By Martin Kelly
Scottish Secretary of State Michael Moore has been forced to issue clarification statements following the publication of the UK government’s document into what it claims will be the consequences of Scottish independence.
The Lib Dem MP found himself on the backfoot after the report claimed that an independent Scotland would be treated as a brand new state, denied any of the UK’s current obligations and benefits.

However, the Scottish government immediately ridiculed the claims by pointing out that such a scenario would result in the remainder of the United Kingdom having to shoulder all of the UK’s current debt liabilities – including the tens of billions of pounds that the SNP has already accepted a newly independent Scotland would take on.

The blunder followed publication of the official UK government report that contained legal opinion from two experts that Unionists claimed backed their view that an independent Scotland would be forced out of the EU and have to re-apply for membership.

The claim that independence would see a completely new state being formed led to a series of initial comments from Westminster that insisted Scotland would lose any right to the treaties and benefits negotiated in the name of the United Kingdom.

Speaking ahead of the report's publication, a Downing Street source said: "It will say that the overwhelming weight of international precedent suggests that an independent Scotland would become a 'new state' and the remainder of the UK would be considered a 'continuing state'.

"This means that if Scotland became independent, only the remainder of the UK would automatically continue to exercise the same rights, obligations and powers under international law as the UK does.

"The UK is a party to several thousand international treaties – 14,000 treaties are listed on the Foreign and Commonwealth Offices's database."

However, the claim that Scotland would not have to meet any obligations was seized on by the Scottish government who pointed out that this included Scotland’s pro-rata share of the existing UK debt.

Within hours of the initial claims, Scottish Secretary of State Michael Moore hurriedly issued statements insisting that Scotland would indeed have to meet its share of the UK’s debt.

"We would need to have an equitable distribution of the liabilities," he said.

"I know this was an issue raised elsewhere this morning, and we will be returning to that theme in subsequent papers as it is an essential factor in this debate that merits very careful attention.

"But the principle that we would negotiate that and have an equitable distribution is pretty well established in the paper today."

The blunder was highlighted by the Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon during an interview on BBC Radio Scotland.  Pressed by host Gary Robertson to address the claims by the UK government, Ms Sturgeon highlighted the gaffe.

“If they believe this, if they believe they keep all the rights of the UK then does that mean they keep all the liabilities as well including the UK national debt?”

The Deputy First Minister savaged the “colonial attitude” of the UK government and added: "For the UK Government to argue that the UK will be a 'continuing state' and that an independent Scotland would have no rights betrays a near colonial attitude to Scotland's position as a nation and gives lie to any suggestion that they see Scotland as an equal partner in the UK."

There was more bad news for the UK government when one of the legal experts cited in the report backed the Scottish government’s opinion that an independent Scotland would renegotiate its membership from within the EU.

Speaking on Good Morning Scotland, Professor James Crawford of the University of Cambridge said “Scotland complies with the Acquis now” and EU membership will come “as a matter of negotiation”.

Asked if negotiation would be going on from within the EU, the academic replied: “Yes, that’s certainly true… As I say, it’s not to suggest that this process is going to be – necessarily going to be very difficult, because Scotland complies with the Acquis now.”

Professor Crawford also backed the Scottish government on UN membership and the timetable to independence.

He said: “I don’t suggest that will be difficult in most cases.  EU membership will come as a matter of negotiation.  UN membership will be straightforward.”

He had earlier backed the Scottish government’s independence timetable saying: “Well the Scottish estimate is about 18 months and that seems realistic.”

UK government claims that international law would force an independent Scotland out of the EU were also dismissed last year in an interview given by EC President Viviane Reding.

Asked if a newly independent state such as Catalonia would find itself expelled from the EU, Ms Reding rubbished the idea, saying that international law said no such thing.

“Come on, Come on - it [international law] doesn't say anything like this."

This afternoon the SNP claimed that the UK government’s report had unravelled, with SNP MSP Roderick Campbell, a member of the Scottish Parliament's European and External Affairs Committee and an Advocate, saying:

“The UK’s legal adviser Professor James Crawford is an extremely eminent expert and his comments back up the fact that as a country that has been part of the EU for 40 years, Scotland will remain in the EU following a Yes vote.

