Coffee House

Will an EU referendum kill the Scottish independence referendum?

9 May 2013

1:18 PM

9 May 2013

1:18 PM

The UK faces two referendums about its future, not one.  As well as David Cameron’s promised ‘proper’ referendum on the UK’s relationship with the European Union, there is also the one on Scottish independence due on 18 September 2014.  By and large, despite similarities in the arguments involved, each of those debates has paid little regard to the other.  That makes sense if the EU referendum takes place in the next UK Parliament, around 2017 or so, once the dust has settled on the Scottish vote.  Suggestions of an earlier referendum may throw that into doubt.  The dynamics of the debate about Scottish independence would look very different if the EU poll were held before the Scottish one. 

What would happen if there were an ‘English’ vote against the European Union, while majorities in Scotland (and perhaps Wales and Northern Ireland) voted to stay in?  That’s a perfectly realistic scenario: political debate generally in Scotland is much more pro-EU than in England, and opinion surveys suggest that there is some difference in public opinion (if not as much as the political rhetoric implies).  An English vote to leave the EU while Scotland voted to stay in would trigger a first-order crisis for the internal structure of the UK as well as the UK’s relationship with the EU.

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A great deal depends on the timing – whether an early EU referendum happens before the Scottish one in September 2014 or after it.  A very early EU poll would be seriously rushed.  But at least it would mean that the issue of the UK’s future in Europe would be resolved before Scotland’s place in the UK was.  Scottish voters would be able to cast their votes on independence knowing whether they were choosing to remain in a UK-in-Europe or leave it, or to stay in the EU but leave the UK, or (conceivably) to find themselves outside both Unions.  However difficult those choices, at least Scottish voters will know what the choice is.

But an EU referendum in the late autumn of 2014 or early 2015 raises a messier prospect.  Scots will be being asked to vote on whether to remain in the UK without knowing whether that state will be part of the EU or not. A vote to leave would be a game-changer – especially if it had majority support in England but not Scotland.  The SNP might well argue that it reopened the supposedly ‘decisive’ choice made at the independence referendum, but a better argument would be to postpone – with UK agreement – the Scottish referendum.  There would be considerable attractions for doing so.  The Yes Scotland pro-independence campaign cannot be said to be going well, with the proportion of Scottish voters favouring independence scarcely moving since 2011 (most polls show it at around 33 per cent of voters, or less), reports of the need for the campaign to up its game and the currency issue opening up serious divisions within pro-independence supporters.  In short: the Yes campaign is fighting what is increasingly becoming an uphill struggle, and is badly in need of a way of reinventing itself.  A delay, and a chance to draw further differences between Scotland and the rest of the UK, would fit the bill very well.

So, unlikely as it may be, if David Cameron decides to pay heed to those anti-EU voices, and is able to make a referendum on the EU happen before 2015, that will affect the Scottish referendum too.  It would give the SNP a perfect excuse to decline to press ahead with the 2014 Scottish referendum, and to revisit the issue afterward when it can claim the UK’s relations with the EU are clearer.  At the very least, even if the UK voted yes to the EU, a pause would give supporters of independence a chance to regroup and rethink key areas like currency where under-preparation has already shown to be a weak spot.  If the UK as a whole voted against the EU, that would open a much wider range of issues, probably to the SNP’s advantage.  No 10 would be well advised to think hard about the Scottish implications of giving any more red meat to the Eurosceptics.

Alan Trench is author of the blog ‘Devolution Matters’, and is working with IPPR on its Devo More project.

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Show comments
  • Paul Hazeltime

    who cares in a world the way it is we need to be strong together not ripping the Kingdom apart its 2016 people let the past go

  • global city

    The Scots have thought of the EU as an escape route from excessive control from London, just as the Irish did so many decades after they won their own independence… ironically.

    I actually supported the EU for similar reasons right through the 1980s’, reckoning that it would help to loosen the centralised nature of power and economy in the UK that was strangling Liverpool and much of the North.

    We all picked the wrong saviours, as the Scots are slowly coming round to, and maybe one day the Irish will also?

  • dercavalier

    This article is clueless. Where do these wonks come from? Cameron hasn’t got the balls (nor even a majority in the HOC) to hold an EU Referendum before Sep 2014. He will procrastinate, defer and delay in the hope that a Micawber incident in his favour will arrive to mean there won’t have to be one; anytime. And he won’t win an outright majority at the next election, so it’s all mid term fear and piss and wind.

    • Wessex Man

      and you have?

    • allymax bruce

      At last, real political insight .
      You are 100% correct; and we can see, even now 2 years from the English General Election, the Tories, (both Conservative & UKIP) moving together; as such, Labour & Lib Dems.
      One more thing, ignore the three amigos; they give away more than they are worth. Scotland is well on track to reclaim Her Scottish independence.
      allymax.

      • Wessex Man

        You are 100% wrong, we the entire UK are two years away from a General Election in which the entire UK will vote because the Scottish Yes vote are using the arguement and badly according to your very own Scottish papers and commentators.

  • dercavalier

    “The UK faces two referendums about its future, not one. As well as David Cameron’s promised ‘proper’ referendum on the UK’s relationship with the European Union,”

    What a scurrilous piece of spin which has the sole aim of denigrating the Scottish Independence Referendum. Cameron actually said he would give a ‘proper choice to the people of the UK’ about EU in or out.

  • http://twitter.com/freescotlandnow Joe Middleton

    Scotland will vote for independence because the normal powers that every
    other nation has is what we require to transform our own. We want a fairer,
    kinder society which looks after the poorest in it.

    UKIP and the Conservative’s Eurosceptism, xenophobia towards immigrants and
    attempts to kick the poor (who are trying to survive on the pittance of
    benefits) are not attractive to us.

    • Colonel Mustard

      Not according to the polls.

      But even if you do cut loose that utopia you are seeking to build is going to cost loads of money and that won’t be coming from England any more. Reality is finally going to bite north of the Tweed.

      • dercavalier

        Dumbos like you, who know that Scotland more than pays its own way but pretend otherwise, always like to get their nasty little anti-Scottish remarks in.

        • Colonel Mustard

          And your remarks in this thread are not anti-English and nasty?

          • Wessex Man

            He can’t help it he was brought on Mel Gibson nonsense.

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          Dumbo is a term of endearment I assume as opposed to a Nast little anti-English remark. The joys of blatant hypocrisy.

    • global city

      nothing worse than a supremacist Scot

  • David B

    The Scottish referendum must happen before an EU referendum. Consider this as a possability – EU referendum gets an “in” majority driven by a large Scottish vote. The majority is less than Scittish vote. The Scottish referndum then takes place with a majority to leave UK.

