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Scottish independence

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  • First Up wrote: »
    Its actually closer to 40 million but its usually overlooked that a significant percentage of them originated as Northern Irish protestants of Scottish extraction. They are less animated about perceived injustices being perpetrated on the southern Irish.

    My figure comes from the 2019 US census. The point remains that Scotland has no such cohort. It can expect no special relationship with the US because there is no electoral gain for politicians in promoting this.




  • The USA has a special relationship with the UK. Without such a relationship, what country would build a very expensive aircraft carrier, fill it with all their USA purchased aircraft that can operate on it, and allow the US Marines to fill up the rest of the space with their aircraft and personnel, and the sail this UK aircraft carrier to the South China Sea to defend 'British interests'.

    Hmmm ....

    I think that is the kind of 'Special Relationship' that might be considered abusive if it were on a personal level.




  • Peregrinus wrote: »
    The special relationship is real.

    But most people have a hazy grasp of what it actually is, constructed largely on wishful thinking. The special relationship is wholly irrelevant to a great many things that people cite it in connection with.

    The special relationship does have a military dimension, and if the US places any meas at all on the UK's "independent nuclear deterrent", then if Scottish independence threatens to disrupt or degrade the UK's nuclear capacity, that would bother the US. But I'm not convinced that the US does put much meas on it.

    The possibility of Scotland ceasing to be part of the NATO area and to contribute its modest capacity to NATO would also bother the US, though that has nothing to do with the special relationship; it would bother them if any potentially strategically significant territory was carved out of NATO. And it's not really an issue; SNP policy is that Indy Scotland would join NATO, and Scottish Labour and Scottish Tories would both support that.
    If there is a special relationship it's more about money than anything else. Yes the US did help the UK during the Falklands War but usually it's the UK falling in line behind the US.

    The US used to have missile subs in Scotland serviced from a ship, the USS Proteus ,not a port so that could be done again.

    Thanks to the likes of BAE the UK actually makes makes more money from the F35 than they pay buying some of them. (why are they serviced in Turkey ??) so the military industrial complex wins this one

    Trident is due to cost £205Bn and counting the warheads are British but the launch system is imported. By comparison everyone else including the French make their own and so have full control. - I'm with Lord Buckethead on this one "a firm public commitment to build the £100bn renewal of the Trident weapons system, followed by an equally firm private commitment not to build it. They're secret submarines, no one will ever know" That like HS2 and other English mega-projects is a cost that Scotland or NI wouldn't have to share the cost of if they weren't part of the UK.




  • At the highest levels in US administration they would not be in favour of Scottish independence.

    World powers like the US prefer their allies to be stable, Scottish independences threatens this stability.

    Now no US official will come out and say that because it's an internal British matter, but that's what they are thinking.

    Same with the EU, the EU would much prefer Scotland remain in the UK for a multitude of reasons.




  • At the highest levels in US administration they would not be in favour of Scottish independence.

    World powers like the US prefer their allies to be stable, Scottish independences threatens this stability.

    Now no US official will come out and say that because it's an internal British matter, but that's what they are thinking.

    Same with the EU, the EU would much prefer Scotland remain in the UK for a multitude of reasons.

    I can understand the USA being in favour of the status quo, but why would the EU have an opinion either way? In the breakup of Yugoslavia, I do not think the EU took sides. NATO did but not the EU. NATO is not the EU, any more than the UN is part of the EU.

    One of the founding principles of the EU is peace in Europe. An independent Scotland has no bearing on that - opposing it might have..


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  • I can understand the USA being in favour of the status quo, but why would the EU have an opinion either way? In the breakup of Yugoslavia, I do not think the EU took sides. NATO did but not the EU. NATO is not the EU, any more than the UN is part of the EU.

    One of the founding principles of the EU is peace in Europe. An independent Scotland has no bearing on that - opposing it might have..
    Plus the EU would be quietly pleased if there was a perception that the UK broke up because of Brexit and because, put to the choice, Scotland prioritised being the EU over being in the UK. It would really underline how (literally) self-destructive Brexit has been if it led to the dissolution of the UK.




