back to article Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?

On 18 September, the people living in Scotland will vote in a referendum to decide if we should to slice the top off Great Britain and create a separate country. If that happens, and once the locals sober up, Scotland could be a country with universal broadband, a publicly owned postal service and mobile coverage which would be …

  1. Phil W

    Realism

    I'm not fundamentally against Scottish independence nor am I particularly in favour of it (though personally if there has to be change I'm more in favour of greater national devolution and a more federalist UK). However the nut jobs in Scottish parliament seem to have no grasp of reality especially when it comes to their future economy.

    "The SBS would also inherit a proportionate share of the BBC’s commercial ventures, including BBC Worldwide Ltd, and their associated ongoing profits."

    So you want to separate yourselves from Britain and its government and public institutions such as the BBC but you want to keep your own replacement propped up with profits from BBC. Sure, that seems a totally fair and completely independent plan.

    What next? An independent Scotland should get a portion of UK licence payers money because those in Northern England can receive broadcasts from the newly formed SBS?

    Combine that with other wonderful plans such as a pinning your national economic future to a currency union with the rest of the UK, which the UK government has already said they won't agree to, and you have the picture of an independent future of economic ruin and chaos.

    Proper planning prevents p*** poor performance and all that.

    1. Malcolm 1

      Re: Realism

      BBC Worldwide partially funds and then sells BBC programming worldwide (and any associated merchandising). So if BBC Scotland (or whatever it might be called) continues to produce saleable programming then it seems reasonable that they would be able to profit from worldwide sales via BBC Worldwide (although I guess BBCW would be under no obligation to do so).

      Not that I disagree with your other points.

      1. Phil W

        Re: Realism

        "BBC Worldwide partially funds and then sells BBC programming worldwide"

        Indeed, but does this mean that SBS is going to produce content and give it to BBC Worldwide, and receive profit share in return? Plausible I suppose but does that mean they still get profit share even if no-one outside Scotland or the rest of the UK wants the content they product?

        Would it not make more sense for the SBS to sell their content to the BBC like they would (and the BBC do already) to any other third party television network, and reap the profits that way, assuming they product anything that people want.

      2. Slx

        Re: Realism

        Here in the Republic of Ireland my TV Licence is soon to change to an even move annoying concept : The Public Service Broadcasting Charge. That means it's just going to be a household charge with no opt out possibly collected by the Tax Office.

        Those funds go primarily to RTE which is Ireland's semi-commercial public service broadcaster - funds itself 50:50 from the licence fee and adverts. At present that's €160 a year per household.

        A % also goes to other commercial broadcasters and community radio stations that apply for funding for tje production of public service programmes.

        BBC is widely available here on cable and it's carried on Sky Digital in Ireland. However, we pay for it. BBC Worldwide charges cable providers and BSkyB Ireland a royalty fee for BBC 1, 2, 3, 4 and Cbeebees etc

        Channel 4 has an ad sales office in a Dublin and operates commercially here running Irish adverts on Channel 4 and E4 etc ccarried on Sky and cable.

        Sky and various other channels do similar.

        ITV isn't officially available here but most ITV programming is available on TV3 (main commercial TV channel) and UTV northern Ireland is on cable and sells Irish ads.

        I don't see how an independent Scotland could just assume it's going to keep BBC.

        It'll probably have to turn BBC Scotland into something like RTE in Ireland. Probably SBC or something like that and pay for BBC content and channels commercially like we do.

        1. Ross K Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: Realism

          Here in the Republic of Ireland my TV Licence is soon to change to an even move annoying concept : The Public Service Broadcasting Charge. That means it's just going to be a household charge with no opt out possibly collected by the Tax Office.

          Ah yes - Ireland - a little failed democracy inflicting tax after tax, and cut after cut on its citizens.

          I hope Scotland looks towards Ireland and takes note of what NOT to do after it gains its independence.

          1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

            Re: Realism

            "Ah yes - Ireland - a little failed democracy inflicting tax after tax, and cut after cut on its citizens."

            I haven't noticed anything wrong with Ireland's democracy recently. In the recent past it was a little theocratic for my tastes, but even that seems to be fading. Ireland's problem is that it got savaged by the bankers who were then bailed out by incompetent politicians. *Lots* of countries had that problem recently. (The UK, for one.)

            1. Ross K Silver badge

              Re: Realism

              I haven't noticed anything wrong with Ireland's democracy recently. In the recent past it was a little theocratic for my tastes, but even that seems to be fading.

              @Ken Hagan:

              Just as a matter of interest, are you resident in the country and thus qualified to comment on the quality of the democracy? Or just on the outside looking in?

        2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: Realism

          BBC Scotland and RTE could just club together. An independent Scotland and an independent Ireland would presumably be friends, right? And they both have *one* language in common (and it ain't Estuary English). And they will both be small countries within the EU with a long shared history and culture.

    2. Chris Miller

      Re: Realism

      And it should be obvious that an independent Scottish postal service is bound to cost more, simply because there's a greater proportion of remote locations than for the UK as a whole. I'm sure the same must be true for telephone and broadband services as well.

      1. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: Realism

        "And it should be obvious that an independent Scottish postal service is bound to cost more, simply because there's a greater proportion of remote locations than for the UK as a whole. I'm sure the same must be true for telephone and broadband services as well."

        Does that mean that the cost in England and Wales will come down?

        1. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

          Re: Realism

          @John Robson

          You have a tremendous sense of humour, I see.

      2. Tim Jenkins

        Re: Realism

        Ah; the Salmond effect: as long as Alex repeats the magic mantra "everyone in the newly formed country will be able to get broadband" enough times, it will become true, along with keeping the Pound and the Queen (although I'm happy to concede on that last one, as long as they promise not to let any Windsors stray south of Balmoral ever again).

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Realism

        "And it should be obvious that an independent Scottish postal service is bound to cost more, simply because there's a greater proportion of remote locations than for the UK as a whole. I'm sure the same must be true for telephone and broadband services as well."

        I'm not sure about that - while the overall population density of Scotland is lower than for the UK as a whole, there are large areas of Scotland that have no population, and therefore don't require any Postal or wired services at all. Mobile coverage may be an issue in some of those areas, but population clustering may mean that Scotland isn't necessarily any worse off that the rest of the UK it comes to telephone, broadband and postal services.

        1. Annihilator
          Boffin

          Re: Realism

          "I'm not sure about that - while the overall population density of Scotland is lower than for the UK as a whole, there are large areas of Scotland that have no population, and therefore don't require any Postal or wired services at all"

          It's a fairly valid assumption, given that most other non-Royal Mail delivery companies charge additional costs for the Highlands and islands.

          But this all assumes that the Scottish government can buy back their part of the Royal Mail from the privately owned company, which I'd be surprised about.

          1. Andrew Jones 2

            Re: Realism

            Well, as that privately owned company is getting less and less money everyday due to closing post offices left and right, and palming us off with a mobile van that either doesn't turn up or can't connect to post office network if it does turn up and if it manages to turn up AND connect to post office network, it somehow manages to increase the average time taken to deliver a package by another 4 days!

            A lot of us are now having to find alternative delivery methods like parcels2go which at least comes and collects from your house, and costs less than royal mail in a lot of cases.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Realism

            "other non-Royal Mail delivery companies" probably don't have the volume that would allow them to maintain a "standard" price for all of Scotland (and they can get away with charging more for for the Highlands and Islands anyway, just because).

            I'm not saying that it isn't any more expensive to serve the Highlands and Islands - just that Scotland's lower "average population density" than rUK doesn't automatically mean that it'll be 4 times as expensive to deliver services - it's the population density of the bits that are actually populated that counts. Sweden's population density is less than 1/10th of the population density of the UK as a whole, but it doesn't cost 10 times as much to run the postal service and the phone service in Sweden as in the UK.

    3. Khaptain Silver badge

      Re: Realism

      'Scots, wha hae wi Wallace bled,

      Scots, wham Bruce has aften led,

      Welcome tae yer gory bed,

      Or tae victorie.

      I think that the Scots will surpise you.

      1. Richard 81

        Re: Realism

        If faced with a rational argument, spout patriotic poetry. Got it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Realism

          > If faced with a rational argument, spout patriotic poetry. Got it.

          To be fair, I haven't seen much rational argumentation from the status-quo camp. More like finger-waving that change is bad, however the evidence from all the new small countries that have popped up in the last 20, 50, or 96 years is that none of them have failed so far, not even third world ones, and certainly not European ones (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Kosovo, ... not even something as dysfunctional as Bosnia i Herzegovina is anywhere close to failure).

          I am curious why people tend to rely so much on predictions based on whichever set of assumptions one chooses to use (from whichever side of the argument), when there is already plenty of actual State-building experience out there (and incidentally, some world-class academic experts in the field live in Scotland).

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Realism

          That wasn't surprising at all was it

        3. keithpeter
          Windows

          Re: Realism

          "If faced with a rational argument, spout patriotic poetry. Got it."

          Don't over estimate the power of rationality and don't under estimate the appeal to emotion in these matters. This is a yes/no referendum. 13% undecided and a 4% gap on the most recent poll I can find.

          1. Cliff

            Re: Realism

            http://youtu.be/Slu1OuykMIk

            Harry and Paul

        4. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Happy

          Re: Realism

          "If faced with a rational argument, spout patriotic poetry. Got it."

          Indeed.

          And so far the Scots are saying about 58% No, 47% Yes, so it looks like logic is ruling emotion.

          Although Alan Cumming and Sean Connery are still in favor.

          1. Phil W

            Re: Realism

            @John Smith 19

            "And so far the Scots are saying about 58% No, 47% Yes, so it looks like logic is ruling emotion."

            If the actual results come out at those percentages then a recount will be in order.

          2. Fungus Bob Silver badge
            WTF?

            Re: percentages

            "so far the Scots are saying about 58% No, 47% Yes"

            Thats 105%. Do the Scots vote like residents of Chicago - early and often?

