SNP to launch fresh Scottish independence campaign

Ediswan

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No. A majority of those who voted, voted to leave. Only 17.4 million out of 46.5 million (37%) actually voted to leave.
The original claim was "a majority of the UK population". Being pedantic, it was 37% of the electorate who voted to leave. Looking at the population (65.6 million in 2016), the figure is 27%.
 
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Butts

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So, it's officially back on the table. A second IndyRef by December 2023. As someone who voted "No" in 2014 and "Remain" in 2016 it's difficult to decide which way to vote now. I was very staunchly in the "No" camp in 2014 but I'll be honest, I could be convinced to vote "Yes" this time around. The devil will, as always, be in the details but the current trajectory of the UK government towards more authoritarianism (e.g. attempting to stifle protest, break the Unions, sending asylum seekers halfway around the world, etc.) is very much against my personal beliefs and values.

Are there any other members who are considering changing their vote if/when the referendum happens, or have your views stayed pretty much the same?

Well I voted "Yes" in 2014 and "Leave" in 2016 - fainthearts like you cost us the probably one chance ....

"To rise and become a Nation again" for richer or probably poorer without interference from London or Brussels.

I think the Supreme Court will put the kybosh on it and Sturgeon risks becoming a busted flush. Despite his peccadillos Salmond was a much better leader.

As for the EU they will not be queuing up to let us rejoin, we would have to go cap in hand with a begging bowl.


Too many people up here want the best of both worlds but when we start having to pay the bills we will inevitably become poorer. However the chance for a restart could lead to the initial reduction in living standards eventually being improved with a brighter outlook.

At this stage I expect to see the renaissance of The Scottish Conservative (and no longer Unionist) Party to arise like sphinx from the ashes and lead us to prosperity.

The bottom line is to many hypocrites up here espousing Scottish Nationalism vote with their wallets when it comes to the crunch.
 

Wynd

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I didn't vote for Brexit either. Is that undemocratic?

London didn't either (even though you Scots seem to hate its guts). That?

It was a UK-wide vote, the constituent nations had no relevance to it.
It is undemocratic. Its not a debate.

As for hating London, and generalizing all Scots, what drivel. I worked in London for some years, and often go there for leisure and business. I happen to enjoy the place and the people so Il thank you not to cast invalid aspersions.

And I share that resentment of that Government! One reason for me not to want Scottish independence is that it's likely to result in permanent Tory Government in the rUK. The negative of the SNP for the UK of a whole is that it has taken Labour votes away.
Incorrect. Labour get in when they win in England. It has nothing to do with the SNP if Labour dont get in to Government in Westminster.
I did say "one reason".

I think this level of touchiness/paranoia (that several Scottish posters have shown in various ways) does suggest that a negotiated compromise (e.g. federalism) simply isn't going to work, because there has been a fundamental and irrevocable breakdown of trust.
Federalism isnt going to work, because there are no examples of federated states where one of the 4 members has somthing like 85% of the population. Its also a non-stater because no one in England, as far as I can see anyway, wants it.

As time passes I wonder how popular the “rejoin EU” part of the independence offering will actually be.

Most people I speak to disagreed with Brexit but are glad it’s (sort of, kind of) finally settled; and are looking for incremental improvements rather than going back.

If Scots feel similarly then independence promises not one but two massive upheavals - and twice as much uncertainty as well. I struggle to envisage the voter with the appetite for that (though I do not doubt there is a significant base), especially as we desperately need to be focussed on economic growth right now.
Going back in to the EU brings to Scotland a level of certainty that it at present does not have in its EU trading relationships. In terms of "upheavel" any settlement doesnt need to be difficult, it could be mutually good natured.
AS the report outlines, the prospectus for a new Scottish State is exactly that, to grow the economy free from the constants Scotland currently endures and has to mitigate with a fixed budget.

I didn't vote for Brexit either, and still wish it had not happened, but I accept the result, just as I accept a Scottish Government formed by a party I never have and never will vote for - That is democracy. In 2014 Scotland voted by an absolutely decisive majority to remain in the UK and therefore accept the supremacy of Westminster in non-devolved matters, and the decisions of the UK as a whole. Refusing to accept the result of votes you lost is the enemy of democracy.



In 2014 the SNP's economic case for independence was based on oil - How times have changed ! I await with interest their proposals this time round, but I doubt it will include Scotland's expertise in building ferries, running trains, raising educational standards, dealing with drug addiction, etc, etc....