    This fails to solve the EU issue. It leaves a rump UK in the EU who does not want to be there and Scotand outside the EU wanting to be in. Worse if there is an “in” vote I suspect there will be a push by the commission for the UK to be in the Euro and other parts we have opted out off.

    Scotland must be resolved first because when it comes to EU we must all know what we are voting for.

  • Icebow

    I pray that no such degrading re-Balkanization will ever occur, and that Scotland be cured of its strain of malignant Leftism.

    • dercavalier

      The only malignant leftism in Scotland, and England, is the Labour Party who have forgotten their roots and is pandering to the City Wankers, again.

      • Icebow

        No, it permeates social services, the NHS, police, education, and the BBC. Raving SWP types are the least worrying manifestation.

  • Stephen Gash

    What is extremely irritating is that the English are denied a say about the future of the UK’s governance. Scots, Welsh & Irish have as many referenda as they like about their own governance, but we English are awaiting our first as a nation on our own. Scottish 16 year-olds will have more say on the make up of the UK, whereas adult English people will have none. However, despite being excluded from the decision-making, we English are expected to await with baited breath whether Scots decide to leave the UK or stay. I’m not at all bothered about what Scots want. I would like to be asked my opinion for once. This is unlikely, though, because England is neither recognised as a nation nor even a region by both the UK and EU.

  • AnotherDaveB

    “Recently on Newsnight Scotland, Professor John Curtice informed us that there is no consistent poll evidence that suggests Scottish voters have markedly different views on Europe from those in the rest of the UK.”

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/comment/letters/britishness-fuelled-rise-of-ukip.21001639

    • Wessex Man

      Professor John Cutice is famous for his data, most of which pleases the Labour Party, I often wonder having met him why he never stood as a Labour candidate for Westminster>

  • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

    Why would anyone imagine the Scottish Government was looking for an excuse to cancel the independence referendum?

  • bubble12@ aol.com

    Barbed wire fence and machine gun turrets along Hadrians wall!

    • Tamas Marcuis

      You do know that means giving up Northumberland and about 60% of England’s North Sea gas production.

      • Vrai écossais

        The English education system is not what is used to be!

        • dercavalier

          Very true when you read the rubbish its product produces on the Internet.

      • Hexhamgeezer

        Yes, and I don’t want to see searchlights from my windows, Thankyou very much

      • dercavalier

        You are having a laugh aren’t you? England’s North Sea Gas production 4% of total North Sea Oil and Gas. 60% of 4% = 2.4%.

    • dercavalier

      Aimed North according to most of the vile comments from the English.

      • Colonel Mustard

        You really are one sad git.

      • Wessex Man

        “I believe in Angels in everthing they say.”

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        Oh do get over yourself you pompous little bore.

  • bubble12@ aol.com

    Alot of English would like a vote on whether to leave Scotland or not.

    • Tamas Marcuis

      I think you have phrased that statement incorrectly. If you mean why doesn’t England have a referendum on ending this union, as I’ve asked others, why aren’t? You are perfectly free to do so. An honest question I would like to hear the answer.

      • Wessex Man

        Well The Campaign for an English Parliament marched in Westminster in 2007 (I’m sure you’ll make the connection) and presented a petition to the Labour Government controlled by the two Scots Blair and Brown of 38,000 sinatures asking for a referendum, which was totally ingnored and desite having permission to march across the front of the House, the Speaker, another Scot changed his mind and we were cordoned off around to the embankment and kettled. Is that enough of an illustration for you as to the UK Administration treatment of our campaign?

        • Tamas Marcuis

          Most English people don’t seem to share your opinion that those that hold the office of PM should be English. I have heard David Cameron roundly condemn that idea. Any way the fact that Blair had a couple of Scots grand parents doesn’t make him Scots. Considering he’s half English and spent most of his life outside Scotland, makes his relationship somewhat tentative.

          Perhaps that is the real source of your campaign’s supposed mistreatment. It only leaps up when the PM office holder isn’t English.

    • Vrai écossais

      Do what Scotland did, vote for a party with independence as its main thrust into power.

  • nationalexistance

    Barring a massively destructive act of God the referendum on Scottish independence will happen as planned on September 2014.
    Cameron and all the other unionists at Westminster have never considered what’s best for Scotland – probably never will.

    • Hookeslaw

      Whats your point? The SNP have a majority in the Scottish ‘parliament’ and have asked for a referendum.
      From this how do you get that Cameron has never considered what is good for Scotland?

  • thanksdellingpole

    I like your thinking, let’s pull the kilt down on the Jocks.

    • dercavalier

      And let’s pull the ribbons and bells off the Mingers.

      • Colonel Mustard

        Says the nasty piece of work who accuses others of racism. With SNP supporters like you it is no wonder they are detested.

        • dercavalier

          And I assume that also applies to dellingpole?
          You do not like it back do you?

  • MichtyMe

    A recent poll has the Scottish UK out of EU on 34%, the rest think the UK is too wee, poor, and stupid to go it alone.

    • Wessex Man

      You really are a nasty piece of work arn’t you.

      • MichtyMe

        Oh dear Po Face, don’t do irony do we, perhaps it was a bit too sophisicated.

        • Wessex Man

          Nop just you being you

    • dercavalier

      I do like that response. Can I use it elsewhere?

      • Wessex Man

        well you would normally and try to claim it as your original work, I find it be all too typical of the sort of hanger on to the Scottish yes vote too tired to get out and canvass so you do the the lazy thing and sit in front of your computers as keyboard heroes, no Braveheart Scottish posts here, just little boys.

        • dercavalier

          Now that remark about little boys is telling. Was Jimmy Saville a friend of yours?

          • Wessex Man

            Only a very twisted, very nasty, stupid remark like that could come from a very nasty piece of work step forward dercavalier, you are the prize **** ****.

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        Well you are certainly incapable of original thought.

        • dercavalier

          Hey folks. An English stalker has latched on to me. Will I call the BBC?.

  • Smithersjones2013

    If pigs could fly we’d all go around carrying reinforced umbrellas. There will be no EU referendum in this Parliament. How many times do the Westminster Freakshow need to be told by government before they accept it?

  • MichtyMe

    You wait for decades then along come two “separatist” referendums at the same time.

    • dercavalier

      I like that.

  • Eddie

    Wales would probably vote to stay in the EU – because most voters here are sheep who would vote for a dead sheep if it was wearing a red rosette, and so if the local Labourites tell them to vote for the EU, they will.

    Moreover, some parts of Wales – like Scotland and the north of England – get objective one funding from the EU, and people think that money comes from Brussels, rather then from British taxpayers (a misapprehension encouraged by EU propaganda and signs stating they have paid for various projects etc). They assume that a vote against the EU will mean no more subsidy.
    Silly argument – but people in Wales and Scotland never seem to realise that the English have had to suffer Labour governments because of their votes, yet moan and whinge when there’s a Tory government a majority of them didn’t vote for.
    Scotland may not even be allowed into the EU if it’s independent because Scotland was never admitted – Britain was, and Britain is mostly English.
    And as we have more poor countries joining the EU all the time, it is not inconceivable that Wales and Scotland, if independent, would lose money by becoming net contributors to the EU instead of getting free money back all the time; I doubt then that the EU would be so beloved in those parts.

