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Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry 494

dcblogs writes: Scotland is not a major high-tech employment center, but it has good universities and entrepreneurial energy. About 70,000 people work in tech out of a total workforce of about 2.5 million, or about 3%. By contrast, financial services accounts for about 15% of employment in Scotland. But passions are high. "Honest, I've never been so scared in my life," said Euan Mackenzie about the prospect of separating from the U.K. He runs a 16-employee start-up, 1partCarbon, in Edinburgh, a platform that builds medical systems. "For tech start-ups, funding will be tougher to find and more expensive, there will be no local banks, access to EU markets and the freedom of movement will be curtailed," said Mackenzie. "As someone who enjoys risk and new opportunities, my company will remain in Scotland and make the best of whichever side prevails on Thursday, but the effect of independence on tech start-ups and the whole Scottish economy will be cataclysmic," he said.
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Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

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  • by alen ( 225700 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2014 @08:59AM (#47925859)

    look on the bright side
    who needs money when you can rid yourself of nuclear weapons?

  • by jez9999 ( 618189 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2014 @09:07AM (#47925921) Homepage Journal

    A lot of "yes" campaigners seem to have been sold on the idea that any warning of economic doom upon a "yes" vote is scaremongering, bullying, or "undermining the Scottish democratic process." Bullshit. Many intelligent people looking at this from a rational perspective have concluded that the "sweet spot" for Scotland is staying in the union and having devo-max; basically getting it both ways, with lots of self-government combined with a net financial income from the rest of the UK, as well as obviously ease of trade.

    However, the pro-independence SNP are 100% blinkered on independence, at any cost. They will therefore paint warnings like this as lies designed purely to scupper their frankly loony picture of a prosperous independent Scotland, and a lot of Scots buy into it. Shame, really.

    Americans might look on with bemusement; I can understand that. I guess it's a bit like Florida choosing to break away from the US, having a pro-Florida political party endlessly demonizing "them" (the rest of the US) as causing pretty much every economic and political woe Florida has going for it. As an English guy, I think this whole situation really sucks. If the UK breaks up, the whole of Britain will be worse off for it, but I suspect Scotland will take the bigger brunt of the pain. And given that it will have made the decision, it will deserve to.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 17, 2014 @09:15AM (#47925977)

      It's more like Quebec constantly trying to leave Canada. A bunch of rich frenchies trying to have their own country but also want their citizens to keep their Canadian Government jobs, use Canadian currency, have access to free health care in other provinces and basically have their cake and eat it too.

      • I read your post in the same voice as the South Park "they tuk our jerbs!" guys. It was pretty funny. :)
      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) * <mojo@NOSPAM.world3.net> on Wednesday September 17, 2014 @11:50AM (#47927577) Homepage Journal

        In Scotland it's arguably the other way around. The UK benefits from Scottish oil and renewable energy. Scotland would be better off keeping it for itself. Unfortunately a lot of the oil wealth has already been squandered.

        Scotland also leans much further to the left than England, but ends up with very right wing English governments and policies. Devolution of power has helped a bit but ultimately only independence will fully protect them.

    • Americans might look on with bemusement; I can understand that. I guess it's a bit like Florida choosing to break away from the US, having a pro-Florida political party endlessly demonizing "them" (the rest of the US) as causing pretty much every economic and political woe Florida has going for it. As an English guy, I think this whole situation really sucks. If the UK breaks up, the whole of Britain will be worse off for it, but I suspect Scotland will take the bigger brunt of the pain. And given that it will have made the decision, it will deserve to.

      We do have something similar, although it is called Texas.

      I have been following this with interest ever since I discovered the BBC World Service on one of the sub channels of Minnesota Public Radio. Being an American it doesn't seem to affect me but I would be for Scottish independence just because I think it would be neat to have a new country. In reality this doesn't seem to be a good reason for the Scots to choose it so it is probably for the better that I am not a resident of Scotland and instead an Am

      • by Miamicanes ( 730264 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2014 @02:24PM (#47929781)

        We do have something similar, although it is called Texas.

        Not quite. The treaty under which Texas-the-Lone-Star-Republic joined the USA gave it the right to secede at will... and it did.

        After declaring independence, Texas proceeded to join the Confederate States of America, actively participated in warfare against the USA, and was conquered along with the rest of the CSA by Union troops & annexed by the USA as a vanquished military district.

