Should Scotland be independent?

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sTeamTraen
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Re: Should Scotland be independent?

Post by sTeamTraen » Thu Nov 19, 2020 8:20 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 8:14 pm
Does EU accession operate with a queuing system, then?

I assumed the reasons why places like Turkey and Serbia hadn't been let in the club yet were related to genuine differences in alignment, and that another country could accede before any of them assuming those differences in alignment were rectified. If Scotland had only been out of the EU for a year or two I reckon there are limits to how much disalignment the Westminster government could force on Scotland to make accession more difficult than for Montenegro. Is there any reason to suggest queue-jumping couldn't happen?
I think it's a queuing system with a certain maximum speed of progression through it, but like the queue at the post office, if you get halfway along and find you left your wallet at home, you have to leave and when you come back in you may well have lost your spot. The point is rather that you can't show up on day 1 and get fast-tracked because until 3 years ago you were part of the EU as a region of another member state. So if Montenegro is at stage 3 out of 7 when Scotland applies, Montenegro will accede first unless something goes wrong. Turkey has been on the periphery of membership for 25 or more years and nobody thinks it's going to happen soon, nor will it stop other countries from joining ahead of them.
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Re: Should Scotland be independent?

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Nov 19, 2020 8:34 pm

But why can't you? Is that hard-coded in law or just an apparent convention because it hasn't happened before?

It seems enormously likely that there's much less legal work to be done when you know that until a few years ago the country's laws were all in alignment. It means you only have to look at how three years' of subsequent legislation affects things, rather than all of it. So I'd imagine it would be entirely possible for that process to be fast-tracked in practical terms, because there's way less to negotiate (especially if Scotland considered EU membership an important part of its identity, perhaps featuring it prominently in the independence referendum campaign, so they could basically just say yes to everything the EU wanted in the "negotiations"). It would just depend on whether they wanted to do that politically or economically. It would be a massive f.ck-you to rUK at a time when it'll still be mired in recession under the incompetent and offensive premiership of Boris Johnson, for example.
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Re: Should Scotland be independent?

Post by snoozeofreason » Thu Nov 19, 2020 9:28 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 8:14 pm
Does EU accession operate with a queuing system, then?
There's no queuing system in the sense of one country being permanently ahead of another, and there's no reason in principle why Scotland's accession couldn't be accelerated. But that could only happen if most of the existing EU countries were actively enthusiastic about an accelerated process. So far as I can see, none have said they are (and some have indicated that they aren't).
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Re: Should Scotland be independent?

Post by discovolante » Wed Nov 25, 2020 7:38 pm

It's almost as if the Telegraph wants Scotland to vote for independence...
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Re: Should Scotland be independent?

Post by EACLucifer » Wed Nov 25, 2020 8:08 pm

Pucksoppet wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 6:41 pm
I think it depends on whether a majority of Scots wish to hitch themselves to the Tory wagon or not. Independence would at least allow the Scots to choose how they wanted to manage the economic decline that will follow from leaving the EU. Remaining in a union with England will ensure that English requirements are made a priority. After all, why waste money on a constituency that isn't going to vote for you.
But it does leave them with the catastrophic economic decline that comes from leaving the UK. The idiocy that is Brexit ought to make it very clear that cutting ties with your biggest trading partner is a stupid idea, and that promising pie-in-the-sky deals will be signed to keep all the good bits but none of the bad bits after the severance are utterly hollow. I mean, it was clear prior to the 2014 IndyRef and Brexit, but it ought to really ram the point home.

There's also the fact that is isn't the 80s any more; Scotland's budget is propped up by England quite substantially.

In short, Brexit was idiotic, Scottish Independence is idiotic for exactly the same reasons, and it is unlikely that nations like Spain are going to rush to welcome a breakaway region into the EU as an independent nation.

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Re: Should Scotland be independent?

