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Scottish Devolution

...on serious topics that don't fit anywhere else at present.
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Nick
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Scottish Devolution

#1 Post by Nick » October 29th, 2011, 5:24 pm

With the unexpected overall majority for Alex Salmond in the Scottish elections, it seems some sort of referendum on Scottish independence will be held in the next few years. I'd be interested to know what people think about this, especially in the light of a few specific areas. IMO, it seems likely that the Scot Nats may opt for more than one option to be on the ballot paper, because if they lose, it will put back their cause for a generation. Some sort of "Independence-Lite", maybe.

So what do you make of these issues?

1) The "Westlothian Question". If Scotland acquires more powers, at what point do Scottish MP's lose their authority in Westminster? That would have profound effects on the balance of power at Westminster, and IMO, be the end of the possibility of a Scottish PM.

2) Does it really make sense for Scotland to have a seperate currency? (I don't think so....)

3) Likewise with defence. I can't see Scotland having an effective defence policy alone. And England would always have a direct interest (and obligation?) in defending Scotland anyway. (Blair's legacy in Iraq could be influencial here...)

4) Maybe foreign policy too....?

I have no problem with devolving powers to Scotland or Wales, but think full independence would not be the best otion.

Any thoughts?

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animist
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Re: Scottish Devolution

#2 Post by animist » October 29th, 2011, 6:28 pm

not many thoughts. We don't have any enemies, at least not capable nation states-type enemes (and the inglorious end of Gaddafi seems to reinforce this judgment), so I don't know why we call our killing ability "defence". What we do is to export arms to more benighted but rich states so that they can "defend" themselves against other states - or more often against their own rebellious subjects. The Midlothian question does not really bother me, TBH.

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Alan H
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Re: Scottish Devolution

#3 Post by Alan H » October 29th, 2011, 6:35 pm

I agree Salmond would be advised to have a couple of options open to him. If, by the good sense of those voting, independence was rejected, then he'd need to have something 'lite' to fall back on otherwise there would be no point in an SNP.

1) When there's no laws made in Westminster that apply to Scotland.

2) No. It would just be a new opportunity for yet more bankers/traders to move money in their direction.

3) Yet more opportunity for unnecessary duplication and money to arms manufacturers.

4) It would hardly seem worthwhile having a separate foreign policy. Scotland is a relatively small country and, even if it had a powerful military, who on earth would pay any attention to what it might have to say?

Splitting countries up is rarely a good idea - we should be aiming to be more unified and decent sharing of resources.

I don't think devolution has brought any benefits worth the massive costs of running two bureaucracies and I can't see that devolution would be any better.

I think it all boils down to oil revenues. The SNP have tried to quietly ignore that in recent years, but, without it flowing through Edinburgh's coffers, Scotland will be a small country with equally small resources and wealth. If - by some bizarre fluke, and in a reasonable time frame - there was international agreement to assign North Sea oil fields to Scotland rather than the UK, it would likely to have a devastating effect on England and Wales. Until it runs out, of course. Or Salmond find gold in the Highlands. Or something.

The SNP pander to the petty prejudices and xenophobia of those who are blinkered by several hundred years of hatred of the English (but not the French, of course). The sooner we see the demise of the SNP the better we will all be.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Dave B
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Re: Scottish Devolution

#4 Post by Dave B » October 29th, 2011, 6:40 pm

Not really up on this but gut reaction says that if they do get independence then they should have no say in Westminster for any matter that does not include those which affect it directly. If that means they shuttle in and out of the chamber(s) (or read a book) as matters change from, say, defence to NHS and back.

Perhaps this is the time that we need to modernise that whole way the government is run anyway; have a "virtual" chamber with all the MPs actually working in their offices, where they can be kept up to date all the time and do other jobs when they are not interested or involved in the goings on. Just switch the Scots off when appropriate!