"This publication has completely back-fired on the UK Government and the No campaign - just like the Treasury's inept briefing at the start of the year that the people of Scotland can get independence for just a pound.

“Professor Crawford’s opinion on Scotland in Europe concurs with many others – including constitutional law expert Professor David Scheffer, Honorary Director General of the European Commission Graham Avery and former European Court Judge Sir David Edward.

“Scotland is an integral part of the EU and it is clear that other nations will want to retain access to the vast array of resources and opportunities we bring to the table.

“We have always said there will be negotiations but that will of course happen from within inside the EU and run parallel to the negotiations with the UK government between a Yes vote in 2014 and independence day in March 2016.

“If the anti-independence campaign claims to have Scotland’s best interests at heart then they will accept that, in the event of a Yes vote, continued membership will be in the best interests of Scotland, the UK and the EU.

“We believe the people of Scotland share our vision of the positive contribution we can make to the world and should enjoy normal nationhood, with full representation in Europe and a seat at the top table in Brussels.”

Alistair Darling, head of the Unionist Better Together alliance, said: "This is a formidable legal opinion from two internationally respected lawyers. Their opinions have to be taken very seriously and they can't just be dismissed by the Nationalists."


# robbo 2013-02-11 20:45
I can't see how we won't become a successor state and I know it upsets a lot of people.

It's not really an issue though is it. Most of the treaties are just routine ticks in the boxes. We will stay in Europe but may have to give up some privileges (Just one more reason to leave imo).
# bagonails 2013-02-11 20:45
Deary me and here was me thinking we joined together as two equal states, nice to have it confirmed that in Scotland I live in an occupied country.
# bringiton 2013-02-11 20:46
When Westminster has to change it's stance from propaganda disinformation to negotiation,the story will be a very different one.
Especially so with consideration to coughing up our share of the debt they have accumulated over the last few administrations .
It would be far easier for Scotland to walk away as a "new" state,debt free, than having to negotiate our share of the assets (however that does assume that our share of the debt exceeds that of the assets...probably).
# alasdairmac 2013-02-12 13:04
bringiton: The UK Government Asset Valuation was last carried out in 2007 when it was given as £337 billion. It isn't due again until 2014 but if we allow for inflation we could guestimate it at around £400 billion now. The National Debt is just over £1 trillion.
# tarbat 2013-02-11 20:56
Now that's information I'd like to see. A balance sheet of Scottish assets vs. our share of the UK liabilities (debt).

As a newly formed state, we would not inherit any of the UK debt. And I guess up to four submarines and 165 Trident missiles would fetch a few quid on the open market to the highest bidder ;)
# Alan 2013-02-11 20:57
I especially liked the bit " a matter of international law England continued, albeit under a new name and regardless of the position in domestic law, and was simply enlarged to incorporate Scotland."

Will the Better Together lot now please stop talking about nationalist wanting to 'break up the UK' and phrase that more accurately as wanting to 'break up England'.
# EphemeralDeception 2013-02-11 21:23
The legal experts were asked to provide opinion based on the UK being an ongoing, essentially unaltered successor state, so the exercise is prejudiced from the beginning. (Annex A section 50)

What I found incredible is that they state the acts and treaty of union is not a treaty at all and not worth the paper it is written on. That Scotland somehow ceased to exist but England became the UK. (Section 35 "England continued, albeit under a new name and regardless of the position in domestic law, and was simply enlarged to incorporate Scotland"

That the UK really is England and always was and British really means English legally.

Campares Scotland to Ireland and that this was "not as the creation of a new state but as an accretion without any consequences in international law."
# cuckooshoe 2013-02-11 23:01
Picked up in this great article on Wings over Scotland

I wonder how the Better Together campaign are going to explain this news to the voters?
# call me dave 2013-02-11 21:30
As I said this morning Deja vu.

