back to article Scottish independence: Will it really TEAR the HEART from IT firms?

Scots may vote to leave the United Kingdom, ending a union lasting 307 years, on 18 September. Until a few weeks ago, the referendum on independence looked like an easy win for those wanting to stay in the union - or to use the parlance of the campaign, "no" voters. But a surge in support has put those planning to vote "yes" …

  1. S4qFBxkFFg

    "There will also be specific government ICT issues: an independent Scotland may have to build its own communications intelligence and surveillance capacity - GCHQ's three main offices are all in England - and the same may be true for defence ICT. "

    This is an interesting one - what do those organisations do if next week they discover that within about ~2 years a certain percentage of their employees, with varying levels of security clearance, are possibly going to be citizens of another state?

    Maybe they could go on a fact-finding mission to Moscow and ask the KGB and GRU how they coped?

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Their citizenship won't change. More likely they'll find that their job has moved to stay within the UK, and they'll have the choice of following or taking a redundancy package.

      Of course the tinhatters will assume that GCHQ will know how all the Scots voted, and may decide to purge those of unsuitable allegiance...

      1. S4qFBxkFFg

        I realise I wasn't as clear as I could be - I meant Scots, possibly born in Scotland, currently working for GCHQ/MI5/MI6/etc., probably (based on how these entities are organised) living in England.

        If, in 2016, they decide to head back north, and seek employment helping set up the various Scottish equivalents of the above, you can imagine that the former UK counter-intelligence people might be a bit worried.

        Would, and to what extent, the Official Secrets Act (or whatever it's currently called) even apply?

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Or should it be more worried that Scottish sympathizers could continue working undercover in the heart of Cheltenham as moles (or possibly Salmonds) ?

    2. Mage Silver badge

      Geneva Convention

      Even the current UK Nationals Grandchildren will be probably be UK citizens.

      All people who had parents or grandparents born anywhere in the Island of Ireland before 1922 are UK Citizens with right of abode in UK. (Under EU law any Irish Citizen has right of abode in UK even if they are not eligible for a UK passport).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Geneva Convention

        As a 'Foreigner' living in scotland I thought about similar issues - and looked it up :)

        If the people of scotland vote to become independent, then scotland would become an independent country, separate from the UK. However, it does not mean that anyone who is 'scottish' will suddenly become a non-uk person.

        As a foreigner with a foreign passport I will still be a foreginer with a foreign passport.

        A scottish peson with a UK passport will still be a scottish person with a UK passport.

        an english person living in scotland with a UK passport will still be an english person living in Scotland(tm) with a UK passport.

        There is also the option, should you want to, to obtain a scottish passport, either when your UK one runs out, or before that time if you want to.

        UK people won't need a visa to visit scotland, as it will already be full of UK people with UK passports. There will not be a certain time when you have to pick which side of the border to stand on when the clock strikes midnight.

        It gets more complicated than that depending on the scenario I'd imagine, but a scottish person (as in born in scotland) would not have any issues preventing them from working for GHCQ (on the basis of their passport/nationality alone at least).

        Anyone care to shed more light on this?

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Only to begin with

          The UK won't take British Citizenship away from Scots who already have it.

          The position of those who currently have "work visas" in the UK is unknown - would Scotland honour them? If an independent Scotland granted this to a foreigner, would the Rest-of-UK honour it?

          However, people born after separation would only hold one passport or the other - so a lot of children would only be Scottish and would not be British.

          And finally, if Scottish and R-UK immigration policies drifted "too far" apart, then border controls would have to be put in place - for example, this would be required if either the R-UK or Scotland decided to join Schengen but the other didn't.

        2. Matt 21

          Re: Geneva Convention

          I would have thought that if Scotland decides to leave the UK and then applies to join the EU then once EU membership is granted (opinions vary but it looks like it won't be automatic) then they can live and work in the UK like any other EU citizen.

          The problem occurs if Scotland votes to leave the UK and hasn't yet got EU membership (should it choose to try to join). I don't think there's any legal certainty at this point and everything is up for negotiation. British passports held by Scottish citizens could arguably be deemed invalid, both sides may wish to quickly move to new passports. The practicalities of voiding so many passports might prove tricky... or not.

          On the other hand it's also likely that both sides will agree to honor existing UK passports and allow freedom of movement across the border for a period of time.

          On the other, other hand the Tories really like border patrols so who knows :-)

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: Geneva Convention

            British passports held by Scottish citizens could arguably be deemed invalid,

            I don't think that can happen. British citizenship that is acquired by birth cannot be removed or renounced, no matter where the citizen is currently living. Even if such a person were to acquire Scottish citizenship through new Scottish rules, they would still be a UK citizen as far as the UK government is concerned.

            The closest comparison is probably when the RoI left the UK. Ireland created its own citizenship and passport, separate from that of the UK, but existing passport holders were unaffected. I don't know if people born today in the RoI have any choice other than Irish citizenship, if they are born to Irish parents. Anyone born in N. Ireland has the choice of British or Irish citizenship, that was the case when both nations claimed the terroritory and it's been enshrined in law after the recent agreements.

        3. James Micallef Silver badge

          Re: Geneva Convention + EU considerations

          The only reason EU would not want Scotland is political BS. As mentioned in the article, Spain would want to block Scotland so as not to encourage Basques/Catalans etc. MB* might want to block out of sheer vindictiveness (though in the end I doubt it would).

          But if one were to think abut this practically, there would be no substantial reason for EU to refuse entry to Scotland. Culturally and economically much more integrated in Europe, Economically and politically already within EU norms. The EU can't really with a straight face allow Croatia entry and flirt with the idea of allowing Turkey, Ukraine etc in, while refusing Scotland.

          So bottom line there would still be free movement of people, and free movement of goods and services across the border. In fact I doubt there actually would be a 'proper' border, it will be like driving between say France and Germany where there are some old unmanned border posts but for practical purposes free movement. Scots would still have a UK passport allowing free movement in the EU and pretty much worldwide, and eventually a Scottish passport would be accepted by other countries round the world just like a British one is.

          *Currently GB = Great Britain, in future MB = Most of Britain?

      2. Slx

        Re: Geneva Convention

        Actually it's more than just that.

        Anyone born in Ireland up to 1949 can apply to be a British Subject and then for British Citizenship. However, the agreements between the two countries and the common travel area allowing passport less, ID free travel between the two jurisdictions and the full reciprocal voting rights for each other's citizens make it almost pointless.

        The Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom have a whole load of legislation that allows freedom of movement under the CTA (Common Travel Area) and treat each others citizens as locals / non aliens. A British citizen's rights in the Republic or an Irish citizens rights in the UK go way beyond EU rights. You've basically got full voting rights, residency rights etc etc. You're not really considered 'foreign'.

        We're even going to start cooperation on issuing visas later this year under what's almost like a mini-schengen visa system meaning that you'll be able to apply for a single visa for both counties.

        I would assume both the UK and Republic of Ireland would simply extend the Common Travel Area and similar rights to Scotland on a similar basis.

        The EU membership is a totally separate issue. For movement between Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales the CTA is what would matter.

        Bear in mind the border between the UK and Republic of Ireland in Northern Ireland is not even marked. The only way you've any idea your crossed is because the Republic marks the roads with yellow outer lines, uses metric speeds and distances with US / Canadian style yellow diamond warning signs.

        I would also assume that the UK and an Independent Scotland could share +44 as a country code. Ireland uses +353 but we introduced that in the 1950s when direct international dialing was first developed. Changing Scotland to a new country code would be a bit pointless in 2014.

        We can even have the ability to apply penalty points to each other's driving licences.

        The Irish Pound was also linked at IR£1 = UK£1 until 1978 when Ireland broke the link and joined the European Exchange Rate Mechanism.

        We haven't actually ever had a truely floating currency. It was always either tied to Sterling or to a basket of EU currencies before being replaced with the Euro.

        I honestly think a lot of the complications for Scotland are being completely over played.

        1. Ross K Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Geneva Convention

          I would assume both the UK and Republic of Ireland would simply extend the Common Travel Area and similar rights to Scotland on a similar basis.

          Bear in mind the border between the UK and Republic of Ireland in Northern Ireland is not even marked.

          Please get your facts right - the name of the country is Ireland, not the "Republic of Ireland".

          1. Slx

            Re: Geneva Convention

            I'll just use a map next time and point as clearly some people can't even use accepted, non offensive descriptive terms without taking severe offence.

            The constitutional name is Éire or Ireland. The term Republic of Ireland is widely used, including on official documentation and even when referencing the national soccer team.

            I can't see how it's any more offensive than dating la République Française which also is a descriptive term.

            I also can't see how it undermines any wish for a United Ireland. I don't think that's ever likely to be a monarchy!

            1. Ross K Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: Geneva Convention

              I'll just use a map next time and point as clearly some people can't even use accepted, non offensive descriptive terms without taking severe offence.

              @Six: Nobody's getting offended, I'm telling you to use the correct name without being a sarcastic twat when it's pointed out to you.

              What official documentation is "RoI" used on? I've never had a letter from the government of the Republic of Ireland, or seen a Republic of Ireland passport...

              1. Slx

                Re: Geneva Convention

                The front of a prepaid envelope for sending documents to the Irish Revenue Commissioners (Tax Office).

                It's in Irish but note the reference to "If posted from the Republic of Ireland" on the prepayment stamp.

                http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/f/fe/Envelope_from_Irish_Revenue_Commissioners.jpeg/440px-Envelope_from_Irish_Revenue_Commissioners.jpeg/

                I'm not the person who decided to lecture another poster about how they choose to describe their own country and place of residence

                So perhaps you might need to reconsider which of us looks like a "twat".

                1. Ross K Silver badge

                  Re: Geneva Convention

                  It's in Irish but note the reference to "If posted from the Republic of Ireland" on the prepayment stamp

                  That's all you've got? A prepaid envelope? Hardly an official document, is it?

                  Any other official government documents such as a passport, birth cert, etc that uses your choice of name?

                  1. Slx

                    Re: Geneva Convention

                    The term is commonly used on forms, documents, legal documents and contracts where any ambiguity in jurisdiction could be problematic or where being very specific is useful.

                    I'm not even sure why I'm wasting my time and energy replying.

              2. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

                General moderator comment

                Keep it civil, please, folks.

              3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                Re: Geneva Convention

                What official documentation is "RoI" used on? I've never had a letter from the government of the Republic of Ireland, or seen a Republic of Ireland passport...

                You're entirely correct that the state is called Ireland, however the term "Ireland" can refer to the Irish state, the 26 counties that make up the political entity, or to the entire island, the geographical entity. Since this discussion is about the political circumstances surrounding Scottish independence it seems quite reasonable to clarify that the term "Ireland" is being used to describe the political entity, which I presume you agree is indeed a Republic. "RoI" is a widely accepted way to make that distinction, and is neither incorrect not (usually) offensive.

        2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Geneva Convention

          We haven't actually ever had a truely floating currency. It was always either tied to Sterling or to a basket of EU currencies before being replaced with the Euro.

          I honestly think a lot of the complications for Scotland are being completely over played.

          Slx,

          The world has changed since then. Most of the time that the currencies were linked was during a global exchange rate system (Bretton Woods). Although there was admittedly a huge global war in there too... But also foreign exchange markets weren't quite the red-blooded beasts that they are today.

          Finally Ireland didn't have a large oil industry and a staggeringly huge financial services sector, which Scotland does. The oil introduces a lot of volatility into a currency. It's bounced the Pound around quite a lot since the late 70s, and that's an economy ten times the size of Scotlands for roughly the same amount of oil. Oil prices fluctuate so damned much. This year they've been as high as $140 a barrel (iirc), and there are predictions that they may drop as low as $80/b (at least temporarily). That kind of shift, over a couple of months could easily punt the Scottish currency 10-20% either way.

          Remember that Scotland should be taking on some share of the UK debt. I suspect a deal where Scotland takes on less than the full 9-10% and gives up some of its claim on the shared assets in return. But this is difficult. It's unlikely they can raise this on the markets in one go, so they're going to be paying off government debt in a foreign currency. This is courting disaster if the currencies diverge sufficiently, and however well the Scottish manage their economy the one thing they cannot control is oil prices.

          Sharing the pound is massively unpopular in the rest of the UK. See the Eurozone ongoing disaster for reasons. Also some hurt nationalist pride too I'm sure. Plus us Southern voters don't fancy underwriting Scotland's financial system (we're not very happy doing that for our own!) - and as the Euro has also shown, a single currency without a banking backstop is a huge fucking disaster area. That won't happen.

          For the same reasons of both sentiment and practical economics, Scotland is unlikely to join the Euro in the immediate future.