Or perhaps they could (s)elect a "Defence Representative" or similar to take part in such discussions when appropriate.
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lewist
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Re: Scottish Devolution

#5 Post by lewist » October 29th, 2011, 8:11 pm

Nick wrote:1) The "West Lothian Question". [my correction]
What people forget is that English MPs have been voting on purely Scottish issues for over 300 years. That may not make it right that our MPs should vote on purely English matters but the thought of sauce and goose and gander does arise.
Nick wrote:2) Does it really make sense for Scotland to have a seperate currency? (I don't think so....)
At one time I might have assumed we would have the Euro but somehow... however, if we are a sovereign nation in the end we should separate our currency.
Nick wrote:3) Likewise with defence.
You make too many assumptions about what we should do, Nick. Again, if Scotland became a sovereign nation again, we should probably take responsibility for our own defence, within international treaties, as other countries do.
Nick wrote:4) Maybe foreign policy too....?
Nick, it all started with English attempts to dictate foreign policy, and the Scots Parliament enacted the Act Anent Peace and War, which said that foreign policy was a matter for parliament (our parliament) alone. What's good for England is not neccessarily good for Scotland, and we might go our own gait with that too.

It's not about xenophobia or hatred. It's about a desire to control our own destiny as a nation within the family of nations. If we became independent, I see huge opportunities to foster good relations with our neighbours, equal with others.
Carpe diem. Savour every moment.

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Carja
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Re: Scottish Devolution

#6 Post by Carja » October 29th, 2011, 9:53 pm

As a total outsider, being American, I've always thought that each country in the U.K. should be it's own country. Simply because that is their right and their culture should be preserved. However, since the countries in the U.K. are small countries, it would serve them all to have a blended armed force to give them all the protection they need. I've also considered that a country's money was an art form in itself and a part of it's culture and history. But, in these modern times, it is probably more efficient to have the same money as the rest of the U.K.

Again, I am an outsider in this - though my ancesters were Scottish.
I would be happy with whatever the majority of Scottish citizens desire in this. I don't know if any one knows what is best until it is tried and tested.
Laugh often/love much;leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child,a garden patch,or a redeemed social condition;play w/enthusiasm & sing w/exultation;know even 1 life has breathed easier because you lived. This is success.B.A.Stanley

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Alan C.
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Re: Scottish Devolution

#7 Post by Alan C. » October 29th, 2011, 10:46 pm

Nick
2) Does it really make sense for Scotland to have a seperate currency? (I don't think so....)
What do you mean by "separate currency" don't we already have that to a degree? Lots of places South won't accept Scottish banknotes (ludicrous) This isn't the case with English banknotes here in Scotland.
Am I missing something?

As an amusing aside, in the late 70s I was returning from a fishing trip in Cairnryan (South West Scotland) on a Sunday evening and was getting very low on petrol, in every village I passed through; the filling station was closed, running on fumes on the outskirts of Dumfries I came across what must have been one of the first automated petrol pumps, trouble was it would only accept English money, me having only Scottish £1 and £5 notes I had to go to a nearby pub and change them.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

Skyfrog
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Re: Scottish Devolution

#8 Post by Skyfrog » October 30th, 2011, 1:29 am

As an Englishman and a Briton, I respect Scotland's right to self-determination, and if the majority of Scots wanted to leave the UK, then I would support them in achieving that. My strong personal preference is to hold the UK together, though. It seems silly to divide our island up into two countries. We have more influence in the world by being united.

I suspect that many of the Scots who turn out to support Salmond at elections would not support him in an independence referendum. Independence is probably unlikely.

The "Westlothian question" is a tricky one. Personally, I think the disadvantage of running Scotland from Westminister is greater than the disadvantage of having a tier of Scottish regional government but not having a similar system for England. An obvious solution to the problem would be to introduce regional governments into England...but there doesn't really seem to be an enthusiasm for that in England. Plus I'm not sure MPs would want to devolve all that power.

If Scottish MPs were prevented from voting on legislation affecting English, my concern would be that England might become a neo-Conservative hellhole with permanent right-wing governments.

