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

A0wen

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UK distributors benefit from that landbridge in the form of cabotage. The less traffic there is, the less benefit of cabotage

I've not seen any empirical evidence that UK distributors benefitted from cabotage.

If anything it was the ROI which benefitted because it reduced the cost of shipping goods there from mainland Europe and being a smaller market the demand for shipment there is lower and it's more difficult to fully utilise vehicles. So what was more likely is a vehicle was travelling from (for example) France to Ireland would be able to drop 30% of its load at places in England or Wales before delivering the final 70% to the ROI - the alternative now is they have to go direct to the ROI at greater cost and have to find a way to utilise the 30% they were previously dispersing in England / Wales.
 
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AlterEgo

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UK distributors benefit from that landbridge in the form of cabotage. The less traffic there is, the less benefit of cabotage
The fewer emissions there are too. Fewer lorries on the road is a good thing however it is framed, but especially so when the only reason for the lorries being there is to transport goods to and from a second and third country.
 

JonasB

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The second of those actually was, in some ways, a benefit to the UK, because previously HGVs were coming across from Ireland, driving across Wales and England and then onto France. Unless they were fuelling in the UK, then the only economic benefit of such traffic was a few quid on coffee and sandwiches at a couple of truck stops - nothing like enough to offset the wear and tear on UK roads. So in some ways direct sailing from Dublin is actually a benefit.
Maybe, my intention was not to start a Brexit debate. Just to point out that if reality changes, trade will adapt in one way or another.
 

68000

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The fewer emissions there are too. Fewer lorries on the road is a good thing however it is framed, but especially so when the only reason for the lorries being there is to transport goods to and from a second and third country.
Fewer lorries is good thing, the main reason for the trade flow change is the uncertainty surrounding how long it will take to the destination given the situation with the ports in Kent
 

AlterEgo

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Fewer lorries is good thing, the main reason for the trade flow change is the uncertainty surrounding how long it will take to the destination given the situation with the ports in Kent
I’m still okay with fewer lorries using our roads. I’m glad they’ll be ruining somewhere else.
 

LatymerKing

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And increasing taxes to Scandinavian levels won't work with the number of low paid and non-tax payers Scotland has. Sweden's tax model would see a huge hike in the tax most people pay, and almost certainly lead to emigration, particularly from the Central Belt and Borders to England.
Could this lead to a snowball effect? Businesses relocating south of the border to remain in the UK and/or avoid higher tax rates, people moving with the jobs, businesses which supply those people/businesses move or shut down, tax base declines, tax rises to compensate... that loop, combined with national debt and a need to whip the economy in shape to prepare for rejoining the EU may not bode well for Scotland?
 

Wynd

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Could this lead to a snowball effect? Businesses relocating south of the border to remain in the UK and/or avoid higher tax rates, people moving with the jobs, businesses which supply those people/businesses move or shut down, tax base declines, tax rises to compensate... that loop, combined with national debt and a need to whip the economy in shape to prepare for rejoining the EU may not bode well for Scotland?
Written in such a way that could make a reader think Scotland doesn't have a domestic economy of its own. That everyone and everything could just, vanish. Please don't patronise with the typical, you don't understand economics etc chat.
 

LatymerKing

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Written in such a way that could make a reader think Scotland doesn't have a domestic economy of its own. That everyone and everything could just, vanish. Please don't patronise with the typical, you don't understand economics etc chat.
Please do not patronise me; I am well aware that this feedback loop forms only one part of a very big picture. All I am saying is that the domestic economy of Scotland could well be affected by a snowball effect causing problems with one part of the economy and spreading.
 

JamesT

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Please do not patronise me; I am well aware that this feedback loop forms only one part of a very big picture. All I am saying is that the domestic economy of Scotland could well be affected by a snowball effect causing problems with one part of the economy and spreading.
Though presumably we should be able to discern such an effect from Scotland having higher Income Tax rates than the rest of the UK for the last 5 years?
 

