The road to 2014

Between now and polling day, I will post updates on the Scottish Government’s plans for the referendum, my observations on the debate, our preparations for Scotland to become independent should the people of Scotland vote ‘yes’, and the reasons why we believe that bringing powers home will better equip us to build the kind of country we want Scotland to be.

Everything that is posted on this blog will be written personally by me or by people I invite to contribute. I hope you find it helpful, interesting and informative.

In my first post, I want to talk about the obligations that I believe politicians in both the Scottish and UK governments are under over the next couple of years to work in a way that puts the interests of the people of Scotland – and indeed the rest of the UK – before our own partisan interests.

There is no doubt that we will all argue our case passionately and vigorously – Scottish Government ministers will argue for a ‘yes’ vote and UK government ministers for a ‘no’ vote. But both Governments have a responsibility to ensure that this debate is well informed and constructive, and that we work together in advance to ensure that the outcome of the referendum is respected.

During this year the Scottish Government will publish a series of papers covering the main arguments for independence, leading to a white paper in the autumn that will set out the Government’s proposals for an independent Scotland.  We have already set out our vision for the country we would like Scotland to be:  a country that earns its wealth and shares it more fairly; a country where every child has the chance to grow up and fulfil their potential.  These papers will provide detail on how to achieve that vision.  Of course, in future elections to an independent parliament, other parties will be able to put forward positions and policies that are different to those in the White Paper. But it will be the White Paper that will set out the choice people will be making when they vote in the referendum – it will set out the structure of the state and the starting point of an independent Scotland.

The UK Government also plans its own papers to set out is case for a “no” vote.

The people of Scotland will expect both Governments to have open discussion, and full exchange of information, in preparing these arguments.  While we might not agree on the conclusions to be drawn, we will be expected to be honest and candid in our dealings with each other to ensure a properly informed public debate.

Over these next two years, the Scottish Government will also be engaged in another

important, and related, strand of work to get us from a ‘yes’ vote in 2014 to Scotland actually electing the parliament of an independent Scotland at the 2016 election. All parts of the Scottish Government will be working on a transition plan considering what needs to be done to give effect to the decision of the Scottish people when they vote ‘yes’, as I believe they will – the administrative steps that will require to be taken, the legislation that will require to be passed, the matters that will require to be negotiated with the UK government and what negotiated outcome would be in Scotland’s best interests, including those areas in which we would be proposing continued co-operation and joint working with other parts of the UK.

This transition work should also be discussed, on an ongoing basis, with the UK government in order that we develop a shared understanding of what these issues are and, as far as we can, a shared approach to dealing with them. After all, on many issues, currency for example, our interests will align – what is in Scotland’s best interests will also be best for the UK.

Let me be clear – I am not suggesting that we should ‘pre-negotiate’ the independence settlement. But I am saying, very clearly, that we must do the groundwork now to ensure that, in the event of a ‘yes’ vote, both governments are in a position to work together constructively in the best interests of the people of Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom  – as the First Minister, Prime Minister, Michael Moore and myself agreed when we signed the Edinburgh Agreement in October last year.

So, in this regard, I disagree strongly with Michael Moore’s statement at the weekend that there should be no pre-referendum discussions between our two governments.

It is clearly in the interests of both Scotland and the rest of the UK that such discussions do take place. I would have thought that the Secretary of State for Scotland, of all people, would see the sense in that. After all, even though he opposes independence, he will surely want the best deal for Scotland in the event that we do vote ‘yes’. Indeed, given that the Scottish Government has made clear its intention to involve other parties in the negotiation process, he may well have a part to play on Scotland’s behalf.

I hope, therefore, that common sense will prevail. Before Christmas, I wrote to Nick Clegg, who is responsible for constitutional matters in the UK government, to suggest this common sense approach: open exchange of information and sensible preparations for a ‘yes’ vote. I look forward to a constructive response – otherwise the responsibility for any so-called ‘uncertainty’ in the referendum debate will lie squarely with Westminster.

  • yLordy

    We need to sort out separation from the National Grid and the formation of a Scottish Grid to serve Scotland but still with connections to England so we can charge them for all the power they use. This would stop the unfair charges they place on Scottish installations, as at the moment, although my power comes from green energy, I pay on average 1.69pence per unit of electricity more than any other part of the UK. All the infrastructure is there now so the costs will not be huge.
    We also need them to agree that by International Law the changes the Blair government made to the True North Sea Border (http://www.electricscotland.com/history/articles/TNBS.pdf) were illegal and to restore them before Independence.
    If the Westminster government refuse to negotiate removal of Trident missile and subs from the Clyde then charges will be made (I suggest £1M/day/warhead and the same for each Sub).
    Any other major issues have to be resolved and if not charges imposed as they will try to outsmart us but we must be on the ball and ensure our “I”s are dotted and our “T”s crossed!

    • http://twitter.com/domhnall_dods Domhnall Dods

      We are not on the national grid, the transmission networks in England are owned by National grid, in Scotland by SSE and ScottishPower. Power which is exported to the national grid is already charged for never fear.

      • yLordy

        Was going to let you see the charging for connection to the grid and how it widely varies around the country but I cannot find it as I am too tired, will try to find them tomorrow when I get a chance

  • Bill Cruickshank

    ” I would have thought that the Secretary of State for Scotland, of all people, would see the sense in that. After all, even though he opposes independence, he will surely want the best deal for Scotland in the event that we do vote ‘yes’. Indeed, given that the Scottish Government has made clear its intention to involve other parties in the negotiation process, he may well have a part to play on Scotland’s behalf.”
    I think most folk would agree that it has been fairly obvious that Michael Moore has little interest in Scotland. Like many of his Westminster colleagues, London is the centre of his universe.  Scotland serves only to provide the train ticket. A situation that will end come Autumn 2014.

  • Theuserhere

    Should you be using the Scottish governments livery on a private blog? 

    • Stephen

       Seems it’s not a private blog – check the footer “Crown Copyright”.

  • Novoter2

    In the unfortunate event of a yes vote, many talented Scots will vote with their feet and head South and overseas I suspect.  It also appears that the so called Scotish government do not really know what the effect of an independant Scotland will be and wish to hang on to EU membership, the British pound, the British monarchy, the BBC etc. etc.  What exactly are the Scottish ideals in this day and age that will underpin this great socialist dream?  

    • ScorpioFax

      Are you that blind that you can’t see that this is what is happening whilst we are part of the Union? At least we could attempt to stop the brain drain if we were independent.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/WYCESXS7TU73XZP3CNR5JTFKHA CyberNat1

      Novoter2
      “In the unfortunate event of a yes vote, many talented Scots will vote with their feet and head South…”

      Is this not what has been happening in the past in Scotland anyway.
      Scotlands used to have ~20% of the population of England, now has ~9%.

      I believe that many Scots worldwide will return home in the event of a ‘Yes’ vote and a ‘No’ vote will damage Scotland in many ways.

      ‘Scottish ideals’ as you put it, are already differeing from those in England, regarding EU, NHS privatisation, Tuiton fees, prescription charges, Trident etc etc.

      If you currently reside in Scotland, how on earth could you not know this?

    • yLordy

       You are like most, fooled by the name, you quoted British 3 times, England does not have a monopoly on the word British, you are British if you live in the chunk of rock that juts out of the Atlantic to form the North Sea. So we wont lose the BBC because if we do then they could not use the name British as they would not be transmitting to Britain but to RUK so it would be RUKBC, just doesn’t have the same ring to it., The British monarchy is exactly that THE BRITISH MONARCHY not the English Monarchy and using the British pound is good for the UK not just Scotland as every country who has split from a governing country usually keep the currency for a while before adopting their own.

    • Dave_Coull

      For the 1997 referendum on a Scottish Parliament, I predicted a majority “YES” vote in every region of the country. I was right. The so-called “opinion polls” in the lead-up to that referendum were wrong. I’m making the same prediction again. When it happens, the great majority of those who had voted against independence will accept the democratic will of the majority, and play a full part in the life of independent Scotland. It’s true a few diehards might decide to head south, but they will be more than made up for by the large numbers of migrants heading north. I know dozens of folk in England who have expressed a desire to be part of independent Scotland.

  • Stephen

    It seems to me the SNP are starting to panic that the parties that don’t want to tear the UK are apart are quite rightly unwilling to co-operate in an effort to lay such foundations.  If you are so convinced that we in Scotland don’t want or need a Union with the rest of the UK, then the standing on your own two feet starts NOW.

    Also, how dissapointing to see comments like Bill Cruickshank’s making judgement’s on other Scot’s interest in Scotland just because they do not agree politically.  Shameful.  And yLordy’s remarks about cutting the grid and charging England for electricity (we already do btw) reminds me of a sketch from ‘Absolutely’ (and it was meant to be a joke).

    • Bill Cruickshank

      Sorry, but I am at a loss to know what is “shameful” about saying that Michael Moore has little interest in Scotland. Mr. Moore has made it quite clear that his allegiance is to the UK Government in Westminster. The same Government which insists on stationing weapons of mass destruction on Scottish soil, that is “shameful”! If there is anything “shameful” in this debate it is the behaviour of those who work against the right of the people of Scotland to govern themselves.

      • GW76

        In reading Stephen’s comment, your statement that “I think most folk would agree…” came to mind – that’s your opinion, and it may be that of many others, but you can’t possibly know what “most folk” think. Attributing your own views to everyone else doesn’t make them correct, any more than it does for the First Minister when he claims to speak for “all true Scots”.

      • Anon_Sailor

        Dont worry Bill, Moore is hated in Scotland and will be distrusted by rUK during the settlement agreements, Moore is finished, trying to imagine what he,ll do after 2014. He will need to change his colours to survive!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/WYCESXS7TU73XZP3CNR5JTFKHA CyberNat1

      Stephen

      If there’s no negotiation, no debt or assets can then be accrued to Scotland.
      Is that what you want cause that’s what’ll happen.
      Therefore deciding in the event of a ‘Yes’ outcome would seem to me to be in the interest of rUK and Scotland.

      Also, should your comment, “standing on your own two feet” not be “standing on our own two feet”?
      Unlike you, I think it’s relevant to know if people commenting are entitled to vote in this referendum.

  • ScorpioFax

    It was obvious to everyone that the British Gov would refuse this, as they understand that people will not vote for independence due to the fact that no-one will know what Scotland would be coming out of any negotiations with, should the referendum result in a ‘yes’. The best thing to do, to mitigate this as much as possible, is to publish a list of items that will and will not be up for negotiation.

  • D8414787

    It seems like a sensible plan Ms Sturgeon but if the SNP don’t outline exactly how they intend Scotland to stand on it’s own two feet financially it won’t matter because no one above the age of 25 will vote ‘Yes’. Everyone has mortgages and families to consider and most would put that before nationalism. Every Scot to a man/woman wants in their heart for Scotland to be independent, except the odd Tory Scot, so give us the chance to vote ‘Yes’ and clearly outline your financial plans for an independent Scotland. Don’t let us down, you’re only going to get one chance at this!

    • http://twitter.com/TheRealHenBroon Hen Broon

       You will I presume be demanding the same answers from the UK government. At the moment things are not looking great in that area, as they cannot even predict what is happening next week never mind in 2015. The debt mountain is increasing and the much vaunted AAA status seems to be at an end. The biggest threat to Scotlands future prosperity is the UK itself. If we are going to have to endure decades of austerity, then I want that to be from a government I voted for not that another country voted for. I am sick of being sneered at by posh public schoolboys from London and told that my country is to poor and stupid to manage volatile oil prices that keep going up. Sick of being told we are stronger as part of the UK when If you look at the history of Scotlands fishing industry it is patently obvious we have been weaker, as we were made to sit in the corridor as our industry was sacrificed. If mistakes are to be made then they must be ours. The best people to govern Scotland are those of us who made a choice to live and work here. Not the spivs and toffs of London. There is only one way forward now for Scotland and that is as an independent country in the EU. Denmark is a classic example. Same population with twice the number of EU ministers. They are not kicking down doors in Berlin to be run from there again.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gayle-Miller/100000043384921 Gayle Miller

      No-one over the age of 25? I beg to differ. I will most certainly be voting YES. Remember the poll tax, illegal wars, the countless UK Governments that the vast majority of Scots didn’t vote for, oil that was given to America, waters stolen by the UK Government, fishing rights and waters given away to the EU (just to name a few things)? It is high time Scotland had a voice and the things we hold dear are taken into account. That will never happen under UK control (not unity as we have never been truly united. Try spending Scottish money in England and that is blatantly clear.) Only a YES vote can give us a chance at a future that most Scots want (without that abomination at Faslane).

      I do agree, however, that a list of what we can expect for an independent Scotland needs to be put forward. These points should be independent of party policy so that the people of Scotland can look at the facts and make an informed choice. The hopes for Scotland’s future, post referendum, can then be addressed by each party that will stand in our elections. 

      I would also like more information on EFTA. The UK Government may have us out of the EU before long so an alternative needs to be addressed if we are to renegotiate our EU standing.

    • Dave_Coull

       “no one above the age of 25 will vote Yes”?     -    I will be  SEVENTY  TWO  this year. Not only will I vote yes, I will also be campaigning actively for a YES vote. Oh, and by the way, I’m not a member or a supporter of the SNP. I didn’t even vote for them at the last election, and I probably won’t vote for them at the next election either. I’ve never been a member, or a supporter, of  ANY  political party. But this is a non-party-political referendum. I predict an extremely high turnout, with most of those who say they are “don’t knows” at present voting Yes.

    • GW76

       “Every Scot to a man/woman wants in their heart for Scotland to be independent, except the odd Tory Scot”

      I find that offensive, as I do the comments from those stating “all of Scotland is behind you”, worse yet, the FM on TV claiming to speak for “all true Scots” and that “all right thinking Scots will agree”.

      The only way we’ll know what the majorty think or want is when the referendum takes place, and I truely hope the turnout is good.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1661976043 Blank Page

         “Offensive” is not the word to use. Disagree would fit your narrative.;-)

        • GW76

           Um, no “offensive” is exactly the word to use as that is exactly how I find people claiming to speak on my behalf. I don’t think “narrative” is appropriate in this context though.

      • Anon_Sailor

        Youre offended easily. Are you not offended at Westminste Labour & Torys stating in parliament that Scotland is undemocratic, run by a dictator. Theyre saying your too stupid to see that, are you not offended?
        I dont want my children growing up in an enforced union!