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Realism

          "Patriotic poetry" - I am surprised that the Yes campaigners haven't insisted on singing all the verses of God Save the Queen and having them prominently displayed on public buildings, because it is in its origins an anti-Scots rant, imploring General Wade to go and smite the Scots. Those verses get missed off nowadays, but even so it is hardly a tactful choice of anthem.

          Wade had far more sense. He saw that the Scots problem was poverty, so he built roads to promote trade and provide work (there's a monument to him on one of them, forget where). This puts Wade far ahead in political thinking compared to Osborne (can't have the £) or the "won't let you join the EU" mob.

          Our politicians are very small men indeed compared to some of their predecessors.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Realism

            And why every village in the Highlands has a Wade's Road.

            I agree that we need more enthusiasm for far thinking imfrastructure projects. I'd like to see tunnel and span links down the Hebrides - wouldn't cost any more than the ferry services.

            As it is though we are struggling to see electrical infrastructure, that is demonstrably required to keep the lights on, procured.

      2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: Realism

        "Combine that with other wonderful plans such as a pinning your national economic future to a currency union with the rest of the UK, which the UK government has already said they won't agree to"

        It shows that I'm not an economist, but that has always confused me.

        What's stopping an imdependent Scotland (or any other country) deciding to mirror the value of the UK pound? The only restriction I can see is potentially international copyright laws, but why then couldn't they keep parity but call it (say) the 'ellbie' or something.

        I realise I'm being stupid here, so please reply with constructive answers not flames :-)

        1. mike2R

          Re: Realism

          "What's stopping an imdependent Scotland (or any other country) deciding to mirror the value of the UK pound? The only restriction I can see is potentially international copyright laws, but why then couldn't they keep parity but call it (say) the 'ellbie' or something."

          There is nothing to stop an independent Scotland (or anywhere else) from simply using the pound without an agreement, though it is generally considered a poor choice, given that its a complete surrender of monetary control.

          As far as having a separate currency with its value pegged to the pound, imagine the following scenario: many Scots with savings worry about the peg being maintained, and therefore decide they don't want their life savings in the new currency, and so change them for sterling, dollars, gold, etc. This floods the market with the new currency, and naturally that forces the price (ie the value) down. This forces the Scottish central bank to step in to support (ie buy) the new currency with its reserves to maintain the peg. But these reserves are limited, which everyone of course knows, causing more people and businesses to try to get their money out before its too late. At some point the Scottish central bank has to stop buying, or simply run out of reserves. The currency crashes and the peg is abandoned. And this doesn't even consider speculators who anticipate this exact possibility, place their bets on it, and then work to make it come about - as George Soros forced sterling itself out of a similar arrangement (the ERM) in the nineties, making himself billions.

          Currency pegs used to be a lot more sustainable, since capital controls could physically prevent people from changing their money, but that isn't how the western world works these days. If Scotland were to launch its own currency it would pretty much have to be free floating - which seems like it would be the logical choice anyway, given how much of the SNP's rhetoric is about escaping the control of Westminster, which is surely only possible with monetary independence. I guess their analysis is that asking Scots to vote to have their savings redenominated is a non-starter, hence their absolute insistence that the UK secretly intends to offer a full currency union in the event of independence.

          1. SleepyJohn

            Re: Realism - Currency Unions

            Presumably the significance of a formal Currency Union with Britain is that it would be the Bank of England that would have to spend vast amounts of money to rescue the pound should an independent Scotland get in a financial mess? This I understand is precisely why the UK Chancellor will not offer one to an independent Scotland - the risk of failure is deemed too high.

            It was, paradoxically, precisely this risk of failure that caused the EU to offer one to all who adopted the Euro, as it gave the EU the power to dictate the terms on which it would bail out miscreants - such as taking complete political and economic control of their countries. So perhaps an independent Scotland should be pleased with the UK Chancellor's refusal as otherwise it would effectively become a vassal of the UK (as the small Euro countries are of the EU) rather than the honourable partner that it currently is.

      3. Kernel Silver badge

        Re: Realism

        "Scots, wha hae wi Wallace bled,

        Scots, wham Bruce has aften led,

        Welcome tae yer gory bed,

        Or tae victorie.

        I think that the Scots will surpise you."

        Not as much as the English surprised the Scots at Culloden, which is what this little piece was written about.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Realism

      Like it or not, Scottish licence fee payers have financially contributed to the BBC, which funds the programs that are subsequently sold by BBC Worldwide. Assuming a proportionate share, then Scottish licence fee payers own around 10% of BBC Worldwide, and 10% of future revenue streams on current productions, because they paid for it.

      Negotiations can take place in which that 10% of future revenue could be exchanged for a lump sum, but for you to suggest that it's owned in it's entirety by rUK and Scotland can go whistle is essentially, theft. However, the UK does have historical form for that, just ask any one of a number of ex-colonial countries.

      1. Phil W

        Re: Realism

        "Like it or not, Scottish licence fee payers have financially contributed to the BBC"

        Yes ok, I'll give you that. But an arrangement where a portion of ongoing profits for an indefinite future period go to the SBS would equally be theft. What about in x number of years time, when any content produced during the period funded by money from the Scots is no longer sold by BBC Worldwide or broadcast at all. For BBC Worldwide to continue to fund the SBS at that point would equally be theft.

        Either as you say a lump sum should be paid, or simply the past contributions should be written off as having paid for content received at the time and/or be considered as part of the cost of independence.

        After all, although you don't need a TV licence to watch pre-recorded content on iPlayer and such, previously having paid for a TV licence doesn't have any bearing on your entitlement to watch content produced during the period that you did pay for in the future.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Realism

          "But an arrangement where a portion of ongoing profits for an indefinite future period go to the SBS would equally be theft." Which is, of course, why I didn't say it. What I did say was "10% of future revenue streams on current productions", not future production, not for an indefinite time.

          As for Scotland having to write off that money as "part of the cost of independence" sounds a bit arrogant and vindictive, Imagine investing into a pension scheme, of which you own 10%, and you'd like to withdraw your money because you don't like the future direction it's going in, but the scheme directors say - 'Sorry, you can't have it, it's all ours, go away'.

          Not likely to win many friends with that attitude.

          1. Badvok
            Mushroom

            Re: Realism

            Loving the way everyone seems to round-up the proportionate share for Scotland to 10%. If it was done on population I think it would be about 8%, but I wonder what it would be if you counted people who actually paid the license fee.

          2. Jeff Green

            Re: Realistic percentages

            10% is rather high on current estimates Scotland has around 8.3% of the UK population and that's falling as the population of South Eastern England (pronounced London) rises fast, so by the time any independence came into effect they may be looking at around 7.5% of the revenues.

            1. The First Dave Silver badge

              Re: Realistic percentages

              In what way does the exact percentage alter logic and fairness?

              10% or 5%, what matters is what is right, lets leave the percentages to the accountants.

              1. Phil W

                Re: Realistic percentages

                @The First Dave

                "In what way does the exact percentage alter logic and fairness?"

                If you ever get divorced I hope your wife's lawyers read this.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Realism

        "Assuming a proportionate share, then Scottish licence fee payers own around 10% of BBC Worldwide, and 10% of future revenue streams on current productions, because they paid for it."

        That's fine just so long we can use the same model for the oil and gas in international waters off Scotland - the UK government has funded all of the exploration and development via tax allowances, so Scotland presumably owns only a proportional share based on the size of it's population or GDP contribution, etc.

        1. Fink-Nottle

          Re: Realism

          "Assuming a proportionate share, then Scottish licence fee payers own around 10% of BBC Worldwide, and 10% of future revenue streams on current productions, because they paid for it."

          Doesn't it follow that non-Scottish licence fee payers own around 90% of BBC Scotland - or am I missing something?

          1. gzunk

            Re: Realism

            @Fink-Nottle

            If the split is 90-10 (or 92-8 or whatever), then 10% of the BBC *is* BBC Scotland. BBC Worldwide is a separate commercial organization responsible for licensing and selling BBC programs abroad, which in turn should also be split 90-10 (or 92-8 or whatever).

            As ever, negotiation is everything. It may be that the buildings and infrastructure in Glasgow are less than 8% of the assets of the BBC, what with the new MediaCity complex in Manchester together with all the London assets, it may be that they're worth more - either way there will be some serious horse trading come independence.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Realism

        An international law professor I saw present to the Scottish Affairs Committee of Parliament said that international legal conventions point to an independent Scotland being entitled to a claim to a share of the UK's assets, but no claim on its institutions. The logic is that turning your back on the UK means turning your back on UK state institutions, even the ones (like the BBC or the £) you like and feel you have paid towards.

        So it would make sense for Scotland to have a claim to a share of the BBC's assets like buildings and kit located in Scotland. Would the BBC's back catalogue of telly programmes count as an asset that could be divvied up?

        Expect many such squabbles after independence!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Realism

          > Expect many such squabbles after independence!

          The international law professor that you listened to described the principles guiding the arrangements made during the break-up of Czechoslovakia.

          There was a fair bit of negotiating, as you would expect, but it all got sorted out quite promptly and civilly in the end. I would expect no less from Old Blighty.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Realism

            The Czechs are intelligent, forward thinking people who are used to negotiation given their position in Europe. The present British government is run by arrogant, entitled, upper class white men with one university and one school conspicuously over-represented. Why would you expect them to do as well as the Czechs?

            1. asdf Silver badge

              Re: Realism

              >The Czechs are intelligent, forward thinking people

              Yeah beautiful Bohemia but based on my frequent visits a decade or so ago avoid going to that country late in a month. The police tend to turn the screws for bribes sorry fines on the spot so they can make rent then. Some of the speed traps they set up there are only matched in dodginess in my experience by some on Indian reservations in the US.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Realism

                asdf, please don't be so annoyingly stupid.

                > The police tend to turn the screws for bribes sorry fines on the spot so they can make rent then

                You may be confusing the quite legal power of police officers to negotiate the amount of an on-the-spot fine (within certain limits) with a bribe. Even a decade ago attempting to bribe an officer would have been pretty insane: that's the quickest way to get thrown in jail. Policemen in CZ are quite, and rightly, proud of their integrity and besides it being illegal, they will take personal offence at any bribing attempts, especially from arrogant foreigners.