  • Peregrinus wrote: »
    Plus the EU would be quietly pleased if there was a perception that the UK broke up because of Brexit and because, put to the choice, Scotland prioritised being the EU over being in the UK. It would really underline how (literally) self-destructive Brexit has been if it led to the dissolution of the UK.

    I totally disagree; this is not a point scoring debate. The disruption, instability and uncertainty would affect the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of millions and could have all sorts of consequences elsewhere. That is the exact opposite of what the EU is about.

    If the UK breaks up, the EU will do what it can to deal with it but it most certainly will not welcome it.




  • I can understand the USA being in favour of the status quo, but why would the EU have an opinion either way? In the breakup of Yugoslavia, I do not think the EU took sides. NATO did but not the EU. NATO is not the EU, any more than the UN is part of the EU.

    One of the founding principles of the EU is peace in Europe. An independent Scotland has no bearing on that - opposing it might have..
    Peregrinus wrote: »
    Plus the EU would be quietly pleased if there was a perception that the UK broke up because of Brexit and because, put to the choice, Scotland prioritised being the EU over being in the UK. It would really underline how (literally) self-destructive Brexit has been if it led to the dissolution of the UK.

    The EU obviously did not like Brexit but equally they have no interest in now "sticking it to the Brits" by supporting Scottish independence.

    They would much prefer a stable UK because it's a single entity to deal with plus an independent Scotland looking to get back into the EU quickly could entice other regions of existing EU states look for their independence also.

    The breakup of exiting member states is not what the EU wants so they will keep quiet about Scotland because it's an internal British matter, but secretly they will be hoping the status quo remains.




  • The EU obviously did not like Brexit but equally they have no interest in now "sticking it to the Brits" by supporting Scottish independence.

    They would much prefer a stable UK because it's a single entity to deal with plus an independent Scotland looking to get back into the EU quickly could entice other regions of existing EU states look for their independence also.

    The breakup of exiting member states is not what the EU wants so they will keep quiet about Scotland because it's an internal British matter, but secretly they will be hoping the status quo remains.
    They wouldn't like Scottish independence on the grounds that it would be "sticking it to the Brits"; rather on the grounds that it would be a vivid illustration of the attractions of EU membership and an Awful Example of the dangers of leaving without thinking things through.

    They would prefer a stable UK, but that ship has already sailed, frankly.

    I don't think they'd be unduly concerned about encouraging the breakup of EU member states; if Scottish independence is seen as the consequence of the UK leaving the EU then member states that remain in the EU have no cause for condcrn, do they? And on the general principle of whether states which secede should be welcome into the EU, the EU's position would be absolutely, yes, of course they should, why ever not?




  • The EU obviously did not like Brexit but equally they have no interest in now "sticking it to the Brits" by supporting Scottish independence.

    They would much prefer a stable UK because it's a single entity to deal with plus an independent Scotland looking to get back into the EU quickly could entice other regions of existing EU states look for their independence also.

    The breakup of exiting member states is not what the EU wants so they will keep quiet about Scotland because it's an internal British matter, but secretly they will be hoping the status quo remains.

    Possibly they would prefer the status quo - well parts would prefer the status quo, and other parts would not - and other parts would have no opinion. The EU is not a monolith.

    A newly formed Slovenia is an EU member state as is Croatia. How did that happen? No 'prefer the status quo' there.

    Scotland would be welcomed by most EU members if not all. A part of a former member state that is politically stable, wealthy, democratically independent - why would they oppose Scotland's independence?


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  • TBH, the "destabilisation" segue is overplayed; the only place in Europe it might have an effect is the UK itself - and even then I'd call that into question. We've seen with Brexit a narrative easily formed where net losses are seen as the EU being spiteful, or a stubborn mentality of never wanting to be in the club anyway. I could see a scenario where, instead of introspection of what the UK now meant after a "member" left, those remaining simply pivot to never having liked the Scots anyway.




