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Wings Over Scotland

Project Fear By Numbers #2

Posted on March 31, 2014 by

Building into a thrilling partwork!


(When we’ve done all 12 of these we’ll be compiling them into a single massive post for easy reference, but it might have been a bit much to handle in one sudden burst.)


It’s one of the most bizarre aspects of the independence debate that the No camp is quite happy to insist one day that an independent Scotland would be forced to adopt the Euro, then the next day claim that we wouldn’t be granted EU membership at all (or not for years and years), then the day after that go back to “You’ll be forced into the Euro”, over and over again.

Yet when pressed, almost everyone on both sides accepts that Scotland will be admitted into the EU, quibbling only over the precise timescale and amount of paperwork. The UK government’s own witnesses concluded that the Scottish Government’s 18-month target was a reasonable and achievable one:

“The legal expert, hired by the UK Government to prove the split would be a lengthy affair, ended up backing the SNP’s claim that all deals could be completed within 18 months.”

The reasons for this are numerous and obvious. It will take no time to comply with all the entrance criteria, as Scotland (as part of the UK) is already an EU member and therefore already 100% compliant. The EU is an expansionist union which has never ejected a member and has no mechanism for doing so.

It will be in nobody’s interests to hold up the admission process for an independent Scotland, because it would be patently obviously insane to have to put up, and then take down, all manner of trade barriers, border controls and so on, let alone tackle the citizenship madness that would result.

By almost inconceivable orders of magnitude it will be best for all parties if the negotiations are concluded by March 2016, because the alternative is utter chaos affecting every last corner of the continent.

“For practical and political reasons the idea of Scotland leaving the EU, and subsequently applying to join it, is not feasible.”
(Graham Avery, Senior Adviser at the European Policy Centre in Brussels, and Honorary Director-General of the European Commission)

As a last resort, the No camp tends to fall back on the spectre of Spain vetoing Scottish membership on the grounds of their domestic issues with Catalonia, a concept which has been so thoroughly and frequently debunked as to be farcical.

Spain’s own Foreign Minister has said in the most unambiguous terms that so long as the process of independence is accepted by the UK government – which it already has been, in the Edinburgh Agreement – then Spain will raise no objections.

And finally, all of the debate about the application process is based on a premise which has never actually been accepted – that Scotland would be treated as a new state, with the rUK inheriting the existing membership.

There’s no basis in law for such an assumption – Scotland and England notionally entered the Union as equal partners with equal status. When you get a divorce, one of you doesn’t become single while the other stays married.

Scotland isn’t “leaving” the Union, the Union is ceasing to exist (Wales and Northern Ireland were not signatories), and in any comparable dissolution both partners would have the same rights: either Scotland and the rUK would both continue as members, or both would have to reapply.

It’s now uniformly asserted in the (Unionist) media that such a situation won’t apply – sometimes citing, with dubious relevance, the breakup of the USSR – but no actual statement to that effect has ever been made by anyone with the authority to do so.

“My own guess is whatever the legal formalities, in terms of the political will if Scotland were – being hypothetical – were to vote for independence, I think Europe would try to smooth its way into taking its place as a European member. The underlying issue is that probably [Scotland] can get in to pretty much all of these organisations with relative ease – months rather than years.”
(Lord Malloch-Brown, the former Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and Foreign Office minister in the last Labour government)

EU politics are ultimately a matter of pragmatism rather than law, and if everyone agrees that Scotland should be a member – as everyone does – then with the politics of the referendum removed from the equation it may well be the case that the quickest, simplest, cheapest thing for everyone concerned is for both nations to be accepted as continuing member states.

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119 to “Project Fear By Numbers #2”

  1. Donald says:

    Denmark said indy Scotland’s entry into EU would be straightforward and in Denmark’s interest. Iceland said something similar.
    And yet, we never heard that on the BBC or main stream media outlets. It’s as though they only want to carry one side of the story. Why would that be the case,….oh, I see.

  2. Charlene says:

    As far as I’m aware, rUK will be the “continuator” state therefore inheriting/keeping all treaties and stuff. Scotgov has never contested this. Indeed, it is the reason why rUK is responsible for all the debt. So rUK wouldn’t need to reapply to EU etc as it would still be seen as “the UK”. Scotland will be the new state so will have to reapply.

  3. Tamson says:

    Another aspect which is rarely discussed is the NEO numbers issue. There’s no way France, for example, will allow rUK to retain all the UK’s current MEPs if it’s just lost 8.3% of its population.

  4. Tamson says:

    Should be “MEP numbers issue” above, apologies.

  5. Alabaman says:

    Sorry to go o/t so early, but it looks like Bill Munro of Barrhead Travel has just done a “Ratner”, I think a few folk will take their business elsewhere .

  6. John Russell says:

    If Scotland were booted out the EU would it also mean that Spain’s fishing fleet would not be allowed in Scottish waters? Kinda cutting their nose off to spite their face

  7. Grouse Beater says:

    Now we know why the organisers of the Darien Scheme kept investment to Scottish sources – England made plain that to stop Scotland trading with nations other than England on England’s terms, they would block all possible avenues of investment.

    And they did. Even to threatening other governments should they dare support the expedition.

    If only William Paterson had been determined not to be blackmailed, brow beaten or intimidated.

    Today we are led by people made of sterner stuff and we have well-established friends in Europe.

  8. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “As far as I’m aware, rUK will be the “continuator” state therefore inheriting/keeping all treaties and stuff. Scotgov has never contested this.”

    Easy quiz, then – show me a quote where they’ve ever accepted it.

  9. Les Wilson says:

    Stu, you have said it all really. Good breakdown.

  10. Training Day says:

    If we had a media that was even remotely competent or impartial this nonsense would have been put to bed months ago.