        Had Texas remained neutral & kept out of the war, it could have legitimately asked to rejoin the USA after (or during) the Civil war under freely-negotiated terms. As a conquered enemy land, Texas was in no position to negotiate anything.

    • One one hand, you talk about economic-governance "sweet spots" which is a perfectly reasonable way of discussing this sort of issue; on the other hand you've drawn independence as some sort of discontinuous cliff-edge, which seems like exactly the sort of ridiculous hyperbole the "yes" campaign get so rightly chastised for.

      Unfortunately all rationality aside, the "no" campaign have done themselves absolutely no favours in the debates, from choice of talking points to choice of speaker. (Has Darling never be

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 17, 2014 @09:29AM (#47926101)

      As a fellow European (Belgium, not UK) it's funny to see the arguments being used by the "better together" campaign. They are all typically the same arguments used by the rest of Europe for increased European integration, which the same UK people are typically opposed to. I've heard people say "access to the larger common market within the UK is crucial for Scottish businesses" - with those same people asking for all kinds of exemptions on the European common market.

      Your example of "Florida trying to break away from the US" is an interesting one. To me, it feels more like North Dakota splitting from South Dakota while staying within the US, which a lot of people would consider mostly a non-issue. If Scotland chooses to go for a future as an "independent state within Europe", I would imagine them functioning somewhat similar to Ireland, which is not functioning too bad as far as I know.

      • by jez9999 ( 618189 )

        As a fellow European (Belgium, not UK) it's funny to see the arguments being used by the "better together" campaign. They are all typically the same arguments used by the rest of Europe for increased European integration

        Scotland has a heck of a lot more in common with Britain than mainland Europe; linguistically, geographically, historically, and culturally, to name but a few. One union makes a lot more sense than the other.

        • by rioki ( 1328185 )

          You could say the same thing about Ireland. I think the Irish would disagree though.

          • by halivar ( 535827 )

            Ask a protestant and they might not.

          • If you know Irish history you'll know that's not true. Generally the populous of the North are the ancestors of British settlers and hence Protestant. Thus their history is actually separate.

            While they've had a shared history for a while, that's not always been the case. And culturally the two "halves" of Ireland (majority are actually Nationalist) have little truly in common. Lignuistically they all speak English mostly as a method of simplifying trade and cross-border relations; there are only a very few

      • As a fellow European (Belgium, not UK) it's funny to see the arguments being used by the "better together" campaign. They are all typically the same arguments used by the rest of Europe for increased European integration, which the same UK people are typically opposed to.

        Don't paint all Brits with the same brush. Yes, some people in the UK are not keen on the current arrangements with Europe, largely because of the massive influx of immigrants in recent years (an issue Scotland has experienced to nowhere ne

        • by Alioth ( 221270 )

          I don't see what the beef over immigration is -- it actually works both ways. There are about 1 million Britons living in Spain right now under the same rules.

          What happens is this: older Britons who are more likely to be in poor health and a drain on the NHS, and who are frequently trying to dodge taxes move to Spain, and burden the Spanish economy (I know some of these people - they basically do everything they can to avoid paying any tax in Spain where they are consuming public services). Basically, econo

          • by IamTheRealMike ( 537420 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2014 @10:20AM (#47926631)

            I don't see what the beef over immigration is -- it actually works both ways. There are about 1 million Britons living in Spain right now under the same rules.

            I've never met anyone in the UK who has a problem with immigration from west European countries that are culturally similar to themselves. Most of the problems crop up with poorly integrated Islamic integration where you get entire neighbourhoods in some cities that look basically like Pakistan: people wearing veils, not speaking English, etc.

            The other issue is economic, the UK didn't use transitional controls when Poland entered the EU to delay immigration, so it got a really really large number of Polish immigrants because they had few other places to go. The evidence suggests the UK benefited from this economically but given the sheer speed and scale of the migration it's not hard to see why people got antsy.

            The same did not happen when Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU so I'm hoping immigration will blow over in the coming years if the economy continues to recover. But we'll see. It's not a UK specific problem, there's anti-immigration sentiment in populations all over Europe.

            • by Ash-Fox ( 726320 )

              The other issue is economic, the UK didn't use transitional controls when Poland entered the EU to delay immigration, so it got a really really large number of Polish immigrants because they had few other places to go. The evidence suggests the UK benefited from this economically but given the sheer speed and scale of the migration it's not hard to see why people got antsy.

              Some of us have other reasons to be antsy.

