Scotland, Brexit & IndyRef2: Implications, considerations and similar (including impact on rail).

A0wen

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That's a "fact", is it? I'll also remind you that whether or not someone has a degree or good results, and coming to an informed view.

And yet when the same argument is used about Brexit the response is it was only thick, racist, xenophobes who voted for Brexit...... I'm sure you can see the contradiction ?

Okay. And this matters, why? Does this mean they aren't allowed to be progressive?

I find it interesting that many of the people who claim to want a Scandinavian style of social democracy tend to come from relatively homogenous areas and cite countries like Finland which are also relatively homogenous. Kind of those who parrot and laud diversity have never actually experienced it.

And therefore, what? It's unreasonable for them to want to improve this by moving to a socially democratic model?

If there were a shred of evidence that doing that would achieve it - then fair enough. But there isn't. And there's no reason Scotland's life expectancy should be worse than England's - in fact by your logic given their "social democratic" aspirations, it should already be better than England which supposedly doesn't have those aspirations - yet it isn't.
Nobody has claimed this (and "cleverer" is not the same as "well educated", for the record). I will never understand this bizarre inferiority complex which constantly comes out of the woodwork. Scotland's desire for something different is not an attack on you, your values, or England.

It was certainly being inferred by some of the other posts. And I think quite alot of people think it is exactly an attack on other views and values. Good friends of mine live in Scotland and have done since about 2010 - they lived through the Indy Ref campaign and said it was one of the nastiest things they've lived through (since one of those individuals is ex-British Army with a couple of tours in less than pleasant places, that's saying something). The level of divisiveness, bitterness and nastiness many of those 'Yes' campaigners showed to people who voted No - the routine defacing of No posters and placards things like that tells you all is not well. And the SNP have bred that divisiveness deliberately and maliciously - you want to see how nasty some of the SNP members and supporters are ? This says alot > https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/charles-kennedy-suffered-abuse-worst-23544665
 
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Noddy

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This is nonsense. Why wouldn't two neighbouring countries want to have a cordial relationship?

I don’t disagree with some of your other points but throughout the Brexit campaign we were told by Brexiteers we’d still have a great relationship with the EU and we’d be able to negotiate a good deal. I even seem to remember that some Brexiteers claimed the EU would be desperate to negotiate a good deal. In the end reality neither side was willing to compromise (despite the obvious economic benefits to both sides of An agreement) and we ended up with a hard Brexit. We still have a ‘cordial’ relationship but it is not ‘nonsense’ to say that both sides will be out to achieve what they believe is best for them, which has the potential to be at the cost of the other. This includes installing border guards at every road crossing between Gretna and Berwick if Scotland wanted to rejoin the EU.
 
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permarquis

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And yet when the same argument is used about Brexit the response is it was only thick, racist, xenophobes who voted for Brexit...... I'm sure you can see the contradiction ?
Absolutely I can, but that's why I've never said that "only thick, racist, xenophobes" voted for Brexit. I do disagree with it, but I completely understand the alienation many people feel. Huge swathes of the country have been forgotten about and the people who live there are entitled to feel aggrieved about that. I have lived in many such areas myself!

I find it interesting that many of the people who claim to want a Scandinavian style of social democracy tend to come from relatively homogenous areas and cite countries like Finland which are also relatively homogenous. Kind of those who parrot and laud diversity have never actually experienced it.
This is nonsense. You will find many people in diverse cities across the UK who are in favour of that model. But I don't accept your premise, as there's nothing inherent to social democracy that requires homogeneity.

If there were a shred of evidence that doing that would achieve it - then fair enough. But there isn't. And there's no reason Scotland's life expectancy should be worse than England's - in fact by your logic given their "social democratic" aspirations, it should already be better than England which supposedly doesn't have those aspirations - yet it isn't.
Modern social democracies consistently rank highest in the world for almost every key measure. It is impossible to prove that such a model would ultimately benefit Scotland specifically without trying it, which is what many people who live there want to do.

On your second point, there are many reasons why life expectancy lags behind, not least the significant historical poverty that blighted its largest population centre. The legacy of this will take a very long time to erase, and it's absurd to suggest that "aspirations" would automatically mean "it should already be better than England". Why should it? Social democracy is not something you simply turn on or off. It takes many decades to build!

