Commonwealth Kingdom of Scotland

Soon, Scottish would decide whether they want to be part of Great Britain of United Kindom and Eire or be an independent kingdom. There would a referendum for Scottish to decide on the fate of their land 18 September 2014. In two days, a white paper on the separation from the union would be tabled in the Scottish Parliament.

BBC story:

24 November 2013 Last updated at 14:54 GMT

Proposed date for Scottish independence named

British and Scottish flagsThe proposed date of independence is included in the White Paper

Scotland could be independent on 24 March, 2016, if voters back leaving the UK in the independence referendum, the Deputy First Minister has announced.

The date is included in the Scottish government’s White Paper, described as a “blueprint” for independence.

Nicola Sturgeon said it was a “landmark document” which had economic growth, jobs and fairness at its heart.

The Scotland Office said naming a date weakened the government’s negotiating position in the event of a yes vote.

The Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael said the vote posed “a very real danger to the future of the United Kingdom”.

Ms Sturgeon said the White Paper, which will be published on Tuesday, would drive the independence debate.

“This guide to an independent Scotland will be the most comprehensive and detailed blueprint of its kind ever published, not just for Scotland but for any prospective independent country,” she said.

“It is a landmark document which sets out the economic, social and democratic case for independence.”

‘Punch and Judy’

Ms Sturgeon said the 670-page document was designed, above all, for the public and urged people to read it, compare it with any alternative future for Scotland and make up their own minds.

An initial print run of 20,000 copies has been produced but it will be made available to everyone who requests a copy.

The independence referendum will take place on 18 September next year, and the proposed Independence Day of Thursday 24 March, 2016, follows the dissolution of the current Scottish Parliament, which is set to be scheduled to take place at midnight on Wednesday 23 March, 2016.

Voters have been speaking about what they want from the white paper

March 24 is also the anniversary of the Union of the Crowns in 1603.

A Scotland Office spokesman said: “Naming the date of independence ahead of a referendum result would only weaken the Scottish government’s negotiating position if Scotland voted to leave the UK.

“People in Scotland still don’t know the full terms the Scottish government would try to negotiate but the 28 members of the EU, Nato and the rest of the UK would all know that for the Scottish government the date is more important than the deal.

“We agree people should read the White Paper and the UK government’s evidence and make up their own mind on the referendum issue.”

Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, the Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael argued that the union was in the interests of all UK voters.

He said: “I think there are people all over the country who kind of take the existence of the United Kingdom for granted.

“What we’ve got to get across is that this is a very real danger to the future of the United Kingdom and that in fact the United Kingdom is good, not just for Scots.

“It’s good for people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland as well. This should not just be allowed to become some sort of Punch and Judy match between Edinburgh and London.”

*************

Scottish nationalists made the pre-emptive announcement already.

Scotsman.com story:

Scottish independence: SNP announces date of breakaway

The SNP are set to announce that Scotland's independence day will be 24 March, 2016. Picture: TSPL

The SNP are set to announce that Scotland’s independence day will be 24 March, 2016. Picture: TSPL

  • by TOM PETERKIN, EDDIE BARNES AND EMMA COWING

ALEX Salmond will this week announce that Scotland’s independence day will be 24 March, 2016, when he unveils his blueprint for breaking up the UK amid growing disagreement in the Yes campaign over plans to keep the pound.

In the event of a Yes vote in next September’s referendum, Salmond proposes that Scotland will become a sovereign nation state some 18 months after the poll, on a day that marks the 309th anniversary of the 1707 Act of Union.

The independence day plans are contained in the Scottish Government’s long-awaited 670-page independence White Paper, which will be published in a blaze of publicity on Tuesday at Glasgow’s Science Centre. Writing in Scotland on Sunday today, Salmond’s deputy, Nicola Sturgeon, says the White Paper will be the “most comprehensive and detailed” document of its kind ever produced.

But just 48 hours before its publication, divisions within the Yes Scotland campaign have again opened up over Salmond’s key economic strategy – his intention for an independent Scotland to enter a sterling-zone with the rest of the UK after independence.

Last week SNP finance secretary John Swinney said he expected the UK Government to “respect” the White Paper’s proposition that sterling will remain Scotland’s currency if the people vote for independence.

Yesterday, it emerged that leading figures within Yes Scotland are questioning whether Scotland could demand such a ready-made deal on the currency with Westminster ministers.

Independent MSP and former SNP deputy leader Margo MacDonald said: 
“Even if it [the UK Government] did [agree], I would not expect the state that is going to be left by us to say, ‘Aye, anything you say’.

