EU] cannot be managed through rule-based cooperation alone ... the euro area will need to shift from a system of rules and guidelines for national economic policy-making to a system of further sovereignty sharing within common institutions ... in practice, this would require Member States to accept increasingly joint decision-making on elements of their respective national budgets and economic policies*

      That means that any national budget passed by an "independent" Holyrood would be subject to EU review and approval - or, let's say: "Brussels". Given the estimated size of the current deficit in Scotland, any budget with the current levels of tax & spend would be rejected, a la Greece. If Scotland objected, it would be "forced" to comply. Forced isn't my word, it's the word the President of the Eurogroup Jeroen Dijsselbloem used at a press conference gloating about rejecting a Greek financial position and imposing additional austerity.

      The EU are stating this in public. It will have serious implications for the people of Scotland, if it applied to join the EU. It's not nonsense.

    2. Better we give it all to London, let them spend what they want and then give us a little back and then call us poor ? Thats what you are defacto arguing is more reasonable .....

      Its nonsense alright and you know it.

    3. We send 53 billion and get 68 billion back. That's a 'profit' of 15 billion quid every year. Europe wont give us that or anything near. You'll get a Greek style loan with strict conditions attached including austerity. But austerity is fine isn't it, provided it is imposed by German conservatives?

    4. There are three options really

      1. Scotland stays part of the UK
      2. Scotland leaves the UK and joins the EU
      3. Scotland leaves the UK and stays out of the EU

      Only one of those (3) is truly "independent" given the trajectory the EU is on. If you don't want to be ruled by anyone except other Scots, that's the only option.

      The other is to share power with London.

      The other is to be like Greece. The EU don't even try to hide this is what they intend.

    5. Seps haven't been paying attention to europe. The euro clearly isn't working and the only way forward is continuing austerity for smaller, poorer nations or a merger of the eurozone into an actual superstate where the poorer parts are eternally subsidised by the richer parts. Neither of these options offers independence for Scotland and the prospect of deeper austerity runs counter to what the seps are promising (greater socialism, greater spending).

      They just need to come clean. They hate the English and this is the primary driver of everything they do.

    6. IF the Euro isn't working then what does it say about the GBP when its languishing at 1:17 to the pound when Euro was 1:50 at inception.....

      If as you infer the Euro is a dead man walking... is the GBP now a ghost ?

      No, I don;t think its the Eglish in general. What real people hate are losers like you lot who just cannot imagine anything but dependence on London. We know that deep down for many its just a great way for the unwashed to hide their inbuilt Tory love affair from public view. Trying to hide their shame behind a veneer of Unionism. Just look at the comments on any of these articles. Its awash with half witted Daily Express readers clapping along to Effie's descending madness.

      The good news is that it really just shows that the vast bulk of you are ancient relics who'll be outlived by the millenial's who see the writing on the wall. The failed empire continues to falter, its clear too all except those who worship at its base.

      If I could transport you all back to the 50's I would, you'd all be eaten alive.

      Replace Euro and UK in your initial diatribe and you can see the problem we see in the UK in Scotland. Until we break from the beast we're doomed to emulate their decent into hell.

      Seps...FFS, did you get your dinner money taken off you by a boy in a kilt.

    7. If those figures are right then Aldo where does the black box money get taken ? You know for UK capital projects, interest on UK Debt ,defence, foreign office, Overseas aid and the like.

    8. The euro is failing, running man. Unemployment in Spain is at 25%, with 50% youth unemployment. In Greece, the population have taken to raiding bins. If you think the euro is a success and a good thing for Scotland then all I can say is your dogma has blinded you to the suffering of your fellow Europeans.

      There was a time when one pound could buy you 4 US Dollars - albeit a very long time ago. Yet no one ever said the dollar was failing. The euro is failing because it imposes permanent poverty and austerity on its weakest members - a fate you would condemn Scotland to as well.

      Re 'black box' money, I'm not entirely sure what you mean by that phrase, but the examples you have listed are included on Scotland's balance sheet as money spent on Scotland's behalf. The revenue isn't necessarily raised here - and all or most of those items would still have to be paid for by an independent Scotland anyway. You still need defence and foreign embassies for example. So you can't save any money really. The big one that is often cited - Trident - would save Scotland 300 million if scrapped. But the deficit is 15 BILLION, so you eliminate a tiny fraction of the deficit by doing that. However this doesn't take into account the associated job losses and rising welfare bill, which would increase the deficit.

      The SNP need an economic plan. They need to tell us how they will grow the economy, which taxes will go up and what spending will be slashed. If they can't produce such a plan its either because they don't have one or, they do, but you wouldn't like it.

