Next month Scotland has a referendum in whether to be an independent country. Here are the main reasons why I expect to vote Yes..
Staying United and Reducing Government
All countries need to work with their neighbours, when Europe was a patchwork of protectionist countries that like to have random wars with its neighbours life was tricky. Scotland was poor 300 years ago so when the country finally went bust it took the best opportunity on offer and had a union with England which while still having random wars with its neighbours had its own empire to work with other countries through (either on friendly or less friendly terms). Now life has moved on and we need bigger more fair unions to sort out the boring stuff like free movement of people and trade. That’s the founding purpose of the EU and while it has its problems with lack of accountability and political messups like allowing Greece to join the Euro it has overall succeeded brilliantly. We have no need for a union with Wales, a random corner of Ireland and little Englanders when we can have a much larger union as part of the EU. The UK is simply a layer of government I feel no need of. Best to simplify it by having three layers of government (local, national and international) than four (local, national, another definition of national and international).
An independent Scotland will be more democratic. Where the borders of government are made is arbitrary circles on a map but there is a clear demos in Scotland which we don’t share with England (and even less with Northern Ireland). The two parties that make up the UK government are the least popular parties in Scotland while the majority government in Scotland has a tiny representation in the UK and a whole government department (Scotland Office) with nothing better to do than work against the democratic process of Scotland.
And the scare stories?
What currency will we use? Although it’s not fashionable to say so now I’d like to move to the Euro, it’s been broken by politicians fudging the rules of entry to let in various countries that then messed up. But it seems to be healing and given a cautious approach there’s no reason not to join. Except we can’t because we use Sterling and before any country joins the Euro you’d need to peg your currency with it which the UK doesn’t want to do. Using Sterling makes sense, if the rUK government don’t want to have an agreement to use it then Scotland can just use it anyway just like the Isle of Man or Channel Islands do and just like Ireland did when it became independent, and if rUK insists that it somehow gets rights over Sterling which Scotland doesn’t then fine, they’ll be dumped with the national debt.
Will Scotland be allowed to join Europe? Scotland is already part of Europe so there’s nothing to join, no part of the European treaties allows for European citizens to be kicked out of the EU. There’s again no reason why the rUK gets to claim it is different from Scotland, just because they’re bigger doesn’t mean they get free entry into the EU while Scotland doesn’t. The biggest threat to being in the EU is England’s Tories giving a referendum to leave the EU, now that scares me.
And other issues? How will the BBC be split up? Will Royal Mail continue to operate cross border? Will mobile phones work cross border? Maybe I’d being naive but I trust our MPs at Westminster such as Danny Alexander and Alistair Carmichael to negotiate for their constituents in Scotland and not against their interests. If they negotiate against Scotland’s interests then that in itself is a pretty good argument for dissolving the UK.