In Dublin, where I am writing this, people are watching the Scottish referendum campaign more closely than in London. Despite the polls, they almost expect a Yes vote, but most do not want one. People fear that Yes would weaken the UK and therefore make it a less useful ally for Ireland in the EU. They also think that an independent Scotland might overtake Ireland as a cute little place for foreign investors who like the combination of kilts, bagpipes and general Celtic carry-on with tax breaks and commercial access to the Anglosphere. Finally, they worry that Scottish independence would reopen the Irish question. At present, the Republic enjoys the fact that the settlement in the North has driven the call for a United Ireland into the background. The example of a breakaway Scotland would stir it up all over again. The more one thinks about the Scottish vote, the more multi-dimensionally dangerous it seems.

Tags: Ireland, Scotland, scottish referendum