The prof Crawford admitted that Nato And EU membership was a formality he also let the cat out of the bag. It was all about the (UK) having a top seat within Nato.

We own 9% of all the assets and can use the £ if we choose.

Ach! Just vote YES and move on this is obscuring the real deal.
# Big Eye 2013-02-11 21:36
Now I know the coalition Government are planning one report a month but after the first two, remember the first claimed Scots would be all of £1 worse off with Independence and now a second paper that seems to absolve Scotland of any responsibility for the huge trillion plus debt pile is it not possible for the YES Campaign to demand the frequency is increased to one a week!

So far they have been hugely beneficial.
# tarbat 2013-02-11 21:56
I guess it would be helpful to know what exactly the two legal experts were asked to comment on. The UK Government should publish the Terms of Reference given to their legal experts.
# Early Ball 2013-02-11 22:14
Quite agree.

I heard the guy Crawford on GMS. He offered that he had no opinion on independence but was liberally using terms like "separation".
# fynesider 2013-02-11 22:07
"However, the Scottish government immediately ridiculed the claims by pointing out that such a scenario would result in the remainder of the United Kingdom having to shoulder all of the UK’s current debt liabilities – including the tens of billions of pounds that the SNP has already accepted a newly independent Scotland would take on."

Could it be that there's some sympathy for independence within Whitehall report writers?
# From The Suburbs 2013-02-11 22:14
BBC Scotland TV headlining that Scotland have to apply for EU membership not that if the "legal advice" is followed to a logical conclusion then a New state Scotland would not inherit a share of the UK National Debt.
# Indy_Scot 2013-02-11 22:27
It begs the question really.

When, if ever was anyone going
to tell us that Scotland is not a real country and is apparently just an extension of England.
# xyz 2013-02-11 22:27
If we believe UKGov (LOL) Our share of UK assets in 2007 was less than 30 Billion, calculating from this:

Our share of UK debt, the debt generously dumped on Scotland by UKGov is expected to be 135 Billion BY 2016. calculated from here: (9 percent of 1.5 trillion)

If the above is correct I would imagine our generous UK government, in the event of a yes vote, will be desperate to see Scotland as a successor state, keeping the debt. They will be our greatest friends in the world, but be sure to count your fingers after any negotiations :)
# mealer 2013-02-11 22:30
This is exactly why London never wanted a debate on independence.The tissue of lies is falling apart.
# northernshedboy 2013-02-11 22:31
Anyone on twitter might like to add requests to a tweet from Reuters.
They were asking what sort of stories people wanted them to run.

I suggested an unbiased assessment of Scotlands independence.
I was sent a link from them which used the 'seperation' word and had a 400 year history of Westminster.

I did suggest they were doing what the UK press does and also corrected their date.

Might be worthwhile getting them interested in running or researching a non biased story

Reuters Top News

@Reuters: What stories do you think we should be providing more coverage of? What would you like to know more about?
# govanite 2013-02-11 22:45
'Donald' MacKay owned Larry the Lamb, Oh Yeah.

Make that a double.

And pro Independence supporter big John C Reilly is playing at St Andrew's in the Square tomorrow night. :)
# Frankly 2013-02-11 22:53
"Asked if a newly independent state such as Catalonia would find itself expelled from the EU, Ms Reding rubbished the idea, saying that international law said no such thing."

It is worth bearing in mind that it has since become apparent that a Catalan UDI (unilateral declaration of independence) is on the cards. This would of course put an emerging Catalan state in a quite different category from a newly independent Scotland seeking to remain in the EU after reaching an agreed independence settlement with the UK following a Yes vote in a binding independence referendum.

It would appear to be difficult in fact for the EU to recognize Catalan independence if there is a UDI, as that would involve interfering in the internal governance of a member state.

More on Catalan UDI here:

# willie boy 2013-02-11 23:07
What the mighty all powerfull UK say and what the intrnational community say are two different things.

The UK might think they can tell the world who they can talk to, and who they can't but that is nonsense.