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Dave B
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Re: Scottish Devolution

#9 Post by Dave B » October 30th, 2011, 9:50 am

What people forget is that English MPs have been voting on purely Scottish issues for over 300 years.
Lewist, I have to admit that when I see a statement like that, or the usual, "The last government . . ." I do see rather deep pink.

Basically I do not give a fig if a political or similar situation existed for the last million years*! The past is past, we can profit from it only in using it to do better in the future, not as an excuse to moan, maintain the status quo or make things even worse.

(* on consideration if the situation has been around for a million years it would probably be a genetic trait! :wink: )

When I look around the world and see battles going on that started in medieval times (or before) I think that if those who perpetuate such feuds and grudges, generation onto generation, should wipe one another out the human race might be better for it! Sorry that should be in the rant section.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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Nick
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Re: Scottish Devolution

#10 Post by Nick » October 30th, 2011, 10:46 am

Thanks for all the comments, everyone. :)

Alan, I was a little surprised by some of your response, but on reflection, I wonder if I should have been.
Alan H wrote:I agree Salmond would be advised to have a couple of options open to him. If, by the good sense of those voting, independence was rejected, then he'd need to have something 'lite' to fall back on otherwise there would be no point in an SNP.
It'll be interesting to see what transpires.
1) When there's no laws made in Westminster that apply to Scotland.
I'm not sure of the point you are making here. Are you saying that Scottish MP's should continue to vote on matters relating exclusively to England, so long as English MP's vote on matters affecting Scotland but which have not been devolved? Are you saying no change unless Scottish independence actually occurs?
2) No. It would just be a new opportunity for yet more bankers/traders to move money in their direction.
I should have expected that! :laughter: I had rather thought that, as a Scot, you would have some objection to, say, interest rate policy for Scotland being decided in London.
3) Yet more opportunity for unnecessary duplication and money to arms manufacturers.
And a decrease in effectiveness? Or do you think in a similar vein to Animist on defence?
4) It would hardly seem worthwhile having a separate foreign policy. Scotland is a relatively small country and, even if it had a powerful military, who on earth would pay any attention to what it might have to say?
My thoughts too.
Splitting countries up is rarely a good idea - we should be aiming to be more unified and decent sharing of resources.
Don't let Lewis catch you saying independence for Scotland is "splitting a country up"! :wink: For me, there are natural groupings and optimum sizes, whether it is public services, taxation, tarde areas or politics. Would you like to see a "sharing of resources to bail out the Greeks, Alan? :wink: (That's really for another thread, though....)
I don't think devolution has brought any benefits worth the massive costs of running two bureaucracies and I can't see that devolution would be any better.
Hmmm... do you not think that subsidiarity is a good thing in general? It's perhaps a question of how much is duplication.
I think it all boils down to oil revenues. The SNP have tried to quietly ignore that in recent years, but, without it flowing through Edinburgh's coffers, Scotland will be a small country with equally small resources and wealth. If - by some bizarre fluke, and in a reasonable time frame - there was international agreement to assign North Sea oil fields to Scotland rather than the UK, it would likely to have a devastating effect on England and Wales. Until it runs out, of course. Or Salmond find gold in the Highlands. Or something.
Aren't there international laws which would cover the ownership of oil reserves? If Scotland tries that one, though, they need to watch out for the Shetlanders....!

I don't think it would affect revenue that much, as England would reduce the tax revenue currently sent north of the border. I must try and dig out some figures to see if I'm right. Of course, most of the oil has gone, and I'm afraid a lefty Scottish government would spend it all, giving thema real problem when it runs out.

