Nicola Sturgeon standing down

Erm, is that not exactly the point of seeking independence? When a place has a very distinct identify, a clearly defined geography, a different political make up, a historic justification, and of course the desire to self govern then is this not the very definition of a country? Plus, the term united kingdom covers the unification under one government of multiple countries - not multiple regions. England has multiple regions. Scotland has multiple regions. But the country of Scotland is united together with the country of England and is not the “property” of Westminster. And never has been. The crowns and then the parliaments unified - not that Scotland fell into any other country’s ownership.
Your language and thinking about Scotland being merely property or no more than a region of England simply makes the case for this unity to be dissolved.
(PS the last time an army was sent down to London was the Jacobites but unfortunately they got stalled at Derby. Close though. More than Yorkshire could ever muster.)

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“Belonged” is an unfortunate word for it, I think? Like slaves? Who exactly is it they belong to? No one wants to be owned

I think I’d go for “are part of” :rofl:

It’s possible to belong by consensus.

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The Scots are between a rock and a hard place

I can well understand their fury at being dragged out of the EU and into a diminished future by the bullying Brexiteers and I obviously I share that fury

But if they got their independence, could they survive economically now the support of being part of the EU has been stolen from them as well

It’s a head versus heart rebate.

The practicalities of separating versus wanting to tell the country and people who want to control, dictate and own them to stuff it

True, but not in the context OGF was using it, talking about being property and given away :scream:

That’s got to be red flag to a bull and not how you talk about equals :balance_scale:

Then you will understand the frustration of the majority of the Scots with a vociferous minority trying to drag them out of the UK. First referendum result, remain in UK 55.3% leave 44.7% on a 84.5 turnout. Latest figures suggest the result of another referendum would be similar or more emphatic.

No need to get Your knickers in a twist now about another Independence referendum…If there had been the slightest change in the People of Scotlands minds towards one,then Sturgeon would not have resigned…She knew it just wasn’t to be so there was no reason to go on fighting for it…I have longed for My Countrys independence for 40+ years…now I too am resigned…if We couldn’t get it under wee nippys leadership,then We never will with any of the others who in My view aren’t fit to wipe Her shoes never mind fill them…so…I won’t be voting for any of Them…
‘The Party’s Over’ as far as I’m concerned.


It does seem that Scotland would need every possible source of economic success, and no economic problems, to succeed with minimal disruption. Any form of trade barrier between England and Scotland would act as a drag on the economy. We’ve seen that with the UK’s exit from the EU and its biggest and closest market. The reality of a border creating problems for what would be a very fledging country is almost certainly one major cause for people to not vote for independence. It must seem even worse than the staunch Brexit fan being happy to lose out economically just to retain their precious UK sovereignty. And you can’t spend sovereignty so many Scots will be pragmatic on this issue.
Equally, Scotland has had the dead weight of the trade barriers created by Brexit on its current trade outside the UK. There is much doubt on how easily / quickly Scotland could be able & allowed to join the EU should it be independent. Let alone the conditions for such membership - here I’m thinking of issues like having to accept the euro and drop the pound.
I’m not a fan of the rule by Westminster as Scotland has not voted for the governing party for decades now. The UK government policies are rarely ones Scotland, overall, wanted. The Truss economic debacle shows the dangers of being obliged to follow on from Westminster. As did Brexit. But the risks of economic hardship from independence seem real.
So, at the moment there seems to be only a couple of possible avenues. First is devolution plus, the gradual shift of more and more government authority and remit from Westminster to Holyrood. The second might be to see how the Brexit debate changes once the tories are out of power. A UK government that can honestly assess the issues (hey, even assess the benefits) might just move the UK back closer to the EU. Not ditching Brexit but moving to the softest possible Brexit. Which would help everyone and make independence increasingly feasible…

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Trade barriers caused by Brexit doesn’t seem to apply to Scotch whisky.
Scotch whisky exports more than £6 billion for first time - despite domestic headwinds - Business Insider

I rather think that was meant in the context of … we all belong to the UK… a bit of needless picking going on here.

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@strathmore … I would love to hear your views on the Barnett Formula (that subsidy the Scots receive from across the Border , from the British Parliament in Westminster .

