The recent Brit elections made the Scottish Nationalists the largest party in the devolved Scot Parliament, and they want to split from the UK.
Sadly, the mechanics of a split make their plan unlikely.
The pro-independence SNP snatched a wafer-thin victory – becoming the biggest party in the devolved Scottish Parliament at Holyrood winning a total of 47 of the 129 seats, with Labour just one behind on 46.
The Brit MSM has concentrated on the economics of the split – Scotland would lose a healthy subsidy, but it would gain some North Sea oil revenue. Because of oil price volatility, it’s quite possible the Scots could exit the Union without taking a major financial hit.
But they couldn’t avoid a huge logistical hit, because they’d now be a separate nation.
Assuming the split leaves Scotland and the rest of the UK in the same relationship as friendly neighbors Canada and the US, here are some obvious consequences.
Every Scot outside of Scotland and every non-Scot in Scotland would have to decide which nation they belonged to, and for practical reasons, that would have to be irrevocable. Various consequences flow.
In theory, any EU citizen can live and work in any other EU country – hence the Polish plumbers in London.
But there are all sorts of irritating exceptions to this rule – we can’t buy a car in Italy unless we become full-time residents, and we can’t start businesses in two of our three European bases.
And there are all sorts of things we couldn’t do in France if we were daft enough to live there.
The UK is more open than these nations, but only as long as it stays in the EU. However…
3. The EU
The UK just tolerates the EU. But the EU needs the UK – it’s the rest of the EU’s largest export market, is one of the few members that actually obeys its rules, and along with Germany it finances the EU.
Probably as a result of this imbalance, about 70% of Brits want a much weaker link to the Continent, and I’m guessing the 30% that’s pro-EU is disproportionally Scot.
That’s because the EU is very good for small countries – for example an idiot from tiny Portugal gets to represent 400 million people, and small countries wallow in subsidies.
Plus their political classes get tons of trips to Brussels, which, although horrible, has better cuisine than most small EU nations.
So, absent the Scots, the UK will walk from the EU, making Scots in the UK just another bunch of Johnny Foreigners.
Every Scot citizen would lose their right to vote in the UK.
Scot citizens would be barred from UK government.
This would kill the Labour party, since it depends entirely on Scots to elect it and is full of Scot pols.
I imagine this would start the way the US/Canada border used to be – informal, with cursory checks.
But when the first terrorist got across that border, it would revert to the current US/Canada model – huge waits and harassment.
Scots would have to carry their passports to enter the rest of the UK – not a big deal, since Brits treat their own citizens the same as those of other EU nations. But with the land border backed up, they’d have to fly, and that’s now a nightmare in the UK, and will only get worse.
The UK would lease the nuclear sub base at Faslane on the Clyde, but such arrangements don’t last, so the UK is likely to pull the subs out to Devonport or Portsmouth.
Similarly, the eight air defense bases would have to go – taking much-needed employment to the North of England.
Finally Army bases would close and Scottish Regiments would be disbanded (if Blair and co have left any in existence).
That’s not a problem now, but it will be if Russia follows its current expansionist trajectory – it’s bullying Estonia now, that makes Scandinavia next, and then…Scotland.
For all these reasons, I think it very unlikely the Scots will bail out.
On the other hand, the rest of the UK might eject the Scots. Think about it – reduced taxes (with no Scots to subsidize), no New Labour, no miserable lying Scot pols, and no EU!
Anybody know where one can buy a large English flag?