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Scottish Constitutional Jamwatch

Posted on August 20, 2012 by

In case you hadn’t noticed, “Devo Max” is dead. Since the turn of the year, the current Prime Minister and the last one have both issued clear declarations that the idea of full fiscal autonomy for Scotland within the UK is simply a non-starter.

Even while Scottish labour “leader” Johann Lamont umms and aahs and coyly refuses to reveal which additional powers she might or might not want devolved to the Scottish Parliament in future, Ruth Davidson of the Scottish Tories hops from one position to another according to whether the London party have told her what she believes that day or not, and Willie Rennie’s increasingly-laughable Scottish Lib Dems put their faith in what we think is the party’s 57th Home Rule talking shop, David Cameron and Gordon Brown have unceremoniously slammed the door on the notion. So what’s left?

The official policy of all three Unionist parties is now – though they don’t openly call it this – “Jam Tomorrow”: a vague, non-specific non-commitment that Holyrood could maybe have some more powers sometime in the future, so long as Scotland votes No to independence in 2014. Given that the Calman Commission, when its findings are finally (partially) implemented in 2015, will have taken seven years to deliver a tiddly handful of trivial powers like landfill tax, stamp duty and airgun control to Edinburgh, we wouldn’t advise Scottish voters to hold their breath.

This position is a significant retrenchment for the Unionist parties on even the much-derided “Devo Plus” option put forward by a breakaway group of Lib Dem, Labour and Tory MSPs. As limited as that proposal is, it would nevertheless grant the most significant fiscal aspects – taxation and oil revenues – to the Scottish Parliament, while leaving almost all-other currently-reserved powers in the hands of Westminster.

So we’ve decided it’s time someone kept proper track of what’s actually on offer to the Scottish people. Below, and subsequently updated on this separate page, you’ll find a table breaking down what each of the four options constitutes, each supported by linked sources as close to the relevant horse’s mouth as possible. As particular aspects are clarified over the coming months we’ll adjust the table accordingly, but here’s how it stands today (as far as we can ascertain).

Control of:

STATUS QUO

DEVO PLUS

JAM TOMORROW

INDEPENDENCE

Income tax

NO

YES

NO

YES

Corporation tax

NO

YES

NO

YES

Oil revenues

NO

YES

?

YES

Welfare

NO

Partial

NO

YES

VAT

NO

NO

NO

YES

Defence

NO

NO

NO

YES

Foreign policy

NO

NO

NO

YES

Trade & industry

NO

NO

?

YES

Transport

NO

NO

?

YES

Energy regulation

NO

NO

?

YES

Constitution

NO

NO

NO

YES

Crown Estates

NO

NO

NO

YES

Civil service

NO

NO

?

YES

National security

NO

NO

?

YES

Immigration

NO

NO

?

YES

Broadcasting

NO

NO

NO

YES

(NB You’ll notice that the table focuses on powers, not policies. That’s because, of course, the referendum will NOT decide whether Scotland is in or out of NATO, in or out of the EU, in or out of various currency unions, or any similar issues. Those will be decided by the Parliament that the people of Scotland elect in 2016, should there be a Yes vote in 2014. The referendum will determine ONLY whether Scotland decides those matters for itself, or continues to let the south-east of England do it for us.)

Remember, as things stand there’s no actual choice between the first three columns. The parties of the Union are currently determined to offer only two options: independence or nothing. Any powers that might or might not subsequently be granted to Scotland are entirely at the UK Parliament’s discretion, and that discretion will be exercised in the knowledge that the Scottish people, having voted No to independence, will have no chips left with which to bargain and be entirely at Westminster’s mercy.

That situation may or may not change over the next two years. We’ll let you know.

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    1. 16 06 16 06:01

      All Unions Are Not Equal | A Wilderness of Peace

    2. 21 06 16 08:04

      The Betrayal of Control: Return of Jam Tomorrow | A Wilderness of Peace

    49 to “Scottish Constitutional Jamwatch”

    1. Doug Daniel says:

      Although I understand your reasoning for not putting policy such as EU and NATO membership on the table, it would perhaps be good for highlighting that such things would still be in the powers of Scotland, rather than Westminster. For example, we might be in a currency union with the rUK, but it would still be our own choice, rather than one forced on us by Westminster!

       We may not remove the monarchy in 2014, but we WILL be giving ourselves the power to do so if we so wish!

      A good list though, and isn’t it remarkable how closely Jam Tomorrow mirrors the status quo…? 