                > Some of the speed traps they set up [...]

                The "speed traps" are intended to remind people that speed limits are actually enforced, not merely decorative as in many other countries. This, along with zero blood alcohol limit and a general culture of polite respectfulness, makes Czech driving the most disciplined I've seen anywhere in the world. "Speed traps" are not a problem if you actually respect the speed limits (and 50 kph means 50 kph, not 55).

                1. asdf Silver badge

                  Re: Realism

                  A speed trap is suddenly without warning dropping the speed limit to half or more of what it was before. Quite a few zones like that in Eastern Europe in general.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Realism

              > The Czechs are intelligent, forward thinking people who are used to negotiation given their position in Europe.

              Well, it's almost always been rather one-sided negotiations though. :-(

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Realism

              "The present British government is run by arrogant, entitled, upper class white men with one university and one school conspicuously over-represented. Why would you expect them to do as well as the Czechs?"

              Because that one school and one university are both leagues ahead of anything that the Czechs have?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Realism

                > Because that one school and one university are both leagues ahead of anything that the Czechs have?

                I wouldn't be so sure. If I had to choose a place for my children to be educated, it would be any public school in the Czech Republic. Their system is pretty good, apart from being consistent across the country... and free, including higher education.

                I am not in any way detracting from the two UK institutions being alluded to in the previous post, btw.

          2. Charles Manning

            Czechoslovakia isn't the same

            Czechoslovakia only existed for 75 years. Much of the national administration remained distinct through the whole period.

            Czechoslovakia dissolved shortly after comming out of a communist command economy. That change was much bigger than the dissolution so dissolution was much easier to achive.

      4. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: Realism

        However, the UK does have historical form for that, just ask any one of a number of ex-colonial countries.

        Whilst I can't deny that the British Empire did a lot of rather naughty things, most of these were beyond living memory, and it's not as if everyone else on the planet is saintly. History is, after all, written by the winners, and everyone alive today is alive because their ancestors, in a long line going back to time immemorial, fought and killed others for the resources to survive and propagate.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Realism

          And your point is?

          I have no interest in justifying my ancestors; I just hope that we can do better in future. What puts me off the no camp is the petulance and childish bullying of politicians who can't bear the idea of losing a bit of influence. They come over as small minded.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Realism

      It will be good for the UK to offload Scotload. Scotland will return to being an ecomonic boat anchor round our necks before too long due to the continuing decline in oil and gas revenue (if we even count that as Scottish - it's not like they made it or anything).

      At least after independence we will have a reason to visit the godforsaken hole that is Scotand - cheap booze and fags until they negtiate EU membership!

      1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Realism

        I love the way that a share of BBC worldwide's profits is not spelled out.

        A. Do they mean a share of those profits produced by BBC Scotland programs (suspect not as that would be a lowball).

        B. Do they mean a share of those profits equivalent to the proportion of the BBC headcount and Opex based in Scotland?

        C. As much filthy lucre as the thieving politicians can grab.

        Not saying Scottish politicians are any more larcenous than the rest of the UK - just that they are going effectively legislate themselves a series of new troughs to poke their snouts into and NO politician should be trusted to do that without intense oversight.

      2. Larhten

        Re: Realism

        Spain will veto their membership purely as a statement to their own independently minded regions.

        1. Slx

          Re: Realism

          Quite possibly Belgium too for similar reasons. They're facing a split down the middle.

          The EU institutions sit in one of the most fractious countries in Europe and I think many EU Commission staff are aware of how chaotic a split might be there.

          My question is what happens to the national debt and also a very large number of UK banks are HQ'd in Scotland and they're heavily bailed out.

          If Scotland were left with all the banking crisis debts from those banks it would make the Irish banking crisis seem like a fuss about nothing. Those banks are many times bigger than Scotland's economy. You'd have Icelandic type risks on a far bigger scale.

          1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
            Childcatcher

            Re: Realism

            Quite possibly Belgium too for similar reasons. They're facing a split down the middle.

            Belgium has always been a house divided. Then again, their government stopped working for a while and pretty much no-one cared.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Realism

            "also a very large number of UK banks are HQ'd in Scotland and they're heavily bailed out."

            Erm no. Hardly any UK banks are actually headquartered in Scotland.

            You have a good few oil + gas firms with heads offices in Aberdeen, but i think you would find that a 'nameplate' head office would quickly relocate to London were it advantageous to do so...

        2. RealBigAl

          Re: Realism

          Spain will veto nothing, not if they don't want a full scale revolt of their fishing industry.

          1. Larhten

            Re: Realism

            @RealBigAl

            They will if Scotland joining the EU increases the chances of Catalonia and Basque gaining independence from them.

            'Look, Scotland got to join the EU after independence, we could too!' etc.

            Scotland not being in the EU would not affect the Spanish fishing fleet as far as I can see. They have everything to gain and nothing to lose by vetoing Scotland's membership of the EU if they become independent.

            1. Mark Wylie

              fishing

              Taking Scottish waters out of the European fisheries would have a terrible impact on Spanish fishing, catastrophic for many businesses.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Go

                Re: fishing

                ...only if Scotland builds a fisheries protection service to keep the EU fishermen out (COD WAR III)

            2. Lemon 67

              Re: Realism

              @RealBigAl

              "Scotland not being in the EU would not affect the Spanish fishing fleet as far as I can see. They have everything to gain and nothing to lose by vetoing Scotland's membership of the EU if they become independent."

              All countries have fishing rights upto 200 miles from their coast, that includes about 1/4 of the North Sea and a large area in the North Atlantic. If scotland is not in the EU then the Spanish will have no right to fish in them, which they currently do.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fishing_industry_in_Scotland

              Also the Spanish constituation states that Spain is 1 indivisible country and that any seperation is against the constituation and there no Spanish government can ever allow it to happen.

              If the Spanish block out EU membership then they will not be respecting the UK constituation to allow a democratic vote, and that will give the Catalonians and Basques a big stick to beat them with.

              P.S. Glad to see a civilised debate about Independence, rather than the usual rants.

              1. mike2R

                Re: Realism

                I have to say, I don't think there is a huge amount of milage in the "EU membership problems" argument against Scottish independence. The whole situation would be disruptive and expensive enough for the UK, without having to deal with Scotland being a non-EU country on top of everything else. So the UK would actually be a supporter of Scottish membership in the event (Cameron has said as much). I find it hard to believe that Spain would insist on vetoing Scottish membership against the wishes of the UK.

                The way I see it, there's a certain amount of justification in pointing out that Salmond has been less than honest over the issue, and has provided assurances which he has no power to make good on. But it is more that this is part of a pattern in the yes campaign, where all potential problems are ignored or misrepresented, rather than this actual issue being a major argument against independence. And pushing it as one distracts attention from those issues, like the currency, that the SNP really want to avoid talking about.

              2. chr0m4t1c

                Re: Realism

                If the Spanish block out EU membership then they will not be respecting the UK constituation to allow a democratic vote, and that will give the Catalonians and Basques a big stick to beat them with.

                As far as I know (and I may be wrong), there's never been a case of an EU member state splitting and there may not be any EU rules that cover such a case.

                Essentially there are two possibilities in the event of independance:

                1) Scotland is allowed to continue as an EU member because of it's previous membership as part of the UK.

                2) Scotland is out of the EU, but may apply for membership as a new country.

                Which one of those things happens is down to the EU, whatever the Yes camp say on the matter, it simply isn't up to Scotland (or England for that matter) on their own. Spain will form part of that debate, but it will (probably) only happen after a Yes vote, so Spain will not be interfering in the democratic vote for independance in any way, they will be debating the consequences along with all the other member states.

                If there is a Yes vote and if the EU decides that they can't just continue as members that is when things could get tricky, but it's possible that it would all be sorted as part of any independance debates and discussions before the final break-up. It's not as if Scotland will actually be independant by the end of the year, it'll take years to get all of the infrastructure and financial stuff sorted out first.

                1. Lemon 67

                  Re: Realism

                  @chr0m4t1c

                  "so Spain will not be interfering in the democratic vote for independance in any way,"

                  I didnt say Spain would be interfering in the vote, I was talking about them respecting the outcome of the yes vote as that will put Spain in a Catch-22 situation on blocking Scotland re-entering the EU.

                  I agree with the rest of your reply.

        3. heyrick Silver badge

          Re: Realism

          The thing that a lot of Europe doesn't quite get is that Scotland is not an annoying rebellious region wanting independence. It is a separate country, and it wants to be a separate autonomous country. British history is messy.

        4. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: Realism

          You're assuming that Spain in its current form still exists after the Basques and Catalans realise that you *can* win independence if you just dig your heels in, vote for it, and resist the temptation to shoot anyone.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Realism

          Given the state of the Spanish economy, the Germans would probably prefer Spain out and Scotland in.

        6. TheColinous

          Re: Realism

          Yeah, in a time when Eu energy supplies are fuzzy due to the conflict in Ukraine, the EU is going to punt out 1/3 of the EUs own energy stock, and the Spanish are going to torpedo its own fishing industry by makng them personan non-grata in Scottish waters.

          Nope, that's not likely to happen.

          I say, living in the Home counties, "Go Scotland, show us how it's done. Show us an alternative to the rotting, stinking neoliberal carcass that's Westminster. The English will then follow soon enough, or borrow Guilloutines from French museums."

          1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
            Unhappy

            Re: Realism

            "I say, living in the Home counties, "Go Scotland, show us how it's done. Show us an alternative to the rotting, stinking neoliberal carcass that's Westminster. The English will then follow soon enough, or borrow Guilloutines from French museums.""

            Hello Nigel.

            How many splinter parties have you formed this week again?

      3. DF118

        Re: Realism

        the godforsaken hole that is Scotand

        Never heard of Scotand. Is that your pet name for yer maw's fud?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Realism

          "Is that your pet name for yer maw's fud?"

          You have lost us there. We speak English over here.

          maw

          noun

          1. the mouth, throat, or gullet of an animal, especially a carnivorous mammal.

          2. the crop or craw of a fowl.