    Not one journalist – not one – has asked Unionists what the process is for expelling Scotland from the EU. As the Rev points out there is no mechanism for so doing.

    People who swallow this rubbish probably also think that Santa is married to the Tooth Fairy.

  11. Andy-B says:

    Its good you’re going over these crucial topics again Rev,as new readers may not be completely aware of the extent of the lies, from the no camp, regarding the EU, currency, and other fearbombed topics, such as pensions.

    Although many of us will be aware of Barroso, Rajoy and Cameron’s attempts to sabotage, Scotland’s entry into the EU,along with the whole of the UK’s press, other will not, and you’re deconstruction of many of the above topics, to the detriment,of the no camp, are very welcome.

  12. Jim T says:

    Not sure your statement that the UK is 100% compliant in entirely solid Rev. page 42 is the UK report.

    Other data in the report shows that Westminster is a wee bit tardy on most things. But hey, it’s all in the spirit of being an obnoxious EU partner.

    I’m sure we could, in an indy Ecosse, give the swifter members (e.g. IE, DK, NL SE) a run for their money in the compliance stakes though 🙂

  13. Jim T says:

    dammit I must change these fingers – too many typos these days. Last post should read ” … compliant IS entirely …”

  14. Capella says:

    Another point is that many people don’t care about not being in the EU (like Norway) and would prefer to be in EFTA. In Tom Hunter’s poll, membership of the EU, and the currency issue are the least important questions to those surveyed.

  15. Jim T says:

    and of course I REALLY meant page 42

  16. Jim T says:

    Shit, I’m giving up for the night PAGE 45

  17. Taranaich says:

    Scotland isn’t “leaving” the Union, the Union is ceasing to exist

    This needs to be stated over and over again. The House of Lords seem to think the UK is some sort of club (which they just happen to be masters of), but if one of two participating states leaves, then what kind of a club is it that has only one member?

    I think the other problem is that everyone is assuming the EU is as incompetent, morally bankrupt and spiteful as the UK government is: therefore, they assume the EU would kick 5 million EU citizens out & strand thousands of EU citizens in a non-EU country, because they can see the UK doing that. It simply doesn’t occur to them that the EU, flawed as it is, just isn’t as deranged as Westminster has proven itself to be. A bit like the one-way mirror analogy: Scots looking south through the mirror see England, England looking north just see themselves reflected back. And so, people think the EU will kick the Scots out because the UK like to bluff that it’s exactly what they’d do in their position.

  18. Capella says:

    Another point 2. We are all citizens of the EU and there is no mechanism for depriving us of our citizenship as far as I know.

  19. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Not sure your statement that the UK is 100% compliant in entirely solid Rev.”

    Well, they haven’t chucked us out, so in practice we are 😀

  20. JLT says:

    Good idea, Stuart.

    Might be a good idea to have 2 wee links on the right side of the screen. Have one link to ‘Project Fear’. The other to ‘The Truth’. Make it big and bold!

    Could be a ‘quick reference’ for all newbies (and to be honest, sometimes for us ‘acolytes’ too!)

  21. Jim T says:

    I have to admit, they do produce nice documents 😛

    Their regulations are a trial and a half to work through though (part of the day job), which is how they manage to keep their staff employed I suppose – creating nicely structured but unreadable guff.

  22. heedtracker says:

    What’s it going to be like if Farage hits the big time and the rUK struts out of the EU? At least everyone from mainland Europe that has made Scotland home knows they are voting for in our 2014 referendum, if only. Imagine if you’re from Poland or Lithuania say and all you have is relentless bettertogetherBBC propaganda telling you over and over that Scotland is out of the EU. Desperate stuff.

  23. jon esquierdo says:

    The Currency, E.U. membership and border controls are rammed down our throats on a daily basis. I is now so pathetic

  24. Linda's Back says:

    Disreporting Scotland failed to mention the Better Together currency union blow on TV this evening.

    But they did have time for their latest referendum special in Kirkwall on 15th April following other such nationalist hotspots as Kelso and Strathallan School.

  25. Giving Goose says:

    Heedtracker it’s not Farage on the EU that worries me, it’s if he spots an opportunity to do some flag waving over Scotland that is of concern. Farage, single handed, has dragged the Tories Rightward, with Labour moving Right to fill the void and keep up. If he can whip up support on holding a referendum, then he do the same to disrupt another. Never mind the Edinburgh Agreement, if Farage starts to get nervous about Better Together’s lack of traction, he might think it’s his calling to do something. We go on about the BBC and the clue in it’s name, but UKIP isn’t EnglandIP in disguise, it really means UK!

  26. CameronB says:

    Is this the kiddies pool, or am I allowed in? 🙂

  27. Graeme mccormick says:

    EWNI will only be the successor state with the agreement of the Scottish Government. In international law both Scotland and EWNI will be successor states if there is no agreement.

    The last thing the EU wants is to open it’s budget process so it will leave it up to the Scottish government and EWNI to divide the rights and obligations of the UK between them.

  28. Pentland Firth says:

    Our “Scottish” media have been very keen to highlight the most ridiculous scare stories designed to raise doubts about an independent Scotland’s continuing membership of the European Union. A responsible media, committed to informing and educating (as well as entertaining) their readers and viewers, would have either binned the silly scary press releases or lampooned them. Luckily, online media such as Wings have done the job the “old media” have largely failed to do.
    Not everyone yet has access to or takes the time to access online information. We must continue to spread the word about alternative media and find ways of placing pressure on the “old media” to mend its ways if the information battle and thus the referendum is to be won.

  29. pro-loco says:

    O/T Here is a more realistic comment on the possible consequences of a YES vote plus an online poll ready for your vote!

