The political situation has changed dramatically since 2014.
Is it time to look again at all the arguments against independence?
- “You’re too wee”. What about Croatia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Malta, Iceland, Norway, the Faroes etc?
- “You’re too poor”. UK debt is the Treasury’s, as Scotland had no borrowing powers. If Scotland offered to take its proportion of the debt, it would also claim its proportion of UK assets. Its estimated share in 2014 was £140 billion – why is that unsupportable if the UK’s £1.8 trillion debt is OK? Scotland’s resources and exports are far healthier than the rUK’s.
- “You’re too stupid”. Westminster has proved itself inept, incompetent and obsessed with Brexit.
- “You’re subsidised by England”. They left the EU over a £9bn subsidy – you think they’d give Scotland £15bn?
- “You’ll lose access to the UK single market”. But it’s OK for England to leave its main market – the EU?
- “Major companies will leave Scotland”. Already, Euro clearing, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Philips and Japanese companies are indicating that they are (or will) be leaving the UK – and many more will follow.
- “You won’t be able to re-join the EU”. As it stands, we DEFINITELY will leave the EU. As Brexit looms, stockpiling food and return to the austere 1940s seems inevitable – with a promise that it will take another 50 years to recover economically. The UK Treasury is buying euros. The threat that Spain will veto Scotland’s entry to the EU (if it was ever true) is now more likely to be a veto against a Brexit deal in order to re-gain Gibraltar.
- “You’ll have to have a border”. So tell me, how will the Northern Ireland border work post-Brexit?
- “You can’t use the pound”. As an international trading currency, the Bank of England can’t stop Scotland using the pound, or pegging a Scots pound within a range of sterling. Ireland (and most Commonwealth countries) tied their currency to the pound after independence, without any permission. It’s not even as if the pound is that desirable any more, having lost 28% of its value, and threatened by another 10% loss if there’s a no deal Brexit. It might even be possible to change the fiat currency to full reserve, away from bank debt.
- “You won’t be able to pay for NHS Scotland”. Now, it is clear the threat comes from privatisation and Brexit.
- “Your pension won’t be safe”. Now, a report says our state pension is the worst in the developed world.
- “Your taxes will rise”. Instead, even with limited powers over tax, the majority pay less income tax.
- “You’ll lose out on being able to work in “friendly” England”. Is it really possible that the “friendly union” will refuse entry to Scottish doctors, nurses, engineers etc when they leave Europe, while accepting those from all other nations? Has the example of Windrush changed the “friendly union” to a “hostile nation”?
- “Your family will be separated”. Like you’re separated from your family in Ireland, Canada and Australia?
- “Your oil is running out“ (as Denis Healey said in 1978), the price is too volatile. Profitability, production and exploration have been boosted by cost-cutting, technological advances, a weak pound and a price back to $75 a barrel. Scotland has done well on renewables, where we have huge resources but suffer Westminster mismanagement (compared to Norway). Also, offshore wind is now cheaper than nuclear).
- “You’ll lose out on UK contracts”. None of the promises were kept on Shipbuilding or Peterhead.
- “You won’t be able to defend yourself”. An independent Scottish defence strategy would cost us less, leave us substantially more protected and keep us out of illegal wars. UK defence budgets are inadequate, while £205 billion will be spent on Trident – which is illegal, immoral and an ineffective deterrent.
- “You won’t get the BBC”. Ireland buys access to UK TV for £21m – Scotland pays £288 million.
- “You’ll be the most powerful devolved parliament in the world”. Devolution is under attack in Scotland, dead in Northern Ireland, and moribund in Wales. The promise that devolution would be protected by enshrining the Sewel convention in law has been shown to be false. The EU, for all its faults, allows any member country to leave, whereas the UK denies the right of self-determination to Scotland.
- “You’ll lose your democratic voice in the UK”. On day 1 after the referendum, EVEL was introduced. Scotland is repeatedly “ignored, outvoted, or overruled” in Westminster. The Great Repeal Bill was passed without debate or input from a single Scottish MP in a power grab. UK takes Scotland to court over its Continuity Bill.
- “We’re stronger together”. They tried to rip off £7bn in the Fiscal Settlement. They withhold £1bn EU funds. From austerity, to Brexit, to economic collapse. £1 billion to the DUP isn’t applied to other devolved nations. £160 million stolen from farmers. Fishing is threatened with a Westminster power grab. Now we have to fight for Scotland the Brand. Inequality has increased. We got Waspi, HS2, tax avoidance, war in Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Foodbanks, Child poverty, Carillion, Grenfell. Young’s Seafood, HMRC, DVLA jobs moved by UK from Scotland. Fort Kinnaird sold for £167m – not shared with Scotland. Brexit will cost £220bn.
Theresa May is dragging the UK under. This time, Scotland must cut the rope.
Scotland can take avoiding action (even it England won’t) by looking again at the independence question.
Should we trust this inept UK government to look after our interests; or should we look after ourselves?
We have a mandate. We need to decide, then act with confidence and conviction.
Independence is a normal status for a free nation.