Do you think it would have a damaging impact and could an independent Scotland manage financially or is that the underlying reason for desiring to rejoin the EU, to avail themselves of grants from them instead and in effect, just switch who they receive their subsidies from?
Having felt Westminster is their unwanted master … would they be happy to dance to an EU masters tune?
Go back in history and the French were always their natural allies rather than the English.
Also Scottish MP’s voting in across the Border issues would have to end. It’s an oddity as it is.
You have to admit currently it’s unfair as it means that Scots, Welsh and all MP’s representative of the all the countries who make up our great conglomerate of a nation are entitled to vote in Westminster ( in addition to Holyrood) … but English MPs only get to vote at Westminster … meaning England does not have it’s own Parliament.
This leads to the one question that immediately springs to mind … could Scotland manage it’s own army and Defence budget?

The complexities of Scotland gaining Independence are quite off-putting but I am in favour of the Scots going it alone if that is what they want as a fair majority seem to favour it and would stop a fair bit of the animosity that seems to drift cloud-like over Hadrian’s Wall.

I can’t help thinking you’re taking a linear viewpoint there … it does work both ways.
Remember back in 2004, the furoure over student fees becasue Scottish MP’s who voted against them North of the Border, came down to Westminister and voted here,… FOR them.

At the time it drew harsh criticsm, and justifiably so.

"This is a dark day for British democracy, and the actions of Scottish MPs are reprehensible.

This was a typical example, and pretty despicable too, of Scottish Labour MPs trying to score political points over a Tory goverment in Westminister.

In a point of order after the vote, Mr Yeo said: “It is completely wrong that a bill which imposes higher charges on students attending the English universities should only be carried by this house using the votes of Scottish MPs when the students attending universities in the constituencies of those Scottish MPs do not have to pay those higher charges.”

End result: One rule for Scotland students … one rule for English students.
To the detriment of English students , with the vote swung by Scottish MPs.


@strathmore …anyway … I’ve said my bit and will duck out of this one now as it is an emotive issue and like Brexit, can roll on and on with both sides confident they are right.

What about the free prescriptions?

There is a lot to unpick in your post. I’ll try to cover as much as possible.

Without question. Where is your doubt? Smaller countries (smaller in size, population and natural resources) survive and thrive. Ireland, Denmark, Belgium to name just three. Nobody goes round suggesting that Finland can’t survive financially. Most small European countries have a significantly higher GDP per person than Scotland. Given that, the only question is why is Scotland so badly served by being in the UK?

I think you are a bit missing a significant point - MP’s voted in from, say, Wales, sit in the parliament of Westminster. That is where they get to vote. Members of the Welsh parliament get to vote in the Welsh assembly, not in parliament. MPs in Westminster from all over the UK get to vote on issues for individual parts of the UK as well as for the UK as a whole (unless the issue has been devolved and not all issues have been devolved).
In reality the English parliament / assembly is Westminster. Yes it is true that MPs from Scotland and Wales do vote on issues that might only(or in the majority) affect England. But remember that Westminster is dominated by two national parties and MPs in those parties from Scotland or Wales normally vote along their party lines. As for creating a devolved English assembly - I’ve no opinion apart from having no idea how it would work.

Why not? Denmark and Ireland have their own armies and a defense budgets. Again, why do you think a country of comparative size, Scotland, might be so incapable?.I find your question actually a bit offensive and a lot ill-considered

I would not hold much importance to that. You are referring to a time when it was allegiances of royal families - and of religion. Go back before the Jacobites and you find the Plantagenets who are normally cited as English kings but in fact the court was French, spoke French, and held massive French territories (sorry, the French court held massive English territories).

I am inclined to think that you do not understand the Barnett formula. This is not a subsidy and it is applied for all countries, not just Scotland. Taxes are raised centrally in the UK and then spent both locally and nationally (e.g. defense). The formula provides a means of working local spend for devolved responsibilities - such as education and health. Not a subsidy but simply an allocation of tax revenues. Hope that helps.


No offence intended but this a good example of how prickly people can get.
Nor is it illconsidered. It was a genuine, serious and good question.

The British Defence forces have recently been criticised , as not rating a decent size army in terms of the calibre needed to have any clout on the world stage .
That’s to say … Can we really support Ukraine?
As an English person I do not take offence at someone pointing out that our Defence Forces, and budget are woefully inadequate. Based on that I was curious how Scotland might fare on it’s own.

I think it a shame … as presumbaly a Scots, that you do find this a sensitive issue and have possibly even taken it as a slur against your sense of national pride.