    • MichtyMe

      Any net contribution Scotland may make to the EU will be tiny when compared with its net contribution to the UK Exchequer.

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        Congratulations! You have just won ‘today’s most misleading and delusional comment’ award.

      • Colonel Mustard

        Good luck with that national myth after you leave.

      • Hookeslaw

        Scotland is the same population as Norway which is not even in the EU. its payments to EU cohesive funds make it about the 10th net contributor nonetheless. So how do you think Scotland would compare.
        More to the point how do you think the rest of the EU would like to contribute to Scotland? Does an independent Scotland look forward to being in Schengen? Look forward to using the Euro?

        • MichtyMe

          Why would Scotland be part of Schengen or use the Euro, it is obvious that a territory can in the EU and not participate.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Hm. So what will your currency be? We are not going to let you use Sterling. You’ll have to create a new currency. How about the Scottish “Shrek” with a picture of your Great Leader on it?

            • MichtyMe

              What an absurd piece of arrogance. We will use the Pound Sterling, as it is every bit as much Scotland’s currency as it is of the other part of the UK.

              • ButcombeMan

                Er no. It is not and Scotland using a currency over which it has no control, while possible, will not suit Scottish financial profligacy.

                As The Great Leader and RBS proved, the Scots worry about money because they have never been able to handle it.

                A Scottish banker has become a contradiction in terms.

                • allymax bruce

                  You are not thinking straight; if the BoE start playing silly spiteful games with Sterling Zone, then Scotland can simply turn off the oil, gas, water, and electricity we sell to you.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  It’s not a question of spiteful games but of risk. You want independence? Ok. But you can’t then start picking and choosing which benefits from the Union to retain.

                  In fact your attitude reveals all too clearly the very narrow and selfish thrust of the SNP argument. Independence means going it alone, you do realise that don’t you? When you have decided to cut your own selves adrift you can’t then start complaining that the consequences are “spiteful games” being played by someone else. You will finally have to stop blaming England for all your ills, real and imaginary, and grow up.

                • allymax bruce

                  You really hate us Scots; it’s very evident in your spiteful, and hate-filled comments.
                  Up here in Scotland, we have somehow ‘got used to’ your hatred of us; it’s your standard method of operation; even your Unionist politicians in Scotland have got so ‘used to’ the visceral hatred in your minds, hearts, and souls, so-much-so your default emotion to Scots, and Scotland, is conditioned hate, and spite. Scotland, and Scots, have always tried obsolk, and, even ‘forgive’ this ugly testament of Union, but I want Independence for Scotland more than anything now; I’d rather die poor, impoverished, and destitute, in a Free Scotland, than be colonized by a legion of devils, from Westminster Unionist Party’s.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  No, please don’t reflect your own Anglophobic bigotry on me. I don’t hate Scots at all and there is much to admire in Scotland. Two of my longest and dearest friends are Scots and both of them despise the SNP and think independence would be a disaster for Scotland.

                • allymax bruce

                  Your pleas, are ignored; but ultimately forgiven.
                  Why?
                  Because you plead innocence, then immediately insult by accusation; Anglophobic bigotry, (that’s a new one! ),
                  Ultimately, your nearest & dearest friends, despise, (regard with contempt), what Scotland has overwhelmingly voted, by massive majority, the only political party in Scotland, SNP, that care for, and always put Scotland’s interests first.

                  Like I said, your hatred has blinded you to reason, and rational thought.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  I don’t feel hatred towards Scotland at all. In fact if it becomes independent my emotion will be one of sadness. I don’t dispute the popularity of the SNP in Scotland but the route being taken is folly.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Well you will be happy when you have your independence then won’t you. In the interim, just get lost.

                • dercavalier

                  “Two of my longest and dearest friends are Scots”
                  There you have it. The definite proof of racism.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  It’s not me referring to “devils” or “mingers” but you and your SNP comrade describing the English. Take the beam out of your own eye before you complain about the splinter in mine.

                  You are just a nasty piece of work. Exactly the sort my Scots friends describe to me and despair of.

                • dercavalier

                  “You are just a nasty piece of work.”
                  Just like you I suppose.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  No we do not hate you we are totally indifferent to you which is much worse.

                • dercavalier

                  If you are totally indifferent to us what are you and your Billy No Mates, vile nasty CyberBritNatz one and all, doing spending hours here making anti-Scottish remarks?

                • Wessex Man

                  Snap you halfwit!

                • dercavalier

                  “In fact your attitude reveals all too clearly the very narrow and selfish thrust of the SNP argument”

                  Ally max is just replying to your narrow and selfish thrusts at Scotland. Grow up.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Oh yes because nobody in Scotland takes a narrow minded view of the English or blames us for their own misfortunes. Or are you such an arrogant hypocrite that you are quite comfortable with loathing the English while expecting us to venerate and respect you?

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Well said. “dercavalier” posts in every on these Scotland independence threads and his comments always include personal abuse and anti-English ranting.

                • dercavalier

                  I don’t loathe the English. In fact some of my best friends are English.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Actually I was replying to him.

                • Dave_Coull

                  The signatories of the American Declaration of Independence were quite happy to get paid in coins with the King’s head on them. In Libya, long after Gaddaffi was overthrown and dead, they were still eager to accept banknotes with his picture on them. Every country which ever became independent started off using the existing currency. That’s the normal thing. It’s not something to make a big fuss about. Ireland kept its currency tied to the Bank of England for FIFTY YEARS. During the 50 years that Ireland kept the pound, the UK declared war on Germany, and Ireland didn’t. The ability to decide for yourself whether you go to war or not is a far more important measure of independence than which bits of paper you use. We almost certainly will still be using the pound when Scotland first becomes independent. Personally, I’m in favour of moving rapidly to having our own completely separate currency quite soon after that. We certainly won’t keep the pound as long as Ireland did! However, I can understand Salmond’s reasons for wanting a currency union. Without Scotland, the rump UK is going to be in really deep financial trouble, and that will lead to extreme political instability. A neighbouring country in really deep financial trouble leading to extreme political instability is not in Scotland’s interests. That’s why Salmond offered this currency union. Those who think he is worried about Scotland’s finances have completely got hold of the wrong end of the stick. He is worried about England. The history of the 20th Century shows that a really extreme financial crisis can lead to a belligerent authoritarian regime bent on waging aggressive war. Salmond has offered a currency union in order to try to save England from fascism, because a fascist regime in England is not in Scotland’s interests. I can understand that. But I still think the currency union should only be a temporary measure. England will have to learn to stand on its own two feet sooner or later.