  • What percentage of EU countries have had a change of border or new independence in the last 30 years? Must be close to 50%.

    I'd say they'd be supremely relaxed about a potential new country and see it as merely the sort of thing that happens. The isle of Great Britain is fairly unique in European terms in that it hasn't had a break-up/merge in 200 years, for everyone else it's nothing they haven't dealt with before.




  • Possibly they would prefer the status quo - well parts would prefer the status quo, and other parts would not - and other parts would have no opinion. The EU is not a monolith.

    A newly formed Slovenia is an EU member state as is Croatia. How did that happen? No 'prefer the status quo' there.

    Scotland would be welcomed by most EU members if not all. A part of a former member state that is politically stable, wealthy, democratically independent - why would they oppose Scotland's independence?

    You cannot compare Scotland and the UK to Croatia and Yugoslavia
    Yugoslavia was an ethnic mess that turned to war with the breakup of communist eastern Europe.

    Scotland has been part of a union for centuries with very little difference between them and the rest of the union, same language, religion etc etc.
    From an outsider it's difficult to see why they want independence in the first place.

    I'm not saying that EU countries will outright oppose Scottish independence but equally they will not outright welcome Scotland as you suggest they will.
    Privately EU member governments and the EU institutions would prefer the status quo, i.e. a united, friendly UK.

    If people can't see that then they are very naïve.




  • Peregrinus wrote: »
    They wouldn't like Scottish independence on the grounds that it would be "sticking it to the Brits"; rather on the grounds that it would be a vivid illustration of the attractions of EU membership and an Awful Example of the dangers of leaving without thinking things through.

    They would prefer a stable UK, but that ship has already sailed, frankly.

    I don't think they'd be unduly concerned about encouraging the breakup of EU member states; if Scottish independence is seen as the consequence of the UK leaving the EU then member states that remain in the EU have no cause for condcrn, do they? And on the general principle of whether states which secede should be welcome into the EU, the EU's position would be absolutely, yes, of course they should, why ever not?

    UK is far more stable now than it would be if Scotland left.




  • UK is far more stable now than it would be if Scotland left.

    Specifically, how? The union has been weaker than ever as far as I can see with regards to Scotland and Northern Ireland while the reasons driving rising English nationalism aren't being meaningfully engaged with.




  • What percentage of EU countries have had a change of border or new independence in the last 30 years? Must be close to 50%.

    I'd say they'd be supremely relaxed about a potential new country and see it as merely the sort of thing that happens. The isle of Great Britain is fairly unique in European terms in that it hasn't had a break-up/merge in 200 years, for everyone else it's nothing they haven't dealt with before.

    I don't know if you remember, or were even alive but there was a huge upheaval in European geopolitics around summer 1989 all the way up to the end of the Balkan wars in 1995.

    That was a once in a century event, it completely and drastically changed the politics of central and eastern Europe.

    It's not comparable to Scotland looking for independence because they don't like the government in London.

    Now much have the borders of France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, Austria, Luxembourg, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Ireland, Greece changed in the last 30 years ?




  • Specifically, how? The union has been weaker than ever as far as I can see with regards to Scotland and Northern Ireland while the reasons driving rising English nationalism aren't being meaningfully engaged with.

    The fact that it's still a union makes it far more stable than if Scotland were to leave.




  • The fact that it's still a union makes it far more stable than if Scotland were to leave.

    No, it doesn't. It's fraying at the seams. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away. Unionists need to realise this and propose solutions.




  • I don't know if you remember, or were even alive but there was a huge upheaval in European geopolitics around summer 1989 all the way up to the end of the Balkan wars in 1995.

    That was a once in a century event, it completely and drastically changed the politics of central and eastern Europe.

    It's not comparable to Scotland looking for independence because they don't like the government in London.