“I would vote Yes knowing that not everything that had been expected by the government will necessarily come into being. Following a Yes vote, it will be negotiate, negotiate, negotiate.”

Scottish Socialist party leader Colin Fox, who is an advisory board member of Yes Scotland, said the plan for a sterling-zone was “untenable”.

Fox, who favours a separate Scottish currency, said: “This isn’t a left-wing position. I think the idea of a sterling zone renders ridiculous the idea that you have an independent country.

“They’ll say that Ireland had those arrangements for a while but that wasn’t an independent economy either.”

He accused the SNP of promoting the idea purely because the retention of the pound was a more popular ­option than joining the euro.

“I wonder whether the SNP is saying this to placate ­conservative with a small “c” opinion which is frightened of independence.

“That makes political sense rather than economic sense.”

He added: “After a Yes vote, those of us who disagree [with the sterling-zone] will continue to press our case. The idea that the independent Scotland will get everything they want in the negotiations isn’t right.

“Something will have to be given up in order to get other things. I would be strongly of the view that the wider independence movement will put the case in those negotiations.”

Former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown added his voice to the debate, saying the SNP’s plan for a currency union has all the problems of the Eurozone and that an independent Scotland “could not force the UK into a currency union against its will”.

At yesterday’s Radical Independence Conference in Glasgow, Yes campaigners were urged to set aside any differences they had with the policies, which will be set out in the White Paper.

The Yes Scotland chairman Dennis Canavan said the overall prize of winning independence was more important than disagreements.

“The Scottish Government has not only a right but a duty to lay out what it hopes an independent Scotland will be,” Canavan said.

“Now you may not all agree about every single detail in that plan. You may disagree with the Scottish Government on things like who should be head of state, whether we should have our own currency, whether we should have sterling as our currency or whether we should be members of Nato.

“But I say to you in all honesty do not be sidetracked. Keep your eye on the ball. Concentrate on winning the prize because that prize is within our grasp.

“The prize is an independent Scotland and what unites us in pursuit of that prize is far more important than any points of disagreement.

“No one is being asked to surrender any matter of basic principle. Because the over-riding principle is once an independent Scotland is achieved then it will be the people of Scotland who will be empowered to shape their own future.”

The 170,000 words that make up the White Paper will be divided into five sections and ten chapters. It will have an initial print run of 20,000, and the Scottish Government believes everyone who requests a copy will get one. It will also be available in digital form. The policies contained in the document will fall into two categories.

The first will consist of the policy choices that the Scottish Government would negotiate in the transition period which will provide the starting point for an independent state. More controversially, the second category will consist of the policies that an SNP Government would pursue if Salmond’s party wins the first Holyrood election in an independent Scotland in May 2016.

Last night members of the pro-Union Better Together campaign were concerned that impartial civil servants had effectively been used to write the SNP’s 2016 election manifesto.

The Tory MSP Gavin Brown said: “It think people will be disappointed if this turns out to be taxpayers’ money going towards writing the SNP’s manifesto.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “As the Fiscal Commission Working Group – which includes two Nobel Prize winners – has made clear it is in the best interests of the rest of the UK for Scotland to retain sterling, in a currency union.”

Analysis: Yes camp’s big tome gives No a weighty challenge

IF nothing else, Scotland should have no shortage of things to stop doors with over the next few months.

At 670 pages long, Tuesday’s White Paper on independence is – the SNP Government claims today – “the most detailed and comprehensive blueprint for an independent country ever published”. Critics of the SNP’s preparations for independence have argued that Alex Salmond has been largely making things up on the back a fag packet since his landslide victory in 2011. This sheer bulk of this week’s document, thumping down on peoples’ doorsteps, provides a blunt political riposte: bloody big fag packet.

The decision by ministers to press ahead with this Biblical tome was made in the summer when a “skinny” version was formally dumped in favour of this “fat” one. It reflects the overriding effort by the SNP hierarchy to quell the nerves of undecided voters who may fear that the country is ill-prepared to go it alone. And it is also an attempt to inject some much-needed ambition into the Yes campaign which has found itself wrapped up in the debate’s small print.

The hopes for the White Paper are encapsulated in comments by Alex Salmond’s former chief strategist Alex Bell this weekend who declares that it will be “the most important document in our recent history”. It will be flawed, he agrees “but it will also be astonishing.” And so, with copies likely to be made available for every home in Scotland, the aspiration is that it will trigger a fireside revolution (so long as people have strong enough arms to

hold it).

