I've been watching with interest the Scottish Independence debate as the date for the poll gets closer. The YES campaign slowly catching up the NO vote to the point where now in some polls the YES vote is predicted to win (btw how can a poll of approx 1,000 reflect the outcome from an electorate about 4 million?).
OK - cards on the table here, whilst not a Scot and living about as far away from Scotland as it is possible to in the UK I want them to stay in the Union. Why? Well I just feel we are better together (as the slogan goes). I feel that it is better to work together on the issues of inequity in society etc. I also like that the Scots are very pro the EU and I'd like to stay in that, losing them before that referendum may be a blow to the rest of the UK.
However I do feel now strongly that the Scots are getting their vote next week that the rest of the UK should have the right of reply on some of the issues raised. Let us say they vote YES. The timetable then says that they will negotiate a separation with the rest of the UK. This is a huge deal for everyone in the UK questions like
- How much of the UK debt will Scotland take on?
- Defence strategy?
- Use of the pound in Scotland...
Do the rest of the electorate in England, Wales and Northern Ireland get any say? We've seen the disaster of the Eurozone in recent years where currency integration without political integration has been a major problem, the slow recovery in the Eurozone is a direct result of this problem. I'll admit some years back I thought we should rush into the Euro to help the UK in its trade with the rest of the EU. Now our decision not to is completely vindicated and I'm a born again pound supporter. So would I like a "Poundzone"? No. Simple Eurozone didn't work I fail to see any argument to convince me otherwise. Also if Scotland is a new sovereign state then they can't get entry to the EU without taking the Euro by my reading of the rules.
The Scottish YES campaign have long stated that they would ensure the removal of UK nuclear weapons from Scottish bases. To me therefore they cannot be part of a unified defence strategy - rightly or wrongly we currently maintain a nuclear deterrent, once you have that decision made then your whole defence strategy has to be worked around that both strategically and from a cost base point of view. I fail to see how you can have a truly integrated strategy with one party not committed to that strategy.
Interesting that 4 million (less than half the population of London) seem to be determining some major issues for the rest of the country without those people then having a right of reply I feel. Is this truly democracy at work?