          Now we come to the other fly in the ointment. Financial services. The large debt in a foreign country is solvable. I'm sure the rUK can do a deal where if the Scottish currency plummets we forgive some of the debt. It'd be unpopular, but it's the only sane solution. Scottish financial services though, are 12x the size of their economy. In Cyprus it was only 7x, and the Eurozone decided to punish them for it. In the UK it's 5x. We nearly went bankrupt bailing that lot out. If the Euro collapses there's another financial storm coming. Scotland can only manage that properly with a central bank, and therefore a currency. And even then can't backstop a finance sector that large. Chances are that large chunks of it will move to London. That's a big hit to the Scottish economy, or a huge risk to the Scottish economy. Neither are nice choices. And that is going to be one of the biggest costs of nationhood.

          If Scots believe in it that's great. Politically if they feel so different to the rest of the UK then they should leave. Even if it's just England. England dominates the Union by being over 80% of it. I'm not sure that's a soluable problem.

          But there are costs. Huge ones. It won't be the paradise set out by the SNP. Scotland will almost certainly get a lot poorer, for at least a few years. Oil production is declining by 10% a year at the moment, and the financial services sector is currently huge in comparison the economy and will shrink quite rapidly. If it remains large it will distort Scottish politics (in a way it doesn't in a devolved assembly) and be a huge risk to the economy - but also give some nice benefits. But bits of it will probably always be asking for special favours or threatening to run off to London. Exports to rUK will be a large sector of the economy, and will probably fluctuate somewhat with exchange rates. And the relationship with the EU will probably be complicated and uncertain for 5-10 years. Plus I believe there'll be a massive Eurozone crisis in 2-3 years (Italian debt), which may lead to partial break-up.

          1. James Micallef Silver badge

            Re: Geneva Convention

            @Spartacus - excellent post, cutting to the chase a lot of the BS that's been floated around this issue. One point to clarify re "Scottish financial services though, are 12x the size of their economy. In Cyprus it was only 7x, and the Eurozone decided to punish them for it"

            The problem with Cyprus wasn't so much that the financial services were 7X the economy, but how those financial services were structured. Both Luxembourg and Malta have financial services sectors many times their economy (Malta close to 8 times ), but neither of them had any problems.

            http://www.cnbc.com/id/100646028

            I don't know how the Scottish financial services are structured but I'd bet they are far less riskily structured than Cyprus.

            1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

              Re: Geneva Convention

              James Micallef,

              Cheers.

              Luxembourg were very upset with the Cyprus 'bail-out'. As their financial services are 20x the size of the economy. Cyprus had several problems. The last government had argued too long, so the new one got bounced into a truly craptastic deal. Cyrpus was also a victim of the Greek bail-out. While everything was done to protect German and French banks in this deal, it appears Cyprus only got kind words and promises. And then bail-out fatigue had set in, and Cyprus was full of Russian money. So an easy target to make an example of, without risking the Euro. It was only an argument over something stupid like €8 billion, for which they basically deliberately decided to destroy the Cypriot economy to make a point. An absolutely fucking shameful disgrace of an outcome. At least Greece were mostly at fault for the mess their country was in before the bail-out...

              I'd agree that Scotland's less at risk, as the rUK is more stable than Russia or Greece (two of Cyprus main trading partners). On the other hand, they'd have a separate currency, new government and institutions. That's a lot of uncertainty and instability. And being a petro-currency, when rUK no longer is, doesn't help either.

              But I think the important point is the Scotland will probably have a stable economy, and do OK. It's just that they'll have to have a central bank of their own, to keep any major financial services sector. And that means their own currency. Not sharing/using sterling.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > what do those organisations do if next week they discover that within about ~2 years a certain percentage of their employees, with varying levels of security clearance, are possibly going to be citizens of another state?

      Same as the Czechs and the Slovaks did: they broke up their security services into two independent (but closely cooperating) agencies, with the employees going to one or the other according to their place of residence and/or national allegiance.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "What does Scottish independence and the break-up of the United Kingdom mean to businesses"

        I can briefly answer that question based on my experience on nearly a third of the 34 new countries that have popped up in the last 25 years (that's ~1.3 new countries per year, I note by the way). It will mean lots of opportunities for both new and established business, and consequently more wealth generation.

        Again, this is what I have seen in the last couple decades, with most of my experience relating to Central and Southern Europe, but also East Timor. It bothers me slightly that those who want to keep the status quo go spreading FUD without feeling the need to justify their "predictions", even when they're patently at odds with all existing evidence.

        1. Mark 65

          Re: "What does Scottish independence and the break-up of the United Kingdom mean to businesses"

          @AC: I think there will be some wealth generation but there is also a certain (large) element of broken window fallacy there too. All the things that will need to be duplicated that are currently shared amounts to a huge waste of money, money that could have been spent on other likely more fruitful endeavours.

          1. James Micallef Silver badge

            @Mark65

            "All the things that will need to be duplicated that are currently shared"

            I don't think there will be that many duplication. It's not like for every organisation there is a "British office" that is 100% in England or Wales, there will be branch offices in Scotland. Post-split you would just have the duplication at the highest level, with pre-existing offices reporting to their new chain of command.

            For example, Scotland does not need to build from scratch a new health system, new social services, new this new that, it already ha them, and just needs to have somewhere central to give leadership. Given they have had their own parliament for years I am sure they already have a 'scottish-only' civil service to deal with it that might need to be expanded.

            Same with companies, they just set a 'scottish' head office but their branches around Scotland won't just disappear and nee to be rebuilt. A lot of this 'command-and-control' is fairly flexible anyway (in business, not in Government)

            Independant Scotland would have 1 major problem - currently it gets a lot of incoming revenue from wealth redistribution from the rest of UK, so taxes need to go up or spending down or both. Frankly given that situation, I wonder why the rest of UK isn't happy to show them teh door.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "What does Scottish independence and the break-up of the United Kingdom mean to businesses"

            > All the things that will need to be duplicated that are currently shared amounts to a huge waste of money,

            That has not been the case in Czechoslovakia, nor between the Republika Srpska and BiH. The long and the short of it is that "things" do not really get duplicated, but rather split up, with little new overhead (in some cases, one or both of the new entities can end up being more efficient than their old counterpart, with a net saving). Where there has been additional State-building spending, it has not been obvious that it could be attributed to the division itself--an example is the modernisation of the Czech (and latter Slovakian) military after 1993, which is more to do with them revamping their capabilities and joining NATO than with the creation of those two new countries per se.

            Where did you hear about this "broken window fallacy" thing, btw? You are the second poster to mention it.

            1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

              Re: "What does Scottish independence and the break-up of the United Kingdom mean to businesses"

              Where did you hear about this "broken window fallacy" thing, btw? You are the second poster to mention it.

              It's a reference to an 1850 essay from a French economist. If a child breaks a window, which takes very little effort, it creates work and money for a glazier, so destroying things might seem to be a way to stimulate an economy. In practice it's a fallacy since it just takes money that would probably be spent elsewhere, there's no net gain. Google it, there are bound to be thousands of references.

        2. h4rm0ny

          Re: "What does Scottish independence and the break-up of the United Kingdom mean to businesses"

          >>"It will mean lots of opportunities for both new and established business, and consequently more wealth generation."

          There might be business opportunities resulting from a break-up, but wealth spent on resolving disorder and chaos is just a variant on the Broken Window Fallacy. Jobs resulting from repairing damage do not benefit society the same way as jobs providing a new service or product. Basic capitalism.

          Incidentally, I will support Scotland declaring independence (and keeping all their North Sea Oil) if immediately afterwards, they accept the Shetland Islands declaring independence (and keeping all their North Sea Oil). I'm sure Salmond wouldn't want to be hypocritical, after all. ;)

  2. Chris Tierney

    Registered office.

    I'm sorry but the other media outlets appear to be reporting that the banks would only "consider" moving their "registered" offices leaving scottish jobs intact. Why does El-Reg have a different slant to this?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Registered office.

      RBS have definitively stated they WOULD move HQ to London.

      http://www.rbs.com/news/2014/09/statement-in-response-to-press-speculation-on-re-domicile.html

      1. R 11

        Re: Registered office.

        Funny, the link contains no mention of Headquarters or the word HQ.

        RBS have said they expect the move to have no impact on functions or jobs.

        The RBS letter to staff sent this morning states:

        "'This is a technical procedure regarding the location of our registered head office, based on our current strategy and business plan. It is not an intention to move operations or jobs'."

        So, where do you get this statement about relocating the head office? Because it certainly didn't come from anything RBS has made public.

      2. Slx

        Re: Registered office.

        Moving debt laden banks to England might actually be positive for Scotland. Whether the jobs go with them however is the other question.

        If Scotland's financial sector were shut out that would be a very big issue as there's no guarantee that the EU will be open to instant membership either and I'm not sure if EEA membership would be instant either.

    2. william 10

      Re: Registered office.

      Not correct:

      Reuters: TSB Banking Group (TSB.L), which is part-owned by Lloyds, said it was likely to relocate some operations to England.

      One factors, that will effect the number of jobs moved south - will be how effectively the U.K. regulators can regulate banking business in Scotland.

      Please note the the North Sea Oil industries rely on Tax subsidies funded by English/Welsh tax pays, Scotland's tax take will be 1 / 10 of the current U.K's so the burden will be 10 times larger for the Scottish Tax payers. This same issue will effect most R & D work carried out in Scotland.

      One question never asked - is who is Scottish ? Will my wife born in Glasgow get a U.K. or Scottish passport ? would each person on main land Britain get a choice ? Please note many brit's from the north of England left for Scotland 3 months ago just so that they could vote Yes to independence - so if we can vote do we note get a choice also ?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Registered office.

        > One question never asked - is who is Scottish ?

        I don't know if that question has ever been asked, but it has certainly been answered. Look in the white book, or the Scottish independence website, where that and plenty of other questions are thoroughly answered.

    3. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: Registered office.

      It's less and "consider" and more "will". Banks and economists have already said why - banks need a central bank and they need a treasury and they need to protect their existing capital.

      Leaving themselves in a country which has no credible currency options in the short term, no central bank, no treasury, no foreign reserves would be corporate suicide.

      So they'll first move their domicile to the UK, move their assets and probably move their existing operations over too. All that will be left in Scotland are the things that can be left there - call centres perhaps (unless the English suddenly develop an extreme aversion to Scottish accents), regional branches, currency exchanges etc.

      I would not be surprised at all if in the days following a Yes if there is total chaos in Scotland as people attempt to move their life savings out of banks or drive to places like Carlisle to withdraw money in UK sterling notes.

      1. LucreLout Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: Registered office.

        "I would not be surprised at all if in the days following a Yes if there is total chaos in Scotland as people attempt to move their life savings out of banks or drive to places like Carlisle to withdraw money in UK sterling notes."

        The flood gates are already open. I've repatriated the portion of my savings & investments from Scotish institutions to head off the domicile & FX risk associated with a Yes vote next week. As the exodus gathers pace, it is not unreasonable to suppose that some form of currency controls may need to be enacted to prevent Scotland going bust between the vote and the farewell dance. I have no intention of getting caught up in any asset freeze, so have acted in advance.

        The returns elsewhere are directly comparable to what is on offer by the Scots institutions, and my only reason to have had assets in their keeping, was purely apathy. There seemed little to be gained elsewhere, but now the seem sizeable potential risks in staying.

        To win back my capital, the Scottish institutions will have to offer significantly better rates or lower fees, even in the event of a No vote. That will require efficiencies at HQ, and that will mean Scottish job losses even should they vote No. To fail to win it back will cost still further jobs as the size of the industry shrinks.

        As someone caught up in the Icelandic banking debacle, no way am I leaving it until next month to potentially watch Salmond freeze English accounts while allowing Scots to withdraw all the money in the way Iceland did.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Registered office.

          > The flood gates are already open. I've repatriated the portion of my savings & investments from Scotish institutions to head off the domicile & FX risk associated with a Yes vote next week

          Ah, yes. A "flood" of one, eh?

          Business transcends politics (for better or worse). Where there is an opportunity to make money, businesses will go. And nothing spells "opportunity to make money" like State-building. I've been there more than once. :-)

          1. LucreLout Silver badge

            Re: Registered office.

            "Ah, yes. A "flood" of one, eh?"

            Really? You think I'm alone in this? Half the City has done the same already.

            By all means, leave your money where it is, but understand that you are taking an FX, political, and counterparty risk in doing so, for no reward. That doesn't add up in economic terms.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Registered office.

        > I would not be surprised at all if in the days following a Yes if there is total chaos in Scotland as people attempt to move their life savings out of banks or drive to places like Carlisle to withdraw money in UK sterling notes.

        Could you please point out where a scenario like that has ever happened in the recent past? Thank you.

        1. DrXym Silver badge

          Re: Registered office.

          "Could you please point out where a scenario like that has ever happened in the recent past? Thank you."