        • GW76

          Is that what they’re saying or is that just your opinion? Are you telling me I’m too stupid to form my own opinion and should just accept others speaking on my behalf (like you trying to tell me what I should and shouldn’t find offensive)?

          I personally don’t think we stand a chance if we split from the UK as all I see is our First Minister blustering and making claim after claim with zero substance to back up a single word he is saying. And watch FMQ’s – he never has a response for anything – all he can do is deflect and point to past governments similar failings – well he’s in now and it’s now that matters.

          If a large proportion of Scots think their own goverment is a joke, how can they expect the rest of the world to take them seriously?

  • Keefer22

    A hearty welcome to the blogosphere Nicola. I look forward to reading your news, views and opinions in the run up to the referendum.

    I’m sure you’ve already weighed up the pros and cons of allowing such easy access to everyone. My hope for you is that the comments section contributes more to the positive debate than detracts.

    I wish You, your party and all the people of Scotland good luck in next years historical referendum.

  • johnnypict

    I find it bizarre that the UK gov don’t want to discuss the possibilities. Even from the point of view of contingency planning for the rUK it makes sense.

    I don’t really believe nothing is going on …maybe Scot Gov aren’t in on it …but someone somewhaere is surely considering the option come a Yes vote.

    Good luck with the blog Nicola. Looking forward to the debate.@D8414787 – As an aside …I’m over 25, I have a mortgage and I’m voting Yes. Bring on the referendum.

    • D8414787

      Good for you but I think most folk will want to see a proper fiscal plan before they put their cross in the box for a Yes vote.

      • johnnypict

        D 8414787 – You’re right I think. I just didn’t want to be included in the generalisation. :)

        There are some that wouldn’t mind higher taxes if it meant independence, me being one of them. Be a better place if we were better off financially mind.

      • Charles Patrick O’Brien

         Amazing of all the countries that have attained independence is Scotland the only one to HAVE TO provide a business plan first? that is a red herring,no country has ever had to provide the ruling elite of how they will run the country or what the priorities will be! Cant see Westminster coming up with a fiscal plan if we Scots manage to gain our independence do you?

    • AusJag

      Although I agree with the sentiments of the post, I must correct you in what to me is a major error.  An error that far too many posters on all forums make, when Scotland leaves the UK the UK ceases to exist.  The UK is the united Kingdoms of Scotland and England and is not a political union.

  • http://twitter.com/TheRealHenBroon Hen Broon

     However National Grid plc remain the System Operator for the whole UK Grid.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Grid_%28Great_Britain%29

  • MurrayMcC

    It is quite correct for the “Yes” campaign to make such an open invitation in the Scottish national interests.  However the 1979 devolution referendum indicates that the UK government will do quite the opposite and continue to publish myths that will make many people fearful of independence.
    Surely the whole process will, to a very large extent, boil down to “trust”.  Do we trust the collective views of the “Yes” campaign (ie not just the SNP) that Scotland is as capable as the other 195 countries on planet earth to run its own affairs and decide how its national income is best spent on its own people?  Or do we believe the “No” campaign that the status quo is best for us?  Do we have to know the answer to every single detailed question or do we trust the collective “Yes” campaign to negotiate the best deal on our behalf?  From then on can the Scottish people not debate and take forward how they wish to govern themselves?  Maybe we should have set the same precise standards for the UK government?
    It is beyond doubt that most human beings do tend to cling to the status quo for no reason other than being fearful of change.  It is far, far easier to run a “No” campaign – you simply have to keep asking questions that raise doubt.
    I personally wish the “No” campaign would ask the same difficult questions of the status quo.  I wish we could have a UK debate on a fairer distribution of wealth.  I would like the UK government to explain how it is ever going to repay the level of debt it has racked up in the last 40 years and continues to do so at a record pace as it places so many people out of work, giving tax cuts to the wealthiest people and spending vast sums of money on WMDs.  This UK debate will of course will never happen.  There are too many vested powerful interests (mostly based in the SE of England) in a fragmented population of 62+ million people.
    My personal view is that “small” is not a disadvantage in business or for countries – in the long term it is not simply a matter of what you are able to produce efficiently and consistently with your resources that counts but also the share of the income raised.  This has to be seen to be fair.  Do people believe this is currently fair in the UK and, if not, how can we realistically change it?  It is my belief that the people voting in 2014 have a unique chance to decide their way forward on this.

  • gfdgdfgdfg

    I really hope you win the vote for an independent Scotland. Removing a huge chunk of Labour voters will do something wonderful for England. 

  • a.haddow

    Do the Scottish people possess the necessary brainpower to deal with challenges as they arise? Yes or No.

    • johnnypict

       Yes

    • Charles Patrick O’Brien

       A.Haddow,are you one of US SCOTS ? or are you not including yourself as Scottish,I ask because the way you put it as “THE SCOTS” seemed to me you are on the outside are you?

      • a.haddow

        I certainly am, and the answer is a resounding YES. My point is that that is all we really need to know. We do not need to be playing the unionist game of haggling endlessly over minutiae (or misquoting each other).

    • Bongobrian

       Yes… and they are best placed to make the correct decisions.  Far better placed than leaving the responsibility to someone else.

    • yLordy

       Adam Smith from Kirkcaldy wrote the book on running a country so yes we do have the brainpower to do the job and we can do a damn fine job of it too

  • spooked

    Nicola, this is a problem of your own making. Salmond decided, on the hoof in an interview early in May 2012 that a referendum would be delayed to late 2014.  It doesn’t take much to work out that you then had 18 months to negotiate secession before the next Holyrood elections. Now every other governments with a big job to do gets on with it right away, they aim to finish it before the election to give them a hope of being re-elected. You chose differently and you also made the grossly optimnistic assumption that negotiation would simply consist of everyone saying yes too everything you say. It’s not like that.

    Its especially not like that when you pre announce what will happen – straight into the EU, Scottish rep on the BoE, Currency union etc etc – when you haven’t taken any legal advcie on it or started any political process.

    If you do get a yes vote  then you will find yourselves negotiating from a remarkably weak position of an imminent election and an unrealistic, but self imposed, timescale. Now you have realised this you want the UK to assume a yes vote and start negotiations early.  You are making ther same mistake all over again. You assume that these negotiations to start negotiations will be met with a “yes of course” answer. That hasn’t happend. But worse, you are still trying to negotiate in public, blame the opposite side for your failure and then wonder why no one wants to speak to you

    You are politically so naive its laughable

    • Charles Patrick O’Brien

       You really think all the negotiations are public! tis you who is being naive,I think.

    • roders

      Exactly.  It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.  The whole ‘we will be straight into the EU’ was such a massive ** up.  A 5 year old could have worked out that Spain would immediately veto any application.  If these are the duds you are placing your faith in for the future of Scotland  I really do fear for your future.  

      Can I ask you a simple question Nicola.  Do you even know what currency an independent Scotland would be using?

      • a.haddow

        You seem to believe that the whole world will act against their own interests when it comes to Scotland. Why would anyone think that? 

        • James

          And you seem to over-estimate the generosity of nation-states.  They will act in their own self-interest as they always have and a moderate supply of additional oil/gas (which they already have access to through existing markets and supply routes – or do you plan to start mass exporting to more far flung locations rather than through high capacity pipelines to Europe) will not affect this.  A whole bunch of countries will not want to see this as a precedent and will want to send a clear message to their own secessionists that daring to make this decision will result in painful consequences.  And before you say it, this is not scare-mongering, its just honesty and human-nature (outside of the rose-coloured, self-deluding, wonderland of the FM and his desperate colleagues who seem to think that they can dictate terms to the remaining 99% of Europe!).

        • roders

          Spain will Veto as they do not want Catalonia to succeed from Spain.  Do you watch the news?  They have already said they Scotland cannot just expect to become part of the EU but must apply for membership.  That application will take a number of years and Spain will more than likely VETO their membership.  Plus, if you do manage to join the EU the rules are that new members MUST use the EURO.  Good luck with that.

          • Derek Mair

            Spain will only have a veto IF we are asked to re join and it’s by no means certain we will have to do that, in fact there’s a fair body of legal opinion out there that says we won’t.

            From your leader in westminster…

            “But, I believe, there are other countries in the EU who have no immediate or longer than that prospects of joining the Euro and I think that is the important point.”

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/CQFS6G6KQR7LFIO5XJNEBEUWIQ MIKE

      The cause for Scottish Independence is over 300 years old hardly what Id call off the hoof. And nobody is seceding from anywhere this is about the dissolution of the UK and the full restoration of the Scottish Parliament. And there is absolutely no doubt that Scotland can and will claim everything and anything it is legally entitled to claim and nothing more or LESS! Everybody going to the table will be more than aware of this FACT! The Westminster Government may try and wriggle and squirm out of their legal obligations but will be forced to concede to legality! And simply being in a position to negotiate at all puts Scotland in a stonger position with England than it is NOW! That is reality! That is fact! Every word in your post is absolute garbage! If Unionism is planning to arrive at the table with this position in mind then theyve lost before theyve even started! If I were supporting the Union I would want my team to be at least aware of the real world and the legal obligations their going to be forced to uphold!

  • trueproudscot

    Seems to me ‘yes’ people are voting for a dependent Scotland, not an independent one.
    A starting balance sheet that’s says ‘insolvent’, a declining oil-based economy, a second-rate management team ….

    • ScorpioFax

      It seems you have no idea what you are talking about. GERS figures show Scotland runs less of a deficit than the rest of the UK. Oil isn’t declining, indeed production is forecast to rise for the next 5 years, and there’s still a massive amount left. What do you class the Westminster lot as, then, given the huge mess they’ve made of the economy?

      • roders

        Yes but I’m not so sure that the area with the oil will even be a part of any independent Scotland.  From my understanding, all of the outlying islands want to remain in the UK ??  Are you going to hold them by force?

        • ScorpioFax

          The crucial part of that is ‘From my understanding’. Oh, and even if they did want to remain part of the UK, they would be treated as an exclave in another country’s waters and actually would receive very little oil.

        • http://twitter.com/TheRealHenBroon Hen Broon

           Your understanding appears to be gleaned from the pages of Viz read up on UNCLOS.

      • Anon_Sailor

        Oh dear! GERS was invented by the Tories in 1992 as a political tool to brainwash us into believing we are too wee too poor and too stupid to be independent of Westminster.
        Nobody with an education uses GERS as a bench mark.
        No other part of UK has a “GERS” spreadsheet, just Scotland. The real figures are available, ironically ONS figures are more factual.
        Even your beloved fuhrer Cameron admits Scotland has the ability and money to go it alone.

        • ScorpioFax

          Anybody with an education can see that the Scottish Gov produced the last lot of figures, and anybody with an education can see that I was highlighting the fact that Scotland is in a better position the rest of the UK.

      • Novoter2

        I don’t know where you get your figures from but Scottish oil production has been in decline for 12 years now.  The ‘predicted’ growth in production is from the current low baseline and, I suspect the ‘massive amount left’ includes oil that is not in the Scottish fields but that of the Faroes.

        Real problem is approx 35% of Scots in NHS/local government/government employ (one of the highest in Europe). This plus unemployment, the lack of any real future industry and a failing state education system provide the basis for the future economy. 

        Why don’t the Scottish ‘government’ try to deal with the real issues facing Scotland many of which are within their current remit. A good start might be for them to try working a 5 day week and set an example to others.  A few less golf trips, etc. might also help.

        The Westminster government may not be wonderful but they are at least trying to resolve the mess that our Labour colleagues (led in turn by two Scots) left behind…

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/QWONIWXFWJAPCOI6GWH7VRZBLM alexander

          Was 12 years ago not when Dewar gifted over 6000 sq miles of Scotland’s territorial waters?
          Most of Scotland’s waters haven’t even been explored/exploited yet.
          You’re right the westminster government isn’t wonderful, it is diabolical to Scotland using our resources to boost the south east of England.
          Trying to solve the mess means the working class has to pay while the millionaire pay less tax. Did we not just have a tax reducing to 45%?
          Oh and the golf trips you mentioned means that we have more tourists, more tourism jobs and a better economy.
          Look what happened to the trips to China that you no doubt criticised, but chose not to on this occassion. Scottish exports have soared to that country.

        • ScorpioFax

          Obviously you don’t know that the predicted rise in the oil price is due to offset future declines. The ‘massive amount left’ I was referring to is that which is in Scottish waters. No idea why you thought I would have included another countries resources, I’m not a unionist.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-Mirtitsch/631984877 Peter Mirtitsch

       IN what way is Scotland “insolvent”? We have a lower deficit than the rest of the UK and have had for several years. The oil based economy will in any event take possibly a century to decline to unprofitable levels. (Why has so much recently been invested in the industry, especially for exploration off the WEST coast?) The second rate management team appear to have managed to do something none of the other parties could; they increased their popularity and majority after their first term, and still appear to have higher satisfaction ratings than others.

  • http://twitter.com/cdavidson402 Chris Davidson

    oh argh. Allowing comments on here.. wont be long till its spammed like mad by unionists lol

    It comes down to.. Yes vote if you want Scottish voters and holyrood governing Scotland or vote no if you want English voters and Westminster governing Scotland

    • Charles Patrick O’Brien

       Chris the brothers and cousins,friends in England are being robbed by Westminster our fight is against Westminster and I hope this will also help our English,Welsh and Irish friends and relatives.

    • Amicus Alba

      I think you will find that “English voters” don’t govern Scotland. However you will also find that you have, in a wonderfully predictable way, caricatured the Anglophobic nature of Nationalist Separatists. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-Mirtitsch/631984877 Peter Mirtitsch

         Amicus, nothing anglophobic about it. Given that 90% plus of the UK are English, and decisions have to be made to benefit the biggest number, it stands to reason that most governmental decisions HAVE to benefit the population in England, even preferentially over that of Scotland. This is a simple fact, when most of the UK is not Scottish.

        BTW there is a difference between “separatists” and a seeker of “independence”. Independence involves us reclaiming the ability to decide our own future, whereas separation simply involves a split. Since the union is composed of pieces that were originally discrete, we would not be separating anything, simply reininstituting the independent operation of our countries.

  • Grahamski Falkirk

    Ms Sturgeon

    Perhaps you would be good enough to outline your plans in the far more likely event of a no vote.

    • Bongobrian

       Is that not what the ‘No’ campaign should be doing?   What exactly is Labours’ plan for the armed forces for example?  I know we have seen forces cut, regiments lost and bases closed by consecutive unionist administrations… so what are the plans to reverse this?  What are the unionists plans to rescue a collapsing economy with exponential defecit growth?  What are their plans to improve the Scottish NHS… their plans for the police force? …ah, we got something on the police today I see !!!

