Saturday, 30 August 2014


The campaign for Scotland to become an Independent country git another a boost, halving the No campaign’s lead, after the first major opinion poll result since the second televised debate.
A Survation poll commissioned by the Daily Mail revealed the gap between the Better Together group’s 13-point lead in a previous poll earlier this month, dropped to just six, with the ballot in just three weeks.
Of the 1,001 Scottish residents over 16 who were surveyed, 47.6% said they were planning to vote No on September 18 - down from 50.3% three weeks ago, while support for independence rose from 37.2% to 41.6%.
The number of Scots still undecided fell from 12.5% to 10.8%. When those who are undecided are excluded from the research, support for No is at 53%, with Yes on 47%.The results suggest that Scots' doubts about their future currency are abating.  
Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond went head-to-head with No campaign leader Alistair Darling on the BBC on Monday and a snap poll suggested Mr Salmond took victory.
This appeared to be backed up by the latest survey, with a quarter (24.6%) saying they were more likely to vote Yes following the debate.
Commenting on the results of the latest poll, Yes Scotland chief executive Blair Jenkins said: “With only 20 campaigning days before the referendum, more and more people are waking up to the great opportunities of Yes to make Scotland’s vast wealth, talent and resources work better for all in a more prosperous and fairer country.
“This is an extremely encouraging poll - the Yes figure including ‘don’t knows’ is the highest ever recorded by Survation. Excluding ‘don’t knows’, Yes support is at 47% - up four points on the last month’s Survation poll - and by contrast support for No has slipped 4%. Yes has achieved a four-point swing in less than three weeks, and needs only a further three-point swing to win.
“The poll underlines that the result is on a knife edge and that support for Yes continues to build, while the relentless negativity of the No campaign means it continues to lose ground.
“The result is also a clear indication that the cogent and compelling case put forward by the First Minister in Monday’s TV debate has significantly boosted Yes support. The poll shows that 25% of people are more likely to vote Yes after watching the debate, compared to just 13% more likely to vote No.
“This is the fourth poll in a row that has shown increasing support for Yes, and by winning the campaign we believe we will achieve the very small swing now required to win the referendum.”

Scotland Not an Independent Country

There are eight accepted criteria used to determine whether an entity is an independent country (also known as a State with a capital "s") or not.
A country need only fail on one of the eight criteria to not meet the definition of independent country status. Scotland does not meet all eight criteria; it fails on six of the eight criteria...
  1. Has space or territory that has internationally recognized boundaries (boundary disputes are OK).
    Yes, Scotland does have internationally recognized boundaries. Scotland is 78,133 square kilometers in area.
  2. Has people who live there on an ongoing basis.
    Yes, according to the 2001 census, Scotland's population is 5,062,011.
  3. Has economic activity and an organized economy. A country regulates foreign and domestic trade and issues money.
    Somewhat. Scotland certainly has economic activity and an organized economy; Scotland even has its own GDP (over 62 billion pounds as of 1998). However, Scotland does not regulate foreign or domestic trade, the Scottish Parliament is not authorized to do so.
    Under the terms of the Scotland Act 1998, the Scottish Parliament is able to pass laws on a range of issues known as "devolved issues." The United Kingdom Parliament is able to act on "reserved issues." Reserved issues include a variety of economic issues: fiscal, economic and monetary system; energy; common markets; and trade and industry.
    The Bank of Scotland does issue money but it prints the British pound on behalf of the central government.
  4. Has the power of social engineering, such as education.
    Somewhat. The Scottish Parliament is able to control education, training, and social work (but not social security). However, this power was granted to Scotland by the UK Parliament.
  5. Has a transportation system for moving goods and people.
    Somewhat. Scotland itself has a transportation system but the system is not fully under Scottish control. The Scottish Parliament controls some aspects of transportation, including the Scottish road network, bus policy and ports and harbors while the UK Parliament controls railways, transport safety and regulation. Again, Scotland's power was granted by the UK Parliament.
  6. Has a government that provides public services and police power.
    Somewhat. The Scottish Parliament has the ability to control law and home affairs (including most aspects of criminal and civil law, the prosecution system and the courts) as well as the police and fire services. The UK Parliament controls defense and national security across the United Kingdom. Again, Scotland's power was granted to Scotland by the UK Parliament.
  7. Has sovereignty. No other State should have power over the country's territory.
    No. The United Kingdom Parliament definitely has power over Scotland's territory.
  8. Has external recognition. A country has been "voted into the club" by other countries.
    No. Scotland does not have external recognition nor does Scotland have its own embassies in other independent countries.
Thus, as you can plainly see, Scotland (nor Wales, nor Northern Ireland, nor England itself) is not an independent country nor is it a State. However, Scotland is most certainly a nation of people living in an internal division of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

