The questions over Scottish independence

I would like Scotland to stay in the UK and note that a majority of Scottish people in the latest polls wish to. I think all should accept the agreement in 2014 that the referendum was a legal once in a generation vote. As the Scottish election is dominated by arguments about independence, with the SNP wanting another early referendum on the subject to try to reverse the decision made just a few years ago to remain, it is necessary to look at some of the consequences of a theoretical pro independence vote.

Many SNP people and arguments imply they do not want an independent Scotland. Many seem to want devo max. The official party position is now to want so called independence but to assume they will be admitted to the EU. They do not have doubts about how feasible that would be, nor do they think through what a negotiation would be like to try to bring that about. Presumably the EU would want Scotland to be a net contributor to the EU budget, a very different relationship to one they have with the UK budgets that have favoured Scotland. They would also presumably expect Scotland to prepare to enter the single currency. That at least would sort out the strange refusal of the SNP to say which currency they would use were they win a referendum, though there would still be the question of what currency they would adopt between leaving the UK and being admitted as full members of the Euro.

In the last referendum many SNP supporters argued they should stay in the pound. It seemed doubly bizarre to want an independent Scotland to have a foreign Central Bank. There would be no reason for the rest of the UK and the Bank of England to go on taking Scotland’s economic needs into account when setting rates and banking policy. Scotland would not be represented on the Board or around the Monetary Policy Committee table. They also believed last time that large and rising oil revenues would bail them out. Today the oil price is much lower and the new Scotland is committed to net zero, so they have to plan the demise of their oil industry.

The issue of debts and deficits would loom large. Of course if leaving the UK Scotland should take her fair share of the collective debt. Her budget deficit would be far too high for the Maastricht EU rules. That is an issue they would need to sort out as part of their membership talks with the EU. Meanwhile they would need to satisfy international debt markets about their plans.

I am not one to go in for Project Fear type projections of what might happen to Scottish economic output, jobs and trade were she to leave the UK. I have seen too many of those exercises be too pessimistic without helping the cause of those trying to keep a Union together. It is however important that the rest of the UK makes clear that were Scotland to hold and win a legal referendum to leave the UK we would respect it, and would proceed to negotiate exit. The UK would need to make fair proposals to share the debt, to allow independent migration and citizenship policies, to provide a means of following different trade and foreign policies, and settling issues over defence amongst other matters. Scotland would need to put up an EU external border with England is she got her way and became an EU member. Would Scotland seek to join NATO and be a committed ally of the UK? How quickly would the UK military bases in Scotland be removed? The rest of the UK should not seek to obstruct a departure following a legal referendum, but nor should it allow exit on Scotland’s preferred terms. 300 years of Union has created much common working and interwoven institutions so there would be much to unravel.

230 Comments

  1. Grey Friar
    April 27, 2021

    Do you really not grasp that every time a Tory MP from the South of England lectures Scots on what they should and should not do, that’s another hundred votes for independence?

    1. MiC
      April 27, 2021

      Apparently he doesn’t.

      Nor does he seem to get that the nations of the world have agreed that peoples have a right to self-determination.

      One thing is clear, however – the Scots would not be as idiotic as the europhobes, in going for a binary referendum between the defined and the undefined.

      1. jerry
        April 27, 2021

        @MiC; “Nor does he seem to get that the nations of the world have agreed that peoples have a right to self-determination.”

        You mean like -err- Brexit…. Duh!

        1. MiC
          April 27, 2021

          And you exercised that right. Whats’s more, by the country’s mere sending of a letter.

          So about what is your whinge, exactly?

          I think that it was a pretty cretinous decision, but that’s what it was, and it has happened just as our supreme Parliament said that it would.

          1. jerry
            April 27, 2021

            @MiC; You ask “what is your whinge, exactly”, I’m surprised you need to ask, my ‘whinge’ is about people like you. For almost five years now you have berated those who wanted the Brexit referendum, want to have self-determination, make our own laws, you claim the referendum was undemocratic etc, telling us how damaging Brexit will be, how for the greater good our democratic wish should be ignored/reversed – yet when others use the same arguments with regards the SNP’s wish for independence you tell them they are wrong, that the SNP are just demanding their democratic rights!

          2. MiC
            April 28, 2021

            It’s called freedom of expression Jerry.

            I think that you are a shower, and that your brexit is a pile of muck.

            Yes, I think that the people of this country should reverse it as soon as there is democratic support so to do, though I doubt if the European Union would readmit it for a very long time, understandably.

            And THAT is self-determination too.

          3. jerry
            April 28, 2021

            @MiC; “I think that you are a shower, and that your brexit is a pile of muck.”

            Not my “shower”, I voted to Remain, but unlike you I accept the democratic wish of the majority, for me what matters now is making the most of the opportunities, not forever raking over old arguments. Looks like you’re the one getting soaked -once again, as usual!

          4. MiC
            April 28, 2021

            You can claim what you like.

            I will make of it what I will.

            And I will use freedom of expression to attack every single thing that I think is bad, along with many millions of others.

          5. jerry
            April 29, 2021

            @MiC; “I will use freedom of expression to attack every single thing that I think is bad, “

            Fair enough, but it is not what you do, you all to often attack the messenger, the majority, not the message so to speak, there are debates to be had post Brexit, but Brexit is here until at least there is another pro-EU govt. You’re like a train-spotter who still argues BR should not have scrapped their steam engines, and then takes out your anger berating passengers!

      2. a-tracy
        April 27, 2021

        MiC, Martin how is it clear the Scots would not vote in a binary referendum, their last one was Yes or No?

        1. Peter Parsons
          April 27, 2021

          And part of the argument put forward for voting “No” was that it was Scotland’s best chance of staying within the EU. How, exactly, did that work out for them?

          1. jerry
            April 28, 2021

            @Peter Parsons; Because upon independence, a iScotland would have ceased to be a member of the EU, they would have had to apply for membership as a new member, now whilst fully complaint they would still have had to be approved unanimously by all current members, Spain [1] had indicated they might object, the UK Govt. might well have objected too, meaning iScotland is refused accession! There was never any guarantee of remaining in the EU, independence was an almost certain route out, the future Brexit referendum was a 50/50 gamble.

            [1] because the Madrid govt was not about to give encouragement to Catalan independence, this was all explained at the time.

          2. a-tracy
            April 28, 2021

            Part of the argument for voting ‘Yes’ was Sturgeon and Salmond and the Independence supporters saying they’d have no problem getting EU membership Peter, and that the UK could take them out of the EU, because I spent a lot of time in Scotland at that point and that is my recollection?

      3. No Longer Anonymous
        April 27, 2021

        ‘Remain’ wasn’t defined either.

        It was a vote for Hard Remain, in fact.

      4. Mike Wilson
        April 27, 2021

        A binary referendum is exactly what was offered last time and will be again.

      5. acorn
        April 27, 2021

        Big vote tonight at the EU. Downing Street has issued orders that the NI Protocol must be enacted to the letter of the agreement. Ursula von der Leyen is locked and loaded her sanctions machine gun; nobody in the EU trusts the UK government. Google “EU lawmakers debate Brexit accord before decisive vote Reuters Philip Blenkinsop”.

        1. Peter2
          April 27, 2021

          So what is the EU going to do if they aren’t happy?
          Invade?

      6. Original Richard
        April 27, 2021

        MiC : “One thing is clear, however – the Scots would not be as idiotic as the europhobes, in going for a binary referendum between the defined and the undefined.”

        I presume you’re referring to remain as being undefined as remaining in the EU means accepting directives, laws, rules and taxed made by people from 27 (soon to 34 or more) countries we cannot elect and cannot remove?

    2. Richard1
      April 27, 2021

      What a silly comment. All these are legitimate questions and Scottish voters are sensible enough to know they will have to be addressed. What’s your answer to Sir John’s points?

      1. Peter2
        April 27, 2021

        Totally agree Richard.
        Another example of how the hard left want to shut down debate.

    3. Fedupsoutherner
      April 27, 2021

      Well let’s send more up then.

    4. BW
      April 27, 2021

      I know what you mean. I have to listen to the SNP spout off in Westminster on matters relating to England. That makes me want Independence for England.

      1. JoolsB
        April 27, 2021

        Not only spout off but vote on too. And not one of the 553 UK MPs squatting in English seats have any objections to this undemocratic practice.

    5. Northern Monkey
      April 27, 2021

      Do you really not grasp that southern English Conservative MPs are the team that Scots would meet in independence negotiations? Do you really believe that only nationalists should be allowed to express opinions?

      You don’t appear terribly democratic, and even if what you said were true, which I doubt very much, surely the consequences you describe would be welcome among the nationalists? Perhaps our host is a better judge of his own interests than you are?

      1. steve
        April 27, 2021

        Northern Monkey

        “Do you really believe that only nationalists should be allowed to express opinions?”

        Err……hang on a moment, the English are not allowed to express national sentiment, even in their own country. Yet the Scotts are.

        Heck they can even have a Scottish ‘Nationalist’ Party. Do you think we’d be allowed to have an English Nationalist Party ?

    6. Iain Moore
      April 27, 2021

      Even if you don’t like it there are issues that are not in the SNP’s remit to grant, you don’t get to write the rules when it effects others. Sturgeon may say she doesn’t want a border between Scotland and England, but it is what will happen if we want it, for we can do anything in our own territory. You see when you cut out others from having any influence in Scotland, you lose the right to have influence with them, something the Scottish Nationalists have yet to understand. They have got too used to having their cake while taking their fill of others. Well, when you vote for independence that ends, the leverage the Scottish Nationalists have exploited with their threats becomes worthless.

      1. Peter Parsons
        April 27, 2021

        Sturgeon has publically accepted the likelihood of a trade border. In her words:

        there would be challenges for cross-border businesses “because of the absurdity of Brexit and the Tory Brexit obsession”.

        1. Peter2
          April 28, 2021

          That is a triple hypothetical Peter.
          First Scotland has to vote out in a referendum.
          Currently polls show no real lead for out.
          Secondly Scotland would have to join the EU and thirdly adopt the Euro.

      2. turboterrier
        April 28, 2021

        Iain Moore
        Excellent entry.

    7. X-Tory
      April 27, 2021

      There is only ONE country, and that is the UK. And everyone in the UK has an equal right to talk about their country. Those who want to destroy their country are known as ‘traitors’ – that is the word the dictionary uses for them, and so do I. There should be no more debate and no more votes on the issue. The unitary integrity of the UK is NOT up for discussion. If you don’t LOVE the UK then go and live somewhere else.

    8. John C.
      April 27, 2021

      Keep on “lecturing” (giving your opinion) then, Sir John.

    9. Qubus
      April 27, 2021

      Unfortunately, the SNP seem to assume that the Scots are so ignorant about the ensuing problems, and seem more than pleased to leave it like that, that it is left to the English to point it out to them.

  2. Lifelogic
    April 27, 2021

    Indeed but the SNP do not want “independence” they want to be a region under the thumb of the anti-democratic EU (yet still using the British £)

    Mark Carney on Marr this week thinks the net zero agenda will deliver “cheaper” energy. Can he really be so deluded surely he is he just lying? Net zero is dangerous economic and engineering lunacy that will kill many people and do nothing for CO2 or for the climate

    1. Everhopeful
      April 27, 2021

      +1
      Has any politician actually sat down and wondered how we will manage without gas and coal and oil? Do they still believe their computer modelling? Or have they moved on to reading goat entrails?

      This is not really their decision.
      No one gave them the world and all that is in it to use as a toy.

