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Power Vacuum
The Fallout of a Scotland "Yes"

A “Yes” vote in Scotland is looking to create a huge mess in the disuniting kingdom. David Cameron, who would become the Prime Minister who lost Scotland, may well be forced to call a new election.

Here are the latest horse race figures from YouGov:

Yes, losing Scotland would ultimately hurt Labour far more than the Conservatives. But in the meantime, it’s quite conceivable we could see Labour in power presiding over the breakup. That government, however, is likely to be a strange (and weak) one: UKIP and the LibDems now have enough seats to make forming a government much more complicated.

Make no mistake: the break-up of a 300 year old union that within living memory was the greatest power on earth will resonate. And at a time of crisis in the Middle East and Europe, where the UK remains a key U.S. ally, it’s going to make life even harder.

On the long term prospects, we have no view. For all we know, in the long run both England and Scotland might be better off apart than together. But in the short term, we’ve got a mess on our hands.

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  • Andrew Allison

    Should we perhaps await the outcome of the referendum before declaring that the Kingdom is disuniting?

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    I think change is always good for the Government Monopoly, as any change at all breaks up systems of patronage and corruption that take years to build. Even a little end to the stagnation of Government is plus for the suffering tax payers.

    • ShadrachSmith

      That is a new thought for me, thanks.

  • bigfire

    Consider the percentage of population on the dole in Scotland, it will gave those that voted ‘YES’ a wake up call. Once you exit the Union, so goes the gravy train. And no, the Northsea Oil is staying with England.

    • Curious Mayhem

      Correct, as are the defense spending and financial companies.

  • Curious Mayhem

    This idea is daft. About 15 years ago, I participated in an online forum which included some SNP fanatics. For merely pointing out the obvious — that Scotland is not economically viable on its own and its independence movement makes as little sense as independence for Quebec or Puerto Rico — I was buried under a ton of cyberspace bricks, as it were.

    Legally and in other practical ways, implementing a breakup would prove nearly impossible. Then there’s currency mess. The SNP claims it wants to maintain a currency and customs union with England/Wales/NEire. But it also claims it wants to independently join the EU. The EU would probably require it to enter the euro, which is crazy on the face of it, plus it conflicts with the claims about remaining with the pound sterling. And if Scotland doesn’t join the British Commonwealth, it becomes a republic. The SNP hasn’t even started on figuring that one out.

    Again, this idea is daft.

    • Thirdsyphon

      I’m not convinced that the EU would allow an independent Scotland to rejoin it on any terms at all. Many (if not most) of the EU member states have their own problems with secessionist movements, and might view the readmission of Scotland as a dangerous precedent.

      • Curious Mayhem

        All good points.

  • vrichards

    This is welcome development. The scotts can at long last have a government that works for them. They have a chance to be a rich country with their oil. Hopefully this is a step toward thedissolution of the NATO. The UK may rid itself of nuclear weapons, which is a major step towards nuclear non proliferation. The birth of Scottland will make us all safer.

    • Curious Mayhem

      Not true. The North Sea oil is owned by the London government and running out in any case.

      Lacking defense and welfare spending from London, oil money, participation in Scottish companies in the English economy (especially in finance), and change to Scotland’s far left politics, how are they going to survive? Ireland reformed itself in the 1980s and did well before it made the mistake of joining the euro. Scotland is coming far too late for this trend.

      The disintegration of NATO will leave Europe wide open to aggression and blackmail. It’s already vulnerable as it is.

  • vrichards

    Also, this presents a major opportunity. The GBP/USD will now take a dive. Fortunes will be made from this FX currency move. Thank you people of Scottsland.

  • Anthony

    In this case, blame should be placed on the Tories. Here is why.

    “In a federal state this would not be a problem. The domestic
    policies, discord over which forms the backbone of the nationalist
    movement, would be the responsibility of the constituent countries of
    the UK, and Scots could run their internal affairs without hindrance.
    But the UK is not a federal state, it is a unitary state with
    sovereignty and legislative authority resting in the
    Crown-in-Parliament. The authority of the Holyrood parliament is tenuous
    and could be curtailed or rescinded at any time, without judicial

    “The best case scenario would be devo-max or the federalization of the
    UK, but Westminster would not allow either to be on the referendum
    ballot. The prospect of full scale constitutional reform is not even
    under consideration outside of a few Lib Dem committee meetings. Scots
    have been put in a position where the status quo is unacceptable to
    them, and in which viable alternatives – devo-max and federalization –
    have been expressly refused as options. It is often said that, if
    devo-max were on the ballot, it would win. It isn’t on the ballot,
    because Westminster knew that and hoped that by denying a third choice,
    Scots would choose the status quo. Is that manipulation the kind of
    government you would want to live under?”

    • Curious Mayhem

      It may be in the Tories’ interest. Certainly, Labour knows it would become a permanent minority. It’s not in Scotland’s interest, for sure.

  • Anthony

    “David Cameron, who would become the Prime Minister who lost Scotland, may well be forced to call a new election.” Still, somewhat premature.

    • Thirdsyphon

      True- Cameron still has some hope of becoming “the Prime Minister who almost lost Scotland”; but that figure too might well be forced to call a new election.

      • Anthony


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