Good friends of mine live in Scotland and have done since about 2010 - they lived through the Indy Ref campaign and said it was one of the nastiest things they've lived through (since one of those individuals is ex-British Army with a couple of tours in less than pleasant places, that's saying something).
While I completely agree that nobody should receive abuse, I also have to say that this sort of thing is exaggerated, agenda-driven nonsense. The idea that living in Scotland during that campaign was akin to a genuine warzone is so absurd I can't quite believe I'm reading it.

I lived in Scotland during that very same period, as someone with an obvious English accent, and it felt significantly less nasty than the Brexit campaign ever was. I had lots of very interesting conversations from people on either side, listened to their opinions, and never had any issues. Perhaps your good friends simply don't like it when people disagree with them?
 

permarquis

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I don’t disagree with some of your other points but throughout the Brexit campaign we were told by Brexiteers we’d still have a great relationship with the EU and we’d be able to negotiate a good deal. I even seem to remember that some Brexiteers claimed the EU would be desperate to negotiate a good deal. In the end reality neither side was willing to compromise (despite the obvious economic benefits to both sides of An agreement) and we ended up with a hard Brexit. We still have a ‘cordial’ relationship but it is not ‘nonsense’ to say that both sides will be out to achieve what they believe is best for them, which has the potential to be at the cost of the other. This includes installing border guards at every road crossing between Gretna and Berwick if Scotland wanted to rejoin the EU.
That's not an argument against independence. It's an argument for electing a rational UK government that will respect the choice of the Scottish people to leave, if they choose to, and focus on building a friendly, mutually beneficial trading relationship between two close neighbours with a shared history.

Many of these predictions of doom are predicated on Westminster being deliberately vindictive, to which I say: well, don't be vindictive, then! The government could also launch nukes at Edinburgh in a fit of pique, but that would be absurd and very silly, and nobody's response to that would be "well, you shouldn't have chosen independence". It is entirely in everyone's power to make the transition as smooth as possible, and for the future relationship to be a positive one. If that doesn't happen that's a political failing, and not a fault inherent to independence itself.

"If you try and become independent we'll make life as difficult as we can for you" really isn't the argument for the union some people think it is.
 

najaB

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And why I find it really amusing Scottish nationalists will complain about the past 40 years of British socio-economic policy and vote for something that will ruin their economy, but think themselves morally superior to the English and Welsh, who have literally the same complaints as them and vote for something similarly economically damaging as Scottish independence because of it.
It's about not continuing to do that which doesn't work.
Many pro-independence (and quite a lot of pro-union) voters would very much like to see progressive reform throughout the UK, but see no viable way to achieve this. How exactly do you think Nicola Sturgeon could "strong-arm" UK government? Even if she could, what right does she have to do so? The government has very little incentive to listen to a word she says, and that's the crux of this.
This, exactly. I am pro-Union and voted "No" in 2014 but, if a referendum was held today, would I vote Yes. Simply because the Union isn't working and doesn't show any signs of working any time soon.
 

Noddy

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That's not an argument against independence. It's an argument for electing a rational UK government that will respect the choice of the Scottish people to leave, if they choose to, and focus on building a friendly, mutually beneficial trading relationship between two close neighbours with a shared history.

Absolutely agree with this statement! I have no doubt the both sides could achieve this much like Ireland after it left, assuming the status quo remained.

However, if an independent Scotland chose to rejoin the EU it will no longer be in control of its own trading relationship/status. Negotiations will not only involve Scottish diplomats but the EU to make sure that nothing compromises the single market. Concessions will need to be made (on both sides), and as we saw in the wake of Brexit neither side were willing to do this. This is where the SNP are being completely disingenuous with what they are offering through independence. On one hand they say little will change that will directly (negatively) impact peoples day to day lives while on the other Scotland will be able to rejoin the EU. Unfortunately you can’t have both which (as I already noted) Ireland knew in the 1960s.
 
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najaB

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However, if an independent Scotland chose to rejoin the EU it will no longer be in control of its own trading relationship/status. Negotiations will not involve not only Scottish diplomats but the EU to make sure that nothing compromises the single market.
Surely as a EU member state, the existing EU/UK agreement (assuming there still is one) would take effect, negating the need for negotiations.
 

Noddy

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Surely as a EU member state, the existing EU/UK agreement (assuming there still is one) would take effect, negating the need for negotiations.

