Results are out! Find what you need...fast. Get quick advice or join the chat
Hey there! Sign in to have your say on this topicNew here? Join for free to post

Scottish Independence and Foreign Policy

This thread is sponsored by:
Announcements Posted on
    • Thread Starter
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Currently support for independence in Scotland stands at 1/3 of people (a sizeable minority numbering about 1.7 million people) and there is a possibility it may swing to a majority by the time of the indy referendum in 2014.

    The main impacts I can see on rUK that such an event would have are..


    • The loss of 1/3 of the UK landmass
    • The loss of 11.7% of UK GDP and just under 10% of the population
    • Probably the end of the British nuclear capacity
    • Is the US, going to have a "special" relationship both with rUK and Scotland? Or separately they won't merit that much-touted special relationship? To imagine that the present relationship between the US and the UK would not change drastically is simply not realistic. It will change, but one feels that both England and Scotland would be viewed differently than they are viewed now as the UK; and it is difficult to imagine that they would gain importance in our eyes
    • Would England/rUK keep its seat on the UN Security Council? Why should it? In all probability it would not. Germany, India, Japan and Brazil would probably be the main agitators of this. The last 3 nations would like a permanent seat on the UNSC and may clearly use any basis for change
    • As for the EU, of course many in the EU would like to see the iron grip the UK has over it lessened. England/rUK would no doubt lose in this. It would slip from being nominally the 2nd largest member - in terms of economic size (as part of the UK) to fourth under Italy - a pretty big drop for a powerful nation


    Basically. The way that I see it, Scottish independence would be the end of Westminster's obsession with being a "global player" and all the justifications for it retaining huge defence spending. The UK has such high military spending because it harbours Weapons of Mass Destruction, and it is desperate to continue to be looked at as one of the world's big boys - the ending of the United Kingdom would hopefully see the end of the British state squandering such a vast portion of its wealth on the fourth largest defence budget in the world and spend it on things that are socially useful.

    Much of the domestic and virtually all of the overseas prestige of the British ruling class comes from it's lingering imperial pretensions. Cameron is clear on that point. An independent Scotland is likely to have some approximately social democratic government with the possibility of the left of the SNP splitting. That would be an point of attraction for many in rUK/England so it is likely to change the political landscape of England hugely imo.
    • 30 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    It won't be the end of Trident that's for sure. They will find another place for it. The only sources saying they won't are an MOD survey from 1964, everything else is from pretty clearly anti nuclear sources. I doubt the US will have a special relationship with Scotland. Part of the UK/US special relationship is that we back them in some of their wars and to some degree follow their foreign policy. Scotland won't do this. As for how the UK is viewed if Scotland independence, no one can answer that since its going to be based on the view of individuals.

    Why would the UK lose its UNSC seat? Why should it lose it? Just because those three nations would like a seat does not mean they will get it. The UNSC is incredibly resistant to change an no one can force a country to step down.

    Yes its very nice to throw around terms like fourth biggest. But look at the defence budget in terms of welfare and healthcare. 46 billion against well over 200 billion for welfare and healthcare combined.

    You make far too many assumptions in your post. The first being that Scotland will get independence in the first place.
    • Thread Starter
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Aj12)
    I doubt the US will have a special relationship with Scotland. Part of the UK/US special relationship is that we back them in some of their wars and to some degree follow their foreign policy. Scotland won't do this. As for how the UK is viewed if Scotland independence, no one can answer that since its going to be based on the view of individuals.
    Yes, but my point is that Scottish independence could further destroy this Anglo-American 'relationship' (which amounts to the UK being the little bitch of the USA) which is already deeply unpopular across the UK. Since the end of the Second World War Britain has been spending money on a level of military power they cannot use themselves to any significant purpose. The Americans look at them as merely picturesque hired guns and often annoying ones at that. It is would be a very good idea for what’s left of Britain to explore a little more independence from the USA in its own affairs.

    Why would the UK lose its UNSC seat? Why should it lose it? Just because those three nations would like a seat does not mean they will get it. The UNSC is incredibly resistant to change an no one can force a country to step down.
    Why wouldn't countries start publically wondering why the RUK still has a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council? I can see in the future though, that Europe will have one head at the top table and France and the UK will have to give way to it.