Post by Woodchopper » Wed Nov 25, 2020 9:06 pm

EACLucifer wrote:
Wed Nov 25, 2020 8:08 pm
Pucksoppet wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 6:41 pm
I think it depends on whether a majority of Scots wish to hitch themselves to the Tory wagon or not. Independence would at least allow the Scots to choose how they wanted to manage the economic decline that will follow from leaving the EU. Remaining in a union with England will ensure that English requirements are made a priority. After all, why waste money on a constituency that isn't going to vote for you.
But it does leave them with the catastrophic economic decline that comes from leaving the UK. The idiocy that is Brexit ought to make it very clear that cutting ties with your biggest trading partner is a stupid idea, and that promising pie-in-the-sky deals will be signed to keep all the good bits but none of the bad bits after the severance are utterly hollow. I mean, it was clear prior to the 2014 IndyRef and Brexit, but it ought to really ram the point home.

There's also the fact that is isn't the 80s any more; Scotland's budget is propped up by England quite substantially.

In short, Brexit was idiotic, Scottish Independence is idiotic for exactly the same reasons, and it is unlikely that nations like Spain are going to rush to welcome a breakaway region into the EU as an independent nation.
Both wouldn’t be idiotic if the people who voted for them believed that the short and medium term economic damage was a price worth paying for greater independence. Ireland had to go through civil war to become independent, for Scotland it’s path to statehood would be easier even with severe damage to the economy.

As disco wrote up thread, hopefully a future referendum would feature realistic debates about costs and benefits.

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Re: Should Scotland be independent?

Post by EACLucifer » Wed Nov 25, 2020 9:27 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Wed Nov 25, 2020 9:06 pm
EACLucifer wrote:
Wed Nov 25, 2020 8:08 pm
Pucksoppet wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 6:41 pm
I think it depends on whether a majority of Scots wish to hitch themselves to the Tory wagon or not. Independence would at least allow the Scots to choose how they wanted to manage the economic decline that will follow from leaving the EU. Remaining in a union with England will ensure that English requirements are made a priority. After all, why waste money on a constituency that isn't going to vote for you.
But it does leave them with the catastrophic economic decline that comes from leaving the UK. The idiocy that is Brexit ought to make it very clear that cutting ties with your biggest trading partner is a stupid idea, and that promising pie-in-the-sky deals will be signed to keep all the good bits but none of the bad bits after the severance are utterly hollow. I mean, it was clear prior to the 2014 IndyRef and Brexit, but it ought to really ram the point home.

There's also the fact that is isn't the 80s any more; Scotland's budget is propped up by England quite substantially.

In short, Brexit was idiotic, Scottish Independence is idiotic for exactly the same reasons, and it is unlikely that nations like Spain are going to rush to welcome a breakaway region into the EU as an independent nation.
Both wouldn’t be idiotic if the people who voted for them believed that the short and medium term economic damage was a price worth paying for greater independence. Ireland had to go through civil war to become independent, for Scotland it’s path to statehood would be easier even with severe damage to the economy.

As disco wrote up thread, hopefully a future referendum would feature realistic debates about costs and benefits.
Meanwhile in the real world advocates of independence are every bit as honest about the costs and the details of the status quo as advocates of Brexit.

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Re: Should Scotland be independent?

Post by Allo V Psycho » Sun Nov 29, 2020 11:21 am

Thoughtful long report on attitudes to the UK and, inter alia, Scottish Independence, in the UK. I hesitated over whether it was better here or in the EU thread.

https://www.scer.scot/database/ident-12 ... Ww0XilzErM

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Re: Should Scotland be independent?

Post by discovolante » Mon Nov 30, 2020 11:17 am

EAC, what are your thoughts on the likely future on the Union in general (including Wales and NI)?
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Re: Should Scotland be independent?

Post by Bird on a Fire » Mon Nov 30, 2020 11:33 am

Allo V Psycho wrote:
Sun Nov 29, 2020 11:21 am
Thoughtful long report on attitudes to the UK and, inter alia, Scottish Independence, in the UK. I hesitated over whether it was better here or in the EU thread.

https://www.scer.scot/database/ident-12 ... Ww0XilzErM
This was super interesting, by the way, thanks. Would also have been good in the EU thread.