I understand the forumula very well thank you. It was devised, in 1979, as a temporary measure to sustain the growth of all the countries that make up our Kingdom… with the less affluent, receiving more capita per head.
In principle, not unlike the EU … the more affluent help the less well off.
Scotland recieves more capita per head than a person in England. That is undisputed fact. Easily searchable and proveable on any government site so I don’t understand why you are contesting it.

Do try to remain openminded and read this report from the IFS. (dated March 2021)

Funding per person in Scotland is over 30 per cent higher than in England almost entirely because of the Barnett Formula, a new report from a leading think tank has claimed.,ifs-say-barnett-formula-leaves-spending-in-scotland-30-higher-per-person-than-in-england

On that note … I’ve already said I will bow out and will now do so, though I would have enjoyed a discussion of the merits and drawbacks to all countries concerned in regard to an independent Scotland, except I seem to have run into a staunch Scottish Nationalist or at least someone with more fixed opinions than myself.

Enjoy your day and whatever you aspirations for your country I wish you good fortune.

Behave Spitty … they get them free either because

  1. they manage their budget better.
  2. We’re allocating them too much in the Barnett Formula
  3. They don’t have to fund many free prescriptions, the Scots are healthier than us - because they have a better standard of living North of the Border.

I’m just teasing!
Right … now I am off. :laughing:
Seriously, everyone have a good day, wherever you are.

We used to have English votes for English Laws (EVEL) and English and Welsh Votes for English and Welsh Laws, for all legislation which covered matters which were devolved to the Scottish Parliament.
It seems simple enough to me - if the Parliamentary Vote involves a matter which is dealt with by a devolved Parliament then any MPs from the country of that devolved Parliament just doesn’t get a vote for that Bill or that part of the Bill which doesn’t affect their country.

EVEL was introduced to Westminster in 2015, after the Scottish Referendum, to address the “West Lothian Question” and it operated until the start of the Covid pandemic - it was in operation until early 2020, then it was suspended to simplify voting procedures during the Covid pandemic (even though the devolved Parliaments made their own rules for Covid)

I think the Government have since taken the opportunity of it being paused for a few years to just abolish it altogether - possibly because they thought they had killed off the muttering caused by the Scottish Independence debate - thus we are now left with the same situation - no permanent solution to the West Lothian Question.

I’d support the return of EVEL - it would be cheaper than having another separate devolved Parliament - if other devolved Parliaments within U.K. have MPs chosen by their own country’s constituents deciding devolved matters which only affect their country’s residents, it’s only fair that matters affecting only England are decided by the MPs selected by voters from the English constituencies.

It’s worth remembering why there was complaints and why EVEL was introduced in the first place - During the 2000s a number of pieces of legislation which affected only or mainly England were passed by the UK Parliament, although the votes cast by MPs were such that the legislation would not have been passed if only the votes cast by MPs representing English constituencies had been counted.

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Hi. For me it is important that you and others are aware that what you wrote can cause (inadvertent) offense. Essentially, in your questions about Scotland’s capabilities, you were saying that this one country is so much more inadequate than other similar countries. I know you did not mean that. But that is still the essence of the questions (can Scotland? How can Scotland? Will Scotland?). What you did not do is ask yourself - how does this one country compare to other similar countries? What you (I suspect, inadvertently) does is think " I need to compare Scotland to the entire UK". That’s not really the right comparison.
So do not accuse me of being pricky. Think harder about the context of what you wrote.
Next time, write “how can Denmark exist?” And then reflect and then delete.

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Thank you for the lecture. I’m genuinely sorry you were offended, quite strongly by the sounds of it. You’ve made it quite plain to me you are offended, so be content in the knowledge that you have put me right about it.

I can’t recall saying that Scotland was ‘inadequate’ in any way. That is the interpretation you choose to put on my words. It must make decent debate incredibly difficult for you to achieve.

And I reiterate … I’ve thought about it … and I still think you’re being incredibly sensitive and picky.
That’s your problem, not mine. But what I will do is cease discussing Scottish issues with you and suggest you think carefully before replying to anyone else who is willing to discuss Scotland with you as you might well find you become upset, angry and overly defensive with them too.

Now … having said that there is no need for us to chat on this thread any further, at least not at this disagreeable level.
Except perhaps to discuss the weather … the British are often accused of doing that to excess.
Is the weather nice in France?