      A small note on VAT: I can’t remember where I read this, but I’m positive that EU rules prohibit a member state from having variable VAT rates in different regions. If this is indeed true, it should really be highlighted to the public more often – true FFA is impossible without independence.

    2. “… and subsequently updated on this independent page …”

    3. Cuphook says:

      Quite simply, a No vote means that Westminster, and not the people of Scotland, will decide the future of our country.
       

    4. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Although I understand your reasoning for not putting policy such as EU and NATO membership on the table, it would perhaps be good for highlighting that such things would still be in the powers of Scotland, rather than Westminster.”

      Well, it’s pretty much all wrapped up in “Foreign policy”.

    5. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Doug
       
      I think you are correct re VAT but, there is a copout.
       
      VAT is lower, in fact non existent, in Gibraltar, which is in the EU by way of being what the French call a Territoire Outremer or as London calls it a British Overses Territory.
      I may be mistaken but, I think that VAT in Jersey etc is fifferent from the UK and maybe Madeira has a different VAT rate than mainland Portugal.
       
      It may be possible to designate a self governing part of the existing UK and thus open up the VAT door. I do not know how much this would be of val.ue to Scotland anyway

    6. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Cuphook
       
      In fact the SE of England would continue to decide Scotland’s future. This is where the core vote that the Tories must hold and Labour must occupy.

    7. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      In fact the Channel Islands do not have a VAT tax.
       
      The Isle of Man has adopted a similar VAT rate as the UK. I am not sure if that is by choice or not.

    8. Cuphook says:

      VAT is not levied in some small territories due to their anomalous historical nature. Gibraltar is outwith the VAT area as are Ceuta and Melilla across the water. Jersey and Guernsey pay no VAT, like Heligoland and the Åland Islands – but IOM does.  
       
      Scotland is within the VAT area and has no serious chance of being other unless it leaves the EU.

    9. Norman says:

      Excellent graphic Rev old bean!  Sums up the corner our unionist pals have painted themselves into.  

    10. Cuphook says:

      Sorry – misinformation time. While the Channel Islands are outwith the VAT area they are in a customs union with the UK and did apply VAT but not for goods under £15. That loophole was closed by the UK earlier this year and I can’t remember if an appeal has been lodged.

    11. Holebender says:

      The Isle of Man and the Channel Islands are not part of the EU. Neither is Madeira, iirc.

    12. Kenny Campbell says:

      Not sure if we’ve even had as much as an Um or Ahh from Jimmy Krankie….Rumours of her existence are I believe exaggerated.

    13. Cuphook says:

       
      The Isle of Man and the Channel Islands are not part of the EU but their citizens are European citizens – though with different rights. Madeira is part of the EU.
       

      I’m sure it’ll all be ironed out, one day.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_member_state_territories_and_the_European_Union
       

    14. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Kenny, wee Jimmy Krankie is too busy digging her rabbitesque bolt hole to be bothered about such inconsequential little details like financial matters either UK wide or Scotland wide. 😆

      Just a wee point Stu, I believe that the air gun powers allegedly being transferred to Edinburgh are not, as far as I am aware, full powers. The air gun powers we will receive at some point in the future only cover the piddly little air guns. The powers over the powerful air guns will remain with Westminster. No surprise there then! 🙁

    15. Sam says:

      This is really interesting, this blog consistently provides a considered viewpoint and makes great reading – especially when so few other news outlets seem to cover the issue.  
      Only a few points:  Shouldn’t oil revenues section form part of the crown estates section? I thought they were owned by the crown. 
      This being the case, by “Oil Revenues” – “YES” (under independence), is it implied that ownership of these reserves would be transferred by the crown to Scotland, come independence?  I’m just wondering how it would work, or whether I’ve got the wrong end of the stick and Scotland would benefit from the use of the resources in the same way that Westminster currently does.
       
      It seems that a large part of the argument for economic independence hinges on these revenues.  I’ve read that the bulk of the oil has already been used, meaning the remaining oil would be very expensive to extract.
       
      The other thing I’ve never understood with relation to independence is currency – does the SNP propose to remain linked to the pound (in which case Scotland would still be controlled by England, to an extent), or linking to the Euro, which is currently near collapse and means control by fairly undemocratic committee. Just wondering how bonds will work under an independent Scotland, really.  
       

    16. Doug Daniel says:

      ‘Well, it’s pretty much all wrapped up in “Foreign policy”.’