    Yes its very nice to throw around terms like fourth biggest. But look at the defence budget in terms of welfare and healthcare. 46 billion against well over 200 billion for welfare and healthcare combined.
    It isn't 'throwing around' terms. We have a bloated military budget way out of proportion for our size.

    It won't be the end of Trident that's for sure. They will find another place for it.
    Where? Why would people even support it in a greatly diminished country?
    • 12 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    The UK would carry on as normal, for a while anyway. When most of Ireland left the UK still carried on. Of course with Scotland gone the rump UK would be greatly diminished and would likely not survive long term. Regards the issue of Britain's place on UN security council. It will ridiculous if an even smaller UK had a place on the sec council when other more powerful and larger nations such as India, Brazil, Germany and Japan etc are not.
    • 30 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Faustu)
    Yes, but my point is that Scottish independence could further destroy this Anglo-American 'relationship' (which amounts to the UK being the little bitch of the USA) which is already deeply unpopular across the UK. Since the end of the Second World War Britain has been spending money on a level of military power they cannot use themselves to any significant purpose. The Americans look at them as merely picturesque hired guns and often annoying ones at that. The British once the world’s masters at the art of condescension have ceded that trait to the Americans who expect unremitting deference and recognition of their superiority. It is probably not a bad idea for what’s left of Britain to explore a little more independence from the USA in its own affairs.



    Why wouldn't countries start publically wondering why the RUK still has a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council? I can see in the future though, that Europe will have one head at the top table and France and the UK will have to give way to it.



    It isn't 'throwing around' terms. We have a bloated military budget way out of proportion for our size.



    Where? Why would people even support it in a greatly diminished country?
    Are you missing the cold war? High military spending was needed since had the Soviet legions rushed across Germany would have been needed there. Its debated if the special relationship even exists. I don't know how much Scotland leaving will affect it. Neither do you. Only a few civil servants in London and Washington actually know. We won't know the full economic picture or how it affects international relations until after Scotland has gone. Well if.

    No one tried to get Russia off the council when their country fell apart in the 90's, and they went through far worse economic and social turmoil than the UK will ever go through. You can't just remove countries from the UNSC. It's not how it works. External pressure from other nations won't do much. It would take a complete global realignment for any country to be removed.

    Why would a seat be given to the EU? The EU does not even have a combined foreign policy let alone any sort of military or shared defence policy. to give the EU a seat would be pointless.

    It is throwing around meaningless terms. If the UK can support a welfare and healthcare budget well into the hundreds of billions then it can easily support a 46 billion defence budget.

    For one as your own article points out Plymouth. they will find somewhere. the last decent study was done in the 60's. We aren't easily going to get rid of the weapons that give us ultimate security.
    • 30 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Organ)
    The UK would carry on as normal, for a while anyway. When most of Ireland left the UK still carried on. Of course with Scotland gone the rump UK would be greatly diminished and would likely not survive long term. Regards the issue of Britain's place on UN security council. It will ridiculous if an even smaller UK had a place on the sec council when other more powerful and larger nations such as India, Brazil, Germany and Japan etc are not.
    Remove the UK and you are going to have to see a complete overhaul of the UNSC. Whilst this needs to be done, the nations on the council aren't going to want to see it happen and since they can veto any changes I doubt it will for a very long time.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Aj12)
    We aren't easily going to get rid of the weapons that give us ultimate security.
    I fail to see how these weapons give you "ultimate security"? Sure other countries are less likely to attack you, but they are very unlikely to attack you anyway. Don't you see the breathtaking hypocrisy in invading other countries to – apparently – ensure they don’t have WOMD, yet simultaneously advocating a policy of keeping them yourselves? Anyone crazy enough to launch a nuclear warhead is going to ensure that mankind is reduced to the stone age again. It’s not a war that would have any winners, whether you are a nuclear power or not. As Einstein famously said: “I do not know with what weapons World War 3 will be fought, but World War 4 will be fought with sticks and stones”. This might seem like a clever little sound bite, but I suspect it might not be too far from the truth.

