I’ve heard too many ill-informed people grasping to some BS political nonsense spouted by the mainstream media so let me spell it out for you.
Scotland is not a nation of scroungers sucking on the subsidy teet of the UK as they would like you to believe. Scotland has the potential to be one
of the richest countries in the world and in fact is heavily subsidizing the UK and has been since the 70's. The rest of the UK will be loose out
heavily and they (politicians) know it.
I’m not anti-England (far from it) but this whole issue of independence is turing in to a circus with name calling on both sides and I’m surprised
at how much is hidden from public knowledge. It is very difficult to separate fact from fiction (or political spin) but at the end of the day I
support whatever decision is best for Scotland.
Any further info is appreciated.
I though I would add this also though I take no credit for the content as its just a cut and paste job
THE PROS AND CONS
Independence for Scotland and a chance to break free of centralised government in London. For example, government spending in the UK is directly
proportional to the distance from London. London receives by far and away the greatest proportion of public spending (19% of the overall total)
whereas Scotland, being furthest away, receives very little (less than 4% of the overall total). Proportionally London should receive 11% and Scotland
9%. London receives more subsidies for transport in one year than Scotland does in 100 years.
Scottish could follow Ireland's example and cut taxes, especially business taxes and so promote it's own economic growth. The UK government
effectively prevents this by subsidising companies that wish to set up in the south-east and penalising those that want to set up in Scotland.
Scotland would have a lesser role to play in Europe if it were to gain independence. As it stands it is well represented through it's alliance with
the rest of the UK, as an independent country it's representation would be diminished.
It would be expensive for Scotland and the remainder of the UK if independence were to happen as each country would have to develop it's own
strategies and policies in areas which are currently shared - such as defence and security.
Relations between England and Scotland are deteriorating, primarily due to the unfavourable treatment Scotland receives from the London based
Scotland is partially independent and already has it's own parliament, laws, healthcare, legal system, education system etc. In such areas Scotland is
doing very well, especially in education which since becoming independent from England has become one of the best in the world (1st, 2nd or 6th best
depending how you measure it). In some respects Scotland has become a victim of it's own success, education is not only flourishing but is free of
charge at all levels. One drawback has been an influx of English students which is stretching resources and is a drain on the Scottish economy.
As an independent country Scotland would have it's own voice in UN, NATO and other organisations.
Scotland and England formed the Union 300 years ago and by and large this has been a successful union with both countries benefiting. Devolution
(partial independence) is in it's early stages and it's too soon to judge how successful it will be. Full independence may be a step too far until the
success of devolution has been established.
London has established itself in the global markets and represents the whole of the UK. As an independent nation Scotland would have to start from
scratch in many areas and certainly in the short term, will lose global trade.
If Scotland became independent it would be comparable to other small, primarily rural countries such as Ireland, Iceland and Norway all of which are
successful and if Scotland replicated these successes it would do better being independent.
Financially there are pros and cons both ways. Under the current system Scotland raises about £27 billion in public funds but receives about £40
billion from the government and so is £13 billion a year better off in this respect. However, these are the visible areas of spending such as
pensions, social security etc. In the invisible areas such as infrastructure, development, business, investment etc Scotland receives less than
England so at the end of the day Scotland loses out by about £4 billion a year.
COULD IT HAPPEN?
The UK government is supposedly democratic and is elected to serve the wishes of the public. More and more it is becoming less democratic and takes
many decisions against the wishes of the majority. If it truly were democratic then Scotland would already be independent as this is what the majority
of Scots want and have done for many years (57% as opposed to 43%). Politically, the current administration would suffer if Scotland became
WILL IT DESTROY THE UK?
Probably not (but see the part about oil). To some extent Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland already have some independence and this has benefited
each country individually and the UK as a whole. Scotland gaining independence wouldn't mean it would sever all ties with England. It's not that it's
going to become an island in it's own right and float off somewhere a long way from the rest of the UK.
The Scots and Irish and the Scots and Welsh have a strong and healthy relationship and have done for hundreds of years. These bonds are unlikely to be
damaged by independence and if anything, they'll be strengthened as the countries will be in a better position to trade with each other without
interference from Westminster (London government).
The relationship between England and Scotland is likely to remain strong just as it is with Canada and the US or France and Germany or any two
neighbouring democratic countries.
WO GETS THE OIL AND GAS?
This is the big question. These reserves were discovered in the 1970's and pretty much all the UK's oil and gas reserves are in Scottish waters. Prior
to the 1970's events in Scottish waters were of Scottish concern and when there were fishing disputes, territorial disputes, oil spills etc it was a
case of it being in Scottish waters and therefore something for Scotland to deal with. Upon the discovery of oil and gas the UK government proclaimed
Scottish waters to be British waters and for the oil and gas to be directly controlled by London.
This has caused the Scots a great deal of resentment and is one of the many ways they feel the English are plundering their country. Scotland also
provides England with other basic commodities such as stone, timber, water and electricity. These are 'taken' from Scotland, if Scotland were
independent these surpluses could be sold on the open market.
Known reserves of oil (excluding gas for which I don't know the figures) exceed 1.5 trillion dollars. If Scotland gained independence and were allowed
to keep the gas and oil in it's waters it would become one of the richest countries in the world - comparable to the US having a quadrillion dollars
of oil reserves.
It's estimated that the UK has 30 years of oil reserves remaining but if these reserves were only needed by a population of 5 million as opposed to 60
million then Scotland would have 360 years of reserves.
With so much oil it would be in a very powerful and strategic position in the world. The result would be that Scotland would be the powerful country
in the former UK and that England would lose financially to the tune of about £80 billion a year, or to put it into context, each household would
need to pay an additional £100 a week in taxes to make up the shortfall.
It seems extremely unlikely that any UK government would give up the oil and gas reserves, this is after all, what's been keeping the UK economy
afloat for the last 3 decades. Without it the UK would have gone bankrupt a long time ago.
edit on 20-1-2012 by Scott495 because: (no reason