          Sure there you go:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90swN5hCtjI

          Here's another:

          http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/mass-panic-in-cyprus-the-banks-are-collapsing-and-atms-are-running-out-of-money

          If I lived in Glasgow or similar. I would be very strongly inclined to make a trip down south and withdraw as much of that money from a machine that dispensed UK sterling. Or I would buy another currency, gold or some other tangible thing. And it would be an extremely sensible thing to do too - it's called hedging. I might also think of opening an offshore account in sterling on the Isle of Man or similar and moving all my savings to it.

          If you want a British example look at the Bradford and Bingley collapse where queues went down the road and the panic only stopped when the government stepped in. Incidentally the Bradford and Bingley highlights why a lender of last resort (i.e. a central bank) is important to guarantee savings and prevent a total collapse. Scotland won't have one of those which is why the banks are moving their domiciles - if a run happened they would be dead in days.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Registered office.

            > Sure there you go:

            I am not entirely sure how either relates to a peaceful division and subsequent State-building case. Could you please elaborate?

    4. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: Registered office.

      Where the RBS jobs will be located will depend upon where the company is headquartered, and whom owns most of the shares. If the UK continues to own most of the shares after independence, and this seems likely, then it would be politically impossible for UK taxes to pay Scotish wages - the jobs would have to be repatriated.

      The only way they would remain in place is if the Salmond (Scots currency) depreciates against Sterling to the point of being competetive with India, though that would hardly be a victory for the Plaid Piper.

      1. Mark 65

        Re: Registered office.

        @LucreLout: If the UK owns the RBS shares how are UK taxes paying Scottish wages? UK taxes bailed out a UK domiciled bank certainly but I'm pretty sure that operating cashflow (£2.6bn profit in first half) pays the wages. It's generally able to run itself, it just has a shitload of bad debt on its books. Do you similarly gripe about UK taxes paying other nations wages in all the other countries that RBS operates offices? What about the yanks' ability to complain about paying UK wages given the size of the credit facilities that were accessed at the Fed? These are global institutions.

        If we were talking about a token nameplate in the City and all the staff in Scotland it'd be a different matter but that simply isn't the case is it?

        1. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: Registered office.

          "If the UK owns the RBS shares how are UK taxes paying Scottish wages?"

          Right now, they aren't. Post independence, the English tax payer would be on the hook for RBS. Do you think there will be votes in keeping the jobs in Scotland, or do you think there will be more votes for English MPs in moving those jobs in the company the English people own, south of the border?

          "If we were talking about a token nameplate in the City and all the staff in Scotland it'd be a different matter but that simply isn't the case is it?"

          That is exactly what RBS have stated will happen if the vote is Yes. Now think through the ownersip chain, the electoral system, and realise that much of England are already firmly pissed off with the Scots behaviour of late, and certainly have no stomach for further largesse north of the border. In the event that Scotland goes independent, they will be the competition - effectively, France - and you don't have a bank in England pay most of its staff in France, so why would you think those jobs would stay in Scotland? They won't.

          1. Mark 65

            Re: Registered office.

            @LucreLout: I think you'll find RBS has a large office on Bishopsgate in London. It has never been and will not be post split "just a nameplate" in London. I would hazard a guess that they have and will continue to do rather a large amount of business in that location.

            "In the event that Scotland goes independent, they will be the competition - effectively, France - and you don't have a bank in England pay most of its staff in France, so why would you think those jobs would stay in Scotland? They won't."

            You really don't get how global businesses work do you, especially financial ones?

            Post split there will be a Scottish legal entity and a UK legal entity. The staff in Scotland will be paid by the Scottish legal entity and those in London by the UK legal entity. The reason they got bailed out wasn't because the headquarters was in Scotland and Scotland is in the UK but because if the UK domiciled part of the bank (the bit with the Bishopsgate office - head office is the holding company not a trading entity) went tits up it would have taken a rather large chunk of the City with it. If Scotland had split and the head office remained there, although RBS would not have been "bailed out with UK taxpayer funds" with the Government owning the shares (as it would be a Scottish company) the UK legal entity would no doubt have a rather large revolving credit facility at the BoE achieving much the same result but without the taxpayer control. Rather like how the US legal entities of the UK banks could tap into Fed funding when they were strapped. If the US bit went down chances are the UK bit would have gone too as there are always large cross entity trades floating around. Hence my comment about the yanks not complaining they are paying UK wages whereas you think all jobs will come back from Scotland if the HQ relocates to the UK. Have you maybe thought that Scotland might remain a cheaper location in which to source English speaking staff that aren't required to be located in any particular location because they provide call centre and other such functions?

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: Registered office.

              If that worked why didn't the government take advantage of it during the crash?

              It could have dropped an elite unit of SAS accountant Ninja into Frankfurt by black helicopter, have them nail up a brass plaque with "Northern Rock" written on it and let the Bundesbank pay for everything.

    5. Roj Blake Silver badge

      Re: Registered office.

      Why should Scots be worried about bank HQs leaving Scotland anyway?

      Scotland won't be liable for the bill when things inevitably go tits up again and can focus on building their own properly-regulated banking sector.

      In fact, I wonder if it's the prospect of proper regulation that that banks fear most.

      Anyway, regarding RBS my understanding is that RBS Group (which includes RBS bank, NatWest and Ulster Bank) will move its registered office to London, but the RBS bank will be staying put.

    6. dotslash

      Re: Registered office.

      Scotland are in a lose lose situation: stay in the Union and continue to complain about Westminster for no reason; leave and lose all these companies, have no currency, create a doomed economy with a mass emigration problem at Gretna.

      If they do pack up and leave, then good luck to them: there's not much Oil left in the North Sea; Welsh whisky ain't that bad; and no one wears tartan skirts.

      I'm getting the popcorn ready, it's going to be comic either way.

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: Registered office.

        >>"Scotland are in a lose lose situation: stay in the Union and continue to complain about Westminster for no reason; leave and lose all these companies, have no currency, create a doomed economy with a mass emigration problem at Gretna"

        Now, now. I too think Scotland would be better off staying but lets not trot out extremist arguments. Everyone has reason to complain about Westminster, especially those of us in the North of England who don't even get the Scottish education system!

        Also, I think more likely they'd have a mass immigration problem seeing as Salmond is trumpeting how he'd like to encourage immigration massively. Salmond wants to use immigration to stimulate Scottish industry through and influx of foreign skills and a consequent depression / control of wage inflation. Sound from a GDP point of view, but I wonder if the Yes voters consider themselves to be signing up for substantially increased immigration. Then of course there's oil - the other pillar of Salmond's economic plan. Invite more people in, sell off the oil and rely on the English for currency and defence - Salmond's plans in a sentence.

        That's really bad enough - no need to start deploying the hyperbole.

  3. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    What's in a name?

    " the new UK of England, Wales and Northern Ireland"

    <pedant mode on>

    Strictly speaking the rumpUK will at least have to drop the 'U'

    The 'United Kindom of Great Britain' reflected the Union of the kingdoms of England and Scotland in 1707.

    Later the Irish were added and we had the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

    Then the Irish left, but the 'United Kingdom' bit still made sense as the kingdoms of England and Scotland were still there.

    But if Scotland goes then the only Kingdom left will be England

    Neither Wales nor Norn Ireland are Kingdoms. Wales is officially part of England (Acts of Union 1536 and 1542), as a result of conquest. NI is just an anachronism.

    So, what do we call the former UK if Scotland goes independent? England? Former United Kindom (FUK)?

    I suppose you could argue that it's united (England, Wales and NI) and it's a Kingdom, but that's pushing it.

    </pedant mode off>

    1. Paul Kinsler

      Re: argue that it's united [...] and it's a Kingdom,

      How about we just promote both Wales and NI to Kingdoms like England is, and become the UK of E/W/NI? :-)

    2. william 10

      Re: What's in a name?

      So if Scotland votes no - would we still have to change our name to DUK Disunited Kingdom :-) as we are clearly not united.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: What's in a name?

        clearly not united.

        Let's keep it simple, we could just become the Untied Kingdom.

    3. No, I will not fix your computer

      Re: What's in a name?

      >>The 'United Kindom [sic] of Great Britain' reflected the Union of the kingdoms of England and Scotland in 1707.

      <erroneous pedant correction mode>

      No, "The Kingdom of Great Britain" was created with union of the Kingdoms of England (what is now England and Wales) with Scotland in 1707 the "United" was added when we joined with Ireland in 1801 when it became "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland", then subsequently (in 1922) Southern Ireland "left" and we were renamed to "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland"

      "Great Britain" is the old term for the large contiguous island, Ireland being the previous "little Britain" (and you thought is was just a show?) "Kingdom" is appropriate because of all the associated islands (not just "Great Britain").

      In summary "Union" bit relates to joining with Ireland, not Scotland - it was retained to reflect the Union with Northern Ireland;

      i.e. to use brackets;

      "The United Kingdom of (Great Britain and Northern Ireland)" not

      "The (United Kingdom of Great Britain) and Northern Ireland"

      </erroneous pedant correction mode>

      While I'm at it, your pendant mark-up is logically inconsistent ;)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What's in a name?

        "Great Britain" is the old term for the large contiguous island, Ireland being the previous "little Britain"

        Really?

        "Britain" is a corruption of the Norman French "Bretagne", which in English today is Brittany and "Great Britain" is a translation of "Grande Bretagne", which would perhaps have been better translated as "Greater Brittany", to reflect the larger political entity that evolved after 1066. Ireland's never been described as any sort of Britain, except perhaps when the very insulting term "west Brit" is used to refer to NI catholics who prefer to support the union rather than Irish independence.

        1. No, I will not fix your computer

          Re: What's in a name?

          >>"Britain" is a corruption of the Norman French "Bretagne"

          Before the old French (Bretaigne I think you mean) there was the Latin "Britannia or Brittania" being earlier, it's probable the Latin influenced the old French.

          >>Ireland's never been described as any sort of Britain

          Ptolemy wrote about "little Britain" in Almagest

          Aristotle wrote about "British Isles" consisting of two islands "Albion" and "Ierne"

          1. Irony Deficient

            Re: What’s in a name?

            No, I will not fix your computer, what Ptolemy wrote about in that part of Almagest was general characteristics of many parallels of latitude in the northern hemisphere, and he associated three of those parallels with where he believed they crossed “Little Britannia” (Ireland). Since those three parallels were 58° N, 59°30′ N, and 61° N, his information on where Ireland could be found was off by about 6°30′.

      2. Mage Silver badge

        Re: What's in a name? Little Britain

        If we are going to be pedantic, Great Britain is in contrast to Little Britain, AKA Brittany, Never Ireland.

        Meanwhile N.I. is going the opposite direction. Its assembly doesn't work.

      3. vagabondo
        Headmaster

        Re: What's in a name?

        No, "The Kingdom of Great Britain" was created with union of the Kingdoms of England (what is now England and Wales) with Scotland in 1707

        Sorry but the kingdoms were united when James VI flitted south and took on the James I of England and Ireland job as well in 1603. I think that James styled himself King of the United Kingdom -- it might be used in the front of a "King James Bible" -- he certainly had the naval "Union Jack". 1707 was the union of the parliaments.

        1. Bill B

          Re: What's in a name?

          Just back up vagabond here. We would still have a United 'Kingdom' since we would have the same monarch. In that respect we would be in the same position we were in between 1603 and 1707. The same goes for the Royal Flag (the Union Flag) which James required to be flown on his ships before the union of 1707

    4. Irony Deficient

      Re: What’s in a name?

      Pen-y-gors, is Northern Ireland not what remains of the Kingdom of Ireland, since the Union with Ireland Act 1800 is still in force there? In the case of an independent Scotland, either with a president or with Her Maj as head of state, wouldn’t the “United Kingdom of England and Northern Ireland” remain a possible name for the remainder of the current UK? (As you’d noted, Wales is technically part of England.)

      1. Marketing Hack Silver badge

        Re: What’s in a name?

        Liz isn't going to be happy if she is booted out as Scottish head of state and forced to sell Balmoral!

        1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: What’s in a name?

          "Liz isn't going to be happy if she is booted out as Scottish head of state and forced to sell Balmoral!"

          I thought the SNP's current plan was to retain Liz as Queen of Scotland (which, historically, is correct because she's descended from James IV) and, I presume, to remain part of the Commonwealth. This may not be their long-term plan, but they were at pains to separate the monarchy from the sovereignty because Scots hate English Tories much more than they hate "English" monarchs.

          1. James Micallef Silver badge

            Re: What’s in a name?

            "retain Liz as Queen of Scotland (which, historically, is correct because she's descended from James IV)"

            I though they were German??

        2. Ejit
          Headmaster

          Re: What’s in a name?

          Point of order.....Brenda does not own Balmoral Castle or the Estate. It is held by a Trust under Deeds of Nomination and Appointment to avoid inheritance tax. The trustees are the Earl of Airlie, Sir Iain Tennant KT LLD, Sir Michael Peat the Keeper of the Privy Purse. And you thought we were all in this together.

        3. Roj Blake Silver badge

          Re: What’s in a name?