LatymerKing

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Though presumably we should be able to discern such an effect from Scotland having higher Income Tax rates than the rest of the UK for the last 5 years?
Pure speculation, but might there be a tipping point where the gap becomes so large that the hassle and loss of goodwill of moving becomes worthwhile? I doubt a limited difference in income tax would be different. But assuming a desire to go full-Scandinavian, a lack of funding from the Treasury pot, and a need to mitigate against border difficulties and any other results of independence, then the tax rises could become significant enough to inform decision-making.
 

Wynd

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There is also of course the oft ignored counter point, so rarely made, that an independent Scotland inside the EU may attract significant inwards investment. It would be nice if the media were offering some balance in these discussions. Instead its CERTAIN DOOM if Scotland runs itself and rampant unwarranted speculation that it could be a success.
 

GusB

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There is also of course the oft ignored counter point, so rarely made, that an independent Scotland inside the EU may attract significant inwards investment. It would be nice if the media were offering some balance in these discussions. Instead its CERTAIN DOOM if Scotland runs itself and rampant unwarranted speculation that it could be a success.
Ye're haverin! We're too wee, too poor and too stupit to manage our own affairs. The fact that other small, independent nations seem to get by just fine is neither here nor there.
 

Wynd

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Sorry, I forgot. Just for a second there I was approaching this subject rationally.

When you say "get by", you mean, all comparable peers have drastically higher GDP...
 

Cloud Strife

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Ye're haverin! We're too wee, too poor and too stupit to manage our own affairs. The fact that other small, independent nations seem to get by just fine is neither here nor there.

Cyprus and Malta manage, despite 1/3rd of Cyprus being under military occupation. Then you've got places like Gibraltar, which are to all practical extents independent countries in terms of daily affairs. Then you've got Croatia, Ireland, Slovenia and Luxembourg who are all smaller, yet they do fine.

This attitude of "Scotland can't cope by itself" is complete nonsense.
 

Bletchleyite

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Cyprus and Malta manage, despite 1/3rd of Cyprus being under military occupation. Then you've got places like Gibraltar, which are to all practical extents independent countries in terms of daily affairs. Then you've got Croatia, Ireland, Slovenia and Luxembourg who are all smaller, yet they do fine.

This attitude of "Scotland can't cope by itself" is complete nonsense.

I think it's very clear that it could. It's demographically and economically very similar to the Republic of Ireland, it would just look like that.

Wales on the other hand rather less so, it's very economically dependent on England in a way Scotland isn't.
 

Cloud Strife

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I think it's very clear that it could. It's demographically and economically very similar to the Republic of Ireland, it would just look like that.

Wales on the other hand rather less so, it's very economically dependent on England in a way Scotland isn't.

Yes, there are many factors at play in Wales. It's not just the economy, but also that there hasn't really been a separate Welsh system for many things until very recently. Welsh law is a great example, as justice/policing isn't devolved to the Welsh Senedd. It is quite ridiculous in 2022 that Wales doesn't have identical powers to Scotland, especially when Northern Ireland (which is smaller!) has power over justice/policing.

Still, I highly support a referendum on English independence from the UK. I have the feeling that a confederal UK without England would actually work very well.
 

Bletchleyite

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A co federal UK without England? What is that?

The idea of a Celtic Union of Ireland (all of it), Wales and Scotland, as an EU member, is not an entirely far-fetched one.

Yes, there are many factors at play in Wales. It's not just the economy, but also that there hasn't really been a separate Welsh system for many things until very recently. Welsh law is a great example, as justice/policing isn't devolved to the Welsh Senedd. It is quite ridiculous in 2022 that Wales doesn't have identical powers to Scotland, especially when Northern Ireland (which is smaller!) has power over justice/policing.

It's not just that. It's that North Wales's economy is hugely dependent on Chester, Liverpool and Manchester, and mid-Wales's Birmingham. Only South Wales really has enough of an economy on its own but Bristol is still important. Scotland does not have that dependency as there's rather a large gap of nothingness between it and England, and the nearby cities, Carlisle and Newcastle, aren't that important.

It'd work as an independent country were England in the EU, a bit like the way cross border stuff works with regard to the likes of Luxembourg, but with England out of the EU it's never going to happen unless Wales wants to look rather like Albania, i.e. an extremely poor, primarily farming economy.

