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By a Newsnet reporter

It was revealed last night that the Westminster Foreign Office believes that the rump-UK could veto Scottish membership of the EU.  In a leaked memo, the Foreign Office raises the possibility that a vengeful David Cameron could prevent Scotland taking up EU membership as a means of scaring Scots into line prior to the independence referendum.

However the Scottish government believes that Scotland is already a member of the EU, and upon independence would remain so.  The position of the Scottish government is that the UK was formed by a parliamentary union between Scotland and England, and therefore upon Scottish independence both Holyrood and Westminster would inherit equal status as the parliaments of successor states.  The UK Foreign Office insists that this would not be the case, as Scotland would be treated as an entirely new state and would have to reapply to join the EU.

However this stance causes Westminster serious problems in other aspects of its arguments against Scottish independence.  Were Scotland to be considered an entirely new state, which does not inherit any of the obligations or rights of the UK, then neither would Scotland inherit any portion of the UK national debt as the debt would remain with the rump-UK, the sole successor to the UK's obligations.  Although international and constitutional law is a notorious minefield, it is remarkably clear on this point.  

In effect, Westminster has just told Scots the country could walk off without taking on a penny of the UK's £1 trillion national debt.  Were Scotland not to be considered a successor state to the UK, Scotland would inherit only those UK assets which are on Scottish soil or in Scottish waters, naturally these include the oil and gas deposits in the Scottish sector of the North Sea and off Scotland's north west coasts.  

However the picture is even worse for Westminster.  Since a recent report from the Ministry of Defence highlighted Westminster's fear that new storage facilities for Trident warheads and missiles could take 10 years to construct, an energy rich Scotland would find itself debt-free and in sole possession of the UK's nuclear deterrent, as Westminster would be forced to leave this behind in Scotland.  Scotland would be prevented by nuclear non-proliferation treaties from selling the missile system to any other country, including the rump-UK, so this would spell the end of Westminster's pretensions to be a global power.  Westminster's threatened veto would come at a very heavy price.

In yet another apparently contradictory position, the Foreign Office memo then raises the possibility that Westminster would raise frontier barriers to prevent free movement between Scotland and the rump-UK, citing the need to prevent illegal immigrants from using Scotland as an entry point.  The memo claims this could be necessary as Scotland would become a member of the Schengen Free-Travel area, which the UK has opted out of.   

However this would only occur if Scotland was a part of the EU, which Westminster claims Scotland would not be, and if Scotland chose to sign up to the Schengen accords guaranteeing passport free travel.  The memo also assumes Scotland would withdraw from the common travel area currently consisting of the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and the Republic of Ireland.  The Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are not members of the EU.

The Foreign Office document, entitled An independent Scotland and the EU, discussed the fear that the UK's voting strength in Europe would be reduced after Scottish independence. The memo also raises questions over whether what it terms the "remaining UK" would be forced to renegotiate its membership of the EU.  The UK's much prized "EU opt outs" could be at risk.

The Westminster report also claims that Scottish membership could be vetoed by Spain, Belgium or Italy.  

However Spanish Foreign Minister José García-Margallo recently denied reports in the British media that Spanish officials had told their British counterparts that Spain was considering vetoing Scottish membership of the EU.  Mr García-Margallo said that the reports were "absolutely false" and stressed that in the eyes of the Spanish government, the constitutional settlement within the UK and the possibility of Scotland becoming an independent nation has "no parallel" to the Spanish situation.  Spain's constitution defines Spain as a single nation and denies that the Basques or the Catalans are nations with a right to self-determination.  The UK constitution clearly defines Scotland and England as distinct nations within a parliamentary union.

The Foreign Office memo also insists that Scotland would be forced to adopt the euro as its currency.  This position is contradicted by the experience of the Czech Republic, which joined the EU in 2004, after the adoption of the euro as the common currency of the 11 EU members which formed the original Eurozone.  The Czechs have expressed their unwillingness to join the single currency, but unlike the UK and Denmark do not have a specific opt-out guaranteeing non-membership of the Eurozone.

In January this year, Czech Prime Minister Petr Nečas stated that the country did not require a special opt-out in order to retain the koruna as its currency, as member states cannot be forced to join the ERM II mechanism, a prerequisite for later adoption of the euro.  Candidates for euro membership must sign up to ERM II for at least two years before adopting the euro as currency, however it is entirely up to the discretion of each individual member state when to sign up to ERM II and member countries can legitimately delay this indefinitely.  Mr Nečas said: ""No one can force us into joining the euro ... We have a de facto opt-out."

This approach has also been adopted by the government of Sweden which has likewise declined to join the Eurozone but has no negotiated opt-out.

A spokesperson for the Scottish government said: "All the claims these inept Whitehall sources are making against an independent Scotland would apply equally to the rest of the UK – and they are equally ridiculous.