          3. the stomach, especially that of an animal.

          4. a cavernous opening that resembles the open jaws of an animal: the gaping maw of hell.

          5. the symbolic or theoretical center of a voracious hunger or appetite of any kind: the ravenous maw of Death.

          fud

          [fuhd]

          noun Slang.

          a fuddy-duddy.

    6. PassingStrange

      Re: Realism

      "The SBS would also inherit a proportionate share of the BBC’s commercial ventures, including BBC Worldwide Ltd, and their associated ongoing profits."

      My problem is not with the principle of that; it's simply that it's yet another regrettable, jam-today, sweep-the-practicalities-under-the-carpet example of the "Yes" camp's ludicrous pretence that, in the event of a vote for independence, all difficulties will simply melt away and Scotland will get everything it wants.

      Sorry, but I was born a cynic; if Scotland votes "Yes", then, sure, there will cases where an adequate level of independent operation already exists, and in those cases it's quite possible that the division will be fairly amicable. Where that's not the case, though, vested interests (overwhelmingly, south of the border) are likely to fight tooth and nail to either keep their assets intact or to make Scotland pay through the nose for what it wants - anything less makes no business sense. Is that the case with the BBC? I have no idea. Would such an amicable separation extend to existing income streams? I *highly* doubt it.

      If the Scots vote for independence, that's their choice - I wouldn't rob them of their right to make that decision for a second. But either way, the idea that some Magic Referendum Fairy will simply wave her magic wand and gift a Scotland that has just chosen to divorce itself from the UK with everything that Salmond et al. want to claim as its "fair share" is, frankly, about as ridiculous as... ...well, as the concept of a Magic Referendum Fairy. She's far, far more likely to wave her wand and walk away with half the contents of Scotland's wallet.

      1. Ian 55

        Magic Referendum Fairy

        The big wave of the wand would be when Shetland decides that it wants to be independent itself or stay in the UK.

        Why? The way that the first use of the word 'Shetland' in "Scotland's Future: Your Guide to an Independent Scotland" is on p290 is utterly typical, as is the second on p301, where it claims what is - by the SNP's favourite way to decide this - undeniably Shetland's oil belongs to Edinburgh.

        Shetland could go independent and thrive without mainland Scotland, but mainland Scotland could not go independent and survive without Shetland.

    7. Andrew Moore

      Re: Realism

      If Scotland goes independent, it will lose the BBC iPlayer too. In Ireland we can watch BBC programs but we cannot use the iPlayer as it tells us that we are outside their jurisdiction....

      1. psychonaut

        Re: iplayer

        use a vpn - private tunnel for instance, only costs about 15 quid a year for 50gb data transfer. gives you a uk ip (or us, canadian and many other countries...i use it here in the uk to watch hells kitchen (alright, thats a bit sad i admit, i'll blame it on the missus))

    8. Oh Homer
      Thumb Up

      Re: BBC "propping up" Scotland

      By that same logic, StarBucks, Google and Amazon UK receive investment from their respective US parent operations, therefore the UK is not really independent.

      Erm...

      Well, if you want to look at it in terms of corporate globalism, it isn't. No country is. And despite the hype (and the tax "license") the BBC is just another global corporation (£5 billion a year, apparently).

      Back on topic, whatever happens to broadband in Scotland, it can't possibly be any worse than it already is, so I for one welcome our new Scottish overlords.

      1. Phil W

        Re: BBC "propping up" Scotland

        Not sure if it was my phrasing or your reading ability but I was suggesting that the BBC funding would be used to prop up the SBC not the entirity of Scotland. Baring in mind it would likely need it given the population of Scotland and the number paying TV licence fees assuming Scotland keeps that model.

        Also the rest of what you wrote is drivel as it is based on the premise that the BBC is a private corporation which it isn't really. It is primarily state fund through the TV licence fee which is essentially a tax, and heavily state regulated in both it's broadcast and financial operations. Any comparison to Amazon, Starbucks or any other multi-national is inherently flawed.

        Besides if you want to pursue the corporate analogy, why should the BBC operations change at all? I'm sure Amazon UK won't both splitting it's operations into a separate Amazon Scotland

        1. Oh Homer
          Facepalm

          Re: BBC "propping up" Scotland

          BBC content that's paid for by the TV tax is also broadcast for profit in America. Is the BBC "propping up" America, or is that "drivel" too, by your definition?

          The BBC is an ambivalent entity that can't seem to make up its mind if it's a public utility or a private corporation, and in reality is a private corporation funded by misappropriated taxpayers money. On the day that it ceases "propping up" America with this fraudulent activity (or conversely stops leaching from taxpayers), both it and its loyal acolytes can feel justified in whining about it also "propping up" Scotland.

          If Scotland does in fact become an independent country, Amazon et al can continue selling us goods from Amazon UK, Amazon US or anywhere else it likes, but unless it also incorporates in Scotland it may find itself at a considerable disadvantage with respect to import duty and tax relief, assuming an independent Scotland decides to implement such things. That is after all the sole reason that global companies establish local operations in the first place.

  2. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
    WTF?

    You must be joking

    "and plans to spend £75m building a new digital-TV multiplex full of Scottish content."

    We already get Gaelic TV although no-one here speaks it.

    BBC Radio Scotland is full of tossers who blether on about uninteresting crap.

    All the TV heads that I know just watch Sky so I can see this to be a total waste of money.

    As for the internet, I'm with Scotnet who's service is exemplary although it rides on BT wholesale. No blocked sites so far. Up here in the Northern Isles I get a 8128 kbps connection but the nearest towns over the water are supposed to getting 80 Mbps soon. I doubt that will ever reach here.

    If Scotland goes independent then Orkney and Shetland will too. Slap a 200 mile claim to the surrounding sea and all the oil that President For Life Salmond has promised the Scots. Then you may see the Scottish army invading us poor defenceless islanders*. Having said that we could just buy an army with all that oil money :)

    *Shortly after the re-naming of the Salmond Airport, Salmond Road Bridge and Salmond University etc.

    1. returnmyjedi

      Re: You must be joking

      If you're going to buy an army I'd go with the Second Sons over the more flashy Golden Company. Save you a few bob to boot.

      1. Tim Jenkins

        Re: You must be joking

        And the Sons bring the bonus of having a commander who can go from blonde and gorgeous to dark and bristly without anyone noticing.. . </nerd>

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Re: You must be joking

        Hammers Slammers - the only way to go

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You must be joking

      "BBC Radio Scotland is full of tossers who blether on about uninteresting crap."

      You really didn't need to qualify that with 'BBC Radio'.

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: You must be joking

        "BBC Radio Scotland is full of tossers who blether on about uninteresting crap."

        You really didn't need to qualify that with 'BBC Radio'.

        ...or 'Scotland'

      2. Toastan Buttar

        Re: You must be joking

        Radio 6 is something to be proud of.

    3. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

      Re: Salmond airport etc

      I once visited a museum in a small French town. It was Bastille Day and nothing else was open.

      They had a fascinating section about the German occupation during WW2. Old identity documents, etc, etc. There was a map of the town. The central square had become Adolf Hitler Platz, the main street Adolf Hitler Strasse.

      Later, I told this to German friends. They laughed, and said they saw many possibilities for that naming scheme.

  3. Andy Roid McUser

    Fag packet maths

    This is the fundamental issue that the Pro Independence lot tend to skirt over. It's all emotional pulling at the heart strings , oh look how wonderful Sweden are , we'll do that , we'll join the euro , no , we'll use the pound or bitcoin , we'll have the bits of the BBC we fancy, ohh look oil , that'll last forever... it'll be great and death to Westminster...

    The Independence folk would win the argument hands down if they just presented clear facts and a solid road map to its people. However, no plan appears to be in place besides hope in the future.

    Hope is not enough.

    What they are proposing requires some proper grown up thinking, something sadly lacking. The people of Scotland deserve better and should call off this vote until it is thought through.

    1. RealBigAl

      Re: Fag packet maths

      The big problem there is Westminster flatly refuses to enter into any negotiations until after the vote, nor will they release financial figures (except those the authors then rip apart as having been taken entirely out of context) so there can be no certainty. Anyone looking for certainty is looking for something that can't exists due to Westminster blocking.

      So all the yes camp can do is make estimates based on publicly available figures (which don't actually read that well for the UK, as the FT have repeatedly shown Scotland is a net contributor to the UK).

      The only valid reasons for voting No are

      1) You genuinely feel your nationality is British rather than Scottish, Okay but don't be a hypocrite about it such as supporting Scottish pseudo national sports teams.

      2) You are frightened of going it alone, Okay but be honest about it.

      The only valid reasons for voting Yes are

      1) Self determination, you feel you can better influence politicians in Holyrood than Westminster as your MP has a greater say in a smaller pond

      2) You genuinely feel more Scottish than British, just don't be an ABE about it. That's just childish.

      You can argue about the rest if you like but neither YES or NO have the "facts" on that as they don't exist.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: Fag packet maths

        Also, an independent Scotland would absolutely, definitely never be allowed to join the EU.

        When that comes up there will genuinely be a flat No, possibly followed by "You're having a laugh" and a "F*** Off".

        The EU Commission have said "No new entrants", and the EU laws say "All entrants must take the Euro". Even if Salmond could work through all that, Spain and France will veto it regardless because of the Basque.

        The only reason to vote yes is because you think Alec Salmond deserves to be Lord Emperor of the North. He's doing this for political power, pure and simple. He would gain a lot, but Scotland as a whole would lose.

        1. Ross K Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Fag packet maths

          The EU Commission have said "No new entrants", and the EU laws say "All entrants must take the Euro". Even if Salmond could work through all that, Spain and France will veto it regardless because of the Basque.

          "All entrants must take the Euro"? 0RLY?

          Better not tell that to:

          Bulgaria,

          Czech Republic,

          Denmark,

          Croatia,

          Lithuania,

          Hungary,

          Poland,

          Romania,

          Sweden

          and the United Kingdom

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Yes, really

            > "All entrants must take the Euro"? 0RLY?