    9. What was so tough about the fifties running man? If I'd been around in the fifties I'd have cradle to grave welfare, I'd be guaranteed a job, higher education would be free, housing would be affordable. I'd be able to look forward to early retirement on a final salary pension scheme.

      The fifties? Ha! Provided you were white, straight, male, able bodied, and not Irish the world was your oyster.

    10. According to FAI the SG has control of approx 40Bn in spending, the block grant from Barnett is around 27Bn......

      You say that 68Bn is spent on Scotlands behalf....Thats a lot of money spent for Scotland not by Scotland but by Westminster....

      This 'black box' spending is somehow never questioned by unionists like yourself...It has mythical qualities.

    11. This comment has been removed by the author.

    12. Answer the question man, if the Euro is failing why is the GBP collapsing faster and harder than the Euro ? Whys is it some 20% weaker than the Euro since 2001?

      Is it not a sign that the 'market' thinks the UK is a burning platform on its current trajectory.....

      Do you deny that the currency is a barometer of national stability ?

      I know you brexit buffoons keep harping on at the Euro but bottom line is that its viewed as 20%+ safer than the UK.....It was supposed to be dead years ago...yet here we are..GBP forcast to be at 1:1 equity with Euro by 2020...if not sooner lolz... A full 33% collapse on the mighty pound....against the "dead" Euro

    13. The 50's with the TB and the Polio whats not to like....Not to mention industrial accidents. Sounds a blast. Utter fantasist.

      After you and Effie.

    14. Your 'black box' is no mystery running man. Welfare and government oversight and regulatory organisations probably cover most of it.

      The devaluation of a currency can bring advantages - boosts in exports and tourism, for example. We have seen this in the UK where the economy has boomed since the brexit vote. Problems arise when you cannot devalue your currency, as in Greece, Spain and Italy. They gave up that ability when they joined the euro and now have 50% youth unemployment. Please tell us again why you think this would be good for Scotland?

    15. And industrial accidents and polio happened to everyone, did they? And nothing bad ever happens to anyone now?

      You seem obsessed with the 1950s. It's you who keeps bringing it up - it was probably the last time you got laid.
      No one is seeking to recreate the 1950s. But if we were to look to that age for inspiration then duty, loyalty, and discipline are probably the things we would wish to emulate. No one's going to reintroduce smallpox or chuck grenades down into mines to make the experience more 'authentic'.

    16. @Aldo

      Maybe Running Man thinks the Euro is a good idea for Scotland but thankfully most Scots don't. 10% according to a recent BMG poll - and that poll found 49% in favour of independence. Another 21% wanted a new Scottish currency. 68% wanted to keep the Pound.

      This is the key argument to hammer over and over: if joining the EU, the Pound is not an option, the Euro is the only choice and you have to go through another Scottish currency first to get there. And if you don't want to join the EU, why have another referendum because of Brexit?

      Eventually even the SNP will realise this doesn't make any logical sense and will be forced to campaign for some cobbled together nonsense like Scottish independence + membership of the EEA/single market + the Pound. We need to start undermining that position now as its going to be the one they will be forced into adopting (absent a Brexit catastrophe or the EUs collapse)

    17. Absolutely. They seem to think that EEA membership is enough to win back yes voting brexiteers. But as far as I can see the EEA requires freedom of movement + subservience to European law (without getting a say in it). Why the hell would any brexiteer vote for that?

      We must hammer home these points: basic common sense vs the increasingly desperate antics of people consumed by bigotry.

    18. Nice sidestep on why the pound is collapsing against the dead Euro experiment....Not sure I pushed joining the Euro anywhere Mark but hat tip for the diversion that allowed Aldo to slither away.

      Why would Scotland be forced to take the Euro ? Just because Marky's says so ? Why is the pound not an option, its absolutely an option and you saying its not is the same guff as last time that was debunked by Carney and others post referendum.

      My personal choice would be a Scottish pound. Thay initially could be pegged to the GBP....

      Freedom of movement is only a blocker in England, immigration is not seen as an issue in Scotland.

      Probably as we have much lower levels of immigration and less that we think we're a bit nicer(most of us anyway).

    19. @Running Man
      Just to pick up on a few things.

      "Freedom of movement is only a blocker in England, immigration is not seen as an issue in Scotland"

      This isn't the case. According to the only major study specifically of Scotland's attitudes to immigration (by Oxford University Migration Observatory in 2014), "immigration was ranked more important than crime, Europe, education and housing as an issue". Only the economy ranked higher. Now it is true that immigration is seen as slightly less of an issue in Scotland *compared to England and Wales*, but Scots still rank it an issue, and an important one.