And btw, a new gold mine has, in fact, just been opened in Scotland. :nod: But it won't be big enough to replace oil revenues.
The SNP pander to the petty prejudices and xenophobia of those who are blinkered by several hundred years of hatred of the English (but not the French, of course).
That's where the Scots are going wrong... :wink:
The sooner we see the demise of the SNP the better we will all be.
I wasn't expecting such a definitive opinion! But thanks anyway. :)

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Trickle
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Re: Scottish Devolution

#11 Post by Trickle » October 30th, 2011, 10:49 am

I don't want Scotland to leave the UK but if it's somewhat the majority of the Scottish want to do I wouldn't, as an Englishman, oppose it because they should have the right to self-determination. I'm also not opposed to the further devolution of power away from central government and parliament to Scotland itself because I personally feel that the component countries in the UK can manage themselves and their interests far better than Whitehall and parliament can.

The main concerns I have are what will happen in regards to the Scottish Armed forces personal who are currently serving as part of the British armed forces. Will they be recalled to Scotland, will Scotland pursue it's own foreign policy or will Scotland continue to work alongside the UK when it feels it's appropriate to do so?

I am also concerned about North Sea oil since one of the main bases of operation is within Scotland and therefore Scotland leaving the UK would also mean a loss in revenue from oil operations.

There will also be a knock-on effect to the Liberal Democrats because much of their support comes from Scotland and without their votes I suspect that this party will become even less significant that it is now.
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Nick
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Re: Scottish Devolution

#12 Post by Nick » October 30th, 2011, 10:54 am

Dave B wrote:Not really up on this but gut reaction says that if they do get independence then they should have no say in Westminster for any matter that does not include those which affect it directly. If that means they shuttle in and out of the chamber(s) (or read a book) as matters change from, say, defence to NHS and back.
If Scotland is independent then there wuld be no Scottish MP's at all. If there is independence lite, then I'd be infavour of MSP's having some sort of representative rights in Westminster to vote on UK-wide issues as appropriate. I would hope they wouldn't decide that a whole new apparatus is required (but it wouldn't surprise me).
Perhaps this is the time that we need to modernise that whole way the government is run anyway; have a "virtual" chamber with all the MPs actually working in their offices, where they can be kept up to date all the time and do other jobs when they are not interested or involved in the goings on.
We haven't got as far as doing away with the lobby system yet, so I think that's a while away yet.
Just switch the Scots off when appropriate!
Very tempting! :wink:
Or perhaps they could (s)elect a "Defence Representative" or similar to take part in such discussions when appropriate.
Maybe, but I think they would keep closer to more representative democracy.

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Re: Scottish Devolution

#13 Post by Nick » October 30th, 2011, 11:15 am

Hi Lewis :)

I'm glad you responded. I had intended my post to be much more open than your response seems to imply. We have had some interesting discussions before, which have made me appreciate your perspective much more, so I'm very much more open to the idea of Scottish independence than you might think. I certainly don't agree with Tory policy. (And sorry for the spelling error :redface: )
lewist wrote:
Nick wrote:1) The "West Lothian Question". [my correction]
What people forget is that English MPs have been voting on purely Scottish issues for over 300 years. That may not make it right that our MPs should vote on purely English matters but the thought of sauce and goose and gander does arise.
I know what you mean, but I was looking ahead to improve the system, rather than settling old scores.
Nick wrote:2) Does it really make sense for Scotland to have a seperate currency? (I don't think so....)
At one time I might have assumed we would have the Euro but somehow... however, if we are a sovereign nation in the end we should separate our currency.[/quote]I'm a bit bemused that you should have wanted to have a break from the pound, and then jumped straight into bed with the Euro. Even if it were not so deep in the doo-doos.
Nick wrote:3) Likewise with defence.
You make too many assumptions about what we should do, Nick. Again, if Scotland became a sovereign nation again, we should probably take responsibility for our own defence, within international treaties, as other countries do.
I was trying to be more open than your response implies. Even if Scotland were independent, I think it highly likely that the first defence policy would be to have a tight defence pact with England, sharing equipment and personnel. A tighter version of NATO, if you like. It is because of issues like this that I think independence-lite might be the most likely outcome.
Nick wrote:4) Maybe foreign policy too....?
Nick, it all started with English attempts to dictate foreign policy, and the Scots Parliament enacted the Act Anent Peace and War, which said that foreign policy was a matter for parliament (our parliament) alone. What's good for England is not neccessarily good for Scotland, and we might go our own gait with that too.
What areas are you thinking of here, Lewis? Do you think it would be effective for Scotland tohave its own Navy, for example? Or are you thinking much more of political differences? (Iraq comes to mind here).
It's not about xenophobia or hatred. It's about a desire to control our own destiny as a nation within the family of nations. If we became independent, I see huge opportunities to foster good relations with our neighbours, equal with others.
I know what you mean. I feel the same way about the EU.

