No independence for Scotland in the EU


A question which I used to be asked frequently runs as follows: “If a single currency works in a huge economy like the USA, why on earth do you think a single currency won’t work in the EU?”.

I must say I get asked this much less often these days, when the abject failure of the €uro project is writ large for all to see.  As Allister Heath put it in the Telegraph recently: “The €uro has been entirely and unremittingly catastrophic”.  He goes on to quote statistics showing that far from increasing intra-eurozone trade, such trade has declined substantially since the currency’s introduction.

But I was always very happy to get the question, and to explain the answer, because if you understand why the Dollar works in the USA, you have a pretty clear idea why a single currency won’t work in the EU.  I used to give three reasons: first, labour mobility.  If you’re out of work in Pittsburgh, you get on a Greyhound Bus to California.  There’s less labour mobility in most EU countries than in the USA, and far less mobility between EU states.

Second, redistribution.  Large Federal programmes and government sourcing have the effect of moving funds and resources from rich areas to poor areas, on a scale far beyond the scope of the EU budget.

Third, political will.  Americans all salute the same flag, and a well-off New Yorker is prepared to see some of his tax dollars go to support disadvantaged folk in Detroit.  But well-heeled Germans are far less happy to provide long-term bail-outs for Greece, as we’ve seen.

Today, I’d add a fourth factor.  The US Federal Reserve is empowered to take tough and timely decisions to manage the dollar and the US economy.  The ECB, on the other hand, is trammelled with treaty obligations and threats of law-suits in the German Constitutional Court, and cannot operate like a proper Central Bank.  There is no lender of last resort (except Germany, and it’s getting a bit tired of that role).

But today, another essentially similar question is being asked, in the context of the Scottish “Independence” debate.  If UKIP is opposed to the union of the UK with the EU, how on earth can we support the union of Scotland in the United Kingdom?  (“Does UKIP oppose Scottish independence?” I hear you ask.  The clue is in the name — we’re the United Kingdom Independence Party).

And the answer is the same one given above.  If you understand why the Union has worked successfully for Scotland and England for 300 years, you’ll understand why the EU is most unlikely to last 300 years.  Or 100, come to that.

And to justify this proposition, let me quote, yet again, my favourite line from Enoch Powell, who said that democracy can work and have legitimacy “where people share enough in common, especially in terms of history, culture, language and economic interests, that they are prepared to accept governance at each others’ hands”.  Of course we can argue whether that criterion is satisfied within the UK: I would assert that it self-evidently is.  But surely no one could argue that it is satisfied in the EU.  Manifestly, it is not.

I suppose it is right that the vote on Scottish independence is a matter for the Scots (though I was shocked to hear that EU nationals resident in Scotland are entitled to vote).  Nonetheless, we English have an enormous stake in the issue, both for practical economic reasons, and in terms of history and identity.  I have no Scottish ancestry (that I know of), but I feel strongly that Scotland is part of my country, whether it’s the Fingal’s Cave overture (I have seen Fingal’s Cave a couple of times); or the novels of Sir Walter Scott; or “The Land of the Mountain and the Flood” by Hamish Maccunn; or the Edinburgh Tattoo and the marvellous War Memorial Chapel atop Edinburgh Castle; or a glass of Talisker, from the Isle of Skye, before bedtime (I worked several years in the Scotch Whisky industry), I feel that Scotland is part of my own heritage in a way that no foreign country could be.

I find it quite extraordinary that the letter from 200+ Scottish businesses today supporting the YES campaign says that the biggest economic danger in staying in the UK is the risk that the UK will leave the EU!  Indeed if Scotland stays with the UK, there is a possibility (pray God) that we will all leave the EU.  But if Scotland goes independent, it is absolutely certain to leave the EU.  Of course it could apply to re-join the EU as a new member-state, but then it would be committed to the €uro disaster.

More generally, the contradiction at the heart of the YES campaign is the idea that Scotland could ever be “Independent in Europe”.  The whole point of the EU is that member-states cease to be independent, and become part of a larger polity.  Alex Salmond’s offer of independence is a lie.  He proposes that Scotland the Brave become a vassal-state of Brussels.  That’s an odd kind of independence.

The SNP case also bemoans Scottish subservience to Westminster (as they see it).  But given the disproportionate representation of Scotland in Westminster, and the Barnett Formula, and the fact that a large number of British Prime Ministers and other senior officials, have been Scottish, it’s clear that Scotland has far more influence in Westminster than it could ever have as a 1% member-state in a country called Europe.








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23 Responses to No independence for Scotland in the EU

  1. Jane Davies says:

    I wonder how many millions a day it would cost an “independent” Scotland to belong to the EU. I’m sure before long it would be bankrupt in keeping up those payments alone.