            Some of those countries are on track to adopt the Euro, others have negotiated specific exceptions (no longer possible until policy changes again), others are effectively exempt due to a loophole (not part of ERM II).

            1. Ross K Silver badge

              Re: Yes, really

              Some of those countries are on track to adopt the Euro, others have negotiated specific exceptions (no longer possible until policy changes again), others are effectively exempt due to a loophole (not part of ERM II).

              If you're "effectively exempt" the original numpty's assertion that "All entrants must take the Euro" is wrong, which is what I was highlighting...

        2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Unhappy

          Re: Fag packet maths

          "Also, an independent Scotland would absolutely, definitely never be allowed to join the EU."

          AFAIK Salmond is basically asking to do a 3 point turn out of the EU (as the Scottish region of the UK) and then "reverse back" into it as Scotland/Scotia/Gillie Jocko Land (for those familiar with the Spitting Image Thatcherite world map).

          There are at least 2 problems with this cunning plan.

          1) There are no provisions in the EU governing documents for it. Not a sausage. We are talking a major re working of the EU constitution on a much bigger scale than call-me-Dave's attempt to block "Bonkers" as the new EU Commission head.

          2)The Spanish. It turns out Spain is big. So big that Madrid/Barcelona football matches are played as internationals. Letting the spawny one have his way opens up a very big can of paella, without even mentioning the Basques or the Bretons, who it can safely be said this would start giving ideas to. When asked the Spanish ambassador said Spain has no problem with Scotland having a referendum.

          It's just what happens after that would make the Spaniards a bit combative on the subject if the wrong decision were made.

          BTW I wonder if anyone has considered that rather big building on Threadneedle Street?

          It's not called the Bank of Britain, is it?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Fag packet maths

            ""reverse back" into it as Scotland/Scotia/Gillie Jocko Land"

            Scotistan obviously.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Fag packet maths

            "BTW I wonder if anyone has considered that rather big building on Threadneedle Street?

            It's not called the Bank of Britain, is it?"

            Hence why Scotland has it's own Pound Notes already.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Not the Basque

          > Spain and France will veto it regardless because of the Basque.

          You mean the Catalans.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Fag packet maths

        "The only valid reasons for voting No are"

        You missed out:

        3. You want to remain within the EU.

        4. You realise that oil and gas revenue is on a downwards trend and are volatile anyway, and without them, Scotland's economy is significantly subsidised by the rest of the UK.

        5. You want to keep a British passport. (Have fun filling in Visa forms to visit half of the world with a 'Scottish' one lol.)

        However, many of us are quite happy for you to leave - primarily because it will reduce the chances of Labour getting elected and filling the country with yet more immigrants, and screwing up our economy again.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Fag packet maths

          "5. You want to keep a British passport. (Have fun filling in Visa forms to visit half of the world with a 'Scottish' one lol.)"

          I'm thinking of the Passport equivalent to the Scottish Pound Note....

        2. Lemon 67

          Re: Fag packet maths

          Re: Fag packet maths

          "The only valid reasons for voting No are"

          "You missed out:

          3. You want to remain within the EU."

          Except the Tories want to take the UK out of the EU

          "4. You realise that oil and gas revenue is on a downwards trend and are volatile anyway, and without them, Scotland's economy is significantly subsidised by the rest of the UK."

          Except that there is another 30-40 years oil left with new discoveries being made and new extraction methods.

          "5. You want to keep a British passport. (Have fun filling in Visa forms to visit half of the world with a 'Scottish' one lol.)"

          Except we will have dual nationality as the UK government has already said that we will keep out British citizenship for at least 2 generations.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Fag packet maths

            Re: Fag packet maths

            "The only valid reasons for voting No are"

            "You missed out:

            3. You want to remain within the EU."

            Except the Tories want to take the UK out of the EU

            I think you will find that actually they want a referendum on it.

            "4. You realise that oil and gas revenue is on a downwards trend and are volatile anyway, and without them, Scotland's economy is significantly subsidised by the rest of the UK."

            Except that there is another 30-40 years oil left with new discoveries being made and new extraction methods.

            That doesn't change anything that was stated - the peak is well past, prices are highly volatile and production is on a downwards trend. And those new extraction methods don't change that - they just put off the inevitable for a bit - and are only worth investing in if process are very high. Once the 30 years are up (and probably before that) you are screwed. Not to mention that the UK is likely to keep a lot of it in return for covering your share of the national debt.

            "5. You want to keep a British passport. (Have fun filling in Visa forms to visit half of the world with a 'Scottish' one lol.)"

            Except we will have dual nationality as the UK government has already said that we will keep out British citizenship for at least 2 generations.

            So you will still be relying on the UK then for the basics - not really surprising - and shows just how half arsed the proposal to become independent is. I'm sure you will be asking to rent our army / navy. borrow our currency, use our BBC, and National Grid, etc. etc. too....

    2. TheColinous

      Re: Fag packet maths

      There are so many taxes, fees, and such that aren't counted toward the Scots contribution. I mean, take things like oil company licenses. That most likely goes to the north sea account rather than the Scottish account, and therefore don't show up in the book-keeping as having been contributed by Scottish assets.

      Where is VAT counted for the Tesco and ASDA shops? In England or Scotland? What about BBC license fees? What about all the other little charges and fees and taxes. Fag packet tax? Beer and wine tax?

      The only thing one can know for sure is what comes down the pipe from Westminster after the Barnett formula has been applied. And, you have to give it to the SNP, after the dreadful mess Labour made of the Scottish parliament (the building!) and with their tribal belief that Scottish voters always belonged to them and nobody else, the SNP has done a pretty good job of balancing the books up there.

      Sure, like any political party they're going to inflate their own positives and hide away their own negatives. But there's a reason why SNP got a majority in a system designed to avoid majorities.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Promises

    I see a lot of promises of things being 'better' but very little of how it is going to get there. Or am I just looking in the wrong places?

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Promises

      Strangely not too dissimilar to any normal political statements.

      Now where's the equivalent UK vote on whether we'd like Scotland to stay or go? It's not all about Scotland...

      1. kmac499

        Re: Promises

        As a Yorkshireman with a Scots Grandfather ( which I think will entitle me to dual citizenship.) If the Scots vote Yes; then I suspect they'd better be ready for some really hard bargaining along the lines of a very bad divorce.

        They may have the vote, but we will all have to live with the consequences. Especially as the Westminster parliament will suddenly realise that 50 odd seats will be irrelevant with 6 months to the R-UK general election. Who's interest are we going to vote for??

        Can you imagine Nigel Farage and UKIP saying we'l be tough on Europe but we'll give the departing Scots the house, car, use of the TV a guaranteed share of the pension etc, plus We'll also cover the credit card debts and keep the joint bank account for the next few years. Oh and don't worry dear we'll take our pesky Nuclear subs out of the bathroom as well..

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Promises

          > As a Yorkshireman with a Scots Grandfather ( which I think will entitle me to dual citizenship.)

          It does not.

          Scotland's right to vote in the referendum, and subsequent citizenship, is established along territorial, not ethnic, lines. Briefly put, only those residing in Scotland at the time of independence will be initially eligible for Scottish citizenship. This is regardless of their nationality of origin, be it British, EU, or non-EU.

          It does pay to be at least somewhat informed before contributing to a debate, if nothing else as a matter of respect and deference towards others.

          1. Ian 55

            Citizenship

            Obviously everything in Scotland's Future - the document which loves to say 'when' rather than the much more honest 'if' - is not binding, but...

            "We plan that British citizens habitually resident in Scotland on independence will be considered Scottish citizens. This will include British citizens who hold dual citizenship with another country. Scottish born British citizens currently living outside of Scotland will also be considered Scottish citizens.

            "Following independence, other people will be able to apply for Scottish citizenship. For example, citizenship by descent will be available to those who have a parent or grandparent who qualifies for Scottish citizenship. Those who have a demonstrable connection to Scotland and have spent at least

            ten years living here at some stage, whether as a child or an adult, will also have the opportunity to apply for citizenship."

            .. suggests that it will.

          2. DrGoon

            Re: Promises

            Per "Scotland's Future" published by the Scottish Government:

            "We plan that British citizens habitually resident in Scotland on independence will be considered Scottish citizens. This will include British citizens who hold dual citizenship with another country. Scottish born British citizens currently living outside of Scotland will also be considered Scottish citizens."

            That's the day one proposition, which is vastly more inclusive (people are one of Scotland's best exports) than you've asserted. Going on:

            "Following independence, other people will be able to apply for Scottish citizenship. For example, citizenship by descent will be available to those who have a parent or grandparent who qualifies for Scottish citizenship. Those who have a demonstrable connection to Scotland and have spent at least ten years living there at some stage, whether as a child or as an adult, will also have the opportunity to apply for citizenship. Migrants on qualifying visas will also have the option of applying for naturalisation as a Scottish citizen."

            Regarding dual citizenship:

            "The UK allows dual citizenship for British citizens. If a British citizen acquires citizenship and a passport of another country, this does not affect their British citizenship, right to hold a British passport or right to live in the UK. The Scottish Government will also allow dual citizenship. It will be for the rest of the UK to decide whether it allows dual UK/Scottish citizenship, but we expect the normal rules to extend to Scottish citizens."

            There's no reason to expect that the UK would not extend dual citizenship to Scottish citizens formerly citizens of the UK, however it's probably fair to assume taht this would be a bargaining point that may cost Scotland a few claims at the negotiating table. That's part of the reason that Salmond et. al. have to make rather egregiously padded claims - the negiotiations will be... interesting.

          3. kmac499

            Re: Promises

            AC replied to my origninal post'....

            Me "As a Yorkshireman with a Scots Grandfather ( which I think will entitle me to dual citizenship.)"

            AC It does not.

            I took my possible citizenship rights from this page;

            http://www.yesscotland.net/answers/who-will-be-eligible-scottish-citizenship-independence-and-future

            and This text on it

            "Following independence, other people will be able to apply for Scottish citizenship. For example, citizenship by descent will be available to those who have a parent or grandparent who qualifies for Scottish citizenship. Those who have a demonstrable connection to Scotland and have spent at least ten years living here at some stage, whether as a child or an adult, will also have the opportunity to apply for citizenship. "

            If I'm wrong, in the way I'm reading it, then fine, I certainly didn't beleive it would be mine as a right.