The No camp knows therefore it has a job to do this week. It is determined to try and prevent what it argues are the assertions of the Yes case elide into received wisdom. Despite the risk of being seen to be nit-pickers and nay-sayers, sources say they will therefore step up questions on the detail and the practicalities of Salmond’s plan. And with the White Paper out and published, it can now capitalise on areas where the answers from the SNP Government don’t – or can’t – provide 100 per cent certainty.

The biggest issue by far is over the currency of an independent Scotland. And with civil servants having already said that the delivery of a pound-sharing “currency zone” depends on negotiations with the rest of the UK and cannot be guaranteed, Salmond has a tricky hand to play.

The SNP will also be wary of the fact that, with their prospectus now out there, they suddenly present a much bigger target, with many interest groups, firms, and professional bodies now likely to start having their say. But this week, the stage is set for the SNP to put on a show, giving people a glimpse of the kind of positive patriotic pizazz which it is planning for next year. For Salmond this week marks a chance to try and show Scotland the city on the hill. But he needs also to show how the country can get there, and prove the city is built to last.

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Tory British Prime Minister David Cameron isn’t too popular in Scotland, despite he is making initiatives to allow Scotland’s more decisive power of her own  destiny.

Daily Telegraph story:

David Cameron’s posh boy image ‘undermining fight against Scottish independence’

Exclusive: Former First Minister Henry McLeish says the Prime Minister is more hated than Margaret Thatcher and will add 5 per cent to support for independence unless he steps back from the campaign

David Cameron's posh boy image 'undermining fight against Scottish independence'

David Cameron’s posh boy image ‘undermining fight against Scottish independence’ Photo: AP

11:32AM GMT 19 Nov 2013

Comments588 Comments

David Cameron is doing irreconcilable damage to the campaign to defeat Scottish independence and must step back before it its too late, the former First Minister of Scotland has said.

The Prime Minister’s “rich posh image” and “damaging” policies epitomise everything that Scots hate about the Conservatives, warned Henry McLeish, who led the country a decade ago.

He said Mr Cameron is a “much scarier figure than Margaret Thatcher ever was” to Scots and could increase support for independence by as much as five percentage points is he fails to take a back seat in the coming year.

The warning marks one of Mr McLeish’s boldest public interventions in the referendum debate and reflects concerns among Unionists that a resurgent Tory Party could drive Scots to support separation from the UK come September 2014.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Mr McLeish, who was Labour First Minister of Scotland between October 2000 and November 2001, warned that Cameron was undermining the Better Together campaign.

“Cameron is the big risky factor for the Unionist camp. He won’t be seen much in Scotland. His polices are quite damaging … [they] are perceived as being quite poisonous,” Mr McLeish said.

“He has got to take less of a role and I am convinced that he will be forced to take less of a role … It is a very complex, fluid situation in Scotland and that is when the Cameron factor becomes quite crucial.”

Mr McLeish is a grandee of the Scottish Labour Party, which is locked in a bitter fight against Alex Salmond’s Scottish National Party (SNP) over the independence referendum. All three Westminster parties are opposing independence.

Asked to explain the reaction of Scottish voters to Mr Cameron, Mr McLeish said that the Prime Minister personified a right-wing Westminster elite which is unrecognisable north of the border.

“It is an alien political culture that he is exuding. Because of the history of Scotland from Thatcher onwards, Scots mainly are very dismissive of Conservatism,” he said.

“Cameron also brings that edge that even Thatcher didn’t bring: the rich, posh image. Osborne is the same … They also exude this political distance so much that I would expect for Scots that Cameron is a much scarier figure than Margaret Thatcher ever was.”

He added: “It is not an intellectual, logical [decision]. It is an instinctive, cultural, political reaction to a party that in many respects is widely despised in Scotland …

“If we get to September 2014 and there is a high likelihood that the Tories – because the economy is recovering – are doing well, that could actually push a lot of people into the lines for voting yes.”

Mr McLeish linked the negative impact Mr Cameron was having on the Better Together campaign to the increasing influence right wing MPs are having in the party, fuelled by Ukip’s high poll ratings.

“I don’t throw these terms around lightly. [Cameron] is illustrative of the worst perceptions of Scots in terms of Toryism, much more beyond Thatcher. I think everything they are doing is anti-welfare, anti-Europe, anti-immigrants, anti-human rights issues.