  30. kininvie says:

    Taranaich will no doubt put me right, but wasn’t the 1707 deal an ‘incorporating union’ – which, if Wiki is to be believed – means both previous states cease to exist.

    There’s a variation (Wiki again) ‘Incorporating annexation’ where a state is dissolved into an existing state whose legal existence continues.

    If you go back to the first analysis paper (which I heartily commend if you are ever tempted to feel sorry for BT) the ‘Scotland extinguished’ argument rests entirely on the assertion that the 1707 deal was a de facto incorporating annexation, despite what the Scots (or anyone else) thought at the time.

    I agree that the SG has never conceded this – but whether it will be worth squabbling over in the Indy negotiations is a different matter. In the interests of fast and amicable resolution, probably not. BUT, like taking the clean slate option over debt & assets, it’s a nice wee thing to have in reserve – especially if there is any fuss over the EU, or maritime boundaries, or – well lots of things…

    The point being that if we agree amicably, no one else can really stick in an oar. And that’s hugely to the rUK’s advantage. The alternative could leave rUK in an awkward place…

  31. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Dear Charlene

    Do you have any evidence to back that up?

    rUk the “contuator” (very Dr Who) State.

    Have you any substantive information to back that up?


  32. JLT says:

    One piece of good news for me today, was that one of my workmates who after a chat on Friday, and was swithering, finally said in a quiet conversation, ‘I’m voting ‘Yes”

    This was guy who was originally voting ‘No’.

    Folks. Seriously …keep talking to people. Produce the evidence and show them. Tell them where to go. Print stuff off and leave it with them. Leave wee quips like ‘oil in the Clyde’ or continually say ‘there will be currency union’ (that did wonders in the section today after the weekends events). It does work. It’s drip, drip, drip, and it is having an effect. As said recently here on this site, people are now beginning to engage. Hell! Even my Unionist parents are now asking me questions! It gives me a great feeling to know that people who were staunchly ‘No’, are now coming round.

    I also believe that my colleague was also swayed by knowing that 7 of us in a section of 15 are voting ‘Yes’. Two years ago, there was only 2 of us who were ‘Yes’ men. Now there is 7 of us. The others who used to mock and cat-call are very quiet these days.

    We are winning ..and we are going to win.


  33. Dr JM Mackintosh says:

    Well done Stuart,

    The Yes campaign really has to nail this issue as it is complete rubbish but it is being driven by the MSM and BBC.

    We need to push back hard and the best way to do this is to state that both Scotland and England (sorry Wales and NI) are continuator states.

    Tthere can be no real argument about this

  34. the Penman says:

    The two biggest arguments I have with folk about EU membership are, thankfully, easily answered:

    1. “EU citizenship is contingent on citizenship of an EU member state”.
    Answer: a) Since Scotland will negotiate smooth entry before 24/3/14, this is a non-issue. And even if it was, b) can you demonstrate either law or precedent that removes a democratically declared population in a new member state? No, you can’t.

    2. “The UK is compliant with EU law because it has the established functions of state (and institutions etc) that Scotland lacks ( by not being an independent state), so Scotland’s not 100% compliant at the moment in itself. ”
    Answer: Even if that is correct (debatable), what do you think might happen in the 16 months between 19/9/14 and 24/3/16?

    Anything I’ve missed in there?

  35. CameronB says:

    I think most informed HUMANS would follow evolutionary trends. 🙂

  36. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Taranaich –

    I love your posts – you always sound so calm, reasoned. It’s not easy to keep the heid sometimes.

    Today I’m in a foul mood for reasons which are completely o/t, but all about utterly normal, everyday ‘stuff’ that we all have to face from time to time. That’s when the shite being issued by these people becomes close to unbearable.

    Who do they think they are? How dare they try to frighten us? It’s as well we’re physically connected to England otherwise they’d surely be tempted to treat us as they normally do ‘uppity’ natives – bomb the living daylights out of us.

    As a history buff, Taranaich, you’ll be able to confirm this – when the lairds in the highlands weren’t busy ethnically cleansing the glens to make space for sheep, they exercised total control over the people’s lives to the extent that any ‘natives’ who wished to marry had to get permission from the landowner. We’re talking not much more than a century ago.

    They packed us into deplorable housing, made us work in their stinking factories, fight their wars, spend decades on the dole while they lined their fucking pockets. No work, no hope, no truth, no respect – but we’re to blame if we’re poor or ill?

    What the elites and latter-day lairds fail to realise is that we have had enough and we are not taking it any more. This is the twenty-first century we’re in, and if anyone should be afraid, it’s them.

    We’re going to win this thing, and win it well – no fear. Hundreds of thousands of Scots spent their whole lives working towards this day, dreaming about it. Millions of us bolted overseas and never came back. The lies and deceit and exploitation are coming to an end, and no amount of nonsensical bluster from the likes of Darling is going to stop us taking this opportunity.

  37. Dr JM Mackintosh says:

    ..Oops hit the button – iPad finger trouble.

    There can be no real argument about this as Scotland is older than the English state and is one of the oldest nations in Europe. We were joint partners in the Union (even if most of the Scottish population opposed it at the time) and if we leave then there is no longer a United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

  38. CameronB says:

    Who do they think they are? How dare they try to frighten us?

    There’s a word for that sort of behavior, beginning with T and ending in -ISM. ;(

  39. annie says:

    O/T Susan Calman starring in a new STV quiz show tonight rather ironically called The Lie.

  40. Thepnr says:

    There is a very interesting statement in that research paper “The Quebec Referendums” published last year by the House of Commons, sections of which were featured in an article on Wings a month or two back.