    So to conclude, the UK should be setting an example. The whole world needs to rid itself of nuclear weapons as deterrents. With the exception of astronomical cataclysmic events, there is no reason to justify spending billions to keep something that if used will wipe out everyone regardless.
    • 30 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Tycho)
    I fail to see how these weapons give you "ultimate security"? Sure other countries are less likely to attack you, but they are very unlikely to attack you anyway. Don't you see the breathtaking hypocrisy in invading other countries to – apparently – ensure they don’t have WOMD, yet simultaneously advocating a policy of keeping them yourselves? Anyone crazy enough to launch a nuclear warhead is going to ensure that mankind is reduced to the stone age again. It’s not a war that would have any winners, whether you are a nuclear power or not. As Einstein famously said: “I do not know with what weapons World War 3 will be fought, but World War 4 will be fought with sticks and stones”. This might seem like a clever little sound bite, but I suspect it might not be too far from the truth.

    So to conclude, the UK should be setting an example. The whole world needs to rid itself of nuclear weapons as deterrents. With the exception of astronomical cataclysmic events, there is no reason to justify spending billions to keep something that if used will wipe out everyone regardless.
    Less likely? If a country knows you can wipe them out they aren't less likely to attack you, they won't attack you at all. Maybe some countries are unlikely to attack you but the nature of the world is that we don't know what it will be likely in 20 or 30 years. Nuclear weapons make sure no one country ever is going to be make a direct move on us.

    Yeah sure I do. But if being a hypocrite keeps me safe then I'm happy to live with that hypocrisy. Countries do what's in their best interests. That's the world we live in.

    We disarm everyone is going to look at us and go well that's nice of them then continue their day. The best we are going to get is the status quo.
    • 16 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Faustu)
    Where?
    You must have missed this a couple of days ago:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-18509639
    • 16 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Organ)
    Of course with Scotland gone the rump UK would be greatly diminished and would likely not survive long term.
    What kind of an argument is that? You are saying that the remainder of UK won't survive in the long term, yet an independent Scotland would? What drivel!
    • 12 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Good bloke)
    What kind of an argument is that? You are saying that the remainder of UK won't survive in the long term, yet an independent Scotland would? What drivel!
    No, no. I meat a United Kingdom of England, Wales and Northern Ireland would not last long term. You would likely see Irish unification and a growing desire for an independent England as the English people re-identify as being English rather than British. Where that leaves the Welsh who are not in any fit state for independence at the moment I'm not sure. Britishness is basically England + Scotland, if Scotland goes then Britishness in the sense of political unions is dead.
    • 16 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Organ)
    No, no. I meat a United Kingdom of England, Wales and Northern Ireland would not last long term. You would likely see Irish unification and a growing desire for an independent England as the English people re-identify as being English rather than British. Where that leaves the Welsh who are not in any fit state for independence at the moment I'm not sure. Britishness is basically England + Scotland, if Scotland goes then Britishness in the sense of political unions is dead.
    I'm sure a lot of Welsh TSR members will be making their views on your parochialism clear in due course. I don't see any evidence among the English and Welsh of a wish to split, or among most Scots.
    • 12 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Good bloke)
    I'm sure a lot of Welsh TSR members will be making their views on your parochialism clear in due course. I don't see any evidence among the English and Welsh of a wish to split, or among most Scots.
    I'm not sure I have said anything particularly controversial. I'm talking about if Scotland decides to leave - which one third of Scots do - and 1 in 3 is an awful lot of people. If Scotland decides to leave, which is unlikely, but cannot be ignored - then I believe Britishness is dead. It would open up questions regards Welsh identity and English independence/nationalism which has been a dormant issue that I believe has been masked by empire and "Britishness", but if Scotland leaves, then I suspect that these feelings of Englishness that were buried centuries ago, will re-emerge. I don't see any long term future for NI in a union in which Scotland is no longer a part (remember that Unionists in NI are primarily Ulster Scots and that they feel closest to Scotland and not England) and once NI leaves (which it will if Scotland hypothetically leaves) then that would just leave the Welsh question. Britishness was forged in the 1707 union, and it will die if Scotland leaves.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Faustu)
    Currently support for independence in Scotland stands at 1/3 of people (a sizeable minority numbering about 1.7 million people) and there is a possibility it may swing to a majority by the time of the indy referendum in 2014.