      1. Lifelogic
        April 27, 2021

        They even want to ban cooking with gas which is far more efficient and pleasanter than cooking with electricity (as half the heat is wasted before the electricity even gets to the house) and log fires too. They really have not got a clue.

        1. Narrow Shoulders
          April 27, 2021

          I cook on a ceramic hob.

          I am half the chef I could be with gas

        2. Everhopeful
          April 27, 2021

          +1

      2. James1
        April 27, 2021

        Virtually everything that moves needs oil. Tanks, ships, aeroplanes, cars, buses, trains, bicycles, even roller skates. It is truly what King Faisal referred to as a “Noble Product”.

        1. Lifelogic
          April 27, 2021

          +1 will the defence forces be switching to battery powered tanks, shops and military jets too? Should go well.

          1. steve
            April 27, 2021

            LL

            Oh no, they’ll still be allowed to use diesel & petrol. Same with aviation industry – they’ll still be allowed avgas & avtur.

            EV and green crap is just for us mugs.

      3. Lifelogic
        April 27, 2021

        Indeed. They simply do not understand energy, entropy, energy storage issues, Carnot efficiencies, intermittency , climate. Or the fossil energy used to make store and transport ethanol, or batteries, or new cars, or biofuels, or wind farms, or tidal “lagoons” or the idiotic HS2. 90% of MPs and Lords simply do not have a clue.

        Perhaps the most idiotic lunacy is the wind, to (expensive) electricity to hydrogen to compressed storage of H2 and back to electricity, motion or heat by burning or fuel cells . Wasting perhaps up to 90% of the initial energy captured. And perhaps even more after considering all the energy using in making all the wind turbines, compression storage systems and hydrogen powered machines.

    2. Northern Monkey
      April 27, 2021

      Sadly, I suspect, he is simply deluded, as he doesn’t have the science, engineering or technology background that would enable him to evaluate the green emperor’s new clothes, like most of the chaterati.
      Those who do possess such knowledge and get still go along with these ludicrous goals without supporting plans do so, I assume, because they see lots of short-term grant money which will keep them very nicely for the remainder of their days, enabling them to retire into freedom from responsibility from the fiasco they create.
      It is just possible that these dishonest co-travellers on the green caravan hope to provoke a political crisis so extreme that world leaders will feel obliged to spend a generation’s earnings on the search for a chimeric solution to this PR-created crisis, or that they will suddenly experience their own damascene conversion to reality and claim a victory without substance to justify their political puppets’ misdeeds, but if so they are betting the house on a pair of fives.
      Not a wise choice.

      1. Lifelogic
        April 27, 2021

        +1

    3. rose
      April 27, 2021

      They also want an open border with England and a free travel area, no doubt with dual nationality and all the rights to benefits they already have.

    4. DavidJ
      April 27, 2021

      Lunacy indeed backed up by refusal to ditch the flawed “science”.

    5. Qubus
      April 27, 2021

      It’s surprising how stupid some allegedly intelligent people are.

    6. Original Richard
      April 27, 2021

      The SNP do not want “independence” but just separation from England.

      So in the Scottish referendum they were happy to leave the EU if this meant separation from England and now that England has left the EU they are saying they are unhappy being “dragged out” of the EU and want independence so they can join the EU.

      The irony is that a tiny country such as Scotland with a population size between Slovakia and Finland is not going to have much independence or influence when in the EU.

      1. majorfrustration
        April 28, 2021

        Why not let them find out the hard way

  3. agricola
    April 27, 2021

    If there is a majority for remaining in the Union then they should remove the shrew and her vociferous accolites from power. As it is, with the aid of the BBC, they can blame all their failure on England and the UK government. English subsidy per capita of life north of the border only appears to produce complaints that they need more. We the English are expected to feel guilt for all the manifest SNP incompitence. I suspect that were it ever a UK referendum on their membership of the Union they would be out tomorrow.

    1. majorfrustration
      April 27, 2021

      It about time we called the SNP’s bluff and offer them Independence say come 01/01//23. Surely its time the Tory party dropped Unionist from their title. I suspect that there are any number in England would see the departure of Scotland to the EU as a win win.

    2. Qubus
      April 27, 2021

      +1

    3. Original Richard
      April 27, 2021

      agricola : “I suspect that were it ever a UK referendum on their membership of the Union they would be out tomorrow.”

      The English are no doubt sorely tempted by the SNP’s antics and vitriol to vote for Scotland to leave the UK.

      But it would be a grave mistake because recent events have shown that an independent Scotland could easily become a failed totalitarian state under the influence of either Russia, China or the EU and to have a border with such a state would definitely not be in our long-term interests.

      The current Barnett formula payments would be small in comparison with this situation.

    4. steve
      April 27, 2021

      agricola

      “If there is a majority for remaining in the Union then they should remove the shrew and her vociferous accolites from power.”

      Exactly.

  4. jerry
    April 27, 2021

    But Sir John, stating some home truths, some hard facts, is not engaging in “project fear”, quite the opposite. The Scottish people need to know, if they choose independence, if the SNP choose to rejoin the EU, there will have to be a hard boarder between Scotland and the UK, the own EU rules require it – otherwise the the requirement for the NI protocol will be shown up as a lie… Then of course EU accession rules require new members to adopt the Euro as their currency, and an iScotland will be a new member, prior to Jan 2019 the UK was a member of the EU, not the four nations that make up the UK.

    1. Denis Cooper
      April 27, 2021

      The requirement for the NI protocol is a lie.

      1. glen cullen
        April 27, 2021

        +1

    2. acorn
      April 27, 2021

      The first thing Scotland should be doing for independence is starting its own Treasury and currency, call it the Pound Scots as per its pre-1707 currency. The Scottish government would then start deficit spending AND TAXING only in Pounds Scots. The deficit spending would have to be large enough to get unemployment down. All existing loans and Bank deposits would remain in Pounds Sterling. Eventually the whole economy will need to get some Pound Scots to pay taxes and the banks will establish an exchange rate for the two currencies. Simples 😉

      1. Peter2
        April 27, 2021

        Do you think that this Scottish Pound would retain parity versus the Pound Sterling acorn?
        Simples indeed.

    3. Denis Cooper
      April 27, 2021

      If you listen to this:

      https://www.rte.ie/news/brexit/2021/0423/1211734-podcast-brexit-republic-montgomerys-brexit-memories/

      from about 30 minutes in you will hear a former senior Irish diplomat, Rory Montgomery, saying that initially the Irish government had been open to suggestions on how customs checks and controls could be performed without any need for a hard border on the island of Ireland but they “ran into a brick wall” with the EU Commission who insisted that all their normal rules must apply and no exceptions could be made to reflect the particular circumstances, but what were the real risks to the EU Single Market? And the British should have been cleverer and should have contested some of the EU’s arguments.

      Which does beg the question of why Boris Johnson or Brandon Lewis should suppose that the EU may suddenly become “pragmatic” and “flexible”:

      https://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2021/04/21/fan-power-rules/#comment-1224058

      Especially when Von der Leyen has just been issuing threats:

      https://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2021/04/27/the-question-s-over-scottish-independence/#comment-1225080

  5. Mark B
    April 27, 2021

    Good morning.

    Here an idea. Why not let England decide if it wants to remain part of the United Kingdom ? After all, we are they only people who have not been asked yet, are expected to pay for it ALL.

    1. Ian Wragg
      April 27, 2021

      Exactly.
      We’re just the paymasters.

    2. jerry
      April 27, 2021

      @Mark B; “yet [England is] expected to pay for it ALL.”

      So revenue from the Scottish sector North Sea oil and gas never flows into HMT in London, it was not spent here in England by the majority English parliament/govt, especially during the 1980s when Scotland was being de-industrialised by the English majority govt? I might not want an iScotland but with comments like yours, comments that could stand as a masthead for any English Nationalist party, I sure as hell can understand why some in Scotland seek independence!

      1. Philip P.
        April 27, 2021

        Tax revenues from North Sea oil and Gas stood at £650m in 2019/20. The Westminster block grant to Scotland was £11.56bn. Yes, I can see why an English Nationalist Party might want to put something about this on its masthead, Jerry.

        The UK government’s position is “Scotland benefits from being part of a strong United Kingdom… People in Scotland, year after year, benefit from levels of public spending substantially above the United Kingdom average, with a ‘Union dividend’ of £1,941 per person in Scotland.”

        It seems you want to make them poorer.

        1. jerry
          April 27, 2021

          @Philip P; All your comment does is show why the SNP have missed the boat, oil revenue is falling and has been for years, North Sea oil tax revenue was far higher back in the 1980s and ’90s.

      2. Peter2
        April 27, 2021

        Perhaps it was Jerry.
        But the current overall transaction is a large deficit and has been for many years.

        If Scotland was independent the rest of the UK would have a larger amount of money left than it currently does.

      3. turboterrier
        April 28, 2021

        Jerry
        Two edged sword.
        If Scotland had single handedly financed all the exploration ,drilling, transmission, refining and retailing of the product they have you would think have a right to shout foul.
        Firstly they didn’t and a lot of the wells were in international waters. The Stock Exchange played a big part in the early days getting shareholders to invest.
        Scotland dealt the biggest rogue hand when unopposed by all of Westminster and the law courts they went from in the media eyes being a devolved parliament to re branding themselves as a Government. They couldn’t govern their way out of a sick bag unless the rest of the UK funds it. The burning question not being asked is, what will Westminster do regarding the national debt when the Scots say swivel? Do they legally owe anything?

        1. jerry
          April 28, 2021

          @turboterrier’ “a lot of the wells were in international waters.”

          Indeed, and that rather torpedoes your entire argument, it is not were the well-heads are but were the product comes ashore, that is the point at which taxes are applied. Also I’m not sure ownership of the rig or who financed it has much bearing either, considering that some of the operations in the UK sector of the North Sea have non UK international owners, unless you are trying to purposely conflate taxation and operational profit.

          “The [Scottish Government] couldn’t govern their way out of a sick bag unless the rest of the UK funds it.”

          Nor could the UK government have funded its own polices for that matter had it not been for ‘Scottish oil’, there is a reason why Norway was able to create a sovereign wealth fund with the revenue from their sectors of North Sea oil and gas in the 1980s, rather than squander it…
          Anyway, the Hollyrood govt are not allowed to have 100% tax raising powers under the devolution settlement, so your point is rather moot, never mind rude. I’ll laugh if, by some miracle, the Conservatives win (or are the largest party) the upcoming Hollyrood elections, how such arguments will turn on a sixpence!

    3. agricola
      April 27, 2021

      Mark, rumour has it that the german people are in part begining to have those self same thoughts in respect of their EU membership. It is incumbent on a sovereign UK to be so successful post Brexit that the present format of the undemocratic EU is put under scrutiny from within.

      1. jerry
        April 27, 2021

        @agricola; Rumour has it that the German people have clocked the AfD for what it really and truly is. A bit like how sensible, thinking, British people finely clocked UKIP for what they truly were, and in the end, even UKIP themselves could not hide once then became a rabble without a central cause…

        1. Peter2
          April 27, 2021

          We will await the results of their elections with great interest.

    4. JoolsB
      April 27, 2021

      Exactly Mark. Sick of hearing Unionist MPs pandering to the Scots and bribing them to stay with English taxes. Apparently the latest bribe is no Scottish regiments will be touched in the planned 10,000 cull to the armed services. The Scots can have it all and let the English pay as long as they stay and sod the English. Well more and more English people I am talking to are sick to death of the rotten deal England gets from this union and they have had enough of being constantly ignored and want out of this so called union that they get nothing out of except the bill.