                • Wessex Man

                  oh dear.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  There is not going to be a Sterling zone of which Scotland is a member. Surely, you would want your own currency and thus be able to manage your own fiscal and monetary policies to the exclusive advantage of Scotland. A Bank of England deemed not to be working exclusively in Scotland’s best interests would surely be worse than the current situation. What kind of independence would that be or is it just another detail (like EU membership) that the SNPhas not thought through yet?

                • Dave_Coull

                  Every country which ever became independent started off using the existing currency. That’s the normal thing. It’s not something to make a big fuss about. Ireland kept its currency tied to the Bank of England for FIFTY YEARS. When Harold Wilson devalued the pound, Ireland followed suit about half an hour later. During the 50 years that Ireland kept the pound, the UK declared war on Germany, and Ireland didn’t. The ability to decide for yourself whether you go to war or not is a far more important measure of independence than which bits of paper you use. We almost certainly will still be using the pound when Scotland first becomes independent. Personally, I’m in favour of moving rapidly to having our own completely separate currency quite soon after that. We certainly won’t keep the pound as long as Ireland did! However, I can understand Salmond’s reasons for wanting a currency union. Without Scotland, the rump UK is going to be in really deep financial trouble, and that will lead to extreme political instability. A neighbouring country in really deep financial trouble leading to extreme political instability is not in Scotland’s interests. That’s why Salmond offered this currency union. Those who think he is worried about Scotland’s finances have completely got hold of the wrong end of the stick. He is worried about England. The history of the 20th Century shows that a really extreme financial crisis can lead to a belligerent authoritarian regime bent on waging aggressive war. Salmond has offered a currency union in order to try to save England from fascism, because a fascist regime in England is not in Scotland’s interests. I can understand that. But I still think the currency union should only be a temporary measure. England will have to learn to stand on its own two feet sooner or later.

                • dercavalier

                  But not as much of a contradiction as an English banker

                • th43

                  You’re not serious, right?

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  And you accuse Colonel Mustard of racism!

                • Wessex Man

                  Oh dear, there speaks a complete halfwit, I have the copy of Alex Salmon’s e-mail that Scotland on Sunday copied to Sir Fred the shred Goodwin on his magnificient takeovers, showing ggod Scottish business sense, just before they bankrupted RBS,

                  Our Bankers can’t equal yours in hopelessness and what of Salmond’s judgement?

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Halfwit!!!! You are being excessively generous to his intellect sir.

                • dercavalier

                  So far as I can count we had a handful of incompetent bankers and one bank go under. (Bank of Scotland was the Halifax BS in all but name). England had so many that went kaput that the banks who went belly up, and the dumb witted fucks pretending to be bankers who tried to run them are too numerous to count.

                • Wessex Man

                  double oh dear even!

              • Colonel Mustard

                No, it isn’t. Wait and see. Your expectations of cake and eat it will collide with reality and then you will finally realise what Union actually means for Scotland.

                Independent Scotland – our own North Korea north of the Tweed. Good luck with that.

                • MichtyMe

                  If Sterling is going to appropriated, exclusively, for London, then I assume the National debt will not be shared also?

                • Colonel Mustard

                  It is not a question of appropriation. Sterling bank notes are issued by the Bank of England and Sterling is the currency of the United Kingdom. You are the ones planning to leave the United Kingdom so you can hardly accuse those left behind of “appropriating” Sterling. Yet more evidence of the ridiculous cake and eat it attitude of the SNP.

                  Check up on your history too and the evolution of the pound scots. It was replaced by Sterling in the Act of Union and you need to appreciate why. You are the ones determined to break the Union and go your own way. Don’t expect to take the currency of the United Kingdom with you.

                • MichtyMe

                  Sterling is a fully convertible currency, the USA, could in theory use Sterling as its currency if it wished to. It would be in London’s interest and advantage to continue with a formal monetary union. And, the Isle of Man is not part of the UK and use Sterling.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  But London won’t continue a monetary union. Wait and see. If you vote for independence you will be cut adrift. London would be delighted to see the back of RBS and to let them stew in their own juice. The Isle of Man is not Scotland. It doesn’t hose money around on non-returnable investments like the Scots government does. The largesse won’t be able to continue after independence. Wait and see.

                • Dave_Coull

                  The Scottish pound was issued from the Royal Mint in the town of Sterling. Okay, Stirling if you insist on the new-fangled spelling. When James the Sixth of Scotland and his cronies went down to London they took the idea of the pound sterling with them. A bit later, in the reign of King Billy, another Scotsman, William Patterson from Dumfries, came up with the idea for a Bank of England. King Billy needed money for his war with France. A group of merchants from EDINBURGH and London got together and loaned him the money. In return for that loan, King Billy allowed them to issue promissory notes, promising that they would pay other people back when the king paid them back. He never did pay them pack, and in fact later monarchs borrowed more money for more wars, so those promissory notes are still in circulation to this day. Without wealthy Scotland, those notes are going to look very dodgy. Alex Salmond has offered you a currency union to prop up your dodgy finances. If I was you, I would take his generous offer. But personally, I couldn’t care less if you do or if you don’t. England is going to have to stand on its own two feet sooner or later.

                • Wessex Man

                  treble oh dear even!

                • dercavalier

                  If you repeat that often enough you’ll begin to believe it. Don’t you realise we’ll be rich you’ll be poor, we’ll be Norway you’ll be North Korea.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Do you really believe that the only thing standing between you and streets paved with Gold is the union with England? That is a truly pitiful and fatuous assumption.

                • dercavalier

                  Are you really as po-faced in real life as your comments suggest you are on the I’net?

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Good luck with that. At least we’ll be spared your nasty racism here.

                • dercavalier

                  Er … And your vile, vicious, nasty, anti-Scottish remarks are the epitome of decorum? Go away you Cyber BritNatz racist!

                • Wessex Man

                  Oh dear, did you not progress to Secondary School?

              • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                So you want independence but you do not want control of your own fiscal and monetary policy. Or will independence give Scotland exclusive control of the Bank of England that will henceforth act solely in the interests of Scotland possibly to the detriment of England and Wales? Now that truly is an absurd piece of arrogance. Sorry, the Scottish tail will not be wagging the English dog. That said, I have a bottle of Louis Roederer’s finest (1988) waiting to celebrate the separation of Scotland from England.

            • Maidmarrion

              What a facile and insulting post – and you have the audacity to castigate others.
              You may not have noticed but the pound apart from being Scotlands currency is one which floats much like the dollar – anybody and their auntie can use it.
              As it stands we have very little control over how the BoE behaves we may even gain a smidgen more after independence.

