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Carney: Scotland has to cede sovereignty if it wants pound

Scotland would have to relinquish a degree of sovereignty if it would keep sterling, says the Bank of England governor.  

Carney: Scotland has to cede sovereignty if it wants pound

Scotland would have to relinquish a degree of sovereignty if it would keep sterling as its currency in the event of becoming independent, according to governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney.

Scotland has signalled it would keep the pound if voting for independence in September. However, Carney (pictured) said in a speech in Edinburgh that the experience of the eurozone shows that a ‘durable, successful currency union requires some ceding of national sovereignty.’

Carney said a prerequisite would be a banking union between Scotland and the rest of the UK, referring to common supervisory standards, access to central bank liquidity and lender of last resort facilities, common resolution mechanisms, and a credible deposit guarantee scheme.

‘Without a banking union, cross-border capital flows can be restricted, the effectiveness of monetary policy impaired and, in the extreme, the viability of the union itself undermined,’ said Carney, speaking at a lunch hosted by the Scottish Council for Development and Industry.

According to Carney, a banking union would also need common fiscal arrangements, as ‘problems in one country are very likely to spill over to others.’

Referring to the European experience of the inadequacy of fiscal rules as opposed to fiscal mechanisms, Carney said the Scottish parliament and Westminster ‘would have to agree on whether fiscal rules were sufficient or whether…risk-sharing mechanisms were necessary’.

On the broader question of whether monetary union would be the right option if Scotland were to become independent, Carney said it was entirely up to the parliaments of Scotland and Westminster to negotiate and that the Bank of England would implement any outcome of such talks.

38 comments so far. Why not have your say?


Jan 29, 2014 at 15:33

What's a Canadian doing getting involved in Scottish separatism? Sounds like something he'd be well advised to leave to an English (not Scottish) deputy.

Why is he sticking his head into this particular noose? He has nothing to add or contribute; as he says the Bank will do whatever the UK government tells it to.

Or did he, in fact, say whatever the English and Scottish governments tell it to do?

Important distinction no?

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Barry Payne

Jan 29, 2014 at 15:45

"a lunch hosted by the Scottish Council for Development and Industry."

- Sounds like he was invited.

He is a paid employee of the Bank of England and therefore should have opinion about banking matters which may affect the future of his job.

Canada is a member of the Commonwealth. Why shouldn't he work at the Bank of England? Your name is Brie - you mush be French - what's it got to do with you then?

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Jan 29, 2014 at 16:12

So far, no one has asked whether residents of the UK would be willing to 'give up a bit of sovereignty' to make this work. I don't think most people would be happy about that. Also, Salmond would want the UK, as well as Scotland, to be the 'bank of last resort.' Given the track record of Scottish registered banks I think that's 'in your dreams.'

Of course, Scotland could still retain the pound but with no say in the management of sterling or having the Bank of England as the 'bank of last resort,' I can't see what the point is.

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Danny Lovey

Jan 29, 2014 at 16:39

The problem with the Scottish Nationalists is they want their cake and eat it.

Mark Carney is the Governor of the Bank and as such his analysis is very important in order that the people of Scotland can understand what is in front of them if they decide to go their own way. He has explained how the European currency works - or doesn't depending on your view and that if the Scottish Government wanted to keep the pound then they would have to have the fiscal discipline and interest rates as the rest of the United Kingdom.

All of that of course the ScotNats would prefer not to do - in other words go their own way but have England there to bail them out if it all goes wrong. Can you imagine what would have happened to Scotland if they had independence pre the crash? The Scottish banks would have bankrupted Scotland making Iceland's problems created by their banks seem just mild indigestion.

Of course if Scotland kept the pound then we all know that would only give the ScotNats more ammunition to bash the English with whinging about how England interferes with their economy.

No if Scotland wants independence then let them have their own currency and have full independence.

The ScotNats would not be pressing for independence were there not oil and gas in the north sea. England actually subsidises Scotland anyway through advantageous Local government funding allocations and has done for decades.

Incidentally, I think the English have been very patient over the years with the constant anti English rhetoric coming from across the border and surely the English electorate should have a say if Scotland votes to separate as to if they want Scotland in the pound sterling zone.

And in case you are wondering I was born in Scotland and live in England

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Jan 29, 2014 at 16:43

I would like a vote on independence for England.

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Jan 29, 2014 at 17:21

Oil, oil, oil!

Some years ago I was talking to a senior executive of an oil company, during the conversation he mentioned to me that the majority of the N. Sea oil fell within English waters.

Intrigued by this I telephoned whatever Government Department dealt with these matters in order to check.