      2. Phil W

        Re: Promises

        "Now where's the equivalent UK vote on whether we'd like Scotland to stay or go? "

        Quite. Something I have often wondered during this whole independence kerfuffle is what the legal basis is for Scotland becoming independent.

        Again I have no particular inclination for or against Scottish independence, as long as it is properly planned, but....

        As far as I'm aware the Act of Union sets no terms and makes no allowance for Scotland becoming independent again in the future, and there has been no amendment to that act or any new law made to legislate for it.

        IANAL but to the best of my understanding, regardless of the political or moral implications, in order for Scotland to actually become independent one or both of the following would have to happen:

        1. The UK government and Head of State (old Lizzy if she's still alive by then) would have to sign into law an act acknowledging Scotland's departure from the Union and recognising it as a sovereign nation.

        2. Scotland would have to openly declare independence and have that declaration acknowledged by the majority of UN members (as Crimea attempted but failed to do, before being annexed by Russia).

        Without one or both of the above happening, in legal terms and practical international political terms, Scotland will not be an independent nation.

        Point 1 certainly raises the question of whether a referendum on Scottish independence should actually be UK wide.

        Also what about those born in Scotland and may even have lived 99% of their lives in Scotland but currently live south of the border, should they not get a say? As long as they are still UK resident citizens and not living overseas why shouldn't they got a vote.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Promises

          Act of Union, Article 14 - to paraphrase: No tax or charge shall be imposed on Scotland and not England. Tell that to Margaret Thatcher and the Community Charge, introduced into Scotland a year early as an experiment. Quickly repealed after it was imposed on England and caused the same problems as Scotland had already seen.

          So if the UK government can willfully ignore the text of the Act of Union I don't think anybody can really say that it's that important. Or if it is, the surely it could be then be argued that it's now null and void?

          As for a UK wide referendum, I think the UN's view on the self-determination of peoples would generally put paid to that idea, since in a UK wide vote on Scottish Independence, what the English want, the English get.

          1. Badvok

            Re: Promises

            "Tell that to Margaret Thatcher and the Community Charge, introduced into Scotland a year early as an experiment."

            You might want to re-think your argument after a little research. The Community Charge was a change in the way an existing tax (rates) was calculated and collected, not a new tax.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Promises

            >> No tax or charge shall be imposed on Scotland and not England. Tell that to Margaret Thatcher and the Community Charge, introduced into Scotland a year early as an experiment.

            Wow! You mean that when Scotland had the poll tax, it was *in addition* to 'rates' which still had to be paid?

            No wonder you were all so pissed off.

        2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

          Re: Promises

          This just leads to the next thought: What defines a person as Scottish? (from the nation point of view, not just a passport) Ignoring the obvious jokes (short arms, deep pockets), do you have to be born there, live there for a certain amount of time, eat a certain amount of haggis or porridge (which is more popular in England).

          Bearing in mind that Highlanders tend to consider themselves separate to all Southerners, some held in more contempt than others, where does it end?

          1. Steven Jones

            Re: Promises

            From what I've read it would appear those born in Scotland would be automatically be granted Scottish citizenship, but other nationalities resident there, or those with other claims (like Scottish parents or grandparents) would have to apply and be granted citizenship by whatever means i

            An interesting question is going to be which government will be responsible for paying state pensions (or, for that matter paying out occupational pensions for government employees where there's no funded scheme - such as civil servants). Entitlement for state pensions will have been by NI contribution whilst in the UK, but as there's not funded scheme, it just comes out of general taxation. Are future old age pensions then going to be paid by residency at the time of independence? Is it going to be by nationality (in which case, what about the very large number who will have dual nationality).

            In all, this is is just one of thousands of detailed issues that arise from independence, and it's all meant to be sorted out (amicably) in a couple of years.

            nb. interesting question - who will represent the interests of the "RUK" in the event of a yes vote? I would expect citizens of the RUK and Scotland respectively to want the best possible deal for themselves. As the "yes vote" has been taken in the absence of the actual terms of independence, then what happens if agreement isn't reached? Fascinating stuff.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Promises

        "Now where's the equivalent UK vote on whether we'd like Scotland to stay or go? It's not all about Scotland..."

        If a girlfriend dumps you do you demand a right of veto?

        But I'd like to have a vote on whether England should secede from the Union - I'd vote yes! Dump her before she dumps you.

        1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Re: Promises

          "Now where's the equivalent UK vote on whether we'd like Scotland to stay or go? It's not all about Scotland..."

          If a girlfriend dumps you do you demand a right of veto?

          If a girlfriend repeatedly threatens to dump you but never goes through with it, she'd be naive to think you'd not ditch her for someone less neurotic...

      4. PassingStrange

        Re: Promises

        "Now where's the equivalent UK vote on whether we'd like Scotland to stay or go? It's not all about Scotland..."

        Well - for my money at least, in that question is the nub of the problem facing the "Yes" campaign (or would be if they were actually having a sensible discussion, rather than just promising that everything will be wonderful). Because, on the one hand, they want the people of Scotland to have the sole vote on whether or not to leave the UK; but on the other hand, they keep trying to pretend that (of course!) Scotland will get to share pretty much everything it currently enjoys as part of it.

        Sorry, guys - make your mind up. Those two positions are not compatible. In particular, when you're a member of something, and you decide to cancel your membership, it's almost unheard of for you to continue to enjoy the rights and benefits that membership gave you. If you want to have an equitable share in what the UK has - effectively, to divide the current UK into two parts - then those of us in the rest of the UK have a right to expect a reasonable say in the decision-making process. If you want to make the decision unilaterally (which is what Salmond et al. have opted for), and you end up choosing to walk out, then fine - but don't expect to simply pick and choose what you get to take with you. At that point, it makes very little sense for the rest of the UK to start from any other negotiating position than that it's basically ALL ours until otherwise agreed.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Promises

          @PassingStrange

          You're just talking nonsense. If you go through a divorce, the shared assets get divided up between the divorcees. It's not that the person instigating the divorce gets nothing, and the other keeps everything. That's just not how the real world works. Wake up.

          You're basically talking out your arse.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Mushroom

            Re: Promises

            This assumes an independent Judge & leagal system to set and enforce a Divorces terms - and it aint a divorce the Union is not in any way a marriage

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Promises

      Same on both sides of the debate.

    3. MrXavia

      Re: Promises

      I've seen more that would be worse in an independent scotland...

      Seems to me the Yes campaign likes to lie a lot...

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Promises

      > Or am I just looking in the wrong places?

      Possibly. It is certainly a lot more of a plan than what the Slovenians had.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Promises - don't mention the Slovenians

        The Slovenians (and the Czechs) have done rather well out of their independence.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Independence will create jobs

    But unfortunately only for bureaucrats and politicians.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Personally, I think Scotland's biggest concern should be -

    Once they become a small, self-appointed independent nation with no EU or NATO affiliation and entirely dependent on oil revenue, how are they going to keep the Yanks off?

    1. ISP

      Re: Personally, I think Scotland's biggest concern should be -

      Yes, because we all saw how the Norwegians were annexed by the US right?

      The level of idiocy displayed by people on all sides of this "debate" never ceases to depress me...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Personally, I think Scotland's biggest concern should be -

      > how are they going to keep the Yanks off?

      It's not like they can read a map anyway.

  7. Irony Deficient

    Scots law

    Bill,

    A Scottish government can no more grab the spectrum back than it can lay claim to the land on which my house sits.
    is there no power of compulsory purchase / eminent domain under Scots law?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Scots law

      Wanna bet?

      Once El Presidente Salmond get his feet under the table just about everything apart from the Whisky Industry will be nationalised. All land will belong to the state and everyone will have to pay rent to the state.

      What then me laddie?

      Go on have a wee dram to drown your sorrows.

      Even my better half who hails from Ullapool is dead set agin this vote. All power will reside in the central belt and those up north will be more remote from decision making than they are now.

      1. Steven Raith

        Re: Scots law

        AC is, from what I hear, correct.

        Get north of Inverness and it's basically a different country - more so than, say, Cornwall or South Wales, as I understand it from people from those areas; the hand of government sometimes feels like it reaches there. No so in Lybster or Golspie. Highlands and Islands council is God.

        My contacts back up in Caithness area advise me that pretty much everyone they know who has critical thinking faculties is just rolling their eyes at this because it will make no fucking difference at all to them. The rest of them are just tubthumbing morons, frankly.

        If there are any people up there making coherent arguments in support of independance other than fringe benefits (vague promises of faster broadband? Fuck that, they want their roads fixed more quickly, and better) they can't be heard over the people shouting about William Fucking Wallace.

        Steven 'Born in Thurso, Grew up in Thrumster, schooled in Wick' R.

        1. Steven Raith

          Re: Scots law

          Three downvoters - probably all dirty Wickers and foosty Thurso bucks.

          ;-)

          Steven R

  8. Infernoz Bronze badge
    Go

    I hope they do leave and learn hard reality.

    1. A break will probably significant cut costs to England and the rest of the UK which actually generates net revenue. The break must be conditional on Scotland accepting their share of the national debt, including financial bailouts, and lose access to all shared services of the UK e.g. the Pound, UK Military support, and other UK state services. I don't give a dump about the BBC there because I don't pay for stuff I don't use. It will be good riddance to many Socialist Scottish MPs too!

    2. The Scottish will see just how expensive their rampant Socialist decadence is, let alone the planned extras, so eventually understand that Socialism is a destructive addiction when Scotland has to default. I will be amused at the discomfort of the currently parasitic Crown and 'Queen'.

    3. When they do ask to rejoin the union, because the EU won't accept them, they will have accept that the current level of significant extra subsidies are completely unacceptable and have to be reasonable.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I hope they do leave and learn hard reality.

      C'mon, what happened to Cameron's lovebombing? Show us some love. Make us want to stay.

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: I hope they do leave and learn hard reality.