6% swing was a lot closer than many had expected. Democracy isnt ever finished. It doesnt just end when you get the result you want.
The 2014 case, something no one ever presented for Brexit incidentally, was not based on oil. Further, is this really safe ground to argue on? Sovereign wealth fund...? $120 oil presently...? Russia...?


As for Scotland growing its economy, I suggest those who keep asking for some ideas, actually sit down and read the report that outlines how 10 comparable countries have grown their GDP, in some instances by order of magnitude, more than Scotland's has. Then ask yourself, why is that? What makes Scotland different from these other states. Perhaps then the penny might drop.

It is now beyond question that Scotland isn't as successful as it could be, as a result of being in the Union. Uncomfortable for many im sure, but it is a fact, and Brexit is only exacerbating that issue further.
 
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windingroad

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I think this level of touchiness/paranoia (that several Scottish posters have shown in various ways) does suggest that a negotiated compromise (e.g. federalism) simply isn't going to work, because there has been a fundamental and irrevocable breakdown of trust.
I'm not sure that's necessarily the case.

I think the size and population difference between England and Scotland is a big driver of the resentment felt, because it undermines any sense of an equal partnership within the UK. That can be partially solved by regional devolution within England so that no single area dominates (although as ever London would be a challenge). I also think said regional devolution would be hugely beneficial for the regions, particularly in the North.

I'm in favour of independence, but if genuine federalism was on the table I'd strongly consider it.
 

MotCO

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It is undemocratic. Its not a debate.

It is now beyond question that Scotland isn't as successful as it could be, as a result of being in the Union. Uncomfortable for many im sure, but it is a fact, and Brexit is only exacerbating that issue further.
What is wrong with one person one vote, and a simple majority required for the result? That is democracy. To say anything different - e.g. each country's total vote is weighted the same (i.e. Scotland and NI equals 2 votes to remain and England and Wales equals 2 votes to leave), despite differing population sizes is non-sensical and undemocratic. Why do you think the UK referendum was undemocratic?

Scotland isn't being successful in building ferries, improving education standards, addressing the worst drug misuse problem in Europe etc, all of which are within the remit of the Scottish Parliament. Where do you think that Scotland is being held back as a result of being in the Union?
There are many though who resent what they perceive to be the "UK in name, English in practice" Government in Westminster though.Not so much dragging down, as dragging in a direction that we don't necessarily want to go.
It is more probably "UK in Name, Islington in practice". There are many things I don't agree with the Government in Westminster, but it is a democracy and I accept it. I have my opportunity to express my displeasure every five years or so in General Elections.
 

oldman

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Going back in to the EU brings to Scotland a level of certainty that it at present does not have in its EU trading relationships. In terms of "upheavel" any settlement doesnt need to be difficult, it could be mutually good natured.
And a level of uncertainty in inter-British trading relationships. Which matter more, I think.

Meanwhile the Scottish government churns out aspirational strategies (Scotland's National Strategy for Economic Transformation) as if simply saying things can make it happen.

  • establish Scotland as a world-class entrepreneurial nation founded on a culture that encourages, promotes and celebrates entrepreneurial activity in every sector of our economy;
  • strengthen Scotland's position in new markets and industries, generating new, well-paid jobs from a just transition to net zero;
  • make Scotland's businesses, industries, regions, communities and public services more productive and innovative;
  • ensure that people have the skills they need at every stage of life to have rewarding careers and meet the demands of an ever-changing economy and society, and that employers invest in the skilled employees they need to grow their businesses;
  • reorient our economy towards wellbeing and fair work, to deliver higher rates of employment and wage growth, to significantly reduce structural poverty, particularly child poverty, and improve health, cultural and social outcomes for disadvantaged families and communities.

There is a a splendid figure (Figure 2 - not sure how to incorporate it) which shows how the strategy will align with literally dozens of other strategies, policies and action plans - Scotland's Vision for Trade, A Trading Nation, Inward Investment Plan, Global Capital Investment Plan, Unlocking Ambition, Scotland CAN DO etc. etc. It takes hot air to a new level.
 

DynamicSpirit

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As for Scotland growing its economy, I suggest those who keep asking for some ideas, actually sit down and read the report that outlines how 10 comparable countries have grown their GDP, in some instances by order of magnitude, more than Scotland's has. Then ask yourself, why is that? What makes Scotland different from these other states. Perhaps then the penny might drop.