          "Liz isn't going to be happy if she is booted out as Scottish head of state and forced to sell Balmoral!"

          Just as well that an independent Scotland would still have her a head of state then!

          Indeed, her right to rule will be in their written constitution so if anything her position as Queen of Scotland will be more secure than her position as Queen of England.

        4. The First Dave Silver badge

          Re: What’s in a name?

          Why would Betty get Booted?

          Her only British line of succession is via King James IV

      2. Ken 16 Silver badge

        Re: What’s in a name?

        Actually the Ireland Act 1920 set up Northern Ireland as a separate country, fully independent so while it's a successor state, it's not the same as the previous Kingdom or Ireland.

        I'm looking forward to the next referendum, deciding when the Duchy of East Scotland should separate from the Democratic Peoples Republic of West Scotland.

        1. Irony Deficient

          Re: What’s in a name?

          Ken 16, did you mean the Government of Ireland Act 1920, which established the Parliament of Southern Ireland and the Parliament of Northern Ireland? If so, please point me to the part of that act which extinguished the Kingdom of Ireland. (Note also that that act was repealed by the Northern Ireland Act 1998.)

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: What’s in a name?

            please point me to the part of that act which extinguished the Kingdom of Ireland. (Note also that that act was repealed by the Northern Ireland Act 1998.)

            Even that Kingdom wasn't exactly independent, since it was only created in 1542 to promote the King of England from a simple Lord of Ireland to King of Ireland, English Kings had already been sovereign over Ireland for 350+ years, since Henry required the Irish nobles to swear allegiance in the 1170's. That's without getting into Laudabiliter...

            Before that there were High Kings, but they weren't heriditary monarchs over a united kingdom as we'd think of a King today, a High King was more like a federal president over a bunch of squabbling Länder.

            I don't think any of that can be used as precedent for a Scottish separation, especially since Salmond says he expects the Queen to remain as Queen of Scotland.

            1. Slx

              Re: What’s in a name?

              Bear in mind though that the situation in Scotland in 2014 and Ireland during the 1800s when the drive towards independence took off have almost nothing in common.

              The Irish had lost any independence in 1801 and just 40 years later were facing a famine and mass emigration while Westminster largely just sat on its hands due to the prevailing laissez faire economic and political philosophies and also rigid notions of class and deserving vs undeserving poor. There was also quite open anti-Irish sentiment in the establishment.

              The way Ireland was being run (by London) was causing serious economic hardship and social chaos. So naturally enough a lot of people became very angry about it and that's really where you see a build up of independence movements through the Victorian period cumulating in an armed uprising in 1916 and an actual war of independence.

              That was followed by a brief but very nasty civil war in Ireland and then a lot of changes as the new state emerged. It wasn't just a referendum one day, a nice cup of tea, some biscuits and the Republic just happened.

              Followed by very soured relations causing an economic war between Ireland and the UK over Ireland's refusal to repay 'land annuities' which were loans to farmers to purchase their lands from the British Aristocracy.

              Britain imposed trade sanctions on the independent Ireland and the Irish stopped importing British coal and other goods in retaliation. The impact was that it sent the Irish economy into a total mess and drove even more animosity towards Britain as the Irish generally considered the land theirs and the annuities ridiculous.

              That continued right up until the outbreak of WWII and the Irish economy was in total tatters.

              You also had a situation during that period where because of poverty and lack of funds, the Catholic Church gained a much too powerful role in the running of public services like health, education and social welfare. That's where you started to see the very cold, deeply conservative Ireland of the 1930s to 1960s emerge.

              I think to a degree that was almost like the country just went into a post traumatic mess for a long time. Huge emigration had left a lot of old and very conservative people running the place on a shoestring budget.

              You see Ireland snapping out of that in the 1960s and especially the 70s. That was followed by fairly rapid social change through the 80s and extremely rapid change in the 90s and 00s where it becomes quite wealthy and liberal. Despite the banking and property bubble of recent years that's still where we are now.

              Irish-British relations really only began to recover in the second half of the 20th century and are absolutely excellent these days.

              I compare it to a very, very messy divorce. We have gone from a shot gun wedding, to domestic violence, to fighting over who owns the cutlery and the CD collection phase, to the 30 year huffing and referring to another in a string of expletives phase, to lawyering up and fighting over money etc etc.

              What you have now is the children of that completely screwed up old divorced couple running the show in both countries and they're actually not remotely like their parents and actually get on very well.

              The Republic of Ireland and the UK in 2014 really have very little in common with how they were in 1922 or 1940. They're both modern, generally liberal, socially progressive post WWII, Western European democracies.

              While as and Irishman I can fully understand Scottish nationalism, I just think it's very hard to even make a vague comparison between the situation when Ireland left in 1921 and Scotland's situation in 2014.

              However, I still think if they do leave the complications are being totally overplayed. This is a negotiated, calm departure not a revolution or violent departure which is what happened here.

              1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
                Happy

                Re: What’s in a name?

                Slx,

                I like your description of the UK/Ireland divorce. It reminds me when I was visiting Dublin Castle. Rather impressively the Governor-general seems to have stolen a 50' dining table on his way out the door. I bet the bugger nicked the cutlery too.

                I was rather surprised that he didn't have it away with the throne, while he was at it.

            2. Irony Deficient

              Re: What’s in a name?

              Phil O’Sophical, it is an independent kingdom, albeit one that has always had its monarch in personal union with that of the kingdom of England. My only point was to propose that in the event of Scottish independence, the term United Kingdom could still apply to the remainder of the current UK if “England” were substituted for “Great Britain”; the only applicable precedent was when “Ireland” was changed to “Northern Ireland” after the establishment of the Irish Free State, in the Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act 1927.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What's in a name?

      naming aside - do we need to remove the saltire of saint andrew from the union jack?

    6. Roj Blake Silver badge

      Re: What's in a name?

      They could just change the name from The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (yes, that's the official name, look at your passport) to The United Kingdom of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

      Although now that I think about it Great Britain is a geographical entity (it's the island upon which we live), not a political one, so they could actually keep the name as the country will occupy the bulk of the island.

    7. James Micallef Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: What's in a name?

      " Former United Kindom (FUK)"

      We have a winner :)

  4. SuperNintendoChalmers

    Banking Jobs

    You do know that both RBS and Lloyds have said they do not foresee moving *any* jobs? Just their registered offices?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Banking Jobs

      >>You do know that both RBS and Lloyds have said they do not foresee moving *any* jobs? Just their registered offices?

      Look at the share price and stock markets, they don't care about a few thousand jobs, they are about fiscal stability, they care about where corporate taxes go, they care about governments being paid back their share and bailout money.

      Not that it makes much difference anyway, call centres and technicians have been steadily outsourced, India and FM are the winners here.

    2. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: Banking Jobs

      "You do know that both RBS and Lloyds have said they do not foresee moving *any* jobs? Just their registered offices?"

      To begin with. Regulation might force them to move at least some of their core operations into the economic zone they operate and are domiciled from.

    3. Marshalltown
      Pint

      Re: Banking Jobs

      Just about any business that will be affected by the vote is likely to say this, whether the managerial lot think it or or not. They would not want their customer base changing drastically ahead of the vote. There will doubtless be contingency plans for IF Scotland becomes independent and for IF it does not. Anything said ahead of the vote might be exploited by competitors afterward unless it takes just the right tone. What I want to know whether there will be a new wall marking the border. The old Hadrian's and Antonine walls never worked.

    4. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: Banking Jobs

      "You do know that both RBS and Lloyds have said they do not foresee moving *any* jobs? Just their registered offices?"

      RBS is owned by the British taxpayer. After the divorce, English taxpayers will own most of the bank, and there are zero votes for English MPs in keeping those jobs in Scotland. Nobody will give a feck what the Scots MPs or tax payers will say, because they will be a minority shareholder.

      LLOY will relocate after that because the pool of potential people will diminish as Scots leave to find work. Assuming they don't, competition for LLOY jobs will be fierce, which will depress wages far below the level they are currently at in Scotland.

      There is no win for the Plaid Piper here. Only pain, embarrasment, and a humiliating climbdown. He knows that already. He's just bluffing it out, hoping to be "the man that freed Scotland". A sort of fat, unpleasant, meek little William Wallace.

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: Banking Jobs

        Okay. You sound like you've read into this a fair bit, so question I haven't heard satisfactorily answered yet - what would happen to the national debt? No doubt the Scots would like to leave all of it with the UK. No doubt the UK would like to pass it all off to Scotland. But how would it be sorted? Scotland has about 10% of the population so 10% of the debt seems the most fair way of apportioning it. But that seems awfully simplistic to me and I doubt that's what people's actual plans and aims are.

        Anyone know?

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Banking Jobs

          h4rm0ny,

          Sharing out the national debt by population or possibly by share of GDP. I think that only varies around the 9-10% mark. This seems to be the 'standard' way of doing things, in so much as there is any standard for these situations.

          Salmond has talked about reneging on this debt. But the rUK would almost certainly veto EU membership and retaliate in the split of the UK's assets. Plus that would cause massive ill-feeling and result in a severe damage to confidence in the new Scottish government. They'll be trying to borrow to finance their current deficit, get investment for new oil developments and keep as large a chunk of the financial services business as possible. Be hard as a Scottish exporter to the rUK as well, and that is a large chunk of Scotland's economy.

          However, I think a deal will be cut where Scotland don't pay their 'fair share' of the debt, in exchange for the rUK taking more of the joint assets. Say we keep all the foreign embassies for a couple of hundred million, We've got about 15 submarines, but is it really worth having only 1? Or even 1 and a half... That's another billion or two. This soon adds up.

          We could also do an exchange rate deal. Say Scotland's currency falls against the pound by 10%, then we let them off 10% of the debt, but if it rises by 10%, then they have to pay 10% more. This would be a nice hedge against what oil price fluctuations would do to their economy, and share the risk more fairly.

          I guess another option might be that they pay a reduced amount of the debt, in exchange for paying it all off in one year. They'd then have to arrange large government debts in a single year, but it would give the markets certainty about the exchange rate risk. And we could pay down some debt and cover our deficit for a year. This might be good, because Scotland is likely to keep a large financial services sector, and being in Scotland and regulated by Scotland they will virtually have to buy large chunks of Scotish government debt. If they're staying in that country it's the safest and most convertible asset to own. So there should be a demand for more government debt than the few billion the Scottish government will be borrowing.

          Those are the options I can think of. There could be more. It's down to negotiation.

          1. h4rm0ny

            Re: Debt

            Thank you for that reply. Extremely informative and useful. I personally quite like the idea of getting more of the assets in exchange for more of the debt as I think short-term we can handle that ("we" because I'm English).

        2. Lemon 67

          Re: Banking Jobs

          Scotland will take it's fair share of the debt on condition it gets it's fair share of assets.

          That includes using the £ in a currency union.

          The No campaign says they wont let us use the £ but they would be shooting themselves in the foot as scottish exports oil,gas, whisky etc would not be included in the rUKs balance of payments and they would have all of current UKs debt but have lost 9% of the economy to support it.

          It would also be bad for Scotland as we have to borrow at higher rates and the fact we just pi*&ed off our largest export market.

          So therefore a compromise will be reached to benefit both countries.

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Re: Banking Jobs

            Lemon 67,

            There'll be a compromise. It would be too stupid not to do it.

            But there can be no currency union. It's not going to fly South of the border. We only just bailed out our own banks. If they're no longer our banks, then there's no way we'll be riskng doing it again. For the same reason the Scottish Nationalists have ruled out the Euro as an option (economic common sense and politics), sterling currency union is out. It's also incompatible with our EU membership and Scotland's.

            The timing is wrong as well. The election is next year. That means the separation with Scotland will be a political issue with a capital P. I suspect there will be a bit of 'counter-nationalism' in the rUK - plus the usual hurt feelings / hurt pride you get in a divorce. I think people underestimate the 'the bastards have rejected us' vote.

            The politicians will walk a difficult tightrope between sensible compromise with Scotland and outbidding each other on how tough they're going to be in negotiations.

            I generalise terribly here. But if you're English it's not polite to be too nationalistic. So you carefully say "I'm British". And you're only rude about Scotland and Wales in a sporting context. Maybe we'll retain our stiff upper lip and phlegmatic attitude? Or maybe we'll weep angry tears of public rejection, shake our fists northwards and demand revenge? And cut the crotches out of all Scotland's suits, while posting all the naked photos on Facebook... I may be being facetious, but I do expect an unfavourable reaction in rUK, and especially England. And if Scotland reneges on its fair share of the debt, I expect that to be very vocal indeed, very unpleasant and demanding of punitive action.

            A new Scottish currency and sensible compromise on the debt is the only solution I can see that works for both sides. Remember we lose Scottish exports, but we also export lots to Scotland. Which is the positive bit of that balance of payments equation that most people seem to ignore. We also import lots from Scotland, enough to have a much more material effect on the Scottish economy, I believe Scottish exports are about 40% to the rUK, and rUK to Scotland is only about 5% of exports. So the power in that relationship is lopsided.