      Other polls have backed up this study, e.g. Survation did a Scottish poll around the same time and asked this Q: "Do you support or oppose stricter controls on immigration?". 68% said yes, 10% no. Note that all of this is from 2014, BEFORE the migrant crisis which started in 2015, so it seems unlikely Scots have got more relaxed on migration in the meantime.

      "Why would Scotland be forced to take the Euro? Just because Marky's says so?"

      No country has joined the EU since the Euro has been in place without being legally committed to joining it eventually. But, don't take my word for it, the EU Commission's Representative to the UK (Jacqueline Minor) recently spoke in Edinburgh (Feb 10) and said this:

      "There are a number of official candidate countries — Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia, Herzegovina ...obviously, were Scotland to become independent, they would join that list (and) all member countries are committed to eventual membership of the euro"

      The SNP know this and it's why they proposed continuing to use Sterling last time. I can cover why that's not a viable option for a truly independent Scotland if you like, but to provide two examples: in 1992 the Czech Republic and Slovakia were one country (like the UK), they split and tried to keep the same currency. It lasted about 2 months before it collapsed. Also Ireland no longer uses Sterling even though its economy is heavily linked to the UK, it tried a pegging type approach too, it didn't work.

    20. I never said the euro was dead running man - those were your words. I said it is failing and I provided evidence for that - the staggering levels of unemployment and austerity in countries like Greece and Spain that can't handle sharing a currency with Germany. It is you who is sidestepping the issues here. You want Scotland to join a currency that has a track record of laying waste to smaller, poorer economies. You're a daftie.

      There is no option for keeping the pound - there never was. The rest of the UK is opposed to it and the EU would oppose it too and demand Scotland joins the euro - the very fucked up system that you can't and wont criticise despite its promotion of poverty in vast swathes of europe.

    21. Did I anywhere say Scotland should take the Euro ? There is of course an option to keep the pound, I'll take Carney's word on it over yours , if you don't mind.

      The Czechs will be surprised they are using the Euro for sure....The idea that we will be forced to join the Euro bears no scrutiny at all. Since the forced scenario you and Mark describe has never in fact happened....

      I love this circular argument you nutjobs go on, you'll not get in the'll be forced to use the Euro, oohh your economy is so bad you can't get in the EU and you can't get the Euro...Its utterly barmy.

      If the Euro is failing and not dying then why is it still strengthening against the GBP...Using scematics to avoid the hard facts. The GBP is buggered and will continue to be until Brexit kills it or it survives.....Thats the stark position. Almost all analysts are saying 1:1 parity with Euro is all but guaranteed and some even saying same for USD.....

    22. Ireland continued to use or be pegged to GBP for close on 60 years...Its entirely possible and it was confirmed by no less than Carney post Sept 2014. Its not my personal choice BTW.

      My choice would be Scottish currency first then GBP pegging then Euro.

    23. BTW Mark there is no queue to join the EU and has been stated by senior EU officials in last few weeks, Scotland and Scots are already in EU. They would be fast tracked so they never exit. On the proviso....that they are independent.....

      So that argument was holed below the waterline already so put that back on the shelf

    24. BTW Bosnia-Herzegovina is one country...your copy paste from Andrew Neil not really showing you in a good light there...

  18. An excellent post. How refreshing it is at last to read someone recognising the madness of agreeing to another referendum. Too many unionists accept the Nat narrative at every turn. Theresa May will earn a lot of respect if she calmly and firmly insists that the question was settled in 2014 and it is not in the interests of Scotland or the UK to have another referendum. Set the Nats' gas at a peep!

  19. Jesus H ...
    You britnat brexiteer zoomers are certifiably insane.
    Bubye, away to shower this site off me.

  20. Though just imagine if they lost again Effie - Sturgeon gone, Swinney in her place, the party split, recriminations amongst supporters of independence - and independence off the table for decades. We could refuse them a referendum and give them whinging rights forever more or we can make them face their own shortcomings and perish by them again - tempting!

    1. We only need to win once.....

    2. You get two shots and have already used up one. Next time is make or break, within our lifetimes at least.

  21. It's just a matter of time, maybe I don't see it but the Union is finished unless we start a war a la Thatcher and the Falklands. The demographics are as clear as day.

    1. Ah, the old 'wait for the oldies to die' theory. That only works if people view the world aged 60 in the same way as they did aged 16. Most don't. Most start out as young radical socialists and drift to the right as they get older.

  22. We get as many shots as we get, there is no limit as long as people can stomcach it....Then when we win you guys need to get nice and comfy....

    1. But you wont be able to gloat and I wont feel bad about it running man, as we'll both be dead. I don't really care what happens after I'm gone.