I've got no issues with Welsh devolution being the same as Scottish, on the other hand - indeed standardising the way all three devolved nations are dealt with would make a lot of sense.
 

Wynd

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Its an interesting idea, but how does it hold up to some scrutiny.

Starting with Scotland. A currently dependent state that is unhappy with an arrangement that sees economic and political decisions made against its explicit consent and/or democratic mandates. Evidence shows its pro EU. Population 5.5m. GDP 205B USD

Wales, also a dependent state with polling indicating perhaps 30% or more of its citizens favor running their own affairs. Possibly now pro EU despite getting caught up in anti EU sentiment. Pop 3.2m. GDP 77B GBP

Ireland. A partitioned 2 part state, with one part dependent on Whitehall per the above, with the other part being a fully independent EU member state. Both parts, evidently, are pro-EU. Pop 5m republic/1.8m NI. 418BUSD Republic /47B GBP NI


All of this is fine enough, at first pass appears like we could be on for a winning idea if the EU was the underlying premise for tying these states together in some sort of federation with a population around 15m. Plenty for a newly constituted federated state. Between them they all have more than enough GDP with Ireland by far and away the largest single GDP contributor, hilariously enough, given its position a mere century ago.

But the next bit is where the idea runs in to real problems.

NI is virulently UK Unionist, with the test of this statement arriving in the coming months with the next election. Scotland too appears balanced on 50:50 Unionist/Independent sentiment. And Wales to my knowledge hasn't yet breached 50% Independent sentiment.

Then we get to Whitehall/Westminster. The Legislature and Administrative centers of the current constitutional settlement are beyond any shadow of a doubt Unionist and of course have a significant say over the make up of the state, as do any such centers.

To reinforce the point, we have witnessed and are witnessing and expression of a new form of political ideology within these centers. One that simultaneously rejects both Devolution and the EU for a vision of a tightly bound UK with international trading relations around the world.

It is not uncommon in the press to read views suggesting Scotland be stripped of all and any means to cease the Union its aristocratic elites signed it up to in 1707, and this in Tom Devines words, is new and unprecedented in the history of the Union (1707).

With the Single Market Act as recently passed, many aspects of Devolution have already been rolled back with more likely to follow.


And so we get to the heart of the matter.

By what means can we even entertain the idea of a Celtic Union in the present political climate? Whitehall/Westminster are overtly saying they will not "allow" a Scottish referendum.

Moreover, hypothetically, should Wales and Scotland cease their respective Unions with England, what evidence do we have to hand to suggest they are going to volunteer sovereignty to such a block/state?

We wouldn't be having this conversation if it were not for Brexit, and there was a time that reversing Brexit may well have mitigated these sort of discussions.

After the last few years and with the most recent government, sentiment against the UK Union appears to be on a one way trajectory. Regardless of what mechanisms or processes are implemented, the various, mostly Celtic, nations of the UK state cannot be full democracies or govern themselves or their economies as they may wish. Even parts of England are going down this path now too.

Whats telling is that Whitehall/Westminster appear to be doubling down. Unwilling to admit the imbalances that exist, created by Whitehall/Westminster no less, they are seeking to hold the state together by force against the trend of diminishing support. Even within England support for the Union has been shown by polling to be limited. This is telling because the very thing that Scotland/Wales/Ireland dislike/ed about the Whitehall/Westminster system is its overarching need for power and total authority, regardless of what these countries wanted or needed.

It really does appear that a Leopard cannot change its spots.
 
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Falcon1200

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Scotland too appears balanced on 50:50 Unionist/Independent sentiment.

Unwilling to admit the imbalances that exist, created by Whitehall/Westminster no less, they are seeking to hold the state together by force against the trend of diminishing support.

Which one is it ? Either Scotland is turning wholeheartedly against the Union, or opinion is divided roughly 50/50 - It can't be both !

Personally I have no doubt that Scotland is fully capable of managing its affairs as a fully independent country, what I dispute is that that would lead to a wonderful land of milk, honey and free everything, because being part of the UK is the cause of all that is bad here.
 