      1. John C.
        April 27, 2021

        Absolutely right.

      2. Fedupsoutherner
        April 27, 2021

        +100

      3. turboterrier
        April 27, 2021

        Jools B

        +1

      4. steve
        April 27, 2021

        +100

      5. Derek Henry
        April 27, 2021

        Hi Jools I hope you and your family are well.

        and a dangerous perception considering taxes don’t fund government spending.

        That’s why the whole debate is a farce.

        I would ask you to show me where on the Whole of the government accounts. English taxes fund Scotland.

        But that would be very unkind considering no accounts actually exist.

        It’s a myth.

        Taxes destroy currency take it out of circulation to help control inflation. Currency taken out of circulation is not stored in some huge shed on the Isle of Wight to be used for future use.

        Once it’s gone it’s gone forever.

        1. Peter2
          April 28, 2021

          Thanks Derek, I will now stop paying my tax and look forward to the Bank of England soon making all of us in the UK millionaires by electronically creating some pounds and sending it to our individual bank accounts.

    5. J Bush
      April 27, 2021

      +1

    6. Qubus
      April 27, 2021

      Doesn’t sound like a good idea to have our end of the tunnel in Scotland !

  6. Sea_Warrior
    April 27, 2021

    If the next generation in Scotland is offered an ‘Indy Ref 2’ it should be after three years in which Holyrood has to budget without Whitehall subsidy and with any additional taxation clearly bearing the mark of the Saltyre. I am pro-Union and am sick and tired of Whitehall giving in to the SNP.

    1. agricola
      April 27, 2021

      S_W, not just whitehall, we have to put up with SNP whinging in the HoC and on the BBC.
      I would point out reality to them regularly , but forcing it on them would just engender an increase in their hate of the UK as a supposed enemy.

    2. DavidJ
      April 27, 2021

      +1

    3. Qubus
      April 27, 2021

      Yes, they should try a dry-run first.

  7. oldtimer
    April 27, 2021

    The desire for national sovereignty is understandable. The SNP push for another referendum, so soon after the last one, is reprehensible. If there is to be another referendum then all Scots living in the UK, including those living in England, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as in Scotland should get the vote. Their lives will be profoundly influenced by the outcome; they too should have a voice in the matter.

    1. Sea_Warrior
      April 27, 2021

      Define ‘Scot’.

    2. Geezer
      April 27, 2021

      Maybe the English should have a referendum on what they think of Scotland breaking away; it does. after all, have an impact south of the border.

    3. Original Richard
      April 27, 2021

      oldtimer : “If there is to be another referendum then all Scots living in the UK, including those living in England, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as in Scotland should get the vote.”

      Agreed.

      All people who were born in Scotland and who may now reside elsewhere in the rUK should be entitled to a vote.

      In addition the SNP should not be allowed to give the vote to everyone who is resident in Scotland (permanently or temporarily) whatever their nationality as they are currently proposing.

      This is why they alway say “the people of Scotland” and not “the Scottish people”.

  8. Sharon
    April 27, 2021

    Reading this piece, really highlights how delusional the SNP are.

    It strikes me all they are interested in is wanting “independence “ merely to run and control Scotland as a one party nation.

    1. jerry
      April 27, 2021

      @Sharon; “It strikes me all they are interested in is wanting “independence “ merely to run and control Scotland as a one party nation.”

      Much the same comment could be said about some in England who wanted Brexit, and some who would dearly love an iScotland, given how both the Labour party and the LibDems rely on their Scottish MPs.

  9. Andy
    April 27, 2021

    There will undoubtedly be challenges but Scotland is better off away from Little England.

    The Scottish people have had enough of the elderly Tory minority imposing its will on everybody else. For that matter so have the Welsh, Londoners and most young people.

    The system gives the pensioners an unfair advantage and they use it to further increase their wealth and self-interest.

    The majority rejects what the pensioners are imposing but the system means the pensioners cannot be removed at the ballot box. But there are more of us than there are of the pensioners and if they won’t listen to reason they will be forced to listen to revolution.

    1. Fred.H
      April 27, 2021

      Challenges eh?
      No money from England, a new land wall, sorry border. Years of wait while the EU tie up a joining agreement the Scots will have to sign. A lengthy expensive severance agreement from England that will put the Scots young people in debt for their lifetime. The Euro to replace the Pound. Military bases will be removed and relocated in England, oart of ‘levelling up’. Tens of thousands of cosy Civil Service jobs will be removed and relocated to deserving cities as ‘levelling up’. A likely drop in tourism from south of the new border.
      This will be the new relationship for the SNP to sell.

    2. Roy Grainger
      April 27, 2021

      Andy – As you are of retirement age yourself you have no right to pontificate on what “young people” want.

      1. steve
        April 27, 2021

        Roy Grainger

        No you’ve got it wrong Roy. If you see Andy smile, he is not really smiling…..it is wind.

    3. Richard1
      April 27, 2021

      Are you still moaning about the electoral system?! You weren’t complaining when the Blair-Brown govts which you voted for crashed the economy, sold off the gold and signed 3 federalising EU treaties without referenda – which if they’d been held they would have lost. All with a much smaller vote than the Boris govt has now.

      On the other hand when we did have electoral processes which relied on a straight majority – the ones on the voting system, Scottish separatism and the EU – you moaned about those results too and complained they should not been held / should be run again / should be ignored.

      No wonder you keep losing.

      1. Andy
        April 27, 2021

        I didn’t vote for Brown. And I only once voted for Blair – in 1997. I have wanted electoral reform since I was 14 when Thatcher was still the prime menace.

        I believe in representative democracy that is actually representative. Not in a system in which any demographic or group gets a disproportionate say. This is how you get better decisions and a better country.

        And I don’t believe complex issues should ever be decided by referenda. Most MPs were too thick to understand what was happening with Brexit – and it’s their job. Most voters had no chance.

        We see this everyday on here with how little you all understand about the utter uselessness of the deal you have signed us up to.

        1. Peter2
          April 27, 2021

          Yet the parties you now support have tiny single figure percentage support.

          1. Peter Parsons
            April 27, 2021

            Duvager’s law, an electorate who are conditioned to believe that voting is a binary choice, and a voting system which has wasted votes and ignores millions.

            It’s been decades since I had a vote in a UK general election that was worth using. At least in elections to the European Parliament my vote counted the same as everyone else’s.

          2. Peter2
            April 28, 2021

            People vote knowing the rules.
            The two parties are only popular currently because that is what people want.
            If they wanted more Greens or Lib Dems or Independents they would all vote for them.
            It happened in my constituency where a long time safe seat was won by a Lib Dem.

        2. jon livesey
          April 28, 2021

          Better decisions? I guess Italy is proof of that, eh?

    4. jerry
      April 27, 2021

      @Andy; “The Scottish people have had enough of the elderly Tory minority imposing its will on everybody else.”

      Had the SNP only relatively recently demanded independence I might have agreed with your comment, even more so considering the English Nationalist nonsense spouted by some on this site, but the SNP has demanded independence since at least 1945, so how does your rant fit with the govts of Attlee, Wilson and Blair. For that matter how does your rant fit with the young and those past Labour govts, the young are always dissatisfied, its the definition of being young and idealistic (or immature…), ask anyone who was a hippy in the late 1960s!

    5. Fedupsoutherner
      April 27, 2021

      The last time I looked Scotland had more than their fair share of pensioners, who incidentally also pay income tax like the rest of the population. I am sure the young will also look forward to receiving a pension that they have paid for during their working lives. Instead of having a go at pensioners (you are clearly obsessed ) why not highlight all the workshy who spend a lifetime on benefits and still get a full pension when they retire. Not that they would notice the difference.

    6. Glenn Vaughan
      April 27, 2021

      “…if they won’t listen to reason they will be forced to listen to revolution.” Andy

      The UK is not yet the fascist country that you so evidently desire. UGH!

    7. David Brown
      April 27, 2021

      Totally agree

    8. a-tracy
      April 27, 2021

      Andy, it is quite conceited thinking you’re talking for ‘most young people’. You use John’s platform to be divisive and to try to make trouble with your constant vicious ageism which by the way is as bad as racism, sexism, ableism or classism.

      This week the newspapers have been telling us that British pensioners retire from work at the oldest age in Europe. Full fact ‘Another measure gives pension entitlement as a percentage of pre-retirement average earnings, and takes into account income taxes and social security contributions. In 2017 the OECD said this figure was 82% for Spain, 75% in France, 51% in Germany and 29% for the UK. ” So tell us again how the system gives pensions an unfair advantage. They can’t eat their house if they were fortunate to buy early in the South East hotspot.

      1. Andy
        April 27, 2021

        It is the UK government which sets retirement policy. The age at which you retire, the pension you get, the tax you pay.

        If our offering is, in your view, the worst in Europe maybe you should vote for someone else?

        As for people who say to me ‘when you’re old…’. Don’t you get it? There will not be a state pension to speak of when I am old. You are all getting something my generation WILL NOT get in anything like the way you do. And this is not unusual for us.

        Your generation got free higher education. We did not. You walked straight into good jobs. We did not. You had cheap homes. We did not. You got child benefit for your kids. We did not. You got gold plated final salary pension schemes. We did not. You had the benefit of being in the single market – making you richer and giving you the opportunity to retire aboard hassle free. We do not.

        All the things you got – for free – you have taken from us. And state pensions will be next. That’s why I don’t care if you don’t get yours because I won’t get mine. And I have been paying in for 30+ years too.

        1. a-tracy
          April 28, 2021

          Andy, it was a Labour government that set up a ponzi scheme ‘nationalised pension savings’ called ‘National Insurance’, it took people who made their own private provisions and put them in the arms of the State. Whoever is in power has added to this burden for PAYE workers and the NEST scheme put nobs on with no guaranteed defined benefits (other than a special pension scheme for public sector workers that costs around an extra 25% of each £1 earned!).
          It was a Labour government under Brown that stole our private pensions away with extra taxes.
          It was under a Labour government that dentists were privatised, something previously paid from our national insurance contributions which is currently 25.8% on earnings over £9568 – (lets call it a 26% tax).
          “You are all getting something” that sweeping statement is incorrect, I won’t get my state pension until I’m 67 which went up from 60 whilst a Labour government was in power by the way and I’ve been working full time from the age of 16, so put your big brush away it is wide of the mark. Many retired people didn’t get schooling until they were 18 like now, 50% of them didn’t do Degrees for 3 – 4 years (there was about 6-9% that got the ‘free education’ you speak of but it was limited and highly taxed once working) there are consequences to that and it is that the 30-year-olds now worked full time nearly half as long 7-8 years instead of 14-15 years.
          In the 70’s-80’s people didn’t just walk into good jobs – read about Young Training Schemes YTS – YOP. Most of the people that left school with me went on to one of those £23.50 per week with training in the evening at your own expense after work.
          Cheap homes you really should speak to people outside your wealthy little bubble. People had to stay with parents whilst they saved up 10% deposits, interest rates went from 8% to 14%. I can’t even be bothered with the rest of your incorrect rant but you are WRONG – child benefits, child tax credits, working tax credits DID NOT EXIST they do now.

          If you have been paying in for 30+ years you will be the same age as me so you know all this you spout isn’t true – you are just trolling.

        2. rose
          April 28, 2021

          As you have been told many times before, the older generation did not get free higher education. Only 4% of them went to university. The rest went to work at 16 and under.