Negotiations would be in terms of managing the Scottish transition towards realignment with the EU institutions and the consequences with (r)UK such as establishing how the border would be managed as it would become a hard border.
 

najaB

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and establishing how the border would be managed as it would become a hard border.
But surely by then the electronic border will have been established between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (which will no longer be in the customs union).

After all, we were promised that it would be up and running by 2019, hence the purely temporary situation where NI is in the customs union.
 

Noddy

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But surely by then the electronic border will have been established between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (which will no longer be in the customs union).

After all, we were promised that it would be up and running by 2019, hence the purely temporary situation where NI is in the customs union.

If you say so. Personally I think talk of an electronic border was Brexiteer clap trap and is unlikely in my life time (I’m in my late 30s).
 

najaB

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If you say so. Personally I think talk of an electronic border was Brexiteer clap trap and is unlikely in my life time (I’m in my late 30s).
Oh, sorry. I forgot you couldn't hear the sarcastic voice tone!
 

Mikey C

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An independent England would be good news financially for the English regions, as while the other nations are net recipients financially due to the Barnett formula etc, the English regions miss out on this.

So probably good news for the North of England (especially Cumbria and the North East) and the West Country
 

najaB

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Don't be so sure. I've joined the SNP, and I'm a Sassenach living in Bristol.
I think that's actually making the same point. @permarquis was countering the suggestion that the Scottish independence movement was purely based on anti-English sentiment. If it was you wouldn't have joined (assuming that you're not filled with self-loathing), nor would you have been welcome.
 

permarquis

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I think that's actually making the same point. @permarquis was countering the suggestion that the Scottish independence movement was purely based on anti-English sentiment. If it was you wouldn't have joined (assuming that you're not filled with self-loathing), nor would you have been welcome.
Yes, exactly, and thanks for clarifying my (clearly badly expressed) point! Even in the 2014 vote, about 1/3 of people from elsewhere in the UK voted for independence, which I suspect would not have been the case if it wasn't an inclusive movement.
 

Sad Sprinter

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This is simply not true. There are very few occasions when any government has had to rely on Scottish seats to form a majority.


This is nonsense. Why wouldn't two neighbouring countries want to have a cordial relationship?


Will it? We've already seen that Ireland has found an alternative route for its goods going to and from the continent. We have ports too.

I'm not going to respond to the rest of your post other than to say that you've neatly summed up the reasons for Scottish independence. Keep going...

1. At the very least this is the situation now. The most recent polling predicted that Labour would win 284 seats in a General Election. If it wins the same amount of seats as it did in 2010 in Scotland-41, this gives them a seat short of a majority.

2. No reason at all, but unfortunately we live in something called the real world. Even if both sides do agree to conduct negotiations in good faith, mistrust is natural to set in, especially when you are negotiating with nationalists who fundamentally mistrust the entity they are negotiating with in the first place. Surely you cannot possibly think that such a fraught and difficult period of negotiation won't lead to a souring of relations at least in the immediate term as Brexit did.

3. Whilst I'm sure and increase in maritime trade would be a boon for Edinburgh's ports, that wasn't my point. My point is that no matter how lovey-dovey London and Edinburgh will agree to be after independence, nationalism within Scotland will inevitably frame whatever decision England makes that somehow affects Scotland, with suspicion and mistrust. That is already the nationalist view of Westminster, so excuse me as an Englishman, I find your assumption that "two neighbouring countries will have a cordial relationship" noble, but regrettably incredibly naive.

4. "You disagree with my worldview, therefore you automatically validate it" is not an attractive argument.

While I do understand this view, and used to broadly agree with it, I think the word "nationalism" is a distraction here, because in Scotland's case it simply doesn't adhere to many of the usual assumptions. A common mistake I see lots of people in England make is that they assume, as you do, that independence must be about the English. It's isn't for the majority.

The core of it is this: many (though of course, not all) Scottish people want their country to move closer to being a European, socially democratic state. That does not require an "other", which is why I think that's a fundamental misunderstanding. Their vision happens to be different from the current direction England is going in, but the latter doesn't define the former. The difference in political direction between the two countries is absolutely a driving factor for independence, but for practical reasons, not comparative ones.


Many pro-independence (and quite a lot of pro-union) voters would very much like to see progressive reform throughout the UK, but see no viable way to achieve this. How exactly do you think Nicola Sturgeon could "strong-arm" UK government? Even if she could, what right does she have to do so? The government has very little incentive to listen to a word she says, and that's the crux of this.