Bletchleyite

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Which one is it ? Either Scotland is turning wholeheartedly against the Union, or opinion is divided roughly 50/50 - It can't be both !

Personally I have no doubt that Scotland is fully capable of managing its affairs as a fully independent country, what I dispute is that that would lead to a wonderful land of milk, honey and free everything, because being part of the UK is the cause of all that is bad here.

Assuming EU membership in fairly short order and joining the Euro, it seems obvious to me that it'd look very much like the Republic of Ireland.
 

JamesT

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Assuming EU membership in fairly short order and joining the Euro, it seems obvious to me that it'd look very much like the Republic of Ireland.
Though it would likely be a much more complicated path to get there. Despite the devolution so far, I'd suggest Scotland is much more a part of the UK in 2022 than Ireland was in 1922.
 

Wynd

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Which one is it ? Either Scotland is turning wholeheartedly against the Union, or opinion is divided roughly 50/50 - It can't be both !

Personally I have no doubt that Scotland is fully capable of managing its affairs as a fully independent country, what I dispute is that that would lead to a wonderful land of milk, honey and free everything, because being part of the UK is the cause of all that is bad here.

Indeed, its gone from 30% in 2012, to 45% in 2014, and at present given the polling its around 50%, that's the trend. We don't yet know if that trend has ended or is continuing.

I don't think I used the words you are using. There is a trend and as it stands Whitehall/Westminster are meeting that trend with a forceful response.

Is anyone saying its going to be "milk and honey", if they are I am unaware of it.

It will take some time for a new Scottish state to be fully appraised of all its assets and liabilities, but they will be Scotland's to deal with, problems and opportunities.

A large part of the Scottish electorate take the view that Whitehall/Westminster may not be the sole cause of Scotland's varying issues, but constitute more than their fair share.

Though it would likely be a much more complicated path to get there. Despite the devolution so far, I'd suggest Scotland is much more a part of the UK in 2022 than Ireland was in 1922.


Of course the Irish free state was constituted long before the EU, but since the inception of the EU, Ireland have hitched their wagon to the train and done very well out of the deal.

Scotland's potential EU membership is primarily and fundamentally inhibited by its UK membership. Should Scotland have found itself independent in 2014, it may well have, hypothetically, been back in the club by now.

Scotland given its views, compliance, culture and history will probably be welcome to some form of EU membership should the people of Scotland choose it. We have seen more than a few warm words from EU figures over the last few years suggesting as such.

To challenge the premise, is it either or? Couldn't an EU member state (Scotland) work very well with an independent England, co operating on some things whilst diverging on others as is already the case with bordering states in much of the European continent...?
 

oldman

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the various, mostly Celtic, nations
I worry a bit about all this mystical Celtic stuff. My father's family is from your area (though they emigrated to Fife). They didn't think they were Celts - they thought they were Scottish and British, as do I, though I am told by some people that this is not possible.

In the case of Wales, only two-thirds of the population identifies as Welsh or Welsh-British. There are many people throughout Britain whose ancestry lies in other countries and continents, and many more (me again) who can identify multiple national ancestries.

There is a Welsh-language based culture in Wales. There is a residual Gaelic-language based culture in Scotland. There is also a non-Celtic Scots-English language based culture. All of this diversity is worth celebrating and supporting - Gaelic on the ambulances and police-cars is fine. But most people throughout Britain share a single culture most of the time. Blood and soil talk about the Celtic nations is bogus.
 

GS250

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If the Scots vote to live in an SNP dominated sovereign nation then they should be allowed to. We have to respect their wishes.

However...at least we have all seen what devolved governance is capable of in both Scotland and Wales. Whilst England sensibly carried on as normal over Christmas...the natural authoritarian instincts of the devolved governments shone through.

Those in Scotland and Wales are welcome to that should they wish.
 

Wynd

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I worry a bit about all this mystical Celtic stuff. My father's family is from your area (though they emigrated to Fife). They didn't think they were Celts - they thought they were Scottish and British, as do I, though I am told by some people that this is not possible.

