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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Scottish Independence and what a really rubbish idea it is for all involved….

....not least because they can’t afford it without raising significant Taxes.

Finally, something has stirred me enough to bother to write something here. I know I've been away for a long time, but I've dusted down the old keybaord, dug out the password and swept up the cobwebs...  and look!! it's still here.....



To the subject.  Scotland - which is a place I love - and politicians - who are people I...erm... don't.

Here's my observations. If Scotland becomes an independent state…

Passports and Citizenship
If your resident in Scotland at the time of independence - you’d become a Scottish citizen and therefore be eligible for a Scottish passport - and possibly a British one as well.
If you live in Britain but were born in Scotland, you’d also be eligible for a Scottish passport.
You would be expected to apply for a Scottish passport when your British passport is due for renewal.
If you voted No - you might not even bother getting one.
So that sounds like a bunch of money the Scottish parliament will have to spend on a system that half the population won’t want to use.

Banking / Finance
Taxation - Corporation Tax
Companies suggesting they will move out and Corporation tax would be payed to Britain
The banks that have lost out during the crash are still owned by British Government
Biggest worry for the banks is someone to back them in the event of a crash - something that once again, the Scottish parliament will have to find the money to do.  Two of the major banks are mostly owned by the british government as well - so for them to become Scottish, the Scottish government would have to buy back their shares….  Mr Salmond says the banks are scaremongering…  but it still requires yet more money.

Currency Union
UK Government will not allow a full currency Union with the BoE in charge
Scotland could use the pound without the consent of the Bank of England, which would mean no support from the BoE to bail-out Scottish institutions. Big risks involved here. especially as there are currency stability rules as a pre-cursor to membership of the EU.
Scottish Currency would potentially still be legal tender, but not sure how any licensing to print currency to be used as legal tender in Britain would work in a foreign state.

Health Service
The NHS spending is driven by decisions from the British Parliament
Scotland would need to build up larger reserves to maintain the level of spending the British government currently do, because they have currently not increased spending over the last 5 years (unlike Britain throughout the period of austerity). The Institute for Fiscal Studies says an independent Scotland would probably have to spend less on the NHS than if it remained in the UK. So that’s a cut - unless they can raise… you guessed it - yet more money.

Royal Mail
Scottish Government would want to maintain the same service as today, but in reality the two operations would be separated, and this would involve yet another deal between the two parliaments. Such transformations are not cheap…  I think there’s a pattern here.  

Jobs 
Corporate domicile (the brass plaque) would move for Taxation reasons, not the jobs
Both John Lewis and ASDA have said their prices in Scotland will have to increase and Tesco will (along with the big name banks) move their banking HQ’s into England.  This has been roundly rejected by John Swinney - The Scottish Finance minister.
Asda has 61 stores and depots in Scotland and employs 22,000 people.
Asda’s Director, Mr Clarke said he accepts the vote is a matter for the Scottish people but added that he would be "ducking his responsibility" if he did not offer an "honest assessment" of what independence could mean for his company.
"It will be no surprise to voters that if Scotland votes for independence, it would be imperative to establish a separate Scottish business," he said,
"Currently, our systems are set up for one single UK market, we use the same currency and we operate under the same rates of VAT. By operating in a market serving 63 million customers we achieve major efficiencies and economies of scale.
"If we were no longer to operate in one state with one market and - broadly - one set of rules, our business model would inevitably become more complex. We would have to reflect our cost to operate here."
Mr Clark added: "This is not an argument for or against independence, it is simply an honest recognition of the costs that change could bring.”

Policing
No extradition treaty, should be straight forward assuming that an Independent Scotland can become part of the EU. Separate jurisdictions will of course provide cover for criminals on either side of the border, and policing the border itself is going to cost yet more money…

So basically it’s prohibitively expensive - especially given that we’re emerging from a recession.
Of course Britain could benefit finically quite well in the short term - as Scotland will have to dig deep to pay for a lot of the effort required. But ultimately it’s a fool’s errand.

I don’t even get a vote - but if I did…  well you can work that out for yourself.
I see a repeat of the Darien Disaster in the future.... (google it if you have to ask)  and that's what got them here in the first place. 


If you want a vote - have one here: http://vote.pollcode.com/66779936
 

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