      I have not heard any positive explanation from the ‘No’ camp on anything… so perhaps Grahamski (The eternal keyboard warrior), you could help the ‘no’ camp out with your ideas and visio for the future of Scotland?

      • Derek Mair

        Hmm the no vote, well for a start are we to given guarantees that a no vote won’t be used by Westminister to repatriate devolved powers back to Westminster, are we to see massive cuts to funding via the barnet formula. Or the removal of this formula altogether, to be replaced by a much stricter formula for doling out our pocket monies.

        How is Scotland to be protected should the much predicited fiscal meltdown come to pass, caused by inept handling of the UK economy by the Westminster I may add.
        Will there be any end to our assets and revenues being frittered away in vanity projects like the trident upgrade to the tune of billions..
        These are some of the questions unionists consistantly avoid.
        All they offer is a no vote means retaining the status quo, whilst they know full well the status quo is not stationary but fluid and retains all power in westminster to do as it pleases with Scotland if a no vote is returned.
        They promise jam but refuse to offer a credible vision of what this jam would actually entail.
        They believe Scotland should vote no on this lack of vision. Sorry Scots are too canny for that.
        We learnt a few lessons in ’79′

    • Allan Mackenzie

      mince.

    • Donnachie

      No vote means everything stays the same, thought you could have figured that one out Grahamski?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/CQFS6G6KQR7LFIO5XJNEBEUWIQ MIKE

      If the unionist “cause” manages to get away with rigging the vote again then the plan will be to try and deal with the upcomming unionist triple dip recession with both hands tied behind our backs and no resourses to fall back on. Not only that but we will have to deal with the fact that the minimul powers we have now will be lost. So its obviously in the best interests of Scots to vote yes dont you think?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/YTQL33ATG3OTLFJM7NPAQ257H4 WILLIAM

    What is your actual date for “the 2016 Election”? Is this the same date set for the 2016 Scottish Election? Is it before that date or will you cancel the 2016 Scottish Election if you don’t have an independence settlement by that date?

  • grahamsslater

    Do you anticipate Shetland, Orkney and the Outer Hebrides seceding from an independent Scotland and using their oil and gas reserves for their own island priorities, rather than, say, central belt bullet trains?

    • James Davidson

       Shetland,Orkney and the Western Islands are part of Scotland (and recognised internationally as such).

      • GW76

         But Scotland is part of the UK, and recognised internationally as such…

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/CQFS6G6KQR7LFIO5XJNEBEUWIQ MIKE

          The UK is nothing but a treaty of Parliamentary Union between national Parliaments. The Shetlands and Orkneys are sovereign territories of Scotland just as Edinburgh Glasgow and Aberdeen are! Scotland is not a Sovereign territory of the UK it is a Sovereign national state in treaty with other Sovereign national states which forms the UK just like the EU! If Westminster decided to pull out of the EU and Scotland didnt would Scotland remain within the EU or be forced to leave with the rest of the UK?

          • GW76

            I’m sorry, what’s your point?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/CQFS6G6KQR7LFIO5XJNEBEUWIQ MIKE

            My point is to point out you dont have one of your own.

          • GW76

            Did you do that then? It’s been suggested that the Orkneys and Shetlands could secede in the event of Scottish Independence – just because they are part of Scotland now does not mean that could not change in the future, just as Scotland does not need to remain part of the UK. If all you are worried about is Scottish sovereignty, then a quick check of your history books will remind you that these islands were not always Scottish just as Scotland was not always tied to the Union. Still totally baffled about what you’re trying to say with regards to the EU…read it back before hitting ‘post’.

          • Derek Mair

            “It’s been suggested”, why do so many unioinist scare stories start like this. Been suggested by who??
            Who is the spokesman for Shetlanders who are putting forth this idea??Where is there a body representing a majority of Shetlanders wanting to secede from Scotland…I suggest that these are mere fantasies born in the minds of unionists like Tavish Scott and unionist MSM editors.
            .

          • GW76

             You mean like the “mandate to crush Scotland” scare stories? (see 75% of posts above)

    • imrobertknight

      I don’t anticipate such a thing, but Shetland, Orkney and the Outer Hebrides could secede if they wish.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-Mirtitsch/631984877 Peter Mirtitsch

        Indeed, they could secede if they wished, but have you counted the number of people up there? Who would protect their fisheries, oil and gas reserves? How could they run their society, and fund it? BTW, why was this only raised by Libdems AFTER they got humped and the SNP improved their share of the Scottish vote? Have you considered that many up there (my ex next door neighbour moved back up there with his wife), feel a strong affinity with NORWAY, in culture and heritage? Do you think that if they did not go with Scotland, they would somehow favour rUK??? lol BTW, if they did do this, they would in fact be seen as an island enclave, and not have half as much control over the sea as many appear to think….

    • Dave_Coull

      No. Although I am in favour of any territory having a right of secession if the people of that territory express a desire for this through democratic self-determination, I think this extremely unlikely in the instances you mention.

      The Hebrides have not shown the slightest desire to be anything but Scottish.

      Orkney is as near to the mainland of Scotland as the Isle of Wight is to Hampshire. The YES Orkney campaign recently got off to a great start. Secession is most unlikely.

      As for Shetland, the idea that Shetland might stay with the UK after Scotland becomes independent is a complete
      fantasy, without a shred of supporting evidence. Scottish Tory leader Ruth
      Davidson MSP recently addressed a pro-Union meeting in Shetland; just  ELEVEN  people
      showed up, apart from herself.

      There’s no evidence for any more opposition to independence in
      Shetland than in dozens of places in mainland Scotland.

      I predict a majority of
      Shetlanders will vote YES in the referendum. But suppose I’m wrong, and
      Shetland narrowly votes against, while Scotland as a whole votes yes. What
      happens then?

      What would happen then would be a majority of Shetlanders
      (including many who had voted against) would accept the majority verdict of
      Scotland as a whole.

      Some folk might favour independence for Shetland, a few
      might favour union with Norway, and a third minority might favour remaining
      part of the UK after Scotland becomes independent. But even all of these
      different minorities added together wouldn’t cancel out the majority in favour
      of accepting the majority verdict of Scotland as a whole.

    • Donnachie

      I know the Shetland people very well, having lived there, and the impression they give me in general is that Shetland came to the ‘union’ with Scotland and will leave with Scotland. What happens after that is up to them, but the attempt at division from unionists will not result in the Oil of the Shetland Basin going to London.
      I also know that the way Tavish Scott has used the people of Shetland and put the words in their mouths that they will stay with England, has caused a lot of uncertainty as to his thought, and his popularity has sunk.
      Ofcourse London has no interest in keeping the western Isles. It goes to show how desperate they are for Scottish oil revenues.

    • Anon_Sailor

      Thats absurd! The Islands would by that logic require all the infrastructure a country such as that would need including armed forces. Cant see an Air Force base on shetlands and a Naval base on Orkney! Please be sensible.

  • http://www.facebook.com/wkdobbie William Dobbie

    It will be good when we get some full answers to some practical issues rather than politicians trying to bury them as “too difficult”. So tell me
    1. What about EU membership?
    2. What about UK citizenship / passports?
    3. What about currency?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-Mirtitsch/631984877 Peter Mirtitsch

       1. What about it? This is a massive red herring, as down south they appear to be fairly desperate to get out. At present, there is no mechanism in place to deprive nearly six million people of their membership. New countries have to apply, but apparently successor states do not. Since the union was one between the Kingdom of Scotland, and the Kindgom of England, the KOS will simply be reinstated, with its borders at the time of the union. Too many people appear to be trying to make out that the rUK will continue as the successor state. Consider what happens after a marriage of equals is dissolved. The people are BOTH divorced.

      Consider that if we ARE classed as a new state, this means that we carry NONE of the debt or obligations of the old state…lol In fact there is also the possibility that since the KOS has previously existed, and the rUK & NI has never been in existance, that KOS could be classed as the successor, and rUK & NI would be the new state…lol

      2. What about them? The UK would no longer exist as a political body, therefore could not issue UK passports.

      3.  What about it? We could use Sterling initially, as has been discussed, since we OWN a share of the BOE which is INDEPENDENT from the UK Treasury, and at a later date, we may, if we decide, set up our own currency. This sort of thing has been done on many occasions before.

    • Anon_Sailor

      This has been answered very well here and check out Newsnet Scotland site, the A to Z of unionist myths section is hilarious!

  • Charles Patrick O’Brien

    My comment is simple I want independence,I always have and suppose I always will until we achieve independence.For a question I would ask will you keep on fighting for US Scots,as opposed to the Labour party calling us THE SCOTS,they don’t seem to be inclusive with the rest of US SCOTS.? 

  • Bongobrian

    If we don’t go for independence, there will be nothing left of the economy for talented Scots to be part of.  The UK government has increased the defecit over the last 3 years and is printing money in a crazy QE attempt and decreasing the value of the pound… a huge increase in inflation is now inevitable.  …I’m buying gold and silver to protect myself for when the pound collapses… and it is just about to happen.

    • Amicus Alba

      Dreary. You are buying gold and silver. Quite. 

  • Bongobrian

     Michael Moore’s priority is Michael Moore.

  • Amicus Alba

    Well done Ms. Sturgeon. If you don’t get what you want – in politics or life – blame someone else. That should engage us the Scottish people. 

    • North_Sea_tiger

      Good morning Amicus

      2014 is going to be a very exciting time and gives us the opportunity to plan a new future for Scotland using all the powers and tax revenues which we have so far been denied to us.

      Personally, I would like to see our transport infrastructure improved; roads, rail and ferries to provide a modern, efficient and well maintained network.

      I am also keen to see a new chapter in architectural design as I think that Independence could bring about a renaissance in our creative powers.

      What are the things that you would put at the top of your list?

  • James

    Look forward to hearing your complaints of a lack of engagement from the UK Government and unwillingness to deal with the issues.. while simultaneously not answering what fiscal powers you’d actually be able to exercise under the British Pound, what the actual (not the FM-imaginary) position of a new nation vis-a-vis the EU would be, and what the Scottish Navy, Army & Air Force would consist of – including which bases would inevitably therefore have to close at massive cost to local employment.  Since you wish to avoid uncertainty, I’m sure we’re looking forward to the answers from your own side too – instead of the bluster and lies we’ve had so far…

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-Mirtitsch/631984877 Peter Mirtitsch

       James, the “Yes” campaigners, including the SNP and others have repeatedly dealt with these so called “unanswered questions” on a regular basis, but this is repeatedly ignored. Did you not even see that lovely Mr Osborne get ragdolled by Bernard Ponsonby with an answer to one of his unanswered questions on the Scottish Six O’clock News a couple of months back? He couldn’t deal with it and kept going on about “unanswered questions” and “uncertainty”.

      At present, certain of the questions pertain to POLICY which is set by the government in power at the time, with the full set of figures to hand. At present, the UK government is the only body which fills this remit, and are saying nothing. Some of the decisions would be subject to negotiations regarding transfer of assets or compensation by rUK, so it would be impossible to say anything definitive, when you do not know what you have available.

      As far as job losses goes, we seem to be doing quite well under the auspices of the UK government, who are happily shutting military bases, or even doing away with little things like the coastguard round almost the whole of the Scottish coast. With regards to Faslane, few of the jobs appear to be linked to locals, as the specialised ones tend to go with the nukes and subs. If the nukes were to go, there would still be a place for Faslane as a major military base in Scotland. We would also be able to address the massive defence spending shortfall, and reprioritise the big spend on maintenance of our nuclear “deterrent”. (who would we be using it against, if not the enemies of the US? It was merely to act as a protective blanket for the states, as unilateral use by ourselves would be tantamount to suicide)

      Bluster? Yes, well, at present, we have the interesting situation where the Labour Party in Scotland continually slag off the SNP and Alex Salmond as if they were the sole source of feelings about independence, and even climb into bed with the Tories, telling us we are so much better off in the union, while down south, they maintain the pretence that they are the only thing protecting us from the Tories, (even when they have NO POWER) We currently have a figurehead for the Tory run “Better Together” campaign, in the shape of Alister Darling, who they still maintain was one of the worst things to happen to our economy for a generation, and still try to blame him for the current mess…

      • James

        I would agree they deal with them – through massive assumptions.  They assume that the Bank of England would agree to representation from Scotland for the British Pound and by implication that they would have some form of veto over any BoE policy with negative impact on an independent Scotland (which would be pretty much every policy, since it would be designed on behalf of the vast majority of English, Welsh and Northern Irish Pound users, rather than the small minority who were obliged to continue using it in Scotland instead of the inconveniently unacceptable alternative of the Euro).  They insist that they would be welcome with open arms by Europe owing to vast oil and renewable resources, which while we certainly have, are available on the market and would continue to be so.  They also insist that Scotland would have a large armed forces, which implies a role more than token peace-keeping and shovelling snow in Edinburgh.
        The problem with the way that they’ve “dealt” with these question is that none of it has been based on FACT.  It’s all been assumption and, yes, I’m afraid, bluster (with the FM particularly guilty in this respect).  Therein lies the problem with the credibility of the Yes campaign and while you may denigrate the amusingly named Darling, at least he actually represents a coalition who represent the majority with respect to this issue.  I, along with most others would struggle to name any other party or non-SNP politican associated with the Yes campaign.  A campaign intimately associated with a single party and individual who have increasing credibility issues is always going to be at a disadvantage.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/CQFS6G6KQR7LFIO5XJNEBEUWIQ MIKE

          James the BoE is as much Scottish as it is any other contitutent part of the UK and will have no option but to continue to act in the best interests of all of its owners! Scotland is NOT seceding from the UK it is not giving up its right of ownership to anything it owns as part of the existing UK. The pound is as much Scottish as it is English or Welsh so there is no reason why Scotland shouldnt continue to use its OWN currency just because it decided to reform its own full Parliament!
          These are the facts unionism wants to deny and are lying when they do so! And the lender of last resort is not the BoE its the IMF! Another misconception which should be put right in order to stop further lies being published claiming it is!

          • Bongobrian

            The last thing the Bank of England would want is to economically weaken the Pound globally by losing over 5 million of the users of the currency.  Anyone with the slightest understanding of economic principles giggles at such statements.