Following a lot of hesitation and reluctance, and my having to promise that I was not a journalist, the answer was as follows:

"We take the view that the oil falls within the British Continental Shelf".

Ever since then I have waited patiently for further word on this matter.

If you listen carefully to today's Carney speech he appears to fire a warning shot in the direction of the Scots.


I just wonder if anyone involved in the media is smart enough to have picked up on this, we will see.

As to the vote in September, I reckon that Scotland will decide to leave the Union on purely emotional grounds, they will then try to go in with Norway, but would Norway want them without a substantial dowry - possibly not!

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Jan 29, 2014 at 17:28

The English would be crazy to agree to an Independant Scotland using the pound. It would leave a convenient tool for England to be blamed for Scotland's ills. Inflation too high? It's those English keeping interest rates too low. Unemployment too high? It's those English keeping interest rates too high; and how wonderfully convenient, to avoid being held to account by the Scottish electorate.

Have you ever wondered why the Scots agreed to the original Act of Union? Part of the reason, put simplistically, is that Scotland was broke. In the failure of the hare-brained Darien Scheme, Scotland lost as much as 25% of its total liquid assets.

Imagine, if Scotland had voted for independance before the financial calamity of 2008. The collapse of the Scottish banks may have meant that we would now be discussing the Act of Union of 2014 - ooer!

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Clovis Bassington

Jan 29, 2014 at 17:47

Carney stated the obvious, but he was very polite to his hosts. Of course if Scotland wants to maintain the pound, there is by definition a currency union and therefore no independence!

Had he been impolite he would have reminded Salmond that with Scotland representing a mere 8.3% of the UK population, the rules will be set by the Bank of England in London. Post 'independence' Scotland would have no say in the UK's economic policy and precious little in its own economy either.

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Jan 29, 2014 at 18:04

The pound does not belong exclusively to England. It belongs EQUALLY to all members of the UK.

Scotland are entitled to keep using it if they want to. However I see no point in that as they would not have any say in monetary policy after independence. (not that they have any now. If it doesn't suit the SE it doesn't happen) A Scottish currency, the Crown or suchlike would be my preferred option. Scotland is as big/ bigger than Norway, Denmark, Finland etc. Does anybody seriously think that they couldn't survive.

As for Scotland surviving on the munificence of the English taxpayer...because as any good Englishman knows, only English taxes actually pay for anything. Rest of UK taxes don't count....Norway managed to build up the worlds largest sovereign fund by saving some of their oil money. 700 billion pounds. That could have been the UK...not just Scotland. A once in a millenium chance squandered. A nation's wealth entrusted to the Union to do the right thing....and what do we get for that wasted trust ...abuse saying we are not paying our way.

We've absolutely nothing to lose.

As for the EU....if they say we are no longer members (which would suit me down to the ground)....Fine, take your fishing boats and clear off. Lets hear Rajoy whining then.

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Anonymous 1 needed this 'off the record'

Jan 29, 2014 at 18:07

Speaking as a half English half Scottish person who has lived in Scotland for 36 years I applaud Mr Carney. It's a privilege to have someone with his brains talking to us so politely. It's not something we are used to (brains nor politeness).

And from where I'm sitting I'm clinging to the fact that the polls are putting the No vote at 2:1 thank goodness.

The (un) projected costs of all the duplication in institutions (HMRC, MoD, MI5/6, OBR, PRA, Royal Mint etc etc), the cost of turning Scotland into a socialist /welfare state, the loss of income when so many taxpayers (corporate and private) leave for Berwick, the confusion over currency and fiscal rules are very threatening. But hey we have the Commonwealth Games, Bannockburn anniversary, Homecoming, Ryder Cup this year, so the possibility that an enormous decision is taken on emotional grounds leaving all of us to regret our 'one year stand' is seriously scary.

Two last thoughts. I'm still puzzling over why the SNP want to leave the UK and get into bed with Europe. What a way to treat your best friends and your biggest market.

Finally do not underestimate the damage to England Wales and NI after a split. G7, G20, UN and EU influence would be threatened.

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Jan 29, 2014 at 18:42

We are not talking separation here. We are talking about independent governance. What has Scotland got to lose in the IMF, EU, G20, G7. Nothing that all small countries don't have to accept already. (that is the ones that accept that is what they are. Whether England and RUK will accept that is what they really are or not....)

In fact, Scotland would gain a seat at the UN.

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Jan 29, 2014 at 19:12

Ted, thank you.

Please I beg you just go for independence no matter what.

You will love it!

Just think, you will be free at last from the accursed 'English yoke'.

What could be better than living in your own little country with about half the population of Greater London and being able to hold your own destiny in your own hands?