There doesn't seem to be a serious issue with EU accession. The Spanish government has made it clear that they don't have a problem with referendums agreed between national and devolved parliaments, and have also been clear that they'll never agree to a Catalonian referendum, so the similarities end there.

The differences between Scottish Independence and Brexit are actually quite stark, because the differences between the UK and the EU are large and rather obvious. Unionists like to point out Scotland's weaker economy, but that's been true for yonks and UK membership hasn't helped a jot, compared with the improvements seen in eastern Europe following EU accession, for instance. There are genuine sovereignty issues, and deeper ones of culture and political ideology.

Scotland is now facing a genuine choice between UK and EU membership. The problems with the former are incredibly obvious right now and will only be exacerbated come January. Seems like it might be a good time to join the larger, more successful, more progressive global power than stay yoked to the rotting cadaver of a declining post-Imperial basket case.

A decent public debate is important, of course. I'd probably look more to the media for that than to political campaigns - does Scotland have many newspapers that aren't owned by disaster capitalists?
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Re: Should Scotland be independent?

Post by Allo V Psycho » Mon Nov 30, 2020 12:26 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Mon Nov 30, 2020 11:33 am
Allo V Psycho wrote:
Sun Nov 29, 2020 11:21 am
Thoughtful long report on attitudes to the UK and, inter alia, Scottish Independence, in the UK. I hesitated over whether it was better here or in the EU thread.

https://www.scer.scot/database/ident-12 ... Ww0XilzErM
This was super interesting, by the way, thanks. Would also have been good in the EU thread.

There doesn't seem to be a serious issue with EU accession. The Spanish government has made it clear that they don't have a problem with referendums agreed between national and devolved parliaments, and have also been clear that they'll never agree to a Catalonian referendum, so the similarities end there.

The differences between Scottish Independence and Brexit are actually quite stark, because the differences between the UK and the EU are large and rather obvious. Unionists like to point out Scotland's weaker economy, but that's been true for yonks and UK membership hasn't helped a jot, compared with the improvements seen in eastern Europe following EU accession, for instance. There are genuine sovereignty issues, and deeper ones of culture and political ideology.

Scotland is now facing a genuine choice between UK and EU membership. The problems with the former are incredibly obvious right now and will only be exacerbated come January. Seems like it might be a good time to join the larger, more successful, more progressive global power than stay yoked to the rotting cadaver of a declining post-Imperial basket case.

A decent public debate is important, of course. I'd probably look more to the media for that than to political campaigns - does Scotland have many newspapers that aren't owned by disaster capitalists?
Don't know about current newspapers - two main quality ones are the Herald and the Scotsman.

If I could have voted in the last referendum, I would have voted ‘no’. If I can vote in the next one, I think it will be ‘yes’.
I don’t think independence is quite the same as Brexit. The UK is placing itself outside a major trading group in which it had major power as one of the big three, so it is a much more self-defeating decision than independence.

I’ve historically felt that the Scottish economy was out of sync with the English one, and policies designed ostensibly for the UK, inevitably favoured England, even harmed Scotland. An independent Scotland would be able to make more relevant economic decisions AND apply to re-enter a major local trading group.

There is another aspect too. I fear Tory politics have moved into the post-rational populist camp, and that economic and political decisions will increasingly be made irrationally, and possibly tied to a populist U.S. The UK investment in two carrier groups, designed to be interoperable with U.S. forces, is already a major commitment, and there is talk of deploying these to the Pacific area. I don’t think Scotland, any more than Ireland, needs an ‘East of Suez’ policy.

Of course there would be both short- and medium-term pain after independence. Looking again at Ireland, they fought an actual civil war, were dominated by a conservative church, and were caught up in terrorist campaigns. I hope for a little better than that.

