On September 18th 2014, the Scottish Independence referendum to decide Scotland’s future will take place, and any person over the age of 16 who lives in Scotland will be eligible to vote. Is that you? If so, we want to make it easier for you to decide for yourself what you think should happen.
Here is a simple list of arguments for and against Scottish Independence sourced from Higher Modern Studies resources.
- Britishness is dying. Scotland has its own Parliament, laws and legal system. National feeling and self-confidence are high. It is time to take the next step.
- Semi-independence is unsatisfactory. Powers concerning finances and the economy remain at Westminster. Independence will allow Scotland to cut business taxes (as Ireland have) to promote economic growth.
- Scotland suffers because the UK Parliament decisions in the interests of London and the South East and as a consequence Scotland loses out.
- Scotland wants to have a more social democratic and collectivist approach to social welfare which is different from the rest of the UK. The Scottish Government has abolished prescription charges, provided more free care for the elderly and tried to provide more support for students than the UK government.
- Scotland has consistently been governed by party ideas they did not vote for.
- Other small countries like Norway and the Republic of Ireland are more successful and dynamic. An independent Scotland will have the tools to match them.
- Independence would give Scotland clout where it matters: a seat at the UN and in the EU Council of Ministers. Scottish interests are poorly served in Brussels by UK ministers.
- The Union has served both countries well for 300 years. Devolution is a young experiment and it is too soon to judge it.
- There is a gap between public spending in Scotland (40bn) and revenue raised there (27bn). A Scottish Government would have to choose between higher taxes and cuts in public services.
- Scotland has more influence in Brussels than it ever would as an independent state.
- The integrated British economy is more capable than an independent Scotland would be of meeting the challenges of globalisation.
- Independence would mean the loss of jobs on the Clyde because the UK would not build warships there. Jobs would be lost at Falsane if the Trident submarine base was removed.
- The loss of Scottish Labour MPs would mean the Conservatives would form the government in the UK for many years to come.
Some key websites to look at for more information:
By Alanis Macleod: A sixth year Higher Modern Studies student.