We English will not be upset, we will rejoice with you and then continue to muddle through as we always have done.

It is such a clever scheme being retailed to you, vote only with your heart and whatever happens do not allow your head to impinge - not even for one moment.

It is right up there with the 1960's era of dropping out.

Surely even Timothy Leary could never have imagined that one day a nation would effectively turn on, tune in and drop out, and all this without the aid of illegal substances.

Utterly brilliant, many, many congratulations on your plan!

Many thanks.

PS. Please, what is your point of view on 'free love'?

If you are all determined to go 'retro' it would be useful to understand your view on this matter.

Thanks again.

PPS. Have you yet tried the new English 'whiskey' made in Norfolk? If you haven't please do, it is seriously good. Word on the street has it that lots of others are now considering becoming 'whiskey' producers.

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J Thomas

Jan 29, 2014 at 20:21

Well, most of the bills from the ' Darien Adventure ' in the Panama region in 1700-1707 have never been paid by the Scottish Banks or aristocracy.

It's worth remembering why the original Act of Union in 1707 came about in the first place. Scotland was effectively bankrupt at the time and the nobles had little choice than to plead with their English cousins to accept Union and bale them out.

However there were many other reasons not just economic. The main reason was to ensure that a Catholic monarch could never sit on the throne of Scotland and make alliance with France and a separate foreign policy.

Queen Anne was a Stuart, the second daughter of James II, and was only allowed to become Queen ( 1702-14 ) because She was a protestant and accepted by the English Parliament at Westminster. There were at least 14 others with a stronger linear claim on the throne.

Queen Anne and her advisors were never going to allow a separate Stuart monarch in Scotland if they could avoid it and the Scottish noble financial ruin was very convenient for them, after the death of King William in 1702 there was a real threat of religious civil war in Britain and Ireland.

Actually Queen Anne was a very effective monarch and is not given the credit She deserves, apart from the Act of Union She paved the way for much of the prosperity of the Georgian era, although finding time must have been difficult being pregnant no less than seventeen times and widely known to engage in lesbian relations with several of her ladies in waiting.

As for the Scottish nobles, Robert Burns summed them up best.

' They were bought and sold with English gold, what a parcel of rouges in a Nation '

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Jan 29, 2014 at 21:34


This has nothing to do with any "English yoke"

It's about a small country who would like to run their own affairs. Why get so bitter and twisted about it.

I'm really not sure what your point is. 6 million people is quite large enough for the likes of Ireland, Denmark and Norway and Finland to name but a few. If we crash and burn, feel free to laugh your head off. I'm sure Norwegians are desperately regretting their decision to vote for independence from Sweden.

It's not personal you know. Scotland is withering on the UK vine, as are the Northern regions of England. As long as the UK is run for the benefit of the City of London it will continue.

PS If you are into free love..fill your boots.

English Whiskey...I'd give it a try.. same as Welsh Whiskey, Irish, Japanese etc etc

J. Thomas

Thanks for the history of the many versions of the story, but still entirely irrelevant.

PS Rogues

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Ian W

Jan 29, 2014 at 23:10

Mr Carney is correct, you can't have monetary union without political and fiscal union and union is what the Scots, if they say Yes, will be voting against. Well you can - but the Euro has proved it doesn't work too well and if you think the Euro crisis has gone away, think again.

You could continue use the pound sterling as a foreign currency as many countries use the US dollar but it would probably be better to invent the Scottish Grote or whatever.

I just hope for Scotland's sake that the result is clear cut whichever way it goes. The Unionist/Nationalist conflict of Northern Ireland is intertwined with Scotland and I can see real problems with a small percentage victory either way. Civil wars have started over such things. Ironic that to change the constitution of the SNP requires a 2/3 majority vote but to change Scotland's requires just 1 more vote in favour.

Enjoy, whatever you decide, just don't be fooled by Alec Salmond's "it'll be alright on the night" answer to everything.

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Jan 29, 2014 at 23:25

Salmond and possibly Scotland has not factored in the paroxysm of English anger that will follow a vote for separation.

He likes to pretend that everything will be sweetness and light and he will sit down with his English opposite numbers and calmly negotiate his way to every thing he wants.

This will not be possible; the government of England, Wales and Northern Ireland will be unable to grant any indulgence to the separatist negotiators; public opinion will simply not allow it.

The knowledge that anything had been done that wasn't entirely for the the benefit of the remaining 3 countries, that a policy had somehow been amended to satisfy a Scottish requirement would be political death for whatever government conceded it.