              • Wessex Man

                Really Maidmarrion, I read a lot more facile and insulting posts from MichtyMe and the “close” fiscal union that Alex Salmond is trying to obtain if Scotland achieves Independence is a non starter, we the English would still be liable for any future failure in Scotland.

              • Colonel Mustard

                Oh yes, anybody can use it alright but there is a little bit more to it than that.

                Wait and see.

                • dercavalier

                  Why didn’t you put a wink, wink at the end of that post? Or, more approriately a wank, wank.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Says the man who told me to grow up.

                • dercavalier

                  That was then. This is now.

                • Wessex Man

                  and today is another day, well they did teach you that then.

            • dercavalier

              Whoever WE might be cannot stop Scotland using Sterling. We can shadow it if we want to. Anyway with our wealth it will be you that wants to be IN with Scotland.
              And we’ll just keep the picture of the current Queen Shrek on the notes

              • Colonel Mustard

                Unlikely. Her Majesty the Queen will still be your Head of State anyway. so you can put her on your Bank of Scotland notes instead of Shrek (the clue is in the gender).

            • Dave_Coull

              It is just stupid to say “We won’t let you use Sterling”. You can’t stop us. There are countries that use the dollar without asking permission from the USA, there are even countries which use the Euro without asking the EU. The pound is an internationally trade-able currency. You can’t prevent ANYBODY from using it.

        • dercavalier

          “Does an independent Scotland look forward to being in Schengen? Look forward to using the Euro?”
          If IN the EU that would be so far in the future as to be irrelevent.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Wait and see. Have you lowered the voting age to 5 yet? Think of all those kids you could indoctrinate between now and the referendum.

    • Hookeslaw

      Well let me put the pro OUT of the EU case. We are net contributors to the EU so if we were out of the EU then we would have funds available to replace the objective one funding and other structural and cohesive funding.

      However assuming that we wanted to access the single market and be in the EEA then like Norway we would still have to pay into the structural funds, so there may not be money available.
      Either way it seems to me there would be no magic ‘savings’ to be had for being out of the EU.

  • sir_graphus

    What if we had an EU referendum before the Scottish one; what if the Scottish vote tipped the balance towards staying in the EU, but Scotland then voted to leave the UK. That would be the final West Lothian two fingers at the English. We’d never be given another referendum, either.

    • Guest

      Ach….. mischievous, Scottish, sense of humour.

    • zipideedooda

      Ach….. that mischievous, Scottish, sense of humour.

  • GUBU

    So, let’s see if I’ve got this right…this article considers how a hypothetical referendum on EU membership, which isn’t going to happen within the timeframe outlined, might impact on the scheduled referendum on Scottish independence, whose principle proponents may now not want to take place because they will almost certainly lose.

    My conclusion…you need to get out more. On second thoughts, having being fool enough to read the thing, I need to get out more.

  • OldLb

    And why doesnt’ England, Northern Ireland and Wales get a vote on the Union?

    The delightful irony of the Scots saying they want to stay, and the rest of the Union saying get out is a pleasure to contemplate.

    • Smithersjones2013

      If your wife wants a divorce can you stop her?

      • OldLb

        England – Husband
        Scotland – Wife.

        Why should the wife have the only say?

        Why shouldn’t the husband get the same rights?

        • Dave_Coull

          Because the husband didn’t ASK for a divorce. Along with other folk, I campaigned for many years for a referendum on independence for Scotland. The initiative for this did not come from the SNP, it was a non-party-political thing. Now, we are finally going to get what we campaigned for so long. If you start a similar campaign in England now, it should only take you until about 2021 to get your referendum. Mind you, by that time, it will be irrelevant, because Scotland will already have been independent for over 5 years.

          • ian t

            Since the SNP insist that Scotland becomes an EU member, an even more expensive, remote and corrupt union, whose legislation is supreme over state law; you could hardly call this independence. Personally, I think the Scots should be allowed to vote on being ruled by the EU, but the SNP won’t allow this. Solution: Give the English a chance to save Scotland from the SNP and the EU, then campaign for actual independence. No complaints about the UK making decisions that affect Scotland if we can vote to leave afterwards. As it stands we have an anti-Independence referendum; do you want to be ruled by Westminster or Brussels?

            • Dave_Coull

              FALSE. What you state is false. The question before us in the referendum is “Should Scotland be an independent country?” – that is all. No mention of supporting the SNP. No mention of supporting the EU. These are separate decisions, to be taken separately by the people of an independent Scotland. So far as support for the SNP is concerned, there will be a general election within six weeks of Scotland becoming independent. I didn’t vote for the SNP at the last election, and I probably won’t vote for them at that one either. So far as the EU is concerned, I tend to be very skeptical about the EU. I took the initiative in starting a non-party-political campaign for a referendum on independence, and I would probably want to start a non-party-political campaign for a referendum on whether we want independent Scotland to be in or out of the EU. But that would be something to do AFTER we have taken a decision on the basic question “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

              • ian t

                Certainly the question being asked is “Should Scotland be an independent country?”, but the consequence of a YES majority is that the SNP will make Scotland a new member state of the EU before the next Scottish election, Nicola Sturgeon has stated this very clearly. Since the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty effectively took sovereignty away from the member states I cannot see how that can be called “independence”. Being a new member state of the EU means EU law reigns supreme over Scottish law, Scotland will be required to join the euro currency, and it will be highly unlikely that the SNP will be able to retain any of the UK opt-outs.

                Since even the SNP now admit that we must apply for membership, we will indeed be a new state subject to all EU regulation. Being only 1% population of the EU (and with voting being proportionate to population size) we will have little say in decisions affecting our fisheries, agriculture, oil, renewables, or any other resource we have. In fact we will be even more reliant on England and the rest of the UK (11.4%) to vote in our favour. Since we will be a net contributor, and the EU decides the terms under which any state can leave the union, it will be complex, and difficult to come back out again.

                The SNP will be in power for 16 months following the referendum and will NOT allow the Scottish people to vote on EU membership; they will install the Queen (of the rest of the UK), as our monarch, and will attempt to use the pound sterling regulated by the Bank of England until we are forced to join the euro. How can any of this be described as “independence”? The referendum is a sham.

                • Dave_Coull

                  Of course we could retain any opt-outs we wanted. As probably the wealthiest country in Europe, Scotland would be in an extremely strong bargaining position. The EU would be desperate to have Scotland as a member, and the SNP would simply not get away with negotiating terms unacceptable to the people of Scotland. Membership of the EU is our present situation, and it’s likely to still be the situation when Scotland becomes independent. If we want out, we’re going to have to have a non-party-political campaign for getting out, we’re going to have to have a referendum on getting out, and yes, of course, we’re going to have to negotiate our way out. None of these things is going to happen this side of independence, because many euro-skeptics in Scotland (such as myself) put breaking the link with Westminster first. As for your claim that being a member of the EU requires membership of the Euro – it just doesn’t. That claim is simply untrue. Sweden is in the EU, but has made it clear it has no intention of ever joining the Euro. And there’s not a damn thing that can be done to compel the Swedes. Or the Scots. Let’s at least conduct the debate on Europe with some relation to reality, not like swivel-eyed, English Nationalist, UKIP nutjobs.