"The cast-iron position is that an independent Scotland will continue to use the pound – even the Scottish Secretary in the UK Government has said that, so the Westminster coalition is totally incoherent."

Comments  

 
# Cowaldude 2012-02-06 07:42
" Westminster Foreign Office believes that the rump-UK could veto Scottish membership of the EU".....RUMPUK...nice one; Rumpkians...has a nice residual, left behind ring to it!!!..Sorry haven't slept!!
 
 
# X_Sticks 2012-02-06 10:36
Shouldn't that be Rumpukians?

That certainly has a "left-behind" ring to it. As in what is often left behind following a long night out and a dodgy kebab.
 
 
# rhymer 2012-02-06 17:45
Quoting X_Sticks:
Shouldn't that be Rumpukians?

That certainly has a "left-behind" ring to it. As in what is often left behind following a long night out and a dodgy kebab.


Much prefer F ormer UK.
A bit more descriptive I think.
 
 
# Dubai_scot 2012-02-07 15:39
Of course this pre-supposes we want to joint the EU doesn't it.

I think it is more likely the EU would invite us to take up the obligations and duties of a successor state.
 
 
# brh206 2012-02-06 07:48
I just hope that people appreciate these stories are released to generate fear over Scottish Independence. Now what I hope people are asking themselves is, if independence is so bad why are the Wasteminster Government going to such lengths to instill fear? Why do they care if we leave or not? It's not that they worry about our well being, maybe they are worried about themselves, just maybe they are very afraid that the part they keep down to make themselves look good might leave and they have to look themselves in the mirror, face their own problems without the Celts to blame.
 
 
# dogbite 2012-02-06 10:48
Brilliant brh206 'if independence is so bad why are the Wasteminster Government going to such lengths to instill fear?' I am going to use this line in my conversations as I think it blows the anti independence message out of the water.
We must challenge peoples fears and notions and ask pertinent questions without ridicule and build up the case for independence.

We must explain the negativity is nothing more than bluff.
 
 
# Jenny2603 2012-02-06 12:07
You're not wrong. If we are such a drain on resources why are they fighting to keep us? There are plently former parts of the British Empire that are poor, why aren't we fighting to bring those back under British control so that they can benefit from the union like Scotland supposedly does?
 
 
# GerrySNP 2012-02-07 02:06
But the story suggests that Cameron is less than wise in thinking that this threat (which is useless) would do anything apart from telling Tories to vote for Independence because that is their route to getting out of the EU!!!
 
 
# Alx1 2012-02-06 08:04
Today's Telegraph has a story that Scotland will lose its triple 'A' rating of course the reporter has un named sources making off the record remarks, they're making it up as they go along.
Another scare story!
Just keep repeating scare story mantra and then no one will ever know if they are speaking the truth.
After all 99% of the stuff they do report about Scotland is just pure fantasy scare stories anyway.

telegraph.co.uk/.../...
 
 
# Jiggsbro 2012-02-06 08:46
I see the Telegraph is also picking up on the manufactured outrage over the use of 'Gauleiter'.

telegraph.co.uk/.../...

I'm guessing that, if the word is offensive, it's even more offensive to use it about a German:

blogs.telegraph.co.uk/.../...
 
 
# CapnAndy 2012-02-06 16:05
Jiggsbro.
Thanks for giving me a good laugh. It certainly shows that these jokers can't even jump on the bandwagon in a coherent fashion.
 
 
# proudscot 2012-02-07 13:39
Quoting Jiggsbro:
I see the Telegraph is also picking up on the manufactured outrage over the use of 'Gauleiter'.

telegraph.co.uk/.../...

I'm guessing that, if the word is offensive, it's even more offensive use it about a German:

blogs.telegraph.co.uk/.../...


Jiggsbro, the Torygraph article is by the notorious anti-SNP Salmond hating boor Alan Cochrane. So what else can you expect from that journalistic joke, other than his usual anti-Scottish bias and bile?
 
 
# alasdairmac 2012-02-06 14:12
Alx1. I think that in the real world Scotland would not gain a triple A for at least two or three years until the international agencies saw how well we were managing our budget. For example that we didn't have a profligate government squandering its new-found wealth on all sorts of frivolities to keep the electorate sweet. Let's remember that although our prospects are absolutely excellent, we will still need to build up our own credit track record.

England though, without 90% of its existing oil revenues, would start to run up even bigger budget deficits and almost certainly lose theirs.
 
 
# ScotFree1320 2012-02-06 21:37
I think that in the real world, both successor states would have to prove their worth. I don't see why the world's financial bodies would at first treat one differently from the other.
 
 
# shackled to a corpse 2012-02-06 21:46
In an Orwellian example of double think the Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not believe that we will be a successor state and will inherit none of the obligations or privilages of the UK (and therefore they will block our attempts to become intarnationally recognised and successful). This double think then expands that Westminster will block our entry into the EU, and the very same time the Department for Education (England only) is telling us that English students will be entitled to a free education since we'll all be in the EU.

