Apropos nothing, but I’ve been thinking.
Once in a Generation?
For the half a million people who have died since the last referendum, it sadly proved to be exactly that. But there now are 500,000 new legible voters on the electoral roll since 2014. My politically engaged son, whose future it is, is one of them. By October 2023, when the second plebiscite happens, my youngest will be another. Are Unionists seriously saying that his and their opinion isn’t welcome? If they are, they must front up and say so rather than hiding behind some flippant soundbite, the words of which don’t appear in either the Edinburgh Agreement or the post indyref Smith Commission report (which also explicitly makes clear that it’s in the gift of the people of Scotland to ask the question again, at any time of their choosing).
In any case, a fresh vote was agreed by the very parliament in which they sit. If they don’t respect the democratic process and decisions of the very chamber we pay for them to sit in then frankly I don’t see the point of them and they should probably go and work somewhere else. Anyway, it’s happening. Deal with it.
But it got me thinking about the other issues around next year’s vote. Last time, there was a six-hundred odd page manifesto, which served only to lengthen the day and shorten the winter.
This time we need to keep it simple.
Thinking about this stuff is a bit like dealing with anything in life that looks difficult and daunting. But build it from the ground up. Take it one step at a time. And guess what? It becomes rather simple.
With that in mind, I found a really useful Twitter thread that makes it clear that, contrary to the usual bluster from the usual sources, this really isn’t that hard. There was actually a hint of this in Nicola Sturgeon’s speech earlier in the week, and I thought her criticised low key approach – like this was just a piece of government business (which it is) was a nimble bit of strategy.
Anyway, here goes.
The Scottish People are Sovereign and Monarchs reign over the Scots by the whim of the people. That’s why they are made King or Queen of Scots, not Scotland. It’s an important distinction which probably explains the relative lack of support and absence of bunting during the recent platinum jubilee. Scottish people will decree if there’s a monarchy. No political party gets to decide.
England is Scotland’s biggest export market. Scotland is England’s second biggest export market after the USA. It will be in both countries economic interests to have as seamless a border and as easy an administration as possible. In any case, the world has many borders and folk trade just fine. And in Scotland’s case we’d have a border with sixty million folk while dismantling the one with five hundred million folk behind it. A border that we got foisted upon us by a political party that we’ve rejected since 1955.
It has not been clarified if a Section 30 order is required to hold a legal referendum, but there are other avenues. Scottish People are Sovereign. The UN has Statute on Self Determination that was signed by every member in 1960. Good luck with the UK Government challenging that in court, by the way.
Scotland already compliant with EU regulations and the EU are on record as saying they would be flexible regarding the conditions regarding membership. It is in the EU’s interests to have Scotland as a member due to location, internationalist outlook and economic resources. But the key thing, again, is that it’s entirely up to the people of Scotland.
Croatia, on the back of a civil war, had a currency trading on the world’s financial markets within eighteen months of the nation being founded. Scotland therefore would be more than capable of doing that in nine months. Currency is just a convenient way of transferring wealth. That’s it.
Scotland doesn’t have one. Legally, we must balance the books. We are therefore debt free. GERS are based on Estimates, Averages and Surveys. Deloitte, who compiled GERS state that its not a true reflection on the economic position of an Independent Scotland. In only reflects the financial position of a Scotland within the UK.
HRMC have confirmed the pension contributions and current pensions would be paid in an Independent Scotland and would be honoured. Who would make the payment would be a matter of negotiation. Which leads onto…..
The UK Government would have to open the Treasury books fully with no redactions, Something the Treasury have robustly refused to do for decades. The principle of no share of assets and no share of debt is a reasonable position and, crucially, would be supported internationally.
Relations would improve between two of the oldest nations in Europe as equal countries sharing a border. Working together on matters of mutual benefit and interests while going their own ways on others, seeing each other as valued and equal.
It would not be in the strategic interests of the new nation emerging from the dissolved UK to have its Nuclear Deterrent based in another country. Scotland would agree to a short term lease so the delivery system and warheads can be securely and safely removed.
What now for the SNP?
Who cares? In an Independent Scotland It would be a new political landscape. The SNP would reinvent or disband (as it’s raison d’etre has been achieved). Unionist Parties would no longer have a purpose (as there’s no union). And you couldn’t have political parties from other countries. There would be new parties, new politicians and a written constitution.
In short, overcoming any real or perceived challenges to becoming a normal independent democratic country will actually be refreshingly straightforward.
Let Scotland be Scotland. I’ll meet you further on up the road.