In the case of Wales, only two-thirds of the population identifies as Welsh or Welsh-British. There are many people throughout Britain whose ancestry lies in other countries and continents, and many more (me again) who can identify multiple national ancestries.

There is a Welsh-language based culture in Wales. There is a residual Gaelic-language based culture in Scotland. There is also a non-Celtic Scots-English language based culture. All of this diversity is worth celebrating and supporting - Gaelic on the ambulances and police-cars is fine. But most people throughout Britain share a single culture most of the time. Blood and soil talk about the Celtic nations is bogus.

Ah, good point well made.

To clarify, I'm using "Celtic" as in, not Anglo-Saxon/English. I hesitate to use Scottish/English as there are plenty of Scots down south and plenty of English folk in Scotland. Both of which may or may not support Union/Independence. Even this is fraught with difficulty in drawing genetic lines. Show me a "Pure Blood-Scot/Englishman/Welshman" and I will be surprised.

Side note, but Aberdeen has a very diverse genetic makeup, Celt, Scot, English, Norse, Germanic, Polish, Flemish, French, etc etc having had very very old historic trading links with much of Europe. Aberdeen Harbor board being one of the oldest businesses in this islands history.

This conversation really has to center around the polices and not the lineage/genetics of the people.

What constitutes a modern Scot? Live/Work in Scotland, born here, or have family ties to the place, or just plain feel a Scottish affinity. Any singular or combination of these seems fine to me. Much beyond that is the blood and soil gibberish you rightly point out.

If the Scots vote to live in an SNP dominated sovereign nation then they should be allowed to. We have to respect their wishes.

However...at least we have all seen what devolved governance is capable of in both Scotland and Wales. Whilst England sensibly carried on as normal over Christmas...the natural authoritarian instincts of the devolved governments shone through.

Those in Scotland and Wales are welcome to that should they wish.

There is absolutely no guarantee the SNP survive independence or form a government in an independent Scotland. Careful examination of the internal views of the SNP quickly leads you to the conclusion that only one thing is keeping the right and left of the party together.
 

GusB

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However...at least we have all seen what devolved governance is capable of in both Scotland and Wales. Whilst England sensibly carried on as normal over Christmas...the natural authoritarian instincts of the devolved governments shone through.
Sorry, but that is not a valid argument against either independence, nor devolution.

By all means, the devolved governments should be held to account for their actions in whatever situation that arises, but it's just silly to say that we shouldn't have either constitutional arrangement simply because of the type of government that may be elected in the future.
 

GS250

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Sorry, but that is not a valid argument against either independence, nor devolution.

By all means, the devolved governments should be held to account for their actions in whatever situation that arises, but it's just silly to say that we shouldn't have either constitutional arrangement simply because of the type of government that may be elected in the future.

But there is only one 'ruling' party really ramping up the Scottish independence theme and that's the SNP? The very same party that was behind the unpopular restrictions over Christmas. No doubt there are other pro independence parties such as Alba that could be voted for against the clearly no longer trusted Labour, Liberal or Tories.
 

najaB

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But there is only one 'ruling' party really ramping up the Scottish independence theme and that's the SNP? The very same party that was behind the unpopular restrictions over Christmas.
There's a word used to describe governments whose decisions are based on what is popular, and it's not generally accepted to be a good thing!
 

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The idea of a Celtic Union of Ireland (all of it), Wales and Scotland, as an EU member, is not an entirely far-fetched one.
Yes it is. It is fanciful to suggest the Republic of Ireland would enjoin itself with Scotland, almost as much so as suggesting the Republic should become part of the UK again.

it's just silly to say that we shouldn't have either constitutional arrangement simply because of the type of government that may be elected in the future.
It's a significant limitation to the Scottish independence endeavour that Scotland is essentially a one-party devolved state with minimal meaningful opposition. There is only one meaningful political force in Scotland which is driving the debate. In Ireland, five major political parties right across the left-right spectrum are all pro-independence/unification, which firstly is a much broader church of pan-nationalism, and secondly means anyone voting for a United Ireland isn't necessarily voting for Fianna Fail for ever (or at least not for a significant length of time).
 

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