          1. graham1946
            April 28, 2021

            Andy himself claims to have been at university, and as he is circa late forties (I think he has been 45 for the last 5 years) he too had free university education, he had child benefit, education and healthcare paid for by us, plus loads more so he is as usual a hypocritical humbug.

    9. JM
      April 27, 2021

      You forget that between 1997 and 2010 the UK was ruled by Scotsmen!

    10. Peter2
      April 27, 2021

      Nonsense Andy.
      Your “Little England” has 85% of the UK’s population, GDP, tax revenues, industry and financial services.

    11. graham1946
      April 27, 2021

      Revolution. Is that when everybody who doesn’t share your warped views get a show trial and sent to prison for offences unspecified? You really are in the wrong country. You’d be much better off in Russia or China. Even you cannot believe the tripe you put out, it’s just trolling surely.

      1. Peter2
        April 27, 2021

        You are correct Graham
        Andy is just a provocative troll.
        Sad really.

    12. IanT
      April 27, 2021

      In some ways, I do enjoy your mini-rants about old people & pensioners Andy – if only for the fact that one day (with luck and good health) you will join our ranks and be old (and a pensioner) too – whereas I will never have to be like you! 🙂

      You might also find that (with luck and some prudence) you also have a reasonable pension and a bit more in the bank than the average 20-30 year old. But what do you expect after a lifetime of work and saving? My advice would be to grow up (or perhaps just grow old) and see how you feel about things then.

      Unfortunately, I most likely won’t be around to see your trip to Damascus but I do have the benefit of having “lived it” – so know what’s coming your way…. Enjoy your life but try not to whinge so much about things you don’t really understand (yet).

    13. Mike Wilson
      April 27, 2021

      But there are more of us than there are of the pensioners and if they won’t listen to reason they will be forced to listen to revolution.

      I enjoy a good laugh. And you provide plenty of them. Keep it up. String up the pensioners!

    14. John C.
      April 27, 2021

      I quite enjoy how the word “pensioners” has become to you a term of abuse. Your obsession is becoming laughable.

    15. Qubus
      April 27, 2021

      I suppose you think that Comrade Jeremy would do a better job.

    16. Original Richard
      April 27, 2021

      Andy : “But there are more of us than there are of the pensioners and if they won’t listen to reason they will be forced to listen to revolution.”

      Is it right to attack people based upon a characteristic over which they have no control such as race, sex or age?

      And what sort of “revolution” do you intend to force upon those people whose views are different to yours?

  10. Leslie Singleton
    April 27, 2021

    Dear Sir John–You do not refer to Fishing. Presumably even if the SNP wanted to keep theirs the EU would make their giving it up a condition. Odd the silence on this which is easy enough to understand.

    1. ukretired123
      April 27, 2021

      Fishing EU takeover will be popular as will Shetlands and Orkney wanting to be a Common sense zone in a desert of SNP nonsense.

  11. Mick
    April 27, 2021

    I say let the Scots go , I for one can’t see any good reason for England to hold onto Scotland and nobody including our good host as ever given one either

    1. jerry
      April 27, 2021

      @Mick; You might wish to ask the opinion of the MOD first….

    2. Bryan Harris
      April 27, 2021

      There is one — With Scotland inside the EU a great deal of UK fishing grounds would be under EU control.

      1. jerry
        April 27, 2021

        @Bryan Harris; Most of the UK’s extended fishing rights, via EEZ’s, are already under partial EU control, an iScotland would not add very much true exclusivity for the EU.

        1. Bryan Harris
          April 27, 2021

          Not so – take a look at the map – Scotland’s part of UK fishing grounds is quite considerable

          1. jerry
            April 28, 2021

            @Bryan Harris; Not so when EEA memberships are considered along with EEZs, both Iceland & Norway being a part of the EEA, then of course the Faroe Islands (who are more likely to side with Denmark than the UK in any dispute) also throw a spanner in any UK/iScotland claim for a EEZ in that area of the North Atlantic.

    3. agricola
      April 27, 2021

      S_W, not just whitehall, we have to put up with SNP whinging in the HoC and on the BBC.
      I would point out reality to them regularly , but forcing it on them would just engender an increase in their hate of the UK as a supposed enemy.

      1. Qubus
        April 27, 2021

        I think Ms Sturgeon showed are true colours on Sunday morning with Marr. What a shrew. Even Marr could hardly get a word in edgeways.

    4. agricola
      April 27, 2021

      Mick, millions of the Scots have already gone to England and the rest of the World. Wherever you travel in the World you will find their spoor in railways, bridges, and numerous engineering projects. They are hard working and inventive. It would seem the SNP prefer them as a nation of dependents.

    5. formula57
      April 27, 2021

      +1 – and Scotland should certainly be discarded before the costs come home to roost as “the new Scotland is committed to net zero, so they have to plan the demise of their oil industry”.

      The threat we face though is that the British Establishment will cut Scotland an outrageously favourable deal, perhaps including the like of a seat on the Bank’s MPC in perpetuity.

    6. JoolsB
      April 27, 2021

      +1

  12. BJC
    April 27, 2021

    I imagine that the UK government will have buffered many of the EU’s excesses over the years in order to limit the detrimental effect on the devolved governments. Remove the buffer and they will face the full force of the EU’s tyranny! There’s also the question of representation. Scotland enjoys a total of 58 representatives in Westminster, whereas they’d have just 6 MEPs in the EU. As one senior SNP MP has labelled Westminster as “increasingly irrelevant to Scotland”, it would appear that they fail to attach much importance to their core role as representatives of all their constituents, not just the select few. Perhaps, it’s the constituents who are irrelevant to the SNP.

    1. a-tracy
      April 28, 2021

      BJC those are a good points.

      The SNP seem to have all the rights but don’t feel they have the responsibilities for shortfalls in budgets, problems in education, health, etc.

  13. Denis Cooper
    April 27, 2021

    “Scotland would need to put up an EU external border with England is she … became an EU member.”

    But that EU external border with England need not look or operate much differently from the present internal border between Scotland and England; provided that the EU allowed the Scots to collaborate closely with the UK authorities over the collection of any customs duties and the enforcement of respective rules on the quality of goods permitted in free circulation then the border could be kept as open as it is now for both the passage of persons, and the carriage of goods, in both directions.

    Which is what the SNP have proposed in the past, as pointed out to Theresa May in January 2019:

    https://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2019/01/19/coalitions-in-the-commons/#comment-989618

    “Now MPs have rejected her EU ‘deal’ Prime Minister Theresa May has invited opposition parties to suggest ways forward.

    This prompted me to wonder whether she asked the SNP contingent to brief her on the principle of “parallel marketability”, which their party mooted as a possible route to maintaining Scotland’s free trade with both the EU and the rest of the UK.”

    “This suggested sauce for the Scottish goose could equally well serve as sauce for the Northern Irish gander, making it possible to keep the Irish land border as open as now even if there were different product standards on either side.”

    However to please the CBI and other business pressure groups Theresa May’s purpose was to find reasons why product standards should be the same on both sides, with the UK retaining EU standards.

    1. a-tracy
      April 28, 2021

      Well, this would finally waken up the Northern English and those in the Midlands Denis and cause more problems for Westminster than it would solve with their SNP headache.

      This just feels like BRINO is in action, get rid of Boris with a complete and utter character assassination like they did with Trump and put in a compliant yes person.

  14. Old Albion
    April 27, 2021

    I often wonder why the SNP have such a desire to be independent. They get the best deal from the UK Gov. but continually whine about what a bad deal they get. I’ve come to the conclusion it’s all based on hate for England over events of 700 years ago.
    However, long ago I also came to the conclusion, if they want to go, then they should.
    It’s England that gets the worst deal from the UK Gov. We pay subsidies to the other nations from our taxes. We have no national body representing us. Most politicians not only refuse to acknowledge the existence of England, they can’t even say the word when talking of English issues.
    Scottish, Welsh and N.Irish MP’s vote on English issues, whereas our MP’s have no reciprocal right. Some politicians were keen to divide England up into EU inspired artificial regions.
    If anyone has reason to wish to leave the UK, it’s England.
    That’s why I want to see a new UK Federation with the creation of an English Parliament whose powers are at least equivalent to those of the current Scottish model.
    Of course if Scotland does vote to leave the UK, we will be on the road to independence ourselves.

    1. steve
      April 27, 2021

      Old Albion
      “I often wonder why the SNP have such a desire to be independent.”

      Simple: they are hate-filled people bearing centuries old grudge. What is usually defined as sectarianism.

  15. Andy
    April 27, 2021

    Today the EU Parliament will ratify the Brexit trade deal. MEPs have had three months to scrutinise the deal which our MPs had about 3 hours to look at. Most of them didn’t bother and we know at least one minister enjoyed the nativity instead.

    This deal is what reality Brexit looks like. Masses of pointless paperwork. Huge additional expense. Unnecessary hassles. Fewer opportunitie. A risk to peace. A risk to the Union. A fractured society with generations pitted against each other. Rotting fish.

    We can compare the mess they have delivered with the glossy promises the Brexitists made. What a staggering humiliation they have imposed on our country. They have utterly failed.

    1. Sea_Warrior
      April 27, 2021

      Yawn! Compare the speed with which Australia and the UK are moving to a trade deal with the lethargy that the EU habitually shows in such matters.

    2. Peter2
      April 27, 2021

      More ridiculous project fear predictions from you Andy.
      What happened to your previous predictions?
      Queues at ports
      Shortages in supermarkets
      Lorry parks full.
      Pound crashing
      Growth stalled
      Hilarious nonsense from you.
      Give up and go away.

    3. Mike Wilson
      April 27, 2021

      Most of them didn’t bother and we know at least one minister enjoyed the nativity instead.

      It is excellent that at least one of them knew where their christian duty lie.

    4. Qubus
      April 27, 2021

      Fact is, to put in bluntly, we were either lied to or most of the politicians who informed us that leaving would be like falling-off a log were incompetent. In retrospect, perhaps it has been like falling-off a log, but unfortunately, the log seems to have been a long way off the ground!

    5. Original Richard
      April 27, 2021

      Andy : “This deal [with the EU] is what reality Brexit looks like. Masses of pointless paperwork. Huge additional expense. Unnecessary hassles. Fewer opportunitie. A risk to peace. A risk to the Union. A fractured society with generations pitted against each other. Rotting fish.”

      This “deal” is the result of remainers (the PM, Parliament, the Civil Service, the Educational Establishment, the judiciary, the corporates and the MSM etc.) not accepting the result of the referendum and undemocratically doing all they could to reverse the result even to the extent of helping the EU to bring about a “deal” which was not in the interests of their home country.

      If the generations are “pitted against each other” it is because the remainers do not believe in democracy which requires losers’ consent to work.

  16. Everhopeful
    April 27, 2021

    Just withdraw any bribes offered to Scotland.
    Bring back all jobs/ nuclear…whatever they have had..
    And build a bloody great wall.
    I’m utterly sick of it all.
    And bear in mind that our elite, historically, built up resentment globally through their greed and cruelty. Remember the Highland Clearances Reset? A money and power grab…maybe genocide.
    And as we have seen, they are still at it!
    And as ever, we pay.

  17. Roy Grainger
    April 27, 2021

    I don’t see why it is bizarre for the Scots to say they’ll keep the pound for a while after independence. They would be signing up to almost exactly the same lack of control over their currency when they joined the Euro.