Scotland votes broadly progressively in every single election, and has done for a very long time. How much longer should they be expected to wait for England to start voting the same way? If national reform is not possible, local reform is the next best thing, and many in Scotland believe full independence is the best way to achieve that. That seems quite a rational view to me.


For the record, I agree with you! Many areas of this country have been left behind and it's unsurprising they felt alienated as a result, and you'll notice I've been careful not to make the kinds of assumptions you mention. But it is true that the two issues come from different political perspectives, despite the common "nationalist" label.

1. Whether or not you yourself say there is no other, that is simply not the impression I, and other English commenters on this thread alone feel. Either we are completely misunderstanding Scottish nationalism (possible) or our instincts are correct (also possible).

Nevertheless, I get the argument that "England and Scotland are moving in different directions", but I also think it's completely illusionary. I do not believe that the English are any less social-democratic than the Scots, and surveys on societal attitudes between England and Scotland over the past few years have largely confirmed this. The difference is that Scotland has a choice of two left-wing parties to vote for; Labour and the SNP. The English have literally one - Labour, that has a chance of gaining power. Labour has consistently for decades proved itself unattractive to English voters and I take Tony Blair's view that Tory power in England is derived from Labour weakness rather than some inante English/Tory kinship. Nationalists raged in Scotland that the 2019 General Election result was all the more reason for Scotland to leave the UK. Did Scotland come out in favour of Jeremy Corbyn in large numbers? No, it did not. So it seems grossly unfair to judge the state of the Union on a supposed Anglo-Scottish political divide when the crux of the issue is that A. Scotland is historically has more patience for Labour than England, despite the fact English voters may want a Labour government in theory and B. Scotland now has two social democratic parties to vote for whereas England has one, that is often unfit for Government.

That's not an argument against independence. It's an argument for electing a rational UK government that will respect the choice of the Scottish people to leave, if they choose to, and focus on building a friendly, mutually beneficial trading relationship between two close neighbours with a shared history.

Many of these predictions of doom are predicated on Westminster being deliberately vindictive, to which I say: well, don't be vindictive, then! The government could also launch nukes at Edinburgh in a fit of pique, but that would be absurd and very silly, and nobody's response to that would be "well, you shouldn't have chosen independence". It is entirely in everyone's power to make the transition as smooth as possible, and for the future relationship to be a positive one. If that doesn't happen that's a political failing, and not a fault inherent to independence itself.

"If you try and become independent we'll make life as difficult as we can for you" really isn't the argument for the union some people think it is.

I don't understand this. Why would I, as a Londoner, want to elect a UK government that would be friendly to an independent Scotland? I want to vote for a Government that can convince Scotland to stay. I have no interest in seeing, what would be after a yes vote, my Government's time devoted for years on end, like what happened with Brexit, negotiating the separation with Scotland.

No one is going to nuke Edinburgh, that sounds like sort of things hardline Brexiteers wrote in comment section of the Telegraph online during and after the 2016 vote. No one is saying the UK will deliberately make life difficult to Scotland because that is, as you say not an attractive argument. And it certainly filled me with resentment when I heard similar things being said about the EU's negotiating tactic with Brexit.

It's about not continuing to do that which doesn't work.

This, exactly. I am pro-Union and voted "No" in 2014 but, if a referendum was held today, would I vote Yes. Simply because the Union isn't working and doesn't show any signs of working any time soon.

Sure - but then you must agree that Brexit was also a reasonable vote that was also a rejection of what did not work for many people. I.e, the neo-liberal socio-economic consensus.
 

Mike Machin

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I do think that Scottish independence is very likely, but I don’t think it will have an enormous impact on the way we move around in these islands.

Whilst it is likely that a newly-independent Scotland would seek EU membership, I feel this would only have an impact in the world of commerce and business, with some extra red tape and customs formalities. The Common Travel Area would almost certainly continue as now, allowing totally unrestricted travel within the remainder of the UK, Scotland, Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Mann, exactly as now.

One only has to look at present-day travel between the UK and Ireland, where, because of family and historical links, citizens of both countries not only enjoy unrestricted travel, but also continue to have the right to live, work, vote, use public services etc without any restrictions. Even now, after 100 years of Irish independence, someone from say Guildford, could move to live in Cork and it would be no more of a big deal than moving to Dorset.

