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Scottish Independence

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It would be really funny if we invaded them the day after they gained independence though. :D

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I'm not sure what meaningful defence net they could purchase for £2.5 billion that would actually justify the spend in tbe first place. If they're buying a few toy anti-sub frigates perhaps, then they'll need aircover too. Not forgetting manpower and training costs.

They might as well stay under the UK defence umbrella.

An independent non-aligned Scotland literally blows a hole in the air defence of NATO's northern flank and nullifies the anti submarine barrier across the North Atlantic. Creating such a strategic problem for the rest of Europe would pretty much guarantee rejection for membership of the EU.

The Russians will be laughing their little red noses off, assuming Salmond hasn't already invited them to fly out of Lossiemouth.

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Not been on for ages, just seen this topic, as one of the resident Jocks on here (yes I live in Wigan) I have to say the Independence is a joke and I don't know anyone back home who is pro, there will be some but I can't beieve anyone believes Salmond, he's an arsehole

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In today's news, the SNP claim they wish to be part of NATO but want to kick Trident out of Faslane ASAP

Do they think anything through? Now I'm all for getting rid of Trident full stop but I can't see how you can just evict a nuclear submarine facility and especially as you still want to be a part of the defence organisation that it is an intrinsic part of.

Worked for New Zealand...

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Guardian journo tweeting:

We are hearing two SNP MSPs, John Finnie and Jean Urquhart have quit the party following NATO vote.

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Guardian journo tweeting:

We are hearing two SNP MSPs, John Finnie and Jean Urquhart have quit the party following NATO vote.

link

A member of the SNP since he was 16, Mr Finnie said: "I cannot continue to belong to a party that quite rightly does not wish to hold nuclear weapons on its soil, but wants to join a first strike nuclear alliance.

The funny thing is that NATO doesn't have a nuclear first strike policy.. Do any of these people have an understanding of defence?? He's resigned over a factually inaccurate issue!!

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It would be really funny if we invaded them the day after they gained independence though. :D

That would be like invading Haiti, the day after the earthquake.

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link

The funny thing is that NATO doesn't have a nuclear first strike policy.. Do any of these people have an understanding of defence?? He's resigned over a factually inaccurate issue!!

That right there is why all of Scotland should vote NO. Be careful what you wish for laddies - Alec, Nicola and chums will have you exrtracting oil with a pick axe and a snorkle.

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Much angst this morning about whether Salmond lied about whether he had sought legal advice on whether Scotland could remain in the EU or would have to apply afresh.

Leaving aside whether he lied, the fact is that he didn't ask for such advice, which is staggering. They already employ lawyers who continually advise on things like whether particular proposals are consistent with EU legislation. It's another illustration of the fact that they have decided independence would be better no matter what would have to happen about things like EU membership, currency and so on. An act of faith, in other words, not a rational policy contingent on circumstances.

In the comments on the Scotsperson article, someone makes an interesting point about the implications for the rest of the UK in terms of perhaps having to renegotiate membership, and this being a new West Lothian question.

...If the rest of the UK also has to go through the same process as Scotland, and much legal opinion suggests it will, then there will be a direct clash with a UK law that states no further powers can be devolved to the EU without referendum. In effect, the people in the rest of the UK could find their conditions of EU membership being renegotiated because of a decision they and their government had no part in. This is the new West Lothan question: how is it democratically acceptable for the rest of the UK population to have its future in part determined by a Scottish-only vote?...
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Much angst this morning about whether Salmond lied about whether he had sought legal advice on whether Scotland could remain in the EU or would have to apply afresh.

Leaving aside whether he lied, the fact is that he didn't ask for such advice, which is staggering. They already employ lawyers who continually advise on things like whether particular proposals are consistent with EU legislation. It's another illustration of the fact that they have decided independence would be better no matter what would have to happen about things like EU membership, currency and so on. An act of faith, in other words, not a rational policy contingent on circumstances.

In the comments on the Scotsperson article, someone makes an interesting point about the implications for the rest of the UK in terms of perhaps having to renegotiate membership, and this being a new West Lothian question.

very good point

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Much angst this morning about whether Salmond lied about whether he had sought legal advice on whether Scotland could remain in the EU or would have to apply afresh.

Leaving aside whether he lied, the fact is that he didn't ask for such advice, which is staggering. They already employ lawyers who continually advise on things like whether particular proposals are consistent with EU legislation. It's another illustration of the fact that they have decided independence would be better no matter what would have to happen about things like EU membership, currency and so on. An act of faith, in other words, not a rational policy contingent on circumstances.

In the comments on the Scotsperson article, someone makes an interesting point about the implications for the rest of the UK in terms of perhaps having to renegotiate membership, and this being a new West Lothian question.

It would be funny if the subject wasn't so serious.

