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Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Independence for Scotland - further thoughts

At this point, I think I'm in favour of Scotland leaving the UK. Here's why.

Whichever way the vote goes, it's pretty clear that it's going to be fairly close. About half the Scots want to go, about half want to stay.

My reading of the financials, is that currently, the UK as a whole is subsidising Scotland. For example, they have free university education, our kids pay £27,000 for their degree. Where does this free ride come from? Taxation - we're all paying for those free Scottish universities.

The most recent promises made by Westminster if the Scots stay, can only mean more subsidies. We're bribing the Scots to stay. I don't think that's a good idea. unless, of course, the Westminster politicians don't keep their promises, perish the  thought.

So if Scotland stays, we have a part of the UK where the people are split 50/50 on staying, which is a recipe for more arguments pretty soon, and we have a higher cost of keeping them.

If they leave, we lose the burden of those subsidies, and the arguments between those two 50%s are not our problem, they're a problem for the Scots.

What about all the talented people we'd be losing? Either they'll stay in Scotland and export their services; we'll still get the benefit of their expertise. Or else they'll travel the short distance south and become UK citizens again.

What about the North Sea Oil? At best that's only a short term benefit. Losing it wouldn't be that big a problem. And we'd still get the oil (where else would they sell it?), what we'd lose would be the tax revenue from it.

I think it's odd that they want "independence from Westminster" but are really keen to get "dependence on Brussels" (but joining the EC would depend o a "yes" vote from 28 countries, some of which wouldn't like giving their blessing to the idea of bits of a country splitting off). And they want to use the UK pound, which means that a big chunk of their economic policy would be set by London.

Of course, if they leave, then any economic, political or other problems they have, will be blamed by their politicians on "the evil Brits". I probably won't care about that.

But my biggest reason for wanting them to go, is not to have those 50% angry Scots inside the UK, blaming us for screwing their economy and betraying promises made in the last few weeks..

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