              I lived in Poland for over a decade, I was forced to have a visa and such when legally I wasn

          • by jez9999 ( 618189 )

            I don't see what the beef over immigration is -- it actually works both ways. There are about 1 million Britons living in Spain right now under the same rules.

            England is one of the most densely-populated countries in the world. Part of the beef over immigration is that we need to build 100,000s of new houses every year because there are more and more and more people, and some of us would actually quite like to stop before we get to the stage of sea-to-sea housing developments.

    • Americans might look on with bemusement; I can understand that. I guess it's a bit like Florida choosing to break away from the US, having a pro-Florida political party endlessly demonizing "them" (the rest of the US) as causing pretty much every economic and political woe Florida has going for it. As an English guy, I think this whole situation really sucks. If the UK breaks up, the whole of Britain will be worse off for it, but I suspect Scotland will take the bigger brunt of the pain. And given that it will have made the decision, it will deserve to.

      Well as an American guy I have to say that's not a good analogy. As much as the rest of the US thinks Florida is backwards, Florida was not another country rich with their own traditions when the US acquired it. Texas would be a better analogy. Also an English guy, I don't think you understand that you've not exactly treated Scotland very well and that's one of the reasons it wants to leave. Another reason is that much of oil England is harvesting is Scottish and they do not get what they think is a propor

      • by jez9999 ( 618189 )

        Heh. John Oliver is about as English as George W. Bush. I wonder whether Jon Stewart would be quite so gung-ho about allowing those southern states to secede? Maybe a bit of patriotism would seep in all of a sudden...

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Also an English guy, I don't think you understand that you've not exactly treated Scotland very well and that's one of the reasons it wants to leave.

        Scotland has been treated very well indeed. When it joined the Union its people were piss poor and its "government" was bankrupt. It's now a wealthy first world country, with lots of MPs in its Parliament, large amounts of money spent on its people and it's contributed multiple Prime Ministers and senior government figures.

        Despite all that, a large number of Sc

        • If they vote yes it'll be Venezuela on the Clyde. I can't wait.
          • by jez9999 ( 618189 )

            Which makes it all the more hilarious that the Scottish Greens are supporting independence. Scotland's #1 economic crutch is basically going to be "drill, baby, drill!" How exactly does that fit their agenda again...? I guess all the million and one wind turbines will make up for it.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) * <mojo@NOSPAM.world3.net> on Wednesday September 17, 2014 @12:03PM (#47927831) Homepage Journal

          Thatcher destroyed manufacturing and industry in the whole of the UK. The north of England and Wales were trashed just as badly. She did that to Scotland, as well as the Poll Tax which caused riots. All the stuff she privatised has gone to shit - energy companies, the railways, British Telecom... Now they see Cameron privatising Royal Mail and the NHS too.

          Her policies failed utterly and lead to the global financial crash a few years back. In the end she was such a liability her own party had to get rid of her. Scotland would do well to get away from her legacy.

          • by IamTheRealMike ( 537420 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2014 @12:53PM (#47928693)

            Thatcher destroyed manufacturing and industry in the whole of the UK. The north of England and Wales were trashed just as badly. She did that to Scotland, as well as the Poll Tax which caused riots. All the stuff she privatised has gone to shit - energy companies, the railways, British Telecom... Now they see Cameron privatising Royal Mail and the NHS too. Her policies failed utterly and lead to the global financial crash a few years back.

            That's the view that sums up the Yes campaign, indeed. But is it realistic?

            Let's start with "Thatcher destroyed manufacturing and industry". I find it to be a very misleading way to phrase things. At the time Thatcher came to power, heavily nationalised UK industry was already destroying itself. It had high costs, low productivity, large chunks of it were unprofitable and it was dominated by incredibly militant unions who didn't care about any of this at all, because their wages were being subsidised by tax and the printing of money. Being unprofitable is not some minor debating point. Enormous numbers of people in the UK were being paid to uselessly dig holes in the ground. There was no purpose to this. In the absence of subsidies, nobody would have wanted the rocks that were being dug up. Other people in other countries were doing it better.

            And it wasn't just mining. At the time Thatcher came to power the British state also owned shipyards, steel works, a furniture removal company and the Gleneagles Hotel ..... just to name a few.