            Unionist fear stories?  …Dinna be daft.  LOL 

        • Anon_Sailor

          Central bank:  We can’t really be independent without our own currency and a central bank.The Scottish Government proposes that after independence, Scotland would continue to use the Bank of England as its central bank and would negotiate with the rump-UK to form a new sterling area.  This would benefit both the rump-UK and Scotland as it would guarantee financial and economic stability for both parties.Despite its name, the Bank of England is the UK central bank, and as such Scots have a percentage share in it.  As an independent nation we would not be without influence in the central bank, as we are shareholders in it and would be party to negotiations to form a new sterling area.  At the moment we only have the influence of George Osborne and Danny Alexander, even a minority say in the Bank of England is better than that.  But more importantly we’d have full control over our own tax and spending.Having your own currency is not the definitive mark of an independent nation.  Quite a few independent nations manage quite happily with shared a central bank and a shared currency.  Apart from the 17 countries in the Eurozone, there are six independent Caribbean states who share the East Caribbean dollar (EC$), which is currently pegged to the US dollar at the fixed rate of US$1 to EC$2.70.  The British territories of Anguilla and Montserrat also use the East Caribbean dollar.  All eight share a single central bank.  In Africa, eight nations share the West African franc and a single central bank located in Senegal.  Another six African nations share the Central African franc and a single central bank located in Cameroun.  Four southern African nations, South Africa, Swaziland, Namibia and Lesotho, share the rand as common currency. The key is sovereignty, not an independent currency or an independent central bank.  The point is that all the independent nations who share currencies have the right to decide for themselves whether to continue with the shared currency or to leave it.  They can remain with a shared central bank or they can set up their own if the shared bank no longer suits.  They can make these decisions based upon their own economic and political needs.   Scotland does not currently have any choice, we’re stuck with Westminster’s policies whatever our needs may be.  With independence, we’d have the choice.  

  • John MacIntyre OBE, WOKING

    The SNP Government has neither a democratic nor a legal mandate to
    conduct negotiations on the terms of independence for Scotland in the event of
    a majority “yes” vote in the referendum. The commitment made in the SNP’s 2011
    election manifesto was that, “We will give Scots the opportunity to decide our
    nation’s future in an independence referendum.” It was on the basis of this
    mandate that the Edinburgh Agreement was signed.

     

    Schedule 5 to the Scotland Act
    1998 reserves to the United Kingdom Government matters relating to “the Union
    of the Kingdoms of Scotland and England”. The effect of the Order associated
    with the Edinburgh Agreement is to amend the 1998 Act and to devolve to the
    Scottish Government “a referendum on the independence of Scotland from the rest of the United
    Kingdom if the following requirements are met.” One of the requirements that must
    be met is that the referendum is held by 31 December 2014. But that’s as far as
    it goes – the SNP Government has neither a democratic nor a legal mandate to
    anticipate the outcome of the referendum and to negotiate the terms of independence
    in the event of a majority “yes” vote.

    • Donnachie

      Well, unfortunately for you, that is democracy, and it will be the Scottish people who will decide, not Westminster laws.

    • Bongobrian

      I’d like to see anyone try and deny the Scottish people their democracy.

      Ps. When your continually cutting and pasting from blog to blog to blog, please re-format your text, so that it doesn’t seem so obvious.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/CQFS6G6KQR7LFIO5XJNEBEUWIQ MIKE

      MacIntyre as usual you ignore the one legal legitimate fact which is paramount above all others in this case and that is that Sovereignty in Scotland belongs with the people and not with the Parliament! The Scottish Government are presently the representation of that sovereignty of will put forward by the Scottish people! Therefore their actions are legalised and legitimised by that fact alone!

    • Davy1600

      I suppose the application of common sense is to much to expect from the unionist parties.

  • Wyvisview

    Why did the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon not see that the UK government would not negotiate ‘The deal’ before the referendum however much Ms Sturgeon says that she is not suggesting that we pre-negotiate.  Surely a double referendum is what they should have sought. One to see if the people wished them to negotiate the terms of what an Independant Scotland would look like and then a further referendum to see if the people actually wish independance once they know what it actually means.  Without this they may aswell rename themselves The Scottish Notional Party as they wish us to vote on a Notion.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/CQFS6G6KQR7LFIO5XJNEBEUWIQ MIKE

      Again a reminder that Scottish Sovereignty belongs to the people of Scotland and not with the Parliament in charge of Scotland! By voting for the SNP on a published manifesto mandate to hold the referendum to win the mandate to negotiate with Westminster the terms of the restoration of the full Scottish Parliament they gave them the legality and legitimacy to do so! Get over it!

      • John MacIntyre OBE, WOKING

        If there was any substance to what you say then there would be no need for the Edinburgh Agreement and the associated Order which [temporarily] amends the Scotland Act 1998 and provides a lawful basis for the referendum. And as matters stand there is no realistic prospect of a majority “yes” vote in the referendum – support has fallen and has now stagnated at 28%.

        • Nkosi

          Dreamer, nothing but a dreamer. The UK is dead long live and Independent Scotland

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002578083242 Jock Burns

    you go for it nicola….scotland is right behind you and the indy team/s,   

    • spooked

       I live in Scotland – and I am not behind you Nicola.

      • Anon_Sailor

        As we said in the Armed Forces, if you cant stand behind us stand in front.

        Spooked, this isnt about SNP or Nicola, its about Scotland, please answer this, do you really want to pay tuition fees, I know English families who cant afford to send kids to college/Uni or those that have are in debt for tens of thousands.

        • GW76

           Do Scottish students pay tuition fees in Scotland at the moment?

          • Anon_Sailor

            Eligible Scottish domiciled students studying full-time in Scotland are not required to pay tuition fees if studying for a first degree or equivalent.

          • GW76

            Not just Scottish students, EU students as well, so we don’t “our families” don’t pay tuition fees now. Other than some imaginary domesday scenario in the event of a ‘no’ vote, why would this change?

  • micky1up

    @facebook-631984877:disqus can you tell me how many ships and sub the scottish navy will have? that would justify the thousands of jobs in faslane? are you really saying you need 7 thousand workers for 3 ships and a couple of diesel submarines? if you want to see what would happen to helensburgh and the surrounding areas cast your mind back to when the US navy left holyloch and the devestation to the surrounding area ! what happens to those workers in faslane? their families? no matter what rhetoric you use people dont vote on rhetoric they vote on money or in this case the lack of money  

    • David

      Well if you will allow us to use some examples (Small, Northern European countries; pop. ~5M).  Denmark currently have a navy of 3,500 personnel, 54 vessels of which 12 are frigate/destroyer size.

      Norway has a navy of 3,800 personnel, 5 Frigates, 6 submarines and various smaller patrol boats/minesweepers etc.

      The Royal Navy has a strength of ~35,000 personnel.  It has 5 Destroyers, 13 Frigates, 6 conventional Subs and 4 Trident capable Subs, with numerous smaller crafts.  There are some large carriers and amphibious assault ships as well.

      So, if we assign a per capita share of this as the Scottish contribution it bears pretty close resemblance to the Navies of Denmark and Norway.  Given this i think it is unlikely that the Navy of an independent Scotland would be considerably smaller (specifically in terms of personnel) especially considering our geography and range of maritime assets (fisheries, oil fields, renewables etc).

       

      • http://www.facebook.com/richard.richardson.5661 Richard Richardson

        Assuming the rest of the UK will give up 25%+ of their small ships then the new Scots navy might look like Norway’s but the rUK has pretty much the same defence need post a Yes vote. it is far from clear that the 3800 or so you need would want to serve in a Scottish navy.

        The assumption that rUK will compromise their navy by giving up what Scotland needs and that the trained personnel will be available with the right skills is a huge leap of faith. A better assumption might be that a Scottish navy would start out smaller than Norway’s and then maybe be built up (at a cost).

        Even then the Scots navy like that of Norway would not have the disaster relief and evacuation capabilities of the RN. if Libya happened again Scots there would need to rely upon someone else.

    • Donnachie

      Not sure where the unionists pick up the number of 6,000 to 19,000 jobs at Faslane?
      Quite a variable number, and most of these anyway are staff based down south, ie Royal Naval personel.
      A better way to look at this is Scotland’s Oil revenues probably pays for all of Trident, so why not use the money for something that will generate more money rather than blowing it on WMD, and a pretence of being a super power.
      Do you not think that the British government is very slow to realise that it can no longer afford to be a super power?

    • Anon_Sailor

      I was based at Faslane for 10yrs, I can tell you the civvies locally and at the base hated us. Ive no sympathy for them now. The number of vessels and other assets will be a matter for agreement as yet to be determined. More importantly after indy we will be free to trade globally, Rosyth and Faslane will thrive. We will still be a defence partner with rUK, in EU, in NATO etc.
      Crikey QuinteQ have been weapons testing in Scotland for decades, they also build Italian submarine escape system and US Navy & Coastgaurd vessels, I havent heard complaints from anyone.
      Scotland will be free to tender for such contracts globally, we will thrive.
      Dont be such a big feartie!

      • spooked

         Scotland is free to tender for such contracts now. Nothing stopping us

        All you are doing is blaming someone else for failure to win these contracts

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/CQFS6G6KQR7LFIO5XJNEBEUWIQ MIKE

          And how are contracts won or lost? are they won or lost on the basis of the merit of the bid or on personal spite and malice?

        • Anon_Sailor

          Im not blaming anyone for any loss of contracts. What loss of contracts? What are you on about?
          I asserting that Scotland in the future will continue to trade and tender not only in the way it does now but without being hindered by rUK.
          Scottish defence contractors and ScotMOD could trade with other nations, such as tendering for other countries naval vessels. e.g Rosyth building sections of a warship for Italy then building sections for a ferry for say France.
          Im not afraid of the future, are you?

          • GW76

            I think the point being made is that Scottish companies can, and no doubt do, tender to other countries for such contracts as it is – if business is not coming here it’s not down to the fact the we are part of the UK. Independance is not going to revive the shipbuilding industry. That failed because it was cheaper to go elsewhere and I can’t see how that will change.

          • Anon_Sailor

            Your missing the point! The royal dockyard doesnt build warships for other countries, after indy we could do so, like the private company Quinteq, offer services around the World. Im not saying its a magic wand to revive ship building. I talking about defense contracts.
            Very few yards can compete with china for commercial ship building. Ever sailed on a chineese built ship, theyre really crap.

          • spooked

             You are missing  the point. You already stated that Scotland is building vessels for the US and doing work for  Italy. Scotland is already able to tender globally. You appear to think that somehow being part of the UK is restricting you and independence will give the ability to win more work.

            Let me invite you to explain what will change with indenpence that will mean Scots can win more work  globally than they can now.

            BTW – Until recently I was product and marketing director for a Scots company with a strong UK and EU market. My answer to that question is  there are no UK imposed restrictions. Independence adds nothing

          • Anon_Sailor

            I didnt say Scotland builds defence systems for other countries, I said a private company does, a very old and well known global company that begins with Q. Im suggesting that Scottish naval yards could do the same and tender for such work or permit private companies to use the resources and facilities.

            I keep asking every No voter I meet to tell me in one paragraph why were better together, they have as yet been able to do so and end up being very rude and threatening on some occasions.

            Youre correct that most if not all Yes folk believe Scotland is hindered by rUK and we will be better apart.

            So why are we better together? Anyone care to answer?

          • GW76

            No yes voter has been able to come up with one solid, concrete, acutal why we’d be better apart. As the ones wanting change, its up to you to *prove* the change would be for the better.

          • GW76

            No you’re missing the point!! There are yards on the Clyde building warships or parts of warships for the UK – why aren’t they doing the same for other countries already, and what happens to them if we leave the UK? Do you think UK Gov will give work to them over UK yards?

          • Anon_Sailor

            We dont build other countries warships for reasons I dont fully understand, its usually to do with security and politics. You wouldnt want a potential enemy knowing every detail and weakness of a vessel. Private companies manage to get round this when designing/installing and commisioning weapons systems or a submarine escape system etc.
            Post independence I see no reason that Scotland as a defence partner with the rUK will continue to build parts or sections for the rUK RN warships etc.
            Its not possible for rUK to build an aircraft carrier in one place, thats why it was built in several yards, including Wales, Rosyth and BarrowInFurness et al.
            Thus the rUK Gov will continue to order bow sections from Rosyth and superstructures from Govan for the next warship. It would be political suicide for rUK not to use resources at Scottish yards.
            An independent Scotland will be in a win-win situation.

          • James

            Do you honestly think that the UK government will reward Scotland with major capital investment to build its future warships?  And how on earth would it be political suicide – surely it would be the opposite (news stories of UK paying for Scottish jobs at the expense of the UK)?  Just to be absolutely clear – there will be no UK contracts and no foreign contracts.  So where will the work come from to keep Rosyth and Clyde open (and lets not even start on the subject of which port will house the Scottish fishery protection vessels – able to employ the same number of people in Scotland as an expeditionary navy)!

        • Anon_Sailor

          We dont have the authority to build a warship for another country! So no were not free to tender, post indy we could make those decisions for ourselves.
          Merchant ship building is a big problem due to chineese competition but we could at least invest in training both sea going and ashore industries.

      • James

        What an honest and positive way to reflect on honest Scottish workers whose livelihoods will be endangered by the lack of clairity on the Scottish Defence Focre (or Scottish Sit Around Force) idea.  And of course, Clyde shipyards can look forward to decades of business from the British MOD instead of the work being done in their own country since why on earth would they, or they rest of the EU, not want to emply comparartively expensive foreign workers for their national projects?  Just remind me how many non-UK projects Scottish shipyards currently have on their books post 2014?

        • Anon_Sailor

          Babcocks 30million contracts for Rosyth recently anounced demonstrates that theyre not afraid of 2014 and offers continued ship construction post 2014 and beyond independence.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/CQFS6G6KQR7LFIO5XJNEBEUWIQ MIKE

      What thousands of jobs are they then? Most of the jobs taken up by the work on new MOD contracts are one off contracts taken up by contractors who work where the work is available not full time staff who sit around in yards all day waiting for work to arrive!. Nobody will lose a job due to Scotland retaining its full Independence except a few flunky worthless unionist MPs who pretend to represent Scottish constiuencies when in fact all they represent are themselves and the organised crime synidicates they work for.

    • Anon_Sailor

      Deluded! Many jobs at Faslane are low paid domestic local yocals. The heavy hitting well paid jobs are Rolls Royce etc that arent all living locally or are mixed from accross the UK.

      • James

        So the votes of those in the region can be discounted as they aren’t really well paid?  Were the normal jobs not included when the SNP came up with their figures for local employment then?