  23. Social protection: 34% of government spending in Scotland (from GERS). This is a reserved matter and accounts for 24 billion pounds of your 'black box' money. Servicing of the national debt comes in at a further 3 billion (but we'd still need to pay this anyway post independence). Military spending 3 billion. That's quite a lot of money when compared to the rest of the UK but isn't surprising considering the nuclear deterrent is based here. That makes up roughly 30 billion, which when added to the devolved spending gives 70 billion (close enough to the 68 bn I mentioned earlier).

    There is no mystery spend.

  24. Yet somehow Aldo you happily swallow 40Bn of Westminster spending on out behalf and its unchallengable.

    Why would Scotland need to pay interest on debt it does not have a liability on ? That would need to be negotiated, the fact is that Scotland has no debt. UK Treasury already confirmed this, they also confirmed they would like to saddle Scotland with some of it but legally the bonds issued are UK liability..... Lets not make assertions on how we want it to be.

    The black box of reserved spending can never be questioned...It's taken at face value by the unionists as surely London would never do anything to its own advantage....

    Lets be clear...The UK including Scotland runs a deficit, over half the costs of running Scotland are allocated by a faceless operation in London, in convenient big blocks (much of which is done on per capita)....Whats not to like.. With a process like that you can dream up any deficit nonsense you like without scrutiny....Certainly easier with a willing audience of Unionist goons happy to lap it up.

    1. Firstly, its not 40 billion, its 30 billion, most of which is spent on social protection - welfare benefits, basically. You seem to think this money is being spent on nonsense or doesn't exist. It pays our welfare benefits. There is no conspiracy and you have provided zero evidence for one.

      Scotland is liable to repay its share of the national debt - a debt that was incurred, in part, to fund Scotland's public services and welfare system.

    2. To give a bit of perspective, running man, the former eastern bloc countries took on their share of soviet debt in 1991. If anyone had a case for walking away, it was them. But they didn't, because it's just not the done thing. Scotland would pay its fair share or face retaliation from the remaining UK and a poor credit rating.

    3. This was not my understanding and I checked again . Every reference I can find says that Russia took on all foreign debt of USSR. In this way it retained its UN seat as it deemed itself successor state. Exactly as rUK had expected to do and as Treasury insisted would happen with UK gilts/bonds.

      There will be no impact on Scottish credit rating based on non default of debt it does not have. Retaliation from who and in what form ? It's utter nonsene and you know it

      I suspect you give the Bond market some level of humanity that it does not possess. Scotland with a positive balance of payments(higher exports than imports) plus retaining its place in the EU and no debts will have people falling over themselves to lend it money. One only has to look at current appetites for sovereign and even now corporate bond issues. The feeding frenzy for yield negates all your threats.

    4. Its 30Bn that is wholly controlled, managed and allocated by Westminster. Its one big black hole with no clarity at all. All that happens is UK has a pot of 'costs' that it allocates by population. Who knows what is in there....Who knows what the correct allocation is to Scotland. You just swallow it and say , it muct be OK as its London....

    5. You could say the same about Holyrood, Running Man. I don't suppose its possible to fully itemise everything that is spent and analysing such a vast amount of information would be a full time job for an army of people. But both parliaments and their main political parties have the resources to employ such an army of people. So if the SNP has evidence of misappropriation, please present it.

      I seem to remember the threat of the SNP to simply walk away from Scotland's debt caused panic last time. I remember asking cybernats to explain exactly what would prevent rUK retaliation, even if such a move were technically legal? They had no answer.

      You will never win anything by threatening to abandon debt that Scotland is morally, if not legally, due to repay. You just make yourself look amateurish and harm your cause in doing so. Keep it up! ;0)

    6. Furthermore, if all liabilities are to be treated as UK liabilities, then the same must go for assets also. If liabilities are indivisible, so are assets. That's just life. You can take the rough with the smooth or you can bugger off and start all over again with nothing. You cannot cherrypick.

      And isn't that the entire problem with nationalists? You think you can cherrypick from the UK, from Europe, from the world. The bigger, stronger nations of the world will impose a settlement on us - and it won't be the one we thought we were voting for.

  25. No comment on your false comment on Russia...just more bluster ? Are you not yourself elsewhere saying that we need to kneel under the determination of England as we are only 9% of the poulation, its your argument.

    Are you somehow blinded to current UK position on Brexit....we want out of EU and single market but we want to trade on same terms with single market....Blinded by your own British nationalism

    What assets ? Everything in Scotland belongs to Scotland.. Its that simple. We also have no debt as confirmed by Treasury and now seemingly accepted even by you. IF we choose to help UK out then it will come at a price.

    You see that language can bugger off. You are not Scottish and you don't live in Scotland...Why the mad rantings, why do you care one jot ?