Similarly, the Ministry of Defence does not believe we will be a successor state and so cannot claim any of the UK military machine (although curiously we will be liable for Trident).

On the other hand, the Treasury believes we will be a successor state and will have to accept a proportion of the UK debt (but not any assets, curiously enough).

Oh, and the oil is worthless, but we want it!

Their inconsistencies are laughable.
 
 
# Teri 2012-02-06 20:23
I think Scotland will have no difficulty in keeping its triple A rating but I do fear for fUK. Without Scotlands monetary input it will undoubtedly lose its Triple A. It's going to be a poor,poor place.
 
 
# RaboRuglen 2012-02-06 08:57
Hi there Unionists,

Just keep it up. You're doing fine.

Why would anybody in Scotland want to remain in a Union in which the larger partner tries to keep the smaller compliant by these ridiculous scare stories? Its Alice in wonderland stuff.

Do they think we are children who can be frightened by the boogieman? They just make themselves look ridiculous, causing us to laugh, not be frightened.

Besides, Cameron has annoyed the rest of the EU to such an extent that they would be more inclined vote in our favour just to spite him.

Regards,
 
 
# UpSpake 2012-02-06 09:06
I think when we read scare stories levied towards Scotland and the 'terrible' position we would be in come independence it can be fairly assumed that the 'terrible' situation would not in fact be experienced by Scots but by the English themselves.
Scotland would have, by virtue of all its wealth, a AAA rating whilst England would suffer massive downgrading. Why an independent Scotland would therefore wish any association with a 'failing' currency, is beyond me ?.
 
 
# S Mach 2012-02-06 09:23
These scare story tactics are more likely to panic the English rather than any sensible minded Scot. I'm sure when the time comes, then most issues will be settled amicably and fairly with the least amount of fuss possible. It certainly won't do England's standing in the EU or the wider world community any good to begin a bitter smear and blocking campaign against a new independent Scotland.
It would be ironic if the Tory party in Westminster, who seem to hate the EU so much, tried to stand in the way of Scotland joining. Time for Westminster to wake up and smell the coffee, bully boy tactics and scare-mongering aren't working, face the fact that Scotland is going, and learn to live with it.
 
 
# alasdairmac 2012-02-06 14:17
S MAch. You're asking them to stop the bully boy tactics and scare stories. Nae chance pal. What else have they got to try and persuade us to stay in the Union?

They are getting desperate and if you think it's bad just now just wait until the run up to the vote when the polls have us way out in front. You ain't seen nothing yet.
 
 
# Macart 2012-02-06 09:39
Westminster Foreign Office doesn't know whether they are punched, drilled or countersunk. Our position is becoming clearer by the day, we're in the driving seat now and they don't like it one bit. Their only hope is a massive and blatant brainwashing campaign in the hope of terrorising the natives into submission. Maybe this time we don't feel inclined to be afraid.
 
 
# Roll_On_2011 2012-02-06 09:40
Apparently this document is believed to date from 2009 therefore it was commissioned under the last NuLabour government.

As the article states should the anti-independence parties use these tactics against Scotland, if the Scottish people vote yes, it would prove disastrous for the RUK, but it would also prove more disastrous for NuLabour in Scotland as willing and energetic partners of the ConDems Coalition government. Aye NuLabour inflicting damage to a fledgling independent Scotland… they would have nowhere in Scotland to hide.

The ConDems intend to use the core arguments of this document for future scare stories… so brace yourself for further gusts of flatulence emanating from Westmidden. As the BofE prepare the presses for further QE the SNP should prepare theirs for the increased run on membership cards.
 
 
# Auld Bob 2012-02-06 09:46
While the Holyrood Parliament regards that the post , “Treaty Of Union”, arrangements will see the existent Westminster, “Her Majesty's Parliament of the United Kingdom”, magically turn itself into, “Her Majesty's Parliament of England”, with the wave of Her Majesty's magic sceptre how they like but it will be international law that says what will be what. The idea that The Westminster Parliament should magically morph itself into an elected and Official, “Her Majesty's Parliament of England”, is neither really believable or, in all probability, legal in English, Scottish or International law.

First of all both Scotland and England are Sovereign States. In Scotland the People of Scotland are sovereign. In England, that pre-Treaty of Union incorporated both the Principality of Wales and where the English monarch also wore the Crown of Ireland, the monarch is sovereign. It is upon these concepts that each sovereign state signed, “The Treaty Of Union”, that is being dissolved by Scotland. It is thus the status of sovereignty that will set the grounds of settlement of that joint parliaments assets.