        • Anon_Sailor

          The MoD figure for employees in Faslane is around 520. That includes everything from cleaners to a typical senior post of say a Rolls Royce engineer.
          From my experience most of the lower paid jobs were indigenous locals and the other work drawn from all of UK, indeed some have relocated permanently and some will be placements/posting.
          No I wouldnt discount their votes and rereading my post I was a bit harsh, apologies to Helensburgh folk et al.
          But to be fair after being based their for almost ten years on Trident and Hunter/Killers we were hated by them, spat at by locals, abused, assualted. It was the worst time of our lives.
          Their votes will be counted I just worry that the unionist lies will make them afraid, when truth, facts and logic demonstrate that independence will secure jobs and a future, the naval base will still require office staff, logistics, catering, cleaning and grounds maintenance regardless of the bases function.
          Ironically Trident will have to remain until it expires, so their jobs are secure till at least 2025.

          • James

            Which MOD figures are these?  Grateful for an actual reference or publication rather than (lets guess the answer) – another baseless assumption? 

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/CQFS6G6KQR7LFIO5XJNEBEUWIQ MIKE

      I will tell you what they wont vote for and that is people who tell transparent lies repeatedly! How many folk work in Faslane on MOD contracts at any given time? Answer as many as are required for a given contract! In other words they are only employed when and if they are needed as CONTRACTORS! These contractors when not working in Faslane will be working on other contracts elsewhere! Thats what contractors do! What Faslane doesnt have is an army of full time workforce sitting around doing nothing between contracts waiting for work to arrive! Its these kind of transparent stupid lies that put people off voting for the prats who tell them! The average voter in Scotland is not as stupid as you want them to be only the ones who already vote for Labour the tories or the lib dems are that stupid! And that isnt rhetoric that is simple fact!

  • Cyclades

    There has been a real change in the air over the last couple weeks and it now seems very difficult to imagine anything else apart from independence. There has now been so much commentary, debate and support from around the world, I find it inconceivable that Scotland will return to dependency after the vote. 

    Yesterdays commons debate was indeed an insight into the ugliness of Westminster unionism, I honestly couldn’t believe my eyes or ears watching the behavior of the Labour Party MP’s. They came across as bitter, rude, loathsome and stupid. Its a complete embarrassment to our country that these men and women have been our representatives in Westminster for so long, no wonder some down south have a negative opinion of Scots.

    I am not an SNP supporter or nationalist and in an independent Scotland I will most likely vote for another party but I will definitely be voting yes to Independence and will encourage anyone I can to do the same.

    Well done Nicola!

  • Anon_Sailor

    Well done Nicola. Scotland is very proud of you, Scotland has a place for you in History. 2014 cant come soon enough. I will be givin up time and my own money, war pension, to spread the word, the truth and facts.
    Scotland will return a yes vote in 2014.
    Ive yet to debate sensibly with a normal No voter, they cant respond when I quote facts!

    • John MacIntyre OBE, WOKING

      Face up to reality – there is no realistic prospect of a majority “yes” in the referendum. Support has fallen and has now stagnated at 28%. What you are now witnessing from Ms Sturgeon and the SNP Government is desperation.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/CQFS6G6KQR7LFIO5XJNEBEUWIQ MIKE

        MacIntyre The only folk even attempting to pretend to believe Unionist commissioned polls are folk like you. The type of fake cyber trolling political plant who is willing to post any spoon fed garbage no matter how ludicrous and pretend to support and believe its even possible. We had all the same polling sourses and commissioners telling us the SNP were over 20 points behind Labour a week before the total annialation of Labour the tories and the lib dems in Scotland. The poll results never bare out the reality. The last dozen or so US elections should show you that at least! Labour take their cue from the Neo filth across the pond when it comes to election campaigning like 2 peas in a pod. Come the week before the referendum once again the polling stations will have to poll the true results of their polls just to keep any level of credibility which theyve lost by letting the commissioners dictate the results.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=547356432 Neil Meffan

        On what planet do you live, or like every other unionist do you simply count undecided people as no votes?

        That won’t work twice, the ONLY reason Scotland is not independant now is Westminster moved the goal posts at the last minute, the last time with the “40% rule” but that won’t happen again.

        You lot said we’d never vote for devolution yet we did.
        You lot said that one party would never have a majority but the SNP do.

        Exactly what makes you so confident you’ll be right third time of trying?

        Other than sheer arrogance and delusion.

        The truth is powerful and the truth is we are better off independant and even the No camp can’t hide that, it is this along with hard work that will make it happen.

        The truth, and the will of the Scottish people, will set us free!

      • Anon_Sailor

        some more numbers for you

        23% increase in SNP membership

        45% of Scots voted for SNP

    • GW76

      You’ve yet to quote a fact or cite a credible independent source.

  • Anon_Sailor

    Vote No and we get Tory cuts.

    paying for prescriptions.
    tuition fees.
    more child poverty.
    Barnett will be cut.

    Seriously fellow Scotsman, is this the Scotland you want for you and your family?

    • Bongobrian

      Can I add to the list…

      cuts to police pay
      cuts to help for carers
      cuts to pensions
      cuts to armed forces
      cuts to the NHS
      …and a 32% increase in Westminster MP’s salaries.

      • GW76

        How are you coming up with having to pay for prescriptions, tuition fees, and cuts to police wages? In Scotland these are already devolved and Kenny MacKaskill has already said in the press, TODAY, that police pay won’t be cut in Scotland. You are arguing for things we already have.

        • Anon_Sailor

          The Torys have openly said in parliament that in the event of a no vote they will cut block grant, by logic that means we will have to have serious cuts in Scotland, ScotGov will have no option. We are going to seriously suffer if we vote No.

          • GW76

            In the event of a ‘no’ vote, as part of the increase in devolved power, Scotland would likely have full fiscal autonomy which means we wouldn’t have to rely on the block grant.

          • Anon_Sailor

            After a no vote Scotland will get less power not more, you surely dont trust Eton millionaire Cameron et al

            A no vote will be a mandate to crush Scotland, we will never recover from what the Torys will do to us, we will never in our lifetime get a chance to change the course of history for the better.

            We have nothing to fear after independence, we will have that full fiscal authority that we crave, we will still be in Europe, in Nato, a defence partner of the rUK, our police will share data with the rUK authority, there wont be a border, were not seperating from the planet and leaving for the moon.

            A No voter should reconsider this, they have nothing to lose by voting yes, you will still have the act of the union of crown and thus can still feel British, you will still have the Queen as head of state, your Scottish pounds in your wallet will still be spent in London. Scots who joined the forces will still remain where they want to be.

            Please reconsider your voting intention based on hard facts and truths not unionist lies, we have a duty to the future of Scotland. I would be ashamed if in the future my grandchildren ask me why I voted No in 2014, “…Grandad were you too feart?…” as I write another cheque for university fees.

          • GW76

            Be assured I *will* be basing my vote on hard facts, and not vague, unsubstantiated claims from the backtracking SNP and pro-indy waffle which amounts to nothing more than rabid anti-UK fantasy which contradicts itself so often to the point where those spouting it, particularly on here, end up arguing with those agreeing with them, and all because they are so determined to vent that they’re not actually seeing what is front of them.

            The ‘No’ campaign don’t need to say a word as, based on what I’ve seen on here, the incoherent ranting of the ‘Yes’s is doing their job for them.

          • Anon_Sailor

            Are we reading the same blog, what incoherent rambling? Can you give me a solid reason backed up with facts that we shouldnt be independent? Cmon this is your chance to shine, give it to me straight.

          • GW76

            I was referring to the comments and commenters, not the blog itself – it goes without saying that you can’t take anything any politician says at face value.

            I’m still waiting for anyone on either side to come out with anything concrete, but so far the FM has changed his story so often on every issue it’s difficult to see how he can be trusted – again yesterday he’s gone from “We will automatically be in the EU” to he “hopes” to negotiate for membership, but that negotiation will only happen *after* a ‘yes’ vote?

            Day-to-day never a straight answer to a straight question and so far nobody has come up with “a solid reason back up with facts” that we *should* be independent and blanket ranting against UK-gov when Scot-gov isn’t doing any better doesn’t count as “reason”

  • Anon_Sailor

    Independence is a journey not a final destination.
    No one on the Yes side inc the Gov & SNP is implying we will create a utopia, ofcourse there will be mistakes, errors and oversights. We hope just like at work they are small ones!
    declining oil – its the opposite oil is increasing as new technologies come online and west of shetland oil.
    Dont be such a feartie! and vote Yes!

  • Anon_Sailor

    No country can be forced into the euro.  The Czech Republic joined the EU in 2004, after the euro had been adopted as the common currency of the original 11 members of the Eurozone.  The Czechs won’t be bounced into the euro, and have consistently refused to make moves to adopt it.  In January 2012, Czech Prime Minister Petr Nečas stated that the country did not require a special opt-out in order to retain the koruna as its currency.  Mr Nečas said: “No one can force us into joining the euro … We have a de facto opt-out.”  Candidates for euro membership must sign up to ERM II for at least two years before adopting the euro as currency, however it is entirely up to the discretion of each individual member state when to sign up to ERM II and member countries can legitimately delay this indefinitely.  But Mr Nečas said all this in Czech, so it wasn’t reported in the Anglocentric Unionist media. This approach has also been adopted by the government of Sweden which has likewise declined to join the Eurozone but has no negotiated opt-out.  Sweden says nej to the euro.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/CQFS6G6KQR7LFIO5XJNEBEUWIQ MIKE

    Nicola It would help the clarity of our cause if you and the rest of the SNP party stopped referring to the Westminster Government as the UK Government! They are only a part of the UK Government as your Government in Edinburgh is also part of the UK Government along with the members of the Welsh and NI assemblies! It will remind people that the UK Government will no longer exist post Scottish Independence and that the UK itself cannot exist without Scotland as a member Nation. Its about time we started using the correct language and terms as the Unionist campaign often refer to us as seperatists and use incorrect descriptions such as secession. If you want to enter negotiations on an even footing then start by setting the record straight now and remember the United Kingdom is nothing but a treaty of Parliamentary Union.

    • GW76

      Mike, it would help the clarity of your cause you simply stopped posting

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/CQFS6G6KQR7LFIO5XJNEBEUWIQ MIKE

    Neither the Shetland nor Orkneys nor the Hebrides own any Oil and Gas reserves nor fields nor income from Oil and Gas resourses. And for any of these regions to secede from Scotland they would have to win a majority of support within the Scottish Parliament. I dont know where you people come up with this garbage.

    • James

      How dare they suggest seceeding from another country based on natural resources and allegiance to another political system?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1547434796 Joan Summers

    I shall be reading your updates with great interest, Ms Sturgeon, and commend you and your party.

  • Davy1600

    Sounds like what all the polls and unionists were spouting before the 2011 election, how did that go for you !!!! oops.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/QWONIWXFWJAPCOI6GWH7VRZBLM alexander

    So you agree if the western isles, Shetland or Orkney vote yes and the mainland vote no then these areas which voted for yes will then secede to become an Independent nation from London?
    It works both ways you know.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/QWONIWXFWJAPCOI6GWH7VRZBLM alexander

    Sorry scorpiofax the Scottish government don’t produce the figures for GERS, the Scottish office deos.
    Anon Sailor is correct the GERS report is rigged to show Scotland is showing a small profit, after all with all our oil & gas etc. who would believe we are in debt as a nation?

    • ScorpioFax

      Taken from the Scottish Gov website: ‘GERS is compiled by statisticians and economists in the Office of the
      Chief Economic Adviser of the Scottish Government. The Scottish
      Government’s Chief Statistician takes responsibility for this
      publication.’

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/QWONIWXFWJAPCOI6GWH7VRZBLM alexander

    And you underestimate the money markets. Also the dislike of others towards our neighbours.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/QWONIWXFWJAPCOI6GWH7VRZBLM alexander

    If they ever did (which is extremely unlikely) what oil & gas reserves?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/QWONIWXFWJAPCOI6GWH7VRZBLM alexander

    As Mike has said if the vote is rigged for a negative vote then can I ask you grahamski what powers have the labour party got ready for us?
    Would it be along the lines of air gun licence or speed limits…you know the ones that don’t involved Scotland having its own resources to use for our good.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/CQFS6G6KQR7LFIO5XJNEBEUWIQ MIKE

    MacIntyre Exactly! There never was any need for the Edinburgh agreement! And if there was legal legitimate way the Scotland Act could deny the right of the Scottish Parliament to hold a referendum on the Scottish constitution then there would be no referendum taking place at all! The fact that its being held at all is proof of that! Not to mention the fact that the Scottish Government are dictating all the terms and conditions including the wording of the question, the date of the referendum, who votes, who doesnt vote, and it was all presented to Westminster before the farce of the Edinburgh agreement! The Edinburgh agreement is all about ensuring Westminster hold to the result nothing more! Its to prevent the usual Westminster back peddling which from past experiance resulted in war and absolute civil disorder.
    Another Unionist lie is to try and pretend you have any say in the referendum at all! Westminster is sidelined! And all the MSM hype and misinformation cannot hide that fact! 

    • GW76

      The Edinburgh agreement refers to the conduct of the referendum itself, not what happens afterward, and says absolutley zero about holding anybody to any result! Have you actually read it?

  • micky1up

    I think what we have seen is a very concerted attempt by the SNP to hoodwink what they consider an ill educated electorate( sorely mistaken)  ! ,do you really think that the electorate would just take el presidente’s( in waiting) word over independence? what the electorate want are facts over whats going to happen and in case you didnt notice the referendum is not long off and still we have no infromation about our  very real concerns and i would like a audit of how much this has cost me as a tax payer so far

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/CQFS6G6KQR7LFIO5XJNEBEUWIQ MIKE

      Can you name a single country which obtained its Independence based on knowing the future in advance then? Which nation on the planet is able to crystal ball predict their future path in or out of a state of political union then? 

  • micky1up

    anon sailor  the problem we are facing isnt that scotland have or dont have the rights your on about but if scotland want to keep the pound who controls the rates of  said currency ,you see you will be keeping the british pound which is controlled by the bank of england or are you going to create a new currency with all the costs that would incure ! the example you put forward is not a good example because the cezch republic was and existing independant nation when it joined scotland however is not , this is  part of the problem at the moment the SNP are over simplifing something that isnt simple. Just tell the electorate the truth that what we need to hear

    • Anon_Sailor

      Micky1up, Despite its name The Bank of England, isnt actually an English bank, its a British Bank, dont worry its a common error. We will remain in a sterling zone with the interest rate set by Bank of Scotland/ScotGov, sterling is a fully tradeable currency.
      Creating a new currency isnt necessary, we already have our own currency, it would only require legislation and agreements to convert it to an independent currency, just a few meetings and paperwork, not expensive at all, I’d be happy to provide the shortbread and tea.
      As I say independence is a process not a final destination in 2014/16.