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Re: Should Scotland be independent?

Post by snoozeofreason » Mon Nov 30, 2020 1:57 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Mon Nov 30, 2020 11:33 am
There doesn't seem to be a serious issue with EU accession. The Spanish government has made it clear that they don't have a problem with referendums agreed between national and devolved parliaments, and have also been clear that they'll never agree to a Catalonian referendum, so the similarities end there.
From a Catalan perspective, I suspect that would sound like a rather circular argument. Catalonia can't have a referendum because it's not like Scotland, and it's not like Scotland because it can't have a referendum. If Scottish accession were to become an issue, that would mean that the UK government had agreed to not just one, but two referendums on Scottish independence, which is inevitably going to increase pressure for one in Catalonia.
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Mon Nov 30, 2020 11:33 am
Scotland is now facing a genuine choice between UK and EU membership.
In the short to medium to term it doesn't have that choice. Even if the UK government agreed in principle to a referendum tomorrow, and even if Spain dropped any misgivings and actively supported Scottish accession, you would still be talking about a long-term ambition. Organising a referendum is, in itself, a lengthy business in the UK, because of the way that the process is constrained by law. Arranging the separation of Scotland from rUK would be an even more lengthy business. Scotland and rUK are considerably more deeply entwined than the UK and the EU and the negotiation of a withdrawal agreement and a future relationship would be a hard and time-consuming task. The EU have made it absolutely clear that negotiations for Scottish accession couldn't even start until Scotland is completely and consensually separated from rUK and then, even if it had active backers, and there was a sense of urgency about the matter, it would still take many years for the process to be completed. It's not impossible that Scotland might rejoin the EU in about a decade from now, but imagining a significantly earlier accession would be optimistic.
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Re: Should Scotland be independent?

Post by discovolante » Mon Nov 30, 2020 3:53 pm

Just to note, briefly, as I'm sure you're all well aware the Scottish parliament elections are currently scheduled for next May, so there might well be a fair bit of mud slinging in the coming months and Nicola Sturgeon is going to be put under a fair bit of pressure about what is going to happen in relation to a further referendum given both Covid and the UL gov's refusal to date (and Labour more or less backing the government position).

Not that that necessarily has anything to do with the merits of leaving the UK but I can't imagine it's going to do much to thaw relations between all the respective positions.
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Re: Should Scotland be independent?

Post by Bird on a Fire » Mon Nov 30, 2020 4:47 pm

snoozeofreason wrote:
Mon Nov 30, 2020 1:57 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Mon Nov 30, 2020 11:33 am
There doesn't seem to be a serious issue with EU accession. The Spanish government has made it clear that they don't have a problem with referendums agreed between national and devolved parliaments, and have also been clear that they'll never agree to a Catalonian referendum, so the similarities end there.
From a Catalan perspective, I suspect that would sound like a rather circular argument. Catalonia can't have a referendum because it's not like Scotland, and it's not like Scotland because it can't have a referendum. If Scottish accession were to become an issue, that would mean that the UK government had agreed to not just one, but two referendums on Scottish independence, which is inevitably going to increase pressure for one in Catalonia.
Well quite, which is why Catalonia got on with having a referendum anyway a couple of years back.

Madrid were (violently) opposed to it, so the Remainers boycotted it. Despite that, Independence still got a higher % of votes than Leave did in the Brexit referendum.