        Cameron's a Scottish name, right? If Scotland votes 'yes', I reckon we should send him back there. They can do whatever they like with the bastard.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I hope they do leave and learn hard reality.

          No way - that would mean we would also get Kelvin MacKenzie. You can keep them both; they're your problem.

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: I hope they do leave and learn hard reality.

      At least they aren't planning on stealing and mangling the language like other former colonies.

      1. asdf Silver badge

        Re: I hope they do leave and learn hard reality.

        Insert typical American rant about the UK being able to speak English at all and not speaking German due to Merika. Seriously though without those former colonies English would probably not be the lingua franca of the world these days, butchered or not.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I hope they do leave and learn hard reality.

        "At least they aren't planning on stealing and mangling the language like other former colonies."

        Have you heard someone from Scotland try and speak English recently?

    3. Ross K Silver badge

      Re: I hope they do leave and learn hard reality.

      You'll be hoping Northern Ireland leaves the fold too then?

      How much does NI cost the taxpayers every year compared to Scotland?

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: I hope they do leave and learn hard reality.

        >You'll be hoping Northern Ireland leaves the fold too then?

        If Scotland leaves it would only be fair for Northern Ireland to go with them

        They have such similar cultural and religous interests, along with a pair of common languages it would seem a shame that the two regions are separated.

        1. Ross K Silver badge

          Re: I hope they do leave and learn hard reality.

          If Scotland leaves it would only be fair for Northern Ireland to go with them

          They have such similar cultural and religous interests, along with a pair of common languages it would seem a shame that the two regions are separated.

          Well half of them anyway. The other half? Not so much. ;)

    4. veti Silver badge

      Re: I hope they do leave and learn hard reality.

      Yes, because having a disgruntled and depressed neighbour with a historical grudge against you is such a good idea...

      The Scots, lest we forget, routinely went to war with England until the two countries were unified, and even for a century or so after the union of crowns. It's not for nothing that they talk about France as "the auld alliance". The big selling point of the Act of Union (to the English - it didn't need selling to the Scots, it was their commercial interests who wanted it in the first place) was that it would put a stop to that sort of thing once and for all.

      Yes, that's so something we all want to go back to.

  9. Steven Jones

    Splitting utilities on geographical lines?

    Should Scotland become independent, then I can see that if the regulation becomes more onerous, it will be in the interests of several utilities, and their respective shareholders, to divest split into separate subsidiaries on geographic lines and even, perhaps, into wholly separate companies.

    There would be tricky issues to resolve, especially where, historically, services such as IT are fully integrated. This could lead to a considerable increase in costs. But, if the regulatory regimes across the border are very different, then this would inevitably increase costs too.

    In the case of some utilities (including that of BT), it may not be in the interests of Scots as I'm pretty sure that the (overall) lower population densities and greater distances involved will mean that the network north of the border is more expensive to maintain (per property) than that of the more densely populated rest of the UK. That might lead to wholly different calculations for things like wholesale line cost calculations.

    Of course it might leave some interesting questions on how pension deficits are to be funded, although I imagine such liabilities could also be split on geographical lines.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Splitting utilities on geographical lines?

      There's a lot of things that Salmond's camp are laying claim on.

      I do find it odd that Salmond thinks that the National Grid would stay a single entity across both countries.

      Presumably he wants England, Wales and Northern Ireland to subsidise his plans.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hearts and Minds

    I am a Scot and I have a vote.

    My perception is that the majority of Scots feel "Heart says Yes, Mind says No."

    And as any of you who have paid attention to any recent neuroscience//psychology/economics will know, even when our mind thinks it made a decision, much of the time it didn't.

    1. Joefish
      Holmes

      Re: Hearts and Minds

      Why not just admit it has nothing to do with England; Scotland is voting on whether to divorce itself from the Tories. End of story.

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Hearts and Minds

      Might I suggest you learn from Quebec

      Keep demanding independence and threatening to leave unless you get special legal rights and extra funding - then narrowly vote no everytime there is an actual referendum.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cameron in the Shetlands

    I saw Cameron popped up to the Shetlands for a visit a week or so back. One guesses that if Scotland goes independent then the Shetlands.

    I'm hoping they vote yes, we dont like hangers on.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cameron in the Shetlands

      David Cameron up there protecting the rights of British people from oppression by the Scottish. Sounds all a bit familiar......

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Cameron in the Shetlands

        Bit confused about this - if Scotland goes then 40-50 safe labour seats go.

        Why isn't Cameron up there side-side with the Salmond promoting freedom for the oppressed haggis eaters?

        Since I get all my political news from the Reg and Sandi Toksvig I might be missing something.

        1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: Cameron in the Shetlands

          "Why isn't Cameron up there side-side with the Salmond promoting freedom for the oppressed haggis eaters?"

          Because he is more effective when he is pretending to be in the "No" camp.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Cameron in the Shetlands

            A subtle and cunning plan worthy of Baldrick himself

        2. veti Silver badge

          Re: Cameron in the Shetlands

          One thing you might be missing is that Cameron's party is officially called "The Conservative and Unionist Party".

          To openly favour Scottish independence would, paradoxically, split the Tory party right down the middle.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Recent History

    > prompting my interest on how things will develop, should Scotland cast itself adrift.

    Your interest may be satisfied, to a significant extent, by studying the independence process of all those new States that have popped up in Europe after the end of the Cold War.

    You will note that none of them has had significant difficulty in State-building terms (BiH excepted) and all of them are modern, viable States.

    As for the EU accession thing, I thought Britain was keen on leaving the EU, with a promise of a referendum and all, so it doesn't look like Scotland would be necessarily better off within the UK in this regard. It would be rather ironic if the UK voted themselves out of the EU, while Scotland joined back in. :)

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Scotland's a country!?!

    I just thought it was a holiday resort for rich London bankers to go and shoot wildlife for a couple of weeks a year...

    1. EssEll

      If it was a holiday resort to shoot rich London bankers, I'd go.

      (Note to NSA/GCHQ: That was a JOKE.)

  14. John L Ward

    Forget scottish independence...

    London is in more need of independence...or we are in more need of independence from it...

    So why not make London (well, everything inside the M25) into a city state, leave it to raise it's own taxes, build it's own airport in the estuary etc. - you could even extended it to the South East if that made sense.

    Then you move all of the UK institutions out of London, revitalising other UK cities - this includes UK government, which could go to Birmingham/Manchester (or even a virtual parliament shared with Edinburgh/Cardiff).

    Job done.

  15. Velv Silver badge
    Flame

    "There is no reason, in a competitive integrated market, for companies to frustrate customers on both sides of the border by introducing roaming charges after independence."

    Although there will be a currency conversion between Sterling and the Euro

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If Scotland get independence, then the simple fact is that prices for goods and items will go up. Companies will claim doing business over a border costs more and their prices will reflect that - bit like how UK based companies try and justify the price of goods in Ireland, when just over the border in Northern Ireland it's much less....

      One thing that is very high in Ireland is motor tax - it's 3 times more expensive here due to the much lower density of cars (and a historically greedy Gov.). There's 5m people in Scotland driving x% of the UK cars. Motoring costs are bound to increase - tax, insurance (no doubt as claims per pop. and crossing an international border now into a diff jurisdiction would change), the forecourt price of cars would go up.....

      I just can't imagine the costs will remain the same. Independence at a price.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        2 thumbs down hey. Truth hurts...

    2. Andrew Jones 2

      Guess what - there is already a currency conversion between Sterling and Euro - while most people in the UK appear to be unaware of it - although we haven't changed to the Euro - the Euro is still valid currency that we accept. You will notice that service stations toward the south of country price stuff in both Sterling and Euros And the majority of high street shops will accept Euros even if they don't advertise the fact.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        But presumably the rest of Europe still won't accept Scottish Euro banknotes

  16. EssEll

    No-one knows...

    The correct and only answer to any question around Scottish independence is, "We don't know. Yet.". People seem to think that the referendum will be an end to proceedings. Far from it - a yes vote in the referendum will lead to 18 months to 2 years of discussion and negotiation. The actual date of independence (assuming a yes vote) is set for sometime in 2016.

    So it's all a case of "What do we want?" "INDEPENDENCE!!" "When do we want it?" "IN TWO YEARS AFTER WE'VE FIGURED EVERYTHING OUT!!".

    Huh. I'm not holding my breath.

  17. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

    Big Chief Salmond

    I watched the BBC coverage of the euro-elections in May. Not that they really covered Europe apart from the UK. It was as if they had covered a UK general election while staying within the M25.

    Of all the politicians they interviewed, Salmond was the least unconvincing, even though I disagree with Salmond on most things.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Act of Union

    As far as I understand it, in order for the union to be broken, the English parliament should be reconvened after a long period of recess (as the Scottish Parliament did some years ago), a new act or amendment or annulment to the act of union would have to be passed. I don't believe the UK Parliament has any place in this as it was in fact created from the Act of Union itself . So without the act there is no UK Parliament. England needs to get it's own Parliament anyway as it seems that their is a certain amount of derision for the current negotiations

    As for currency the treaty of Union stated that Scotland should keep it's mint (it didn't). The title of Governor of the Mint of Scotland was passed to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, then binned a few years down the line. In truth, the two countries had been using each others money from the Union of the crowns.

    Now, sadly there is no mention of the BBC in any treaty or act of this vintage, so there is nothing to which we can refer.

    IN the event of independence (and the requisite reformation of the English Parliament) presumably the Westminister Parliament would then have to go into recess (until Union was re-enacted 3 years later at further amid Scottish hyper inflation, invasion by Russia or England's crippling fuel bills from other producers of fossil fuels) at which point we could forget all about it and get on with our lives! IT will be a story to tell our grand children. In English.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Amazing

    50 odd comments into a story about Scottish independence and it's still reasonably sensible. Must get a better quality of reader at el reg ;) (If this was the BBC forums it would have degenerated into all out war by now).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Amazing

      "If this was the BBC forums it would have degenerated into all out war by now"

      If it was a yahoo comments page, more than half the comments would end "vote UKIP"

      (and that would include a page where the question was "milk in the cup first when making tea?")