      I agree that we do need more detail for our sake, I have many questions unanswered, I cant get replies for what I think are big questions, one which may cost me my job and War Pension.
      But to be fair the ScotGov are intending to publish a series of papers this year so we should give them the chance to present details.
      Just because Im a Yes voter and pro indy doesnt mean I will vote yes if by the referendum date the ScotGov havent answered our questions or demonstrated to me the mechanisms were discussing are viable.

      • spooked

        So let me get this right. From your 1st paragraph there you reckon that after independence Scotland will be setting the Sterling interest rate through some consortium of the Bank of Scotland and Holyrood.

        A few meetings and bit of paperwork and the 7th largest national economy in the world (measured by nominal GDP) hands over  the key aspect of its monetary policy to Salmond and his stooges.

        That’s quite a revelation, really quite a remarkable one.  Gosh!

        • Anon_Sailor

          After indy the rUK will drop to about 10th/11th largest economy by GDP. Scotland may have to give foreign aid to England!

          I would have thought it was obvious, thats the point of independence, we will have full fiscal control over our affairs whilst using sterling as its a fully tradeable currency.

          I know Gosh! its hard for unionists to comprehend, just take a few paracetamol for that pain behind your left eye, keep calm and carry on.

          • GW76

            Source for these “facts” please

      • GW76

        The Bank of England is the central bank of the UNITED KINGDOM, an independent public organisation owned wholly by the Treasury Solicitor on behalf of the UK Goverment.

        The Bank of Scotland is a commercial organisation which is only able to print sterling notes under legal arrangements for a limited number of UK banks.

        Any suggestion that this arrangement could continue post-independence is not based on any actual fact. No arrangements or agreements are in place, so to state that this WILL happen is incorrect.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/CQFS6G6KQR7LFIO5XJNEBEUWIQ MIKE

    Micky1up What we are seeing is nothing short of a No negative campaign to discredit everything and anything Scottish and bury it beneath a layer of dependency on a state of union that cant even take care of itself. Its a campaign of utter desperation, cover up, misdirection and bare faced lies motivated by absolute fear of loss. The UK of GB simply cannot afford to lose Scotlands income and resourses but cannot form a realistic argument beneficial to Scotland in favour of keeping the union so have to resort to the worst level of scaremongering garbage ever seen on any world stage. And all of it built around a bare faced lie that Scotland is a region of the UK and that England is the UK and the UK is England. Once you understand that particular position the rest of the scaremongering lying falls apart from EU membership to ownership of the BoE the pound sterling the armed forces Embassies etc etc etc. The Act of Union 1707 is a fact! It exists! and it is all that the UK has ever been! That is the legal position from where the negotiations begin! Not from a position of secession. Thats the biggest Unionist lie of them all.

  • http://twitter.com/peterthomson13 peter thomson

    You keep referring to 2 years. If as I understand it we are having the Vote in Autumn 2014 then time is closer than 2 and better we start talking months. The debate time is closing and so far Process seems to have commandeered the platform. The sooner we do start debating the major issues that will influence the Yea’s and Nae’s, the better in my humble opinion. I look forward to the promised Published Papers to evaluate the bigger picture better. And can only hope that the standard of media takes a more unbiased approach in reporting the ensuing dialogues.

  • Anon_Sailor

    Just wanted to share that several unsure voters have come accross to the Yes side when AS announced that a right to a home will be in a Scottish Constitution.

    Well done TeamScotland.

    If you can throw in free school meals and more breakfast clubs for all children to reduce poverty and settle the dignity problem of children in such situations I know many people will sit up and listen. Even Mrs Anon_Sailor isnt interested in politics and is unsure about 2014, but it got her attention and is talking about it with her friends, her work in childrens charities will reach out to more voters.

    Im not asking for much, I would even accept a tax rise ro fund it!

    • spooked

      You made that up about several unsure voters didn’t you.

      You will of course know that all over the UK Local Authorities are required to house people who become unintentionally homeless and in Scotland with devolution the definition of priority need was widened to include more cases by the 2003 act In fact. that act removed the priority distinction. For the last decade, all non-intentionally homeless households in Scotland are now entitled to ‘settled accommodation’.

      Salmond is offering you what the UK already has and what Scotland already controls under devolution. Independence once again adds nothing but a platform for  Salmond’s bluster

      • Anon_Sailor

        Its a big difference between what the rUK offers and what the Scottish Gov is offering, from “non intentionally homeless to settled accom…” to enshrining into our constitution the right to a settled home is very important.

        • James

          Waffle without legal foundation – is he really saying that there will be a legal commitment, with attached costs, to house everyone (including I assume every EU immigrant who fancies a go), while also paying for their education – including those from the UK currently excluded from this policy, healthcare and retirement.  Even based on the most optimistic assumptions of declining oil revenue, it’s a ‘courageous’ commitment.

          Except of course you can make those sort of bold, blase statement of commitment when you will do anything to persuade without actually having to pay for the result or even bother costing it as a firm proposal to the electorate.  Bluster and baseless assertions will see us through!!

        • James

          I can’t imagine any more important thing to provide – but to guarantee it smacks of the usual spendthrift attitude of the SNP.  They are still desperately hanging onto unaffordable policies, while grinding down the less visible elements (keeping free tuition fees while removing thousands of college places) until they have reached their desired end-state – then they will deal with reality.  It really is a deliberate and deceitful ostrich approach – hide your fiscal heads in the sand until post 2014 and then deal with the mess afterwards!  Sadly, regardless of the outcome, we’ll all have to pay for their shameful neglect of the now (why isn’t there enough money to repair our crumbling roads – since council tax is frozen as an electoral bribe) in pursuit of the finishing line.  Machievelli would be proud – while the rest of the country pays the price for a lost 24 months of actual governance.

    • GW76

      Free school meals? Like there are already? If you’re willing to pay more why not get on to your MSP and ask them to see about ending the council tax freeze? You’re banging on about cuts but ignoring those already imposed by Holyrood.

      Councils are being held to ransom to keep the council tax freeze, Scot-gov says “keep the freeze or we’ll slash the budget”. Councils could ignore this, but they’d need to increase council tax by up to 6% to cover the short-fall, and they know that won’t happen because it won’t make them popular.

      So councils have to make local cuts while Scot-gov rubs its hands at it’s vote-winning popularity strategy – these cuts include everything from services across the board, facilities, staff, contribution for local police cover etc etc, so the councils look bad, staff lose their jobs, those that are left see their wages frozen as the cost of living ever increases, and all the while the FM crows about what he’s doing for the hard-up Scottish people with frozen council tax, free prescriptions and public transport.

      Smoke and mirrors! And people worry about lowering the voting age for the referendum, but it seems age is no barrier to naivety and gullibility.

      Even a small rise in council tax or 1 or 2% on top of the normal budget would protect services and jobs.

      • Anon_Sailor

        GW76:
        Firstly many thanks for the reply, Im sure like me youre busy with family and stuff. Weve got a at least 18months to debate this so lets take our time.

        School meals, yes there are many who do recieve free school meals but what many want in the childrens poverty sector is free for all children, as it removes the stigma and addresses the overall problem of food poverty un children in Scotland.

        Cuts, Im hardly banging on about cuts, now youre shouting like a unionist! Council tax freeze was fair, but income tax is too low here for higher earners, Id gladly pay more if it helped our people. Already we give so much in charity and voluntary work from our household.

        The block grant is cut every year, why? Because every pfi/ppi in rUK reduces public money spent, as a consequence we get less in Scotland, Barnett Formula is based on money spent in rUK not perCapita, so each year we get by on less and achieve more.

        It isnt sustainable, at somepoint in the near future without indy, we will be forced to cut services.

        Hard up Scottish people: cmon mate, youre kidding! Poverty increased under labour, aye under the great tony blair and that fraud gordon broon! Scottish families and children have suffered and continue to get lower with a Tory Govt. Im old enough to remember what the tories done to us before!

        Im with you, more taxes are fine if spent well, but income tax is fairer than council tax, you know why bro!

        • GW76

          How is the council tax freeze fair? You’re saying most people who are liable to pay council tax couldn’t afford and extra fiver a month, but everybody that earns, including those that qualify for assistance with council tax, rent etc can afford three or four times as much extra in incomce tax every month?

          And if there is a stigma associated with free school meals, that’s down to parents’ ignorance and how their children treat others as a result. That said, given that schools are introducing facilities such as cashless catering, there’s absolutely no reason why anybody should know whether or not a child receives free school meals.

          How are you “hardly banging on about cuts”? “block grant”, “tuition”, “school meals” everything else that will be cut in the even of a “no” vote…prove it.

          You sound like Salmond – bleating about how things bad things are, were or got under everyone else, totally blanking the fact that he’s doing nothing to make things any better – every time he, and you, do that you’re basically admitting that they’re no better or worse than previous regimes, so why go to the hassle an expense of a referendum and beyond if nothing will change.

          And my point still stands, Scot-gov claim to be helping hard-up Scottish
          families with a council tax freeze, ignoring the fact that it impacts
          on the finances of public sector workers. Giving with one hand, taking
          away with the other.

          Scot-gov don’t even have the first clue about what’s going to happen if the get indepedence – EU? Currency? Nothing -  we “hope” to negotiate from “within” in the event of a ‘yes’ vote – or in other words they don’t have a clue whether or not we can join the EU post-indy, they will only be able to “negotiate” that after a ‘yes’ vote, and only before 2016, i.e. while we are still part of the UK.

          • Anon_Sailor

            Income tax is fairer by its nature, a percentage of earnings. Council tax punishes people on fixed incomes such as retired.
            Council tax was the poll tax, a tory invention remember. Before that we paid a modest rates system.
            After the failure of poll tax it was replaced with council tax, again another unfair system as value of house doesnt always relate to income. Its fairer to base it on income, a local income tax would be better.

            Child poverty and hunger is a complex matter, yes we can all point to parents and see some of the causes especially drugs alcohol etc, but most agree in the various organisations involved in charity in Scotland, especially childrens charities that a free school meal system for all children isn the best way to go. It does remove stigma, cashless or not, kids will be kids, human nature and all. Many families on breadline but not getting help so they struggle to feed themselves, growth of food banks etc.
            Free meals is the way to go, paid for by taxation! Same as breakfast clubs. I believe in the future of Scotland and that future includes all children regardless of background.

            Tory MP that stood up in Parliament recently and stated that if Scotland reject indy its a mandate to cut the block grant, just google that one!

            Torys will destroy Scotland if we reject indy, you surely dont believe that they will give us some sort of devo max, theyre going to completely make sure we never rise and attempt indy again, another 300yrs will pass before that chance comes again!

            I dont see where Ive bleated about blaming everyone else, SNP have achieved great things on a diminishing budget and returned a surplus 3 year in a row.

            Public sector workers have never had it so good, theyre shielded from reality!

            ScotGov and the other parties that are leading the way for a Yes vote, such as Labour for Indy, do have a clue: Scotland isnt the first country to seek indy, we wont fall of the edge of the World, there are intl treaties that will asssit in negotations.
            Who really cares about EU or NATO, crikey the rUK are demanding a referendum on the EU, the one Cameron promised the UK at last general election and hasnt delivered.
            I understand you have questions and concerns, I have many of my own.

            What are you scared about?

  • micky1up

    by very definition the no campaign has to be negative!  did IQ’s drop suddenly over the last year! you cannnot have a possitive no campaign its up to the SNP to show how scotland would be BETTER in independance and the rest to show how it wouldn’t be better so of course its seen as negative

    and anon sailor that would mean u have independence without fiscal independance is that what you want?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/CQFS6G6KQR7LFIO5XJNEBEUWIQ MIKE

      The case for national Independence has been made already within every single Independent country on the planet including the UK! Are you telling me you dont know the case for the Independence of the UK? Well if you do just apply it to the case for the Independence for Scotland its that simple! Now explain to me what the case is for devolution and at what level is it most beneficial? Because nobody else seems to know! I cant find a single case anywhere in the world where devolution has worked for any single nation anywhere ever!

      • GW76

         Yes, Eastern Europe is a shining example to us all

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/CQFS6G6KQR7LFIO5XJNEBEUWIQ MIKE

          Is Western Europe? Or would it shine brighter subjugated to Westminster?

          • GW76

             How many Western European countries have become “independent” recently?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/CQFS6G6KQR7LFIO5XJNEBEUWIQ MIKE

            They are all Independent would they be better served Governed from Westminster?

    • Anon_Sailor

      Fiscsal independence Im sure will take time, we wont create it over night. Due to the nature of the relationship of the UK/GB its going to take time to untangle the web of interdependence between each state. Its folly to expect everyting at once. Having control over income and expenditure is fiscal independence, isnt that what you want?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/CQFS6G6KQR7LFIO5XJNEBEUWIQ MIKE

      The union cannot be supported in a positive way? Weve being saying that for decades! Has it only now occured to you?

  • grahamsslater

    Has Keith Brown ever been to Tobermory?

  • micky1up

    back at anon sailor  so what your saying is your a yes voter and for indy but not if it costs you your job and pension as i predicted the idea of independence is inspiring but the reality is you would be voting your self out of a job and pension!  money talks rhetoric walks

  • Novoter2

    The British and Norwegian sections hold most of the remainder of the large oil reserves. It is estimated that the Norwegian section alone contains 54% of the sea’s oil reserves and 45% of its gas reserves.[11] More than half of the North Sea oil reserves have been extracted, according to official sources in both Norway and the UK. For Norway, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate [12] gives a figure of 4,601 million cubic metres of oil (corresponding to 29 billion barrels) for the Norwegian North Sea alone (excluding smaller reserves in Norwegian Sea and Barents Sea) of which 2,778 million cubic metres (60%) has already been produced prior to January 2007. UK sources give a range of estimates of reserves, but even using the most optimistic “maximum” estimate of ultimate recovery, 76% had been recovered at end 2010.[13] Note the UK figure includes fields which are not in the North Sea (onshore, West of Shetland).
    United Kingdom Continental Shelf production was 137 million tonnes of oil and 105 billion m³ of gas in 1999.[14] (1 tonne of crude oil converts to 7.5 barrels.[14][15][16] The Danish explorations of Cenozoic stratigraphy, undertaken in the 1990s, showed petroleum rich reserves in the northern Danish sector, especially the Central Graben area.[17] The Dutch area of the North Sea followed through with onshore and offshore gas exploration, and well creation.[18][19]
    Exact figures are debatable, because methods of estimating reserves vary and it is often difficult to forecast future discoveries.
    Peaking in 1999, production of North Sea oil was nearly 950 000 m³ (6 million barrels) per day. Natural gas production was nearly 280×109 m³ (10 trillion cubic feet) in 2001 and continues to increase, although British gas production is in sharp decline.[citation needed]
    UK oil production has seen two peaks, in the mid 1980s and late 1990s, with a decline to around 300×103 m³ (1.9 million barrels) per day in the early 1990s.[citation needed] Monthly oil production peaked at 13.5×106 m³ (84.9 million barrels) in January 1985[20] although the highest annual production was seen in 1999, with offshore oil production in that year of 407×106 m³ (398 million barrels) and had declined to 231×106 m³ (220 million barrels) in 2007.[21] This was the largest decrease of any other oil exporting nation in the world, and has led to Britain becoming a net importer of crude for the first time in decades, as recognized by the energy policy of the United Kingdom. The production is expected to fall to one-third of its peak by 2020.[citation needed]

    Enough said….!