            None of this made any sense. It had happened because the post-war governments believed full employment mattered more than inflation. The result was openly Marxist trade unions realised a weak government with an addiction to money printing could be turned into an ATM via nationally organised strikes. By the 1970's the UK was a basket case. It was suffering electricity blackouts, trash was piling up on the streets uncollected, railways didn't work, even emergency services and hospitals were striking. The country was one of the poorest in Europe and being called "ungovernable". The strikes were wildly unpopular with over 80% disapproval ratings of the strikers being common.

            There was no way these industries were ever going to be world-beating titans ever again.

            Thatcher was elected to fix this state of affairs, and she did, by making the painful choice to take away the subsidies and start targeting inflation instead of employment.

            By the time she left the UK was a stable and prosperous first world nation once again.

      • by jeremyp ( 130771 )

        Also an English guy, I don't think you understand that you've not exactly treated Scotland very well and that's one of the reasons it wants to leave.

        Can you give some examples in which England has treated Scotland badly in the last twenty years? Or two hundred years?

        Another reason is that much of oil England is harvesting is Scottish

        Actually, it is the UK that is harvesting British oil [wikipedia.org]. Except it's not the UK, it's oil companies who then pay taxes to the UK. The taxes then get used all over the UK according to need. This is the way most Western countries operate.

        • by HiThere ( 15173 )

          Yes, it's the way most contries operate. The most benefit goes to the politically well connected.

    • by stdarg ( 456557 )

      Many intelligent people looking at this from a rational perspective have concluded that the "sweet spot" for Scotland is staying in the union and having devo-max

      What's the guarantee that will ever happen? I just read that the "vows" Cameron made to give more power and money to Scotland have caused quite a stir in his own party with MPs coming out and saying they'll vote against it.

      basically getting it both ways, with lots of self-government combined with a net financial income from the rest of the UK, as well as obviously ease of trade.

      Is it net positive? Are you sure? There's a lot of misinformation about tax flows because the No side isn't counting a lot of stuff, such as export taxes, the full share of oil and gas revenue from the North Sea, and businesses headed in England but doing business in Scotland. The Yes sid

      • by gfxguy ( 98788 )
        I can't predict what would happen, but your last statement is what I've been looking for in all this mess... in the short term, things like this are almost always painful, there's a lot of readjusting to do, but it's what happens in the long term that matters. I would applaud Scotland's secession as long overdue and, yes, as an American, believe that freedom and independence are just as important (if not more) than financial security.
    • by bigpat ( 158134 )
      I think it is quite clearly scare mongering or worse, threatening. The UK government agreed to this vote and they should be making assurances that whichever the outcome that the UK government will do its best to facilitate a peaceful and mutually beneficial transition. Two independent states can share a currency... the EU proves that currency unions are possible. And if the EU were to exclude Scotland, then that would be the first time the EU will have contracted instead of expanding which would undermin
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 17, 2014 @09:51AM (#47926343)

      Scotland lands control 1/3 the resources of the UK and has 1/13th the population, assuming a new independent Scotland would have control over those resources, a "No" vote is foolish(except to the rest of the UK)..

      Scotland represents just 8.3% of the UK population.... Remember that number 8.3%..

      Scotland has of the UK resources:
      32% Land area
      61% Sea area
      90% Surface fresh water
      65% North Sea natural gas production
      96.5% North Sea crude oil production
      47% Open cast coal production
      81% Coal reserves at sites not yet in production
      62% Timber production (green tonnes)
      46% Total forest area (hectares)
      92% Hydro electric production
      40% Wind, wave, solar production
      60% Fish Landings (total by Scottish vessels)
      55% Fish Landings (total from Scottish waters)
      30% Beef herd (breeding stock)
      20% Sheep herd (breeding flock)
      9% Dairy herd
      10% Pig herd
      15% Cereal holdings (hectares)
      20% potato holdings (hectares)

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scotland
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom

    • with lots of self-government combined with a net financial income from the rest of the UK

      Which is why, as an Englishman, I sincerely hope that Scotland votes yes.

  • by codeButcher ( 223668 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2014 @09:13AM (#47925967)
    Ahhh, so the one-sided emotional campaigning ("Think of the ch... checkbook!") has made it to /. too.
    • by u38cg ( 607297 )
      I don't think it's entirely unreasonable to consider the practicalities of a major upheaval.
      • Yeah, actually, when it comes to emotional manipulation, as a non-Scot on the internet, you pretty much only see the yes side doing that. I mean, I don't need it because it doesn't involve me, but I haven't heard even the most singular of pragmatic reasons for a yes vote.

