Presentation on theme: "The Scottish Independence Referendum 2014"— Presentation transcript:
1 The Scottish Independence Referendum 2014 Dr Nicola McEwenUniversity of EdinburghESRC Scottish Centre on Constitutional Change
2 “Should Scotland be an independent country?” “If more people vote ‘Yes’ than vote ‘No’ in the referendum, Scotland would become an independent country. This would not happen straight away. There would need to be negotiations between people representing Scotland and people representing the UK.” Joint StatementScottish Government & UK Government June 2014
3 The ACT OF VOTING You must be registered by 2 September 2014 You will receive polling card around 5 weeks before referendum (details where you should vote).Go to polling station (7am-10pm) on 18 September.Postal/proxy votes can be arranged IN ADVANCE – by 5pm on 3 SeptemberMark one X on ballot paper (Don’t write or draw anything else on it!)Fold it and place it in ballot box. You do not need to tell anyone how you voted.
5 What difference would it make? Simple question - “Should Scotland be an independent country?”BUTWhat does “independent” mean?Separation v a new relationshipAnd what are the alternatives if we vote No?
6 Current context Reserved Powers The ConstitutionForeign policy, including relations with the EUDefence and national securityImmigration and the protection of bordersSocial SecurityFiscal, economic and monetary policyEmployment legislationEnergyTransportsafety and regulationBroadcastingAspects of health and medicine, including abortion and human genetics, fertilisation and embryologyElections and Political Parties registration and fundingThe Civil ServiceOuter space!
7 Scottish Parliament’s powers = all areas not reserved
8 Key devolved powers Health Education (pre-5 to Higher Education, exc. research)TrainingEnvironmentAgriculture, Fisheries & ForestryEconomic DevelopmentTransportLaw and Home AffairsSocial WorkHousing and Building standardsPromotion of Renewable energy/energy efficiencySport and the ArtsResearch and StatisticsLocal Government and Local taxationLimited tax-varying power
9 If Yes wins…A vote for Independence would mean negotiating the transfer of all powers currently reserved to WestminsterAgreeing a division of assets and liabilitiesNegotiating nature of new relationship with rUKNegotiating membership of EU/NATO
10 The Case for Independence (i): Democracy Independence as completion of devolution processGovernment in and for Scotland, accountable to the peopleAlways get the government that Scots vote for“With independence, Scotland will always get the governments we vote for. For 34 of the 68 years since 1945, Scotland has been ruled by Westminster governments with no majority in Scotland”
11 The Case for Independence (ii): Economic Prosperity Key economic powers affecting Scotland’s future remain at Westminster.Exploitation of natural resources, inc. ownership of/revenues from North Sea oil & gasIndependence as the best condition for sustainable economic growth
12 The Case for Independence (iii): Fairness/Social Justice Objection to levels of inequality within UK and an appeal to social solidarityOpposition to UK government’s welfare reformsPromise of a fairer welfare state“With independence we can create a social nation: a country that acts and feels like a community, a vibrant society where we know the benefits of looking out for each other”
13 Is it really independence? A New Partnership Independence & interdependenceShared institutional arrangements, e.g.:currency unionCommon Travel Area & labour marketStrategic energy partnershipDefence and Security co-operationCo-operation in public service deliveryCommon research areaCross-border functional bodies‘National’ LotteryBBC/SBC Joint VentureSalmond’s ‘six unions’“Scotland will continue to have a close and special relationship with the other nations of these isles. This will be a new, updated partnership of equals between the people of Scotland and the rest of the UK”
14 The Case for Union (i) Love & solidarity Appeals to stay within ‘the UK family’Celebrations of Britishness and British institutions; “Team GB”Pooling resources – shared solidarity – a “union of social justice”“I believe that England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are stronger together than they would ever be apart… It is time to speak out, whatever the consequences, because something very special is in danger - the ties which bind us in the country we call home.”David Cameron16 Feb 2012
15 The Case for Union (iii) Strength “And in the world of uncertainty, we are quite simply stronger as a bigger entity… Together we’re stronger at getting out there and selling our products to the world… together we’re stronger to lead in the industries of the future… we’re stronger together (in) our place in the world. Together we get a seat at the UN Security Council, real clout in NATO and Europe, the prestige to host event like the G8” PM David CameronUK government ‘Scotland Analysis’ seriesUnion presented as the best of all possible worlds“Stronger together, weaker apart” - the benefits of the UK’s broad shoulders, size and influence in the world
16 The Case for Union (ii): Fear “…the value of the pound lies in the entire monetary system underpinning it. A system that includes the Bank of England and the tens of millions of UK taxpayers who stand behind that financial system. It is a system that is supported by political union, banking union and automatic transfers of public spending across the United Kingdom. A vote to leave the UK is also a vote to leave these unions and those transfers and those monetary arrangements…If Scotland walks away from the UK, it walks away from the UK pound. ”George Osborne, Chancellor of the ExchequerStrategy of heightening uncertainty, e.g. on Scotland’s EU membership, currency, etcRejection of SNP version of independence-liteDifficulty for Scotland to meet social needs, security needs, etc, from own resource