    • Anon_Sailor

      Oil:  The oil is running out and won’t last much longer.When oil companies are asked to estimate the remaining amount of oil, they become a bit like doctors asked to give a patient’s life-expectancy.  If a doctor tells a patient they could live for another 2 years, but then the patient drops dead 6 months later, the doctor will be faced with angry relatives demanding explanations.  However if the doctor says the patient has only 3 months left, but the patient dies after 6 months, no one is going to complain about it – except greedy Uncle Dave who’s had his eye on granny’s Clarice Cliff teapot and wants to punt it on Flog It in order to pay his pals in the private companies he’s introducing into the English NHS.Oil companies under-estimate oil resources, they don’t over-estimate.  It’s simple business logic.  In addition, there are issues of commercial secrecy, so oil companies are loathe to admit just how much is left.  However most available estimates claim that the remaining worth of known oil deposits runs into the trillions of dollars.  That’s a lot of Clarice Cliff teapots for Uncle Dave in Westminster, or we could use it to create an oil-fund for Scotland to develop our economy for when the oil runs out.  NEW Oil:  After the oil runs out Scotland will not be able to afford to pay for public services.It’s unclear how long the oil will last for (see Oil) but most projections say that it will continue to generate a significant income for Scotland for a good few decades to come, and possibly 50 years or more.  As oil becomes an increasingly scarce resource, its market value will only increase.  A 50% drop in oil production doesn’t necessarily translate into a 50% drop in revenue.Scotland’s oil doesn’t currently pay for Scotland’s public services.  Scotland’s oil revenues contribute to government expenditure across the entire UK.  All the oil income goes to Westminster, along with all the other tax revenues, and Westminster decides how much pocket money to allow the Scottish Parliament.  Westminster makes the decisions on how to spend Scotland’s oil money, but Westminster doesn’t choose to spend it on creating an oil-fund for Scotland, it prefers to pay the costs of privatisations, tax-cuts to the wealthy, London’s sewer and railway upgrades, nuclear warheads, and a host of other things an independent Scotland would neither need nor want.Only independence can ensure that Scotland’s oil revenues are spent on developing a sustainable and broad economy which will guarantee our living standards in the long term.  If we continue to allow Westminster to control the oil cash, it will be spent on “UK national” projects like the four billion quid upgrade to London’s sewer system.  Scotland’s future is, quite literally, being flushed away down a Westminster lavvy.If Scotland does not take the opportunity of independence, then after the oil runs out we really won’t be able to afford to pay for public services, which will be privatised by then.  Westminster will have pulled the chain on them.

      Not enough said!

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/CQFS6G6KQR7LFIO5XJNEBEUWIQ MIKE

        The oil will run out whether we are in or out of the union but while it remains its better the profits all go to Scotland rather than to Westminster from a Scottish point of view dont you think?

        • James

          So I assume that you’d be content for the returns (whatever their ethical/moral issues) from the London financial sector to be denies to Scotland?  London is a net contributor to the UK economy and recognises the wider benefits of what they provide – rather than the narrow and short-sighted parachocial ones that the SNP are fixated on. 

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/CQFS6G6KQR7LFIO5XJNEBEUWIQ MIKE

            James they already are! The only returns Scotland receives from Westminster is a population ratio percentage of the money weve already sent them sent back in the form of a block grant. No Westminster Government has allocated any income derived from the London exchange for specific use in Scotland simply because the London exchange doesnt make money it simply transfers it from one private account to another. And London is not a net contributor to the UK economy it is a net beneficiary. It has no industry no assets and a very disproportionatly high percentage of expenditure. And once again youve nothing to bring to the debate but the same flood of lies misinformation and made up waffle. The union was built on a lie it is maintained on a bedrock of lies and it will end by the exposure of the lies.

    • sl074t

      It is such a liability having this oil, we would be much better off without it!

  • Anon_Sailor

    Just for clarity and acknowledgement, some of my posts are pasted from Newsnet Scotland or Wings Over Scotland: both amazing sites.

  • grahamsslater

    Might the SNP reconsider banishing the Trident weapons of mass protection from the Clyde, in the light of Leon Panetta’s warnings of increasing global tensions?

    • Anon_Sailor

      Sure! like Polaris prevented Argentina invading the Falklands. UK doesnt even have authority to launch without USA approval.
      *Sound of bubble bursting*

    • Anon_Sailor

      Having actually served on Trident, I would agree that as a cold war weapon it done its job against the USSR.
      Modern warfare and conflict calls for a more bespoke and scaleable system that serves the purpose at that time.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/CQFS6G6KQR7LFIO5XJNEBEUWIQ MIKE

      So you think the idea of nukes reduces tensions in the world then?

      • Anon_Sailor

        Im not a pro Greenpeace or CND type so I havent got strong views on the matter of reducing global nukes, Im debating Scotland, Trident in Scotland and the logical outcomes based on facts, science and evidence.

  • borednow35

    I was just wondering what the snp back up plan is if the rest of the UK  is not interested in a sterling currency union?I have read claims this week that the snp would simply use sterling any way. Without a central bank and lender of last resort the scottish government and financial services, banks etc would surely see a flight of capiital out of the country and a disaster for the economy.The snp until recently had plenty to say about how sterling and financial regulation in the UK was not suitable for Scotland ,now appparently it does.the snp have in rapid succession proposed Scotland had its own central bank and currency, would join the euro (remember for years Mr.salmond and Mr.Swinney being cheerleaders for joining the euro,now its a disaster they have developed amnesia.),join a currency union with the rest of the UK  and just this week said they would continue using sterling without the backing of the bank of england and the rest of the UK.This to me says that the snp have no idea how to run an independent Scotlands economy .They are not competent.  

    • Anon_Sailor

      Sterling is a fully tradeable currency, we cant be prevented from using it! The Bank of England despite its name, isnt fully owned by Engerland. Scotland has a share in that wealth. It wouldnt be in rUK interest to somehow engineer the failure of an ecomony that is interdependent with Scotland, thatd be mutual assured depression.

      • gerrydotp

        It should more properly called the Bank of Sterling or something like that, but the westminster government are adept at creating confusion and will continue to do so at every opportunity.  Although I don’t particularly agree with the expression rUK (there won’t be any UK after independence), i struggle to come up with a (non derogatory) term to describe England and it’s remnants.

        • Anon_Sailor

          I agree, some people are getting offended at the term rUK, used it at work recently in London and singlehandedly offended 15 guys! Ive seen in use on twitter the term EWNI getting popular.
          I suppose its for the EWNI folks to come up with a new name for the remaining parts of UK posty indy.

          • gerrydotp

            I’d thought maybe “The English Empire” might do.

    • Anon_Sailor

      SNP alreay run this countrys ecomony with a diminishing block grant we still run a budget surplus!

    • CMISID

      So Sterling is the only way? Are there alternatives and if so what are the pitfalls or the plus points?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/CQFS6G6KQR7LFIO5XJNEBEUWIQ MIKE

    “Be assured I *will* be basing my vote on hard facts, and not vague, unsubstantiated claims”

    No you wont! Youve already stated that the UK is England and England is the UK which isnt a hard fact at all! Everything youve posted on the subject of Scottish Independence points to this pretence.

    • GW76

      Hopefully this one will make it…

      Where did I say that? And where did I say what way I will be voting? You’re jumping to assumptions as you have with every post.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/CQFS6G6KQR7LFIO5XJNEBEUWIQ MIKE

        Everytime you make a claim that points to the continued existance of the UK post the reformation of the full Scottish Parliament is a statement clearly claiming that the UK is England and England is the UK. All that will be left at Westminster when Scotland reforms its own full Parliament is the old English and Welsh Parliament from pre 1707 nothing more! Even NI will automatically be exempt by virtue of the fact that their treaty is with the UK PARLIAMENT and not with the ENGLISH WELSH PARLIAMENT!  If NI want to retain their members within the new Westminster Parliament they will have to set out the foundation of a whole new treaty of Parliamentary Union. Clearly this NEW PARLIAMENT can have no claims to being the previous UK PARLIAMENT any more than the newly formed Scottish Parliament can. The biggest unionist lie of them all and one which exposes all the other lies which rely on this one!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/CQFS6G6KQR7LFIO5XJNEBEUWIQ MIKE

    A report commissioned by Scottish CND in 2007 put the total number of direct and indirect jobs resulting from the Trident nuclear weapons system at just 1536.
    Speaking in October, John Ainslie, Scottish CND’s co-ordinator, said: “Both Labour and Conservative politicians are trying to scare the public by exaggerating the economic implications of nuclear disarmament.”
    In its report, CND Scotland calculated that, despite all of the UK’s WMDs being based in Scotland, of the total direct and indirect civilian employment dependent on Trident across Britain, only 9.1 per cent is currently located north of the border.
    They discovered that the maintenance infrastructure for Trident is split between:
    The Atomic Weapons Establishment, Aldermaston (warheads)Devonport (submarine refit and reactor refuelling)The United States (missile supply and maintenance)Faslane (logistics base, service and maintenance)
    CND Scotland also found that only 30 per cent of the civilian workforce at Faslane is related to Trident, with the rest being directly or indirectly employed by the conventional systems located there.

    The facts folks nothing but the facts!

    • James

      Completely agree with micky1up – the numbers quoted by SNP for the Clyde employment are based on Trident, ignoring the wider requirements generated by the Navy and base itself.  Even assuming a pro-rata (1/12 of UK population) arrangement for the current Navy units (and assuming that the SNP won’t want nuclear submarines at all – which is fair since a military dedicated to fishery protection and token peace-keeping efforts won’t need them) would be 1-2 Minehunters, 1 Patrol vessel and 1-2 Frigates or Destroyers.  The ‘so what’ of this is that you would barely require one base, let alone two – which means that Rosyth is doomed from the start. The amount of people you could expect to employ would be a fraction of the 1536, let alone the massive amount on top of this employed to deal with the non-Trident workload.  Problem is, we don’t know what the SNP want for a military, either in terms of units or tasks – some form of Defence Review would assist but when you can’t square the circle of NATO (e.g. having to say you want to play a part when you really hate it) they can risk this since they might actually end up committing troops – unthinkable – they’re there for maintaining employment figures, not being properly deployed on operations !

      • Anon_Sailor

        Defence:  Scotland would be defenceless without the UK armed forces and would lose thousands of defence jobs.If we were to believe the Westminster parties, after independence the Scottish defence capability would consist of a freefone number and a recorded message saying “We surrender” in six languages.  We’d be defenceless against the Faroese hordes invading Muckle Flugga.There’s a chasm between an independent Scotland’s approach to defence and Westminster’s approach.  It’s a conceptual difference Westminster is unable to grasp, and it explains Michael Moore’s recent plaintive whine that an independent Scotland would not be able to go off on its own bat and invade some Middle Eastern country, like that would be a bad thing.  An independent Scotland only requires a defence capacity, Westminster requires an attack capacity.Scotland’s notional share of Westminster’s Department of Offence spending amounts to around £3.5 billion annually.  Less than £2 billion of that is actually spent in Scotland.  Even if we were to maintain defence spending exactly as it is now, we’d still have an extra £1.5 billion to play with.  The savings we’d make by no longer coughing up for Westminster’s pretensions to Great Power status would alone pay for investment in Scottish jobs and industry which would more than compensate for any loss of defence sector jobs.Jim Murphy claimed recently that the Clyde shipyards depend on the Royal Navy for orders, and after independence “thousands” of jobs would be lost.  In fact the main defence employment casualty of independence is likely to be Jim Murphy.  Jim’s defence expertise extends to a faultless grasp of the fine military art of camouflage, he makes himself invisible whenever Labour get into a spot of bother in Scotland.  According to an independent report by a professionally respected defence analyst, the defence jobs in the Clyde would continue to flourish after independence, and in fact could do rather better than they do just now. 

  • micky1up

    so what your saying is that we have around 6000 people at faslane and only 30 percent are for trident so we have now around 4000 people for a small number of minseweepers and 2 astute class submarines now does that sound viable to you? or maybe your facts written by the anti nuclear loby are just not facts and are written just to make it sound palatable to the populas . if the yes vote comes in and trident does move you can explain to all the workers there why they no longer have a future but i would suggest you have a police protection unit because i think there will be alot of angry voters there

    • Anon_Sailor

      Mod figures at 520 ish jobs in Faslane, excluding service personell.
      Facts and math are a wonderful thing!

      • GW76

        So now we trust figures from UK-gov? Fact and math are a wonderful when it suits, eh?

        • Anon_Sailor

          No I trust my own knowledge when I served at Faslane on Trident! What have you done for your country?

          The official figures from the MOD come from HMS Neptune/Faslane/Coulport civvy workers numbers. Thats fact, get over the facts. Even if Faslane shut completely its not a lot of jobs is it?

          • GW76

            So deriding figures from UK-Gov, then quoting MOD figures, you’re now on to trusting your own knowledge…how current is that then?

            Bit ironic you stamping your wee feet about “facts” all of a sudden.

          • Anon_Sailor

            its really tiresome debating with a unionist, theyve nothing to add except argue. can you please debate the point of job numbers at Faslane, given the unionist no folks lied repeatedly about it.
            Ofcoure I dont want to see jobs lost anywhere, and its highly probable Faslane will be home to a Scottish Navy and thus jobs are safe.
            We “stamp our feet” about facts in the face of unionist lies.