        Which makes me drop it in the same mental bin as "south will rise again" fuckwittery.

      • by stdarg ( 456557 )

        Yeah that sounds great, but the editorializing along the lines of "this will be cataclysmic to the Scottish economy" is ridiculous.

  • by halivar ( 535827 ) <bfelger@gma i l . com> on Wednesday September 17, 2014 @09:14AM (#47925969)

    They say that if they default on British debt obligations (as they say they will if they don't get "fair share" of Bank of England assets), they can still secure loans from the continent. It is unlikely that anyone in Europe will spite UK this way, and there is no way Brussels is going to take another debt-laden country. Without admittance to the EU, they're going to find it hard to secure the financing and trade deals they're going to need to make this work. This is a case of optimism and boredom triumphing over reason.

    • Its not the Bank of Englands assets that Salmond wants, its the Bank of England itself. He wants to be able to retain the BoE as a lender of last resort, while maintaining a say in how Sterling fiscal policy is created - inflation controls, interest rates, ability to borrow at a base rate etc etc etc.

      Without the BoE, Scotland would need to set up its own lender of last resort, or risk having less foreign investment as Scottish banks have to borrow on the standard market, which is a lot more expensive.

      There is no positive to the rest of the UK to allow an independent Scotland to continue to have access to the BoE in the capacity it wants to, which is why the Westminster government parties have all ruled it out - Salmond mean while continually pushes the fact that "Ireland was allowed to have a currency union with the UK when it was granted independence in the 1920s" but ignores the fact that the Republic of Ireland did not actually have a currency union as it had no say in fiscal policy in the few short years where it actually used Sterling as its currency, it simply just used Sterling like any person on the street does. Then they pegged the Irish Pound to Sterling for the next 50 or so years, again with minimal fiscal decision making as a result.

      Salmonds other argument is that Scotland cannot be held liable for any debt that the rest of the UK has already acknowledged responsibility for, which Westminster did the first time Salmond made his threat because any doubt over that would cause fiscal policy difficulties with foreign markets - but that doesn't mean foreign lenders cannot view Scotland as a higher risk as a result, because it is after all refusing to take a portion of the debt it helped create.

      Whatever happens, Friday is going to be very very interesting - if its a "Yes" then Salmond starts making his demands and then runs into difficulties where he insisted there wouldn't be any (currency union, which he has insisted all along would happen, despite being told time and again that it wouldn't, and membership of the EU, which Salmond has again insisted would be nearly instant while major EU politicians and leaders have said a newly independent Scotland would be required to apply to join as a new member state, the same as any other new member state seeking membership).

      If its a "No", Salmond won't back down but will probably use it to fuel more dissent toward Westminster, insisting on another referendum in the near future.

      Ho hum, the weekend is going to be fun.

    • by Noryungi ( 70322 )

      Ah yes, but you forget a couple of things here...

      First of all, Scotland would be one of two EU nations to produce its own oil and gaz (the other is Norway). That gives it A LOT of leverage, especially since they can't possibly burn all that fuel in Scotland itself.

      After the initial shock, you can bet dozens of countries (China? Japan? others?) would send delegations to Scotland to finance pretty much everything they want, provided they get a piece of the North Sea action (so to speak).

      Second, there is a ver

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        "First of all, Scotland would be one of two EU nations to produce its own oil and gaz (the other is Norway)."

        I've seen this so many times on the internet. Norway is NOT a member of the European Union.

      • >Scotland can now refuse (to honor all debts contracted in their names),,,

        Indeed it could. And the rest of the UK could in retaliation destroy bridges, roads and other publicly-funded assets to an equivalent value if it wished and impose an excise duty on all Scottish exports to collect the interest.

        Both would be equally senseless and neither will happen.

      • 1) Statement of fact: Norway is not in the EU 2) Scotland will not be independent on 19th September, it will have voted to seek independence. It will have no control of its taxation, until that is agreed. It would be logical for the rUK government to inform Alex Salmond on 19th that at an imminent date the cash from UK wide taxation will cease to be paid to the Scottish government that keeps it going until it agrees to accept its debt. 1st January 2015 or the start of the new fiscal year spring to mind. 3)
      • by u38cg ( 607297 ) <calum@callingthetune.co.uk> on Wednesday September 17, 2014 @10:19AM (#47926621) Homepage
        No, I'm afraid you don't understand a few things. Firstly, Scotland's oil is small beer on the global stage. The North Sea produces ~1.5m bpd, OPEC alone is something like 30m. Scotland could turn off the taps and the planet wouldn't even blink.