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Re: Scottish Devolution

#14 Post by Nick » October 30th, 2011, 11:21 am

Carja wrote:As a total outsider, being American, I've always thought that each country in the U.K. should be it's own country. Simply because that is their right and their culture should be preserved. However, since the countries in the U.K. are small countries, it would serve them all to have a blended armed force to give them all the protection they need. I've also considered that a country's money was an art form in itself and a part of it's culture and history. But, in these modern times, it is probably more efficient to have the same money as the rest of the U.K.

Again, I am an outsider in this - though my ancesters were Scottish.
I would be happy with whatever the majority of Scottish citizens desire in this. I don't know if any one knows what is best until it is tried and tested.
Scottish culture, Carja? What's that....? Bagpipes, hairy knees and deep-fried Mars bars.....?

:exit:


(Just kidding, everyone :D )

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Re: Scottish Devolution

#15 Post by Nick » October 30th, 2011, 11:26 am

Alan C. wrote:
Nick
2) Does it really make sense for Scotland to have a seperate currency? (I don't think so....)
What do you mean by "separate currency" don't we already have that to a degree? Lots of places South won't accept Scottish banknotes (ludicrous) This isn't the case with English banknotes here in Scotland.
Am I missing something?
Yes, Alan. Separate currencies could have different variable exchange rates, which Scottish pounds do not.

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Re: Scottish Devolution

#16 Post by Nick » October 30th, 2011, 11:32 am

Skyfrog wrote:As an Englishman and a Briton, I respect Scotland's right to self-determination, and if the majority of Scots wanted to leave the UK, then I would support them in achieving that. My strong personal preference is to hold the UK together, though. It seems silly to divide our island up into two countries. We have more influence in the world by being united.

I suspect that many of the Scots who turn out to support Salmond at elections would not support him in an independence referendum. Independence is probably unlikely.
Thanks for your thoughts, Skyfrog.
The "West Lothian question" is a tricky one. Personally, I think the disadvantage of running Scotland from Westminister is greater than the disadvantage of having a tier of Scottish regional government but not having a similar system for England. An obvious solution to the problem would be to introduce regional governments into England...but there doesn't really seem to be an enthusiasm for that in England. Plus I'm not sure MPs would want to devolve all that power.
Wouldn't it be simpler to just leave English matters with MP's rather than devolving English matters to the regions? John Prescott tried that one, and was soundly rebuked.
If Scottish MPs were prevented from voting on legislation affecting English, my concern would be that England might become a neo-Conservative hellhole with permanent right-wing governments.
Does that mean that Tories should be applauded for wanting to keep the UK together....? The Labour Party should have thought of that before setting up the Scottish Parliament!