Scotlands oil, it's territorial waters, it's exports, it's relationships will not be dictated by England. And the rUK, will the world just accept it as the same. Sure they will, Pigs fly.
# clootie 2013-02-11 23:27
For some strange reason I thought they would have put something a bit better than this together given the resources available. It is now obvious all they have are the same old scare stories and they are trying hard to prop them up as they fall apart.

Great fun watching Mundel and Wallace going purple trying to convince us this report is the "truth". Truly pitiful performances delivering a report distorted by spin doctors.

Surely the authors must be ashamed of the distortion of their findings even if they have been tasked with a biased remit.
# cuckooshoe 2013-02-11 23:38
There's no mention in the article about the equitable distribution of the assets, just the debt..
# Mad Jock McMad 2013-02-11 23:40
The executive summary says: Scotland will have to negotiate entry to the EU, UN, Nato but also states they forsee no problems being placed in Scotland's way and negotiations will be completed within the proposed time table set out by the Scottish Government. This concurs with the position taken by the Irish Minister for EU Affairs in her e-mail to Nicola Sturgeon and the same minister's response to Newsnet on Scotland's EU entry.

I have argued there is already a legal precedence in UK Law that a country on independence (see 1937 Dominion Act)can not be forced by Westminster to take on any portion of the UK National debt or its repayment.

Moore, by agreeing with the contention we are a region of England, is open to an indictment of treason against the Scottish, sovereign people by giving away our sovereignty preserved for all time by the Treaty of Union. Scots Law most certainly does not agree with Moore's contention.
# govanite 2013-02-11 23:58
I think there will be particular people who are unpleasantly surprised by the suggestion of our country's extinction. They are going to question their own previous perceptions.

This is going to run silently and deeply.
# call me dave 2013-02-12 00:17
You are right, a country subsumed without the people being told, better together think they know everything.
While they splutter and shout at us through the media the ordinary person will be appalled at the unionist's spiteful hatred of those who simply want no more of their plans and schemes for society.

It's not just about independence, its about social justice and fair treatment for all of us living in our country.

There used to be a party that stood up for all this in Scotland but I forget their name, maybe they have been subsumed too!

Oh yes. . what ever happened to the Labour Party . . Johann are you listening Scotland no more!
# Macart 2013-02-12 10:19
@call me dave - This whole report is gift Dave. The nuclear bomb being -

"Whether or not England was also extinguished by the union, Scotland certainly was extinguished as a matter of international law, by merger either into an enlarged and renamed England or into an entirely new state."
# ynot 2013-02-12 09:11
Quoting govanite:
This is going to run silently and deeply.

That's the whole problem Govanite, it's going to run so silently if the press and BBC have their way that the majority of the population won't have a scoobie about what's really happening here. We have to be far more pro-active in getting this information out but it really is an uphill struggle as the closed minds out there are not wanting to hear anything other than that they will be safer and stronger together; it's called the herd instinct, and Scots have it in spades.
# oldnat 2013-02-12 00:16
We now have two items from the UK Government on the consequences of indy.

1. We'll be worse off by £1 per year
2. There will be relatively easy negotiations easily achievable within the Scottish Government's timescale.

I wasn't convinced by theories that the Tories want rid of us - but now?
# WRH2 2013-02-12 01:52
Since the anti-independence faction are supposedly campaigning for a No result in the referendum, shouldn't they be setting out their vision for Scotland following such a result. Would they extend devolution beyond the recent Scotland Act or seriously look at federalism? Would they devolve tax raising powers and abandon the Barnett Formula system? Would we collect all tax raised in Scotland including oil revenues in the same way that Alberta does in Canada for example? What would they do? These are the questions that really need to be addressed. I don't see any point of spending/wasting time and money producing and publishing this kind of report. It doesn't set out their vision for the future for Scotland unless they intend reducing it to the status of occupied territory or colony.
My own view of this is to largely ignore it, and get on with setting our vision of what Scotland can be.
# davidferguson1 2013-02-12 02:29
My attempt to access the original 'UK Government Paper' has just met with the following response:
This attachment is being virus checked.

We are currently holding this attachment in quarantine until it has been virus checked. The attachment will be available at the original location shortly.