        So, the inrush of global partners wouldn't happen. More to the point, why would they rush to jump into bed with a government that has already stood up and said it is seriously considering reneging on UK debt? Which, by the way, is not the norm for newly independent countries and would be remembered by the markets. If they lent at all, they would certainly require paying for it. You really want to pay Greek interest rates on your government debt?

        Think Venezuela, not Norway.

    • by bigpat ( 158134 )
      I think it would be fairly cynical of the English side to allow a vote on independence and then screw over Scotland as an 'I told you so'. The best thing for everyone would be to facilitate a peaceful and mutually beneficial transition. That means cooperating with the Bank of Scotland to keep the Pound if they want to and doing nothing to make EU membership difficult. This isn't some sort of armed rebellion. The UK agreed to this vote. If the remaining UK screws over Scotland out of regret for allowing
      • by jez9999 ( 618189 )

        The UK agreed to this vote.

        Cameron ageed to this vote. Most UK citizens would not have. There was no good reason I can see for Cameron to have agreed to it.

      • "If the remaining UK screws over Scotland out of regret for allowing independence, then it would hurt the UK just as much as it would Scotland." Certainly not. Scotland is a small country whose screwing over would barely effect rUK, but who could bring the Scots to total chaos in days. We merely want to ensure that they pay their debts; they are the ones who raised the prospect of using that as a threat - we need to ensure that they don't even think about it.
      • The best thing for everyone would be to facilitate a peaceful and mutually beneficial transition.

        Of course.

        That means cooperating with the Bank of Scotland to keep the Pound if they want to and doing nothing to make EU membership difficult.

        That would mean agreeing to underwrite and subsidise someone else's heavily socialist spending policies in perpetuity. The English taxpayer already suffers from paying tax that is then shipped to Scotland and used to give Scottish and rest-of-EU students free education, b

    • they can still secure loans from the continent ... it is unlikely that anyone in Europe will spite UK this way

      I rather think they would. Banks are not known for national alliances trumping profits, assuming lenders care one way or another (they don't).

      Scotland will find it very hard to raise the funding it needs in the markets if it goes independent, but that'll be because Salmond seems to think walking away from their share of the UK debt is a viable option at all. I expect that if they did that, they co

      • by stdarg ( 456557 )

        Scotland will find it very hard to raise the funding it needs in the markets if it goes independent, but that'll be because Salmond seems to think walking away from their share of the UK debt is a viable option at all. I expect that if they did that, they could tell lenders that was a one off and they fully intend to repay debts accumulated by the new country, and I expect that lenders would buy it (after all HMG will still pay off the old Scottish debt).

        I don't understand how Scotland will be given any share of the UK debt. The UK will still exist, so the UK will have the debt.

        In the 2 years before actual independence I'm sure there will be negotiations about the issuance of new debt obligations to repay the UK for their investments in Scotland, but that will be new debt, not a sharing of old debt. If Scotland refuses to pay, they would be breaking their obligation to the UK, not to the UK's creditors who have no relationship to Scotland.

        Whether that oblig

  • Don't worry about no local banks. Just remember, we agreed to not accept live pigs in payment.

  • So much FUD, so little time...

    funding will be tougher to find and more expensive... Really? If your ideas are interesting, Kickstarter will be happy to take on your project.

    no local banks... Really? That does not make any sense. The best you can do, then, is to start your own bank in Scotland. Agreed, that is not an easy project to undertake, but, remember... "That's where the money is"! Besides, the City is a den of thieves, Scottish people should vote "Yes" just to get rid of the whole sorry mess.

    access t

    • by Sockatume ( 732728 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2014 @09:29AM (#47926107)

      That's all well and good, but Kickstarter campaigns, banks, and EU membership don't happen overnight. I imagine that the interviewee is thinking about his business situation twelve months from now, not four years down the road.

    • by Ash-Fox ( 726320 )

      Why would they do that, now, since the EU is in a deep economic and institutional slump, is completely beyond me, but still...

      The EU has a bunch of sad laws that discriminate against non-EU countries for trade. This has hurt the UK quite badly when it came to trade with other common wealth countries that weren't part of the EU. The way Australia got screwed was pretty bad and I think people that remember still hold it against the UK to this day.