  2. Anne Palmer says:

    I, and probably many others are both sad and angry when the present Leader of Scotland is in the midst of trying to destroy completely our United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and perhaps also, along with the rest of the Commonwealth. We fought a terrible War to prevent our Country falling into enemy hands yet we didn’t realise at that time, or even NOW that the enemy was among us right here in the United Kingdom. That a Prime Minister could tell a deliberately lie before that one REFERENDUM we had in 1975-“That there would be no loss of essential sovereignty” if we voted to remain in the then EEC. All those in our Government and Parliament know exactly-or should do- those ancient parts of our Common Law Constitution together, are “the Glue” that hold the four separate Nations and Country’s that make up the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland together, along with other ancient documents that hold Members of the Commonwealth also TOGETHER. Many members of the Commonwealth also “gave their lives for us”-for our freedom to Govern ourselves, in that last war.

    Sadly, yet not one word from our present Prime Minister regarding all the ancient Constitutional Documents that hold the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland and Members of the Commonwealth together, for thus far, those ancient documents are being ignored completely. They must surely be there for we all know-without doubt-“To destroy our Constitution, is indeed treason”. If the present-temporary leader of the Country and Nation of Scotland gets his way, the result may well be the complete destruction of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth
    -something that two World Wars couldn’t do because we were all on the same side fighting for our freedom from foreign rule. But hey! We will still be in the European Union.

  3. Anne Palmer says:

    If Scotland breaks away and is no longer in the EU, and as at the time of writing, this seems to be the case, surely the same would apply to England? The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland would no longer exist. The Act of Union was also a Treaty and a Treaty that was ratified. Article 11 of the Treaty of Union 1707 embodies the substance of the Act of Settlement of 1701. Destroy the Union and it affects all the Members of the Commonwealth. We then come to the problem of whether Treaties signed by the then Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and all the Treaties (Lodged with the Vienna Convention on the laws of Treaties- in the United Nations) have ratified as a United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland would still ‘stand’, even though THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND would no longer exist and as such, would WE perhaps no longer be in the European Union? Just A THOUGHT!

    • Mike Stallard says:

      You can think what you like. I do not think the Europeans will see it in the same way at all.

      • Maureen Gannon says:

        Bet your bottom dollar they won’t that would be like turkeys voting for Christmas . who else is going to cough up 13 odd Billion a year to keep the gravy train flowing ? they have no respect for right or wrong only, we are right you are wrong.

  4. Ex-expat Colin says:

    “though I was shocked to hear that EU nationals resident in Scotland are entitled to vote”

    My wife is a Scot and an EU person…..the last time I heard her swearing badly was at BBC (TV and R4). Its started again and the TV is off TF!

    Add in the weird 16yr old vote and still it’ll be NO.

    And the USA is stuffed with illegal immigrants, so we are copying that as well as most other smart ideas from there?

    Breitbart has suggested another 7 or so Tory defectors. Paterson/Gove anybody?

  5. Anne Palmer says:

    I remember one truly GREAT Prime Minister of this Country basically working night and day to save our country from foreign rule-at a time when all the “odds” were stacked up against him-(yes-I am that old) and our present Prime Minister has not had one word to PROTECT OUR VERY OWN COMMON LAW CONSTITUTION THAT SO MANY, MANY INNOCENT PEOPLE, CHILDREN AND BABES lost their lives in that last war-for us-SO THAT WE-TODAY, COULD LIVE IN peace and FREEDOM. How I wish the likes of HIM, was in charge now.

  6. Maureen Gannon says:

    It is in the Interest of Germany to see the UK break up , they are all but ruling Europe now with a dismembered UK the agenda is completed England will become a regionalised land mass , and not a bullet will have been fired.

    • Anne Palmer says:

      Foreigners have tried very hard to destroy the United Kingdom of Great Brtitain and Northern Ireland by and in two World War., They couldn’t do it, because the more they tried, the closer all the people came to defending this their own Country. However, it seems that it may only take one man to not only destroy the United Kingdom, but also the Commonwealth. If Scotland breaks away and is no longer in the EU, and, at the time of writing, this seems to be the case, surely the same would apply to England, Wales and Northern Ireland? The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland would no longer exist? However, no one is talking about the TREATIES that bind our four Country’s together that make up the United Kingdom. The Act of Union was also a Treaty and a Treaty that was ratified. Article 11 of the Treaty of Union 1707 embodies the substance of the Act of Settlement of 1701. Destroy the Union and it affects all the Members of the Commonwealth. Now why I wonder hasen’t our present Prime Minister explained this to the people of thios Country and why is he not told all of the people in England, Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland BECAUSE IT DOES INDEED AFFECT ALL THREE ONCE SEPARATE COUNTRIES AS WELL AS MEMBERS OF THE COMMONWEALTH? We then come to the problem of whether Treaties signed by the then Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and all the Treaties (Lodged with the Vienna Convention on the laws of Treaties- in the United Nations) having ratified as a United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland would still ‘stand’, even though it would no longer exist and as such, would WE perhaps no longer be in the European Union? Just hoping!

      • Maureen Gannon says:

        Wow Anne may I ask why you are not the leader of the Tory Party and thus the leader of this country For so long, I have wished for a reincarnation of Oliver Cromwell and hear these words repeated. .

        “You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately … Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!”

  7. ian wragg says:

    The fight back has commenced. Carswell has moved to Ukip and further defections will follow. Perhaps today will go down in history as the day it all changed. Lets hope so.