    Now much have the borders of France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, Austria, Luxembourg, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Ireland, Greece changed in the last 30 years ?

    Oh, I was alive, I'm quite old !!!

    I have to disagree with you calling it a 'once in a century event' though. It was at least the third time it had happened in that century alone, and the instances get greater as you go back through further centuries.

    That the Northern bit of Great Britain seeks/gains independence won't cause any stress for the politicians of continental Europe imo.




  • The fact that it's still a union makes it far more stable than if Scotland were to leave.

    As capaill intimates, there are clear issues of autonomy and devolution that need addressing, and simply pretending they don't exist is itself naive on your part. The mere fact Scotland is agitating to leave at all, backed by political and polling support, is sign that the union is not healthy. Anything but. Edinburgh isn't angling to leave for the distraction.


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  • I don't know if you remember, or were even alive but there was a huge upheaval in European geopolitics around summer 1989 all the way up to the end of the Balkan wars in 1995.

    That was a once in a century event, it completely and drastically changed the politics of central and eastern Europe.

    It's not comparable to Scotland looking for independence because they don't like the government in London.

    Now much have the borders of France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, Austria, Luxembourg, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Ireland, Greece changed in the last 30 years ?

    World War 1 and 2 were in the same century!




  • Oh, I was alive, I'm quite old !!!

    I have to disagree with you calling it a 'once in a century event' though. It was at least the third time it had happened in that century alone, and the instances get greater as you go back through further centuries.

    That the Northern bit of Great Britain seeks/gains independence won't cause any stress for the politicians of continental Europe imo.

    Ok, I'll give you that it was not maybe a once in a century event.

    However as someone who was around at the time and remember it do you not agree that it was a massive upheaval ?

    A few years, let alone a few decades earlier no one would have predicted the total collapse of communist Europe, the swift reunification of Germany, the breakup of Czechoslovakia, the breakup of Yugoslavia and the biggest of all the breakup of the Soviet Union.
    It was imaginable.

    It would be the equal today to the US breaking into different states and places like Canada and Mexico doing something similar.

    So 50% of EU borders changing in the last 30 years as you put it is down to a single huge geopolitical event.

    Otherwise the borders have not really changed at all, as in the 13 examples I supplied.




  • False talk of 2014 being a "once in a century event" prompted me to dig into the 1979 devolution referendum; interesting stuff, not least for two reasons: one, despite a Yes for devolution, a provision was added that 40%+ of the total electorate needed to have voted in favour (a fairly cynical caveat IMO); second because even with devolution the Borders voted en masse against the proposal. Feels like that area doesn't support local authority of any stripe.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1979_Scottish_devolution_referendum




  • pixelburp wrote: »
    As capaill intimates, there are clear issues of autonomy and devolution that need addressing, and simply pretending they don't exist is itself naive on your part. The mere fact Scotland is agitating to leave at all, backed by political and polling support, is sign that the union is not healthy. Anything but. Edinburgh isn't angling to leave for the distraction.

    Yes but when you look at it from the wider world view a united UK is more stable than one which Scotland has left, regardless of what sort of wrangling is going on inside the UK.

    If you are looking at it from the US or EU pov which do you think is more stable.
    A united UK with it's own internal problems or an rUK with Scotland out and even more internal problems now regarding the status of NI ?

    I'd say they would prefer the former.




  • The fact that it's still a union makes it far more stable than if Scotland were to leave.

    It's currently unstable because of the continuing calls for another independence referendum and a significant likelihood of Scotland voting to become independent. That's not going away.

    Were the UK still in the EU then it might appear destabilizing within the EU context, but an independent Scotland joining the EU only strengthens the latter. The only instability then is the English Perception that the whole British Island is basically an extension of England and its smaller landmass will make them look puny on the global map.




  • Yes but when you look at it from the wider world view a united UK is more stable than one which Scotland has left, regardless of what sort of wrangling is going on inside the UK.