    You say there seems to be a majority in Scotland to stay in the union. Do you think there is a majority in the rest of the UK to keep them ?

  18. Fred.H
    April 27, 2021

    OFF TOPIC.
    from BBC WEBSITE.
    I urge you all to read about car battery recycling.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-56574779.
    The link from Business section.

    1. Everhopeful
      April 27, 2021

      +1
      Are you thrilled or horrified?

  19. SM
    April 27, 2021

    Sir John, you don’t mention a serious constitutional issue: does the SNP wish to become a Republic if it gains independence? What does Ms Sturgeon propose in regard to the fact that currently the UK shares a Head of State and ultimate authority?

    And before the usual suspects start sharpening their pencils, I am not romanticising about individual royals.

  20. Dave Andrews
    April 27, 2021

    I also don’t go along with Project Fear when it comes to Scottish independence. The Scots I have met would be able to run their own country and make a success of it if that is what they wanted. (Notwithstanding, the Scots I meet seem to be the ones in favour of staying in the Union.)
    The question I would raise is one of borrowing. Where would the socialist SNP borrow money from, as they will have no intention of balancing the books every year and plunging Scotland into greater austerity than Osborne could be credited with? Scotland as a newly independent country has no credit history. What does Scotland have to put up as security for its lenders, given they will have run out of money from day one?
    Anyone with money living in Scotland had better leave asap, as the SNP will be grabbing their savings almost immediately.

    1. formula57
      April 27, 2021

      @ Dave Andrews – the borrowing problem is obviated by speedily joining the Evil Empire (in SNP thinking). So let us give a round of applause, heartfelt and sincere, to the German taxpayers of the future who will be providing the funds. (Rather them than us!)

  21. Mick
    April 27, 2021

    Sturgeon was asked several times by Marr on Sunday to say how much it was going to cost the Scots to leave the U.K. and all she was saying is she would give that information nearer a referendum, how bloody hypocritical of sturgeon being that they are asking the good Scottish people to vote for them with Indy 2 being there number one issue in this election, the only reason she won’t tell the Scots how much it’s going to cost is because the SNP know they would be wiped out in Scotland

    1. Mike Wilson
      April 27, 2021

      @Mick

      I’ll tell you what, Mick, she is bloody good at talking continuously without taking a breath or a break. Marr couldn’t get a word in. Mind you, maybe he didn’t want to. Boy, I DETEST the BBC.

  22. Richard1
    April 27, 2021

    Of course the original Scottish referendum result should be respected.

    on the other hand it becomes clear there is a large majority in Scotland in favour of another one despite that, we should not want to hold Scotland in the U.K. unwillingly. One thing that doesn’t get much attention is an independent Scotland would need to move radically to the right politically. They’d need immediate and hard austerity and rigorous supply side reforms to have any chance of solvency whilst using – and owing debt – in a foreign currency and to make the EU entry criteria, and to prepare themselves for entry into the euro doomsday machine.

    I don’t think they will be foolish enough to vote for it.

  23. a-tracy
    April 27, 2021

    Whilst your government allows the Southern Irish to have preferential terms in the UK then what do you expect, May rushed to confirm the common travel areas for people and goods are also free to inflow whilst the S. Ireland has damaged our trade to Ireland.
    Scotland will expect the same.

    The EU allows tiny Countries a big say and platform look at Varadkar, so Sturgeon wants a slice of that.

    There would have to be a border or the tail would be wagging the dog.

    In many ways there is a very unfair burden on England only, our children pay their 9% graduate tax for 30 years the other UK nations don’t and it was a so-called ‘English’ Tory party that increased that cost to £9k pa + a 6% interest rate so they can’t ever pay it off. Scotland accepted all EU students into their universities for £1500 per year whilst charging English students £9000 per year, who made up the difference of the cost of the place do you think the Scottish Government from local taxes?

    Do you think Scotland paid for all its own roads and bridges, free to cross, and subsidised ferries to the Islands? Yet when England gets a new bridge or main motorway spur (the M6 toll) we get toll taxed. Liverpool region is isolated by this £4 per day journey by tunnel or new bridge. It’s England that gets the 50 mph smart motorways to fine people doing 55 mph on a clear empty stretch of motorway. Each smart camera in England is expected to raise £600,000 in fines each year. One 16 mile section of the M1 raised over £6 million in three years.

    If I was in Scotland I’d think we could be like Southern Ireland and get the best of the EU 12.5% corporation taxes allowed to attract business to headquarter, free movement, subsidies from the EU, no Nato payments, free movement of people and goods into England with no restrictions. It is only one way restrictions at the moment and YOUR government are responsible for this John. We are only a United Kingdom when it suits the minority groups.

  24. Bryan Harris
    April 27, 2021

    IMVHO the concept behind Scottish independence is all about greed and confused ideology.

    The SNP expect the EU to take them onboard so that they will never be short of funds, and can ignore the needs of their people with even more impunity.

    There is nothing to be said for Scottish independence – it has no advantages for the Scottish people, and as a small nation it would simply rot away within the EU stable once they’d achieved their aims of harming England

  25. Fedupsoutherner
    April 27, 2021

    Give the English the vote too and they will go. I just hope that when this time comes, as it surely will, we are better at negotiating a settlement than we were with the EU. Can we be sure that our politicians actually strike a balance which is fair for once to the English? We must take all our infrastructure out of Scotland and make sure we remove the nucelar subs from Faslane. We do not want a scenario where the Scots are allowed to charge us God knows how much to keep them there. A hard border wouldn’t bother me at all. Bring it on. I am sick of the way they keep moaning about their lot while getting a lot more than the English do. Money is thrown around like confetti up there. There is more money for social care, free hospital parking, free Uni, free dental checks (soon to be dental treatment) free prescriptions and cheaper council tax etc. Theyve got it easy off the backs of the English. Let them have it.

    1. turboterrier
      April 27, 2021

      F U S
      +1
      Totally agree well said the Nats are born with hate in their hearts for the English.
      Give them nothing. The parliamentarians should start practicing Stalins scorched earth policies . That is the only way you get them to listen, when funding is at risk.

  26. George L
    April 27, 2021

    Independence makes no sense and most people voting for it have no idea what it will mean for Scotland. The case for independence simply has not been made. The main driver within the SNP cult seems to be a dislike of all things English with the secondary driver being based on the belief that new riches will descend on Scotland – some even believe that our higher income tax levels are required to fund England!!

    1. turboterrier
      April 27, 2021

      George L
      Totally agree they do not have a scooby do.

  27. Alan Jutson
    April 27, 2021

    Have the problems over the Irish border shown them nothing with regards to the EU.
    Likewise the argument over fishing grounds.
    Imports export details.
    New entrants to the Eu have to use the Euro.
    Subsidies from England to Scotland to be replaced by something better from the EU, Dream on.
    Still employment should go up with all of the border crossings needing to be manned
    Schengen with open borders to the EU (back door to England)
    The list goes on !

    Deluded.

  28. David Brown
    April 27, 2021

    Independence is entirely for the Scottish people to decide
    I prefer being in the EU than the UK because the EU has more to offer
    Open borders I hate restrictions on Moving between countries.
    The EU is a powerful force on the world stage
    I want to see a United States of Europe
    I want a future Gov to lock Britain into the EEA permanently and adopt open borders
    All the things old people hate
    Get rid of the Union Flag
    Scotland can take its rightful place in the EU
    It’s the Brexiters who don’t want Scottish independence
    One thing is for sure the remaining UK countries will be substantially weaker on the world stage without Scotland and further break up of the UK is inevitable
    It’s the UK that will break up not the EU

    1. rose
      April 28, 2021

      And when you are in trouble abroad, which embassy will you expect to help you?

  29. Everhopeful
    April 27, 2021

    Our High Street, after years of neglect has finally become a dystopian wasteland.
    The electric scooter murder fest will soon come. And gang warfare.
    Don’t any MPs have children and grandchildren?

    1. Mike Wilson
      April 27, 2021

      @Everhopeful

      Might one ask ‘which High Street’? Just want to make sure I never visit without realising. Our High Street is a wonderful place. A market on Wednesdays and Saturdays livens the place up. In the square lots of strangers sit on the benches and strike up random conversations. There are, admittedly, a few too many charity shops but, on the whole, it is ‘all good’ as they say. Mind you, I am talking about West Dorset here which has not yet enjoyed many of the fruits of multi-culturalism.

  30. Bryan Harris
    April 27, 2021

    The Westminster rumour machine is working overtime trying to gauge how much damage Boris will suffer at the hands of Cummings at next month’s interrogation.
    BUT already the usual would-be leaders are preparing their teams and statements ready to fight to become PM.

    If Boris does go then I fear for this country, for despite his failures, he has been a strong PM — and we certainly do not want him replaced with a clone or another green or another that so heartily supports lockdowns and other oppressive measures.

    There are very few cabinet members I would want in number 10 TBH Gavin Williamson might be one exception, but I feel there are far more impressive Tory MP’s with a high degree of integrity and understanding of what we need out on the benches.
    It might be interesting to start a poll as to who readers of this diary would like to see in #10 – I’ll start with:

    Steve Baker — Peter Bone — Philip Davies — Mark Francois — Esther McVey — John Redwood — William Wragg — Johnny Mercer

  31. The Prangwizard
    April 27, 2021

    Whichever way this goes you can expect the Tories to take a soft line with Scotland. None have the will or the guts to do anything else. The Scots will get their way and England will come off poor again.

    We need a party and people in it and who lead it to believe in England and to put England’s interests first. We don’t want the present view to continue where Scotland’s interests must get great sympathy.

    1. turboterrier
      April 27, 2021

      T P W
      No quarter on anything. Learn from the E U negotiations.

  32. JM
    April 27, 2021

    Provided that their debt share is calculated by reference to the Barnet formula, they can bugger off.

    1. Narrow Shoulders
      April 27, 2021

      (;

  33. nota#
    April 27, 2021

    Is it Independence the Scots(as opposed to the SNP) want or is it to be able to organise and manage things in their own local without the dictates from the Central Politburo.

    Devolution didn’t work, simply because it sort to create just a different version of the same ideology control. Devolution should have actually devolved to the regions, the counties i.e. remove the one size fits all when it comes to local requirements. If then those entities saw the need to pool and cooperate with others it would be their choice.

    Devolution failed because Central Government lost its job and purpose to their Overlords in the EU Commission. The way forward would be for Government to get back to being the Government for the UK.

    We have the nonsense of a UK Health, UK Education and so on ministers that aren’t – they have only involvement in England. That alone means we do not have a United Kingdom

    1. nota#
      April 27, 2021

      As for the SNP, there purpose is to agitate, go against the Scottish people and the UK Parliament, as with or Left Wing totalitarian rulers it is about them, and them alone. Its not about Scotland

      Just look at what happens in the HoC. Then we have the wee Scots Lass that attends the UK COBRA meetings to agree a UK wide track – then once she hangs and leaves the meeting does the actual opposite just to prove a point

  34. Heljut
    April 27, 2021

    The Scottish independence result of 2014 was surely nullified by the result of the weight of the total UK poll of 2016 also dragging Scotland and NI out of the EU – everything changed

    It seems that if we could have agreed at the time in 2016 for England alone to leave the UK and so by this means also the EU would have saved us all a whole lot of bother.

  35. Christine
    April 27, 2021

    John, just look at the cost of Sturgeon’s new separate Social Security system, which the UK taxpayer has had to fund over the last few years. Then multiply this by thousands. Scotland is so interwoven into the rest of GB that the cost of separation will be enormous to every one of us. I for one am sick to death of her constant whinging and grandstanding. Why she gets so much coverage on the TV is beyond me.