Looks like they're already in a bit of a panic about their 'reliable, independent' advice...
# Hugo 2013-02-12 04:08
Where is the original location? Please.
# EphemeralDeception 2013-02-12 05:02
Full Paper
# alba 2013-02-12 09:49
It’s the annex which contains the bit about Scotland ceasing to exist, NOT the paper.Its also the annex that has been removed due to a possible virus; wings has a superb summary about this (

However, the full paper AND annex can be found here (tho for how long…..)
# govanite 2013-02-12 07:27
Moore, the SoS who misplaced Scotland.

Funnily, this all seems to have slipped of the front-page, partly due to the Pope, but mostly I think because after much fanfare this has become a calamity for Cameron & Moore.
# mealer 2013-02-12 08:09
14000 treaties to unravel,eh!14000.Thats damn near one every week since the act of union.So if the Whitehall mandarins can handle a treaty a week,they'll surely manage to handle the rescinding of the treaty of union in 18 months.The profs agree.
# UpSpake 2013-02-12 08:24
Test it. Declare UDI now !. The British Establishment are in deep doo doo over this. Not only does Scotland get off Scot Free as it were it also has the 'luxury' of deciding who it holds treaties with. Nothing will be imposed we will be free to pick and choose and what we choose might not be to the liking of Westminster - tough !.
Wallowing under all that debt, unstructured government, taxes in England will have to rise considerably.
The terror in their eyes is clear for all to see. Game changer !.
# Silverytay 2013-02-12 08:43
Page 2 of the Sun today has about a 1/4 of the page dedicated to micky moores assertion that an independent Scotland would be responsible for its share of the debt .
Within the article is a comment from our good friend Dr Matt Qvortrup who states Scotland can not be a new nation and still be responsible for a share of the u.k dept . It kinda knocks the unionist lies and scare mongering on the head .
If unionist politicians want to play these type of games then i am more than happy for Scotland to walk away with a clean slate . The only people who would suffer if Scotland walks away with a clean slate would be the r.u.k and it is not any anybody's interests for the r.u.k to suffer due to politicians intransigence .
# argyll6 2013-02-12 09:10
The better campaign is now falling apart, watching Mr Mundel last night trying to put spin on it was pathetic,his sneering attitude sums their attitude toward the debate,
# Ready to Start 2013-02-12 09:53
BBC and MSM will soon drop this issue due to embarrassment to unionist cause.

Friend's research shows that both the UK government's legal advisers are maritime boundary lawyers rather than constitutional experts and may use their report as basis to justify amending the continental shelf act which established Scotland's legal right to our oil fields.

meanwhile no campaigns negative scaremongering continues...
# Barbazenzero 2013-02-12 11:07
Spot on. The BBC website seems to be scare-story free this morning, but there are at least two new ones in the Herald:

Independent Scotland would need 200 new public bodies, says Coalition -

Scots to be hit by cost of care in England -

Unusually, these own goals by Westminster attract few comments from cyberbrits apart from the statutory OBE.
# Old Smokey 2013-02-12 17:32
So just so I can get my head around this ;
Scotland will require 200 new public bodies, to quote "BBC, the DVLA, the Passport Agency, the UK Border Agency, Ofcom, the Pensions Regulator, UK Financial Investments, the Civil Aviation Authority and the Met Office as examples". These are of course public bodies that Scottish taxpayers fund anyway. So if we fund them, we will need to staff them, so that will provide employment. Now take the BBC for example, are Westminster stating that they will remove all equipment and studios? As for the CAA, this will mean that all landing fees, licencing fees and charges that normally go to the CAA in England will come to the new Scottish CAA. Aircraft will have to be registered in Scotland (like the Isle of Man currently enjoy). Scotland will have its Ship register, so more money coming in. So basically money will flow into Scotland, instead of out from Scotland
# Dundonian West 2013-02-12 11:11
Thanks RtS----I'll take your word for it. I shan't click on the Scotsman links----haven't done so for weeks. Likewise the Herald.
# Jimbo 2013-02-12 10:08
From the cobbled together Westminster report:

xiv. The remainder of the UK (comprising England, Wales and Northern Ireland) would continue as before, retaining the rights and obligations of the UK as it currently stands.

