What outcomes can you predict if Scotland votes for independence in its upcoming referendum? Given these, do you think a yes vote is correct, or would you vote to remain in the UK?

Expert Answers
mathsworkmusic eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Being from England, this probably affects me quite a lot.

There are a few things that I have predicted may happen if the vote is a yes.

-The Bank of England will no longer have responsibility for Scotland's economy. They don't yet seem to know what currency they would adopt, but whatever it is the Bank of England won't be in charge. The misnamed 'Royal Bank of Scotland' is saying that it will move south to England in the event of a yes vote. This would be a positive outcome for Scots I think as they've been bailed out a couple of times and mis-sold PPI.

-The BBC will no longer report the weather for Scotland in it's UK broadcast (as it doesn't report the weather for Southern Ireland). The Scottish weather is more interesting than most of the UK as there are more mountains, which means the meteorologists focus on it a lot as they find it exciting. The forecast for the rest of the UK will probably be more informative now without the focus on the Western Isles.

-Edinburgh will be a very strange place, because at the moment it is honorary English, much as Cardiff is. There is a joke that people from Edinburgh aren't often very Scottish. I would say that a lot of people from Edinburgh would vote no, and a lot of people from Glasgow would vote yes. And that's then most of the country. What everyone else thinks is probably not going to have too much sway.

-If I were the Queen I might consider putting a tender to Scotland seeing if they wanted me as their figurehead rather than ours. Through the Queen Mother I think, she has Scottish heritage. Her favourite residence is Balmoral, in the heart of the Scottish countryside somewhere. The Scottish regiments in the army (Blackwatch eg) have traditionally done much of the hard fighting in war so she may feel more secure up there. Also, the Royal Military Tattoo is a strong part of the UK heritage. In essence, the whole issue of royalty and the military is an interesting one. If they vote no this would indicate that they aren't loyal to the Queen, who sadly, is quite loyal to them. I expect it would mean being part of the Commonwealth, which is really a way of exiting from the Empire without being too rude to the Queen and still getting some financial benefits without the weight of imposed laws. If the Queen packed up and moved to Scotland any anti-royalists here would probably decide that they do like her afterall.

-The BBC will no longer be obliged to cover the Edinburgh Festival, not that they do much anyway because it's too alternative, but they might do anyway.

-English people will probably still pay to attend Scottish Universities and Scottish people will probably still not pay.

-When I converse with Scottish people with a thick accent I will no longer need to feel that I should understand them, and can in fact treat it as a foreign language and say 'I'm sorry, I can't speak Scottish', which they probably won't understand either, my accent being very different to theirs.

-Tartan will be outlawed in England. As will haggis, Robert Burns, thistles, marmalade, oatcakes, tweed, Fairisle jumpers, salmon, whiskey, bagpipes, the highland fling, Rennie Mackintosh, Loch Ness monsters etc. Auld Lang Syne will no longer be sung at New Year, and no English person will attend the birth of the baby pandas at Edinburgh Zoo. And Andy Murray will have eggs thrown at him. As will Billy Connolly. Old series of Rab C Nesbitt will no longer be aired on the BBC.

-What will we call ourselves? 'Slightly less Great Britain', 'The not so United Kingdom'. Something like that.

How do I know all this, since I'm not Scottish?

I like the idea because it indicates change is needed. Right now, change to something else would be good. But how would I feel? Slightly snubbed.

caledon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If you've already guessed from my username, yes, I support the idea of Scottish independence.

The case made by Scottish nationalists is fairly simple and agreeable;

  • Scotland began as an independent nation and has always had the right, both legal and human, to determine its own destiny.
  • Many other countries, such as Ireland and Australia, have profited economically, politically and socially from independence.
  • Scotland has a strong national identity, a diverse economy, and enough friends and allies to negotiate whatever difficulties might get in the way.
  • Remaining with the UK because of economic uncertainties diminishes Scotland's spirit and makes her into a dependent rather than a partner.

Under the current system, nationalists argue, Scottish interests are curtailed or restricted because the UK government needs to pursue in the common good, rather than the Scottish one, and "Scots know what's best for Scotland." This makes independence possible and attractive, but not necessarily easy. Some of the outcomes involve a loss of power, and some of the long-term consequences cannot yet be answered.

Outcomes include:

  • Greater control over the Scottish economy, particularly investment in research and new technologies that Scotland is poised to benefit from and excel at, such as renewable fuels.
  • Greater control over taxation and allocation of public funds, though a tax increase may be necessary to maintain the current standard of living
  • Upheaval of international relations; Scotland will be able to make its own foreign policy and get rid of the nuclear weapons currently stationed in its territory, but it will also lose important reputation and representation, such as the UK's permanent seat on the UN Security Council.
  • Factionalism: there is no guarantee that what happened in Ireland will not happen in Scotland.

So, the most significant immediate outcome will be a period of uncertainty as Scotland divests itself of its UK identity and transitions to a new government. This choices made in this period will be of utmost importance in determining Scotland's long-term success.

We might consider the possible outcomes for Britain as well; "losing" one of the oldest, closest and last remaining fragments of the British Empire will lead to a loss of reputation and confidence in David Cameron's government. Cameron has already agreed to give Scotland greater internal control even if it votes "no"; we can anticipate that this will only increase the likelihood of another independence vote in the future.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Personally, if I were Scottish I would not vote to leave the United Kingdom.  However, my reasons for voting in that way would mainly be economic.  Since I am not from Scotland, I cannot really feel whatever emotional reasons some Scots might have for wanting to vote for independence.

If I were voting, I believe that I would base my vote on the likely economic consequences of a split.  I believe that those consequences would be largely negative.  It is true that Scotland has oil and that oil revenues could help to sustain the Scottish economy.  However, the oil revenues are not huge and, anyway, we should see from the example of other petro-states that having oil money does not guarantee a strong economy.  It is also likely that oil revenues will decline as the oil dwindles, thus making the Scottish economy weaker in the long run.  So, I can predict economic difficulties that would deter me from voting for independence.

Second, it appears that the rest of the UK will not form a currency union with Scotland.  This would make it harder for Scottish companies to trade with the UK.  Since most of Scotland’s trade today is with other parts of the UK, this would be a bad thing.  Thus, I can also predict that Scotland’s economy would suffer if it is torn away from the rest of what is now its home market.

For these reasons, I would not vote for independence. 

mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Having visited Scotland I witnessed a pride to be admired. However, if this pride which appeared to have some anger as an ingredient no longer has a target against which it can inflate, there may be changes, as well as surprises. 

Indeed, it seems it would be a loss for both cultures if Scotland separated as indicated by the previous post from a person who, indeed, knows far more than we Americans. Certainly much of their histories and cultures (and genes) are tied inextricably. Interestingly, there are 422,386 English, 25,123 Northern Irish, and 16,186 Welsh who reside in Scotland who are eligible to vote on this issue. (bbc.com/news)

Also, as previously mentioned, resources are limited for the Scots; for example, the oil from the North Sea is given an expiration date. Certainly, it seems dangerous for such a small country with such cultural, economic, and family links to England to break after four centuries at a time that it may, indeed, need England in a global economy.

maliurj | Student

England will once again attempt to implement strategies to suppress the Scots who dared to seek self-governance. This would only be for the purpose of saving face.

England will indeed create new laws to benefit and protect it's interest as pertaining to its relationship with Scotland.  This would essentially be nothing other than an act to avenge what might be perceived as an insult by the Scots They implemented such strategies upon the colonists who complained of salutary neglect; which is a concern that also resonates with the citizens of Scotland today.