    “There are at least three different possibilities under general international law for the treatment of states that break up:
    1: Continuation and secession, where one part of a state secedes but this is not
    considered to have changed the identity of the remaining part. In these cases, the continuing state keeps its international obligations and membership of international
    organisations, while the seceded territory becomes a new state
    2: Separation of two states that previously came together voluntarily. In these cases the separated states may both be able to keep treaty obligations and membership of international organisations
    3: Dissolution, where the old state ceases to exist. The treaty obligations and
    memberships of international organisations do not transfer to other states.

    Solid legal consensus is difficult to come by, particularly in international law, and state succession is particularly disputed. However, the general view is that in customary
    international law treaty obligations and membership of international organisations remain with the continuing state, if it is agreed that there is a continuing state. In many cases, it is clear that there is; on the partition of India, it was generally accepted that India was a continuation of British India, and Pakistan was a new state.”

    I do believe that an Independent Scotland would pretty much be arguing for point 2.
    Download link

  41. Marcia says:

    A live stream of the Yes Motherwell meeting is available

    it is just about to start, Jim Sillars, Robin MacAlpine & Cat Boyd.

  42. Andrew Morton says:

    Independence Livestream from Motherwell live now.

  43. Thepnr says:

    Sorry about the formatting errors!

  44. CameronB says:

    Don’t encourage people to judge a book by it’s cover. 😉

  45. X_Sticks says:

    @Marcia & Andrew

    Beat me too it.

  46. kininvie says:


    Correct. The Vienna Convention on Succession of States in respect to treaties also states that (as per case 1) a seceding state may, by assertion, confirm its adherence to treaties signed by the predecessor (except where the secession might have effect on the treaties – as would be the case with the EU).

    So we’d be able just to say we’d abide by such things as the Law of the Sea, etc without any fuss, even if we were a ‘new’ state.

  47. CameronB says:

    Remember, we are all working hard to change our society for the better tomorrow.

    Just saying

    Vote YES 🙂

  48. Bruce Wallace says:

    Thanks Marcia sent I completely forgot about the GLO, heading over to Motherwell now, your a star.

  49. Dcanmore says:

    O/T looks like there’s still 450 seats still to be claimed for Eddie Izzard’s Better Together show on Friday, if count stays as is then the venue will be 75% full (cap 1900) for one of the world’s top stand up performers who sold out Wembley Arena (cap 12500) and Madison Square Garden (cap 18000).

  50. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Is that Stuart Cosgrove on the panel at the Motherwell gig?

  51. X_Sticks says:

    @ Ian

    Not SC. Was supposed to have been Bob Crow.

    I’m not sure who it is that has stood in for him – John somebody…

  52. CameronB says:

    Lets see how Better Together handle that. 🙂

  53. EphemeralDeception says:

    The UKs stated position is that rUK is the de-facto successor for various arbitrary reasons.

    The Scottish Governments consequential stated position, as with the currency, is that IF the rUK position remains unchanged then Scotland can start as a New State, No debt,No share in common assets eg Embassies etc.

    These are just warning shots and are starting points in a ‘Distributive negotiation’ process. The 2 two sides will get down to discussions and there will be some compromise just as there was for the Edinburgh agreement.

    Scotland and EU will imo make use of an entirely different approach which is based on ‘Integrative negotiation’. I just wish there would be more discussion on what Scotland within the EU is likely to look like eg. Representation, membership of the very many European bodies, key aspects up for discussion eg. CAP / Fishing / UK opt outs(which ones even interest Scotland?) etc.

  54. Dcanmore says:

    @CameronB …

    They’ll take a picture of the front stalls and call it a ‘full house, a great night and £thousands raised to keep Scotland in the UK’. If the numbers stay the same then BT will be looking at £36,000 gross.

  55. CameronB says:

    Hope you got my meaning there.

    Evolutionary trends = avoiding things that are bad for you 🙂

  56. Taranaich says:

    @kininvie: Taranaich will no doubt put me right, but wasn’t the 1707 deal an ‘incorporating union’ – which, if Wiki is to be believed – means both previous states cease to exist.

    I’ll defer to Christian Wright on this one:

    They argue that therefore Scotland is part of the territory of the continuator state of England/UK, a part which will secede from the mother country of which it has been a province for the past 307 years. Scotland will then be a newly born state with no right to the assets of the UK but liable for it debts.

    However, the Articles of Union of 1707 do seem to offer dispositive evidence to the contrary. Consider this statement from Article IX:

    ‘… the Parliament of Great-Britain, to be raised in that Part of the united Kingdom, now called England …’

    Now, doesn’t that single statement kill HMG’s case stone dead? What it is saying is that England is part of the UK, not that it is the UK or that it has absorbed Scotland, which by deduction must be the other part of the UK and therefore not part of England. That is to say, the statement tells us they are both component parts of a binary union. N’est-ce pas?

    This is but one example of the evidence leading inexorably to the conclusion that HMG’s position is bunk.

    To add to Mr Wright’s comments, one has to also consider Scotland having completely different legal systems, NHS, education & whatnot compared to England & Wales.

    @JLT: Folks. Seriously …keep talking to people. Produce the evidence and show them. Tell them where to go. Print stuff off and leave it with them. Leave wee quips like ‘oil in the Clyde’ or continually say ‘there will be currency union’ (that did wonders in the section today after the weekends events). It does work. It’s drip, drip, drip, and it is having an effect. As said recently here on this site, people are now beginning to engage. Hell! Even my Unionist parents are now asking me questions! It gives me a great feeling to know that people who were staunchly ‘No’, are now coming round.

    Same here. More and more folk I would’ve had pegged as No voters are starting to reconsider. Sometimes they’ll only concede that I may “have a point,” others only say they can’t vote Yes, but they can’t vote No either. Even so, it’s heartening to see people start to lose that ingrained cynicism about politics.

    @Ian Brotherhood: I love your posts – you always sound so calm, reasoned. It’s not easy to keep the heid sometimes.