September 18, 2014 could become one of the most historic days in Scottish history.  After more than three hundred years of union with the United Kingdom, residents of Scotland will be voting whether or not to create an independent Scotland.  
Proponents of independence suggest that an independent Scotland will be more responsive to its citizens than the British parliament and that it will mean financial prosperity and a better future for Scots. Opponents of the measure suggest that Scotland will be much worse off alone and that a united United Kingdom is far more advantageous.  Ultimately, voters will decide on September 18 but if independence is chosen, the expected date of independence for the new independent Scotland would be eighteen months later, on March 24, 2016.

The Vote

Any British, European Union, or Commonwealth citizen aged 16 and older residing within Scotland, along with members of the military who are registered to vote in Scotland, will be able to vote on the September 18 referendum.  The vote will be a simple yes or no vote to the question, "Should Scotland be an independent country?"  If the majority of votes are yes, then the eighteen month transition will begin to allow Scotland to become an independent country in March 2016.  This transition should be quite smooth but it will be the creation of the largest new independent country in Europe since Kosovo in 2008 and Serbia in 2006.

The Transition

The eighteen month-long transition from Scotland being part of the United Kingdom to full independence will be a rush of activity.  Laws will need to be enacted by parliaments in Westminster (London) and Holyrood (Edinburgh).  The current Scottish parliament will work to as a transitional government to an independent country during the transitional period and following the parliamentary elections of May 5, 2016 a new Scottish government will be formed.
All British government assets and property will need to be transferred to the new Scottish government, especially the military.  Initial plans indicate that Scottish members of the UK's military would be able to choose which country to serve as Scotland builds a new army, navy, and air force. The United Kingdom's only nuclear weapons facility, the Trident Nuclear Programme, is based at the Clyde Naval Base on Scotland's west coast.  Scotland is vowing to be nuclear-free upon independence so the UK might have to determine a new site for such a facility.  
There are three possible options for a Scottish currency - the euro, a new currency, or to retain the British pound.  There is no guarantee that the remaining United Kingdom would agree to share a currency union with Scotland.
There is much speculation about North Sea oil fields. Ninety percent of the oil fields lie within potential Scottish territorial waters and many of the pro-independence advocates suggest that possession of the oil fields will present an economic boom to the new country.  Others suggest that the resource might not be as bountiful as some would indicate.  
The new Scotland will utilize the current blue and white Saint Andrew's Cross or the Saltire as the national flag.  There is speculation as to whether the remaining United Kingdom would change the Union Jack to a new flag. A national anthem and other national identifiers would need to be determined. Scotland even plans on creating a SBS - the Scottish Broadcasting Service - the Scottish version of the BBC, which would inherit some Scotland-based BBC resources.  
Scotland will become a constitutional monarchy with Her Majesty The Queen (or her successors) as head of state.

International Relations

Throughout the transitional period there will be efforts to integrate Scotland into the international community.  Membership in the United Nations should be fairly simple and straightforward and would likely occur on the day of or day after independence.  Scotland expects to be able to join NATO as a nuclear-free member state.
However, membership in the European Union is not so certain or swift.  Spain is likely to delay Scottish membership in the EU so as to not encourage its ownseparatist groups from leaving Spain with a guarantee of EU membership.  Spain's foreign minister has been quoted as saying that Scotland would have to get at the end of the line behind other countries like Albania, Iceland, and Turkey seeking membership.  It could take years for Scotland to become a member of the EU, which presents the strange situation of whether Scots who currently have EU citizenship would lose that citizenship following independence.

A No Vote on Independence

If the citizens of Scotland vote against independence, not much is expected to change.  The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will continue to function and Scotland will continue to be granted additional sovereignty as part of the devolution that began in 1998.  However, there will likely not be another vote on independence for many many years.  
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