I have skimmed through the report. It cherry-picks 10 countries that by a pure coincidence happen to be European countries that have higher GDPs than the UK (It curiously ignores all the numerous countries that have lower GDPs than the UK), and then basically reasons, "Hey, these countries have higher GDPs. Therefore so should Scotland". OK, I'm generalizing - the details are a bit more subtle than that, But the flaws in that reasoning should be obvious.

It is now beyond question that Scotland isn't as successful as it could be, as a result of being in the Union. Uncomfortable for many im sure, but it is a fact, and Brexit is only exacerbating that issue further.

You're future-projecting with a certainty that is in fact unknowable. Maybe if Scotland became independent, it would be economically more successful. Maybe it would be less successful. That depends on circumstances and whatever decisions a future Government makes. Just as, if Scotland remains part of the UK, then the whole UK (including Scotland) might be more or less successful in the future, depending on circumstances and on what decisions the Government makes.
 

windingroad

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I didn't vote for Brexit either, and still wish it had not happened, but I accept the result, just as I accept a Scottish Government formed by a party I never have and never will vote for - That is democracy. In 2014 Scotland voted by an absolutely decisive majority to remain in the UK and therefore accept the supremacy of Westminster in non-devolved matters, and the decisions of the UK as a whole. Refusing to accept the result of votes you lost is the enemy of democracy.
What is wrong with one person one vote, and a simple majority required for the result? That is democracy. To say anything different - e.g. each country's total vote is weighted the same (i.e. Scotland and NI equals 2 votes to remain and England and Wales equals 2 votes to leave), despite differing population sizes is non-sensical and undemocratic. Why do you think the UK referendum was undemocratic?
I really don't understand why this is so difficult to understand. The reason some people in Scotland see the Brexit vote as undemocratic is precisely because they view Scotland as a separate entity (some might call it "a country") and so given the majority in Scotland voted against Brexit, that quite understandably feels unfair to them. They do not view it as a region; they view it as a polity. That's even the case with many unionists.

It's also completely untrue that anyone is "refusing to accept" the results of any votes. They just disagree with the result and how it affects them, and so continue to campaign for a different outcome in future. It's a total mystery to me how this could possibly be characterised as "the enemy of democracy". In the SNP's case, they campaigned for another independence referendum and were duly elected on that premise. The undemocratic thing would be to ignore that mandate!
 

MotCO

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I really don't understand why this is so difficult to understand. The reason some people in Scotland see the Brexit vote as undemocratic is precisely because they view Scotland as a separate entity (some might call it "a country") and so given the majority in Scotland voted against Brexit, that quite understandably feels unfair to them. They do not view it as a region; they view it as a polity. That's even the case with many unionists.
But it was a UK referendum, and Scotland is part of the UK. It was not a regional referendum. If the 2016 referendum was for Scotland only, you would have a point, but it was a UK referendum.
 

Bletchleyite

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I think the size and population difference between England and Scotland is a big driver of the resentment felt, because it undermines any sense of an equal partnership within the UK. That can be partially solved by regional devolution within England so that no single area dominates (although as ever London would be a challenge). I also think said regional devolution would be hugely beneficial for the regions, particularly in the North.

Other than the issue of London as a potential federal capital city state (I agree it's difficult), you are not going to find much support for that in England - it was already tried and was voted down. England is a great historic country, and devolution to the extent of Scotland (which would be necessary; you couldn't have different levels of devolution within a federation) would be both pointless, costly duplication and seen as an attempt to destroy England.

So in short - nice idea but not happening. One thing I'm very sure of (and I'm sure you'll understand as a Scottish nationalist) is that most* English** people would rather see the UK broken up than England.

Some regional devolution might be of benefit, such as the North West acting as one single large transport authority a bit like the German Laender do - but there's no reason for a separate NHS North West England, for instance - that's just a waste of money. ("The North" as a whole is a nebulous idea, not a viable political entity).

It really does seem that the Scottish red line is that England must be broken up, and the English red line (certainly mine) is that England must not be broken up. As such, I think a full divorce is probably unavoidable.