      Well, I know that, you know that, and I dare say all of us commenting know that – but  you can never underestimate the failure of the general public to grasp basic points, especially when their usual path of information is the MSM!

      It was really the monarchy that first made me think it, but then that’s wrapped up in “constitution”. So yeah, you’ve covered all the bases really. 

    17. Macart says:

      @ Arbroath1320

      Ah but so long as we have access to slingshot PC Murdoch’s helmet will never be safe. So up yez tae Westminster. 😀

    18. Holebender says:

      Sam, oil&gas has nothing to do with the crown. Perhaps you are being confused by the use of the word “royalties” to describe some of the taxes? The stuff is under Scotland’s continental shelf and Scotland will benefit by charging for licences to look for and extract the stuff, and by charging taxes on the stuff, and on the profits of the companies which extract the stuff.
       
      I don’t know where you read that “the bulk” had already been extracted, but most reputable sources will say that (of the reserves we know about, i.e. not counting future discoveries) approximately half of all the oil there ever was is still there to be exploited. Also, the stuff is selling at over $100 per barrel these days, which is considerably more that it used to be.
       
      I disagree that oil&gas forms a large part of the economic case, but it would be foolish to ignore it, don’t you think?

    19. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

      Very interesting when you consider The Channell Islands and IOM. They are Crown Dependencies. None are in the EU. They pay a contribution to the UK for defence and foreign affairs. I transact business in Guernsey(is a vat free island). They, as well as Jersey and the IOM are completely autonomous with the exeption of the two previously mentioned issues.

      Therefore, in your chart Stuart, you would have to add FFS (Devo Max) to compare them.

      Now here’s an interesting point. What if AS said we’ll agree to a one question referendum.  The question will be, Do you agree that Scotland should be a Crown Dependency?         

    20. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Excuse me, whilst I exit this blog with my tail between my legs.
       
      I thought there was only one Moridura.
       
       

    21. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

      @Sam

      There is roughly about £1 Trillion in Oil and Gas reserves left that we know of.

      New discoveries to the west of Shetland and off Rockall may increase that dramatically.

      Oil is declining but as a resource becomes more scarce it becomes more valuable, hence a higher return on the resourse left.

      The Crown Estates control the seabed that Oil pipelines (and renewables) must cross but not the Oil.

      Revenues from Oil and Gas are put into an account for “Ex Regio Territories” which ONLY includes North Sea oil and Gas.

      Its basically a scam to make Scotland look poorer on the books so instead of being allocated the 90+% of revenues that are ours geographically we end up with a split by population of 8.4% (which even then is only grudginly given). Many Unionist commentators use figures for scotland that are without any oil or gas revenues.

      Oil and Gas accounts for about 18% of Scotlands overall revenue BUT Unionists base all projections on the future on an assumption that Scotland would not alter its current industrial base and economy with independence.

      That is a logical fallacy that underlines the lack of ambition they have for this country.

      Scotland will adapt, and in the short term will be reliant on Oil and Gas revenues, but no to a degree that is likely to cause problems.

    22. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

      “The other thing I’ve never understood with relation to independence is currency – does the SNP propose to remain linked to the pound (in which case Scotland would still be controlled by England, to an extent), or linking to the Euro, which is currently near collapse and means control by fairly undemocratic committee. Just wondering how bonds will work under an independent Scotland, really.”

      @ Sam

      There are four options for currency

      1. Keep the pound – This is actually sensible in the short term as there are a multitude of other things to set up and this removes one from the list.

      The rUK and Scottish economies are close enough linked that it would not cause any issues in the short term and will actually safeguard the pound (and one of our largest trading partners – the rUK) from currency speculators. It would allow the pound to retain its strength. If 8.4% of people stop using the pound then it will have an effect.

      The Bank of England (THE UK CENTRAL BANK) would be lender of last resort and in order to accept that strict fiscal policy rules would be needed. This is actually good because it stops politicians being fast and loose with our tax money.

      2. A Scots currency Pegged to the Pound – The basis of this would be we set up our own central bank and for every £1SCOTS we have we keep £1STERLING in the central bank. Sterling is a fully tradeable currency so no-one could stop us doing this. The bonus with this is we can de-couple from the £STERLING if the economic climate changes. This is my preferred route as we can peg to anything – dollar, pound, euro – whatever is stable.

      3. An Independent free-floating Scots Currency – This would not be wise as we would have no credit history as an independent currency and this could be used against us by the international markets. A safer bet is to Peg the currency for a few years until there is confidence in Scottish financial health.