So let's consider a few facts, not nebulous ideas, In a constitutional monarchy the legal powers of the monarch are delegated to the legally elected representatives of the sovereign. In England those are the powers of The Queen/King of England. In Scotland the powers of The Sovereign People of Scotland. The Great Seals of both Scotland & England were abolished and The Great Seal Of Great Britain replaced both.
www.scotshistoryonline.co.uk/.../
Read article 24.

All parliamentary bills can only become legal Acts of Parliament with the Great Seal of Great Britain. There are also the other Crowns, Crown jewels and other objects or Regal Authority, (Orb, Sceptre. Et al. Thus there is no way that the Parliament Of Great Britain can become that of England alone as it was elected by the People's of Great Britain and not of Greater England alone.

To make Westminster a legal entity Her Majesty The Queen of England, (Greater England=plus Wales and now only N. Ireland), must summon one of her English subjects and command him/her to form Her Majesty's Parliament of England. Which only leaves that little problem of there being no legally elected members of such an English Parliament. To get a legal Greater English Parliament they need a legal Greater English Election to that Parliament. Then there is that, “Little”, problem that there is no legal, “English Civil Service”, as all they have been left with post Treaty of Union are The no a Westminster and Civil Service they once shared with Scotland but which in no shape or form is uniquely Greater England's.

Did I mention, “Quid Pro Quo”?
From the Concise Oxford Dictionary -

quid pro quo /

n. (pl. quid pro quos)
1 a thing given as compensation.
2 return made (for a gift, favour, etc.).
[Latin, = something for something]

Ach! Weel!
I suppose there is always time for that, after the English sort out their problems with their new Parliament, Civil Service, and other shared assets. We can then claim Quid Pro Quo of our share of that Westminster Parliament Building, built partly with Scotland's tax contributions and all the other shared assets that were our part of that old, “Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland”, thing we abolished when we took our independence back again.
 
 
# Keef 2012-02-06 09:50
It's like an episode of Yes Minister.
I like the bit that we'd be a brand new state which means we have no obligation to any of the debt. That was priceless. If only the MSM were not so biased and this was printed. The whole of the UK would get an insite into just how dumb these scaremongers are. I'm still laughing.
 
 
# Islegard 2012-02-06 09:55
Actually it's not £1 Triilion debt it's £4.8 Trillion.

iea.org.uk/.../....

www.channel4.com/.../4od
 
 
# Islegard 2012-02-06 10:03
I think if Europe was to choose between a rich and pro-European Scotland and an England thats anti-European and hacked off most European nations I know who I'd put money on.
 
 
# Macart 2012-02-06 10:21
Its a no brainer Islegard and they know it. :0)
 
 
# Electric Hermit 2012-02-06 10:19
Panicking Westminster makes 'incoherent and ridiculous' threats to scare Scots into line.

The anti-independence strategy summed up in a single sentence.
 
 
# Barontorc 2012-02-06 10:41
It has just crossed my mind that if we Scots gave it all to England /RUK; our oil rights, our water, our power generation at cost, our continued basing facilities for Trident and WMD storage and everything else that they wanted, would there still be such opposition to our claim for independence?

What is it that troubles them so?

Could it be that they have feck** up their society so badly that for example; the total English NHS is facing disbandment; the very real potential turmoil of their inner cities is a powder keg; the pressure pot that has the mega-dominant London-centric overheated South East draining life from the rest of England is now out of control; the political system is so uniform that a fag paper's thickness doesn't separate policy intentions; and the political leadership is so crassly poor, its only means of survival in the jungle it has created, is to seek self-interest first and foremost???

Maybe, it would be worth it all, to jettison that whole kettle of fish and just get on with it - but, I'm sure the real reason behind it is their own fearful insecurity; a dependency wanting to keep us tagged on to their coat tails.

It sure is some kind of crazy "Catch 22" that needs blowing up and then it's clean sheet time for all concerned, including the David Starkey-ites and like parasitic cronies.

Heaven preserve us!
 
 
# Jimbo 2012-02-06 10:48
Apparently this was a Foreign Office report commissioned by the British government back in 2009. Even back then a minority Scottish government had them so uptight that they ordered a UK government department to come up with fabricated scare-mongering propaganda for use against the Scotland's people. Nor is this the first time they have done so. See:

tomgriffin.org/.../...

And:

tomgriffin.org/.../...

Just by virtue of fact that they decided to concoct threatening propaganda for use against the people of Scotland, who are supposedly fellow members of the UK and, so we're told, all in it together, the sooner we dump this spiteful, vengeful, abhorrent partner, the better. They'll then have to discontinue the term Great Britain - They can call themselves Little Britain instead.
 
 
# maisiedotts 2012-02-06 11:10
Jeez this does it for me what utter contempt for the people of Scotland.

"8. If there is a moral from all this, it is that progress toward devolution should be delayed for as long as possible consistently with honouring the Government's commitment to move down the devolution road and containing the SNP lobby in Parliament. The longer this can be played, the better the prospect that the external deficit will have narrowed,"

tomgriffin.org/.../...
 
