Scotland:Independent To Do what ?

Posted on: 17/09/2014

Some people feel the Scottish Independence Referendum has been a wonderful example of democracy in action.

However, a legitimate question to ask is " independent to do what?"

Are any countries truly independent today? I would venture to suggest that the answer is a resounding "NO". 

Most significant countries are enmeshed in multiple alliances. EC, Nato, UN, WHO, G10 and IMF are just a few of the more important acronyms which come to mind, but there are thousands of other entanglements, all of which serve to limit the freedom of action of individual nations. 

Frankly,even if *Yes" were to be the answer on Thursday, Scotland would have few opportunities for independent action at international level, apart from the freedom to beg to join some of the acronyms.

Of course, one acronym of which Scotland is already a part is "UK".

It is Scotland's voluntary and  long term participation in the UK which makes the oft-quoted Norwegian model of independence irrelevant. Norway was an independent nation when their oil reserves were discovered. Scotland was not. After several centuries of benefiting from membership of the United Kingdom, it would hardly be realistic for Scots to claim  "it is our oil". The oil belongs to the entity in existence when it was discovered and that was the UK. Scotland's share, in the event of independence, would not allow for the creation of a second Norway or a "Sovereign Fund" to make all Scots paper millionaires, as has apparently happened to Norwegians.

In the end, the only meaningful "extra" freedom Scotland would derive from independence would be in relation to managing the countries finances. Some would say "Fine.We will take that then". However, all Scots must realise that such freedom would include the ability to lapse into bankruptcy. Should that happen, the begging bowl would be out, in pursuit of funding from the IMF and others. Do Scots really crave the freedom to follow the same path as Greece or Ireland?

The UK is stronger in every way than Scotland could ever be as a tiny independent nation. The other members of the UK are prepared to cut Scotland an even better deal than before to stay with them.

Most objective observers would judge that to be a deal Scots should take.



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