      4. Adopt the Euro – In order to adopt the Euro you have to be in the Exchange Rate Mechanism II (ERMII) for 2 years before you can join. The ERMII is VOLUNTARY so no-one can force us to join (Sweeden has used this loop hole for years now) and in order to join the ERMII you also need your own independent free-flaoting currency.

      If we go to the trouble of setting up that free-floating currency then why would we give it up when it offers extereme maneouverability to adapt. Just ask Norway.

    23. Sam says:

      Hi Scott,

      Thanks for the response! And for interpreting a fairly muddled comment.  It’s a bit long for me to digest and respond to in work, but I’m definitely going to read through it properly this evening.

      Cheers
      Sam

    24. ttwapies says:

      Slightly OT.
      Just thought folk should know, if they do not already, that the increasingly high profile TV commentator Webster Tarpley, is telling the world that the Scottish independence movement is part of an ongong plot by globalists to control tha world by reducing nation states to powerless micro states which wouold be more easily managed by the central babnksters.
      I first became awaire of these claims in an interview with US shock jock Alex Jones on 14 August (see INFOWARS.com). Watever your views on Alex Jones, his web site is the largest “alternative” media site in the world.
      Although I normaly have some time for the historical insite the Tarpley brings to strategic analysis, and his commentry regarding Greece and Syria seams to be right on target, I had to challenge Tarpley on his assertion. In particular I have asked him what his source is for his apparent foreknowledge of what the constitutional settlement will be.
      As yet I have had no reply, which could mean Webster has simply been too bussy, or alternatively that he is what he is often quick to critisise other as; a political opportunist, a charliton, a fraud.
      Quite dissapointing really, when you find out that someone who you held as one of the more honest challenging commentators turns out to be a numpty.

    25. ronlad alexander mcdonald says:

      Also, The Crown Dependencies are Independent States. They are not part of the United Kingdown as e.g. Gibralter is, as an Overseas Terriotory.

      They are owned by the British Crown. They all use Sterling as their currency. They could join the EU if they wish.

      Intersting to note AS’s previous statement that Scottish Independence , whilst retaining Betty and her kin, would mean we would still be part of Britain!?     

              

    26. Holebender says:

      Ronald. The SNP is for independence. The UK has agreed that Scotland’s government has the right to hold a referendum on independence. Why on earth would anyone now wish to change the referendum to one about crown dependency?
       
      Isn’t crown dependency essentially devo max? Control of everything except foreign affairs and defence?

    27. ronlad alexander mcdonald says:

      Since I’m in the mood consider this. Cameron and his Unionist Patsy’s are insisting on two questions, as a  further question i.e. further devolution would have to inolve all of the UK, as Scotland would remain part of the UK.

      Nobody has said anything about two questions involving sucession have they?

      For example.

      QI. Do agree that Scotland should be an Independent Nation and suceed from the United Kingdom and Britan?

      Q2. Do you agree that Scotland should be an Independent Nation and suceed from the United Kingdom, but remain part of Britain, as a Crown Dependency?

      Q3. Are you an arsehole/self serving bastard and want the status quo?                         

    28. ronlad alexander mcdonald says:

      Almost Holebender, Crown Dependency status is in effect Devo Max, but also sucession from The UK. The huge subtle difference is it doesn’t have to be defined, as the fiscal details already are.

      If the SNP think we can get full Independence in one stage fine. But what if we lose?   

             

    29. ttwapies says:

      @ RAM
       
      Absolutely.
      This is too big a deal to gamble all or nothing on. Especially in light of the general public’s ignorance of the substantive points (myself included), and the way in which the MSM is doing everything it can to muddy the water. A third option could definately hedge against the general unionist misinformation.

    30. Holebender says:

      1. The unionists are dead set against a second question.
       
      2. The unionists would never agree to a second question which was as near as damn it independence anyway. What would be the point (for them)?
       
      3. See point one.

    31. Morag says:

      Maybe, before this goes too much further, we could be clear on the rather important difference between secede / secession and succeed / succession?

    32. Erchie says:

      I’ve listened to Alex Jones. The man is a grade A nutjob who caters for an audience who see a conspiracy in being asked the time of day.

       His advertisers tend to cater to similar folk who are disappointed that we aren’t in a Mad Max apocalypse where they can shoot anyone they feel like

    33. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

      Holebender, the Unionists are dead against a second question and they can legally refuse to accept it as further devolution e.g. Devo Max, means Scotland remaining part of the UK. 