“He wants to create those common enemies. We don’t have those common enemies now in Scotland. The enemy for most Scots now is the Conservative Party.”

Asked how damaging Mr Cameron’s role could be, he said: “Over the next year Cameron could be worth 5 percentage points to the Yes Campaign.”

Mr McLeish became Scotland’s second ever First Minister in 2000 following the sudden death of Donald Dewar, before resigning in 2001 over a financial scandal. He also served as a Labour MP for Fife for more than 20 years.

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Prime Minister Cameron already warned of British Government contracts for the Royal Navy, a major economic lifeline for the Clyde, as an economic threat against the Scottish independence.

6 November 2013 Last updated at 22:57 GMT

BAE Systems cuts 1,775 jobs at English and Scottish shipyards

Workers at GovanWorkers at Govan were told the news on Wednesday morning

BAE Systems is to cut 1,775 jobs at its yards in Scotland and England and end shipbuilding altogether at Portsmouth.

The firm said 940 staff posts and 170 agency workers will go at the Portsmouth site, which will retain repairs and maintenance work.

Some 835 jobs will be lost at yards in Govan and Scotstoun, on the River Clyde in Glasgow, and Rosyth in Fife and at the firm’s Filton office, near Bristol.

The cuts follow a drop in work after the end of aircraft carriers work.

BAE Systems employs 1,200 in Portsmouth and 3,200 across Govan, Scotstoun, Rosyth and Filton.

The company said it had made the cuts because of a “significant” drop in demand.

Workers at the BAE shipyards in Glasgow react to the announcement

The defence contractor and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) have together announced measures which they hope will offset the effect of the job cuts.

Among the plans are more than £100m of investment to expand the dockyard at Portsmouth.

Three new ocean-going Offshore Patrol Vessels for the Royal Navy will also be built at BAE’s Govan and Scotstoun yards in Glasgow.

This could help sustain shipbuilding at the yards until work is due to begin on the Type 26 Global Combat ships.

BAE, which heads a consortium that includes Babcock and Thales UK, said it had agreed changes to the Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier contract it signed with the MoD in 2009.

Continue reading the main story

image of Nick RobinsonAnalysisNick RobinsonPolitical editor

I’m told that Govan has two advantages over Portsmouth – a lower cost base and a partnership with the Scotstoun shipyard on the other side of the Clyde.

Tory strategists point out that it’s hardly in their political interests to save a Scottish shipyard and part close an English one.

Nevertheless, it’s clear that there can be no decision on something as significant as the building of warships without a great deal of political calculation.

As I reported yesterday, one well-placed source told me that the government was “acutely conscious of the politics of the Clyde” and did not want to give Alex Salmond a gift a little less than a year ahead of the independence referendum.

This would see the consortium’s fee move to a 50-50 risk share arrangement which would provide greater cost performance incentives.

A statement released by BAE Systems said: “Under these proposals, shipbuilding operations at Portsmouth will cease in the second half of 2014.

“Subject to consultation, Lower Block 05 and Upper Blocks 07 and 14 of the second Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carrier will be allocated to Glasgow.

“The company remains committed to continued investment in the Portsmouth area as the centre of its Maritime Services and high-end naval equipment and combat systems business.”

BAE said it had agreed with the MoD “that Glasgow would be the most effective location for the manufacture of the future Type 26 ships”.

“The company proposes to consolidate its shipbuilding operations in Glasgow with investments in facilities to create a world-class capability, positioning it to deliver an affordable Type 26 programme for the Royal Navy,” BAE said.

It said the cost of this restructuring would be borne by the MoD.

BAE said it would now begin consultation to cut 1,775 jobs “to result from these restructuring proposals”.

Philip Hammond told the Commons the job cuts were regrettable but inevitable

This would see 940 posts go in Portsmouth in 2014 and 835 across Filton, Glasgow and Rosyth, through to 2016.

The statement added: “The implementation of these restructuring activities will sustain BAE Systems’ capability to deliver complex warships for the Royal Navy and secure the employment of thousands of highly skilled employees across the UK.”

The MoD confirmed that it would commission three new ocean-going Offshore Patrol Vessels to play “a key role in counter-terrorism, counter-piracy and anti smuggling operations”.

These will be built, it said, at BAE’s Govan and Scotstoun yards in Glasgow.

Work on the new vessels is due to begin next year with the first ship being delivered to the Royal Navy in 2017.

