Sunday, February 16, 2014

Independence is, well, independence.

The Scottish independence activists are proposing an independent Scotland but keeping the British pound. The British government has said that they don't not plan to have a shared currency with an independent Scotland.

Independence is just that, independence. You are on your own.

This has led to whining that an independent Scotland won't take on any of Britain's debt. Since Scotland gets about $100 billion pounds a year from Britain more than it puts in, an independent Scotland would actually do a lot for Britain to handle its own debt. Even a quit payment of 200 billion pounds to independent Scotland would work out well financially.

The neo-Confederate movement is of course supporting the Scottish secessionists.  The League of the South is calling this a threat under some definition of "threat" not known to logic. If you want to move out of the house, is it a threat that the other residents of the house don't want to pay or help pay your rent at your new residence?

The thing about being your own country is that you are your own country. It is more than pretty stamps and flags and colorful national costumes worn by dancers and buildings and pronouncements. You are on your own.

You will need to maintain a currency, investor confidence, good trade relations, etc. As a small nation you will have to negotiate with larger nations which don't particularly need you unless you are lucky enough to have something special right there in your national territory. Maybe a mineral deposit or a strategic location for a base.

If the economy of your small nation collapses because in the world system of trade your major industry goes under or your agricultural product is unneeded you have to beg for foreign aid rather than claim support for the region on the basis of fellow nationals helping out their distressed fellow citizens. Of course with earthquakes and other natural disasters it is the same, get out the tin cup.

The whole point of the various groupings of European nations over the years is that being a small nation really doesn't work well for the economy or defense. Hence various economic programs for European integration since World War II. From Benelux to the European Union and other groups. Hence there has been NATO.

The Scottish secessionists expect to be let in the European Union. They should reflect, if they are capable of such an intellectual process, on how Scottish secession is fundamentally contradictory to the whole point of the European Union. Europe has spent 70 years trying to erase national divisions and borders and is not going to want to create more national borders. The European Union is an integrationist movement not a secessionist movement. Also, if one nation originating from secession from a member state is admitted, it encourages other secessionist movements.

Nations are fundamentally imagined. Lots of history in Europe and forgotten kingdoms and boundaries that can be the basis of a lot of revived nations by imaginative individuals. Does the European Union want to be a brawl of 500 nations? Do they want to be a power vacuum?

Finally the European Union will have to consider whether an independent Scotland which found the British intolerable will be able to get along with other nations and be a good member in the European Union.

If Scottish secessionists are not happy with the British parliament where they have representation they should think how negotiations with the giant European Union will go when they apply for membership even without the opposition of the British. Or how much leverage they will have in the European Union as a small nation.

Finally, a lot of people living in Scotland will not want to give up British citizenship. They will find it difficult to sell their houses or businesses for what they are worth if they try to leave. Yet they will find themselves discriminated against. A brief review of the end of the Ottoman Empire should give an idea what might be forthcoming.

The other side of this issue is the documentation of Scottish immigrants to Britain. They would have to have some type of permit to work and live or otherwise be on tourist visas.

Independence is Independence. It isn't a romantic Saturday matinee movie. You had better have a really good reason for it.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular Posts Last 30 days

Popular Posts All Time