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SSC Project: Yes or No to Scottish Independence?

The project will discuss various subjects which may effect voting in the referendum.

Andrew McDonald

on 18 January 2013

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Transcript of SSC Project: Yes or No to Scottish Independence?

Scottish Independence: Yes or No? Economic Situation What Scotland has to offer Alex Salmond’s aim is to create self-sufficient independent state using Scotland’s own resources Scottish History First records of Scottish history appeared when the Romans invaded. History of Scotland The bloody wars of Scottish independence began shortly after, with Sir William Wallace leading battles against the English. Currency An independent Scotland would most likely keep the pound UK: One Culture? Scotland: A Unique Culture? Arguably Scotland has a unique culture in comparison to the other U.K nations - why not change? How will Scottish Independence affect the border between UK and Scotland? The influence of Scottish independence on the world The European Union -Independent Scotland would have to apply for membership of the EU

-Scotland would no longer benefit from the UK’s withdrawl from the Schengen treaty, which guarantees free movement between EU member states.

-Countries such as Spain may try and prevent Scotland’s membership due to Spain’s separatist movement.

-Scotland, as a small, newly independent country, would be unable to resist demands of larger nations of the EU, and thus would act as their puppet.

-Scotland may be pressured into using the Euro as it’s national currency. Education Scotland currently has free higher education available and already works on a separate scheme (standard grades, highers, AH etc) which would remain the same.

Additionally, university fees are covered by SAAS for Scottish & EU (not England or Wales) students attending Scottish universitiesIf Scotland were to become independent, this may no longer be sustainable.

“Free tuition” may be scrapped in favour of more economically beneficial spending. Conclusion Health & Benefits State pension – potential changes to the currency of Scotland & tax differences between Scotland and the rest of the UK could cause complications and costs to pension schemes.

NHS – The NHS would stay closely linked to the rest of the UK

Healthcare is a section of government that, since 1999, has been devolved to Scotland so the SNP state that they would continue along the same path after independence.

Claims that Scottish NHS will improve due to non intrusion of Conservative policies made by MSP and Health Minister Nicola Sturgeon Public Opinion “Official” polls differ greatly with some claiming independence would be preferred by a majority of the Scottish population, and others going as low as only 20 - 30% in favour of independence

General trend appears that a majority of English public would like to see Scotland become independent

16 & 17 year olds to be included in the vote which will happen in 2014

Number of undecided voters on the rise

Alex Salmond convinced a majority of Scottish public are in favour of independence Arguably Scotland has countless cultural similarities with the other nations of the United Kingdom - why change? Language Scotland shares a common language with the rest of the U.K
English is very important in day to day life in Scotland, this is unlikely to change
Scotland does have another language - Gaelic - however it is not widely used All of this shows that Scotland has massive similarities with the other nations of the U.K, why should they be independent when it is so closely tied to the other countries? National Pride There are multiple instances of British national pride amongst the Scottish populace... Royal Wedding London Olympics Popular Culture Scotland shares a common interest in popular culture... People are worried that a new Scottish broadcaster (separate from the BBC) would not have their favourite T.V programmes: This shows similarities between Scottish cultural tastes and those of the rest of the U.K "I wont axe Eastenders" The BBC covered a story on London produced T.V in an independent Scotland. A percentage of Scottish people were worried their favourite soaps would not be broadcast and threatened to vote against independence for this shallow reason! "British music will no longer be our music” and that “British sporting success will be someone else’s to celebrate" Sporting Rivalries With the exception of the Olympics the Scottish-English rivalry is amongst the most fierce in the world. This highlights the differences between the two nations and can bring Scottish nationalism to the fore. The Scotland-England football rivalry is the oldest fixture in the world. The 1977 home international at Wembley ended in a riot. Although there are similarities in culture there is equally a great number of differences. These differences surely express and show a desire to be independent Political Culture Scotland is generally more left-leaning, i.e more likely to vote for left-wing political parties, than the other nations of the U.K This is illustrated by the lack of support for the Conservative Party, a right-wing party, in Scotland. Following the Westminster elections in 2010 the Conservatives only had one seat in Parliament. Blue = Conservative
Red = Labour
Orange = Lib. Dem
Yellow = SNP Note the massive difference between Scotland and the rest of the U.K! Religious Differences Scotland differs from England in its predominant religious denomination. While most Scots are from a Presbyterian background; English people are more likely to be from an Anglican background. Although both denominations are Christian, they have large differences in theology and culture. The generally differing views of Scots on many issues, when compared to the views of English people, may be attributed to this religious divide Named Caledonia by the Romans, initially was north of Antonine wall. This occurred as battles and conquests deep into Scotland led to dominance for several years but lack of desire or inability to subdue the Picts led to the Romans withdrawing to one of their limes where they built Hadrian’s wall. By the third century they departed from the land we know as Scotland. This can be considered the first war for Scottish independence. In the 5th century the north-west of Caledonia was settled by Scoti (originating from Northern Ireland). Towards the end of the 8th century the constant raids and defeats from the marauding Vikings led to a truce between the warring Scoti and Picts. Uniting to form the Kingdom of Scotland in the 9th century. England invaded Scotland in the late 12th century (1296) under King Edward I. After Scotland allied with the French. After his demise, Robert the Bruce rallied the Scots for the cause which resulted in a significant victory against the English at Bannockburn. James VI succeeded Queen Elizabeth I in 1603 when the Royal line of England ran out. Britain was not born until the 1707 when the Acts of Union declared the union of Scotland, England and Wales. Since then Scotland continued to contribute and have a say in Britain’s affairs especially during the era of the British Empire when Scotland had a large influence in the world. The rejuvenation of Scottish independence can be stemmed from the diminishing of the British Empire. The SNP was formed in 1934 but only became popular (won a parliamentary seat) in 1967 when the north sea oil was utilised and the proceeds went south. This brings us to the present, with the SNP party currently in power in Scotland. Offering Scottish Independence from Britain. Freedom! Scotland contains around 5.1 million of the UK's 62.2 million people, which would leave its share of the debt by this working at £81bn In terms of deficit (gap between a countries income and spending), the key is whether to look at a geographical share of North Sea oil or the share per capita. Using per capita measure, Scotland's net borrowing was £19.3bn in 2009/10 – around 17% of GDP. Using the geographical measure, Scotland's net borrowing is £14bn, or 10.6% of GDP. Scotland gets 9.3% of UK spending, but generates 9.4% of UK taxes. Public spending per head in Scotland is 5% per person than in England from the Treasury However this spending is covered by the North Sea oil tax receipts. NB – only in 5 out of the past 23 years has this been the case due to the rise in fuel prices. Output of the North Sea oil is projected to fall by 50% by 2020 – how will the books be balanced then? Had Scotland been independent during the banking crisis, they would have been unable to bail out RBS of Halifax (taken over by Lloyds TSB). The government spent 45bn on RBS and 20bn on Lloyds. Treasury had £465bn at risk in cash and guarantees, well over three times Scotland's total GDP, even if a full geographical share of North Sea oil is included. 90% of North Sea oil and gas geographically belongs to Scotland According to the SNP, Scotland would be the 6th richest country in the world if it controlled it’s geographical share of the North Sea oil Scotland has 25% of the EU’s wind and tidal energy potential Strongest university research approach in the world Strong and growing industries in tourism, food and drink (particularly whisky), and engineering and life sciences. They would lose monetary policy and control over interest rates to the Bank of England A Currency union deal would have to be struck with the remainder of the UK – possibly limiting borrowing powers Has been suggested this would weaken the pound and impact negatively on Scotland and the rest of the UK. Other option would be to join the euro - euro crisis and fall of countries like Greece make this a less attractive option. -Currently there are no restrictions on moving across from the rest of the UK to Scotland.