So there you have it. We've got a 'get out of jail free' card. They agree that, by keeping the UK's obligations as they currently stand, they would retain the UK's national debt.
# cjmasta 2013-02-12 10:39
So what it all comes down to in the end regardless of which scenario plays out is that Scotland will be negotiating on its own behalf and making decisions completely in its own interests instead of shouting, being constantly ignored and ridiculed by the likes of David Cameron and all the other politicians in Westminster who look on Scotland with total disdain every time we have the temerity to express our opinion.

I hears someone recently say that she thought that the relationship between England and Scotland would get worse after independence. I quickly added that how could it get any worse than it already is and that only with independence would Scotland ever be treated with an ounce of respect by those in Westminster.

She also made me laugh when she proclaimed that "Scotland is sh*t though" to which I pointed out well the union has seen to that. Time to make it better don`t you think?
# curley bill 2013-02-12 21:33
You're a better man than I am, Gunga cj.
If someone had said to me, 'Scotland is sh*t, though,' laughter would have been the last thing.
# Dubai_scot 2013-02-12 10:49
Question: all these international treaties and obligations, how were these signed, UK or Great Britain?
If GB is founded on the acts of the English and Scots parliaments then when one leaves the union the GB entity dies? And so does the obligations. So how is it that the English parliament thinks they "inherit" the trappings of GB?
# pomatiaH1 2013-02-12 10:55
Nicola Sturgeon did manage to get a "no rights so therefore there would be no debts" comment in when she was talking to John Humphrys on the Today program the other morning.
# RTP 2013-02-12 10:58
Question: If what Moore is saying does this mean that we can no longer call it BBC Scotland or Politics Scotland and others if so can they be sued under the trade description act.
I hear that Mundell is applying for a clowns job with a circus.
I will have to watch what nationality I put in any forms now.
# kenneth_clark336 2013-02-12 11:09
Time for Michael Moore and Bob Servant to swap places. Michael's much funnier than Bob, and Bob is more credible as a politician.
# Mac 2013-02-12 11:22
A country that doesn't exist.

A nation without a name.

300 years of Scotland's history wiped clean.

If we are not Scottish then what are we?
# FREEDOM1 2013-02-13 10:44
Mac - remember Gordon Brown, we are North British not Scottish.
# EphemeralDeception 2013-02-12 11:29
Remember this is opinion based on what they see as a likelyhood that:
a) Acts of Union are not valid internationally
b) rUK remains relatively unchanged as Successor and Scotland is a complete New State.

However the document also mentions domestic legal opnion that the UK is not just a greater England. As tested in the McCormick legal case.

Either way I see no discomfort for the YES campaign unlike the No Campaign.
As stated if internationally and domestically the legal view is that Scotland is new state then the rUK continues and it has to meet all its obligations and debts and keeps all assets except in Scotland.

The other option is that the domestic legal view will dominate. Here it is crazy to imagine that the rUK gets all except the debt. They then have to consider the treaty of Union and a separating out and sharing out of all combined assets, debts and services.
# Old Smokey 2013-02-12 11:46
It shopuld be noted that the unionists appear to be talking more about the respective Acts of Union that were passed in each parliament in 1707. But ignore the Treaty of Union in 1706
The acts were purely a ratification of the Treaty that was agreed the previous year(1706). I noted the so called eminent proffessor hadnt a clue regarding dates, as during an interview on last nights Newsnight Scotland he stated the Treaty of 1707, sorry prof but it was the year before. Only the acts were in 1707
# Barbazenzero 2013-02-12 12:29
I wonder how the Kirk feel about this. At the very least they might add a caveat to their How we are organised page - - which states:

The Queen maintains warm relations with the Church of Scotland, where she worships when in Scotland, and from which the chaplains of the Royal Household in Scotland are appointed.

