reply to post by bodrul
But would England be really better off? The remainder of the UK might still end up paying a lot of money to Scotland even if they leave the Union.
Think about it. Let's say that, by 2017 (the suggested date by which the SNP believe Scotland could be independent), Scotland makes up 10% of the
UK's population (since it's an easy figure to work with and it's quite possible that this will be the case).
That means that Scotland is entitled to 10% of everything. 10% of our armed forces equipment, Treasury funds, public buildings etc.
A lot of this is infeasible to give away (I can't see an independent Scotland being able to maintain 10% of the UK military equipment, for example,
if it wants to keep levels of spending in education, health, social security etc. the same) so instead the remainder of the UK would have to give the
value of those assets in capital rather than physically handing them over.
Divorces are never, ever quick or simple and the break-up of a country is just about one of the most terrible experiences its citizens can go though
(I need point no further than Serbia, where Kosovo is once again in the news. Look also at India and Pakistan or Russia and the former Soviet states).
And yet some people want
this to happen... their thinking mystifies me when history teaches us how damaging it is and how it takes decades for
the scars to heal.
A point I'd like to make directly is that it's important not to generalise. I think the latest poll shows that about 25% of Scots support
independence, which is not nearly enough to win a referendum. Obviously this figure is going to fluctuate depending on the political climate of the
moment (I imagine the figure will rise in the next poll due to Labour's problems with funding) but there has never been an overall majority of Scots
that support leaving the Union. It seems to be a smaller group (the SNP et al) shouting very loudly and part of their plot is to cause dissent in
England to help make breaking up the Union easier. Stu mentions, for instance, university fees - this is a myth. Scottish students do get their fees
they aren't entitled to any grants from the Scottish government to pay for living costs, travel etc. whereas English students are
(and these were made more generous when top up fees were introduced). Some elements in the media like to roll out this 'fact' now and again... it's
The Barnett formula too was worked in the way that it was because Scotland needs extra money (one of the perks of being in the Union) - the life
expectancy in Glasgow Central is a decade below that of Kensington and Chelsea... this is where the extra cash goes. We have a moral obligation to
make sure that hospitals and health education is of a decent standard and is accessible by all right across the United Kingdom, and I don't begrudge
a penny that goes to Scotland. I honestly don't, since it's clear they're more needy than, say, the nicer areas of London.
[edit on 8/12/07 by Ste2652]