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Thursday, June 07, 2012

A Scottish dilemma

Today's Independent reports on the result of an opinion poll that shows that only three in 10 people in England and Wales want to see Scotland break away from the United Kingdom.

They add that north of the border, according to a "poll of polls" by John Curtice, professor of politics at Strathclyde University, who has analysed surveys taken since January, voters oppose independence by 60 per cent to 40.

The real poll of course is what matters, but it cannot be denied that if Scotland does decide to go it alone then there will be a profound impact on the rest of the UK.

I do not think that Scotland will vote 'yes' but should the decision be their's alone? If teh Act of Union is to be dismantled then all of those affected must have their say first and that includes England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
No-one will deny you, I or anyone else who doesn't live in Scotland the right to SAY what they think about Scotland becoming independent, but the DECISION is theirs alone.
Are you seriously advocating. That even if Scotland voted by a huge majority. Voters from the rest of UK can veto it?

Have you no conception of what this would mean?
I agree with MH. It is for the people of Scotland to decide.

It's far too early to predict the outcome of the referendum with any degree of certainty at this point in time, especially considering the political and economic volatility that Europe and the UK is experiencing.

I expect the gap to narrow over the next thirty months or so, for a number of reasons.

I agree with you that an independent Scotland will have a profound impact on the rump-UK, more so on Wales than England. Carwyn Jones has already signalled that significant change will be necessary in the relationship between Wales and Westminster.

Of late, your party has been markedly subdued on its historic policy of a federal UK, and now seems to be part of the Tory-led unionist bashing of the SNP and the Scottish Government.

Devo Max seems to be similar to federalism, yet I don't see LibDems supporting it for Scotland or Wales. Your party now seems to want the status quo to remain from the rhetoric spouted by Nick Clegg, Michael Moore and Danny Alexander.

Perhaps you could elighten us on where the LibDems stand on the issue, or at least, what your views are.

As for me, I've no idea what the LibDems stand for nowadays, and it seems the electorate doesn't either.
glynbeddau said...
Are you seriously advocating. That even if Scotland voted by a huge majority. Voters from the rest of UK can veto it?

Have you no conception of what this would mean?

probably an illegal act under international law. The right to self determination being denied by a hostile govenment.
Of course the Liberal Democrats support a Federal Britain and Devo-Max. We have made the latter very clear up in Scotland and also in Wales where we have consistently argued for more powers for the Welsh Assembly.

Obviously, it is more difficult to argue for something in government when you do not have the support of your coalition partners or even the opposition, so I suspect arguments for Federalism will have to wait until we have an election or a majority Liberal Democrat government.

The Liberal Democrats remain a unionist party and our espousal of that position and criticism of nationalists has nothing to do with who we are in partnership with.

The Liberal Democrats do have clear policy positions, which are set out in our manifesto. However, at present we are tied into a coalition agreement and it is that which we are delivering.

Glynbeddau, are you seriously arguing that the Scots can dictate the future of the UK without the rest of us having a say in what happens after a theoretical yes vote?
What I don't understand about the Coalition is that the LibDems agreed to participate in order to sort out the disastrous state of the UK's economy.

What is therefore the problem with the LibDems campaigning for Devo Max/federalism in Scotland if that is the stated policy? I follow the debates in the Scottish Parliament and Newsnet Scotland. We just don't see or hear it being made.

The opinion polls suggest that a large majority of the electorate there would support such a settlement. Yet what we hear is the same rhetoric from all three unionist parties.

Being in bed with the Tories for the sake of the economy isn't a reason for singing from the same hymn sheet as them on unrelated issues - such as the future of Scotland.

I think what Glyn means is that the substantive issue will be decided by the Scots, and if the decision is Yes, then negotiations on the details will take place afterwards between the relevant parties. That is when our representatives will have a say in what happens to the UK's assets and liabilities.

I doubt if the people of Wales will get any say in the matter, as we have such a small representation at Westminster (some 5%) - which for me is one of the main reasons why Wales should be independent too. Centuries of London government has resulted in Wales being one of the poorest regions in Europe, and there isn't any prospect of things improving here.
You obviously have not being paying attention. The Scottish Lib Dems are campaigning for devo-max as are we in Wales.
Peter. Have You Unionist learned nothing from Ireland.

To deny Scotland Independence if the people have voted for it will result in huge civil unrest and even Civil war.

There's no problem with anyone in the UK putting a case for or against Independence before and during the referendum. But you seem to be arguing that Scotland need the rest of the UK to agree to independence as well and that will not happen.
I think you are getting a bit ahead of yourself. All of the polls predict a no vote. And there is no comparison with Ireland whatsoever.
I recall reading that many of the Scottish icons such as the kilt were actually not created in Scotland but imported (from Denmark if memory serves); the source of this info was (if memory serves) one of the Scottish newspapers having a jovial dig at things Scottish. Bottom line: things are not as they appear to be; the Scots are a canny lot.
Well you could have applied the same principles to the Baltic republics or Croatia, but the truth is under the principles of Woodrow Wilson and great Liberals such as William Gladstone and David Lloyd George, who defended the right of small nations to self determination. If the Scots want to be independent then we cannot stand in their way.
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