    Today I’m in a foul mood for reasons which are completely o/t, but all about utterly normal, everyday ‘stuff’ that we all have to face from time to time. That’s when the shite being issued by these people becomes close to unbearable.

    Who do they think they are? How dare they try to frighten us? It’s as well we’re physically connected to England otherwise they’d surely be tempted to treat us as they normally do ‘uppity’ natives – bomb the living daylights out of us.

    Thanks! And I know the feeling, Ian. Just recently I got some terrible news regarding a close family member. They were affected badly by the Bedroom Tax: one of those forced to choose between heating and eating. For a few weeks, they were elated by the Scottish government’s mitigation, and were relieved that their council were going to implement it (not without taking all the credit for themselves, of course). Unfortunately, the housing association have now hiked up the rent, almost completely negating the money they saved. Instead of having an extra £27 to spend on food & heating, they now have an extra £2.

    I swear, it was enough to drive me into a red rage – but there was nothing to be done. The housing association are actually a good lot, and they’ve done a lot to ease things – but they have bills too. Likewise, the council has been a lot better. As ever, the blame goes squarely on the parasites in Westminster, about which we can currently do very little.

    So when someone from BT comes along and tries to give their case for the union which has done *this* to the people I love, where they have the gall to suggest that an indy Scotland could possibly be worse, when they have the temerity to say the SNP will betray us and LABOUR will make everything better… well, it’s not easy at all.

    But knowing that we’re going to win helps a lot.

  57. X_Sticks says:

    Andrew Morton says:

    Independence Livestream from Motherwell live now.

    Jim Sillars on now

  58. CameronB says:


    If the TURNOVER was to be £36, that is truly pitiful for one the world’s top comedic ‘talents’. He rips a lot of his material off, btw, some of it is older than I am. 🙂

    Just for clarity, that is a turnover of £23,333.333 per hour, which is just over THREE times the turnover of the print company I started. I might have had four employees, but I didn’t have the BBC bumming me all over the world.

    Down with imperialists. ;(

  59. Findlay Farquaharson says:

    amazing how the daughter of the great lord calman of the report gets a nice cushy job in scottish broadcasting. is it talent cause she has never made me laugh but maybe i dont get it.

  60. Muscleguy says:


    That is what keeps being asserted, yes. But it has nowhere been proven to be the case. It is suggested that the rUK side will attempt to assert this at the negotiations after a Yes vote and I fully expect the Scottish Government side to have a prepared response.

    So far the SNP have no challenged it, probably because if we are not a continuator state with rUK then we also do not inherit various obligations such as the debt. Which rather simplifies the negotiations. But we will have to wait and see what the positions in the negotiations are at the time. Politics is the art of the possible and often the possible is the path of least resistance.

    One thing to bear in mind. If we are a continuator state then it may be harder to get rid of Trident since that would make us co-singatories with the US on the Trident system. It may well be that such things are part of why the Scottish Government might wish to take that stand or not contest it.

    There is something to be said to starting a new state with a relatively clean slate. It simplifies government and foreign policy and allows greater flexibility unencumbered by centuries of treaties and agreements. We can decide on a logical basis what treaties and organisations it is in our interests to join. And either Alex or Nicola get to risk RSI signing lots of things with the pens they use at such events 😉

    You need to learn to unpick what is asserted from reality and Wings is a great place to be helped to do that.

  61. CameronB says:

    Sorry JLT, I’m not meaning to hound. My mistake.

  62. Peter Macbeastie says:

    Funny, isn’t it, how this one comes up time and time again, no matter how many times it’s knocked down, they just keep putting it back up to get punched again. Their position is eternally contradictory with ‘you’ll be forced to take the Euro’ and in the next breath ‘you won’t be allowed into Europe’ both positions ignoring the blindingly obvious that you can’t have it both ways. Then you add in the Tory wheeze of an in/ out referendum on European Union membership, which kind of negates part of the argument even further. If we stay in the union, we don’t get the Euro or EU membership, because I genuinely believe the xenophobes in England will be able to sway that vote to the result that would have UKIP wetting their kecks. Years of anti Europe propaganda in the MSM have essentially seen to that likelihood.

    Now, I know as well as any that EU membership is a bit of a hot one amongst independence supporters. A lot of us believe that it shouldn’t be taken on full stop preferring the arguments for membership of EFTA instead. I am personally unmoved by arguments against; I have seen nothing about the EU that is remotely as bad for Scotland as the influence of West the unionist argument that we’ll only be trading Westminster for Brussels is so funny as to be ridiculous. It asks you to believe that EU membership is the same as being part of the UK. I’ll be honest, I’m not capable of suspending reality to that degree.

    Of course, I think the reality for the vast majority is that the EU is just a distant concept to them. It is far enough removed from your day to day (at least at first glance) to be totally irrelevant. The No campaign’s insistence on scaremongering about it, I suspect, leaves most Scots completely and utterly cold.

  63. pro-loco says:

    Alistair Darling blundering again according to the FT:

  64. CameronB says:

    Peter Macbeastie
    The way the I see it is, September has nothing to do with Europe. Indyref is all about whether or not Scotland chooses to give itself the best tools for its future development.

    If we choose to make ourselves a typical country, with it’s own government, then and only then we have to decide the best way of moving forwards. Possibly EU, perhaps not.

    Europe is a decision for the future and should be forgotten about, right now.

    Which do you do first, pull your zip down or pee? 🙂

  65. seanair says:

    FT want money to read this!

  66. Ian Brotherhood says:

    That’s a seriously packed hall in Motherwell…still going, with questions from the crowd.