 
# jafurn 2012-02-06 16:08
this is great stuff.

tomgriffin.org/.../...

DEVOLUTION: ECONOMIC ADVANTAGES TO SCOTLAND OF THE UNION

As you know, the paper the Chancellor is likely to put in a paper for discussion at the meeting of the Ministerial Devolution Strategy Committee fixed for 3 June. It will suggest, among other things, that a determined effort should be made to persuade Scotland that it is in her own economic interest to remain part of an integrated UK economy. I have been asked to produce some material which the Chancellor could use in support of this proposal, initially (presumably) in persuading his colleagues at DS that the thing could be done, and thereafter, in whatever form were judged suitable, in public debate.

2. We have already had several exchanges on the subject; and I think we are fairly well agreed on the following.

a. The prospective revenue from oil beneath Scotland's "share" of the UK Continental Shelf in the 1980's is very large by comparison with her likely GDP. The crude comparison of, say, £3 thousand million revenue with £6 thousand million GDP is no doubt misleading, partly because an independent Scottish Government would adopt a slower depletion policy, partly because Scotland would (apart from oil) have a balance of payments deficit needing to be covered and would lose substantial transfers from the UK (though there is some overlap here). Nevertheless, the orders of magnitude are sufficient to show that Scotland would have more cash on independence than under continued union.

b. Scotland might lose free access to the UK market after independence; and this could have serious effects on many of her industries. However, if she stayed in the EEC, this argument would lose much of its force. Either England would also stay in (and free trade would continue) or, at the worst, if England withdrew, Scotland would have access to Europe. No doubt there would be transitional difficulties, but oil would smooth them over.

c. Scotland would still face some serious structural problems, and might not solve them if she adopted the wrong policies. But clearly one cannot stake much in public on an argument based on the assumption that she would adopt them; and the ability, for example, to run an independent currency would in fact give her some new and helpful policy options.

d. One can legitimately point out that a Scottish economy would be heavily dependent on oil and oil prices, with their attendant risks, and that her longer-term prospects might be less obviously attractive than her shorter-term ones. But it is hard to be more specific or convincing than that.

3. Apart from generalities, the most promising line seems to me to be the argument that Scotland has done reasonably well out of the Union in her times of troubles and ought not to break it now that she has better prospects. This argument, if it can be established with convincing detail, will be a forceful one: it is in my view partly because of it that the SNP are so anxious to argue at every turn that Scotland is exploited by "English" institutions of Government and they are so very reluctant to admit that Scotland ever had a favourable balance in her financial dealings with Westminster.

4. I should like to discuss this and see what sort of case could be constructed, so that we can advise the Chancellor in good time before the meeting on 3 June. I will try to arrange a meeting early next week. It will be helpful then to have views on the general arguments and an indication of what factual material is available to Divisions.

M S Buckley

19 May 1975

It's almost as if they have been rehearsing for this for the last 30 odd years. If that is the case then you would have thought they would be better at it by now.
 
 
# jafurn 2012-02-06 16:31
Apologies for posting almost the whole thing but this really should be read...

tomgriffin.org/.../...

« State papers on Scotland: Introduction and Index | Main | New Scottish election site »

January 26, 2007
State papers on Scotland: Implications for External Financing
State Papers on Scotland - Index
National Archives T319/2929
Scottish devolution and North Sea oil including economics of Scottish independence
1974 Jan 01 - 1975 Dec 31
_______________ ________

CONFIDENTIAL

MRS HEDLEY-MILLER 24(RMSA) 171/173/01
cc Mr Fogarty
Mr Barratt
Mr Littler
Mr Cassell
Mr Lavelle
Mr Mountfield
Mr Buckley
Mr Edwards
Mrs Harrop

SCOTLAND: IMPLICATIONS FOR EXTERNAL FINANCING

You will recall that I mentioned my concern at the Scottish problem at a recent OF meeting. I undertook on that occasion to prepare a short paper setting out the problem as I see it, and the attached is the result: this draws on comments kindly contributed by Mr Mountfield and Mr Buckley.

2. I am circulating the paper at this stage mainly for information, and I imagine you will wish to put it to Sir Derek Mitchell on this basis. But the issue seems bound to bulk significantly larger in our consciousness from now on, and I fear that the very existence of the problem, or threat, will have a wholly adverse effect on our external debt management.

3. I have not copied this paper to the bank: it occurred to me that the best course might be for Sir Derek Mitchell to give a copy to Mr McMahon.