  8. Maureen Gannon says:

    could not have asked for a greater defection an honest MP such as him only sorry Pritchard gave such a negative response.
    Back to Carswell a man who has had the decency to resign as an MP , now that is honourable. I hope that Clacton vote him back in .

    • Roger Helmer MEP says:

      Here Here!

      • Maureen Gannon says:

        Now if David Davies was to follow who is another honourable man , my dreams would come true ..

    • Me_Again says:

      Totally agree, but I’d really like a Labour MP and a Lib Dem too, otherwise we start to look like the ‘right wing’ of the Tory party [although why it is assumed that wanting out of EU is a right wing thing has to be clever propaganda rather than reality] and will make it all the more difficult in the north to get more votes our way.

  9. Me_Again says:

    The reality is this:-
    If Scotland goes after September 18th, we are a step closer to the EU exit door. In a referendum -if we ever have one, not having 5 million Scots voting to stay in will be helpful.
    If they go, not having 45 or so Labour MPs in Westminster will reduce the chances for a Labour government.
    If they go we will -or should- save money from the Barnet formula scandal and the amount central government pays for the baseline per capita amount.
    There will undoubtedly be issues that need ironing out but realistically it isn’t all bad.
    I also think that the reason UK in UKIP stands for United Kingdom was less out of a desire to stay together than to sound plausible. English Independence party? Nah that wouldn’t work. Great Britain Independence Party? Nah doesn’t sound right……The only one that was/is a possibility is plain Independence Party. We are going to have to change names when we eventually win anyway.

  10. Anne Palmer says:

    As I see it, you/WE all have one last chance to get out of the European Union, and that is by using the General Election in 2015 and voting only for UKIP-and it is up to UKIP to put every and anyone to stand in every constituency. IT MATTERS NOT ONE JOT IF THEY HAVE NEVER GOVERNED BEFORE-FOR let us face the sad truth, for the most important things-those we may have elected in the past have only basically obeyed the orders of foreigners through the EEC/EC/EU Treaties Governments have ratified without ever allowing the people a “say” before they were indeed ratified. I am not in UKIP-proof that you do not have to be “IN” any Political Party to vote for them-but for goodness sake, ALL should use their votes in the coming General Election of 2015.-you/WE may never get another chance to set ourselves FREE FROM FOREIGN RULE. Many, many people in that last WAR (Which I remember very well, especially the bombing of Manchester and its Ship-Canal) gave their lives for our FREEDOM, please do not let them have given THEIR lives for nought.

    • vera says:

      I do not think 2015 is our last chance. As I said before, those who believe we shouldn’t be in the EU will never give up the fight. Even if the referendum results in a vote to stay in, we will carry on the fight to leave.

  11. Bernard Hough says:

    Before the Scottish people go to vote, I would like, as a layman, and no politician, to point out a few things that I would consider if I were voting.
    The end of the United Kingdom as we know it.
    Possibly the end of the UK and USA special relationship,
    Also the satisfaction that the EU will get from seeing these happen.
    Especially Germany who will have repaid the UK for helping to stop them creating a European Empire in 1941.
    When the EU parliament is moved to Berlin it will be complete.
    And Alec Salmon ? Will have a well paid none job for life within the EU just like Tony Blair and his spin doctors that we fell for.

    • vera says:

      Unfortunately I think too many Scots hate us for them to be move your comments. Still look on the bright side, if they vote to leave Labour will not be in No. 10 again.

  12. Mike Stallard says:

    As for all the reasons why the Euro cannot work, surely the deliberate policy of the EU as expressed by both M. Juncker and M. Barroso is for “More Europe”. That means adopting every single one of the four arguments you put forward and transferring each of them to Europe. So, for example, there will be complete freedom of movement, complete freedom to transfer money from place to place and complete freedom for the ECB to act like the Fed.
    And that is why I am solidly in favour of us leaving the EU as soon as possible. I do not think the above principles are negotiable – at least with the current way of thinking in Brussels. whether or not Mr Cameron knows this or not, I am in no position to judge – yet.

  13. Anne Palmer says:

    Two World Wars yet the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland survived. The only way left to destroy this United Kingdom had to be from “WITHIN” . That does not just mean by one person in Scotland-which of course will indeed break up the once united United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, but all those we foolishly elected, although we didn’t realize it at the time- the three major Political Parties that even now still want their “wages” and vast expenses yet want foreigners to govern this once GREAT Country that could not be defeated in WAR, now PAY foreigners to govern us.

  14. Anne Palmer says:

    If you all truly want FEEDOM from Foreign RULE, it is up to UKIP (Nigel Farage) to put forward would be MP’s for us to vote for in every Constituency in the 2015 General Election. After that General Election will be too late. IT TRULY DOESN’T MATTER IF NONE HAVE EVER GOVERNED BEFORE-FOR LET US FACE FACTS-those in that Parliament at present mostly only obey EU Orders, Directives and Regulations. Want proof? I, and many other people now, can usually trace-as can UKIPers-exactly where the new leglsation has come from.

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