          2. h4rm0ny
            Joke

            Re: Banking Jobs

            >>"Scotland will take it's fair share of the debt on condition it gets it's fair share of assets. That includes using the £ in a currency union."

            You missed the Joke icon. I've added it for you.

            How you get forcing the UK into an unwanted currency union from "a fair share of the assets" I have no idea! Complete mishmash of concepts.

  5. Jess

    It will be business as usual.

    Scotland will continue to use the pound. They currencies will be fixed (at least in the medium term) The RBS threatened move to London would seem to support this, they would stay managed by the Bank of England, so their existing arrangements will Scottish currency could remain and be expanded. (Look at the situation with Eire their currency was fixed with ours for decades.

    Scotland will not get thrown out of the EU. It would set too many bad precedents. The EU shrinking, EU citizens' passports being removed. EU citizens no longer allowed to continue to trade and work freely in an area. And it would provide a very simple exit for the rest of the UK, if it so chose, dissolve the UK, and we are not in the EU. (Or England leave the UK, so just Wales and NI are left in the EU.)

    Were I Scottish, I'd be far more worried about what happens after a no vote.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It will be business as usual.

      Scotland will not get thrown out of the EU

      Quite right

      You can't get thrown out of something you are not part of. Scotland would have to apply to become part of the EU, which would mean accepting to join the currency on membership and also the Schengen Agreement. Alex Salmond says otherwise, but he is saying anything he likes at the minute if he thinks it is what the people want to hear. He is making all sorts of promises that he cannot necessarily make or keep.

      The ironic thing is if Scotland do get independence and do successfully apply to join the EU and it ends up using the Euro it may be in the rUKs interests then to switch from the pound to the Euro..

      1. Jess

        Re: You can't get thrown out of something you are not part of.

        So Scotland isn't currently part of the EU?

        1. SkippyBing Silver badge

          Re: You can't get thrown out of something you are not part of.

          'So Scotland isn't currently part of the EU?'

          I believe the argument is that the United Kingdom is part of the EU, if Scotland leaves the United Kingdom it's not part of the EU as Scotland isn't signed up to the EU as an individual state.

          Think of it like RAC Membership*, you can be a family member as part of a family if you leave that family then you're no longer part of the RAC and if you join as an individual you start from scratch.

          *Other motoring organisations are available.

        2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: You can't get thrown out of something you are not part of.

          Jess,

          Nope. Scotland is not part of the EU. Scotland is not a state. The EU treaties are between the UK and the various other member states.

          Scottish people are citizens of the EU because all citizens of member states, are also EU citizens. If Scotland is no longer part of a member state, then it's no longer in the EU, and neither are its citizens.

          Personally I'd say it makes sense for the rest of the EU to simply act as if Scotland can rejoin as soon as the divorce from the UK is finished. They'd probably lose the Euro, justice and Schengen opt-outs in the negotiation, but then become EU members on Independence Day. The rules don't allow this for various reasons, but then the rules didn't allow Euro bailouts until they were the only sensible thing to do. Then they did.

          However, I'm not holding my breath waiting for common sense from the EU…

          1. Chris Miller

            @I ain't Spartacus

            Your argument is logical, but overlooks the political realities (which always trump actual realities). The UK is not the only EU state faced with a potential secession, and those that are will not wish to set a precedent and encourage their minorities by treating seceding states with generosity. Spain (Catalunya and the Basques plus possibly Anadalucia and Galicia) would definitely veto any Scottish application to (re)join the EU (any new entrant requires unanimous support from all existing members). And even if they didn't, one or more of France (Corsica plus possibly Brittany and Alsace), Italy (Lega Nord), Belgium (Vlaams Belang) almost certainly would.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It will be business as usual.

        > You can't get thrown out of something you are not part of. Scotland would have to apply to become part of the EU

        Considering that in England they're considering leaving the EU, surely this gives Scottish voters the option to decide for themselves if they want to be in or out, without having to go with whatever the more numerous English decide they want to do. Worth noting that there is a strong divergence of attitudes towards the EU north and south of the border.

        1. Chris Miller

          attitudes towards the EU

          I'm not sure that there is the strong divergence you describe - UKIP have a Scottish MEP, and though their proportion of the 2014 vote was much lower in Scotland, that's largely explained by the existence of a much better established protest vote party in the SNP. It seems strange that Scots would seek escape from the 'hegemony' of Westminster, where they have a strong representation (many would say over-representation), and then throw themselves into the arms of the fundamentally anti-democratic EU where they would, at best, be a negligible force.

      3. James Micallef Silver badge

        Re: It will be business as usual.

        "Scotland would have to apply to become part of the EU, which would mean accepting to join the currency on membership and also the Schengen Agreement"

        Yes, Scotland would have to reapply for EU membership, however there are plenty EU members who are not in the Euro nor Schengen. I don't see why Scotland would not be allowed into the EU without signing up for Euro or Schengen.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: It will be business as usual.

          James Micallef,

          Only 2 EU states have Euro opt-outs. That's us and Denmark. And they were granted because otherwise we'd have vetoed the Maastricht treaty. It's now a condition of joining that you sign up to join the Euro. All the EU countries except those two, have promised to join. Although Sweden and the Czech republic may have their fingers crossed behind their backs.

          All the EU states except us, Ireland and Rumania Bulgaria are in Schengen from memory. That may or may not be a condition of membership for Scotland. Depends on how awkward people are feeling. Some countries, like Spain and Belgium (with secessionist problems), may be very awkward indeed.

          Also Scotland would lose its share of the UK rebate on EU funding. The UK will lose that eventually too, it's almost bound to happen. It's horribly unpopular, and there's no way Scotland will be allowed to get away with keeping it. And Spain would definitely veto Scottish entry if they don't continue to let the EU criminally mismanage their fisheries.

          1. James Micallef Silver badge

            Re: It will be business as usual.

            @Spartacus - Re the Euro, membership definitely was not part of any new accession negotiations. None of the new entrants in 2005(?) were forced to adopt the Euro, neither were Bulgaria and Romania later. Malta chose to join the Euro later, not sure about the other 2005 entrants.

            Even if they WERE forced to join the Euro, it might be a better option than going it on their own if they are frozen out of the pound.

            Regarding Schengen, I'm not aware that new members are asked/forced to join either. It would be political suicide for the EU considering that one of the prospective members is Turkey. Common Schengen border with Iraq, Iran and Syria? No thanks!

            1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

              Re: It will be business as usual.

              James Micallef,

              All members of the EU, since Maastricht (1995ish?), are required to join the Euro. You sign up to the treaties when you join, and being in the single currency is part of being in the EU. The only exceptions are the UK and Denmark, who negotiated opt-outs, which are written as a codycil to the treaty. European Commission linky here

              Not all countries have to join the Euro instantly. That would be mad. But all countries commit to joining in future. What some have done is to delay the convergence criteria, so that they're still not ready yet. There is talk of not letting new entrants get away with this, since Sweden basically isn't planning to join at all. I think some people feel that they're taking the piss...

              From memory all new accession countries have to join Schengen as well. Certain members have an opt-out. This is partly because they've got long borders with non-members and not the resources to police them (Bulgaria, Rumania). Turkey isn't an issue, because Turkey won't be allowed to join. That's been clear for at least 5 years, since the European Constitution fiasco revealed that voters in France and Germany (and others) hated the idea. Politically the Turks are going in a different direction now anyway, so it couldn't happen.

              The EU is not particularly flexible or logical. Because some of the design is idealistic. It's about a dream of a single state and an end to war. And the believers got a lot of that stuff pushed through into the treaties before they retired. Mitterand, Kohl, Delors etc. Now it's much harder to change, so we're stuck with it. Even though there's probably only Belgium, Luxembourg (and oddly) Germany where a majority of people still hold those ideals.

    2. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      Re: It will be business as usual.

      Were I Scottish, I'd be far more worried about what happens after a no vote.

      I think the English Rest of UK have reason to worry about what happens after a no vote. The alternative seems to be "devo-max", alias "West-Lothian-question-plus". The Scottish MPs will continue to meddle in the affairs of Rest of UK while the Westminster government that we elect has no reciprocal rights.

      How about introducing a rule that 30 MSPs are elected by constituencies in England, Wales and Northern Ireland? Seems only fair.

    3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: It will be business as usual.

      Scotland will continue to use the pound.

      It can use it, but will have absolutely no control over it, which is a recipe for financial disaster. No country can survive using a currency whose interest and exchange rates can be unilaterally changed without any consultation. That's a large part of the problem in the Euro zone, where the euro largely tracks the German economy and places like Greece and Italy just have to put up with it. At least they nominally have some measure of input, and there's some measure of obligation on the part of the ECB to support those countries when their economy has problems. None of that would apply to an independent Scotland that simply chose to use the pound outside of an agreed currency union, and London has ruled out such a union, despite Salmond refusing to believe it.

      1. Anonymous Coward 101

        Re: It will be business as usual.

        For those interested, the FT Alphaville blog has written about the currency issue in the last couple of days. There are nations that do use someone else's currency unofficially (e.g. Zimbabwe, Macedonia), but it is always the least worst option available to those nations.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It will be business as usual.

        It can use it, but will have absolutely no control over it, which is a recipe for financial disaster

        Exactly. It will be too costly for them to create their own currency, so their best bet is to attempt to join the Euro as soon as possible after independence.

        Salmond believes it is in the rest of the UKs interests to create a currency union, but in the event of independence we will have three desperate politicians who all want to be the next prime minister that said no to sharing the pound. I don't think any of them will blink and risk the opportunity to let the other two call them a liar over their no currency union promise. Although Nick Clegg will probably agree to a currency union despite saying otherwise now as I get the impression he feels comfortable as a massive liar.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: It will be business as usual.

          It will be too costly for them to create their own currency, so their best bet is to attempt to join the Euro as soon as possible after independence.

          I don't see why. Scotland has a decent sized economy with 5 million people. There are plenty of similar sized countries. It would cost money to set up a currency, but it's almost certainly the right thing to do. Because I don't think the rest of the UK will go for a currency union, and informally sharing the pound is a rubbish idea. As well as breaking EU accession rules.

          I also don't think Scotland should join the Euro. So I think they should think Swedish. Sweden signed up to joining the Euro, after a referendum. Apparently most of their politicians are in favour, but 70% of the people are against, and it's gone down in at least one referendum. So Sweden by treaty has committed to join, but won't. That's a good position for Scotland to be in. I'd have thought it's quite hard to stop. Even if the accession treaty says they have to join in a set time, that can be fudged/ignored after the event. Depends on how tough the negotiations get.

          Also in my opinion, the Euro will have partially collapsed within 3 years. So it won't matter. Italy is still in recession, and in deflation. Italy's debt to GDP is going up by over 5% per year, and it's already over 130%. Unless Italy can be got back to growth and at least a little positive inflation, they're going to need a huge bail-out in 2 or 3 years.

          1. LucreLout Silver badge

            Re: It will be business as usual.

            "I don't see why. Scotland has a decent sized economy with 5 million people. There are plenty of similar sized countries. It would cost money to set up a currency, but it's almost certainly the right thing to do."

            Economically, the right thing to do is stay int he union and keep their heads down - there will be a lot of political fall out from this vote in England due to the way Salmonds rabble have conducted themselves.

            However, setting up a new currency will be his only option. They won't be allowed in the EU, and while he can peg the Wallace (or whatever they call the ccy) to the pound, or indeed keep using the pound, interest rates will be set with zero input from and zero mind of Scotland and their economy. Arguably, they can be set to spite them, as Scotland won't be family anymore, they will be the competition.

            "Also in my opinion, the Euro will have partially collapsed within 3 years"

            If the UK leave it'll collapse a lot faster than that. UK subsidies into the EU pot would vanish overnight, so either they have spending cuts all round, or they have to raise taxes still further, or print money and live with the inflationary ccy coolapse.

          2. Slx

            Re: It will be business as usual.

            At this stage I think the Euro is highly unlikely to implode. It's just going through the usual phases of setting up anything complicated.

            Stormimg - Euro crisis.

            Normimg - ongoing

            performing - it's going to eventually find a way of just making it work.

            Italy has been economically volatile for decades. That's nothing new.

            The Euro just needs to be flexible enough to reflect the entire Eurozone not just be the new DM which is what the Germans seemed to think it was.

            Also Germany and others are benefiting enormously from the Euro being a bigger and softer currency. The DM being insanely high value would be crippling German exports right now if it were still around.

            I'm not really convinced by the forecasts of a Euro implosion anymore. It's too big to be bothered by speculation and despite everything is one of the world's two biggest economies.

            So I think realistically you'll just find the Euro will muddle on and solutions will be found.