The Church of Scotland (the Kirk) is not State-controlled, and neither the Scottish nor the Westminster Parliaments are involved in Kirk appointments.

The Kirk’s status as the national Church in Scotland dates from 1690, when Parliament restored Scottish Presbyterianism , and is guaranteed under the Act of Union of Scotland and England of 1707.
# Barbazenzero 2013-02-12 12:45
And Brenda may not be amused to have to modify her Queen and the Church of Scotland page - - which states:
The monarch takes an oath to preserve the Church of Scotland at the meeting of the Privy Council immediately following his or her accession.

The Crown is represented at the Assembly, sometimes by the monarch in person, but more often by a Lord High Commissioner appointed each year by The Queen.

I suppose the SG could publish a new one-page Act to mollify both ready to be implemented on independence day.
# X_Sticks 2013-02-12 11:29
Stikes me that this falls into the category of "clutching at straws"!

I suspect they know that they have already lost the referendum, but are trying everything they can think of to frighten the "undecideds" into voting no.

I think that this strategy will backfire spectacularly, and will ensure a resounding YES come the day.
# willie boy 2013-02-12 11:37
What utter pap westminster pumps out.

A treaty is between two or more parties and it is for the parties to decide if things change, not just the rUK.

Consider then Kyoto or Qatar. Stripped of Scotlands renewables rUK will just remain the same then and their international treaty partners will just agree.

Ho ho, Greater England has a shock coming its way if it truly believes what it says.
# BillCo 2013-02-12 11:43
Our over-promoted token Tory MP Mr Mundell, if we didn't know it already, made a complete fool of himself and the No Campaign on last night's 'Scotland Tonight' when he stated that Scotland as a country was 'extinguished' by the 1707 Treaty.

A parcel of rogues or what?
# proudscot 2013-02-12 12:24
So our national bard, Rabbie, had it right when he wrote in his "Parcel of Rogues" poem: "Now Sark runs over Solway sands, An' Tweed runs to the ocean, To mark where England's province stands - Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!"

That poem should be made mandatory reading to the likes of Moore, Mundell, Forsyth, Davidson, Curran, Lamont and all the rest of our present day "Parcel of Rogues", who would deny our right to be an independent NATION once again!
# Macart 2013-02-12 12:25
I'm just now wondering who won the world cup in 66????? Or the Ashes on countless occasions, rugby world cup and countless home tournaments 4,5,6 nations.

Theoretically speaking does that mean that Ukania/Great Britain won the world cups for both football and rugby? That the six nations should actually be the three nations? Will the Australians be demanding the Ashes in perpetuity under allegations skewed competition? Will FIFA and the world governing body for rugby come knocking at some doors?

Just a thought like, but it would be interesting. :)
# Mac 2013-02-12 12:25
I've just realised something. Scots, whatever or whoever we are, have no birthright.

If we were to vote for independence, the UK, rUK or England could lay claim under international law and deploy troops to any part of Scotland, be it Faslane, North Sea waters, Shetlands, RAF bases, nuclear power stations, etc.
# Old Smokey 2013-02-12 12:34
For sake of clarity and education, it may be a good idea if Newsnet Scotland actually published the Treaty of Union 1706 and its 25 articles. Then it can be easily refered to. Would also suggest sending copies to the Scottish Government, just in case they are not familiar (sometimes I dont think they are) Also copies should go to the European Commission
# Fungus 2013-02-12 13:25
Quoting Old Smokey:
For sake of clarity and education, it may be a good idea if Newsnet Scotland actually published the Treaty of Union 1706 and its 25 articles. Then it can be easily refered to.

My pleasure
# Dowanhill 2013-02-12 12:36
I want to see a headline ' Scotland was extinguished by the 1707 treaty ' claims Scots Tory Minister!