If Westminster is ever worried about losing Scotland they can just refuse permission for a referendum, and then EU accession - and thus the case for independence - would get rather trickier.
snoozeofreason wrote:
Mon Nov 30, 2020 1:57 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Mon Nov 30, 2020 11:33 am
Scotland is now facing a genuine choice between UK and EU membership.
In the short to medium to term it doesn't have that choice. Even if the UK government agreed in principle to a referendum tomorrow, and even if Spain dropped any misgivings and actively supported Scottish accession, you would still be talking about a long-term ambition. Organising a referendum is, in itself, a lengthy business in the UK, because of the way that the process is constrained by law. Arranging the separation of Scotland from rUK would be an even more lengthy business. Scotland and rUK are considerably more deeply entwined than the UK and the EU and the negotiation of a withdrawal agreement and a future relationship would be a hard and time-consuming task. The EU have made it absolutely clear that negotiations for Scottish accession couldn't even start until Scotland is completely and consensually separated from rUK and then, even if it had active backers, and there was a sense of urgency about the matter, it would still take many years for the process to be completed. It's not impossible that Scotland might rejoin the EU in about a decade from now, but imagining a significantly earlier accession would be optimistic.
I'm not sure about that.

Brexit, from passing the law ordering the referendum through to leaving the EU, has taken 5 years, including a lengthy withdrawal process because the UK had no idea what to do and so gummed up the negotiations with hostility and mudflinging. Assuming the re-accession process started before Westminster had managed to impose too much regulatory divergence on Scotland I can't see any reason why those negotiations should take longer than brexit has, especially if Scotland just agrees to everything.
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Re: Should Scotland be independent?

Post by Bird on a Fire » Mon Nov 30, 2020 4:50 pm

Ah, wait. Yeah, the Scotland-rUK negotiations would certainly be a time-consuming shitshow.

Lots of fish to organise, oil, that kind of thing.
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Re: Should Scotland be independent?

Post by lpm » Mon Nov 30, 2020 5:01 pm

Please don't use rUK for former UK, it's a waste.
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Re: Should Scotland be independent?

Post by snoozeofreason » Mon Nov 30, 2020 5:32 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Mon Nov 30, 2020 4:47 pm
I'm not sure about that.

Brexit, from passing the law ordering the referendum through to leaving the EU, has taken 5 years, including a lengthy withdrawal process because the UK had no idea what to do and so gummed up the negotiations with hostility and mudflinging. Assuming the re-accession process started before Westminster had managed to impose too much regulatory divergence on Scotland I can't see any reason why those negotiations should take longer than brexit has, especially if Scotland just agrees to everything.
I am not sure I understand either your point about Catalonia, or the point about the time taken for Scottish accession. Even if it did take 5 years for the EU and Scotland to negotiate Scottish accession, that process can't even start until an independence referendum has been organised, fought, and won, and then the separation of Scotland from the rUK (or former UK, or whatever you call it) has been completed. This is still going to take you close to 10 years in total (and it's not obvious why you would base an estimate of the time taken for an EU accession process on the time taken for a country to leave the EU either).

And as for the reasons why separation of the UK and Scotland is going to be tricky, it's not the fish or the oil so much as the fact that you are dealing with countries that have a fiscal union. The UK and the EU had some shared income, assets, and obligations, but these were fairly small compared to their national budgets. It still took a long time to negotiate their division. In the case of Scotland and the UK, most income, assets, and obligations are shared. There is, for example, the small matter of dividing up responsibility for the UK national debt.

To their credit, the SNP is reasonably clear about the difficulty of the process. I was listening to Andrew Wilson (Chair of the SNP Sustainable Growth Commission) at an Institute for Government Event last week, and he seemed fairly open about timescales and difficulties.
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Re: Should Scotland be independent?

Post by Bird on a Fire » Mon Nov 30, 2020 6:40 pm

Yes, sorry snooze, I was being exceptionally unclear there.

I think I basically agree with you. There's a lot of focus on the difficulty of EU accession, which I think is misplaced. Extricating Scotland from fUK (h/t lpm) will be very difficult and complicated and unpleasant, especially if Westminster takes the same tack it's taken with Brussels.

As for Catalonia, Spain has no intention of recognising any referendum, probably because they know they'd lose. But it's hard to see how there could be any more pressure on Madrid than there already is, unless third-parties saw some advantage in Catalan independence and started pushing for it on a global stage. It's no big secret that that's why all the exiles fled to Belgium.
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