            1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

              Re: It will be business as usual.

              Slx,

              Italy has debt to GDP of 131% at the moment. It went up by 5-6%age points last year. Italy is in deflation this year, and back in recession.

              Italy can't pay its national debt unless it leaves the Euro. Greece needs another (much smaller) bail-out, because the last one was basically designed to be politically acceptable, not to succeed. In a year or two's time those chickens will come home to roost. It nearly broke the Euro finding €230bn-odd to bail out Greece over 5 years. That's one year's bail-out for Italy.

              France is also dropping into deflation, with debt-to-GDP at 95%. There's no money to bail out Italy. So it'll have to be massive QE. I'm not sure Germany will accept that, and it's hard to get to in small baby steps, like the other bail-outs have been (i.e. boiling the frog). So I'd say it's 50/50 whether the Euro survives in its current form, with either Italy or France voting to leave, or Germany doing likewise.

              There also may be a banking crisis this autumn. The Eurozone is still heading into deflation, with nothing being done about it. There's a lot of distressed banks out there, and still nothing has been done to sort them out!! They're still all sitting on massive piles of assets marked up to old prices, not real ones. And the ECB stress test, to be published this month, had a worst case scenario of about 0.8% inflation. Inflation in Italy is -0.3%, and 0% in France! So this will be the 3rd botched stress test in a row. One of these two things may tear the Eurozone apart in a sudden crisis that can't bre reacted to fast enough.

              There's a lot of delusional thinking going on in the Eurozone and the markets. It's too horrible if it fails, so it won't. If that psychological block once fractures, it's one emergency weekend meeting to launch QE and common bank bail-outs or goodbye Euro. And the German politicians have been lying to their electorate for too long about this to suddenly change that fast, in one big step.

              1. Chris Miller

                @IaS

                Brilliant comments (which is to say, I agree). But I actually think its worse than that for the euro.

                The only logical solution would be to split the euro into two: the northern countries - Germany, Scandinavia & Benelux - would have a Neuro; and the southern countries - Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece - would have a Seuro (not sure about France - their economy belongs in the Seuro, but their amour propre may require them to be in the Neuro, if the Germans would permit it).

                This might have worked at the outset, but now, as Blackadder might say: it is an excellent plan, Baldrick, with just one tiny flaw. German banks hold a lot of their assets in Seuros (understandable - Greek assets were paying about 5% and German ones roughly 0% and since they were all equally denominated in euros nothing could possibly go wrong ...). If the euro were split, these assets would swiftly depreciate and many German banks would be insolvent (as you point out some are already technically insolvent and are just trying to pretend it ain't happening) and it's not clear who has enough money to bail them out.

                The only sensible thing Gordon Brown ever did was to keep the UK clear of the euro, even though he only did so to spite Tony Blair, who was desperate to join, and not for any economic reason.

                1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

                  Re: @IaS

                  Except that the sole point of the euro was to allow southern europe to borrow at low interests rates to buy German exports. A southern euro with 20% interests rates and a bunch of northern euros who all already own all the Bosch dishwashers and BMWs they are going to need doesn't really help the Germans.

    4. Rebecca M

      Re: It will be business as usual.

      Scotland will continue to use the pound.

      It's not going to happen - this isn't some supreme bluff from Westminster, it would be political suicide to allow it. What Salmond conveniently ignores is that there's a UK general election between the referendum and independence: if Scotland votes yes all three main parties will have no choice but to make a manifesto commitment against currency union, given how firmly attitudes are against any such arrangement in the rest of the UK.

      He speaks about seeking a democratic mandate as a moral argument for forcing a union but in reality the boot is squarely on the other foot - if the 90% of the UK that is not Scotland votes for parties against a union by a sizeable majority, it is clear where the overall balance of opinion is.

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: It will be business as usual.

        "...all three main parties will have no choice but to make a manifesto commitment against..."

        ...which, after the election, would turn out to be no more binding than the commitments that all three parties have made at the last *few* elections to reform the House of Lords.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

    5. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: It will be business as usual.

      I don't think Scotland will continue to use the pound. Without a formal currency union that was never an option, assuming Scotland also wishes to join (or remain in) the EU. They'll have to set up their own currency, as the Euro is also not an option. You can't join the EU without having your own central bank.

      As for your comment on the EU, who knows? The logical thing to do is to keep Scotland as a member. A quick bit of negotiation on Schengen, the Euro and a few other queries later - and Scotland is a newly minted member. But I'm pretty sure that the logical thing is the last thing that actually will happen. So I'd imagine Scotland will have to leave and re-join - with some sort of associate member status to cover the mess in the short-term. With Scotland already complying with most things (being part of a member state), there should hopefully be a faster than normal acceession.

      Your comment on it being an easy out for the rest of the UK is bizarre though, and irrelevant. If a nation decided to leave tomorrow, there's nothing the EU can do. But that's an unlikely scenario, so not worth worrying about.

    6. dkjd

      Re: It will be business as usual.

      "Scotland will continue to use the pound. They currencies will be fixed", and George Soros never really existed.

      There is no way a Scottish issued pound fixed to the English/Welsh/NI pound will survive the currency speculators. It would be cheaper if the Scottish parliament just burned a couple of billion pounds in a big bonfire and then introduced a new currency

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It will be business as usual.

      Exactly so - the tl;dr of the article is "Political change is happening. Business doesn't like change not of its own choosing."

      To my mind all the "issues" like the currency, oil, defence* and all the rest are current unknown in the UK let alone in an independent Scotland. So the issue comes down simply to governance, and I've not heard a single argument for why Scots should want to be governed by Westminster. To put it differently, if the referendum was for an independent Scotland /joining/ the UK, what would the aspirational reasons, not short-term political promises, be?

      * - Remember when the Royal Navy wasn't able to get any surface crafts into the Moray Firth when a Russian Fleet sheltered there a few years back? It took more than 48 hours to get a ship into the area.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: It will be business as usual.

        To my mind all the "issues" like the currency, oil, defence* and all the rest are current unknown in the UK let alone in an independent Scotland.

        Which is surely the biggest reason not to rush into it. Alex Salmond is so determined to go down in history as Scotland's first President that he has his head firmly in the sand when it comes to all the difficult problems. "I'm not worried, it'll all work out OK in the end" is a downright stupid attitude for any politician who is seriously campaigning for such a major change as independent statehood. Salmond could well go down in history as the first Scottish president to be impeached for financial malpractice!

    8. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: It will be business as usual.

      "Scotland will continue to use the pound. "

      Yes but they won't be able to print money (beyond some fixed ratio), or be a lender of last resort, or set interest rates. Because there is no lender of last resort, a bank run could wipe out the banks. That might explain why the banks are moving south to protect themselves and limit their liabilities.

      It might take years for Scotland to build enough reserves that they can have a central bank. This is why the option to 1:1 track sterling is a fraught idea - no economic control and extreme danger of bank collapse. Basically their notes would be equivalent to Itchy and Scratchy bucks until it is underpinned.

      "Scotland will not get thrown out of the EU. "

      It's not a case of being thrown out but never being in it in the first place. Even if EU does fast track them to rejoin what the hell was that business about independence for? Any sovereignty they gain by leaving the UK is lost by becoming a little provincial state in Europe. They might find themselves sharing a common cause with the UK on a lot of things going into these Euro battles but that's not guaranteed particularly if the UK is emboldened to leave entirely. And if they use the Euro then bang goes their economic sovereignty if they suffer a collapse like Ireland.

      "Were I Scottish, I'd be far more worried about what happens after a no vote."

      I'm not sure why. Scotland would probably get a few more devolved powers while still enjoying the benefits of being part of the union - free trade zone, a single currency, economic stability, common foreign & military policy etc.

      1. Jess

        Re: It will be business as usual.

        > It's not a case of being thrown out but never being in it in the first place.

        > Even if EU does fast track them to rejoin what the hell was that business about independence for?

        Can you not see the irony of the use of the word rejoin?

    9. LucreLout Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: It will be business as usual.

      "Scotland will not get thrown out of the EU."

      Perhaps you'd like to make that point to the Serbs, Bosnians, and Albanians?

      Spain would never sign off on Scotlands membership of the EU, and would positively veto it. It's not that they dislike the Scots particularly, more to do with theirown domestic political problems.

      Spain aren't the only country with breakaway issues, but they do have problems with Catalonia linking their own seperatist vote to that of the Scots and pointing at them as a model. If Catalonia could seperate from Spain as an EU member, they have enough popular vote to create a democratic mandate. Support for seperation falls massively if they can't seperate as an EU member.

      Ignore what Salmond says on this issue. He is well aware of it. He has no solution to it. And he cannot force Spain to accept Scottish membership.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sod the IT arguments

    I would have handed them independence at the first hint Blair would become prime minister, sent him back to Edinburgh and rebuilt Hadrian's wall but a lot, lot higher.

    1. Mike Smith
      Thumb Up

      Re: Sod the IT arguments

      Puts me in mind of an old Naked Video sketch - let's update it:

      Posh party. A man in a DJ and woman in LBD are making small talk.

      WOMAN: Lovely party. Oh gosh, isn't that Sean Connery?

      MAN: It is indeed the world-famous Scottish actor Sean Connery. Born in Edinburgh in 1930, recognised the world over as the best-ever James Bond as well as starring in The Hunt for Red October, The Russia House and Entrapment as well as being the voice of Draco the dragon in Dragonheart.

      WOMAN: Wow! And isn't that Gregor Fisher?

      MAN: Yes, that is the renowned Scottish actor Gregor Fisher, who's had many wonderful character roles as well as being in Naked Video - Para Handy and 1984, as well as being recognised the world over as Rab C Nesbitt.

      WOMAN: Oh, I adore Rab C Nesbitt. Oh look! Isn't that Tony Blair?

      MAN: We've been very lucky with the weather just recently...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sod the IT arguments

        Wow, a few downvotes, bet they're from Scots who don't want Blair either.

        Go on, vote for independence, let's take Blair's passport off him and send him back.

        1. Mike Smith
          Trollface

          Re: Sod the IT arguments

          "bet they're from Scots who don't want Blair either"

          Aye, ye're no wrong there, son. The wee shite's a disgrace tae Scotland. I'm no sure we'd be wanting him back, mind.

          Best way oot wad be tae pit up the wall again, declare the ba-heid persona non grata and leave him rotting at the border post fae the rest o his life. He could apply fae asylum and swell the ranks o displaced people he helped tae create. Gie the numpty a wee taste o his ain medicine, ken?

          1. Andy Roid McUser

            Re: Sod the IT arguments

            I'm sorry.. How many cats were there ? Your keyboard appears to developed a fault.

    2. Shoot Them Later
      Megaphone

      Re: Sod the IT arguments

      You know, as a Briton who would rather like the UK to continue as is, I am really starting to regret casting my vote in the last UK General Election for a party that included an independence referendum for Scotland in its manifesto. What was I thinking?

      Hold on... NONE OF THE PARTIES HAD THIS IN THEIR MANIFESTO. So much for democracy.

      (New Labour has had many many faults, but at least give them the credit for including Devolution in their 1997 manifesto)

      And don't get me started on letting Salmond choose the wording of the question, as well as the generally inept way the No campaign has gone about it.

      1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        Re: Sod the IT arguments

        I think you'll find the SNP had a commitment to an independence referendum in their manifesto.

        1. Shoot Them Later

          Re: Sod the IT arguments

          @Pen-y-gors - I couldn't give a monkeys whether the SNP had a commitment to painting Scotland blue in their manifesto. The decision on whether to hold a legitimate referendum has always been one to take at the UK level. The UK government took that choice, but did not have a democratic mandate from the UK people to do so, as it was in no national party's manifesto at the last general election. I would much rather have had a say in the future of my country.

          I'm expecting further downvotes for this posting too, as it seems to be a well established fact that the English are not permitted to hold a view on the future of the union for some reason.

          Btw, the username Pen-y-gors suggests that you might be Welsh. If I were Welsh I would be wanting the Scots to vote No just as much, as I would not want to be stuck in an even-more-Tory remainder-UK after the Scots jumped ship.

          [My personal preference is for a much more federal UK with matching proper powers for both the home nations and English regions; if that comes out of this referendum then at least that would be something]

          1. Marketing Hack Silver badge

            Re: Sod the IT arguments

            @ Shoot them Later

            Yes, but what you are asking would mean Westminster would have to give up power and listen to the governments of various regions. Magic 8-ball says the chances of that happening are somewhere between "indications point to no" and "forget it, kid"

          2. Jagged

            Re: Sod the IT arguments

            [My personal preference is for a much more federal UK with matching proper powers for both the home nations and English regions; if that comes out of this referendum then at least that would be something]

            - God No! A federal UK has always been an attempt to break up English dominance of Westminster and never about the any perceived benefit to the regions themselves. That and a desire for politicians to create more jobs for themselves. Which is why John Prescott's attempt to set up regional assemblies got no support what-so-ever.