D A WALKER
5 May 1975
___________

CONFIDENTIAL

SCOTTISH DEVOLUTION; EXTERNAL FINANCING ASPECTS

1. The Government indicated in the White Paper "Democracy and Devolution Proposals for Scotland and Wales" (Cmd 5732) in September 1974 that it accepted the main conclusion of the Kilbrandon report that it is desirable that there should be a substantial measure of devolution to Scotland and Wales, and that the best way of carrying this forward would be through the creation of directly elected assemblies for Scotland and Wales. The White Paper also states that the Government intends to legislate for the establishment of Scottish and Welsh assemblies as soon as possible.

2. To this end, a special Cabinet Office Constitution Unit under the Lord President is now working full steam ahead with a Devolution Bill which it is hoped to lay before Parliament by the turn of the year, though Ministers are not committed to this timetable. Assuming a period of six months for Parliamentary scrutiny and debate and a further six months for holding elections for and setting up the new assemblies, Scotland and Wales could begin 1977 with fully operative assemblies with substantial delegated authority in a wide range of fields.

3. The following paragraphs briefly review possible implications of the planned devolution to Scotland for the external financing position and prospects of the United Kingdom. The implications obviously stem from the heavy concentration in Scottish offshore waters of oil discovered in the last decade. Although North Sea oil has not been mortgaged in any way in public sector borrowing to finance the external deficit, the presumption on the part of both HMG and external creditors is that the UK's prospective self-sufficiency in oil by the end of the decade, and the possibility of a nex export position thereafter, provides key underpinning for the servicing and repayment of this external debt that is now being accumulated. This presumption and the confidence associated with it, is likely to be put in question the greater and, in particular, the more overt the pressure for Scottish separation.
 
 
# jafurn 2012-02-06 16:38
Last word from me on this but this is enlightening reading...

tomgriffin.org/.../...


State papers on Scotland: Introduction and Index
"The glaring weakness in the structure of the draft is the treatment of England. No doubt this simply reflects the lack of Ministerial consideration of this small and outlying region". Treasury official's comment on the White Paper on Devolution. 6 October 1975, in National Archives T319/2930

I mentioned in an earlier post that recent releases from the national archives shed a revealing light on the debate about Scottish devolution and independence in the 1970s. I have now had an opportunity to look at some of the papers from 1975 and 1976 myself.

They leave no doubt that Treasury officials regarded the case for Scottish independence as being much stronger than the Government was prepared to admit publicly. This judgement was largely based on North Sea Oil, so a different conclusion might be reached today.

Nevertheless, the material is relevant to contemporary debates about the UK, if only because it illustrates how far a British Government's perceptions can differ from its own unionist rhetoric.

For this reason, I have decided to post the text of some of the relevant material here. Below is an index with some of the more interesting quotes from each paper.

National Archives T319/2929
Scottish devolution and North Sea oil including economics of Scottish independence
1974 Jan 01 - 1975 Dec 31

"the orders of magnitude are sufficient to show that Scotland would have more cash on independence than under continued union."
Devolution: Economic advantages to Scotland of the Union

tomgriffin.org/.../...


"If there is a moral from all this, it is that progress toward devolution should be delayed for as long as possible consistently with honouring the Government's commitment to move down the devolution road and containing the SNP lobby in Parliament."

Scotland: Implications for External
Financing.

tomgriffin.org/.../...
 
 
# the wallace 2012-02-06 10:57
when scotland wins her freeedom there will be a reckoning for england thats for sure.
 
 
# antmcg 2012-02-06 11:02
Auld Bob,

Very nice post, but i fear you forgot one tiny detail...

No English Government, civil service et al means they couldnt even begin to have elections to create a new parliament as the ConDems forced the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2010 through making each UK Parliament last 5 years.

Oops :)
 
 
# Ken Mac 2012-02-06 11:08
Excellent timing by Ric Bailey. We all know the BBC is biased and just before the FM is due to meet the BBC DG Bailey removes all doubt and hands the ammo to Eck who will now unload it on the DG and ensure there is bags of publicity given to the DG's reply. Better be good Mr Patten
 
 
# rai1869 2012-02-06 11:12
Auld Bob, that has to be one of the best posts i have seen on any forum, i'm still laughing , but you got to hand it to them, only westmiddenster, could come up with such a fecked up concoction of a treaty.

Islegard, spot on, and the europeans would just love an actual land border with mainland Engerland. Check point Alex, more like Check Point, Call Me Dave And the Little Englanders
 
 
# Auld Bob 2012-02-06 13:01
[quote name="rai1869"]Auld Bob, that has to be one of the best posts i have seen on any forum, i'm still laughing , but you got to hand it to them, only westmiddenster, could come up with such a fecked up concoction of a treaty.


Nah! What you have got to hand it to were the Scots who signed the Declaration of Arbroath. That is the document that, first of all persuaded the, then World Authority, that Scotland was not just an independent sovereign nation but, (the real killer clause), that the Monarch WAS NOT sovereign but the People were. Remember that even to this day many people think that, "The Sovereign", means the same thing as, "The Monarch". That is what left those great big holes in, "The Treaty Of Union", that the Wastemonster signatories did not twig. It is the same thing that the present Wastemonster numpties have not yet grasped. The beauty of it all is that it is 100% legally correct. They really do not have a chance that an international court will not come down on Scotland's side.