      • by Noryungi ( 70322 )

        The EU has a bunch of sad laws that discriminate against non-EU countries for trade.

        Oh really? Care to back that assertion with facts and links?

        Oh right, you can't, because the EU is one of the most open market in the world.

        This has hurt the UK quite badly when it came to trade with other common wealth countries that weren't part of the EU.

        The UK has been nothing but a pain in the arse since day one of its membership. Screw them. Read this if you dare [wikipedia.org].

        The way Australia got screwed was pretty bad and I think people that remember still hold it against the UK to this day.

        Oh, you mean Australia? The country that is one of the biggest trade partner of the EU? [europa.eu] Gosh darn, those poor Aussies sure got screwed in those deals. Which deals, by the way? Again, lots of innuendo, but not too many facts and figures, if I dare say so myse

    • by jez9999 ( 618189 )

      And, on a more personal note: "Votez 'Oui', amis écossais ! Juste pour emmerder les Anglais !". The Auld Alliance shall rise again! ;-)

      And, on another personal note, "Va te faire foutre, connard." Wait until Brittany is demanding to leave France because they have Parisiens so much. Wonder whether you'll be laughing so much then.

      Firmly tongue in cheek. Of course.

    • Yep, a kickstarter campaign will work miracles for a medical systems startup. Good one.

  • by dominux ( 731134 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2014 @09:26AM (#47926075) Homepage

    The yes campaign is telling people they can keep the pound and join Europe. Not gonna happen, it isn't for Scotland to decide. 28 countries have to decide they are totally cool with a bit of the UK splitting off and joining Europe. That means 28 countries have to want to set a precident for bits of themselves splitting off, declaring independence and joining Europe. They have to also decide that they are totally cool on Scotland having an opt out on the Euro that nobody else apart from the UK has and nobody else likes.
    The rest of the UK doesn't particularly want a currency union with Scotland, and it wouldn't be popular with the Eurozone countries to have a more formal sterling zone (they don't care about the small overseas territories, but a second full size country in a currency union would be a big deal).
    The No campaign says independence would be bad for Scotland and bad for the rest of the UK and everyone else.
    The Yes campaign says independence would be good for Scotland and bad for the rest of the UK and everyone else.
    They both agree that independence would be a massive pain in the arse for everyone outside of Scotland, and they are 50:50 on how much of a complete and utter pointless pain in the arse it will be within Scotland.

    • by Dynamoo ( 527749 )
      On the EU membership.. I would expect the concept of Scotland being a successor state [wikipedia.org] would apply despite the posturing of certain EU members. Countries that break away from each other in this way (think Czech and Slovak Republics, the CIS) tend to retain the obligations and memberships of their predecessor states, which would mean that both the UK and the UK-sans-Scotland would both be EU members. It might end up as a legal fight in the courts to establish EU membership for Scotland though.

      However, if th

    • by Noryungi ( 70322 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2014 @09:47AM (#47926287) Homepage Journal

      The yes campaign is telling people they can keep the pound and join Europe. Not gonna happen, it isn't for Scotland to decide.

      It is for Scotland to decide! They can apply for membership any time, just like Turkey, for instance.

      28 countries have to decide they are totally cool with a bit of the UK splitting off and joining Europe. That means 28 countries have to want to set a precident for bits of themselves splitting off, declaring independence and joining Europe.

      Errr... Ever heard of the Czech and the Slovaks?

      Czechoslovakia split in two (peacefully) and both halves joined the EU right away, and were welcome with open arms, if memory serves well.

      I don't see why Scotland would be rejected, especially since the UK has been a pain in the arse ever since it joined the EU. As a matter of fact, many countries in the EU would welcome Scotland just to piss off the Brits. And even more so since the UK is set to vote on leaving the EU in a couple of years!

      They have to also decide that they are totally cool on Scotland having an opt out on the Euro that nobody else apart from the UK has and nobody else likes.

      The Euro is not the EU, and vice-versa. There is a ton of countries that are EU members, but still have their national currencies. But don't take my word for it, click here instead [wikipedia.org]

      The rest of the UK doesn't particularly want a currency union with Scotland, and it wouldn't be popular with the Eurozone countries to have a more formal sterling zone (they don't care about the small overseas territories, but a second full size country in a currency union would be a big deal).

      You are not making any sense - again, the currency you use is totally independent from EU membership itself.