    2. Andrew Jones 2

      Re: Amazing

      If it was a BBC forum, they would probably not allow comments in the first place.......

    3. Dougthedug

      Re: Amazing

      " (If this was the BBC forums it would have degenerated into all out war by now)"

      The BBC don't allow comments on Scottish political stories. They stopped allowing them more than a year ago.

  20. Arachnoid

    No Scottish HS2

    Finish at Newcastle and not Edinburgh or Glasgow so that will save use a few billion then on an already stupid idea

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: No Scottish HS2

      But now the Birmingham-Glasgow link will be a prestigious international project like the Channel Tunnel or Concorde

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No Scottish HS2

        Scottish HS2 will be replaced with HW2 project - which although modern in design will retain the historical values of the original wall, as envisioned by Hadrian.

  21. bigtimehustler

    I do think the whole of the UK should have a vote, you may want to leave or you may not want to. But then again, we may want you to leave or may not want you to. It works both ways.

    1. Alpha Tony

      I already voted with my feet and am happily settled in a country with better weather and cheaper beer. I thoroughly recommend leaving the UK, but leaving it and still having to live in Scotland seems pointless.

  22. Arachnoid
    Pint

    Yes but.........

    What about all those Scots that are no longer Scottish after the vote........do we do an export deal and swap them for oil?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Yes but.........

      What Oil?

      After the referendum the Orkneys will be able to throw off 800 years of Scottish oppression (after they were pawned as a wedding present) and be able to reclaim their rights to the North Sea and their true Viking inheritance.

  23. Muscleguy Silver badge

    Christian my arse

    You are conflating what people put on census forms with worship and belief. Note that in parts of Scotland religion is tied with identity and football, sadly. But you are more likely to see people of that stripe in fitba grounds than the kirk of a Sunday.

    You may live in a rural area where the kirk is still involved in community cohesion but here in the cities congregations are combining and buildings being deconsecrated. Here in the East of Dundee there are a lot of deconsecrated churches AND up here in the postwar housing estates not a single place of worship has been constructed. A local kirk recently evicted the girl guides and brownies from their hall so they could lease it out to a commercial business. Too small a congregation, not enough income.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Christian my arse

      But at least you still sacrifice virgins on midsummer ?

  24. Anonymous IV

    The new Scottish single regulator

    ... will presumably have to be named OffAll, or Offal for short.

  25. This post has been deleted by its author

  26. Chris Miller

    Genuine question

    What happens to the SNP in the event of a 'Yes' vote? Surely it serves no purpose in an independent Scotland. I think Farage has promised that he would wind up UKIP if the UK ever leaves the EU.

    1. graeme leggett

      Re: Genuine question

      Drop the "ist" from the name?

      Other countries have had "National" parties even when independent. Aside from an infamous one that promised a socialist element, and the South African one I'm sure there must be others.

      1. Chris Miller

        Re: Genuine question

        True, Graeme, but I'm struggling to think of an example that Scotland might wish to emulate.

        If there is a 'Yes' vote in September, I think Salmond's first reaction might well be: "Oh shit, what have I done?"

  27. Breen Whitman

    Apparently, mirroring the Ukraine situation, British agents are now in southern Scotland blending in with the population.

    Some reports on social media say that two whiskey factories have been blown up.

    Although theres been some halt to the insurgency when roving bands of Scottish football mobs attacked locals..of which English insurgents were merged into.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Some reports on social media say that two whiskey factories have been blown up...

      Whiskey = distilled in Ireland, USA and elsewhere.

      Whisky = distilled in Scotland.

      Illiterate dick...

  28. Arachnoid

    Maybe Russia will intrevene

    And make Scotland a part of the Soviet state

  29. smartypants

    The rather drab reality is that...

    ...Scotland will be rather similar to how it is today in 20 years, independence or not.

    No glorious revival. No slump into being a third world country. Same old.

    There's no point poring over this statistic or that. When it comes down to it, people will be motivated by all the venal human emotions that nationalism stirs. Us and us versus them and us. Same old.

    At least we're not having a war over it this time, but there are going to be some ugly family feuds over the result, whichever way it goes!

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And make Scotland a part of the Soviet state

    Watch out for Salmonds' democratic antifascist youth party movement, Westminster dissent will not be tolerated, all hail czar Alex of Edinburgh.

    RESPECT

  31. Anakin
    Pint

    Welcome to scandinavia lost brothers and sisters

    http://www.norden.org/en/nordic-council

  32. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Coat

    A little question. If you think Salmond is right do you think Farage is right also?

    Both are campaigning on basically a separatist ticket, although Farage's goals are much more modest in some ways, much broader in others.

    So if you reckon Alex can pull it off do you think 'Nige can as well? And if you don't does that mean Al's not got a prayer either?

    I'm just stepping out for a pint and a fag to improve my "Bluff man of the people" credentials.

    1. MrXavia

      Re: A little question. If you think Salmond is right do you think Farage is right also?

      Well, I could have a few pints down a pub with Farage and expect a decent debate about things.

      Alex Salmond is too much of a fanatic to try that with..

      I hope he fails and on failing looses the next election and falls into obscurity so our country can get re-united properly and back to business!

  33. Jamie Jones Silver badge

    Off Topic

    Nice to see you, Bill.

    I thought you'd left the Register?

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Given our history, how the UK stood together as one through some extremely difficult times it would be a sad day should the union break up. For the populations as a whole there wouldn’t be any winners. Broadband would be the least of our worries.

  35. Otto is a bear.

    What will happen - Easy

    We stand by our commitment to .................................., however [In the Current Economic Climate], [Due to Legislative Congestion],[Our Current Priority is],[Commercial Pressures],[EU competition Legislation], and so on and so forth.

    When a politician makes two or three promises, at least one of them will probably happen, but the more they make the less likely it is that any of them will happen.

    The Nationalists only have to believed to win, that doesn't mean they have to do anything once they win.

  36. Robert E A Harvey

    Pie, Sky, etc

    "Not to mention buying the post office back into national ownership, and (perhaps) adding broadband to BT's Universal Service Agreement, so everyone in the newly formed country will be able to get broadband."

    Is this before or after legislation banning midges, ordering all rain to occur in the hours of darkness, and giving free chips for life to everyone with a funny accent and ginger hair?

  37. SleepyJohn
    WTF?

    Those who most want separation tend to least understand it

    .Salmond: "We will have a currency union with the pound" : The Pound: "Er, no you won't, you're far too much of a risk"

    Salmond: "We will automatically become full members of the EU" : The EU: "Er, no you won't, we already have a queue and you'll be at the end of it"

    Salmond: "We will be wallowing in money from North Sea Oil" : North Sea Oil: "Er, no you won't, read the small print in our contracts"

    Salmond: "We Scots are absolutely wonderful and wear kilts, so we should be independent" : Many Normal People: "Er, why? For whose benefit?"

    Would you abandon a cruise liner (albeit with imperfections) for a small boat in uncharted waters with a buffoon at the helm? I don't think the quiet majority of Scots will be sufficiently swayed by sporrans and haggis and silly American movies to do that. I used to live there and the greatest enthusiasm for separation nearly always came from those with the least understanding of its implications.

    The social and economic risks are literally incalculable. And for what exactly? No-one is banning bagpipes or Burns, or burning the books; there is no impediment to their culture; their best politicians pretty much run the UK anyway. They probably have more independence and power and money now than they could ever get on their own. Unless it is a ploy to lever increased devolution (a far more intelligent ambition) it seems totally insane to me; like divorcing a perfectly nice, working wife because some tart on the bus hitches up her skirt and smiles at you.

    Talking of the EU, I recall that the original objective of 'independence' was simply to secure a direct line to EU handouts, avoiding Westminster. Is that Mr Salmond's great romantic vision of kilted independence - just another EU welfare junkie? He does realise, surely, that the EU's 'financial encouragement' of minorities is firmly based on the 'divide & conquer' principle? And that they may not let him in anyway? Or does he, more cynically, simply care only about his own 'fifteen minutes of fame'? Either way I think a "YES" will give the author rather more to worry about than his broadband speed.

  38. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge
    Go

    It's Troll time!

    As an Englishman I am fully in favour of Scotland voting yes.

    Why you say?

    1 - Standard Life and most of the other big pension firms will move south of the border, probably to somewhere cheap with lots of drones to hire - say the North East. (making Newcastle the financial capital of the world! Muhahaha...).

    2- The Basques kicking off will distract the Spanish from whingeing about Gibraltar for a few years.

    Icon for what Scotland should do.....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's Troll time!

      "@It's Troll time!

      As an Englishman I am fully in favour of Scotland voting yes.

      Why you say?

      1 - Standard Life and most of the other big pension firms will move south of the border, probably to somewhere cheap with lots of drones to hire - say the North East. (making Newcastle the financial capital of the world! Muhahaha...)."

      Except Standard Life has denied this.

      "At the company’s AGM in May, chairman Gerry Grimstone said it was unlikely to move its thousands of employees out of Scotland."

      http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/standard-life-denies-plans-for-london-hq-move-1-3492860

      1. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge

        Re: It's Troll time!

        Unlikely to move its employees out of Scotland?

        Yep much easier to sack them and get fresh ones.

        Denies plans for London HQ move?

        Yep much cheaper in teh Norf.

        Just reading between the lines........

      2. SleepyJohn

        Re: It's Troll time! - it's synonym time, or not

        "unlikely to move its thousands of employees out of Scotland" does not have the same meaning as "will definitely not move its business out of Scotland"

  39. David McCarthy

    Regulator's name?

    I presume the Scottish equivalent of Ofcom would be Scofcom ... and also regulate the sales of battered Mars bars.

  40. Li1t

    This article mentions that Labour and Lib Dems have support traditionally in Scotland.

    After the Tory/Lib Dem coalition brought us to the point that around 50% of Scottish adults are willing to leave the UK, it's likely that Lib Dem support has been completely wiped out.

    Seeing Labour campaign beside the Tory and Lib Dems is only going to have a negative impact on Labour's support.

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