* Other than possibly some Cornish people.
** I suspect most English people are English first, British second and European third (and even as a Remainer I see myself that way). The latter two are swapped compared with many Scots, but that doesn't mean England isn't important to us and could just be broken up in that way to make the Union work.
 

windingroad

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But it was a UK referendum, and Scotland is part of the UK. It was not a regional referendum. If the 2016 referendum was for Scotland only, you would have a point, but it was a UK referendum.
You're missing the point. I'm not making an argument about strict matters of fact, as clearly legally speaking the vote was democratic. I'm explaining why it feels so undemocratic to many people. Like it or not, lots of people in Scotland, including many unionists, do not see Scotland simply as a constituent region of a larger country. They see Scotland as a political entity in its own right, with its own will, own parliament, and own priorities.

Everyone is very keenly aware that there is nothing they can do about Brexit within the UK, which is precisely why so many people want independence!

Other than the issue of London as a potential federal capital city state (I agree it's difficult), you are not going to find much support for that in England - it was already tried and was voted down. England is a great historic country, and devolution to the extent of Scotland (which would be necessary; you couldn't have different levels of devolution within a federation) would be both pointless, costly duplication and seen as an attempt to destroy England.

So in short - nice idea but not happening. One thing I'm very sure of (and I'm sure you'll understand as a Scottish nationalist) is that most* English** people would rather see the UK broken up than England.

Some regional devolution might be of benefit, such as the North West acting as one single large transport authority a bit like the German Laender do - but there's no reason for a separate NHS North West England, for instance - that's just a waste of money.

It really does seem that the Scottish red line is that England must be broken up, and the English red line (certainly mine) is that England must not be broken up. As such, I think a full divorce is probably unavoidable.
You make plenty of good points. I suppose the version of English devolution in my head was significantly lighter touch than the version you find in Scotland, for the reasons mentioned. Enough devolution to enhance regional power, but not so much that any of the regions begin to feel like separate states. But then that doesn't really hold up to much scrutiny, because those regions would have lower status than Scotland which undermines the whole thing, as you say. Despite all this, I think a meaningful constitutional settlement is really the only way to save the union in the longer term, even if Scotland voted to stay a second time.

Having lived for extended periods in both England and Scotland, I do think it's hard to deny that some English devolution would be beneficial though. If nothing else, the Scottish Parliament has been very successful at advocating for Scotland's interests overall, and I think that kind of counterbalance would have a much greater impact on levelling up than this current government ever will.
 
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Wynd

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You're missing the point. I'm not making an argument about strict matters of fact, as clearly legally speaking the vote was democratic. I'm explaining why it feels so undemocratic to many people. Like it or not, lots of people in Scotland, including many unionists, do not see Scotland simply as a constituent region of a larger country. They see Scotland as a political entity in its own right, with its own will, own parliament, and own priorities.

Everyone is very keenly aware that there is nothing they can do about Brexit within the UK, which is precisely why so many people want independence!

Bingo.

800 years an an independent nation state, Scotland is a country in its own right, and many of its residents see themselves as citizens of that country.

It is a widely held view that these citizens had rights removed from them, despite voting, twice in fact, to maintain those rights.

I have skimmed through the report. It cherry-picks 10 countries that by a pure coincidence happen to be European countries that have higher GDPs than the UK (It curiously ignores all the numerous countries that have lower GDPs than the UK), and then basically reasons, "Hey, these countries have higher GDPs. Therefore so should Scotland". OK, I'm generalizing - the details are a bit more subtle than that, But the flaws in that reasoning should be obvious.



You're future-projecting with a certainty that is in fact unknowable. Maybe if Scotland became independent, it would be economically more successful. Maybe it would be less successful. That depends on circumstances and whatever decisions a future Government makes. Just as, if Scotland remains part of the UK, then the whole UK (including Scotland) might be more or less successful in the future, depending on circumstances and on what decisions the Government makes.

The rationale for looking at those 10 countries is clearly laid out in the report.

1655386967755.png

The Union is costing Scotland considerably, as evidenced by the report.

Indeed, you cant say for sure, but given that Scotland seeks to emulate the successes outlined, its likely on balance that the policies would mirror those in other countries and so, in theory, should result in far better long run outcomes.

The trajectory of the UK economy is not a good one, with long run projections looking ever more bleak, as outlined below.

1655387161246.png
 
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MotCO

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You're missing the point. I'm not making an argument about strict matters of fact, as clearly legally speaking the vote was democratic. I'm explaining why it feels so undemocratic to many people. Like it or not, lots of people in Scotland, including many unionists, do not see Scotland simply as a constituent region of a larger country. They see Scotland as a political entity in its own right, with its own will, own parliament, and own priorities.