      • I don't see why Scotland would be rejected, especially since the UK has been a pain in the arse ever since it joined the EU. As a matter of fact, many countries in the EU would welcome Scotland just to piss off the Brits.

        New countries can be vetoed by another other. Most people talk about Spain in this context, but the UK could do it too if Salmond were to play hard ball (and the evidence suggests he would).

        You are not making any sense - again, the currency you use is totally independent from EU membership

        • by Noryungi ( 70322 )

          No, adopting the Euro is a requirement for new entrants. Countries that were previously part of the EU and did not adopt were grandfathered in and don't have to change, but for new entrants it's not optional.

          It's actually the reverse: you have to be an EU member before you can adopt the Euro as your local currency.

          Again, there are countries (Poland comes to mind) that are EU members, but retain their local currency. The zloty, in the case of Poland.

          As far as I know, membership in the Eurozone is optional.

          I personally believe Scotland would be best served by gaining its independence, ditching the Queen, proclaiming the Scottish Republic, ditching the british pound (replacing it with, let's say, the Scottish poun

  • by Thanshin ( 1188877 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2014 @09:30AM (#47926111)

    I know essentially nothing of the subject but that won't stop me from giving my opinion.

    The benefits of independence are social/cultural/emotional while the benefits of staying together are practical/economical.

    I believe they should just stay while using the current situation to get more "practical independence", i.e.: more control over the union's government, taxing and expenses.

    • by Ash-Fox ( 726320 )

      I believe they should just stay while using the current situation to get more "practical independence", i.e.: more control over the union's government, taxing and expenses

      They actually receive a lot of control over that through the Scottish parliament. The interesting thing is, if it wasn't for the rest of the UK, Scotland could not afford their welfare state (which is high due to people living in a lot of remote locations with little business prospects).

  • Take the long view (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JanneM ( 7445 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2014 @09:37AM (#47926185) Homepage

    Charlie Stross recently posted a very good take on this: This is a permanent change. Whatever happens during the first few years is basically irrelevant, compared to the long-term results. Did Norway separating from Sweden cause short-term economic upheaval? Does that matter at all a century later?

    This is a long-term change, not a short.term one. Any voter should consider the probable situation twenty or fourty years from now, not whatever happens in a year or two.

  • by kooky45 ( 785515 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2014 @09:51AM (#47926337)
    A lot of people think that Scotland is walking blindly towards independence without knowing what they're doing. I'd like to remind them that Scotland has voted for independence twice before but both times it's been blocked. In 1914 Scotland voted for independence from the UK, but then the First World War started and it was conveniently dropped. In 1979 Scotland voted again for much more local power through devolution, but some dodgy rule dictated that at least 40% of the total registered electorate had to vote for devolution, and even though they got the majority winning by 51.62% Yes to 48.38% No the vote was overturned because the Yes vote comprised only 32.9% of the total possible vote. So this has been a long time coming.
  • by rossdee ( 243626 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2014 @09:57AM (#47926401)

    But I do have very distant Scottish ancestry.

    I would support and 'Aye" vote. For too long the English have ruled over Scotland after beating the Jacobites at Culloden.

    If they can't use the Pound after independence, they should switch to the Kilogram - its worth 2.2 times as much.

  • by silfen ( 3720385 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2014 @10:39AM (#47926833)

    For tech start-ups, funding will be tougher to find and more expensive, there will be no local banks, access to EU markets and the freedom of movement will be curtailed

    Yes, because of course no bank would ever want to be in a new country with an educated workforce, low unemployment, and lots of natural resources! Small places like Luxembourg and Switzerland are absolutely barren, devoid of banks, money, or access to markets! The poor people of Liechtenstein and Monaco are starving and barely literate! Don't turn Scotland into a dump like Norway!

    (That was sarcasm, for the sarcasm-impaired.)

  • by swb ( 14022 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2014 @10:43AM (#47926891)

    I don't really understand the political or economic motivations of Scottish independence.

    The political side would make more sense if Scotland was greatly different than UK culturally and had a significant short-term history of English subjugation. The Scots really aren't an ethnic or racial grouping, except at some micro level and don't seem to have a serious complaint regarding discrimination on language or religious grounds.

    The economics make less sense -- Scotland has been economically integrated with the larger UK for a long time. Had Scotland split off in 1850, it would have been at a time when economies were smaller and much more locally self sufficient and it would have had time to develop into something that The economy seems much more regional now and it will be a hard transition to a more standalone economy.

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