‘Vital skills’

The ships are expected to replace the current, smaller River Class vessels which have been policing the UK’s waters since 2003.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said: “This deal will provide the Royal Navy with three brand new maritime patrol vessels with a wide range of capabilities which will support our national interests and those of our overseas territories.

“This is an investment not only in three ships but in this country’s warship building industry. It prevents workers standing idle and sustains the vital skills needed to build the planned Type 26 frigate in the future.”

Continue reading the main story

Analysis

image of Jonty BloomJonty BloomBusiness correspondent, BBC News

It has been obvious for years that there is no longer enough work for BAE’s four shipyards.

Barrow in Furness is safe because it is the only site that can make submarines, but Portsmouth, Govan and Scotstoun on the Clyde have too much capacity between them.

At the moment the yards are busy working on the Royal Navy’s two new aircraft carriers, but that work will end possibly two whole years before work is due to start on the Navy’s new Type 26 frigate.

That is still on the design board and no orders have been placed, but current plans are to build 13 ships over a long time period.

That just won’t provide enough work for three shipyards. Not only that, but there is going to be another defence review in 2015.

As one expert told me, the idea that we are suddenly going to start building a large number of surface ships for the Royal Navy is a “fantasy”.

Mr Hammond is also announcing that more than £100m will be invested in Portsmouth.

The money will be used to expand the dockyard to ensure it is ready for the arrival of HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales as well as the Type 45 destroyers which are based in Portsmouth.

The defence secretary added: “I am also pleased to announce additional investment in Portsmouth Naval Base to prepare for the significant increase in tonnage as the home port for the Royal Navy’s aircraft carriers and destroyers.”

The MoD said under the terms of the new arrangements that “Portsmouth will maintain its proud maritime heritage as the home of much of the Royal Navy’s surface fleet and the centre of BAE Systems ship support and maintenance business”.

Speaking at Prime Minister’s questions in the Commons, David Cameron said his thoughts were with the workers affected by these “extremely difficult decisions”.

He added: “We want our Royal Navy to have the best and most modern ships and the best technology.

“That means we will go on building warships on the Clyde, we will be announcing three new offshore patrol vessels, keeping that yard busy rather than paying for it to remain idle as the last government proposed.

“In Portsmouth, yes there will be job reductions, but there are many more people involved in ship servicing than in ship building, so the workforce will go from 12,000 to 11,000.”

Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary Vernon Coaker said it was “a difficult day” for the shipbuilding industry and his first thoughts were with those facing job losses.

Referendum issue

He added: “Two things are clear. Firstly, the MoD is to meet the cost of restructuring the naval shipbuilding business across Britain. We need to see all of the detail about how much that will cost and how the cost will be met.

Continue reading the main story

Analysis

image of James CookJames CookScotland Correspondent, BBC News

Just two weeks ago the UK and Scottish governments were standing shoulder to shoulder at Grangemouth as Scotland faced an industrial crisis.

There has been no such unity today.

Indeed, this may come to be seen as the moment the UK government took off the gloves, perhaps a foretaste of how tough negotiations would be if Scotland voted for independence.

But why has it come to this?

The answer is that the Clyde yards, which in their glory days sent thousands of ships across the globe, have become reliant on one customer: the British military.

The Scottish government is suggesting the yards need to diversify and seek new business, pointing out that Norway built more than 100 ships last year by doing just that.

Such advice doesn’t help in the short term of course and, while Glasgow may be in a better position than Portsmouth, there are still hundreds of jobs going here and there is no sense at all of celebration on the Clyde tonight.

“Secondly, Britain must retain a sovereign shipbuilding capability. None of us want to see Scotland leave the United Kingdom, but we need clarity from the government about what safeguards are in place to meet all eventualities after next year’s referendum.”

Scotland’s Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told the BBC she was relieved Govan was not closing, but said the 800 job losses were a “devastating blow” for the Clyde and Scottish economy.

“The Scottish government will be working very closely with the company and with the trade unions, firstly to minimise the number of job losses, but also to work very hard with those affected to help them into alternative employment,” she said.

Ms Sturgeon the Clyde yards would be the best place to build the new Type 26 ships.

She said: “The investment that we’ve seen in the Clyde yards in recent years, the skill mix of the workers in the Clyde, make the Clyde the best place to build these ships – there’s no doubt about that.”

David Hulse, GMB national officer and chair of the Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions’ shipbuilding national committee, said the announcements had been part of a “devastating day for the UK shipbuilding industry”.

“We have arranged a two-day meeting with the company at Farnborough next Monday and Tuesday that will be attended by officers and shop stewards from all the yards and all the unions,” he said.