Everyone is very keenly aware that there is nothing they can do about Brexit within the UK, which is precisely why so many people want independence!
Thank you. I now understand where you are coming from.

The rationale for looking at those 10 countries is clearly laid out in the report.



The Union is costing Scotland considerably, as evidenced by the report.
Presumably the source for this report is https://www.gov.scot/publications/i...ealthier-happier-fairer-not-scotland/pages/5/. Given it has a forward by the First Minister who passionately advocates independence, can it be trusted to be impartial and objective?
 

XAM2175

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I didn't vote for Brexit either, and still wish it had not happened, but I accept the result, just as I accept a Scottish Government formed by a party I never have and never will vote for - That is democracy. In 2014 Scotland voted by an absolutely decisive majority to remain in the UK and therefore accept the supremacy of Westminster in non-devolved matters, and the decisions of the UK as a whole. Refusing to accept the result of votes you lost is the enemy of democracy.
1) I wouldn't go as far as to describe 55.3% against 44.7% as "decisive".
2) You characterise the continued campaign as being a refusal to accept the result, but that's hardly the case. I don't know of anybody, either personally or by anecdote or report in discussion of the topic, who disputes that the result was no. What is being sought is another referendum on the topic in light of changed circumstances, because democracy isn't a static process.

In 2014 the SNP's economic case for independence was based on oil - How times have changed ! I await with interest their proposals this time round, but I doubt it will include Scotland's expertise in building ferries, running trains, raising educational standards, dealing with drug addiction, etc, etc....
Out of genuine curiosity - would you feel any differently if, hypothetically, the independence campaign was being promoted by Labour or the Conservatives?

It really does seem that the Scottish red line is that England must be broken up, and the English red line (certainly mine) is that England must not be broken up.
That's quite a leap. Proposals for federal arrangements for the UK are always troubled the difference in size between England and the other nations, but it's absolutely false to say that all proposals from the Scottish side involve dismembering England... especially because I proposed a single-English-government option less than twenty posts ago at #204.
 

Wynd

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Thank you. I now understand where you are coming from.


Presumably the source for this report is https://www.gov.scot/publications/i...ealthier-happier-fairer-not-scotland/pages/5/. Given it has a forward by the First Minister who passionately advocates independence, can it be trusted to be impartial and objective?

So that's where your at then? Undermine the credibility of the report to promote your own view? That will be the work of UK civil servants your undermining if so.

Hardly an impartial and objective position to take if so.

Just because you dont like the conclusions, it doesn't mean that the report is to be dismissed. That would be a level of intellectual fragility that I would hope all of us would strive to rise above.
 

windingroad

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That's quite a leap. Proposals for federal arrangements for the UK are always troubled the difference in size between England and the other nations, but it's absolutely false to say that all proposals from the Scottish side involve dismembering England... especially because I proposed a single-English-government option less than twenty posts ago at #204.
The issue, I think, is that for all of the nations to feel that they are on equal footing, you'd need to have a system which includes a body similar to the Senate in the US, whereby each of the four nations have identical representation. I'm not sure that would work given the very small number of constituent countries, and the fact that Scotland/Wales/NI would be able to outvote England despite having a fraction of the population.
 

the sniper

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So that's where your at then? Undermine the credibility of the report to promote your own view? That will be the work of UK civil servants your undermining if so.

Hardly an impartial and objective position to take if so.

Just because you dont like the conclusions, it doesn't mean that the report is to be dismissed. That would be a level of intellectual fragility that I would hope all of us would strive to rise above.

I think most sensible people would take a similar report from the UK Government finding that Scottish independence would be a bad thing with a pinch of salt too. Fairly obvious that either side can interpret data to suit their position.
 

DynamicSpirit

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1) I wouldn't go as far as to describe 55.3% against 44.7% as "decisive".
2) You characterise the continued campaign as being a refusal to accept the result, but that's hardly the case. I don't know of anybody, either personally or by anecdote or report in discussion of the topic, who disputes that the result was no. What is being sought is another referendum on the topic in light of changed circumstances, because democracy isn't a static process.

I think there are two problems with that reasoning: Firstly, circumstances always change. While I'd accept that Brexit was a pretty big and unexpected thing, big unexpected things are constantly happening in the World. If every time something big and unexpected happens, you declare that the results of any recent referendum are now invalid, then you're basically going to be continually re-running every referendum that ever takes place. You can't sensibly run a democracy like that.