            1. Shoot Them Later

              Re: Sod the IT arguments

              @Marketing Hack - agreed; Westminster does not like consciously giving up power, although they are somehow carelessly coming very close to giving up the whole of Scotland.

              @Jagged - it's a good point. The farce that is elected Police and Crime Commissioners does admittedly come to mind when discussing regional assemblies and the potential for wasting a lot of money on something nobody cares about. However, I think we do need to address the issue that all home nations except England have devolved powers (and may have even more soon), while also bearing in mind that not all parts of England feel well represented by Westminster either. And I'm saying this as someone pretty much as Southern England/London as they come. I'm not sure I have an easy answer to that, but what I do believe is that the make-it-up-as-you-go-along planning constitutional gambles going on at the moment are not in anyone's interests.

          3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Sod the IT arguments

            So by that logic Germany shouldn't have been allowed a referendum on reunification unless the USSR allowed them to have one?

      2. Ross K Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: Sod the IT arguments

        I am really starting to regret casting my vote in the last UK General Election for a party that included an independence referendum for Scotland in its manifesto. What was I thinking?

        Hold on... NONE OF THE PARTIES HAD THIS IN THEIR MANIFESTO. So much for democracy.

        Giving the electorate a referendum to decide their country's future is the epitome of democracy.

        Or do you not understand what the word democracy means?

        1. A Twig

          Re: Sod the IT arguments

          I am really starting to regret casting my vote in the last UK General Election for a party that included an independence referendum for Scotland in its manifesto. What was I thinking?

          Hold on... NONE OF THE PARTIES HAD THIS IN THEIR MANIFESTO. So much for democracy.

          <sarcasm>

          Quite right, I'm still bitter over the fact we let India get away with it, the blighters. How dare we not get a say in the running of a country that we took by force years beforehand. And now they have the nerve to be good at cricket as well...

          </sarcasm>

        2. Shoot Them Later
          Facepalm

          Re: Sod the IT arguments

          @Ross K - I think I understand about democracy a bit better than you in that case. Like it or not, the UK is one sovereign nation. Like it or not, no part of the UK - or any other country - has a right to secession without agreement from the state. The Scottish referendum is legal and valid *only* with assent from the UK government. I believe that the *UK* electorate should have had a say in that process; the common way this is done is by national parties putting it in their manifestos for the general election. That never happened - and there was no good reason for it not to, other than Cameron thinking that he could get away with a quick win and have it all done and dusted.

          So yes, so much for democracy (see I can use bold text too) - my chance to have a say on the future make up of this country has been taken away by the current set of chancers in Westminster (ironically).

          @A Twig - I'm not sure if you are aware of this, but there is a big difference between a sovereign nation assembled by treaty and an overseas territory (or in the case of India, the Raj). Oh and surprise surprise - self determination for India was in Labour's 1945 general election manifesto. Democracy, see?

          This is an unpleasantly conducted debate. As I noted already, it seems impossible for a non-Scot to express opinion on this subject without flak/downvotes. I don't think I am the only one who is unhappy to have been denied a say in this process. I do believe that Scotland should be given the option of independence (even though I think it would be better for all if they stayed), but I also do believe quite strongly that the UK as a whole should not have been denied the right to participate in that decision. I am rather tied to the quaint idea that major constitutional change is something we should get to vote on. [Edited to add, yes of course the UK is a representative democracy, so there are always cases where the government legitimately makes decisions without consulting the electorate directly - however, major constitutional change should take the electorate's views a little more seriously than happened here]

          The way the whole thing has been conducted has been a shambles. The only party who has done the right thing (to a degree) is the SNP who have done what they said they would and pushed for a referendum. I don't like the SNP at all, but at least they do what it says on the tin.

          1. Bill B

            Re: Sod the IT arguments

            @shoot them later. I agree the rUK haven't had a say in this vote. However, we DO have a say next year as the rUK and Scotland negotiate on the break up, and I'm pretty sure that say will be 'You will not make any decision that benefits Scotland'. Alex Salmond is assuming (in public) that the voters in rUK will play nice about the split. Privately, he knows damn well that playing nice with an independent Scotland (and this includes monetary union) would be political suicide for any party.

    3. AbelSoul
      Childcatcher

      Re: Sod the IT arguments

      rebuilt Hadrian's wall but a lot, lot higher.

      Are you trying to give away half of Newcastle and Carlisle?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sod the IT arguments

        Just build it on the real border to keep the Haggis eaters out.

        Even my other half who hails from Leith thinks the 'Wee Man' Alex Salmond is only interested in becoming Idi Amin mk 2 (Last King of Scotland).

        Scotland will have to apply for EU Membership. The EU have their valid reasons for saying so. They will say no to Scotland simply because of the Catalans, Basques, Walloons etc etc will be chomping at the bot for their own independence if the vote is Yes. If by some chance they become members of the EU then the issue over Sterling will be moot. The rules for joning the EU now include, 'Thou shalt throw your currency away and use the Euro'. They will also incoude Scotland's part of the UK's national debit in their calculations again despite the political spiel (aka lies) that the Yes people are spouting forth.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Got a letter on Monday

    from Standard Life.

    My ISA is being transferred to a company with an Essex address ...

    1. Anthony 13
      Joke

      Re: Got a letter on Monday

      That identify theft thing is a bitch, ain't it!

  8. WonkoTheSane
    Facepalm

    The REAL problem with Scottish independance

    HM Customs will be able to impose an additional import duty on whisky!

    1. Mage Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: The REAL problem with Scottish independance

      Most of the price is already Excise duty and VAT. Scotland will decide how much it is taxed in Scotland, The UK situation will be unaffected. Unless for some bizarre reason the Scottish put an export duty on it.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Happy

        Re: The REAL problem with Scottish independance

        The UK situation will be unaffected. Unless for some bizarre reason the Scottish put an export duty on it.

        Nooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!! The Scots can bring England to our knees at last! What will I do without my bottle glass of The Balvenie? Oh woe is me! I'd even go so far as to say, "Crivens!"

        1. Chris Miller

          Re: The REAL problem with Scottish independance

          No problem IaS, just threaten to cut off their supplies of Bucky. Glasgow will be on its knees within a week.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The REAL problem with Scottish independance

        Or the rUK imposes an export tax on the grain used to make Whisky ....

    2. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: The REAL problem with Scottish independance

      "HM Customs will be able to impose an additional import duty on whisky!"

      Aye, and a wee trip north of the border to bring back duty free will sharp negate that! Roll independence I say - economically, for the English, there are just no downsides at all. It'll be a tad bumpy for a couple of years, and then we'll be through it. A few years after that, and cheap holiday homes in Edinburgh will become very attractive.

  9. Inachu

    The Scotts do not want their country and charm and history to be destroyed by the invading forces who the leader of these invaders is no other than Barbara Lerner Spectre who says the whole of europe must mix or EUROPE will fail.

    Well so far those policies can be seen how they are undoing the fabric of the UK with rape of over 1,400 children and BLS supports wants even more to come over. So imagine the hell she is creating.

    The Scotts want nothing to do with her and her failed ideologies.

    1. Craigie

      Just how many people named Scott have you asked about this?

  10. Chris Miller

    "the Scottish Government has always had a more positive policy towards skilled cheaper migrants" said a director of a software house.

    FTFY

  11. Mage Silver badge

    Ulster Bank & RBS

    Maybe Scotland will be better off WITHOUT idiots like the RBS.

    The UK has negative balance of payments already. Nearly £40 Billion of UK exports will become Scottish Exports. Maybe more.

    All of Scotland will still get BBC on Freesat if BBC pull out. STV (not part of ITV), C4 and Five won't. Given the stupidity of the BBC lately maybe Scotland will be better off having their own TV tax (aka TV licence) instead of the misused BBC funding. I'd miss BBC Radio Scotland in the evenings, but maybe they can do better.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ulster Bank & RBS

      Gonna be fun in Scotland without banks, Tories (many of which tend to be business owners).

      Might as well start looking for a cave to dwell in right now.

  12. ukgnome

    so......

    If Scotland leaves the union and there is a stipulation that all helpdesk calls will be answered by someone in the UK what happens to the helpdesk?

    1. Anonymous Coward 101

      Re: so......

      There is likely a stipulation in the contract that the 'UK' is whatever nation contains London.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: so......

      "If ... there is a stipulation that all helpdesk calls will be answered by someone in the UK what happens to the helpdesk?"

      It has to be brought back onshore from India.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: so......

      Maybe we should insist on call centres and help desks not being in India and elsewhere overseas before disallowing them in Scotland?

      It all rather shows the petty hate and vindictiveness directed towards Scotland for daring to seek independence. For me, that alone, is a good enough reason to vote, "yes".

  13. arrbee

    I suspect the reason for financial organisations wanting to move south is because they prefer BoE regulation to actual regulation - not to mention all those schemes that funnel tax-payers money into banks where it simply disappears.

    The UK government guarantee for individual accounts works as a bluff, but note that they've changed the rules to make all depositor accounts available assets to a bank that hits major problems.

  14. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  15. M7S

    Data Protection

    If Scotland votes yes, and doesn't get EU membership straight away, Data Protection would presumably be an issue for a bit. I'm not particularly impressed with safe harbour arrangements already enacted elsewhere... This might rather scupper much of the operational side still being based in Scotland for rUK business.

    And then there's the question of "what if they rob all your money" as presumably a new extradition treaty will be needed and if the follow the line of some countries "we'll never extradite our citizens" then all sorts of shenanigans could be perpetrated with impunity

  16. Indolent Wretch

    Massive IT angle missing here. The big question surely regards Chips!

    McCain currently claim their chips are made from 100% British Potato.

    What will happen if the Scots claim independence?

    Are there enough chips elsewhere in Britain to pick up the slack?

    It will not be OK for these guys and others to keep sticking U.Jacks on things

    made with Scottish produce.

    Oh and Scotland if you do go off, just make sure you pay your bleeding debts.

  17. Come to the Dark Side

    - Hague, a signatory of a pro-union newspaper letter, says his firm could handle different currencies but with higher transaction costs and risks: "You've got your costs in one currency and your revenues in another."

    I don't quite follow this. If you're a successful e-commerce business that doesn't cater to non-UK currencies, is that not highly limiting. Multi-national trade would require at least dealing in USD and Euro no?

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Such businesses usually hedge their bets by making sure that if they have a debt in one currency, they find a way to leverage a debt in the other. Even when this balances out properly there's usually an additional cost to manage this, and inevitably some risk since the bets never balance 100%. I think that's what was meant, having to cater to two currencies is quite possible, but puts up prices.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Multi-currency working costs more and has higher risks

        It's as simple as this:

        • Buy your widgets in USD
        • Sell your widgets in GBP
        Your profit margin is clearly dependent on the exchange rate between GBP and USD - if USD goes down, your profit goes up and vice-versa.

        So how do you set your prices?

        Costs+overheads+margin against 'what the market will bear' is not enough, you also have to look at the probabilities of each currency changing in either direction and how far, and if you can hedge against these risks in some way.

        All that costs extra.

        So he's absolutely right - they could work in multiple currencies, but it increases their costs and so have chosen not to do so.

        Many online retailers choose to work in a single currency and pass that risk onto their buyers - for example, AliExpress works entirely in USD regardless of your local currency.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think the scottish independance referendum is just a public relations sham. The result has already been decided and it's "No".

    Scotland is strategically very important to the UK, our nuclear missile submarines are based there. The UK is not going to give them away to Scotland, and there isn't any other site in the UK that meets the criteria. ie. It needs to have deep water, easy access to the ocean, and most importantly be as far as possible from London in case it gets attacked or there's a nuclear accident.

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Oddly the main criteria for selecting Faslane had nothing to do with access to the ocean (it's at the end of a sea loch into a relatively shallow sea so it takes a while to get to true deep water) or distance from London (after all the Atomic Weapons Establishment is really quite close to the capital). It's because they wanted the cloudiest place in the country so Soviet satellites couldn't spy on the SSBN fleet. This is why it's always raining when you go to Faslane.

      1. Ross K Silver badge

        It's because they wanted the cloudiest place in the country so Soviet satellites couldn't spy on the SSBN fleet. This is why it's always raining when you go to Faslane.

        No satellites needed.

        All spies needed to do back in the day was park up at the little picnic area on the A817 overlooking Faslane, and break out the binoculars... Check it out on Google Maps

    2. 4ecks
      FAIL

      Sub bases

      "there isn't any other site in the UK that meets the criteria. ie. It needs to have deep water, easy access to the ocean, and most importantly be as far as possible from London in case it gets attacked or there's a nuclear accident."