  67. Jim T says:

    @seanair 9:06pm

    choose the righthand column and you get 8 articles free. Once you run out of your 8 articles, simply delete the cookie associated with the FT and you can have another 8

  68. pro-loco says:

    sorry about that – sometimes you can see a certain number of articles for free…

    synopsis is – AD suggested a UK wide referendum on Currency Union if Scotland votes yes. The Treasury thinks this is well off message because it suggests Scotland could vote yes and that a Currency Union might be on the table. Further criticism of AD suggests Downing Street are beginning to lose confidence in AD – or alternatively are deliberately sabotaging the Better Together campaign.

  69. CameronB says:

    Having met the man on several occasions, I have absolutely no qualms in reporting I have ZERO confidence in him, his honesty or his abilities.

    He wouldn’t usually stop for long outside British Labour (Edinburgh branch office), but his neck would be glowing as he scuttled off.

    Repulsive individual, IMO.

  70. JLT says:

    You had me there, CameronB!

    For a second, I was wondering what the hell had I typed earlier! (LOL)

    Enjoy the rest your evening, matey.

  71. CameronB says:


  72. taysideterrier says:

    The way I see it at the moment the the bluff and political diplomatic talk is as follows.

    Scottish gov – there will be a currency union = we would like Ruk and Scotland to be continuing states.

    UK gov – Highly unlikely to be a currency union = we will wait till negotiations and see what we can get out of you before we make it so. we are in charge! i.e we are the continuing state and to make everything as uncertain as we can for voters, that’s our line.

  73. taysideterrier says:

    Scottish gov = we will continue to be members of the EU = we would like to be a continuing state.

    UK gov – You are highly unlikely to continue to be members of the EU = we will wait till negotiations and see what we can get out of you before we clarify or help you. we are in charge! i.e we are the continuing state and to make everything as uncertain as we can for voters, that’s our line even though we could get an answer to this right now.

  74. CameronB says:

    I wasn’t aware slave owners were prone to setting their chattels free.

  75. Donzo says:

    I see this all differently!
    1. Other countries will all recognise rUk – the world over, the rUk is not about to lose every treaty it ever signed on defence, tax, ec membership. I can see why people say the uk ends -but at a practical level do scots really think the English will accept the notion of the end of their country just because 10% of the country leaves? No.
    2. Ec – whilst we can debate this article 48 requires other members to agree a treaty amendment. Can you admit a new country to an agreement like that or do you need to use article 49? Legal articles appear to offer different views and one expert seems to be another mans fool.
    3. Euro- who knows but if we are a democratic member of the ec the euro has more legitimacy than letting Westminster control sterlingzone – we will have MEPs but to mps if we vote yes and stay with the ec.
    4. Are there any yes voters who want our own currency and to use EFTA ? Like Norway. I think the Swiss and Norwegians are better role models for a wealthy scotland than the eurozone countries.

    I am not part of better forgotten…(is that what the no campaign was called) but I do hate the notion that there is some badge of honour for using a yes vote to create a socialist model in scotland. Mind you lamont appears to want to do that if we vote no.

    I always notice yes voters say “we” are …etc…referring to “we” as scots. I quite like being British ! Devolution appears to me to offer plenty scope to play a different tune but stay part of an orchestra that makes a real difference. Don’t let the recent financial mess ruin us – it was caused by Gordon Brown who sold the gold, went on a spending spree and arrived at the worst financial crisis in history with broken finances. Osborne seems no better.

  76. Robert Peffers says:

    I’ve said it before, and no doubt will say it again, “The EU, Council of Europe, NATO, UN and the WTO are all quite different international organisations that all have some things in common”.

    The most obvious commonality being they are all unions of disparate international countries dedicated to uniting states in causes common to the respective member states.

    Now it beggars belief that such organizations would deter another like minded nation from membership. Even more so to expel a present member state that has done no wrong. Nor would they expel one part of a former member state that has legally and democratically disunited while retaining the other. Their Raison d’être is, after all, uniting in common cause for the very good reason that unity is strength.

    Even with each such organ having to cope with the memberships having differing languages they each have obviously adapted to dealing with such problems so must know that the title, “United Kingdom”, describes a bipartite state comprised of two kingdoms but which contains four countries.

    It thus beggars belief that any such organ would choose to expel one such kingdom while accepting that a United Kingdom could still exist as the continued member state. Doing so would thus lose the support and the assets already brought to the organisation by the rejected state.

    Quite simply their obvious choice is to inform both former partner Kingdoms that both are continuing members but needs must renegotiate their membership conditions.

    What really mystifies me is why the Westminster Establishment fondly imagines that the general Scottish electorate are so stupid as to believe the sheer idiocy of their various and several utterly stupid and self-contradictory claims. Could it be the Establishment is actually more stupid than the Scottish electorate?

  77. Croompenstein says:

    but at a practical level do scots really think the English will accept the notion of the end of their country just because 10% of the country leaves? baiter

  78. Donzo says:

    Robert –
    I agree that is a logical argument.
    My sadness is that every big question on what yes or no (both!) means has to be answered by a supposition from the opposing sides not firm facts.
    1. Currency – fact… One side says it will happen and the other side says not
    2. Euro…
    At least the yes campaign have a mostly unified view on currency – even if their view is still something voters are beings asked to “trust alex” on.
    I guess my problem is that I like being British. I can go to England withou changing money, taking an e111 card and a passport. I can buy and sell without vat being an export intra ec. We use the same tax system and the same hr rules. We access the same consular support.
    I’m guessing these things won’t sway readers here so I will say goodnight and prey that come September the James Wallace campaign has rendered the whole thing illegal.
    Night night.

  79. Grouse Beater says:

    @ Donzo

    You’re using a blunderbuss to hit a lot of targets.