          • GW76

            See another one jumping to conclusions – I’m not a unionist, and I can assure you there is no “debate” happening here.

            You’ve not come up with a single, solid fact about anything that may or may not happen. Stamping your feet and ranting about Westminster does not add up to a reasoned argument and you are not making any case.

            “Highly probable” does not equate to “this will happen”. Where will this fabled Scottish Navy come from? How will it be staffed and equipped? Less than 2 years to the referendum and not a clue on this or anything else.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/CQFS6G6KQR7LFIO5XJNEBEUWIQ MIKE

            No youre the perfect definition of a party political cyber troll. Youre a fake plant sitting in an office in London being paid to post party political propaganda misinformation and bare faced lies. It may very well be true that youre not a unionist or have any idea of what a unionist is youre just a cyber infestation doing a job.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/CQFS6G6KQR7LFIO5XJNEBEUWIQ MIKE

            They cannot debate the point! Theyve been caught out deliberately lying again by CND but it wont stop them continuing to repeat the same lie over and over again like the lie that Scotland is leaving the UK and not dissolving it. That its even possible that the UK Parliament will still exist in Westminster without the Scottish Parliamentary constituencies which make it the UK Parliament and not simply the English Welsh Parliament. The same lies will be repeated adnauseum right up to the day of the referendum no matter how many times they are exposed highlighted and shot down.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/CQFS6G6KQR7LFIO5XJNEBEUWIQ MIKE

            All opposition parties in Westminster deride Government figures. All of the mainstream parties in Westminster accuse the other of fiddling and producing misleading figures and stats! So the question is are these parties lying when they are in Government or when they are in opposition? And that is a fact.

          • GW76

            I’m not sure I’d want my kids to grow up in a country with the attitude that even one job thrown away is OK, let alone 500…nice.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/CQFS6G6KQR7LFIO5XJNEBEUWIQ MIKE

            So youre intention was to move your kids up from London before or after the referendum?

          • GW76

            And by the way “What have you done for your country?” What’s your point here?

      • micky1up

        ok then you go there in the morning and count the cars going in so your saying its viable to employ 5500 personel ( minus the trident lot you claim ) for a few minesweepers and 2 astute submarines that seems alot of people for that amount of vessels in this day of austerity and mod cuts your saying that 5500 would be employed there? see maths is simple take the amount of employed personel(at faslane and coulport)  subtract the trident  amount  thatCND claims and your left with the amount to run the base without trident 5500 ish for 3 or 4 minsweepers and 2 subs me thinks not

        • Anon_Sailor

          BitterTogether claimed thousands of jobs threatened when it wasnt true.
          520 civilian jobs.
          The rest are Navy Marines Gurkhas MOD police etc.

          A conventional base would still need most of if not all the civvy jobs.

          There isn’t a threat to jobs. It was a lie intended to create fear and it clearly worked on some people.

        • Anon_Sailor

          Spent ten years at Faslane. I don’t need to go back and count cars belonging to servicemen / women going to work.
          The bitter lot stated as many times last year that Scotland would lose thousands of civvy jobs if Trident goes.
          Turns out its another Unionist  lie.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/CQFS6G6KQR7LFIO5XJNEBEUWIQ MIKE

          How many cars are employed by the MOD to work in Faslane then?

    • dadsarmy

      Question: how many people can you get on a Vanguard, with a crew of 132 officers and men. Is it:

      A) 19,000
      B) 6,000
      or
      C) 520

  • dadsarmy

    It’s a good idea having these blogs. 5 years ago there was a National Conversation, and an online forum where a Minister would post the article, and contributors would make comments, criticisms and suggestions.
     
    One thing that was missing was the article writer – who wrote his / her piece, and then high-tailed it. A suggestion would be at least the occasional reply to a poster – whether supporter or “opponent”. Clearly there are dangers to this, and it would have to be under a constant assumption that no reply could be expected. But at the very least it shows that the comments are read and appreciated, not a waste of time.
     
    I recommend this to the house!

  • http://twitter.com/farrochie farrochie

    I think the UK government, via Michael Moore*, has said in his evidence to the House of Lords that he cannot speak for Scotland as Westminster has no way of separating out Scotland’s interests. Fair enough, let him get out of the way then.

    * “We do not have a position within Government that separates out Scottish interests from the interests of the rest of the United Kingdom. We are all collectively responsible for the governance of the whole of the United Kingdom.”

    I think this statement allows Holyrood to take the lead, Westminster having admitted its lack of competence.

  • grahamsslater

    Ms Sturgeon, now that you know Senor Barroso doesn’t want to see you, will you take a model central belt bullet train up to Shetland to show Shetlanders what the SNP would like to spend Shetland’s oil and gas revenues on? 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/YTQL33ATG3OTLFJM7NPAQ257H4 WILLIAM

     

    “Mr Salmond told MSPs at Holyrood today he would “like to
    hear” a clear view from the EU on Scotland’s position and wants the UK to seek
    this out.”

    I don’t think the EU could be much clearer:

    “Mr Barroso has sent a message to the Deputy First Minister
    saying that he is not in a position to “usefully discuss” the issue because he
    has yet to see a “precise scenario” from the Scottish Government on Scotland’s
    relationship with the EU in the event of a “Yes” vote.”

     

    In other words:

    “ I demand a clear opinion from the EU on our plans for
    separation but I am not going to tell the EU of these plans”

    Hmm, yes, what was that you were saying about uncertainty, Nicola?

    • dadsarmy

      The message to the Deputy First Minister said:

      “the European Commission would only be able to express its opinion on the legal consequences under EU law of a specific situation upon request from a member state detailing a precise scenario,”

      http://www.scotreferendum.com/bathar/uploads/2013/01/CAB08_0122142752_001.pdf

      So today Mr Salmond said in Holyrood he would ” “like to hear” a clear view from the EU on Scotland’s position and wants the UK to seek this out.”

      Seems reasonable to me. It’s for the UK Government to set out the “precise scenario”.

      • micky1up

        no its not for the uk goverment to set out a precise scenario its for the SNP to set it out but they cant because they thought they would waltz into an independant country with no consultation and no legal advise as admitted by the SNP but now they realise they have to do some work and incase you didnt notice all this happens pretty soon and nobody knows anything about whats going to happen dadsarmy you cant tell me that its the UK goverments responsability to do the SNP’s work  dismembering the UK

        • dadsarmy

          “the European Commission would only be able to express its opinion on the legal consequences under EU law of a specific situation upon request from a member state detailing a precise scenario.”

          The UK is the member state, not Scotland, and not the “Rest of the UK”. Barroso and his deputy are indicating that they should not talk to Scotland, though I disagree.

          For information, the SNP are part of the Independence movement, as are several other parties and parts of parties – and as am I, a member and supporter of no party.

          • micky1up

            i say again so you are expecting the UK goverment to set out the plan to the EU for scotland becoming independant from the UK ! that isnt going to happen because untill by my reading your an independant state and then you wont be a member state of the EU which is the point many people are trying to make and the SNP are trying to gloss over ,also the fact that the UK goverment is opposed to scotland becoming independant as are the vast majority of scottish people

    • CMISID

      @yahoo-YTQL33ATG3OTLFJM7NPAQ257H4:disqus  Ah you haven’t told the whole story. Maybe if the UK government would join in the debate and take these questions to Europe that would start the ball rolling. The EU will only negotiate with the member state or proposed member state. As we are still part of the UK for now it is a task for the UK and with Scotland wanting this to happen and the UK not, and the EU can’t until the UK do…can you see the conundrum here.

      • micky1up

        absolute rubbish the scottish goverment wants this to happen! scotland( the people) by the latest poll do not want this to happen with support for this among the people down below 30% what gives the scottish goverment the right to say scotland(the people ) want this?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/CQFS6G6KQR7LFIO5XJNEBEUWIQ MIKE

    I would like to know how it would be possible for any member of the EU to veto the membership of any other member?

    • micky1up

      scotland isnt a member the uk is when scotland becomes independant (never going to happen) they will have to reapply  for membership that fact has been made many times by the EU but the SNP deny it

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gayle-Miller/100000043384921 Gayle Miller

        UK Government represent all UK countries as the “state” member. Scotland is in the EU under that representation. When we become independent that “state” will cease to be. Scotland and rUK will need to renegotiate on behalf of their countries to become fully  represented “states” under their own right. This would be done from within the EU as we are already members. SNP are right when they say that Scotland would not be applying as a new country approaching the EU for the first time from outside the EU. 

    • GW76

      Try Google, must be in the constitution as it’s been raised in relation to other countries wishing to join

  • Crevans09

    Perhaps the BBC will be able to comment on this response from Mrs Creighton on tomorrow’s news programmses on Radio Scotland or on the Sunday Politics TV show, but I will not be holding my breath!

  • micky1up

    On Friday she was humiliated when her host, the Irish foreign minister, said
    that Scotland would have to go through a lengthy application process”, he said.

    Time and again [European Commission President] Barroso has made it clear
    that a separate Scotland will have to apply to the EU as a new state.

    This means having to negotiate an opt out from the Euro, having to negotiate
    an opt out from Schengen and losing the rebate worth hundreds of pounds to every
    Scottish household.

    The Scottish government’s own figures released this week showed that
    Scotland sells four times as much to the UK union as to the European union

    Sturgeon’s position has no credibility. Why is it okay to be in a
    union with Europe but not with our closest neighbour and most important trading
    partner?”

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gayle-Miller/100000043384921 Gayle Miller

      Why is it okay to be in a  union with Europe but not with our closest neighbour and most important trading 
      partner?”
      Scotland will be fully represented in the EU whereas 5 million Scots have no representation in the UK Government and must abide by the policies and cuts that are imposed on them by a government that England voted in. Only a Scottish Government can give every Scot a democratic voice. Also, Scotland has less trade with UK than many countries have with their closest neighbours. While the unionist parties are dangling hypothetical more powers the UK Government are trying to pass an energy bill that will take control  away from Scotland of all their green energy present and future. Not to mention that UK Government have been caught stealing Scotland’s defence money. 

      • GW76

        ” 5 million Scots have no representation in the UK Government” – you mean we don’t have MPs, and we don’t already have MEPs?

        ” Scotland has less trade with UK than many countries have with their closest neighbours” – source for this please.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gayle-Miller/100000043384921 Gayle Miller

          Trading figures can be found on Bella Caledonia (and Newsnet Scotland, I think) with links to original sources. You won’t find any of this information from the highly censored Better Together sites. 
          Having a few MPs and MEPs does not equate to representation when they are vastly outnumbered and any decision they make is automatically overruled by the others.

      • micky1up

        utter  garbage you not even going to be in the EU you have to reapply and accept thier terms
        and scotland so called green energy isnt fit for purpose it costs more that in generates thats a pure fact just because you believe the propaganda produced by the SNP 

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gayle-Miller/100000043384921 Gayle Miller

          When it’s proven fact it is propaganda, when it is saving the planet it is a negative thing? Hmm interesting skewed view you have. You must be a Tory supporter believing that nuclear is the way forward. 

          • micky1up

            what are you going on about your the one that believes the gobal warming nonsense pray  tell why is it called climate change now and not global warming ? the facts are the green energy claim that the snp make are wildly optimistc it is not fit for its purpose and no matter how u massage the figures it cannot produce enough electricity to support scotland you are they type that will only accpet that fact when the lights are out

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gayle-Miller/100000043384921 Gayle Miller

            Climate change or global warming doesn’t alter the fact green energy is better for the planet than nuclear toxic waste! 

          • micky1up

            another paranoid statement everything in the world is radio active everything including you ! the amount of toxic waste involved is a fraction of the toxic waste produced by coal and oil plants do some research and find out the facts dont just believe SNP soundbites

          • micky1up

            wrong im not a tory supporter and nuclear is the only way forward coal wont last forever and greens dont do what thier supporters  claimm so tell when the lights go out what will you be calling for? maybe it might come as a shock to you but scottland would be dependant on the uk for power if they get independence because they will shut down the nuclear plants  that will be an uncomfortable fact but a fact non the less

  • GW76

    And what did you do there?

    And are you trying to say that anyone who hasn’t served shouldn’t have an opinion on the matter?

    And knowing nothing about a subject is clearly not a barrier to “debate” as the comments on this blog clearly show.

  • Anon_Sailor

    Well I didnt cook! But your right so many with opinions on diff subjects, and one doesnt have to be an expert to read or form a logical viewpoint, here comes the BUT, I was directing you back to debate, on Trident or anything you want, why vote NO, why reject a chance to determine our own future, self determination.

    Think about how were treated by Westminster, its the political union were undoing, were not leaving the planet, there wont be a border, you can still wave a union jack and toast Liz at Xmas.

    Seriously, do you want to be dictated to by Tories?

  • GW76

    I’d like the idea of independence, but we’re not up to it. I have no confidence in our government and see no reason for that to change if we leave the UK. Listen to FMQ to see what I mean – 30 minutes of slagging and dodging, no answers, no progress, no accountability, and within a day or so an apology from the FM for wrong figures on something or other, which kicks of next week.

    I realise a vote for independence isn’t a vote for the SNP but what’s the alternative after a ‘yes’ vote?

    Plenty could be fixed now with the powers already available but it’s not happening – either because the current Scot-gov hasn’t a clue, or because it serves their purpose for the time being.

    If there is to be change, it has to be for the better and so far nobody has convinced me that will be the case.

  • Anon_Sailor

    were not up to it.”

    What kind of life have you had so far to believe were too wee, too stupid and too poor to be independent.

    Im glad you agree that a vote for indy isnt a vote for snp, threres even a tory for indy group!

    As for choices after indy, who knows what our democratic process will return, maybe a coallition of all parties would be true democracy, imagine a Green Energy Minister. Dare to dream and imagine a better Scotland.

    If we vote we wont ever see a chance like this again. The Torys will cut our block grant, and politically we will be destroyed, they will never allow us to try it again.

    Can you not see past the petty politics and think about it, have you read through Wings over Scotland or Newsnet Scotland et al

  • Anon_Sailor

    Will you not join us and vote Yes just for the purpose of never having a Tory Gov impose its will on Scotland again.

  • GW76

    Imagining “what might be” isn’t enough to make a judgement on, neither are dreams. What happens if you’re wrong?

    The only thing I want to hear is what is going to happen (nobody knows so far), what has been agreed (nothing so far). Neither bluster or scaremongering on either side does provides that.

    I can very well see past the petty politics – that’s the problem, behind that there is nothing.