Scots will have to choose a passport, the idea that the rest of the UK would tolerate Scots having dual nationality will prove preposterous as will any other instance of the separated Scots "having it both ways".

A separated Scotland's future will be in the EU, when the French and Spanish let them in, with the Euro.

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Jan 30, 2014 at 00:14


Is it true that for any country to join the EU there has to be unanimous agreement amongst the existing members?

If this is indeed the case, then do you think that Spain with its Basque separatist movement to contend with would set a dangerous precedent at home by allowing a small breakaway country to join the EU?

Surely Spain would no option but to use its veto.

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Jan 30, 2014 at 08:01


Why should there be a paroxysm of anger. We are not bombing or killing anybody in the way the Irish did. We are following the democratic route. It's nothing against England or English people. We just want to run our own affairs. I'm sure the remaining UK government will not spit their dummy out of the pram and disagree to arrangements that are advantageous and sensible for all. The Irish are now the UK's largest export market and have dual passports and they killed British people. why should a good ex-partner in the Union be any different. The Union in it's present form is past it's sell by date and does not serve any of the old great industrial areas. Everything goes to London. This obsession with London being the be all and end all of the UK. eg. Whiskey headquarters and all the well paid jobs that go with them. Even the Lewis Chessmen were sent to London. Why? It just makes for a self-perpetuating, self fulfilling prophesy of London sucking the life and energy out of the rest of the UK. As Devo max has not been on the table. What's left? As for the EU....we're either already in it or out. If the French and Spanish say we're out, they'd better start explaining to their fishing fleets where they are going to fish in the future. It will be fantastic for the Scottish fishing fleet. We might even agree a reciprocal agreement with England to allow them to benefit as well. Spanish internal politics don't determine what the Scottish people decide.

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Jan 30, 2014 at 11:22


Concerning the Lewis chessmen which you have now enjoined into the independence debate:

These walrus and ivory pieces were discovered by chance on Uig beach (Lewes) in 1831.They kicked around for ten years or so and it became clear no one in Scotland was interested in them or was prepared to buy them.

In the early 1840's the owner took them to London and there persuaded the British Museum to acquire them for £84, roughly one pound a piece.

Since then it is now widely accepted that the pieces are of Norwegian origin and were probably made in Trondheim.

In those days C13th (?) there were not the craftsmen in Scotland with the skills to make such a set but there were in Trondheim.

It is speculated that a merchant travelling along the well worn trade route between Scandinavia and Ireland must have decided to bury them for some reason or another.

Are you perhaps of the school of Samuel Adams?

Adams wrote:

"It does not take a majority to prevail.....but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men".

I am not at all bitter and twisted by this issue, on the contrary I am greatly it all.

Unwittingly you have reminded me of an incident that took place at the then minute Dallas (Texas) airport duty-free counter some decades ago.

It was there that I had the utter joy of witnessing a Scot totally and utterly 'losing it' because they didn't stock his favourite brand of malt whisky.

Sadly as the Celt walked away in a cloud of steam and midges the very pretty girl behind the counter broke down in tears, her colleague immediately put her arm around her and said: "Don't worry honey, he is Scottish or something".

Please do not bother to reply as I don't really have the time to continue with you., amusing though you are.

Now I have to do some work so as to benefit my family and through the tax I will have to pay the whole of the United Kingdom, this presumably includes you.

Good luck to you Sir, I am convinced that it will turn out to be a 'yes' vote, I have even had a bet on it.


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Jan 30, 2014 at 12:00


It's patently obvious you have a dislike of all things Scottish.

Re. the Lewis Chessmen. I am well aware they were not made in Scotland...your bigoted, erroneous jibe about the lack of Scottish craftsmen not withstanding. You have not addressed the underlying points, but prefer to denigrate and nitpick....alongside your entirely irrelevant anecdotes.

Samuel Adams-

If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquillity of servitude better than the animated contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your council or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.

May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.

I prefer the animated contest of freedom. It would energise England as well.

As for your dismissive, arrogant last paragraph....I presume you need to go and have your hand licked.

I also pay UK taxes....but I forgot...only yours count.

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Jan 30, 2014 at 12:39


That I dislike all things Scottish is yet another inaccuracy based on ignorance.

I have been in love with my Scottish wife since the second that I fist laid eyes on her in 1962, we were soon married after that.

In addition I love her family all of whom are Scottish and mostly still live in Scotland.

You are shooting from the hip again!

The trouble is that you keep on hitting your own feet!


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Clovis Bassington

Jan 30, 2014 at 14:52

Ted is wrong when he says "The pound does not belong exclusively to England. It belongs EQUALLY to all members of the UK". It is true whilst Scotland remains in the United Kingdom, but if it decides to leave, it leaves behind the institutions of the United Kingdom, including the pound.