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Alan H
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Re: Scottish Devolution

#17 Post by Alan H » October 30th, 2011, 11:44 am

Nick wrote:Alan, I was a little surprised by some of your response, but on reflection, I wonder if I should have been.
I'm surprised you're surprised! I don't think I'm saying any more than I've said before. :smile:
1) When there's no laws made in Westminster that apply to Scotland.
I'm not sure of the point you are making here. Are you saying that Scottish MP's should continue to vote on matters relating exclusively to England, so long as English MP's vote on matters affecting Scotland but which have not been devolved? Are you saying no change unless Scottish independence actually occurs?
No. MPs from Scotland (as opposed to Scots MPs!) should be elected and sit in Westminster as long as Westminster has any power over Scottish law. Whether or not they vote on purely English matters is different question.
2) No. It would just be a new opportunity for yet more bankers/traders to move money in their direction.
I should have expected that! :laughter: I had rather thought that, as a Scot, you would have some objection to, say, interest rate policy for Scotland being decided in London.
Good grief no. Where a decision is made is utterly irrelevant. What is important is why the decisions are made and what the consequences are.

BTW, being a Scot is well down the list of identities that are important to me: I'm a human being first and foremost and my fellow countrymen is the human race. Then, I suppose, I'm European, then British, then Scottish, but these are pure artificial boundaries that serve to divide rather than unite.
3) Yet more opportunity for unnecessary duplication and money to arms manufacturers.
And a decrease in effectiveness? Or do you think in a similar vein to Animist on defence?
Definitely very similar. For defence, first look at what we're defending against; what countries we think we should interfere in and why. Then work out what defence would be needed. I suspect Salmond and his ilk would want to build up military and have a few warships under his command, really just for the show and bravado.
Splitting countries up is rarely a good idea - we should be aiming to be more unified and decent sharing of resources.
Don't let Lewis catch you saying independence for Scotland is "splitting a country up"! :wink: For me, there are natural groupings and optimum sizes, whether it is public services, taxation, tarde areas or politics. Would you like to see a "sharing of resources to bail out the Greeks, Alan? :wink: (That's really for another thread, though....)
There are two distinct things here: what makes a useful size (whether population or land area) for administration purposes and whether that area should have different laws as part of that administration. There is a lot of talk of devolving decisions to the local level. Ignoring the common reason for this (by Cameron et al) to divest responsibility for just about everything to (sometimes unelected) others, I think much of this is false. We all want good healthcare; we all want good schools; we all want good local services, etc, etc, but that doesn't mean that we need different bureaucracies all over the country to decide what one area needs.
I don't think devolution has brought any benefits worth the massive costs of running two bureaucracies and I can't see that devolution [I meant to say independence!] would be any better.
Hmmm... do you not think that subsidiarity is a good thing in general? It's perhaps a question of how much is duplication.
If people feel disconnected from the Government's decision making process, fix that problem. Don't hide it under layers of bureaucracy. To suggest that where a decision is made makes a decision better is irrational. Does it really matter that a decision is made in Brussels, London or Edinburgh? What really riles the SNP are decisions that affect everyone (therefore including Scots) being made by Scottish, English, Welsh and NI MPs - particularly the English ones - collectively, for (usually) the common good. I don't doubt that all decisions that affect Scots should be made by people living north of Hadrian's wall.
I think it all boils down to oil revenues. The SNP have tried to quietly ignore that in recent years, but, without it flowing through Edinburgh's coffers, Scotland will be a small country with equally small resources and wealth. If - by some bizarre fluke, and in a reasonable time frame - there was international agreement to assign North Sea oil fields to Scotland rather than the UK, it would likely to have a devastating effect on England and Wales. Until it runs out, of course. Or Salmond find gold in the Highlands. Or something.
Aren't there international laws which would cover the ownership of oil reserves? If Scotland tries that one, though, they need to watch out for the Shetlanders....!
It's not ownership of the oil reserves per se, but who owns the sea bed. This is decided through international treaties and even splitting 'Scottish waters' off from UK waters could be a long drawn out process - it's not just some minor internal matter - other countries would then have to potentially re-negotiate fishing rights, etc with Scotland. This could take years. I remember reading about this some years ago the last time Salmond was talking about it being 'Scotland's oil' and I'll try to find something later.
I don't think it would affect revenue that much, as England would reduce the tax revenue currently sent north of the border. I must try and dig out some figures to see if I'm right. Of course, most of the oil has gone, and I'm afraid a lefty Scottish government would spend it all, giving thema real problem when it runs out.
Spend it all...as opposed to bailing out banks? :D
And btw, a new gold mine has, in fact, just been opened in Scotland. :nod: But it won't be big enough to replace oil revenues.
Yes, I vaguely remember something about that a few days ago!
The SNP pander to the petty prejudices and xenophobia of those who are blinkered by several hundred years of hatred of the English (but not the French, of course).
That's where the Scots are going wrong... :wink:
We need to be uniting sharing our common wealth for the benefit of all, not dividing ourselves up by irrelevant differences.
The sooner we see the demise of the SNP the better we will all be.
I wasn't expecting such a definitive opinion! But thanks anyway. :)[/quote]
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
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Re: Scottish Devolution