                • ian t

                  Scotland will continue as a part of the EU following a YES result in the referendum only while it is part of the UK. Alex Salmond has told the Scottish people that the SNP had sought legal advice that confirmed that Scotland would automatically continue its EU membership after “independence” . Nicola Sturgeon has since admitted this is not the case.

                  Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission; Edgars Rinkevics, the Latvian foreign minister (Latvia takes over EU presidency shortly after the Scottish referendum); Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, Czech Rep Foreign Minister, Irish European Affairs Minister, and the Spanish Foreign Affairs
                  Minister have all confirmed that Scotland would have to apply as a new member state.

                  All new members of the EU must adopt the euro. This is clearly stated on the European Commissions web-site:

                  http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/euro/adoption/|

                  The only EU countries who are not required to join the euro are the UK and Denmark. Both countries gained this opt-out at the time of the ratification of the Maastricht Treaty when the rule was brought in; this is not an option for any new state. Sweden is in a peculiar situation; it is obliged to adopt the euro but due to a loophole that is now closed, Sweden has so far refused to join the ERM and in theory could do this indefinitely. This is a situation that will not be tolerated in the post Lisbon Treaty EU for any new member

                  The terms under which Scotland joins the EU (and not adopting the euro is not a option) will not be decided by Scotland. The decisions lie with the other 27 member states. The decisions will be voted on under a system that gives weighting to the states with the highest population; Germany, France, Italy and the remainder of the UK are the top four weightings. It is unlikely that Scotland will get any special treatment as a new member.

                  It is correct that negotiations for Scotland’s membership will be complete before “independence” (at least that is the aim of the SNP) and the Scottish people will not have any say in this. It is ridiculously stupid to commit Scotland to the rule of the EU then immediately have to try and get out of our commitments. The time to decide about the EU is immediately following a YES result in the referendum. The very basic principle of a sovereign state is allowing the population to vote on whether they should become a part of another political union. Why are the SNP so opposed to democracy?

                  Separation from the UK is of secondary significance compared to the damage that the EU will do to Scotland as a new member state. Look at how the Irish fishing industry has been destroyed and the country is on the brink of bankruptcy (along with Greece and Cyprus and Spain,and Italy heading the same way), yet the non-EU countries of Norway and Iceland (now making a fantastic recovery) are exporting fish to the EU. In fact the YES website even boasts that Scotland would not be refused entry to the EU because the Spanish fishing industry would not survive without fishing in Scottish waters!

                  Why can’t Scotland be a true independent country like Norway, Switzerland, or Iceland? Trading with the EU but not ruled by them.

                  I do indeed want a rational debate; that is why I am presenting the hard facts. I want an independent Scotland, but this referendum is a choice between the status quo (which is not good) and becoming further dominated by the EU (which is much worse). A YES result is only going to see Scotland’s resources divided up by the very expensive, very remote, and very corrupt European Union. Of course they want Scotland, and they want Scotland without the interference of Westminster; direct access to its wealth and a low population that has little representation.

                • Dave_Coull

                  Members of the EU are required to join the Euro when they meet the criteria for doing so . However, the criteria for doing so include prior membership of ERM 2. And membership of ERM 2 is entirely voluntary. And Sweden has announced that it has no intention of ever joining ERM 2. Therefore, for Sweden, membership of the Euro is entirely voluntary. And exactly the same thing would apply to Scotland. Those who try to pretend otherwise are just not facing up to the fact that Scotland would be in an extremely strong negotiating position. And if negotiations don’t go Scotland’s way? Why, then, if negotiations don’t go Scotland’s way, we just walk away from the negotiating table. We will still be a member of EFTA, like Norway is, and have full access to EU markets, like Norway has. That would give us any advantages of the EU without any of the disadvantages.

                • Guest

                  This is the loophole that I spoke of in a previous comment, currently exploited by Sweden, but a loophole now closed to any new members. Participation in ERM2 is a requirement to meet the criteria for joining the euro, and it is optional for non-EU states (you don’t need to be an EU member to join ERM2). EU members not in the eurozone are required to propose a timescale to meet the euro criteria.

                  It is a requirement of the Maastricht Treaty that all member states adopt the euro; as you can see form my link to the European Commissions website on one of my previous comments. During the creation of the Treaty both the UK and Denmark negotiated opt-outs and remain the only countries not required to adopt the euro. And it should now be clear to everyone that the SNP have misguided the electorate into believing that Scotland would need to apply as a new member state.

                  Sweden being a member of the European Community before Maastricht is still required to adopt the euro but has not been required to set a timescale to do so; Sweden has refused to join the ERM2, and may do so because it was not a requirement when it joined the EU. The European Central Bank has said that this situation would not be tolerated with new member states.

                  It is a non-negotiable condition new member states must adopt the euro, and so must have a proposed timescale to join ERM2 and work towards this goal from the outset.

                  The SNP may well be able to hang on to this fiscal aspect of the UK union by keeping the, Bank of England regulated, pound for a period of time; but it will have to bow to the more powerful master of the EU eventually.

                • ian t

                  Leave a m

                  This is the loophole that I spoke of in a previous comment, currently exploited by Sweden, but a loophole now closed to any new members. Participation in ERM2 is a requirement to meet the criteria for joining the euro, and it is optional for non-EU states (you don’t need to be an
                  EU member to join ERM2). EU members not in the eurozone are required to propose a timescale to meet the euro criteria.

                  It is a requirement of the Maastricht Treaty that all member states adopt the euro; as you can see form my link to the European Commissions website on one of my previous comments. During the creation of the Treaty both the UK and Denmark negotiated opt-outs and remain the only
                  countries not required to adopt the euro. And it should now be clear to everyone that the SNP have misguided the electorate into believing that Scotland would not need to apply as a new member state.

                  Sweden being a member of the European Community before Maastricht is still required to adopt the euro but has not been required to set a timescale to do so; Sweden has refused to join the ERM2, and may do so
                  because it was not a requirement when it joined the EU. The European Central Bank has said that this situation would not be tolerated with new member states.

                  It is a non-negotiable condition new member states must adopt the euro, and so must have a proposed timescale to join ERM2 and work towards this goal from the outset.

                  The SNP may well be able to hang on to the, Bank of England regulated, pound for a while; but will have to bow to the greater master of the EU eventually.