Salmond keeps saying that there will be a divvi-ing up of the assets, but from the UK Govt - silence. They don't want to pour oil on troubled waters, but make no mistake, it is UDI. Scotland would leave with its full share of liabilities and the assets that the UK cares to let them have, and under terms that would be largely dictated to Scotland.

How pleased or otherwise would the rest of the UK be to loose Scotland. England has been quietly seething over the 'West Lothian question' since devolution and hated Gordon Brown. The anglo-phobic tone of the Nats has not gone unnoticed. The English are famously tolerant, but their mood can harden suddenly. The Welsh will on the whole think that the Scots are daft and the Norther Irish Unionists would view it as a betrayal. Perhaps any settlement could be put to a referendum!.

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Jan 30, 2014 at 15:29

Writing as an Englishman I need to say that my heart is with Ted. We English cannot feel what a Scot feels. Feels about his history, his culture, his place within it and what he hopes for him and his children. To those who say that Scots will be, materially, no better off, is that necessarily a poor trade if the result is they are happier in their new circumstances?

Most English people know little of their own history and next to none of Scotland's. It doesn't take much time dipping into translations of Gaelic poems, songs and stories or a few of the works of Scots writers to realise that north of the border there is something special.

Whatever the outcome of the referendum, to stay or go, it is in the interests of both parties that the Scots be content with their choice. If their choice is to leave us, my advice is to make a clean break with all institutions - forget about the pound - it will only take away some of your happiness - and, because of this, feed resentment towards to the rest of the UK.

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Jan 30, 2014 at 16:58

@ Stormdog and others.

The Spanish ambassador told Salmond straight out that EU entry is not an option.

The EU has reminded any applicants - with Scotland in its sights - that new members get no opt-outs and have to accept the Euro.

The secretary-general of NATO told Salmond that an anti-nuclear Scotland could not join.

The Treasury told slippery Alex that there will be no sharing of the pound.

The Governor of the Bank of England has told him that there can be no "independence" within a currency union.

But Salmond simply does what he always does; he lies, he confuses, he ignores.

God help the poor bloody Scots is what I say.

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Jan 30, 2014 at 18:24


Thank you so much.

From that which you have written it would seem that living in Salmondia is going to be a real barrel of laughs.

Their best chance for Scotland is to become a province of Norway, it should suit them well.

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Jan 30, 2014 at 21:08


Thanks for your contribution.

It makes a pleasant change from all the vitriol in most other posts.

It seems that most posters from the English side of the discussion are taking the idea that Scotland might want to run it's own affairs as a personal insult. Given the level of undisguised scorn, loathing and disregard for Scotland, it surprises me that it matters that much to them.

I would wish for the respective parts of the UK to continue to live, trade and co-operate with affectionate bonds of kinship and history, but it would seem that would only be acceptable to most of the posters here as long as England controls and dominates.


You are right. It is an inaccuracy based on my quite understandable ignorance of your personal circumstances, but it is entirely accurate on the evidence of your posts, despite your protestations. I'm pleased that you love your wife and her family.


Since when did the Spanish ambassador run the EU.

We are not new members and so do not have to accept the Euro. If we become applicant members then, by extension, so do the remaining members of the UK.

The Spanish, French etc could then expect to remove their fishing boats from what would become Non-EU waters.

10% of UK's assets belong to Scotland as do 10% of liabilities. Don't share the assets equitably, don't expect to get our share of the liabilities.

Don't share the pound...cut off your nose to spite your face. Scotland will have the Pound Scots, or the Crown etc etc. Not the derogatory Groat or Bawbee.

As for Nato...the SNP may be anti-nuclear but that is only that party's position. The SNP will disappear after a yes vote...(their raison d'etre) It's all negotiable anyway.

A province of Norway...a Northern alliance with Scandinavia sounds very attractive actually, especially if our Southern neighbours take the huff. I wonder if Sweden acted in the same way when Norway voted for independence.

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William Phillips

Jan 31, 2014 at 12:05

All this talk about 'Scottish independence' is empty blether.

Chief Haggis Salmond has already made so many concessions to be in with a shout of winning the vote that it is already clear Scotland (aka Region XXVIII of the EUSSR) would have about as much real autonomy as Andorra or the Faroes. It would be the servant of Brussels as well as somewhere that no longer punched above its weight in Westminster.

The more of a sham the Jocks can be made to see what the SNP's tartan fantasia has dwindled down to, the more pointless voting for it and risking all sorts of awkwardness and the contents of their sporrans will seem.