-If EU membership requires signing the Schengen treaty-
=UK has not adopted it
=UK would have to operate border controls
=This would prevent Scotland being a backdoor into the UK to those who the UK wants to prevent entering.

-Border control will use a lot of taxpayers money

-There will be charges at immigration for the Scottish to enter the UK. -Scotland is currently a permanent member of the UN security council, as well as being a part of NATO and the G8.

-As an independent nation, Scotland would have it’s own representative at the Council of Europe.

-Scottish independence may prevent UK from retaining it’s seat in the UN security council.

-Scotland could have more influence on world affairs by being represented independently
e.g. Scotland currently has 6 members of the European parliament, while other countries with similar populations such as Denmark have double the representation. In conclusion there are benefits for both Scottish independence and remaining in the United Kingdom. All the areas we have discussed are key to an independent Scotland. How independence will effect these areas - whether beneficial or not - will be the deciding factor for many voters in the referendum. With the 2014 Referendum approaching, the question whether Scotland should become independent from the United Kingdom is the most important decision to be made by the Scottish public since the twenty first century began.
Firstly we will look at the birth of Scotland and the struggles it has historically had with independence. We will then investigate what Scotland has to offer to the world in an economical sense, and potential problematic issues of becoming independent such as inherited debt and currency. Next we shall look at the cultural aspects. Many countries have previously become independent based on cultural differences. We will look at the cultures of Britain and Scotland and discuss the similarities and differences. Additionally we will look into the current and potential future social aspect of Scotland including Education, Health Care and Public opinion. Finally we will cover the problems an independent Scotland would come across such as EU Membership and UK Border Control. In this presentation we will discuss the pros and cons of an independent Scotland examining five topics: History, Economics, Culture, Social Policy and Foreign Relations. Scottish Independence - YOU DECIDE! We as a group think more information on plans on foreign policy, curreny, debt inheritance and EU membership needs to be provided before our final views can be justified "British music will no longer be our music, British success will no longer be our success" "Our nation is blessed with national resources, bright people and a strong society. We have an independent education system, legal system and NHS. They are respected worldwide. I believe that if we connect the wealth of our land to the wellbeing of our people, we can create a better country." Yes or No to Scottish Independence? References History: http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/scotlandshistory/caledonianspictsromans/romansinscotland/index.asp
http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/scotlandshistory/unioncrownsparliaments/unionofthecrowns/index.asp Economics: http://yougov.co.uk/news/2012/10/16/scottish-independence-battle-joined/
http://www.chathamhouse.org/media/comment/view/186589 Social Policies : http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/top-stories/scottish-independence-salmond-pushes-for-new-rights-1-2740235
http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/top-stories/scottish-independence-poll-blow-for-yes-campaign-as-independence-support-stalls-1-2736180 Foreign: http://atp.uclan.ac.uk/buddypress/diffusion/?p=1220
Culture: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/scottish-independence
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