    The insurmountable chasm with any sort of “devo-max” is, it cannot be written in stone. Do you know how few MPs in the House of commons are needed to pass a bill, and how many in the Lords to ratify it? – 18 in total. Eighteen people can alter the life of you and me and everybody in Scotland if they so wish, and when you are asleep, in a late night sitting. That few can remove what they wish.

    You can remain “British” if you wish, we will, after all, still be part of the British Isles. Your passport will say “Scotland.”

    Various EC bigwigs state unequivocally they see no legal reason to bar Scotland remaining in the “club,” and after negotiating various conditions. In fact, with all the bad odour eminating from England and Faragites the EC might be extremely keen to ensure we stay.

    No one is suggesting by Scotland regaining sovereignty it means the end of England. Perhaps you are, by assuming the United Kingdom IS England. If so, you won’t be the first to make that egregous error.

  80. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Donzo –

    Aye, ‘night-night’ to you too. Make sure and get your sleep ’cause you need whatever day-job you have.

    Ya fanny.

  81. taysideterrier says:


    On point 1, Agreed that all other countries will recognise the Ruk as continuing state in practical terms. I think it will depend on negotiations ect whether or not Scotland will be helped by Ruk and recognised/supported internationaly as a continuing state.

    On point 2 , Agreed, Its all Legal “opinion” and up for debate and negotiation but the overwhelming fact is an Independent Scotland will be in the EU one way or another for as long as the People of Scotland decide.

    Point 3 and the Euro, Apart from the fact that there are qualifying criteria that takes years to implement and you need a central bank ect ect… I actually think Westminster mostly fears the notion of Scotland joining the Euro. Imagine all those Eurozone countries trading with Scotland rather than a non Euro country (RUK) with no transaction fees ect. we would see a massive increase in trade i recon(more complicated than that I know but thats the short version, lol)

    On point 4, I would like to see our own currency and im not fussed about full EU membership either way but would prefer EFTA. There are a full range of views on this within what I have read and spoken to folks about.

    On your last points, I would say your views are welcome and the important thing is you are engaged. In my humble opinion the worst thing anyone living in Scotland who has a vote could do is keep their head in the sand and not listen to any side of the debate before making up their minds.

    I like being British as well as far as living and associating/socialising with all the people that live, work and visit this island. We are all living together on this group of islands which is Britain and its certainly not the government that have the right to decide where people feel they are from or where they belong or who feels foreign to who. Just the same as anyone who holds the view that there in no way British but they are Scottish, English, Welsh Irish whatever, its up to the individual to decide not a government.

    If Scotland becomes a sovereign country, It means we will have a government that represents us 100% with sovereignty passed up from the people that live here. Unlike the situation we find ourselves in now where sovereignty is with a parliament that passes it down and it can be argued quite convincingly that it does not represent the views of the people of Scotland. In my opinion a Scottish parliament in full control and is made up by Proportional Representation must surely give the people who live in Scotland, no matter their political colours a more equal representative voice than the current status quo with a FPTP system that does not treat its constituents equally.

  82. Grouse Beater says:


    “Ya fanny.

    Do I deduce you smell a rat?

  83. CameronB says:

    If you are interested, I’ve posted you a reply to you on the previous thread. 😉

  84. CameronB says:

    Ian Brotherhood
    You know that scene in the Jungle Book, where all the vultures are perched together. Look around the room. 🙂

  85. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Grouse Beater –

    I was, of course, using ‘fanny’ in the globally-recognized American sense i.e. what we ‘Brits’ call a ‘bum’ or ‘arse’.

    So, you are correct – I smell a ‘rat’s ass’.

    Having said that, he’s still a fanny.

  86. CameronB says:

    Does he have any though? 🙂

  87. Grouse Beater says:


    I recognised the American use – at least he has something to fall back on, unlike our Anglophile poly-tishuns when independence judges their jobs and careers superfluous.

  88. kininvie says:


    Jesus, I hope you’re in a better mood on Friday. I was looking forward to a good blether…

  89. Bruce Wallace says:


    I was in that room, I have no idea what you mean by the vulture’s in the room, be careful with your comments.

  90. Morag says:

    At 9.50 on the previous thread Donzo was “a cautious undecided”. By 10.34, that’s just under three quarters of an hour later, here he was.

    I will say goodnight and prey [sic.] that come September the James Wallace campaign has rendered the whole thing illegal.

    I can cope with an honest unionist. I can’t cope with creepy unionist trolls who pretend they’re undecided and then can’t even take the trouble to keep up the pretence for an hour.

  91. CameronB says:

    Right, I have posted a lot about the RTPI recently and its significance to the Union. Ian, I got the impression that you are not a stroker, so why has nobody brought it up (eg the Rev). Is it ’cause…..?

  92. CameronB says:

    Bruce Wallace
    Point taken and I don’t want to start anything here, but what about some of the treatment that ha been dished out to myself?

  93. CameronB says:

    I was trying to be humorous and the image just popped in to my head. Sorry.

  94. taysideterrier says:

    morag says,

    At 9.50 on the previous thread Donzo was “a cautious undecided”. By 10.34, that’s just under three quarters of an hour later, here he was.

    I will say goodnight and prey [sic.] that come September the James Wallace campaign has rendered the whole thing illegal.

    I can cope with an honest unionist. I can’t cope with creepy unionist trolls who pretend they’re undecided and then can’t even take the trouble to keep up the pretence for an hour.

    Donzo might not have a vote then??? going by his/her last sentence about the wallace n gromit campaign?

  95. CameronB says:

    Bruce Wallace
    I appear not to merit the common courtesy of an acknowledgment to my reply?

  96. CameronB says:

    Bruce Wallace
    The next time you ask someone to mind their manners or decorum, please mind your own.