I don't believe the Chief Haggis himself really wants sovereignty. He just wants to be the boss north of the border, playing brinkmanship and extracting concessions and powers from a federal government the way the Quebeckers have been doing in Canada since the 1960s.

Let us hope the result of the referendum calls his bluff and puts an end to this nonsense for the next century, so that the most successful political union in history can get on with the serious job of keeping up in the global race instead of dreaming about Brigadoon.

The Irish retreated into parochial nostalgia in 1920, and look where that has got them.

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Jan 31, 2014 at 13:29

@ Ted

More lies, confusion and ignorance.

The Scottish population is about a 12th or 8% not 10.

If you or anybody else believes the Spanish are bluffing, would tolerate the loss of their most prosperous region and the destruction of their economy in order to preserve 5 or 6 fishing boats and some fish you're madder than even I thought you were.

The EU - in the legal advice Salmond dishonestly denies having received - made it totally plain that a separated Scotland would have to apply for membership of the EU like any other country and takes its place behind those already further down the road. This is the position and it means that Spain which has a veto on new entrants along with all the other EU members states can and will block your accession. It also means that you will get no concessions if and when you finally get in and you will beyond doubt have to take the Euro.

How will not sharing the Pound harm our economy? Scotland will be an economic basket case within a few short years of separation. What little economy it has will have fled south; witness what happened to Montreal when jitters over Quebec separation loomed. No country in the World would want anything to do with it.

All the public sector jobs you have that service UK needs will go. Your finance industry will simply collapse as no investor will risk their money in some tiny foreign country with a barmy socialist government.

Some honest appreciation of just where a separated Scotland is headed is sorely needed.

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Jan 31, 2014 at 14:09

William Phillips

The Irish bombed and shot their way to independence, helped greatly by arrogance and lack of awareness on the part of the British state of Irish sensibilities when they hung the Post office rebels. (Similar to to the arrogance and lack of awareness shown in your gratuitously insulting and ignorant post)

What did this "parochial nostalgia" gain them.

Well, let's see.

Only Independence. A thriving, modern economy. (albeit going through a partially self-inflicted hard time at the moment) Their own representation on the council of the most powerful trading union in the world. Freedom to chose which wars they fight. A seat in the U.N. etc etc. and most ironically, they still have friendly relations with the U.K. as their major trading partners and dual nationality if so desired.

What a tragic story. I'll bet they are just begging to come back under the protection and care of the U.K. They would just love to pay Irish taxes to subsidise the neverending expansion of London and the SE. at the expense of the other regions of the UK, and then have to wait and see how much pocket money they would receive back. They could have sat back and not worried their silly little Irish heads about their graceful decline into irrelevant regional status in the same way all the other peripheral areas of the UK have.

But as it is, unlike Scotland, they don't have to sit back and allow their best interests to be decided by a country, a large part of whose populace, if these boards are anything to go by, obviously and openly despise them.

It would be interesting to hear the opinion of someone from Ireland on this matter.

PS. Mr. Phillips. It would be nice if they do, that you could refrain from references to leprechauns, potatoes and other such insulting stereotypes.

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Jan 31, 2014 at 14:46


You can quibble over population but the principle is the same. Whatever the proportion is, that is the proportion Scotland owns and owes.

Spain can rattle it's sabre all it likes. Spain does not run the EU. If Spain's "most prosperous region" votes for independence, what gives Spain the right to stop them. It's called democracy. 5 or 6 fishing boats. Oh dear. That reminds me of the same ignorance that gave away our fishing resources in the first place.

"Why did you sign away our fishing rights?" "There are no fishermen in London"

You need to do a bit of research.

All the Public sector jobs that service UK needs will become Public sector jobs that service Scotlands needs. We will need our own DVLA, Dept. of Agriculture, Fishing, Tourism, Defence, Education etc etc etc in the same way that all other countries do.

I'll be really interested to see the Whiskey industry, the oil industry and the fishing and tourism industry "flee south." Don't forget to tell the fish.

I'm sure places like Denmark, Norway, Finland and others will be quaking in their boots now that they realise they are tiny foreign countries. Quelle horreur!

The assumption that Scotland will be a barmy socialist country is a construct entirely in your own head.

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Jan 31, 2014 at 16:30

My 5 or 6 fishing boats is much more accurate than your 10%. As for giving the licences to fish away, that never happened. What actually happened is that the EU/UK government gave licences to British boat owners who promptly sold them to Spanish operators preferring cash now, in their hands, today, rather than do all that messy, and risky, fishing business.