The links will continue for generations. My own grandmother was from County Mayo, and although I have only ever been to Ireland on two occasions, and have never lived there, I’m an Irish citizen, in addition to being a citizen of the UK. Approximately 7 million citizens in the UK either have, or are entitled to, Irish citizenship.

Getting back to the main topic, I think it would be sensible for both Scotland and Wales to have independent control of their railway infrastructure, as the operation of the trains has already been devolved.

Obviously it would be up to the devolved nations to decide on how this would work, but I think keeping track and trains separate would make operations easier, as for example, Cross Country, Avanti, Trans-Pennine Express and LNER could easily make track access payments to the new Scottish infrastructure company.

I would personally like to see a new cohesive train operating unit for England, with its own name and branding reflecting its status as the operator for England. This organisation could operate regional and South Eastern services. It would make commercial sense to have a separate Inter-City company to operate cross-border services from England into both Wales and Scotland - regardless of whether the nations are within the UK or not.

The new Inter-City operator could be jointly owned and funded by the three nations, with a single unifying Inter-City brand, removing the need for trains operating these services being perceived as overtly British or English.

At the end of the day, regardless of whether independence happens or not, this island is called Britain and we will all still continue to be ‘British’, in much the same way as the citizens of Norway, Denmark and Sweden are all Scandinavian.
 

najaB

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Sure - but then you must agree that Brexit was also a reasonable vote that was also a rejection of what did not work for many people. I.e, the neo-liberal socio-economic consensus.
I agree that there was a majority in favour of change, but I don't agree that what we ended up with is a reasonable consequence of that vote. Because the question was flawed.

Though it was presented as a simple binary choice, it really wasn't. It was clear what a "Remain" vote meant, but it was anything but clear what a "Leave" vote actually meant. I know people who voted "Leave" because they believed that we would have ended up like the EEA - closely aligned with the EU but not actual members.

I had more than one discussion with them to try and figure out how that would have been any better, which ended with rambling about 'sovereignty' and 'straight bananas'.
 

permarquis

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Whether or not you yourself say there is no other, that is simply not the impression I, and other English commenters on this thread alone feel. Either we are completely misunderstanding Scottish nationalism (possible) or our instincts are correct (also possible).
Let's split the difference. There are certainly people in Scotland who make lazy assumptions about English people, just as the same is true in the other direction. It's also true that there are a small number you could describe as "anti-English", and I did experience this very occasionally when I lived there. In over a decade, I could count on one hand the number of times this ever went beyond a light-hearted joke.

Where I definitely disagree is that I don't think these people are a symptom (or a cause) of the independence movement. As I said in a different thread, one of the people I had most difficulties with was staunchly pro-union. Some people will always latch onto the thing that seems different about you and exploit it. I'd argue that says more about them than anything else, and to be blunt, they're idiots who don't deserve the time of day. I have a southern accent, and it gets commented on much more in Yorkshire than it ever did in Scotland!

Nevertheless, I get the argument that "England and Scotland are moving in different directions", but I also think it's completely illusionary. I do not believe that the English are any less social-democratic than the Scots, and surveys on societal attitudes between England and Scotland over the past few years have largely confirmed this. The difference is that Scotland has a choice of two left-wing parties to vote for; Labour and the SNP.
I think the big difference, as you allude to, is that in Scotland it is much easier for the existing views of the population to be expressed politically because of the proportional system. There is arguably a progressive majority in both countries, but this is not well expressed in Westminster and never has been. Even if attitudes are similar, my strong feeling is that the practical political momentum of both countries are going in two different directions, and that does filter through. The left in Scotland (excluding Labour, which as ever has no idea what it wants) feels much more confident than it does in England.

Did Scotland come out in favour of Jeremy Corbyn in large numbers? No, it did not.
Labour will never recover in Scotland until the independence issue is resolved, so I don't think this tells us much, and especially not at Westminster elections where people vote tactically. There are also quite a few pro-union voters who do not support independence, but do want a strong voice advocating for Scotland (which Labour is incapable of doing) and so vote SNP in general elections for that reason.

I don't understand this. Why would I, as a Londoner, want to elect a UK government that would be friendly to an independent Scotland? I want to vote for a Government that can convince Scotland to stay. I have no interest in seeing, what would be after a yes vote, my Government's time devoted for years on end, like what happened with Brexit, negotiating the separation with Scotland.
I suppose I see Scotland as an equal partner, and as an English voter I want to see my government treat them as such, even on the way out, and facilitate the right to self-determination, if that right is exercised. That doesn't mean it can't try and convince Scotland to stay (by all means, do so) but if they vote for independence, I don't want to see a belligerent approach. Sure, negotiations would be complex and take time, but such is life in a democracy.