                • Dave_Coull

                  “Separation from the UK is of secondary significance” – in your opinion. But, whether you like it or not, that’s what our referendum is about. It isn’t a vote in favour of, or against, the EU; it is simply not about the EU at all. The question is simply “Should Scotland be an independent country?” – people who are in favour of Scotland being an independent country will vote yes, and people who are against Scotland being an independent country will vote no.

                • ian t

                  Well how do you define independence? Since EU law is supreme over member state law then any member of the EU is not independent. At the moment Scotland is ruled by both Westminster and Brussels.

                  My actual answer to the question “Should Scotland be an independent country?” is YES, but I will vote NO because the SNP during there remaining time in power insist on making Scotland a new member of the EU; which is not independence. Scotland as a new member state is much worse than the status quo where the UK at least has opt-outs and is actually questioning the EU.

                  When a European political party or movement talk about independence, they generally mean gaining independence from the rule of the EU (with laws created by unelected people). UKIP are just one example of a European independence party. The SNP are quite unique in that they oppose independence.

                  I cannot understand why anyone who wants Scotland to be independent can support the YES campaign. At least by staying in the UK we might get a chance on voting against EU rule.

                • Dave_Coull

                  UKIP is an English Nationalist party. They have made that unmistakably clear. Now, of course, there is a significant English immigrant minority in Scotland. Many of them support, and will vote for, independence for Scotland. But a few do have old-fashioned English supremacist ideas. It is from that latter, and smaller, immigrant minority grouping that UKIP draws its members in Scotland. In telling their few supporters in Scotland to vote NO to the question “Should Scotland be an independent country?”, UKIP is acting in a way consistent with their English Nationalism.

                  In the entire history of the world, there has probably never been a country which didn’t depend on outsiders for something. Well, maybe on some remote Pacific island, for a short time. So what independence means in practice is “as independent as other countries which are widely regarded as being independent”.

                  On that basis, I predict that, in next year’s referendum, the majority will, like me, vote YES in answer to the question “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

                • ian t

                  UKIP supports independence for the UK, not England; that is why they don’t support Scottish independence.

                  SNP does not support independence for Scotland, it supports the rule of the EU outwith the UK.

                  You give a rather vague definition of independence; is that what the YES campaign are relying on? In international law a State cannot be recognised as independent if another State or States have authority over it and can interfere with internal affairs. EU law is supreme over member state law; clearly this is not independence.

                  Scotland will have to comply with EU legislation. Brussels will dictate what we teach in our schools and who can fish in our waters for example.

                  I also think there will be huge support for the YES vote as people are focused on Westminster and not the bigger picture. The EU want Scotland without the UK opt-outs, and unfortunately Scotland and all its resources will be gifted to the unelected officials in Brussells to divide among the member states.

                  Take two countries with the same population as Scotland; EU member Ireland, and independent country Norway. See how Irelands fishing industry has been destroyed and the country is near bankruptcy, and see how Norway does not need to share its waters with the other member states and is happily exporting fish to the EU.

                  The EU is not required to do trade with any European country; in fact it is simply not required at all.

                  We should dump the SNP, the YES campaign, and work towards a true independent Scotland.

                • Dave_Coull

                  You appear to be under the illusion you’re arguing with a supporter of the SNP. You’re not. I didn’t vote for them last time, and I won’t be voting for them next time either.

                  And I couldn’t care less what definition of independence the YES Campaign might give. I gave the one which makes sense to ordinary working class folk like myself.

                  So far as UKIP supporters in Scotland are concerned, like I pointed out, they tend to be drawn from a minority of a minority, namely, the small minority of English immigrants who persist in taking an English supremacist attitude.

                • ian t

                  No Dave, I mention refer to the SNP because it is their raison d’etre to have this referendum, and regardless of which party you support (if any), a YES vote will give the SNP the mandate to carry out their policy of surrendering Scotland to the EU. When this is done it will be very difficult to come back out again and make it near impossible for Scotland to ever gain independence.

                  I don’t really don’t care if the UK supporters in Scotland are English or not and what their attitude is. If the can do anything to get the UK out of the EU while Scotland is still attached then that is a step closer to independence.

                  I feel the whole YES campaign has been rather disengenous, false claims about automatic continued membership, always comparing Scotland to Norway (which is not an EU member), and the EU barely mentioned in the flyers; just Westminster. The EU and fiscal matters should have been clarified long ago.

                  Ok, you have your defenition of independence, and I would urge you to compare that to what this referendum is offering. So if your definition matches up to being ruled by the EU vote YES. Don’t just vote YE

                • Dodger1981

                  Exactly

                • Dodger1981

                  Sweden is not in the EU, it is in the Eurozone, that is different, also Scotland would be far from the wealthiest country in Europe, couple this with Shetlands and Orkney desire to perhaps form there own independent union, it will leave Scotland high and dry, some Shetlanders have suggested Union with the UK, should Scotland become independent, lastly on the current polls and expert advice from Scottish representatives on economy and fiscal matters only 1 3rd choose to be independent at this time, my thinking is perhaps all UK nations should re-negotiate with one another to form a better union for all, as it stands Scotland get a good deal in health care, military and of course worldwide British embassy’s

                  Scotland is well represented as part of the UK, that includes many trade deals with other countries including the much larger Commonwealth market.

                • ian t

                  Sweden most definitely is a full EU member. I don’t think Scotland is well represented by the UK in the EU and both Scotland and rUK would be best being independent countries, ie, not in the EU. Eu membership is not a requirement to trade with any EU state.

                  Shetland and Orkney may well consider reuniting with Norway, a non-EU state

                  .

                • Dave_Coull

                  There is zero evidence for “Shetlands and Orkney desire to perhaps form there own independent union”.

                  For a start, although folk who know nothing about Shetland, or Orkney, always link the two together, the people who live in these two places don’t.

                  Secondly, in 1997, there was a referendum on setting up a Scottish Parliament. Various so-called “experts” and some so-called “opinion polls” were predicting that both Orkney and Shetland would vote NO. I predicted a decisive YES from every part of Scotland, including a majority Yes vote in both Shetland and Orkney. I was right. The alleged “experts” and the so-called “opinion polls” were wrong. I am making the same prediction for next year’s referendum.

                  Furthermore, the claim that, if the Unionist fantasy of a Northern Isles breakaway came true, this would “leave Scotland high and dry”, is false. Of course we would like them to remain our countrymen, but, if they really did want to go their own way(s), we would wish them good luck, and remain good friends with them.