Spain can't let the Basques go because without them Spain isn't viable. It's not about democracy, it's about the interests of the whole Spanish nation rather than the narrow interests of a province.

The number of public sector jobs a separated Scotland would need is but a fraction (8%?) of the number required to service the entire UK. There will have to be massive redundancies following separation.

What tourism? No one in their right mind would go to Scotland. And they don't. It's a fleabite in the scale of things. Fishing's already gone. Whisky distilling is a cottage industry with the large operators all headquartered either in England (like Diageo) or overseas.

Denmark, Norway and Finland are where they are; they can't change their size and have to get on with it.

As for a socialist Scotland, Salmond has said repeatedly that one of the reasons he hates the union and wants to end it is because Scotland is a socialist country while England is conservative. Look it up.

And there is no doubt about the barmyness of Salmond and his crew.

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Jan 31, 2014 at 22:44


As you well know, the fishing rights were given away to EUrope as a "Common resource. They also demanded the mineral rights, but the UK government said no because they wanted them for themselves. The Scottish/UK fishing fleet was told it had to reduce it's fishing effort by 70%. This was effected by introducing very restrictive fishing quotas, reducing days allowed at sea and no grants/subsidies for boat repairs or new builds. All of which combined to make the livelihoods of generations of fishing families completely unviable. This happened at the same time as the Spanish government subsidised the Spanish fleet to build new boats at un-precedented rate to take advantage of their new access to UK grounds. (After having almost fished their own waters out. You may recall the TV reporter, the late Roger Cook, being battered and chased out of a Spanish fishing port for exposing the various "Spanish practices" of false holds, the catching and keeping of even the most immature of fish from UK waters.)

UK fishing licence holders were left with no option but to sell their licences or get nothing.

The Spanish aren't worried about the Basques. It's Catalonia they don't want to lose. "it's not about democracy" is it. That says it all. It's "as long as we need to keep stealing their sh*t" I suppose then.

Public service know..I'm tired of explaining this sh*t to you. What makes you think that Scotland has all the public service jobs in the UK. Have you ever been to know Ministry of this and that.

Tourism..Edinburgh castle number 2 attraction in the UK after the Tower of London.

Whiskey...You make my case for me. Whiskey is the UK's biggest export outside oil. Why the f*ck should these companies have their headquarters in London. ( You'll no doubt give me the "because we're worth it" argument.)

As for your inane comment about the size of Denmark etc. WTF.

I'm away offshore tomorrow. I will not be commenting any more.

You my friend, are a bigoted moron.

Enjoy your reply, which I'm sure will be some triumphalist horsesh*t..

I wont know because I will not be on the internet.

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J Thomas

Feb 01, 2014 at 00:18

As my four grandparents were Scottish, English, Irish, and Shetland Norse ( Shetland folk do not consider themselves to be Scottish, rather a separate entity of the Faroe, Shetland, Orkney, and coastal Danish and Norwegian Islands ) I consider myself to be a Celtic Briton.

I believe Scotland would continue to be a success if She votes for independence or not, the great people who fought and defeated Bonaparte, The Kaiser, and Hitler came in no small measure north of the border.

Yet there is a darker side to scots history which it does us no favours to overlook. I mentioned in an earlier post that the Darien Adventure was a root cause of the 1707 Act of Union, indeed the Darien prospectus is the most shameful document ever produced in Scotland. The expedition failed, yet its success depended entirely on thousands of negro slaves being transported from West Africa to the Panama region to work the plantations in the new Scots colony. Many scots were involved in the slave trade from appr 1600-1800 and afterwards of course it was Scots who formed the KKK after the American civil war.

The acid test is - If Scotland were a separate Country today would She join with the rest of the UK and Ireland ? ( I don't believe Eire is a fully independent state, either from the UK s influence or Brussels and the Euro )

I believe Scotland would join the rest of the UK, but hold onto a separate legal system and customs. Exactly what we have today. May Scotland continue to grow and prosper.

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William Phillips

Feb 01, 2014 at 14:16

Ted wrote:

"The Irish bombed and shot their way to independence, helped greatly by arrogance and lack of awareness on the part of the British state of Irish sensibilities when they hung the Post office rebels."

They were shot, not hung.

I did not mention 'leprechauns' in my comment, but if you truly believe the 26-county Irish Republic is a 'thriving modern economy', there must be some little people at the bottom of your garden.

So many Irish have voted with their feet since 1920 that the point is demonstrated more by their actions than anything I could add. And the sentimental, necrophiliac version of history that Irish nationalists such as De Valera maintained for years has been torn to shreds there. It is no longer believed by many Irish under 50.