      So Milford Haven doesn't exist then?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Funny how many are voting yes due to the Tories, but if it is a "yes" vote then they'll be negotiating with the Tories, so they're going to get a really bad deal. Not to mention Salmond will want to very quickly sort it all out.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Funny how many are voting yes

      Well, they're saying they'll vote yes. After the panic reaction by Westminster, offering more devolution concessions to buy them off, it would be foolish for any Scot to tell a pollster they'll vote No, no matter how they actually plan to vote. The bigger the Yes in the polls, the more concessions, then vote No on the day to lock them in. It's a no brainer now, thanks to the Cameron/Clegg/Milliband circus. Most children learn that sort of blackmail by the time they're 6.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As an American

    I can understand the desire for independence, but I fear that once the North Sea oil and gas runs out, Scotland is going to be a pretty poor country. It would be like the rest of the US seceding from New York and California (something I'm sure conservatives would dearly love) leaving the biggest financial center, tech center and tourism behind.

    1. Someone Else Silver badge
      Go

      Re: As an American

      It would be like the rest of the US seceding from New York and California (something I'm sure conservatives would dearly love) [...]

      I don't know about that, but I quite frankly wouldn't really mind it much if Governor-cum-felon Perry actually did get his way, and Tejanoland (a.k.a. Texas) did secede. Then they can set up their dearly beloved red-state tea-bagging, brown skin hating, gun-totin', neo-Christian caliphate they've always wanted, and leave the rest of us with IQs above room temperature alone!

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: As an American

        neo-Christian caliphate

        That would be quite a mind-boggling version of "neo-"

      2. Gary O'Brien

        Re: As an American

        Is that the high IQ people that have put California over 50 billion debt, companies clamouring to leave and a middle class diminishing rapidly.

        1. Someone Else Silver badge

          @Gary O'Brien -- Re: As an American

          No, that would be the high IQ people that resolved California's $50 billion debt, balanced their budget, and continue to make California a magnet for both businesses and individuals from all over the world.

          (Disclaimer: I do not live in California...)

    2. Lars Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: As an American

      As not American but as an outsider too, I would advice Scotland to vote no as the yes is based on feelings rather than realism and as there are too many unknown. I knew a nice Scottish lady years ago who, while in London, asked a Bobby for help. The Bobby asked her if she had lost her compass and she was not amused at all. I have always wondered if there was something in the compass that I did not get..

      Any help regarding this.

  21. bed

    Re: IT angle...

    Re the IT angle, there would, probably, need to be a Scottish TLD; .scot has been mentioned as all appropriate two letters TLDs have been used. While .sco has its attractions it would bring a whiff of Santa Cruz with it.

    Meanwhile, should there be a “yes” vote; there will then be a period of negotiation over the divorce settlement. Nowhere have I seen it suggested that, should Scotland consider any proposed settlement unsatisfactory, Scotland could or would do a UDI (and it probably couldn’t and wouldn’t) which starts to make the whole process a bit of joke.

    My preference for a TLA for the Former UK is definitely FUK.

    1. foo_bar_baz

      Re: IT angle...

      You're a bit late. The .SCOT TLD was launched in July.

      Examples:

      yes.scot

      bettertogether.scot

      welcome.scot

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    History

    It appears many Scots are still brooding over their historical differences with the English. It is sometimes forgotten elsewhere that they also dwell on their own tribal clan feuds going back just as far. Their religious feuds are also still active. Many Scots have apparently moved south of the border to work in order to get away from those problems.

    No doubt there will be pressure groups wanting to make Gaelic the first language of the State system. Having seen the Highland and Islands independence drink-fuelled emotions running high at parties in Edinburgh in the 1970s - there should be no illusions about what internal discord could be unleashed in the aftermath of a "Yes" vote.

    As to their joining the EU. There are several EU countries with cultural regions who want independence from their current State. An independent Scotland is unlikely to get approval from those countries to join the EU - it would be seen as an unwelcome precedent.

    Sorry to be so negative - a result of several years working in Scotland and learning to fear treading on cultural eggshells.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: History

      " result of several years working in Scotland and learning to fear treading on cultural eggshells"

      Would those eggshells be left over from making all those Scotch Eggs. And what am I going to eat if they stop exporting them south of the border?

  23. Ken 16 Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Can't Scotland expel England from UK?

    Since it's the union of separate countries, couldn't Scotland (perhaps working with Wales and Northern Ireland) vote to expel England from the UK? Scotland keeps the EU and close ties with celtic neighbours, while England is the one who's off on their own, as a majority of it's MPs seem to wish?

    1. A Twig

      Re: Can't Scotland expel England from UK?

      It would, but the Union part is generally a polite way of saying "beaten the shit out of militarily at some point in the past and taken over but you put up a good fight so you can keep your name. Oh, and after a few decades we'll stop butchering the populace and maybe allow you to re-start some of your old cultural customs and re-claim your identity."

      So for better or worse, it does all come back to the monarchy, who sit in England.

      Before the angry down voters commence - the above is a deliberately jaundiced and tongue in cheek view of history which is not my own :P

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just Sharing..

    Found in a news service article:

    Door-knocking is not always easy. One Yes campaigner in Pollok was deterred by a bulldog. "He's English," the dog’s owner offered by way of explanation.

  25. graeme leggett

    Plenty of job opportunities

    While Scotland may already have regional offices for many functions carried out across the (current UK), they will need to create head offices for those organizations based futher south.

    They'll want their own: DVLA (Swansea), UKAS (not the university one), IPO, Companies House, MHRA (all London), HSE (Liverpool), Space Agency (Swindon?), Ordnance Survey (Southampton), Met Office (Exeter), Medical Research Council, UCAS. So many acronyms and abbreviations needing an extra "S"....

    They'll also be able to nationalise the railways - all change at Carlisle and Berwick, something that may or not be called "Royal Mail". And other fun stuff.

    They'll also want a Staff College for their armed forces as they are staying in NATO.

    1. Tim Almond

      Re: Plenty of job opportunities

      that's what I'm hoping...

      It's going to be a goldrush. If England and Scotland co-operate, all those systems will need changing to ensure that only certain people can see certain things. if they don't, rewrites.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Plenty of job opportunities

      Extra job opportunities is great, if there's more work and more income, but if you're doing the same amount of work and have the same income then employing twice as many people isn't a positive thing.

      The best you could hope for is to pull a few jobs from England into Scotland (resulting in some cutback in England), worst case is that the cost of building new infrastructure and employing local people is outweighed by the (potentially) cheaper option of buying that service abroad (England), i.e. Scotland will initially be "outsourced", and there might be some "insourcing" opportunities.

  26. Vanir
    Alert

    Half-Life

    Unforeseen consequences.

    The Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Sarajevo, June 28, 1914.

    Stalin appointed General Secretary of the Communist Party in 1922

    Hitler becomes a German citizen on 25 February 1932.

    January 1958, Mao launches a plan, the Great Leap Forward.

    You smoke.

    You drink alcohol.

    We know what we're doing don't we?

  27. xj650t

    Thanks All

    For the best discussion about this whole damn thing from a Scot who swings both ways, on this vote that is, still haven't made up my mind one way or the other.

    Has taken about an hour to read through all the comments mind, but has been worth it.

    Who would you vote for President Big Eck, or Prime Minister BoJo, there's a choice?

    YES = So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

    NO = Mostly Harmless

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: Thanks All

      If you do vote yes, you wouldn't mind taking Boris Johnson as a sort of mascot would you? Only I think we need to get shot of him, before he starts getting delusions of grandeur.

      I think Wee Eck should only be allowed to be head of state after he fights the Queen for it. My money's on Her Maj. She's got 80 years of repressed emotion, and anyone who's been married to Phillip for 60 years can deal with anything! Plus she's got a sword...

      I agree it's mostly been a civilised discussion threat. Shame some of the voting's been a bit shonky though.

    2. auburnman
      Thumb Up

      Re: Thanks All

      Yeah this seems to have been the most informative and civil forum I've seen on the issue; The debates between Pieface and Eyebrows were a waste of time with good questions being ignored and them shouting over each other. Yesterday's debate in front of da yoof was much better, at least until Galloway started banging on about Hitler.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Scotlands Last Chance

    This is Scotlands last chance at independence, if the people vote no you can be sure that every last drop of oil and wisp of gas will be pumped out as fast as possible to stop them from trying again.

    Devo Max (or whatever they call it this week) is a smokescreen, every important decision without thought for the people in the regions, will be taken in London (as it is now).

    The Scots should have their own currency (initially 1 Scot for eack 10UKP).

    It should be positive money, created by the Scottish Central Bank, not like the current UK version whereby the private banks create money as debt (inflating the currency but only after they have loaned it, thereby gaining first spender privilege)

    They should institute a Land Value Tax to reverse the clearance, this would allow them to abolish corporation, income and inheritance taxes.

    Private banks in Scotland should be full reserve and should operate as financial intermediaries (lending out depositors money like people think English banks work now, they don't).

    There should be a National Bank that has a current account with real time transactions, no overdrafts or loans.

    The National Bank should have a savings account that returns purchasing power equivalent only.

    Only the National Bank should be guaranteed by the Central Bank.

    The private banks can take deposits and lend at interest, caveat emptor.

    As has been pointed out above a new country is a business opportunity, given stable and transparent regulation, business will thrive.

    As for the share of the UK National Debt that should be shouldered by the Scots, how much Scottish oil and gas has already been hoovered up by London to spend on England ? Lets call it quits then.

    A 'YES' win might rid us English of Cameron, Clegg and Milliband (although they would be replaced by other numpties who could be gotten rid of in the longer term), I for one could wish for no greater thing

    I'm sure that 'No' will be announced the winner in a close run referendum but as Joe Stalin said

    'The people who cast the votes don't decide an election, the people who count the votes do.'

    They should have used the Blockchain

    http://www.cryptocoinsnews.com/blockchain-voting-used-by-danish-political-party/

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Scotlands Last Chance

      Did somebody discover massive gold reserves in the Cairngorms without telling us?

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Scotlands Last Chance

        Did somebody discover massive gold reserves in the Cairngorms without telling us?

        Nope. A rich vein of tinfoil though...

    2. &rew
      Holmes

      Re: Scotlands Last Chance

      You present a beautiful picture of a future, but offer little in the way of a roadmap to get there.

      We should have Thorium fission plants, and be developing fusion instead of burning coal and gas.

      We should be exploring space and mining the asteroid belt.

      We should be governing by ability and vision rather than personality and greed.

      Getting to these lofty goals should not include chopping the world's population into smaller and more idealistic chunks, because if you do, you'll end up just one idealistic chunk in charge of nothing, amongst thousands who care little for your vision - exactly where you are now.

      When writing code, no matter how good the procedure you call is, the whole program is still crap if the main body is corrupt. Fix the recursive lobby/tax/elect/media loop in the core, you can worry about everything else later.

    3. graeme leggett

      Re: Scotlands Last Chance

      It's not the last chance of independence. The last chance of independence is the one where they vote for independence and then go independent.

      There's nothing stopping another 5 or 10 years (or however long) passing and if there's a political will for another referendum, then there will be one.

      By comparison, the bid for Irish home rule (a devolved government) started in 1880-ish. It was in 1922 that the independent Irish Free State was created.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A true story...

    I was once at a dinning table full of "Brits", and one of them asked me "Are you French?".

    I answered: "I would say Italian but I think my thick accent is giving away I am French"

    I asked: "What are you?"

    The man said: "British"

    I answered: "Oh, you must be English then"

    He inquired: "True, but why are you saying that?"

    I told him: "Only English people would call themselve Brits. Scots are saying they are Scots, Welsh are saying they are Welsh, Irish are saying they are Irish, but English people would be the most likely to call themselve Brits before calling themselves English".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A true story...

      Yes, but that's because Irish, Scots and Welsh know that they're only provincials, the English realise that they are Britain...

  30. No, I will not fix your computer

    My opinion

    When there's blood on the streets, buy property.

    The turmoil in the markets means that there's a bunch of people already making money, when stocks go down, you'll find those that reversed bet the stocks rubbing their hands.

    A "yes" vote will create even more turmoil and uncertainty, regardless of any positive or negative outcome there will be the same bunch of people making a lot of money, a "no" vote will be more stable perhaps - and so some who don't care about devolution for the people will still be hoping for it.

    There will be winners and losers here, but I bet a penny to a pound, some people will gain a lot - and it wont necessarily be the average person in the street.

  31. Brian Allan 1

    Get out of that ridiculous British welfare state mentality!

    I truly believe the Scots can do a far better job of managing their own economy than the British have demonstrated with their ridiculous welfare state approach! If that is the case, businesses will continue to rely upon Scottish expertise and expand their operations in Scotland. That is nothing but good for the Scottish people!

    Scots have always had an independent, conservative and shrewd attitude. It will work wonders in an environment NOT dragged down by the rest of Great Britain!

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Get out of that ridiculous British welfare state mentality!

      Yes an independent Scotland led by arch-thatcherite Alex Salmond will be free of the crypto-communism of David Cameron's tories and more business friendly.

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