No one is going to nuke Edinburgh, that sounds like sort of things hardline Brexiteers wrote in comment section of the Telegraph online during and after the 2016 vote.
I was being lighthearted to make a point: nobody is ever forced to play hardball, and it doesn't feel entirely fair to use that as an argument against independence. It feels to me a bit like hitting someone and then asking them why they got in the way of your fist. A vote for independence is not a vote for an acrimonious relationship with England, and if England chooses that path, well that's on us, not Scotland.

I agree that there was a majority in favour of change, but I don't agree that what we ended up with is a reasonable consequence of that vote. Because the question was flawed.

Though it was presented as a simple binary choice, it really wasn't. It was clear what a "Remain" vote meant, but it was anything but clear what a "Leave" vote actually meant. I know people who voted "Leave" because they believed that we would have ended up like the EEA - closely aligned with the EU but not actual members.

I had more than one discussion with them to try and figure out how that would have been any better, which ended with rambling about 'sovereignty' and 'straight bananas'.
I think the real problem with the referendum is that it wasn't just the wrong question; it was the wrong vote altogether.

A lot of people felt completely left behind, and unfortunately Brexit was the only avenue they really had to express that frustration. Before the campaign ramped up it was still a pretty fringe issue, but quickly became deeply entangled with decades of (mostly legitimate) grievances, and now we've ended up where we've ended up.

So as much as I wish Brexit hadn't happened, I can sort of see the point Sad Sprinter is making. If you're someone who feels forgotten about and you vote remain, you know it'll be business as usual and nothing will change. If you vote Brexit, you know it'll be a big shock to the system and there's at least a chance something will change. Neither is a particularly good choice but I can see why you might say "stuff this" and go for the latter.
 
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najaB

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So as much as I wish Brexit hadn't happened, I can sort of see the point Sad Sprinter is making. If you're someone who feels forgotten about and you vote remain, you know it'll be business as usual and nothing will change. If you vote Brexit, you know it'll be a big shock to the system and there's at least a chance something will change. Neither is a particularly good choice but I can see why you might say "stuff this" and go for the latter.
As can I. The point I was making (and have made before) is best made by analogy:

Your significant other asks you "I've been thinking, maybe we should move house. What do you say?"

You look around, think: "Yeah, this place is a little crowded, we could do with more space."

"Sure, okay. Let's look into it."

They reply "Great. We're moving next week to a Japanese tiny house."
 

AlterEgo

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Don't be so sure. I've joined the SNP, and I'm a Sassenach living in Bristol.
You can find English people in Sinn Fein too, it says nothing about the character of the party.

Just because some members of a minority join an organisation, does not mean the organisation is insulated from criticism about how it perceives the same minorities.
 

Berliner

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That's a somewhat complacent position. Spain's opposition to potential Catalan independence could well lead to it seeking to block the entry of an independent Scotland for as long as possible so as to avoid setting any precedent.

Spain has never said it intends to block Scottish entry to the EU. Infact it has stated the very opposite multiple times. Provided Scotland holds a legally recognised (by the UK), democratic vote, Spain has said it has no issue whatsoever with our entry. Only if some kind of one sided declaration was proclaimed would they have an issue.

You could argue Spain is not a great example to follow seeing as how it is completely illegally, under any circumstances, for any region to even vote on leaving Spain and the own time democratic avenues were explored, they sent in the police to beat up voters, so they themselves can never even allow the situation they want to see in Scotland happen on their own doorstep. They block Kosovan on the same basis, as they see that as an illegal breakaway from Serbia. Simply put if people in a region want to leave there has to be democratic means for them to do so. The state they want to break away from should not be in control to the extent where even voting on it is illegal.
 

Noddy

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That's not an argument against independence. It's an argument for electing a rational UK government that will respect the choice of the Scottish people to leave, if they choose to, and focus on building a friendly, mutually beneficial trading relationship between two close neighbours with a shared history.

