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What will happen if Scotland becomes independent?

By Josh Wells

Scottish independence is one of the most sensitive issues in British politics and the tensions surrounding Scottish independence is only going to increase until a referendum on the issue happens.

The first minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, had suggested that the referendum will happen in 2014 but Westminster has said if it is to take place it has to be earlier.

First minister Alex Salmond faces a fight for independence

There are many issues that will have to be addressed prior to the referendum in order for it to be a success.

The role of Westminster is going to be one of the most continence issues.

Will the PM, the cabinet, the parties and MP’s be able to suggest and debate this issue? Or would it be interpreted as Westminster trying to impose its will on Scotland, which Alex Salmond has already insisted shouldn’t happen.

The consequences of Scotland leaving the Union would be far reaching and is going to be hard to predict.

One thing you can be sure is that the Labour party is terrified at the idea of an independent Scotland.

Almost every general election Labour has ever won is due its dominance in Scotland. Without Scotland, Westminster would be a sea of blue.

The international stage shall also be fascinating.

This could see Britain losing its place on the UN Security Council.

In sport, Scotland shall face Britain in sorts of sporting events such as the Olympics and tennis.

Will Scotland have its own defence force in a secret location in Whitehall? Will Britain have a plan if war breaks out between itself and Scotland? Will Scotland develop its own nuclear weapons programme?  All these questions, no matter their probability will have to be addressed.

This issue could be the decision of the century for Britain, and the result shall set the tone for Scotland’s relationship with Britain for at least the next generation and maybe for the next 300 years.

13 Comments

  1. Andy Whiteman says:

    “Britain” is not ON the UN Security Council, the UK is. If Scotland declares independence, it leaves the UK, but the UK still continues to exist. It would not lose its UN Security Council position as a consequence of Scottish independence. No doubt the membership of the UN Security Council – reward for the victors of 1945 – will change in the future as the relative strength of certain States change, but it won’t be a direct consequence of Scotland leaving.

    • Dances with Haggis says:

      @ Andy Whiteman. “If Scotland declares independence, it leaves the UK, but the UK still continues to exist.”

      Wrong on all counts . The UK of GB is the Union between Scotland and England . Wales being legally part of England is not in the Union any more than northumberland is or any other English county.

      All Acts pertaining to Northern Ireland are with the Union of Great Britain [GB] and since Scotland leaving GB then these acts are null and void as N.I cant belong to somthing that does not exist and N.I goes back to its pre 1707 status as an English colony.

      As for the author of the article Josh Wells’s statement that “Almost every general election Labour has ever won is due its dominance in Scotland. Without Scotland, Westminster would be a sea of blue.”

      This is of course nonsense as a look at the Labour majorities over the 20th century show. This myth is spread by careless pundits who focus on the fact that Scotland habitually returns 40+ Labour MPs, but who forget that it also sends members to Westminster from the other parties to offset them. In October 1974, for example – which we’ll discover shortly is a significant date – Labour won 41 Scottish seats. That sounds impressive, until you realise that Scotland also voted in 30 non-Labour MPs (16 Tory, 11 SNP, 3 Liberal), meaning that the net contribution of Scotland towards a Labour majority was just 11. So let’s take a look at the whole historical picture.

      Labour didn’t become a significant electoral force at all until the 1920s, with Ramsey MacDonald its first ever Prime Minister in 1923, albeit leading an extremely shaky minority government which only lasted 10 months. Universal suffrage for all men and women over 21 finally arrived in 1928, but the modern political era starts with Clement Attlee’s post-war Labour landslide, and particularly with the Representation Of The People Act 1948, which abolished multiple voting, multi-member constituencies and other anachronisms to create the framework which still essentially, with a few tweaks around the edges (eg lowering the voting age to 18 in 1969), governs British elections.

      The 67 years since the end of World War 2 have seen 18 General Elections to the Westminster Parliament, with the following outcomes
      1945 Labour govt (Attlee)
      ————————————
      Labour majority: 146
      Labour majority without any Scottish MPs in Parliament: 143
      NO CHANGE

      1950 Labour govt (Attlee)
      ————————————
      Labour majority: 5
      Without Scottish MPs: 2
      NO CHANGE

      1951 Conservative govt (Churchill/Eden)
      ——————————————————–
      Conservative majority: 17
      Without Scottish MPs: 16
      NO CHANGE

      1955 Conservative govt (Eden/Macmillan)
      ——————————————————–
      Conservative majority: 60
      Without Scottish MPs: 61
      NO CHANGE

      1959 Conservative govt (Macmillan/Douglas-Home)
      ————————————————————————
      Conservative majority: 100
      Without Scottish MPs: 91
      NO CHANGE

      1964 Labour govt (Wilson)
      ————————————-
      Labour majority: 4
      Without Scottish MPs: -9
      CHANGE: LABOUR MAJORITY TO HUNG PARLIAMENT

      1966 Labour govt (Wilson)
      ————————————-
      Labour majority: 98
      Without Scottish MPs: 77
      NO CHANGE

      1970 Conservative govt (Heath)
      ——————————————–
      Conservative majority: 30
      Without Scottish MPs: 5
      NO CHANGE

      1974 Minority Labour govt (Wilson)
      ————————————————-
      Labour majority: -33
      Without Scottish MPs: -50
      NO CHANGE

      1974b Labour govt (Wilson/Callaghan)
      —————————————————–
      Labour majority: 3
      Without Scottish MPs: -8
      CHANGE: LABOUR MAJORITY TO HUNG PARLIAMENT

      1979 Conservative govt (Thatcher)
      ————————————————-
      Conservative majority: 43
      Without Scottish MPs: 70
      NO CHANGE

      1983 Conservative govt (Thatcher)
      ————————————————-
      Conservative majority: 144
      Without Scottish MPs: 174
      NO CHANGE