                  The claim that “some Shetlanders have suggested Union with the UK” simply doesn’t bear a moment’s serious examination. The percentage who would support this in the event of Scotland becoming independent is roughly the same as the percentage who claim to have had close encounters with flying saucers. If they think being governed from Edinburgh is remote, why on Earth would they want to be governed from London? Also, of course, it is only if Shetland and/or Orkney become themselves INDEPENDENT that they would be oil rich. If they were to be colonies of London, then international law of the sea would apply, including the well-established principle of “isolated island groups within the seas belonging to another country”. The Channel Islands are not French, but they are closer to France than to England, so they can only claim a few miles of the sea around them, beyond that, it’s French waters. Similarly, the islands of St Pierre and Miquelon really are French, but they are close to Canada. So St Perre et Miquelon can only claim 12 miles around their coasts. Beyond that, it’s Canadian waters. There are hundreds of similar examples of this around the world. The principle is well established in international law. So if Shetland and Orkney were ruled from London, they could only claim 12 miles of sea. Beyond that, the seas. and the mineral rights to the sea bed, would belong to Scotland. There is not a single oil field within 12 miles of either Shetland or Orkney.

                  Of course, folk in Shetland and Orkney already know this. They know it would only be if they chose to become independent countries that they would be oil-rich. They already know that continuing under London rule when Scotland becomes independent is sheer nonsense.

    • Tamas Marcuis

      Yes it would be entirely proper for England to hold a referendum. So why has no government put this forward? No other country in Britain has the right to stop you leaving any more than England has that right.

      • Vrai écossais

        Why don’t you ask the English Nationalist Party/UKIP to hold a referendum if it gain control of the English parliament/Westminster.

        • Hookeslaw

          Its interesting that you conflate the English Nationalist Party with UKIP, but why would a party with UK in its name want to end the union?

          • Vrai écossais

            Because english people confuse and inte-ruse UK/Britain with england. The English Independence party is what UKIP really is and this is proven in electoral results, UKIP come a distant last in Scottish elections, below the Greens for example.

            • Wessex Man

              For once and this is rare, I agree with you Hooky, there is a very healthy Scottish division of UKIP, who are campaigning against the Yes vote and they have requested Nigel Farage spend time in Scotland campaigning.

              UKIP is a broard church and I personally believe he shouldn’t do so, that Scotland should make up its own mind, if only these dishonest politicians in Westminster would give the English people the same chance, we wouldn’t need an in out referendum for the EU, just a referendum about joining!

              • zipideedooda

                I agree wholeheartedly with you. A federalised UK is what is needed. Then everybody can spend their own taxes however they feel fit. An EU of the UK, as it were. And by the way I don’t agree that UKIP is full of nutters and pub bores.

            • Nicholas chuzzlewit

              No I don’t you arrogant little bore. I am perfectly capable of understanding the difference between England and the UK.

              • Vrai écossais

                Your English grammar is really coming on: for someone for whom English is a foreign language.

                • Wessex Man

                  Yours is as well, “UKip came a didtant last in the Scottish elections.” When was this election? just maybe at the next Scottish elections you’ll see a different result. One thing going on latest Scottish opinion polls you won’t see in your independence, dream on sunshine.

                • Vrai écossais

                  There is a difference between spelling and grammar. I suppose someone coming from an imaginary region must have problems…

                • Wessex Man

                  Arthritis and not checking my post actually, what’s your excuse? Imaginary, I suppose your fondly held dreams about a Celtic heritage are real. The West Country of England is still referred to as Wessex often and I am proud to be a Wessex Man.

              • Vrai écossais

                Tell me what is the difference between England and the UK? the capital of England is? and the capital of the UK is? There has been 1 Queen Elizabeth of England, none of Scotland or the UK, yet Betty Windsor is called II…

          • http://twitter.com/BrynTeilo BT

            It’s UK largely in name only, being a ‘little Englander’ or ‘greater little Englander’ party

          • Dave_Coull

            Because UKIP is in fact an English Nationalist party with no support in Scotland.

            • Wessex Man

              Dave_Coull UKip is a UK wide Political Party, I have met many Scottish UKip members, just because you are losing support for your referendum stop blaming the English. Maybe you should get out there in Scotland and try to drum supprort amongst your countrymen rather than casually insulting us!

              • Dave_Coull

                “blaming the English”? you have me confused with somebody else. I said nothing about “blaming the English”. As for “your” referendum, the referendum belongs to everybody who lives in Scotland. In the 1997 referendum on a Scottish Parliament, the so-called “opinion polls” were suggesting that would be lost. I predicted a YES majority from every region of Scotland. IThe so-called “polls” were proved wrong. I was proved right. I am making the same prediction again.

                • Wessex Man

                  Dave_Coull

                  Of course it’s your referendum if you are Scottish, we’ll see in 2014 if you have won. If you go back to previous articles about Scottish Independence, you will find that I actually support it with no sense of irony. You will also see however that I as an Englishman will always stand up to some of the Scottish posters,whose views about we English are to the right of the BNP.

                • Dave_Coull

                  Like I said, you had me confused with somebody else. You’ve just admitted that.

                • Wessex Man

                  No my dear David, I never confused you with anyone, whereas Vrai ecossais, MichyMe and dimwit decavalier rant and rave about anything English you are rather more calculated in your insults, which is fair enough.

      • Hookeslaw

        There is no demand in England for a referendum on bringing an end to the Union.

        • Wessex Man

          and I knew that our agreement couldn’t last and it hasn’t the last Mori poll conducted for the CEP showed 67% wanted an English Parliament, which would result in the break of the Union.

          • MichtyMe

            I approve of a 100% English Parliament, a great deal better than the existing 80%+ English Parliament.

        • OldLb

          Under a democracy shouldn’t everyone get the vote?

      • th43

        … but England is far more likely to vote for Scottish independence than Scotland ever would

    • Andy

      Because we are English and don’t matter. And the Labour Party hates England.

    • Dave_Coull

      Because of that founding principle of the United Nations, self-determination. This principle, which has been applied in dozens and dozens of cases since the Second World War, states that it is the people who actually live in the territory, for which self-determination is sought, who get to vote. No doubt a huge majority of the population of Indonesia were against independence for West Timor. But it was only the people in West Timor who got asked.

      • Wessex Man

        and your arguement is? you are getting your referendum in 2014 but you have to put the effort into it.

        • Dave_Coull

          Somebody asked why we were getting a referendum and people in England etc were not. I answered their question.

  • Hexhamgeezer

    Scottish tail wagging English dog? That suits LibLabCon down to the ground right now.

  • the viceroy’s gin

    The only thing an EU referendum is likely to “kill” is a certain misshapen lump currently occupying the premier’s chair.

  • wcm_eu

    By design, yes. And sadly.

  • Austin Barry

    ‘If’ this, ‘If’ that. This article is a such a maze of hypotheticals I had to resort to a headache remedy.

    • salieri

      You mean, just like the PM’s promise?

    • Makroon

      Precisely.
      what a futile way to “earn” a living.

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