Secondly, it's the issue that the sought referendum re-run is so obviously one-sided. Do you seriously think that if Scotland had voted 'Yes' to independence in 2014, and then something had happened to derail the SNP's plans for how an independent Scotland would function (such as the EU refusing Scottish membership), the SNP-lead Scottish Government would be saying 'OK, circumstances have changed, we'd better re-run the referendum to see if the Scottish people still want independence now we know it'll be harder than we thought'? Of course they wouldn't! They'd be saying 'You guys voted for Independence. That's final. We're having independence!' I don't for a minute believe Brexit is the genuine reason for the SNP campaigning for another referendum: More likely, Brexit is just a convenient excuse for the SNP to keep calling for referendum after referendum until they get the result they want, at which point the result will be declared final and unchangeable.

On the other hand, the UK Government is clearly not opposed in principle to another referendum ever happening. Their point is that, in 2014, there was a 'once in a generation' referendum, and therefore we should wait for a generation (which presumably means about 20-25 years or so) before having another referendum, if at that point there is still sufficient demand to have one. That seems eminently fair to me.
 
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Bletchleyite

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I think most sensible people would take a similar report from the UK Government finding that Scottish independence would be a bad thing with a pinch of salt too. Fairly obvious that either side can interpret data to suit their position.

If I had a vote I'd do one of two things

1. Research it myself using reputable sources
2. Make an emotional vote, and accept any consequences

I suspect as with Brexit the majority will do (2).
 

Ediswan

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So that's where your at then? Undermine the credibility of the report to promote your own view? That will be the work of UK civil servants your undermining if so
The last line of the document says "Produced for The Scottish Government by APS Group Scotland, 21 Tennant Street, Edinburgh EH6 5NA". APS Group appears to be a marketing agency.
 

windingroad

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On the other hand, the UK Government is clearly not opposed in principle to another referendum ever happening. Their point is that, in 2014, there was a 'once in a generation' referendum, and therefore we should wait for a generation (which presumably means about 20-25 years or so) before having another referendum, if at that point there is still sufficient demand to have one. That seems eminently fair to me.#
The fact that referendum was called a "once in a generation" vote is completely irrelevant. Politicians constantly talk nonsense when it suits them. If a politician had said "we will hold a referendum every five years" would you now be demanding we do that, simply by virtue of the fact they had said it?

What matters is the democratic will of voters, and they voted for parties which explicitly stood on holding another referendum. The whole point of democracy is that voters can change their mind about anything they want to, whenever they like, as many times as they like. The same would be true in an independent Scotland. If parties pledging a vote to rejoin the UK won a majority, they'd have a mandate to do that.
I suspect as with Brexit the majority will do (2).
And much like Brexit, that's why arguments about economics don't really persuade that many people. Even if Scotland was a little less wealthy (and it would only be a little, even if things went badly) that sacrifice is easily justified, depending on what your priorities and values are.
 

Falcon1200

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Then ask yourself, why is that? What makes Scotland different from these other states.

That's an open goal ! We have an incompetent SNP-run Scottish Government, whose main focus is not, and never will be, on the things that really matter, eg the economy, education, health, etc.

It is now beyond question that Scotland isn't as successful as it could be, as a result of being in the Union.

Is it ? Despite the higher public spending in Scotland ? Anyway, not sure how Scotland could become more successful by cutting itself off from the market which provides more of its trade than the entire rest of the world, including the EU, combined.

In the SNP's case, they campaigned for another independence referendum and were duly elected on that premise. The undemocratic thing would be to ignore that mandate!

What mandate ? How many times does it have to be said, despite Brexit, evil Tories, Boris etc, they still did NOT win a majority of seats, or votes, in the most recent Scottish Government election, and have to be propped up by their few Green assistants (hope that's civil enough ?). Besides, it is not automatically the case that a vote for the SNP is a demand for independence, and that certainly does not apply to the Greens.

1) I wouldn't go as far as to describe 55.3% against 44.7% as "decisive".

I would, because in a referendum gaining the most votes is actually how the winner is declared, no ?

The fact that referendum was called a "once in a generation" vote is completely irrelevant. Politicians constantly talk nonsense when it suits them.