Here is a wee insight.

The Treaty states that the Grand seals of both Scotland and England were to be broken and a new Great seal of Great Britain made for all acts of the Wastemonster to have sealed by the monarch and without that seal the acts are not legal. The same goes for the Elected Wastemonster Parliament. It has to be used after every election to make the parliament legal. So the Queen must summon someone and command that someone to form, "Her Majesty's Parliament of Her United Kingdom". However, she is only sovereign of England but the Scots people remain sovereign in Scotland upheld in, "The Treaty Of Union".

Then we have the real hilarious one. To open, "Her Majesty's Scottish Parliament", there was another Great seal of Scotland made together with the mace.etc., of Scotland's parliament. It sits there at every session.

All credit to that slyold fox, "Winnie Ewing", who declared, (and has never been challanged),

Here it is from the BBC report.
Winnie Ewing reconvened the Scottish Parliament for the first time in 292 years.
Dr Ewing became an SNP MSP in the first Holyrood elections. As the oldest member, she chaired the first meeting on 12 May 1999.
Opening the session, the 79-year-old said: "I want to start with the words that I have always wanted either to say or to hear someone else say - the Scottish Parliament, which adjourned on March 25, 1707, is hereby reconvened."

So here is a summation.
The Treaty of Union says the Independent Scottish Legal system is sacrosact.
The Treaty says that both former Great Seals are broken and a UK one made.
The Treaty states the Scottish people are sovereign.
The Scottish Parliament was not new Winnie Ewing REconvened it in the presence of the Queen of Scots with a new Grand seal of Scotland, mace.etc.
The sovereign Scottish people have given a mandate to the Scottish Parliament but the Wastemonster has no such mandate.
Would an international court not agree that Scotland is now an independent country but England, ATM, has no legal parliament?
 
 
# ianbeag 2012-02-06 11:31
Congratulations Newsnet on providing the blueprint in this article on how to systematically challenge and demolish the ridiculous scare stories emanating from Westminster and the UK media. The obligation to distribute these rebuttals as widely as possible now rests with the SNP Referendum campaign and individual members in the next two and half years. There is no doubt that 'YES' voters should brace themselves for an avalanche of similar guff now being plotted. I have no doubt that Angus Robertson is fully aware of this and will plan accordingly.
 
 
# J Wil 2012-02-06 11:52
I remember the Labour Party having to withdraw leaflets in East Kilbride because of lies that were printed.
 
 
# Jim1320 2012-02-06 11:32
I may be wrong but I'm not sure there is a veto under the circumstances that result if Scotland becomes independent. I think Gordon signed that away with Lisbon 2007. I leave the more leagally minded of you to look into that.
 
 
# deepwater 2012-02-06 14:09
There is no Veto - see last month's press release by Brussels and the french media broadcasts of the same period.

eubusiness.com/.../...
 
 
# J Wil 2012-02-06 11:49
"the Foreign Office raises the possibility that a vengeful David Cameron could prevent Scotland taking up EU membership"

With the time it would take from a YES in the referndum to completing the negotiation of the terms of Independence would probably mean that Cameron would no longer be in a position to do anything.

However, there would be no avoiding the fact that Cameron's legacy to the UK would be that it was under his watch that independence happened.
 
 
# Jim1320 2012-02-06 11:57
I am a bit of a fan of the Long Johns on the Rory Bremner show. What I think the Yes camapign needs is that kind of humorous presentation with the interviewee presenting the contradictory arguments straight faced to an increasingly incredulous interviewer. Penguins need to be mentioned obviously :)
 
 
# rai1869 2012-02-06 13:39
ye i have to agree with you that would be great to see jim1320.

Auld Bob, fantastic stuff, but i still say it's a good post ;-)
 
 
# Flora Macoo 2012-02-06 17:25
Quoting Jim1320:
I am a bit of a fan of the Long Johns on the Rory Bremner show. What I think the Yes camapign needs is that kind of humorous presentation with the interviewee presenting the contradictory arguments straight faced to an increasingly incredulous interviewer. Penguins need to be mentioned obviously :)


Ideas like this are exactly why the site needs an area where people can get together and work some plans out. In a couple of days' time nobody will remember where they saw this. :( As we can't share contact details on here then such an area is becoming essential.
 
 
# handclapping 2012-02-06 18:00
Flora, quirkynats used to be a site where longer threads could be explored. Good ideas could be cross posted to there and at least would exist for future reference. I think they even have a facility to contact fellow posters without having to give personal details away.
 