I've been thinking about this a little more. I think you could make that statement for any point in any form of independence debate (whether Scotland from UK, UK from the EU, Quebec, Catalunya etc). I can't think a single issue in either the Scottish independence or EU referendums where an item, issue or institution was discussed where you couldn't make this point. This is genuine question - Is there any example where a 'unionist' could say that Place x would do better to remain part of Zone B without a 'seperatist' countering with the argument that both sides should respect the choice of the people and focus on solving said issue through building a friendly, mutually beneficial relationship between two close neighbours with a shared history?
 
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Gareth

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The island is called Great Britain. And again, Scotland isn't Ireland. Assuming both: the UK is happy to have yet another potential immigration loophole (Ireland can already be a headache) and: the EU is willing to waive the mandatory participation of Schengen that EU membership requires - is blind faith and both those horses would have to come home for no border control to be possible. Neither party have indicated they'd be up for that, so the status quo ante is that there'd be border controls.
 
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RT4038

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The island is called Great Britain. And again, Scotland isn't Ireland. Assuming both: the UK is happy to have yet another potential immigration loophole (Ireland can already be a headache) and: the EU is willing to waive the mandatory participation of Schengen that EU membership requires - is blind faith and both those horses would have to come home for no border control to be possible. Neither party have indicated they'd be up for that, so the status quo ante is that there'd be border controls.
I think people are too quick to look at the historical situation when southern Ireland broke away, and assume that Scottish independence now would follow the same pattern - the immigration context was completely different then; international travel was a comparative rarity.
There was plenty of acrimony with Irish independence, on both sides, and I can easily foresee this being far worse with an England/Scotland split - akin to a long relationship when one partner announces that they don't want to be in the relationship any more; the feeling not being mutual. This relationship having been much closer than the England/Ireland relationship ever was. There is some playing with fire here.

Be that as it may, and this thread is not for discussing the pros and cons of independence, but to consider the possible effect on the railways. It is a little strange that the first reaction is 'hard border won't happen' to sort of try and shut down any speculation, rather than address the possibility and the practicalities thereof.
 

Bletchleyite

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Be that as it may, and this thread is not for discussing the pros and cons of independence, but to consider the possible effect on the railways. It is a little strange that the first reaction is 'hard border won't happen' to sort of try and shut down any speculation, rather than address the possibility and the practicalities thereof.

It's very, very unlikely there would be a hard, fenced border. But train services operate across hard, fenced borders the world over. It would mean either on-board checks or a border station. It's not a massive issue as far as the railway goes.
 

RT4038

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It's very, very unlikely there would be a hard, fenced border. But train services operate across hard, fenced borders the world over. It would mean either on-board checks or a border station. It's not a massive issue as far as the railway goes.
They do indeed operate across hard, fenced borders the world over, but not very much, very little in fact, and the character of those services is much different to the current Anglo-Scottish services. On board checks are carried out on virtually no train service in the world now. At border stations trains often wait long periods for the checks to take place; often with all the passengers alighting to pass through a static control point.

I would suggest that a hard border would result in a decline of cross border traffic (less reason to travel anyway) and rail would be less competitive to air where checks would be carried out at airports, with no apparent delay to the journey. There would be a profound effect on Anglo-Scottish rail travel.
 

Bletchleyite

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They do indeed operate across hard, fenced borders the world over, but not very much, very little in fact, and the character of those services is much different to the current Anglo-Scottish services. On board checks are carried out on virtually no train service in the world now.

Untrue. Most if not all Schengen outer border rail services still use on-board checks. The ones where it's not on-board are the ones where it never was, largely.

At border stations trains often wait long periods for the checks to take place; often with all the passengers alighting to pass through a static control point.

That system is used in some places.

I would suggest that a hard border would result in a decline of cross border traffic (less reason to travel anyway) and rail would be less competitive to air where checks would be carried out at airports, with no apparent delay to the journey. There would be a profound effect on Anglo-Scottish rail travel.

I think you would see some reduction in demand and thus in service, but I don't think it would be swingeing. Perhaps XC would terminate at Newcastle, but as a minimum I'd expect to see one ECML per hour and HS2 running through.

I have a feeling most people who think it wouldn't have no experience of how people have far more cross-border life in countries with contiguous land borders (the Channel Tunnel doesn't count as it operates like an airline/ferry), and did even before Schengen was a thing. FWIW if the Tunnel operated more like a land border, i.e. you could drive through it and there was a non-reserved local train service with a walk-up fare typical of South East commuter services, I think Kent and France would be bound more closely in that way, too - I wouldn't doubt in that case there would have been significant numbers of London commuters living in Calais and Boulogne.
 

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