Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Scotland to break free?

I can imagine that one of George III's ministers looked at the world map in 1783 and the newly independent American states and said;

Don't worry my Liege, they won't last as an Independent nation. They'll need England

The same thing is happening now with Scotland. Many Unionists - if indeed that is the term - are arguing that Scotland needs the Union to survive.

It is true that both nations have a large interlinked economy and infrastructure and that the separation would be gradual and staged - unlike the ripped plaster that was the Americas and India.

Yes Scotland has benefitted from the Union with England and Wales with many great innovations have gone North but it has been reciprocal with many great explorers and statesmen as well as inventions like television and breach loading rifles have come south.

Scotland's economy is also doing better than ours with the Scottish paying in more than they get out, they also have a good claim on the North sea oil and gas which will fall into Scottish territorial waters.

The big concern for both sides of the border is the competitiveness for trade that will develop as England and Scotland will fight for contracts. It is a bridge that may have to be crossed but it is something that a fledging Scotland would have to deal with.

The third question was definitely favoured by the SNP because they are concerned that many Scots will feel that after about 300 years breaking free will be too dicey a step but would favour more devolution. This tiny victory of David Cameron's may sway the ballot in 2014 but Alex Salmond remains buoyant and optimistic.

After all the vote is two years away and ultimately an open race. As they say - it is far too early to say!

One thing is for certain, and if I may quote Tom Wilkinson's General Lord Cornwallis (from the Patriot - an apt choice compared to the comparison of the Americas.)

Everything has changed. Everything must change.

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