 
# Flora Macoo 2012-02-06 19:08
Thanks. It doesn't seem all that widely used though. Maybe referendumdebat e.com would be a better bet? I'm not sure why NNS haven't provided the facility - it must've been requested often enough. It's very frustrating.
 
 
# pmcrek 2012-02-06 13:24
They also have to explain why anyone should be expected, to want to live in a country that would be so spiteful internatinally.
 
 
# handclapping 2012-02-06 14:27
When you look at the quality of these arguments you have to wonder why the rest of the UK£NI, let alone the Scots, put up with idiocy that is Westminster and Whitehall.

It is easy to see which Department argues for Trident and it makes devo-max and keeping UK foreign affairs ridiculous.
 
 
# alasdairmac 2012-02-06 14:30
Let's see how spiteful they'd be when they find an impenetrable boom slung across Loch Long......
 
 
# Suomi 2012-02-06 14:49
How come that Finland (same population as Scotland) has retained its triple A credit rating? One reason might be that the Finnish banks did not need to be bailed out by public money and the Finns manage their own economy rather well.
 
 
# cokynutjoe 2012-02-06 14:51
Wrang loch I think AM.
 
 
# scottish_skier 2012-02-06 17:16
Now this is what we need to see more of south of the border (from the BBC)...

news.bbcimg.co.uk/.../...

Page:
bbc.co.uk/.../...
 
 
# Jim Johnston 2012-02-06 17:37
Whitehall is not only "inept" as the Scottish Government point out, they are completely incompetent.

How come these people are never named ?
 
 
# Dunnichen685 2012-02-06 19:43
Yet more threats and scaremongering from the unionists. If this is what they are like now, what will they be like in the last few months before the referendum ?

Can you imagine what will happen if Scotland votes No ? London would then punish Scotland for daring even to think about leaving the U.K. It would make the Highland Clearances look like a picnic !!!

Westminister would probably try to blunt Hollyroods powers with new legislation and other legal mumbo jumbo and we would never get another referendum without London's permission. Scotland would become Scotlandshire with its pretend parliament, and goodbye Independance.

Its too dire to contemplate. Vote YES, we will only get one shot at this.

Saor Alba
 
 
# Robert Louis 2012-02-06 20:09
I agree with you, the die is cast. Either Scotland votes YES to independence, or Scotland will be made to suffer by Westminster.

In this instance, I genuinely think their can be no plan B, or even a plan McB.

No, Scotland must now go for independence, or be widely regarded as a laughing stock, at the mercy of a vengeful Tory London Government.
 
 
# Teri 2012-02-06 20:29
We really do need to laugh off the scare stories, all of which will get a whole lot worse as time goes on. They are having no effect on the opinion polls so far and much of it will actually have a positive effect for Indpendence.

You can call me paranoid, if you like,(I dont mind) but I bet you there's also a team that trawls the internet, studying Twitter, Facebook and blogs (Newsnet Scotland, too) to see what we're saying and doing. They probably check the unionist sites as well to make sure they are toeing the party line with smears and fears the order of the day.
The web saves them sending their spooks in person to infiltrate and report back!!!
 
 
# farrochie 2012-02-07 12:52
The Continuity-Union. Northern Ireland certainly has some interesting perspectives!

openunionism.com/.../...
 
 
# Ken500 2012-02-07 16:01
What a joke. How could a UK Parliament veto Scottish entry

Either both counties would be in o both countries would have to re-apply.

Or could Scotland veto English entry?
 
 
# Jiggsbro 2012-02-07 16:31
England really believes that if Scotland is independent, it can still call itself the UK and carry on as if nothing had happened. They think of it as one part of the UK breaking away, rather than the dissolution of an act of union.
 
 
# Ken500 2012-02-08 10:24
Cameron won't last that long.
 
 
# sneckedagain 2012-02-08 23:53
O/T

Looks like Johann Lamont is being sidelined already
 
 
# UpSpake 2012-02-09 08:26
Jiggsbro. Translate that thinking into Empire. They still issue Empire Medals don't they. What friggin' Empire ?.
The British/English Establishment lives very firmly in the past.
The long for the days when it was great when they were dropping bombs on us nostalgia, where the Great British buldog spirit was alive and kicking.
This is purely english thinking and just wait till the diamond jubliee. more of the same.
 
 
# Embradon 2012-02-09 13:31
From a comment on the excellent "Wings over Scotland" wingsland.podgamer.com/.../ on the subject of the nebulous "Positive Case for the Union".

It appears to be a briefing document.
tomgriffin.org/.../...

Credit to Morag and apologies if it has already appeared here.
 
 
# Leswil 2012-02-09 17:29
I feel certain, if we do not take our Independence in 2014, then whenever the oil really does decline.
Westminster will create trouble in order to further Independence fervour, on that occasion they will make noises but will be delighted to let us go, as Tax receipts fall so will the Union, but on their terms.
NOW MUST BE THE TIME TO SAY YES!
 

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