Indeed, the person who actually said the 'once in a generation' lie certainly talks plenty of nonsense. And if that statement was irrelevant, does that not make 'vote No to keep Scotland in the EU' not equally irrelevant ?
 

najaB

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I think there are two problems with that reasoning: Firstly, circumstances always change. While I'd accept that Brexit was a pretty big and unexpected thing, big unexpected things are constantly happening in the World. If every time something big and unexpected happens, you declare that the results of any recent referendum are now invalid, then you're basically going to be continually re-running every referendum that ever takes place. You can't sensibly run a democracy like that.
To which I would point out that the Scottish electorate was given the opportunity just a few months ago to say that they weren't interested in another referendum, yet the SNP - who made it clear that a second referendum was part of their agenda - won 64 out of 129 seats.
 

XAM2175

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Firstly, circumstances always change. While I'd accept that Brexit was a pretty big and unexpected thing, big unexpected things are constantly happening in the World. If every time something big and unexpected happens, you declare that the results of any recent referendum are now invalid, then you're basically going to be continually re-running every referendum that ever takes place. You can't sensibly run a democracy like that. ... More likely, Brexit is just a convenient excuse for the SNP to keep calling for referendum after referendum until they get the result they want, at which point the result will be declared final and unchangeable.
Reading things like this it always seems that people just... ignore the fact that Scottish voters keep electing the SNP? Would you not say that there's evidently some considerable interest amongst the electorate in revisiting the result?

Their point is that, in 2014, there was a 'once in a generation' referendum, and therefore we should wait for a generation (which presumably means about 20-25 years or so) before having another referendum, if at that point there is still sufficient demand to have one. That seems eminently fair to me.
I don't agree that any such timeframe should be arbitrarily imposed. If it is of such vast importance to the rest of the UK it should have been specified in the Edinburgh Agreement.

In the matter of Northern Ireland's constitutional position, for instance, the British Government of the time appear to have been satisfied with a wait of only seven years before putting the question again.

What mandate ? How many times does it have to be said, despite Brexit, evil Tories, Boris etc, they still did NOT win a majority of seats, or votes, in the most recent Scottish Government election, and have to be propped up by their few Green assistants (hope that's civil enough ?).
So you don't accept manifesto commitments at all, then?

Besides, it is not automatically the case that a vote for the SNP is a demand for independence, and that certainly does not apply to the Greens.
Nor is it automatically the case that a Labour or Tory vote is a rejection of independence, as evidenced by another poster in this very thread!

I would, because in a referendum gaining the most votes is actually how the winner is declared, no ?
Not so decisive as to comprehensively settle the matter, I'm afraid.
 

windingroad

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That's an open goal ! We have an incompetent SNP-run Scottish Government, whose main focus is not, and never will be, on the things that really matter, eg the economy, education, health, etc.
First of all, the perceived quality of a transitory government has absolutely no relevance to independence. You appear to believe the SNP will rule Scotland forever, for some reason. And your main criticism (that they are focused on independence at the cost of all else) also makes no sense in the context of an independent Scotland which has resolved that issue.
What mandate ? How many times does it have to be said, despite Brexit, evil Tories, Boris etc, they still did NOT win a majority of seats, or votes, in the most recent Scottish Government election, and have to be propped up by their few Green assistants (hope that's civil enough ?). Besides, it is not automatically the case that a vote for the SNP is a demand for independence, and that certainly does not apply to the Greens.
Well given the Greens are explicitly a pro-independence party, and the SNPs and Greens command a majority, I think you're going to struggle somewhat to argue there isn't a mandate. The Scottish Parliament is designed to encourage coalitions.
Indeed, the person who actually said the 'once in a generation' lie certainly talks plenty of nonsense. And if that statement was irrelevant, does that not make 'vote No to keep Scotland in the EU' not equally irrelevant ?
It's certainly irrelevant to whether or not another independence referendum is held, yes. The only thing that is relevant is who the public voted to be in government.
 

najaB

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Besides, it is not automatically the case that a vote for the SNP is a demand for independence, and that certainly does not apply to the Greens.
To quote from the Scottish Green Party's 2021 manifesto (pg. 51):
AN INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM SHOULD BE HELD DURING THE NEXT PARLIAMENTARY SESSION

The legislation covering all aspects of the referendum, including the question and the timing, should be decided by a simple majority of the Scottish Parliament. The Scottish Greens will campaign and vote for a referendum within the next Parliamentary term and under the terms of the Referendums Act (2020). We believe that the UK Government’s refusal to respect a pro-independence majority in the Scottish Parliament would not be politically sustainable and could be subject to legal challenge.
 