In 1916, temporarily suspended for the duration of the Great War, was the offer of full self-government within the UK which the majority had accepted-- if only as a path towards dominion status or some further degree of independence. This sensible compromise was derailed by the violence, largely committed against fellow Catholics, of a few arrogant IRB putschists. They then intimidated the country so that Sinn Fein won an electoral majority in 1918 and set up the tinpot Dail which has become such a grisly laughing stock, stuffed with gombeens, cute-hoor lawyers and dreamers.

Imagine if the Irish could have foreseen in 1914 what would become of the 26 counties as 'a nation once again': sulking and pretending to be independent of Big Mummy England, capitulating to the hidden tyranny of the RC hierarchy, sulking again on the sidelines during WW2 while Irish Americans died in their thousands in the crusade against Hitler, sucking in footloose inward investment and conning the EU into subsidising it to present a simulacrum of a boom... and finally surrendering all but the facade of autonomy to Frau Merkel, after an orgy of corruption that made the City of London look like one of Mother Teresa's homes.

Had those 90 abject years been predictable in August 1914, the Irish of George V's day would have clamoured not to be let out of the United Kingdom. As it was, far more of its men died fighting for King and Country than ever tarred and feathered a girl for walking out with a soldier so they could claim a pension as a hero of the War of Independence. And far more blood was spilt and property destroyed in the Civil War which followed the grant of the Free State than in resisting 'the Brits'.

The truth is that Irish are themselves British. Ireland is part of the British Isles, and the Republic will never be free while it relies on the EUSSR's bounty. It is a precedent the Jocks should contemplate when told they can have 'independence in Europe'. They may semi-detach themselves more peaceably than the Irish, but they cannot shake off the laws of economics as easily.

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Feb 01, 2014 at 14:49

You didn't mention the truly awful ethnic cleansing that followed the "triumph" of the nationalists where millions of protestants were driven from their homes and lands either to re-settle in the north or to leave the island altogether.

What De Valera and his thugs did then would see them in the International Criminal Court in the Hague today.

The rest of it pretty much sums up where Ireland and what is has become and highlights the point I try to make re Scottish separation concerning corruption.

Scotland already has this to a degree in the rotten Labour boroughs like Dundee. It will re-appear with a vengeance come divorce. And never forget it was corruption that made Scotland ungovernable in the first place. English kings were forever intervening in order to bring some kind of order to the country. And the lowland Scottish barons caused more death and destruction in the highlands than Stalin did amongst the Kulaks.

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Jack Belfitt

Feb 02, 2014 at 12:07

Considering that it is largely the English that pay Scotland’s bills, why ever does our government keep referring to what the Scots want as being the most significant consideration in the separation debate. From the UK tax take our government already pays out more money per head of Scotland’s population than we the English receive! Why is the opinion of English not being taken into consideration as to whether we wish to continue to provide greater financial support to the Scots? I have come to the opinion that the members of Parliament that we English elect and whose wages we pay, repay us by betraying our interests by diverting the taxes that are demanded from us to pay for the advantage of foreigners and others. By some convoluted reasoning, they appear to have persuaded themselves that it is our wish that others should receive that benefit of what we pay for whilst

denying urgent social and medical services that are urgently needed by thousands of members of the indigenous population who have in fact actually paid for these services. It is surely time that the Conservative Party got rid of Cameron (Scottish extraction) and elect a genuine Conservative to lead the country. Why do we continue to tolerate an electoral system that disadvantages the Conservative Party and provides an undeserved opportunity for Scottish MPs to influence concerns that are exclusively English?

I also observed that in spite of the huge national debt we carry, Cameron continues to borrow large sums that will have to be repaid by our children and probably theirs also. I have to wonder what sort of Alice in Wonderland principals he employs when calculating his own domestic financial affairs!

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Feb 02, 2014 at 20:12

Jack Belfitt. Your post highlights the frustrations of the majority of the English voters, we are continually being milked to subsidise the politicians latest good cause schemes the latest being Syrian free access to our welfare system. It goes unsaid by the Scottish Nationalists that the Westminster parliament and Upper House has a disproportionate amount of Scottish Mps and Lords influencing English affairs. It's in their vested interests to get a no vote otherwise they all could be heading back home. Nationalist parties of any ilk or in any country pose a threat in any part of the world.

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Jack Belfitt

Feb 03, 2014 at 11:26

Dear Wilco,

Thank you! I see it. You see it! Why the hell does the media and the back bench MPs seem not to notice?. Of course , the Lib Dems do appear to have difficulty in living up to the name of their party.. That they should blatantly vote against all electors having the same fair electoral contribution is the quintessence of hypocrisy!

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