      1987 Conservative govt (Thatcher/Major)
      ——————————————————-
      Conservative majority: 102
      Without Scottish MPs: 154
      NO CHANGE

      1992 Conservative govt (Major)
      ———————————————
      Conservative majority: 21
      Without Scottish MPs: 71
      NO CHANGE

      1997 Labour govt (Blair)
      ———————————–
      Labour majority: 179
      Without Scottish MPs: 139
      NO CHANGE

      2001 Labour govt (Blair)
      ———————————–
      Labour majority: 167
      Without Scottish MPs: 129
      NO CHANGE

      2005 Labour govt (Blair/Brown)
      ——————————————–
      Labour majority: 66
      Without Scottish MPs: 43
      NO CHANGE

      2010 Coalition govt (Cameron)
      ——————————————
      Conservative majority: -38
      Without Scottish MPs: 19
      CHANGE: HUNG PARLIAMENT TO CONSERVATIVE MAJORITY

      • Josh Wells says:

        Apologies, I can tell that the staemeant was clearly mistaken, although i would like to say that it was not picked out of the blue. I based that statement on a debate that happened in BBC Question time. Clearly the information or the interpretation of the information was incorrect and for me using that information I can only apologies but it was done with honest and the best of intentions as I genunily thought it was a reliable source at the time although I accept that I was wrong.

        • Dances with Haggis says:

          @ Josh Wells

          No problem but where the Independence debate is concerned you really need to check and double check information and sources as the amount of myths that the British nationalists unionists have spread is unbelievable like the Scots subsidy junkie myth or the having to reapply to the EU and forced to join the Euro myth and the BBC is not as impartial as it claims on this issue like Question Time which usually loads four British nationalists against one Independence supporter the last time they tried that they wanted to put an inexperienced actor [Alan Cummings ] up against 3 Britnat politicians and one rabid right wing Daily Mail political hack.They later backed down and added an SNP politician after a huge number of complaints.

          Its worth noting that the BBC/BBC Scotland got its knuckles wrapped by the BBC trust for Britnat bias on the subject of Scots Independence.

          Can I respectfully suggest that you take a look at this and you can use it for future reference and help you steer the the stormy sea of propaganda that surrounds the Scots Indy debate

          Saor Alba Gu Brath

          A Unionist lexicon: An A-Z of Unionist scare stories, myths and misinformation
          http://www.newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-opinion/4341-a-unionist-lexicon-an-a-z-of-unionist-scare-stories-myths-and-misinformation

          • Dances with Haggis says:

            @ Josh Wells

            I forgot to ask if you could give some of your thoughts on the article that I posted A-Z lexicon once you have read it.

            Thanks

            DWH

  2. Andrew says:

    The above poster is correct. The successor state of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland would be the United Kingdom of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    The only bit that would cease to exist if Scotland were to separate is Great Britain. The UK was formed by the joining with Ireland, not with Scotland.

    Just as Russia was the successor state to the USSR, the UK would be the successor state to the UK.

    The UK would remain a permanent member of the Security Council because of the origins thereof. The UK is already the smallest there by population anyway.

    Scotland however, would lose its seat on the Security Council.

    • Grant says:

      worng my friend,the UK was formed when the royal family of England and Scotland joined forces and formed one government,the irish have nothing to do with the formation of the UK.

      • Eric says:

        That’s incorrect. The joint Kingdoms of England and Scotland formed the “Kingdom of Great Britain”. The formation of the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland formed the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland” hence UK (short for United Kingdom).

    • Dances with Haggis says:

      The United Kingdom, as the name suggests, was created by the Union of the Crowns in 1603,

      “Wrong on all counts. The Union of the Crowns is, and always has been, a historical and legal misnomer. The Crowns of the two countries were not united in 1603. The crowns, and the two countries, remained separate. All that happened was that the same head came for the first time to wear the separate crowns of two separate countries. What happened in 1706/07 was that Anne, Queen of Scotland, entered into a treaty with Anne, Queen of England, to merge the two countries into a single state in international law. Then and only then was there a United Kingdom”

      Quote from Prof Robert Black Scotland’s Top Prof of Law in reply to a jounalist mistake [shown at the start of this post] in Scotland’s Herald newspaper

  3. brian says:

    The union flag would just be red and white of st patricks cross and st george.Scotland would not lose its seat at all .as it was part of the uk.and until well after they vote for independence the Scots will be covered by uk until such times as they gain own seat.independence does not happen overnight!

  4. Dances with Haggis says:

    Scots should be asking themselves the following question

    Imagine the Act of Union had never happened.
    Imagine Scotland was TODAY an independent country.
    Imagine we were being asked to vote to JOIN the union for the first time.

    Therefore the proposal would be:
    Your main parliament will move hundreds of miles away.
    Your MPs will be in a small minority with little chance to influence decisions.
    You will have 
a government you didn’t vote for.
    You will hand over all your oil and gas revenues to the London Treasury.

    Would you vote yes to creating the UK?

  5. Richard McHarg says:

    Irrespective of the technicalities of what the UK of GB & NI is or isn’t, the facts are simple.

    Scotland and England entered into an international treaty in 1707 to unite the two parliaments, which would govern from London.

    If Scotland decides on self-determination, that treaty becomes null and void, and, consequently, the UK of GB & NI ceases to exist. Scotland and England will be in the same legal position.

    England/Wales/NI can call themselves whatever they want, but, legally and geographically, it won’t have Great Britain in its title, and it certainly won’t be a United Kingdom, since Wales and NI are not ‘kingdoms’, although I accept that Ireland was when it joined the Union in 1800.

    Under no circumstances is Scotland leaving the UK; it is, instead, dissolving it!

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