#18 Post by Alan H » October 30th, 2011, 11:51 am

Nick wrote:
Alan C. wrote:
Nick
2) Does it really make sense for Scotland to have a seperate currency? (I don't think so....)
What do you mean by "separate currency" don't we already have that to a degree? Lots of places South won't accept Scottish banknotes (ludicrous) This isn't the case with English banknotes here in Scotland.
Am I missing something?
Yes, Alan. Separate currencies could have different variable exchange rates, which Scottish pounds do not.
Can you imagine the outcome of that? Another set of bankers/traders in Scotland, shifting money around the world in microseconds, unelected, unrepresentative...
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

stevenw888
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Re: Scottish Devolution

#19 Post by stevenw888 » October 31st, 2011, 12:53 pm

I've just read all the posts in this thread with interest. The subject of Scottish devolution is one that interests me greatly. One of the things that interests me most is:- if Holyrood continues to issue separate social legislation to Westminster, who pays?

OLD PEOPLE
Scotland - free personal care for all residents of nursing homes
England - contribution required off anyone with more than £14,000 in assets

UNIVERSITY TUITION
Scotland - free - but only to Scottish students (surely this is racial discrimination!)
England - tuition fees up to £9,000 per year

Education Maintenance Allowance
Scotland - up to £30 a week
England nil

PRESCRIPTION CHARGES
Scotland - free for the chronically ill from next April
England - £6.85 per item

HEALTH CHECKS
Scotland - free dental checks and eye tests for all.
England - Dental check-ups cost £17. Eye tests can cost £18.

TRANSPORT
Scotland - All over 60s travel free on all bus journeys; 16 - 18 yr olds get one third off
England - Off peak journeys free to pensioners and schoolchildren

SCHOOL DINNERS
Scotland - free for all in the 1st 3 years of primary school
England - only poorer children qualify - roughly 16% of pupils

Who pays for all of this? If taxpayers of England and Scotland all pay into the same "treasury pot" would it be true to say that Scots then take more from that pot than English? I suspect that they do.
If this is the case, then I am all for Scottish devolution, simply to see how the new Scottish state can pay for all of these social benefits without increasing taxation for its citizens by a large amount. It would seem that Scottish people are currently enjoying enhanced social benefits, paid for by British people.
"There are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old, bold pilots." - From the film "Top Gun"

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Alan C.
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Joined: July 4th, 2007, 3:35 pm

Re: Scottish Devolution

#20 Post by Alan C. » October 31st, 2011, 3:32 pm

OLD PEOPLE
Scotland - free personal care for all residents of nursing homes
England - contribution required off anyone with more than £14,000 in assets
Not so, you pay for nursing home care here, currently around £600 a week I think.
PRESCRIPTION CHARGES
Scotland - free for the chronically ill from next April
England - £6.85 per item
Prescriptions have been free for all since last April.
TRANSPORT
Scotland - All over 60s travel free on all bus journeys;
And ferries :smile:

If this is the case, then I am all for Scottish devolution, simply to see how the new Scottish state can pay for all of these social benefits without increasing taxation for its citizens by a large amount.
Maybe we could claim back the £millions of oil money from Westminster?
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

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