DynamicSpirit

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Reading things like this it always seems that people just... ignore the fact that Scottish voters keep electing the SNP? Would you not say that there's evidently some considerable interest amongst the electorate in revisiting the result?

So you don't accept manifesto commitments at all, then?

The problem you have is that people elect parties based on the aggregate of that party's manifesto/a general perception of that party, so it's not possible to say that X% support for a party means X% support for every policy in their manifesto. For that reason, I would say that, as a general principle, a recent referendum result (and the 2014 referendum is definitely recent) should normally trump a manifesto pledge - because, in a referendum, people are voting on that one single issue.

Not so decisive as to comprehensively settle the matter, I'm afraid.

Out of interest, if you think that 55%/45% doesn't definitively settle the matter, would you argue the same thing the other way round? If the referendum result had been 55% for independence, would you be happy to say, that's not a decisive enough margin, and therefore we'd better have another referendum a few years down the line to confirm before we go for independence? (I'm pretty sure the SNP would in that situation say that 55% is totally decisive).
 

windingroad

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The problem you have is that people elect parties based on the aggregate of that party's manifesto/a general perception of that party, so it's not possible to say that X% support for a party means X% support for every policy in their manifesto. For that reason, I would say that, as a general principle, a recent referendum result (and the 2014 referendum is definitely recent) should normally trump a manifesto pledge - because, in a referendum, people are voting on that one single issue.
Essentially you're saying that no specific manifesto commitments have a mandate, because there's no way to know what percentage of voters liked each specific policy. That's absurd! If you vote for a party you do so knowing that any of the manifesto commitments may be taken forward. If any of those commitments are a deal breaker for you, you vote for a different party. It's particularly absurd in the SNP's case because independence is pretty much the premise of the party, and holding another referendum is probably the most well known part of their manifesto full stop.

What percentage of people would need to vote for the SNP before you'd accept they had a mandate to implement their policies? Why does a past referendum take precedence over all future democratic elections?
 

DynamicSpirit

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Essentially you're saying that no specific manifesto commitments have a mandate, because there's no way to know what percentage of voters liked each specific policy.

No, I specifically said that, because of the issue that most people who vote for a party don't support all that party's policies, a recent referendum trumps a manifesto commitment. In the absence of a recent referendum, than I'd broadly say that a winning party that has over 50% of the vote generally has a mandate to do what's in their manifesto - in the sense that that's how our democracy works. (There are a few other provisos, one of which is that manifesto commitments are legal and within the powers of the body that the elections are being held for).

Why does a past referendum take precedence over all future democratic elections?

It takes precedence for the obvious reason that, in a referendum, people are voting on that particular issue rather than trying to aggregate over all policies a party has. I would also add that it doesn't take precedence over all future democratic elections for ever more - I would say it takes precedence for the period of time that the referendum is reasonably scoped for. There's inevitably going to be a bit of fuzziness about how long that time is, but I'd normally expect it to be around 20-25 years. Maybe less than that if the referendum result was extremely close (within a couple of % - which the Scottish referendum result wasn't).
 

windingroad

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No, I specifically said that, because of the issue that most people who vote for a party don't support all that party's policies, a recent referendum trumps a manifesto commitment.
The referendum result doesn't conflict with anything in the SNP's manifesto though. If the SNP had a commitment to unilateral independence without a further vote, I might agree with you, but all they're doing is committing to giving the Scottish people a further opportunity to express their view on that issue. The SNP and Greens were elected on a commitment to do so, so there's no reasonable or democratic argument against that.

It takes precedence for the obvious reason that, in a referendum, people are voting on that particular issue rather than trying to aggregate over all policies a party has. I would also add that it doesn't take precedence over all future democratic elections for ever more - I would say it takes precedence for the period of time that the referendum is reasonably scoped for. There's inevitably going to be a bit of fuzziness about how long that time is, but I'd normally expect it to be around 20-25 years. Maybe less than that if the referendum result was extremely close (within a couple of % - which the Scottish referendum result wasn't).
Why on this one single issue are the public not permitted to exercise democracy for 25 years? If 60% of people wanted another vote prior to this, would you allow it? What about 70, or 80, or 90? What if voters change their mind and decide they want to change the period the original referendum was "scoped for"? Are they permitted to do so, and if so, when?
 

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