  97. Bruce Wallace says:

    I have no idea of the image in your head, I’ve not watched jungle book, I wasn’t having a dig, just saying be more diplomatic or just keep some thoughts locked up 🙂

  98. CameronB says:

    Bruce Wallace
    That’s not very nice, I’ve just posted a clip for you in the rumpus room. 🙂

  99. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @CameronB –

    ‘Ian, I got the impression that you are not a stroker…’

    I must be doing something right then.

    @kininvie –

    Yeah mister, sorry about the crankiness. One of those days man…I promise to be on my bestest come Friday!

  100. CameronB says:

    Is it that obvious I’m the “hard-to-please” kind? 🙂

    Seriously, this RTPI issue is big and I was just wondering how I can catch anyone’s attention.

  101. CameronB says:

    Bruce Wallace
    You are aware of the new “of-topic” thread?

  102. CameronB says:

    FFiddle sticks.

  103. Bruce Wallace says:

    Cameron this site is being brought down a tad recently with your amount and style of posting in my opinion, but hey, carry on kido. I wasn’t having a dig re my last post just saying how it could come across to others, I guarantee your affecting others posting or lurcking.

  104. CameronV says:

    Bruce Wallace
    Hi Bruce, now lets get one thing straight first. I don’t like falling out with people and I hate conflict. Your rebuke was mild and I have had worse on my nose, OK.

    Saying that though, does it not take all sorts? Are you more equal so that I need to obey you? What harm have I done, on who’s authority?

    Bruce, my life experience is rich and varied, I’m not a didie. I have wide range of skills including data analysis, town and country planning, , graphic design and have set up several companies. Have you not asked yourself if I might have a purpose to mu actions? Remember, I have recieved a hand-full of compliments tor my style and have also gotten requests to continue. Shall we ask them if they agree with you?

  105. CameronB says:

    Bruce Wallace
    Cool and just for a little insight, that is how I declare war. Its over now, I think. I hope. 😉

  106. Bruce Wallace says:

    The hatchets buried, lets leave it at that and move on, Motherwell is a difficult area, me and a couple of others are hitting brick walls in the housing schemes but I have had some luck in getting people to at least have a look here and that is why I don’t want to give them a reason to turn away by seeing remarks about the people over there or posts detracting from the issue Stu is trying get across.

  107. CameronB says:

    What are the objections you are coming up against?

  108. CameronB says:

    In case you don’t have the time to reply (no dig intended 😉 ), I found four guiding principles that I think have served me well through challenging times. Once you understand these concepts and accept them in to your heart, everything else falls in to place with the right effort. They might not be as hippy-drippy as they might first appear. 😉


    IMO, the only way of ensuring Scotland is able to experience HARMONY, is through an accountable Scottish govenmtent with the correct tools.

    Just saying

    Vote YES

    P.S. If you’ve got a bit of time on your hands. 🙂

  109. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “P.S. If you’ve got a bit of time on your hands. 🙂

    I have never in my life read a book that made me so badly want to kill myself. Tried it in my teens, and it’s such insufferable wank I couldn’t manage more than a chapter a week or so. Took me about six months to plough through the damn thing, because I was young and I had time on my hands and I was determined to find the epiphany that reviews of it promised even if it was hard work. None came. Miserable, wretched hippy droning.

    It’s the worst book I’ve ever finished. The only one that came close was something about a Techno-Pagan Octopus Messiah or such, which a beloved friend sent to me and which I read out of respect for his opinion, but older and wiser than with ZATAOMM I gave up a third of the way through with gritted teeth.

    “A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius” is pish as well.

  110. Caroline Corfield says:

    Out of curiosity now, what’s your take on Jonathan Livingston Seagull?

  111. Donzo says:

    Thank you for the comment that I am at least engaged in the debate.
    As the other comments all say I’m a fanny and a unionist troll I won’t be back but just don’t forget – Politicians are like nappies – they need changed regularly and for the same reason.

  112. CameronB says:

    Caroline & Rev.
    Can’t really remember JLS but I think it might have had an influece. Stu, I’m not offering ZAMM as a bible and I bet it took me longer to read. 🙂 I think the core concepts that it examines are of interest though.

    Funnily enough, one of the core themes of my training to join the RTPI, was the understanding, definition and attainment of QUALITY. The apparent underlying philosophy of the drive towards sustainability is BALANCE. IMO, you’ve got to keep on your toes with that one, as Agenda 21 is largely driven by FABIANS. And finally, what Scots man or woman doesn’t want value for money and a bit of love. 🙂

  113. CameronB says:

    Hi, did you see my reply to you last night?

  114. Caroline Corfield says:

    Speaking with my physicist hat on – Y’know there aren’t actually that many of yer real facts in existence within this universe. All this ‘ oh one side says this and the other side says that, and I want hard facts…’ malarkey is an extension of our modern day obsession with risk.

    Every single day you live your life without sufficient information to make informed choices but you manage nonetheless. Astonishing.

    It is as close to a hard fact as is possible that independence will put MORE control in the hands of the Scottish people. It will put them closer to the decisions that affect them, closer to the people who make the decisions and closer to the system that puts those people in the position to make those decisions. I like that. I think that’s a good thing.

    Carrying a few extra bits of paper is a small price to pay shurely? And having travelled about the world in my time, borders are really not that big a deal, especially within civilised areas. I know the Scots are civilised so I can only wonder at those who balk at the idea of a more formal border and question what opinion they have of their neighbour.

  115. Caroline Corfield says:

    And be careful what you say about the neighbours I have an English hat and an Irish hat and a Dutch hat too.

  116. CameronB says:

    That works in with what I was saying out infrastructure pricing models based on invalid ASSUMPTIONS. These are the chains the British state uses through the RTPI, to bind Scotland in PERPETUAL structural SUB-SERVITUDE.

  117. CameronB says:

    The RTPI is Scotland’s JAILOR.

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