    If you are looking at it from the US or EU pov which do you think is more stable.
    A united UK with it's own internal problems or an rUK with Scotland out and even more internal problems now regarding the status of NI ?

    I'd say they would prefer the former.

    Stability in what regard though? The UK - and let's face it, we're talking about England primarily - is not the world player it likes to project (the occasional Suez Crisis put paid to that myth) once you strip away the clout The City; and even then, Brexit has eroded that power somewhat. And despite how it might feel sometimes, the UK is not some tinpot country one coup away from utter collapse. If we were talking about Russia, then the prospect of - say - Siberia breaking away might hold some currency in regards to the question of stability. Otherwise, I think you're overstating the consequences Scotland breaking away would have. The repercussions would mostly be internal IMO, not external - and on that point I suspect England would adopt a "good riddance" narrative rather than re-evalutate what the Union is.




  • Ok, I'll give you that it was not maybe a once in a century event.

    However as someone who was around at the time and remember it do you not agree that it was a massive upheaval ?

    A few years, let alone a few decades earlier no one would have predicted the total collapse of communist Europe, the swift reunification of Germany, the breakup of Czechoslovakia, the breakup of Yugoslavia and the biggest of all the breakup of the Soviet Union.
    It was imaginable.

    It would be the equal today to the US breaking into different states and places like Canada and Mexico doing something similar.

    So 50% of EU borders changing in the last 30 years as you put it is down to a single huge geopolitical event.

    Otherwise the borders have not really changed at all, as in the 13 examples I supplied.

    Your examples included Spain, Portugal & Greece.
    OK the borders didn't change but hell there's major upheaval there, with those 3 countries transitioning to democracy from dictatorship (autocratic, military & military respectively) without our lifetimes, assuming as I think you were born early 70s.
    Within Europe I reckon it's really only Great Britain that has survived pretty much unscathed for 200 years, with the same borders and the same governing system. For everyone else, change is normal and not scary, and they just get on with it.

    So I think I'm going to stick with the rest of Europe not batting an eyelid if Scotland breaks away. Interesting philosophical debate anyway.




  • First Up wrote: »
    I totally disagree; this is not a point scoring debate. The disruption, instability and uncertainty would affect the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of millions and could have all sorts of consequences elsewhere. That is the exact opposite of what the EU is about.

    If the UK breaks up, the EU will do what it can to deal with it but it most certainly will not welcome it.

    You do realise that the EU is a group of humans essentially with human thoughts and emotions?

    How could you possibly counter that there wouldn't be some schadenfreude at the break up of the UK on foot of Brexit? It would be impossible not to laugh at it.




  • Your examples included Spain, Portugal & Greece.
    OK the borders didn't change but hell there's major upheaval there, with those 3 countries transitioning to democracy from dictatorship (autocratic, military & military respectively) without our lifetimes, assuming as I think you were born early 70s.
    Within Europe I reckon it's really only Great Britain that has survived pretty much unscathed for 200 years, with the same borders and the same governing system. For everyone else, change is normal and not scary, and they just get on with it.

    So I think I'm going to stick with the rest of Europe not batting an eyelid if Scotland breaks away. Interesting philosophical debate anyway.

    Why is it always forgotten that this fabled "stability" that Britain supposedly has has included in the 20th century alone:

    - Two civil wars and multiple wars and insurrections
    - Part of its territory leaving
    - A peace accord with another nation to guarantee equality for its citizens because it failed to do so itself
    - State forces murdering its own citizens

    And so on...

    Or is it because it was Ireland that doesn't count as being "their" problem.

    How many violent and fatal riots as well?

    Official UK likes to portray itself and some sort of beacon of stability. Anyone with a lick of sense knows it's anything but.

    Too right Scotland wants to leave.


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  • Why is it always forgotten that this fabled "stability" that Britain supposedly has has included in the 20th century alone:
    …...

    Oh, definitely. It's why I referred to 'Great Britain' - so as to limit to that one geographical island as clearly the stability didn't stretch to this island.


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