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A bit of insight into the position on Scotland and the EU, from someone who actually did take legal advice (David Clark):

Alex Salmond has now asked the Scottish Government’s legal advisers for an opinion on the implications of independence for Scotland’s membership of the European Union. He really ought to have done so before he started claiming with such certainty that an independent Scotland would continue to enjoy all the benefits of EU membership it currently enjoys as part of the UK.

I can probably save him some time. Robin Cook asked the Foreign Office’s legal advisers for their opinion on the status of an independent Scotland in the EU back in 1999 when I worked as his Special Adviser. Three conclusions stood out in the advice that came back.

First, there is no existing procedure for handling a breakaway from an EU member state. The Council of Ministers would therefore need to improvise one according to its own design.

Second, an independent Scotland could either be considered a successor state, inheriting the United Kingdom’s rights and status, or a new applicant, but would have no automatic right to the former. A political decision would have to be taken by the Council of Ministers acting unanimously.

Third, even if Scotland was granted the status of a successor state, there would still have to be extensive negotiations to disentangle Scotland’s legal and financial obligations from those of the United Kingdom. There would be no certainty that Scotland would get a good deal out of those negotiations given that it would be UK rather than Scottish ministers sitting in the relevant EU decision-making bodies.

What emerges from this is that the real determining factors are political rather than legal. The status and rights of an independent Scotland in relation to the EU would be decided by a body comprised of twenty-seven countries (possibly more by the time it happens), any one of which might use its veto to block the process in pursuit of its own national interests and to the detriment of Scotland’s.

I personally have no doubt that Scotland would be allowed to join the EU. But I also have no doubt that the price would be a high one. Spain would be the first country to object to Scotland automatically inheriting the UK’s rights and status. It would be determined to prove that separatism doesn’t pay in order to deter its own secessionist movements in Catalonia and the Basque country. Other countries, similarly concerned to avoid any precedent that might compromise their own integrity, would be certain to support the Spanish position.

They would also be joined by a larger group of countries that have long resented the UK’s opt outs and budget rebate and would relish the opportunity to deny them to Scotland. Like a new applicant, they would insist on Scotland accepting the full range of EU obligations on things like the single currency, border controls and budget contributions.

The negotiations needed to sort this all out would be hopelessly unbalanced for the simple reason that, on size alone, EU is vastly more important to Scotland than Scotland is to the EU. Scotland’s bargaining position would be further weakened by the fact that it would be negotiating as the demandeur, to use diplomatic parlance. In other words, it would be asking other countries to accept a major change without the leverage to offer or withhold anything in return. Countries in that position are always expected to make major concessions.

It all comes down to diplomacy and politics. The SNP’s position makes wholly unrealistic assumptions about Scotland’s negotiating strength and what our European partners would be willing to concede. They rely on the EU treating Scotland and the rest of the UK equally in the event of separation, when everything points to the opposite conclusion. England, Wales and Northern Ireland would certainly be treated as the ‘continuing United Kingdom’ simply by virtue of their representative continuing to sit in the Council of Ministers with a veto over the whole process. Scotland, by contrast, would depend on the kindness of strangers.

There is an interesting precedent for all of this. When the Soviet Union broke up Russia was universally recognised as its successor, entitled to keep its permanent seat on the UN Security Council. At almost the same time the bid by Serbia and Montenegro to be recognised as the successor to Yugoslavia was rejected and they were forced to re-apply for UN membership. One major reason was that Russia retained a large nuclear arsenal and western countries were anxious to maintain the arms control treaties patiently negotiated during the Cold War. Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan arguably got favourable treatment for the same reason.

The irony is that if Alex Salmond wants to improve his chances of getting an independent Scotland recognised as a successor state to the United Kingdom, with all the rights that follow, the one thing he should probably do is keep his hands on Trident. Funny old world, isn’t it?

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Time to resurrect this...

I am finding it utterly hilarious right now tbh.

The SNP want to be independent but they want to keep the pound? How does that work, seriously you can't be independent with someone else's currency. The Bank of England isn't going to make fiscal decisions and take Scotland into account, it can't.

The SNP want to remain in the EU, so this independence they talk of its not really independence at all is it?

How do they propose to stay in the EU? Are they going to rely on the UK to negotiate on their behalf before they go in as Scotland won't exist as an entity before they are independent?

They are now also saying that they don't want the Euro but that is a prerequisite for any country joining the EU from hereon in?

Do they really expect Spain not to veto any bid by an "independent" Scotland to join the EU given that at least three of its own regions have strong separatist movements.

I'm not sure they SNP understand the meaning of the word Independence.

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I agree Bicks.  No way will either France or Spain try to make it easy for the basques become independent.

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They want what all Scotch people want: To kill the Queen, and destroy our way of life.

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