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Independence?

Current AffairsPosted by David McDonagh Fri, February 21, 2014 18:43:18

It is an odd sort of independence that wants to cling onto the EU as well as the UK.

We are told by the journalists in the press and on television, during the last week or so, that the cause of Scottish independence took two big body blows over last weekend and they have repeated it up till today, Friday, 21 February 2014. What were those body blows? One was saying that they would have to truly leave the United Kingdom [UK], the other was that the Scottish nationalists would have to leave the European Union [EU] too. One might think that was progress for independence rather than body blows against it but all in the media seem to think it is instead body blows.

But this so-called independence movement n Scotland seems to have become, long since, instead a dependence movement. They seem to fear separation from the UK and still more dread being free of the EU. Indeed, they say they are against the UK, as the UK has a large majority that say they want to leave the EU, but people who call for independence for Scotland seem to fear independence rather than to want it.

Alex Salmond, the leader of the Scottish nationalists, has said that he has felt bullied by the likes of George Osborne, who said in a major speech, that an independent Scotland could not retain the pound, especially when his counterpart, Ed Balls, for Labourites agreed, as did the Liberal Democrat candidate for number 11 as Chancellor of the Exchequer, Danny Alexander, which made it all three agreeing that independence meant real independence from the pound sterling. Polls soon showed some 58% of the UK voters outside Scotland that were in favour of refusing Scotland a share in the pound. But in a poll in Scotland, following the three main parties having ruled out Scotland keeping the pound, if it breaks away, 38% said they would go for "yes", which was up from 32% two weeks earlier. The rejection "no" vote fell to 47% from 52% two weeks earlier, so the movement towards the "yes" vote continues rather than the expected fall off, that many on the media had expected.

The president of the European Commission, Jose Manual Barroso, came on to the television, on Sunday 16 February, to say that it would not be easy to get into the EU, if Scotland fell out of it, as Scotland automatically would, if they successfully left the UK. He seemed to have in mind the concerns of Spain that regions, like Catalonia, might follow Scotland’s example if it ever looked too easy. They would need all the existing member states to support their attempt to re-join, said Barroso, but Spain might feel it is better to oppose them.

But Salmond has repeatedly said there was no need for any plan B, so now that makes him look odd, as his plan A now looks dead as an option, but even odder is the idea that plan A had the slightest thing to do Scottish independence .

The old common fears that Scotland was not big enough to be an independent nation always were bosh, as any town, or even almost any individual, can be economically independent if allowed to trade freely, or near enough freely, with the world on the division of labour. John Bright used to favour an independent Scotland in the nineteenth, despite thinking that the union with Ireland remained vital; largely on the fear that a war between Catholics and Protestants might otherwise go to war in an independent Ireland. But the independence currently being sought by the Scottish nationalists seems to be no independence at all.









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