    1. turboterrier
      April 27, 2021

      Christine
      It’s the only way she knows how to operate. She is just full of her own piss and importance. It reflects on the second rate politicians that make up her parliament. That is the crux of the matter no body ever reminds her she does not head a Scottish Government, but is head of a devolved parliament.

  36. James1
    April 27, 2021

    The UK is the longest and most successful union in history. After more than 300 years of union, millions of Scots have family and friends living in other parts of the UK. There is no way they will vote to make them foreigners.

  37. William Long
    April 27, 2021

    There is clearly a huge element of wanting to have your cake and be able to eat it as far as Scotland is concerned; I suspect the recent movement in the opinion polls is caused by the approach of the election sharpening minds somewhat.
    We hear that the Prime Minister has it as a priority to maintain the Union, by making the Scotch in particular sunderstand the benefits of it. However, he should be working equally hard to make the benefits of Union with Scotland apparent to the English who have to pay for it. At the very least the integrity of English democracy needs to be established with a formalisation of the arrangements in a UK parliament for voting on matters, and there are an ever increasing number of them, that only affect England.
    You say, Sir John, that you would like Scotland to stay in the UK, and make it clear in this post that for Scotland it is no more than common sense. However, appart from the issue of security, I am unclear what are the benefits to England of the Union with Scotland, and I have never heard anyone set them out in any specific way, but at best only in very vague terms . The only usual reason given for the Union being desireable seems to be that it has been that way since 1707.
    I should find it very useful if you would devote a post to this subject.

  38. Denis Cooper
    April 27, 2021

    Here’s something in which we can all take great pride, thanks a lot Boris:

    https://apnews.com/article/health-global-trade-brexit-business-government-and-politics-71e97c7a3fecf1975d671cb2d7aa14d8

    “The situation is also complicated because we cannot be sure how trustworthy the UK government really is”

    However to be fair the EU accusations that the UK is untrustworthy started back in 2018 when Theresa May was Prime Minster, and typically she did not react at all, let alone with indignation:

    https://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2019/02/14/inflation-money-policy-and-wages/#comment-995554

    “It may be recalled that last summer Prime Minister Theresa May proposed a daft scheme under which the UK would continue to collect customs duties on behalf of the EU, even after we had left.

    Which proposal M Barnier rejected on the grounds that he could not trust us to do it properly, once we were no longer “subject to the EU governance structures”.

    As pointed out at the time, that raised a serious question about whether the EU would trust us to keep to any agreement, unless we accepted continued supervision by the EU institutions.”

    1. Denis Cooper
      April 27, 2021

      And now Von der Leyen is issuing threats:

      https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/ursula-von-der-leyen-northern-ireland-brussels-brexit-boris-johnson-b931886.html

      “Von der Leyen warns UK that EU will not hesitate to act if Brexit deal breached”

      1. MiC
        April 27, 2021

        So you expect the European Union instead to sit there and to do nothing, whilst the UK goes back on whatever undertakings it has made by treaty with it?

        Why, exactly?

        International treaties are not like employment contracts under Tory rule, where employers have been granted a statutory right – in effect – to tear them up, you know?

        Ah, you don’t…

        1. Denis Cooper
          April 27, 2021

          You must have missed the bit where I said:

          “… the EU accusations that the UK is untrustworthy started back in 2018 …. ”

          It was nothing to do with the UK going back on teary obligations at that time.

        2. a-tracy
          April 28, 2021

          I actually agree with you Martin, this is not down to the European Union to sort out, it is for our Government to sort out and be faster about it.

          Just how difficult are these documents to produce that the EU require, why four months on are British suppliers still having problems getting docs cut?

          Why wasn’t there reciprocation on any EU paperwork requirement from day 1. No more imports from the Eu with soil on, no more meat without certificates, no more fish, a level playing field should have been put in the contract otherwise why would the EU even try to sort out making this documentation easy to create.

          Our government had years to prepare for 3rd Party status to get exports into the EU yet they just sat on their hands. However, we must not keep taking all this regulation without protecting our exporters with exactly the same requirements.

  39. nota#
    April 27, 2021

    Scottish Independence, does it even matter? If that is what the people want let them have it. The majority want to be in control of their lives, to keep moving forward and create better lives for themselves and their families.

    As with the EU before it, the UK Government doesn’t defend or reinforce Democracy, they interpret it to fill the need of the ‘Elite’. Between them they don’t permit self fulfillment, self reliance and individual responsibility. The UK Government wont even defend against those wish to cancel and remove History, simple, why is it the UK taxpayer that is paying for these meaningless noisy asperations?

    Where the SNP is mistaken, is that the people of Strathclyde, or the Islands and Highlands don’t need or want Edinburgh to rule them either.

    While prosperity is important as it creates a future, what a noisy chunk of elite and political classes don’t understand, their way isn’t always the best or the most effective way to release people to reach potential. Yet trusting the People is.

  40. John Miller
    April 27, 2021

    I don’t imagine Spain for one, will relish the admission of a country with half the population of Catalonia as an independent member of the EU. Still, I’m sure, given their penchant for peurile behaviour, the French will insist as part of their Anglophobic tantrum.

    1. hefner
      April 28, 2021

      Catalonia 7.5m inhabitants, Scotland 5.4m.
      Denmark 5.8m, Finland 5.5m, Slovakia 5.4m, RoI 4.9m, Croatia 4.1m, …
      I think your argument based on population is rather weak, although the Spain/Catalonia one might somewhat be better.

      As for your anti-French one I guess it had to be expected from some ‘Francophobe rosbifs’ possibly since 1066 certainly after the Auld Alliance of 1295.

  41. J Bush
    April 27, 2021

    One of the issues that annoys me most, is the way Sturgeon & Co keep twining on about needing more funding from the rest of the UK, constantly overspend and yet they get one the largest shares of the Barnet Formula. Just south of this border is Cumbria, which has a high level of unemployment (made worse by Johnson and his fanatical SAGE bosses) but it gets substantially less than what those living only a county border away. The ‘temporary’ Barnett Formula was created in the 1970’s, but still exists. Why, when the disparity between the UK counties is becoming increasingly obvious? And why does the UK government say and do nothing? Why can’t the people of England have a say where our taxes are spent?

    With regard to Scottish Independence, if another referendum is agreed, then either Scotland funds it, without UK funding of any sort, or if it is funded by UK wide taxes, then the whole of the UK vote. And let the pieces fall where they may and if that means Scottish independence, then all UK wide public sector departments, Faslane/ Coulport facilities and shipbuilding contracts are immediately move south of the border and let the Scot Nationalists who voted for it live their dream.

  42. DavidJ
    April 27, 2021

    “but to assume they will be admitted to the EU…”

    Maybe that assumption is not so ridiculous. I’m sure that the EU would welcome the opportunity to cause problems for us and our own Rejoiners would welcome the possible leverage.
    The sensible solution would be to reverse the devolution and send Sturgeon & Co. off on a hike to an EU country if they like it so much.

  43. John McDonald
    April 27, 2021

    What exactly is the benefit to Scotland in not being part of the UK ?
    My understanding is things have gone down Hill since the SNP governed Scotland.
    We need to stop this “it is all the fault of the English” who ever they are.
    We need to a have a truly UK Parliament and an English Parliament so the SNP can’t blame the English for all of Scotland’s current problems. Good bye House of Lords, we did a good job removing the need for Euro MP’s.
    It should be pointed out that the English do not have problems with Scottish or Welsh Prime Minsters , (nor an Irish one) running the UK.
    All you need to do is show the Scot’s how much it will cost them if not part of the UK. But the SNP does not care about the economics, nor the interests of the people of Scotland. It’s just a matter of faith perhaps not even political with them. But they might think they will get a bigger subsidy from the EU than the UK.

    Will I have dual nationality if Scotland breaks away ? According to the rules I can get three passports 🙂
    Like a lot of “English” they are a bit of a mix from the British Isles 🙂

  44. BW
    April 27, 2021

    Forget about separating Scotland from England. This is what VDL told the MEP’s today. My questions are in brackets.

    The European Commission said she would not “hesitate” to use a mechanism ( What Mechanism?) in the agreement to keep the UK in line. Mrs von der Leyen made the warning ahead of the EU Parliament’s final vote to ratify the Trade and Cooperation Agreement. MEPs are concerned the pact doesn’t give Brussels the power to ensure Downing Street sticks to the letter of the agreement it signed last December.
    In a speech to the EU Parliament, Mrs von der Leyen said: “I want to recall what this agreement is, what it does and why it is so important to make it work”.
    “Firstly this agreement protects European citizens and their rights (but not it seems of British Ex pats in Spain)
    It helps to avoid significant disruption for workers and travellers (I thought we had control of our borders), the fishing communities (except it appears the Scottish fishermen).
    It protects European interests and preserves the integrity of our single market (of course it does through the NI protocol.)
    It guarantees the robust level playing field – that this house always prioritised, rightly so. ( I thought we rejected the level playing field, I thought we were to excel).
    The Commission chief insisted the agreement comes with “real teeth” ( Is that the ECJ I wonder?) for her to make sure Britain doesn’t break away too far from the bloc’s rules on environmental, social and taxation issues. ( I thought we could set our own taxes. I thought we were no longer answerable to the EU, it is clear she thinks we are)
    Is she lying to the MEP’s or is Boris lying to us?
    It is absolutely clear to me the EU still believe we are answerable and use threats which I am sick of listening to.

  45. X-Tory
    April 27, 2021

    I’m sorry Sir John, but I have to strongly disagree with you this time. The UK is ONE country, and nobody has a right to tear it apart. Neither Scotland, nor Northern Ireland, nor Yorkshire, nor Pimlico can suddenly decide they want to just declare UDI and walk away. The government must simply declare that the integrity of the UK is not up for discussion and there will NEVER be any further referendum on the matter. The US would not allow any states to secede, Belgium would not allow Flanders to leave, Spain would not allow Catalonia or the Basques to split off. We should not be the only mugs in the world who are so weak, so pathetic, so lacking in self-confidence and so unpatriotic that we allow an enemy within, a fifth column of traitors, to destroy our country.

    A clear statement (with perhaps a constitutional law) that the UK will NEVER broken up would allow people and businesses to plan and invest with confidence, and would allow politicians to focus on the issues that really matter to people rather than waste so much time and energy on this interminable, pointless, constitutional wrangling.

    1. ChrisS
      April 27, 2021

      Are you prepared to pay out £15bn a year to keep Scotland within the UK so they can enjoy extra benefits not available to the poor mugs in England who have to pay for it all ?

      If they are daft enough to vote to leave, let ’em go.

      I don’t think they will vote to leave when they realise what a pup they are being sold.
      Would you, when they can get English taxpayers to subsidise them to the tune of £2,500 for every man, woman and child in the province ? That’s why the alternative to voting for independence cannot be the status quo.

    2. Fedupsoutherner
      April 28, 2021

      Good idea but only if the Barnet Formula is addressed and Scotland stops spending beyond her means leaving us to pay the bills.

  46. Paul Cuthbertson
    April 27, 2021

    JR quote . …I am not one to go into Project Fear type projections……….?????
    The Whole Covid BS is a Project Fear agenda.

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      April 28, 2021

      Try telling that to those in India.

      1. MiC
        April 28, 2021

        India has a population of 1.4 billion, over twenty times that of the UK.

