D J Webb
I’ve become increasingly disillusioned with the behaviour of the Scottish Nationalists. They will promise the moon on independence. Whether they deliver it or not afterwards makes no difference: people will have taken the leap into the unknown by then.
Is there a way of showing the Scottish people what they’re getting into?
Yes, there is.
1. David Cameron should announce that, if elected, he will pass a law making Scotland a dependent territory from the following tax year (April 6, 2016). Scotland would then have full autonomy, along the lines of the autonomy of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.
2. Scotland would keep the pound, just as the dependent territories do.
3. The Scottish would remain British citizens and free movement of labour would continue.
4. There would be no fiscal transfers to Scotland. Scotland would go “cold turkey” on day one.
5. Scotland would have full control over all oil in the North Sea and could set whatever tax rates it chose.
6. The dependent territory of Scotland would not be able to issue bonds or other debt instruments, and would take on 10% of the UK national debt.
7. Banks whose balance sheets exceeded Scottish GDP would be required to relocate their headquarters to England, or lose their authorised status as financial insitutions in England.
8. After five years, Scotland, if it liked the arrangement could continue it, or opt for full independence. If it opted for reintegration into the UK, there should be no devolution. They should be reintegrated on a county level, with no national Scottish Parliament.
9. No Scottish MPs would sit in the British House of Commons.
10. We could consider the same arrangement for Northern Ireland.
11. Just as Greenland, a Danish possession, has left the EU, Scotland could opt to stay in or leave the EU, although that would have implications for freedom of movement with England and Wales.
Nicola Sturgeon would find herself having to show what her promises really amounted to.