“This meeting will examine in detail the business case and all aspects for scheduling work in the yards to complete building the carriers, starting work on the Type 26 ships and any other work.”

The independent MP for Portsmouth South, Mike Hancock, said ending shipbuilding at Portsmouth would be a difficult decision to reverse.

Union convener Jamie Webster: “We are not going to throw the baby out with the bathwater”

He added: “The expertise is very, very much dedicated to shipbuilding. And once they disperse the workforce in various parts of the south of England I don’t think it’s going to be easy to put that back together.”

Workers at BAE’s Scotstoun and Govan yards in Glasgow were sent home for the day after being told the news.

They were told by management there would be about 800 jobs lost in Scotland but no breakdown was given.

Workers who left the yards said they were worried and disappointed, but that the announcement was not unexpected.

Alex Taylor, 63, a plater at Govan, said: “We’ve known for a while that the workload isn’t there to carry the amount of people that we had building the carriers, but hopefully voluntary redundancies will take up the slack.”

He added that those affected by the job cuts at Portsmouth were “working class guys the same as ourselves, they’re just shipbuilders.

“We’re obviously relieved that things are looking better for the Clyde, but that doesn’t mean to say that we’ve not got feelings for our comrades in Portsmouth.”

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The Scottish economy isn’t that healthy, compared against the British economy despite the income per capita of Scottish is 20% higher that an average Brit.

The Economist report:

Scotch on the rocks

A new report on finances north of the border is a headache for nationalists

On November 18th, however, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), a non-aligned think-tank, published a study looking at the prospects for an independent Scotland’s tax revenues and public spending over the next 50 years. It analysed three scenarios, including the one predicted by Mr Salmond: that oil revenues will be healthily buoyant over the next decade, that Scotland will get a generous deal when Britain’s national debt is divided up, and that it will not pay any more for government borrowing than Britain does. It also assumed increased productivity and a tripling of net migration, to 26,000 a year.

Alas for Mr Salmond, this would not work out well. Assuming a relaxed austerity target of trimming national debt to 40% of GDP by 2062-63, the IFS says Scotland would need to narrow the gap between taxes and spending by the equivalent of 1.9% of national income—twice as wide as the 0.8% fiscal gap it says Britain faces. Reducing defence spending from the current notional £3.3 billion (as part of the United Kingdom) would save 0.5%. So the IFS thinks another £2 billion has to be found, either by spending cuts, raising basic-rate income tax by 6p, or lifting the VAT rate to 25%. That would fall on top of the tax rises and spending cuts being made by George Osborne, the chancellor of the exchequer.

In bleaker circumstances—lower oil production, a bigger share of the national debt, higher interest charges and lower gains from productivity and migration—Scotland’s fiscal gap could become a 6.3% income chasm, requiring tax rises or spending cuts of £9.4 billion.

Nationalists disagree. Oil wealth, they say, would make Scots the eighth-richest people in the world, with per person GDP of £26,000 ($42,000). Britain would be in 16th place with £22,000.

True, says the IFS, but Scotland’s population is growing more slowly and ageing faster than the rest of Britain’s. Fewer working people means a smaller tax base paying for a large elderly population.

Mr Salmond agrees there is a demographic burden. But, he adds, independence would enable Scotland to ditch “one-size-fits-all” economic policies that stall business growth. Corporation-tax cuts could counteract the pull of London. Investment and innovation incentives might forge a Scottish version of Germany’s medium-sized manufacturers, while better air links (achieved by cuts in passenger duty) should boost exports.

Opponents are scornful. Mr Salmond claims the best response to the think-tank’s warnings is to promise unfunded business-tax cuts, says Alistair Darling, the former Labour chancellor running the vote-No campaign. The battle for economic credibility is part of a bitter tussle over the effects of independence. Most recent polls shows the No supporters winning by a margin of slightly less than two to one. The new fiscal warning has further reduced Mr Salmond’s chances of turning that round.

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There are a lot of consideration for Scotland to separate itself from the union.

Published in: on November 25, 2013 at 03:00  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Well their loss really. I hope talentcorp pursue those whos future are in the balance and take them to malaysia. Then we can start building ships. The gov would have to provide initial capital and expenditures but whats a few million here and there when hundreds of millions were given away to ministers husband? We should really have a look at those that are being canned and try to absorb them. Maybe the intellects amongst those who are laid off can start a consultancy business. The administration of malaysia is high on whites who can consult and for that there is opportunity


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