        However, it “only” has 200,000 covid dead, just some 33% more than the UK, and yet our media is full of pictures of grieving relatives in India.

        The pictures of our own grief-stricken bereaved are suddenly glaringly conspicuous by their absence over the past year.

        The deaths-per-unit of population are more than an order higher here than in India.

        Ignore the pictures and do the simple arithmetic.

    2. Fedupsoutherner
      April 28, 2021

      Perhaps you’d like to explain why there are thousands of deaths in India and Brazil and indeed all over the world. I’m sure we’d all be interested.

  47. Mike Wilson
    April 27, 2021

    Scotland has no prescription charges, no tuition charges, no rise in Council Tax this year and a Band D charge that is, on average, £500 lower than England.

    Why are we being punished?

    1. JoolsB
      April 28, 2021

      Because England has no one standing up for it against this blatant discrimination Mike. No parliament – no voice. Just a bunch of supine U.K. unionist MPs squatting in English seats who can’t even bring themselves to say the word England let alone stand up for it.

  48. Mike Wilson
    April 27, 2021

    In the week ending 16 April, deaths were also below the five-year average for this time of year for the sixth week in a row.

    Just read that on The Guardian web site – so it MUST be true!

    Let my people go!

  49. Alan Jutson
    April 27, 2021

    If Scotland is to have a referendum ,then the UK government should publish in advance of the vote, the terms of leaving, and the time table for withdrawing all UK Government jobs, finance, etc etc.

    Important and fair to let the Scottish population see what being so called independent means, before they vote on it.

    1. Narrow Shoulders
      April 27, 2021

      Certainly should Alan.

      Don’t fight it but do control it.

  50. Everhopeful
    April 27, 2021

    MSM are a bit on the slow side.
    Only just reporting the fact the June 21st WILL NOT be “Freedom Day”.
    We all knew that the moment Boris Johnson opened his mouth and PROMISED it would be.
    Promises, promises and lies.

  51. XY
    April 27, 2021

    Oil would not be a guaranteed resource for Scotland either, since much of it is in the Shetlands and the island’s governors have clearly stated that in the event of Scottish “independence” from the UK, they would hold a referendum on secession from Scotland (since they are governed partly by Danish law they do not need the Scottish Parliemant’s permission) and they have said that they would then become a Crown Dependency of the UK.

    Also… how is it ok to hold many referendums and win only one, then get your way? This was settled in 2014 for a long time – the life of nations is measured in centuries.

    Finally, the implication in SNP propaganda is that Scotland would be a net taker, not a contributor. The independence campaign never went anywhere until they suggested EU membership, whereupon the canny Scots, realising that they need a larger entity to milk, jumped on that passing bandwagon. Or some of them did, for now.

    If they were made aware that they would be net contributors I suspect support would evaporate, which is just one area where the UK government and pro-Union faction in general, fail to get their message across.
    Not to mention the question of Spain’s Catalonia issue meaning a likely veto – and the long-term existence of the EU itself. All of these are reasons for Scots voters to run screaming from the SNP… if only someone would get the message across.

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      April 28, 2021

      Some thought Westminster would continue paying pensions.

  52. Original Richard
    April 27, 2021

    “Of course if leaving the UK Scotland should take her fair share of the collective debt…..
    The UK would need to make fair proposals to share the debt,….”

    Is this feasible and how would it be done?

    I suspect that the SNP think that they can leave the whole debt to the rUK.

    1. jon livesey
      April 28, 2021

      Why not? In 1922 Ireland defaulted on its share of the debt, and since it was mostly owed to UK citizens and Institutions, the UK paid the bill.

      We even paid out of Sterling deposits when the Icelandic Banking system collapsed, for the same reason. The money was owed to UK investors, including local Government, so of course the UK paid out.

      The SNP are being cynical here, but they know they are on strong ground. They can default, and since the debt is owed to ourselves, we are pretty much obligated to pay it.

      1. a-tracy
        April 28, 2021

        Agh Jon but since then we’ve learned from the EU how to apply bills for years ahead for everything they owe a cut of and more, for example the whole reason they joined the United Kingdom was because we settled their debts.

        The English MPs really take the English electorate for a ride and the SNP came and took over Scotland from a low start, who would have thought they’d ever replace Labour (Blair and Brown really shot themselves in the feet) and virtually become a one-party state? This Tory party will push people too far it’s already on the edge.

    2. Fedupsoutherner
      April 28, 2021

      In the last campaign the SNP said the debt was ours. They were not responsible for it according to the SNP.

  53. ChrisS
    April 27, 2021

    As I have stated many times here before, Scotland has been granted an over-generous degree of autonomy but with no requirement to meet the cost of their own decisions. The result has been a growing deficit and subsidies to the tune of at least £15bn a year from English taxpayers over which we have no say.

    Whether there is another referendum or not, the matter of the Barnett formula needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency. Scotland should therefore be offered two alternatives :

    1. Increased autonomy within the UK with complete control over expenditure on the proviso that all money spent in Scotland must be raised in Scotland.

    2. Independence with their own currency and central bank and freedom to join the EU if they wish.

    The status quo should not be an option.

    1. Narrow Shoulders
      April 27, 2021

      Quite

  54. glen cullen
    April 27, 2021

    ‘Self Determination’ must be supreme

  55. kb
    April 27, 2021

    As we were reminded in the Miller case, referenda are only advisory. The Treaty of Union gave the “Great Britain” government at Westminster supremacy. There is no exit clause in the treaty similar to Article 50.
    Legally who would be the Scottish “side” in the negotiations?
    Constitutionally there would have to be a vote in Westminster parliament to split the union, just as this was needed to leave the EU.
    I would hope no English MP would vote for a deal that left all the debt with the rUK.

    1. William Long
      April 27, 2021

      The EU referendum was only advisory because Mr Cameron was too slack to make it obligatory.

      1. MiC
        April 28, 2021

        Some patriot – you don’t even know the UK Constitution. It says really only one thing “Parliament alone is the law” so it can never be trumped by a referendum, nor by an Act making that binding, should it change its mind.

        LEARN THIS.

        1. Peter2
          April 29, 2021

          Where exactly does the constitution say this MiC?

    2. MiC
      April 28, 2021

      The UN have resolved that ALL peoples have a right of self-determination.

  56. Derek Henry
    April 27, 2021

    Brilliantly stated John,

    The debate is a farce from start to finish.

    Grab a calculator and subtract 1,000 from 5,000. Hit the equals key. You will notice that the number 5,000 changed to 4,000. Now ask yourself, “where did the 1,000 go?” Your “tax money” went where the number 1,000 went.

    Because none of the leaders in Scotland understand that simple accounting fact the debate is a farce.

    I was invited into the BBC to talk about it and could write a book about it. Fell out with the majority of the Indy movement because they don’t understand what independent sovereignty actually means.

    A nation cannot be independent and use another nation’s currency or even peg to it.

    British legislation must be able to override EU law – that is what independence means.

    So Scottish legislation must be able to overuse both EU law and British law and the SNP are offering neither.

    The problem is the SNP are being advised by Andrew Wilson who was responsible for the growth comission. An inept middle class, liberal metropolitan elite neoliberal globalist. Who wants to overturn the brexit result and can’t wait for Scotland to rejoin.

    Andrew has no understanding of economics and or how different monetary systems operate around the world. He is a UK uses fixed exchange rate, gold standard believer even though we left both decades ago. All his economic theories are based on those assumptions. As if the UK used the Euro.

    Scotland could of course run its own affairs and be very succesful. If they launch their currency the right way as there is always a right way or a wrong way to do it. Introduce the correct economic policies once they control their fiscal and monetary policies. Move away from the neoliberal globalist policies of the past 60 years.

    The biggest mistake forecasters make is they think when Scotland becomes independent they will continue to use the status Quo economic policies and nothing will change.

    Introducing a job guarentee for example would be a game changer. Which would immediately create full employment within Scotland. Only good things would flow from that.

    It forces the private sector to compete for labour and thus forces the private sector to become more productive and productivity lifts all boats.

    Exporters would be standing in line around the block trying to steal aggregate demand within Scotland’s borders. Would be willing to discount their own currency to get the sales. Which encourages foreign direct investment which helps to keep your currency strong.

    Because government is not only the MONOPOLY issuer of the currency but the MONOPOLY price setter. It can play the exporters off against each other and determine the price. Because the price government pays for the goods and services it buys and pays for wages. A lot of incomes are driven directly or indirectly by decisions linked to government spending.

    No forecaster has ever forecasted what an independent Scotland would look like with true full employment in place. A transition job that allows both skills and resources to be moved to where they are needed without causing inflation. Would allow tax cuts where they are needed would allow nice things to have that the private sector are not interested in providing.

    Allows the MONOPOLY issuer of the currency to bring the finance and insurance sectors under control or they do not get a banking licence.

    Banks can only lend directly to borrowers for capital development purposes (i.e. business credit lines and household loans), and the banks keep those loans on their books until cleared.

    Banks must operate on a single balance sheet. No hiving things off into ‘off balance sheet’ subsidiaries to try and hide them.

    Banks cannot accept collateral. Collateral is a fixed charge over an asset as an insurance policy and aligns the incentives of banks with those possessing assets, not ideas. It stops banks being capital developers and turns them into pawn shops. That is the wrong alignment of incentives. We want loan officers with skin in the game. Their success should depend upon the success of the borrower. Banks should line up in insolvency with the other unsecured creditors (and importantly behind the remaining preferential creditors — employees).

    Depositors are protected 100% at all amounts. A depositor in a commercial bank is holding nothing more than an outsourced central bank account. They are not investors in the bank and should never be treated as such.

    Regulation is provided by the bank resolution agency, which is a public body funded entirely by government. There is no charge or levy to the banks for the operation.

    The job of the bank resolution agency is to ensure the banks are properly capitalised given their loan book and declare them solvent. If they are not, they take the bank over and resolve it with any excess losses absorbed by government. This aligns the incentives of the regulator. If they get the solvency calculation wrong and the capital buffers exhaust, the regulator stands the cost.

    The Central Bank provides unlimited, unsecured lending to regulated banks at zero interest rates. Collateral serves no purpose since the bank has been declared solvent (and therefore there is no reason for it to be illiquid), and collateralised Central Bank lending just shifts the losses to depositors who are protected 100% anyway.

    Once you get rid of interbank collateral and funding requirements, you get rid of one of the final excuses for keeping Government Bonds. National Savings annuities for pensions (allowing retiring individuals to receive a secure lifetime income) would get rid of the final one. Transferable instruments that confer government welfare on the owners do not serve the public purpose. Government welfare receipt is a social decision, not a market driven one.

    As the asset side is heavily regulated, you want the liability side to be as cheap as possible. Unlimited central bank access ensures liquidity for depositors and allows lending-only banks to arise. It gets rid of the Interbank overnight market and replaces it with central bank overnight accounts. It puts the Central Bank ‘in the bank’ as a major investor — with open access to the commercial bank’s loan book via the work of the solvency regulator.

    All levies, liquidity ratios, reserve requirements and the like are eliminated. The cost of maintaining the collateral system is eliminated. The result is loans at a low price with the quantity restricted solely by credit quality. As an economy heats up, credit quality declines and loans become restricted — systemically preventing the Ponzi stages of finance that lead to a Minsky Moment.

    You get a natural and steady withdrawal of funding that is far more surgically targeted and responsive to local conditions, than the carpet bombing approach of interest rate adjustment.

