Sunday, September 14, 2014

On Scottish Independence


              Although I am American, most of my ancestry hails from Scotland and England by way of Nova Scotia.  My mother was born in England, and my father, though born in the US, kept ties to Scotland and England  .He went to college in England.  For a time, my parents lived in Scotland. I visited many times, and went to school in England in my early teens.

                Although it is romantic and brings a sense of peculiar justice, I am not sure that pure Scottish independence is a good idea.  Just now, an awful lot of Scots receive some type of public assistance from the United Kingdom.  There are a limited number of jobs in Scotland, and the oil  everyone talks about is limited.   England indeed has changed vastly from the place that was so dear to me in the 1970s and 80s, and although I wouldn't want to be subject to some of the asinine laws and rules that come out of England for use in the United Kingdom proper, severing Scotland from the United Kingdom could be a very dangerous financial move for both.

                First, what currency would Scotland use ?  What happens to those who would be receiving pensions from the United Kingdom, and would now receive them from Scotland ?   The Euro doesn't seem the brightest move in the world. Keeping the pound Sterling doesn't seem as if Scotland becomes independent.  Secondly, who would be the Central Bank ?  What happens when the investors from all over the world who were investing readily in Scotland, because it was a stable environment, start to see the New Scotland as a shaky venture and pull out their capital ?   What happens when Scotland pulls cash out of English banks, creating a Depression ? Many economists feel that the potential Scottish independence which is being voted on on September 18th by anyone sixteen and older in Scotland, has the potential to being a financial depression to both Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom.  What happens when BP and Shell are no longer subject to the arrangements they had with the UK and must renegotiate oil contracts with a new Scotland ?  Perhaps there is not as much oil left in the North Sea as is thought.

              I don't question this lightly.  I have friends who are part of the Scottish independence movement and I don't enjoy offending them.    Already Standard Life plans to transfer its funds and its businesses out of Scotland, should Scotland choose to embrace its independence.

              Perhaps an arrangement can be reached in which Scotland can enjoy more autonomy than it does now, and can still remain a valued member of the United Kingdom.