      Crown Dependency status means Scotland would secede from the UK, and become an Independent state. How could they refuse it?

      Yes, fiscally it is the same as Devo Max, but constitutionally different.  

    34. Cameron says:

      @ Erchie
       
      I’m not takking about AJ or Infowars (which could alternatively be called DisInfowars), I’m tlaking about Tarpley getting another global platform on which to spout his views (poorly informed in this case, unless possible support for independence from Murdoch is an indication he is on to something?).
       
      I’ll be watching out for him spinning the same line on RT. Again, whatever you think about the station, it is an international media platform.

    35. Cameron says:

      Sorry fo any confusion, ttwapies = Cameron

    36. MajorBloodnok says:

      Unionist are against a second question mainly because they truly think it’s what Salmond really wants and therefore to deny him that option would mean that he and the SNP will explode and/or disappear forever when there is a NO vote (which Labour think is likely whilst the rest of us think the opposite) and then they (Labour) can step back into the comfy slippers of power (aye, right).
       
      Secondarily, they really don’t want to devolve more powers to Holyrood – because if the SNP do manage to persist and hang on in government anyway (which seems likely) then they will have even more power than Labour.
       
      Thirdly, if they (and I still mean Labour) have to come up with a Devo-whatever option, because the people demand it, then they’ll have to think and write and agree and do hard sums and frankly, it’s beyond them (I mean look at Lamont, and Darling’s record with the old spreadheets isn’t too great either).
       
      Note that I think that it is Labour that are the ones hanging back here.  I think that David Cameron would do a deal as he reckons it would scupper Labour for good and to be honest he’s only interested in the City and international finance means that they’d still make something out of an independent Scotland anyway.

      And I don’t think that dealing with the Tories to gain independence would tarnish the SNP. I mean it’s not like they’re sharing a platform with them, like, um, Labour and the LibDems and Miss Inverness.
       
      As for being a Crown dependency?  Nope. We were independent before and we will be again.  Crown independency, if you like!

    37. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

      They’re against a second question because Westminster will never give real tax powers to the Scottish Parliament. UK governments are controlled by the City of London, be they tory or labour. That’s why Cameron won’t make a deal. A low tax Independent Scotland would threaten the City.

      Crown Dependency status is not my first choice, but if people vote no in a one question vote the consequences will be dire. It would give us a good fallback that they would be in no position to decline as a second question in any referendum, bearing in mind it would entail independence from the UK. it would also give us control of all taxes including vat and enable Scotland as an Independent state to join the EU.    

    38. Doug Daniel says:

      Quite simply, they’re against a second question because Holyrood was never meant to be anything more than a wee pretendy parliament. Hence why the 1997 referendum had a separate question on tax-varying powers, and hence why the resulting tax “power” (singular) was so pathetic that it was never used and was mothballed years ago. It was only ever meant to be a way of killing off the SNP and provide Labour with a permanent seat of government in the UK, so that even when the Tories were in power in the UK (which is 50% of the time), Labour could use Scotland to keep them in the game.

      It’s never been about Scotland, only Labour, and that’s why the failures of their previous ploy (i.e. the SNP rising to power and booting Labour out of power, rather than dying a death) stop them from entertaining the idea of further devolution, other than piddly little things like air gun laws and adding another couple of pennies to the unusable Scottish Variable Rate. They’re not interested in what powers Scotland needs nor what powers Scots want – we’re just pawns in the Westminster political game. Hence why devo max is not good enough.

    39. Cameron says:

      @ RAM
       
      “enable Scotland as an Independent state to join the EU”
       
      Sounds like fryingpan in  to fire if you ask me. Is this realy what all the hard effort spent in gaining independence will be for. A token voice in a wholely undemocratic institution. Remember, the EU is run by and for Germany and France, and the European Stabability Mechanism will make sure of that.
       
      Viva neo-feudal debt slavery!!!

    40. MajorBloodnok says:

      If we’re not in the EU then we don’t have full access to their markets and other benefits (believe me there are plenty).  But that aside, Scotland as an independent nation would have a far greater representation in the EU than it does now.  However, these are debates for later so don’t get distracted.

