Scottish government launches blueprint for independence

Nov 26, 2013

Treasury warns taxes in Scotland could rise by £1,000 per person per year if it leaves the UK

Getty Images

THE Scottish government is due to set out its blueprint for independence today, ten months ahead of next year's referendum.

The 670-page white paper, entitled Scotland's Future - Your Guide to an Independent Scotland, will prove Scotland is able to be a successful independent nation, claims First Minister Alex Salmond.

On 18 September 2014, Scots voters will be asked the yes/no question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"

The blueprint is expected to reassure Scots that if they vote 'Yes' they will not have to change currency, lose access to the BBC or carry a passport to cross the border reports the Guardian. The Scottish National Party insists that Scotland's finances are healthier than those in the rest of the UK and will promise to scrap the UK's welfare reforms.

Nicola Sturgeon, Deputy First Minister, says the blueprint is "stuffed full with facts and figures and information" and said today was "an exciting day in the referendum campaign".

But opponents of Scottish independence have said there are huge question marks over some of the SNP policies that have already been announced.

Chief Treasury Secretary Danny Alexander has warned that taxes in Scotland could rise by £1,000 per person per year if it leaves the UK.

Meanwhile, Alistair Carmichael, Westminster's Scottish Secretary, told the BBC that "Scotland does very well out of the United Kingdom". He said that the Scottish government's plan to keep the pound and retain the services of the Bank of England as part of a "currency union" with the rest of the UK was "highly unlikely" to  work, and said the SNP must set out a "Plan B".

Others have questioned the Scottish government's plan to get rid of Trident nuclear weapons - currently based on the Clyde - while remaining a member of Nato.

If Scots vote for independence, the country is likely leave the UK on 24 March 2016.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Disqus - noscript we go! There is truth and untruth in both arguments - let the Scots decide and let them stand or fall by the result.

I am puzzled, though, why Scots resident outside and beyond Scotland on the date of the referendum will not be eligible to cast their votes - while English (and other nationalities) resident within Scotland, on that date, will be eligible to vote - seems to make no sense to me whatsoever, and I am English, not Scottish.

I would have thought that the issue should be decided by the Scots alone, regardless of where they live in the world.

Failing that, perhaps it should be a UK-wide referendum with all interested parties (including the English, Welsh and Northern Irish) being eligible to vote?

Maybe I am mistaken?

To paraphrase the well know Clinton remarks: IT'S NOT ABOUT THE ECONOMY STUPID! Here the Scots have a golden opportunity to rid themselves of the English parliament for good. All our relations in Scotland will be voting YES. OK there may be short term and middle term "hardship" - but that is NOT the major issue for them.

Imagine the rent Scotland could charge to keep those damned Tridents! It could be the back door to the long sought unilateral nuclear disarmament.

Except that the Hegemon wouldn't be too happy about it. For those who care, read Constance Fitzgibbon'sWhen the Kissing Had to Stop", though of course that couldn't happen today.
Oh, I see, it's already too late.

...once again we are of one accord on this issue, Lena. However, have you recognised that Alec Salmond has stated that he wishes to retain our Queen as Monarch? Also, if he wishes to retain the pound sterling as the national currency, then he has to accept, tacitly, that he has NOT achieved full sovereignty for Scotland.

For reasons that, perhaps, might go unnoticed by non-Brits, if Scotland gains independence from the rest of the United Kingdom we might reasonably expect to see the last of a national Labour Government - it is the preponderance of Scottish Labour Members of Parliament at Westminster that allows Labour a significant national presence - without the Scottish Labour MPs the (predominantly English) Conservatives would enter office almost unopposed within the remainder of the United Kingdom.

For the United Kingdom to argue that Scotland should remain within the "family" there has to be complete honesty - for the SNP to argue that Scotland should go it's own way - again, there has to be complete honesty; anything else, from either side, would be to rob the electorate of their proper democratic right, which is to be able to make a rational and informed decision, based on facts, as opposed to spin and mendacity. Unfortunately, both Cameron and Salmond excel at such practices.

Salmond, the Walter Mitty of Scotish politics. I hope the peoples of Scotland do not be taken in with this First Ministers fantacy !