    This leaves the payment system, which should be as costless as cash and clear just as instantly to eliminate transaction frictions. Whether that should be publicly provided, or remain outsourced to the banks is an open question. Depositors are a cost to the bank and would effectively be a tax, but leaving them with the banks would give them an incentive to get the cost of clearing provision down. It may boil down to a political question that depends upon your view of the effectiveness of public and private provision. I’d lean towards an Open clearing system created by the state (or even states) and available to all on an open licence. The goal being one good clearing system.

  57. Derek Henry
    April 27, 2021

    1. The last thing the ISG ( independent Scottish government) should do is convert the sterling debt into the new currency. You don’t want to force conversion. There’s a right way and a wrong way to do it. The SNP are proposing the wrong way. The right way. You don’t actually leave sterling the ISG simply starts spending and taxing in the new currency. The conversion is on a 1:1 basis. Whatever you taxes and spent in sterling you tax and spend the same amount in the new currency. Now you have independent fiscal policy and independent monetary policy.

    2. Don’t force conversion on bank deposits from Sterling to the new currency if people want to hold sterling you let them hold sterling. Let’s say half want to keep sterling and half need the new currency to pay their taxes and run their businesses. If you convert everybody to the new currency those people who need sterling will sell the new currency to get sterling they want and it can drop 60%. So you don’t do that. So the sell the new currency to get sterling the central bank doesn’t know what to do so they raise interest rates. Import prices go through the roof with job losses everywhere and a crises in their hands.

    3. Leave it alone everybody is happy those that want sterling have sterling those that want the new currency have the new currency. Those that now need the new currency for many reasons and pay their taxes. Now have to sell sterling and buy the new currency. That pushes the new currency up not down makes the new currency stronger. Where are these people going to get the new currency when it is scare at this moment time ?

    4. From the only place that has it the ISG. The ISG will sell the new currency to these people at a slight premium in exchange for these people’s sterling. The currency is wanting to get stronger at this point but the ISG will sell enough to keep it stable. Now the ISG is hoarding sterling, the sterling they received what are they going to use that sterling for ?

    5. To service that sterling debt that people say is going to be a nightmare of course. They will service it over time and manage it and reduce it over time without a collapse in the currency. The simple fact is said debt need be no worse with your own currency, and less of an issue if you have your own currency and sustain higher levels of real domestic output. The sterling debt is a drag on the Scottish economy now but with your own fiscal policy a job guarentee and monetary policy setting the interest rate to zero it can be less of a drag using your own currency.

    6. Mortgage debts etc in sterling is complete nonsense. The banking sector looking to earn profits for their shareholders. Will step in like they have everywhere in the world when countries have become independent like the Baltic states, Czech republic, Australia, Cananda, New Zealand the list is endless and provide a service to their customers to convert these debts into the local currency for them. It is absurd to think otherwise.

    7. Gamblers in the FX markets will gamble heavily and start shorting the new currency. Even though the ISG has launched in the correct way above that the SNP are not capable of understanding. So there is a danger that the SNP who are clueless will do it the wrong way and the gamblers will run riot in the FX markets.

    8. If people who are in charge do launch it in the correct way above then more fool the gamblers. They are going to get burned. Speculators playing silly games laying on shorts in the new currency. They will do so until there is nobody is prepared to take the other side, no soft holders to panic out of their savings and no more flash crashes allowing dealers to close open long positions. In other words until the liquidity drains away until all that is left is that required for the underlying trade flows.

    Then you will get the mother of all bear squeezes.

    The game, of course, is to tempt the patsy of last resort — the central bank — into the speculation market to throw fresh salmon to the bears. A wise central bank will avoid doing this. Instead it will offer to clear needed trade flows with its reserves on a strict national policy basis — food and power: yes, Learjets: no. It will offer refinancing to firms who have foreign currency loans, as long as they go through administration first so that the foreign currency loan is wiped out and the foreign bank is force to take the loss. A wise central bank would do everything it can to ensure the squeeze stays on track. It would make its intentions known — there will be no liquidity for speculation outside the ‘natural’ supply. And that means, in an over-the-counter market of foreign exchange, liquidity may run out.

    A wise central bank understands that is the responsibility of the other central bank with the high currency value and an excess export policy to decide what they want to do. A wise central bank will keeps it head while all around are losing theirs.

    Don’t worry the SNP are clueless no idea what they are doing neoliberal globalists. Why they hated brexit so much.

    The Canadian dollar has made very large movements versus the USD over the past decades. Nothing bad has really happened ?

    Same with the Aussie dollar – it has gyrated between US$0.50 and US$1.10 since floating in the mid 1980s. Can you point to anything bad happening ?

    Floating rates adjust that is their job.

    You can call it a “collapse” and write op-eds about how terrible it is, but you cannot point to anything that’s particularly negative. Very different from the Great Depression, where policymakers had an insane desire to defend the gold parity at any cost. Or Compared to defending foreign FX reserves associated with fixed FX it has been a breeze in comparison. Floating rates have been a breathe of fresh air.

    Most of the scare stories about what would happen if Scotland became independent are just that. Scare stories to scare the children. Stories that happens under different monetary regeimes that no longer apply to floating FX.

    Firstly, floating currencies do not fall forever; at some valuation becomes attractive and the market reaches a new flow equilibrium Secondly, currency volatility prevents the buildup of positions by investors who are concerned about currency risk in the first place.

    An exchange rate is a relative price: one currency unit for another. If we look at the post-1990 period, inflation rates in the developed countries have been quiescent, bouncing around 2% for most countries. As such, each currency has relatively stable purchasing power for domestic goods and services, including the cost of wages.

    The stability of wages has one side effect: if a currency falls rapidly versus its developed peers, the cost of wages falls relative to other countries. This drops input costs for production relative to other countries. And even if imported inputs rise in price in domestic terms due to the drop in the exchange rate, those input costs are unaffected when expressed in terms of the foreign currency unit.

    The result is that domestic exporters suddenly have greater prospective profit margins versus their international peers. This will have two effects: buoy the attractiveness of the local equity market and attract investment inflows (either reallocations of capital by multinationals, or foreign direct investment).

    These capital flows (and the prospect of future flows) help put a floor under the domestic currency. This helps explain why there have been no cases of developed currencies going to zero in the foreign exchange marketplace.

    You can talk about Argentina, Turkey, Venezuela all The usual suspects and their ” sound finance” obsessions regarding foreign debt. The mistakes these countries have made in following false beliefs and the errors they made when using fiscal and monetary policy and The economic choices they made that made things worse not better.

    The risks that are highlighted are purely political. Fully linked to the belief of the mainstream economic profession and ” sound finance. Doing it the right way those risks are exposed the rest as myths. Which just leaves the political risks.

  58. GaryK
    April 27, 2021

    If such a thing were to happen there would no longer be a UK- there would be England with no overseas territories nothing because treaties and agreements were all built on GB or UK. Think Gibraltar and it all started in 2016

  59. aess
    April 27, 2021

    Scottish independence is going to happen

    Irish unification is going to happen

    And by then England will have taken back control

    1. ChrisS
      April 28, 2021

      Irish Unification can only happen if the Irish can afford to take on NI.
      The cost to English taxpayers of subsidising NI is massive : more than Wales costs us and running at £5,000 per head of population per year, a total of £9.4bn a year.
      For the record, English taxpayers are paying out £36.4bn a year to the three devolved administrations (2019 figures). That’s £5,000 for every household in England.

      And we wonder why we aren’t allowed an English Parliament ? We can be sure that the first thing the First Minister for England would demand is an end to the Barnett Formula.

      1. ChrisS
        April 28, 2021

        PS :
        The GDP of Eire is €476bn, so, subsidising NI would cause a deficit or just under 2% of GDP.
        The £9.4bn NI deficit would cost every Irish citizen in the republic £1,894 a year.

        Can they and would they want to take on such a massive liability ?

    2. a-tracy
      April 28, 2021

      Irish unification has virtually already happened aess when the Southern Irish sent more of their people up North to live thanks to the common travel area and even though Ireland went Independent they faced no repercussions, unlike those they have been vocally threatening the UK with for the past five years.

      This threatening behaviour (reported every day in our newspapers) of Ireland and the EU has completely ruined my relationship with S. Ireland and it is ruining my relationship with the Conservative Party because they are standing aside and letting this happen. Blair, I can understand he is under the control of the EU and I believe always fancied himself as the ‘President’.

  60. Lindsay McDougall
    April 28, 2021

    We shouldn’t be offering the SNP – and by extension the Scottish people – any choice about what independence means. It means:
    – No shared currency
    – No shared monarchy
    – No Barnett formula or other fiscal support
    – No defence pact (especially as we would have to relocate our nukes)
    – A hard border with England for reasons of immigration control

    And if there are to be another two independence referendums over the next 20 years, that definition of independence must be on the ballot papers, so that the choice on offer is clear.

  61. jon livesey
    April 28, 2021

    Two important points. One is that Scotland will vote for Independence “sooner or later”. Second is that unless this is grossly mishandled, Scotland will not rejoin the EU.

    First, independence is driven mostly by the fact that the rest of the UK has a total tin ear where Scotland is concerned. If Scots were perfect economic calculating machines with full information, they would vote against, but their reality is that the economics are being successfully obscured by the SNP, and every day brings some stupid, insulting or patronizing comment from south of the border. Even the fact that we are “discussing” this is basically insulting to Scots. So independence is a done deal , and all we can really do is to make it as close a post-independence connection as possible, and that means making it as pro-Scots, as cherry-picking and as positive as possible. Think of every sour, nasty dirty trick the EU has pulled on us in the past four years and resolve to do nothing like that.

    Fortunately, Scotland will not join the EU, it will continue as part of the UK economic system, with the same currency, interest rates, unemployment level, joint funding of this and that, Barnett Formula and all.

    This is because the EU is basically in a terminal state. It has no diplomatic or military strength, it has few natural resources, it has distorted its economy to keep itself as a manufacturing exporting bloc when it has already lost its natural advantages in that area. The US can see that the EU is neither a voluntary nor a valuable, dependable ally, so the US will let the EU sink in a harmless way, while the US re-orders the World for a US-China joint hegemony. This is what Brexit is all about – keeping the flexibility to follow changing US policy in a World in which only two voices really matter, and not allowing ourselves to be shackled to a corpse that has not even managed to figure out that it is a corpse.

  62. Lucan Grey
    April 28, 2021

    The key difference this time is that, unlike the UK from the EU, there is no legal mechanism for Scotland to withdraw from the Act of Union.

    That means they have to come to terms with the UK if they want to leave, and it should be on those terms that any separation vote is held, not the choice to leave – with a protracted negotiation afterwards.

    The Scots need to know that they will be responsible for 130% per head more of the government debt – in return for the 130% per head more money they have been getting from the Barnett Formula all these years, that debt will be in Sterling and it failing to repay it will result in the annexing of further land area.

    They need to know that we would give the vote to every sub-region within Scotland so that there can be a British Scotland and a Celtic Scotland. That way the near 50% of Scots who want to stay in the UK can still do so – simply by moving to a different bit of the country. This would follow the Partition approach that applied to Ireland a century ago.

    And the vote should also be on the basis that they accept the independence deal on offer, or on the basis of closer union – ending the Scottish Parliament and repealing the Scotland Act. No more separation talk. No more special treatment for one part of the UK over the rest.

    It’s time to put this matter to bed once and for all.

  63. Will in Hampshire
    April 28, 2021

    I’m quite jealous of the Scots, they’ll get their rights to freedom of movement back.

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