    41. Wullie B says:

      Why worry about the EU at the moment , that house of cards might fall by the time we have independence, I would prefer Scotland to have a relationship with Europe like Norways one , ie Brussels has no control ofver fishing and things while still leaving a trading partnership open
      As for NATO this needs to be sorted sorted due to most not wanting Nukes on our soil
      Oil/Gas has a lot still to be exploited on the west coast offshore as well as onshore , on Skye there was drilling 20 odd years ago , at that time it was not economically vialble and am surprised this has not been restarted as oil was found at that time
      More powers are not what is needed through Devo plus/Max as these can and probably will be taken back by Westminster at anytime in the future and that leaves independence as the only option and without that second question it is more likely to be achieved
      Should we retain Lizzy the first as our monarch ? Yes until her death then maybe the question should be asked at that time about the crown and another referendum held
      The main problem is the disinformation coming from Pacific Quay and MSM and there is not productive counter to this in the mainstream and this needs to be rectified with all information laid out between the leader of the Yes Campaign and his opposite on the No side. proper debates with truth not hearsay being spoken instead of the tripe we hear daily now
       

    42. Cameron says:

      @ MajorBloodnok
      OK, an independent Scotland may not gaining full access to EU markets without becoming a member first, but would the avoidance of EU tariffs be worth the cost of being bound to the European Stability Mechanism (ESM). That would be an interesting CBA. Although apparently only regulating Euro zone country, it looks as if the EM will dominate the economy of the entire EU. It also looks as if the ESM is designed to benefit larger nations (Germand & France), at the expence of  the smaller, peripheral states, permanently. Now I am not saying that Scotland is the same as Greece or Portugal, but there are too many similarities to be ignored.
       
      Point taken though about this being business for later, I will do my best not to get distracted again and gurantee that I am human an not a troll.  If we are consdering our options though, do we need to know the facts first. Otherwise voting is little more than an excercise in risk management and damage limitation.

    43. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

      @ Cameron @MajorBloodnok

      Membership of the European Economic Area (EEA) is what provides for the free trade Zone.

      This includes the EU, EFTA nations (Norway, Lichtenstein and Iceland) and Switzerland through a separate agreement rather than their EFTA membership.

      Scotland will be a successor state and is already part of the EU (so in the EEA).

      If we decide to leave the EU we can gain the benefits we are seeking from EEA membership via EFTA. We just wouldnt get a say in EU policy.

      If we stay in the EU however we end up with FAR MORE say than we have currently.

      We are not going to be “Tied” to Brussels. This is a Myth.

    44. jon abroad says:

      I don’t see the Crown Dependency road as being of much use. The present three Dependencies are not independent states, but merely self-governing dependencies of the crown. Try selling that to the voting public in a referendum.
      http://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/about/moj/our-responsibilities/Background_Briefing_on_the_Crown_Dependencies2.pdf
      As they are not independent states, they cannot join the EU or the UN. They would have to become independent first, which they seem to have no intention of doing.
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-isle-of-man-18772126
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-jersey-18625263
       

    45. Cameron says:

      @ Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy)
       
      It stands to reason that an independent member nation of the EU will recieve more than Scotland does currently. However, that doesn’t address my concern over the chilling effect the ESM could be expected to have on smaller, peripheral nations. As I said, it would be an interesting analysis to assess what benefit FAR MORE would bring Scotland, against the cost of having the level of our economic activety and our long-term interest rates determined for us by the wholely undemocratic ESM. That would be regardless of wheather or not we choose to join the Euro.
       
      I hope you do not think I am trying to be hard of understanding, but how can one be a member of a club (e.g. the EU), and not be bound by its rules and regulations. This part of you post has all the hallmarks of a frustrated parent who has just explained a new fact of life to the child for the umpteenth (?) time. I am sorry if you think I am pointlessly banging on about non-issues, I just like to know what I am choosing between. Anyway, Wullie B is correct and European economic landscape will probaly be very different in 2014, and the opptions may not be as they are now. I suppose the only way to test all of these facts if to vote YES when we get the chance.

    46. megsmaw06 says:

      I heard that unionist jam is actually an empty jar with the inside painted red. Looks appealing to some people from the outside but is completely disappointing when you open the jar.

    47. john lieser says:

       look this a chance for freedom and that gaps whittling by the day yes it could collapse but the status quo is collapsing anyway we havent sold off our one treasure that still stands the NHS which is the most important thing in a persons life there health if england gots it way it would be selling it off piece by piece

    48. MB16 says:

      I assume the table will be updated as the powers that we will receive as we remain in the union are spelled out?

    49. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      Of course. We’re not holding our breath, though.



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