These ridiculous and continued insults and scaremongering should be exploited to the 'Yes' campaign's advantage instead of trying get drawn in a European quagmire relating to membership of Europe which is were the BBC wants the Scottish Government & the yes campaign to be.
# mealer 2013-02-12 12:36
When listening to Mr Mundell last night I kept asking myself "whos side are you on"? When he said "we" he seemed to mean Greater England rather than Scotland.
# UpSpake 2013-02-12 12:52
Mealer. Much the same dichotomy from the Governor General Moore. Oft times repeated in the same sentence by the UK Prime Minister Cameron.
Clearly it is so easy to conflate England with UK all wrapped up in GB. What a mismatch mess.
We cannot though, be blameless, we let this nonsense happen.
# .Scot 2013-02-12 12:59
If our aim is to open up Westminster government then this is mission accomplished!

I am certain that Wales, Cornwall, Northumberland, Cumbria, Northern Ireland & Yorkshire are all watching these Unionist somersaults and flip-flops with horror.

Just as the second consecutive unelected UK leader claims that Scots have an advantage over all of England (outside of Devolved London assembly) with two governments caring for us, The Unionists talk of total diktat over our lives from Westminster?

If our goal is to destroy any hint of democracy or harmony in the UK then our foot soldiers are the Better_Together campaign who still cannot formulate a single purpose for the 1707 British Union.

How much would it have helped their case, if only they had held a referendum in 1706?
# Barbazenzero 2013-02-12 13:26
Too true, but I suspect that your faith in the GB public is unmerited and that most outwith Scotland will be as unaware of these issues as the MSM led by the BBC want them to be.
# X_Sticks 2013-02-12 14:15
"Scotland's future in EU secure"

Joan MacAlpine in the Record.
# cokynutjoe 2013-02-12 15:45
So the Herald's piece, if correct, about all these new government agencies which will require setting up in Scotland post-independence. Surely these will require staffing and a bit of a jobs boom.
Good news I would have thought, but apparently not said the White Rabbit.
# Jim Johnston 2013-02-12 15:57
The more I think about it the more I like Westminsters idea that Scotland is a non-state, even if it means in their eyes only I must be a non-persons.

The side benefits aint bad of course, like no debt, being foot loose and fancy free etc., but the big plus is that Scotland has never been gubbed at football, rugby or anything else for that matter.
Yes, I truely believe God is a Scotsman.

Hammered by their own paper !!, pounded by their own team !!. These Unionist numpties and Westminster must wish they could put the clock back just one day.
# bringiton 2013-02-12 16:58
Cameron has recently stated that he will not negotiate independence with the SG until after the outcome of the referendum is known.
If this isn't setting out a negotiating position by Westminster then I don't know what is.
Legal opinion in these matters is usually down to "he who pays the piper" outcomes so I wouldn't get too exercised by these statements.
However,looks like as usual,Westminst er has committed yet another political blunder (I think the phrase omnishambles sums it up).
If the remainder of the Westminster white papers are as good as this then we have much enjoyable debate to look forward to.
# dtr 2013-02-12 18:18
Is there anyone on here with legal training who can produce a copy of;

...that has a summary of what each article is doing and how subsequent amendments changed the meaning or intent?
# Barbazenzero 2013-02-12 21:34
I think it's the Union with England Act 1707 - - that's more relevant.

It would certainly be good to see a legal commentary of what each article means and especially what the Westminster amendments post 1707 actually mean.
# Andy Anderson 2013-02-12 20:43
Come on Nicola don't hang about, ask the UK Government if we can have this deal in writing straight away. Westminster keeps all the UK's assets ie the BoE, Trident, the aircraft carriers without planes, the doggy financial sector, the lot.
Scotland leaves like a new state with no national debt.
Do the deal Nicola we can later calculate the benefits it give to the Scottish people.
# willie boy 2013-02-13 22:04
Too right Andy Anderson if England / rUK is the successor state with all the treaties then Scotland will have no international debt.

Fantastic start to an old established country coming out of the shadows. A fresh start, and with renewables, a huge fishery, oil and gas, water, food and drink exports, European countries and beyond will be desperate to negotiate with the new independent Scotland.

And happily rUK will own all the treaties, which their treaty partners will accept unchanged and unmodified. God bless the rUK for their selflessness and God speed them in their endeavours to meet their treaty obligations.

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