Although I am instinctively NO with regards to the Scottish referendum, I would not see a YES as an insurmountable problem regardless of my being a product of the UK as Shuggy is. It would be essential, however, that currency union on Ster£ing happens, and this is not more going to take place than I am to get a date with Scarlett Johansson.
That said, a separate currency – definitely without pegging (ugh, negative coronations there), although even then – could be made to work, but it would be such a drastic loss of affluence to make it unappealing to all but the staunchest nativist.
What makes it clear to me just how catastrophic any independent Scotland under the direction of Fish-heid McMoonface would be is his complete lack of political seriousness in first assuming that a UK State which he has spent an entire political career presenting as a mendacious threat to Scottish prosperity would turn on a sixpence after a YES and accommodate his every demand, and his utter failure to present an even marginally credible alternative lest it just maybe not be bluffing in its vow to play hard-ball.
From Chapter 10 of the laundry list of wishful expectations and risk-free betting chits which is Scotland’s Future, we see another humdinger.
Negotiations with the rest of the UK will cover a range of issues. These will include the arrangements for the Sterling Area (see Chapter 3), the role and governance arrangements of the Bank of England, [cue raucous laughter] a fiscal stability pact [I had hoped that a trained economist such as the First Minister knew the distinction between fiscal and monetary policy, but it appears not] and Scotland’s share of the UK’s £1267 billion of net assets.
This would include physical assets in Scotland, such as Jobcentre Plus, DWP and HMRC offices, the Crown Estate and the defence estate. It will also include assets outside Scotland in which Scotland nevertheless has an interest as part of the UK, such as the overseas missions of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Agreements will also cover other national assets and institutions (for example official reserves, the BBC and its archives, and UK and GB-wide systems for administering welfare and taxation, wherever located). Scotland’s share of UK assets will be realised in a combination of ways – through physical assets, cash transfer and continued use of assets through shared service agreements.
Although mention is made of the existence of a national debt which would have to be addressed, there is much more salacious detail about assets and promises of benefits. And, given oft repeated vows to default on any share of debt, it puzzles me as to why an EWNI would be willing to relinquish yet more control of her public institutions. Not that she would have to, as long as she stumped-up the cash:
Assets located elsewhere in the UK will also have to be included in negotiations, as Scotland has contributed to their value over a long period of time. For physical assets like these, the equitable outcome may be to provide Scotland with an appropriate cash share of their value. On a similar basis Scotland would be entitled to a copy of software and other systems to run currently reserved services and functions.
Thus it would appear that to retain full ownership of her infrastructure, an EWNI would have to pay a Dane-geld. The Westminster Government which is charged with representing the wishes and interests of a remainder state by the Edinburgh Agreement – no matter how many in Scotland willfully misunderstands this document – might have other ideas at this wholly rude suggestion.
Elsewhere in Chapter 10, a transition for an independent Scotland is compared to that of the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1993. Yet this elides the matter of both emerging states receiving continuation status because of the roughly equal size and population and asset/infrastructure/wealth spread, not to mention the equal participation of both [eventual] electorates in the respective areas.
Scarlett just called. She wants to know what to wear for our date.