    The main impacts I can see on rUK that such an event would have are..


    • The loss of 1/3 of the UK landmass
    • The loss of 11.7% of UK GDP and just under 10% of the population
    • Probably the end of the British nuclear capacity
    • Is the US, going to have a "special" relationship both with rUK and Scotland? Or separately they won't merit that much-touted special relationship? To imagine that the present relationship between the US and the UK would not change drastically is simply not realistic. It will change, but one feels that both England and Scotland would be viewed differently than they are viewed now as the UK; and it is difficult to imagine that they would gain importance in our eyes
    • Would England/rUK keep its seat on the UN Security Council? Why should it? In all probability it would not. Germany, India, Japan and Brazil would probably be the main agitators of this. The last 3 nations would like a permanent seat on the UNSC and may clearly use any basis for change
    • As for the EU, of course many in the EU would like to see the iron grip the UK has over it lessened. England/rUK would no doubt lose in this. It would slip from being nominally the 2nd largest member - in terms of economic size (as part of the UK) to fourth under Italy - a pretty big drop for a powerful nation


    Basically. The way that I see it, Scottish independence would be the end of Westminster's obsession with being a "global player" and all the justifications for it retaining huge defence spending. The UK has such high military spending because it harbours Weapons of Mass Destruction, and it is desperate to continue to be looked at as one of the world's big boys - the ending of the United Kingdom would hopefully see the end of the British state squandering such a vast portion of its wealth on the fourth largest defence budget in the world and spend it on things that are socially useful.

    Much of the domestic and virtually all of the overseas prestige of the British ruling class comes from it's lingering imperial pretensions. Cameron is clear on that point. An independent Scotland is likely to have some approximately social democratic government with the possibility of the left of the SNP splitting. That would be an point of attraction for many in rUK/England so it is likely to change the political landscape of England hugely imo.
    Point 1 Landmass is irrelevant look at canada hardly a superpower despite being massive and britain is quite small yet is more powerful than canada. Scotland is only 8% of the uk population and its economy is about 9.8% of the total Uk.The thing is future GDP can increase either through adding more people to a country or a income per head both of which is happening in the rest of the Uk. Britains population is increasing by 450000 a year most of which is coming from england, wales an N ireland and as north sea oil dries up and shale gas become more important the economic importance of Scotland to the rest of the Uk is likely to decrease. Also nuclear wise there are some areas were the subs can be placed the welsh first minister released a statement saying that the subs would be welcome in wales or they could simply design nuclear warheads to be used by thr RAF or The FAA instead. As for the UNSC it will most likely be expanded to 9 nations rather than one being thrown out. As for the EU it would simply be the third largest economy but with a larger distance between us and France still ahead of Italy. Britain doesn't spend vast sums on it's defence it spends about 2.5% of GDP whilst america spend around 4%. Also it's unlikely that Scotland will go for it last poll showed that support for independence dipped by 3% it normally is between 28-35%. P.s I'm Scottish
    • 14 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    The Welsh government has offered to have Pembroke as an alternative location for the nuclear submarines etc.
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by JohnS17)
    P.s I'm Scottish
    Out of curiosity, do you think that Scotland would be better or worse off in the long run, should this referendum be successful?
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Worse off to begin with i think that with a sizeable amount of oil we could finance the extra amount of money we spend per head but as that begins to run out i fail to see how we could use renewable to power fund the deficit as it require heavy subsidies that woul;d either have to come from the scottish goverment or the consumers.
    • 13 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Don't see why the rest of the UK would lose its seat in the UNSC. Russia took the USSR's seat when it broke up, so even it the UK broke up entirely I'm sure England would take the seat.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Good bloke)
    I'm sure a lot of Welsh TSR members will be making their views on your parochialism clear in due course. I don't see any evidence among the English and Welsh of a wish to split, or among most Scots.
    Appetite for independence in Wales at the moment is very low, I believe one poll addressed the possibility of scottish independence and that didn't change the outcome much either. However I can't say for certain what wales' future would be post scottish independence, should it happen. Regardless of the opinion in wales, if appetite for independence in england is strong enough then the union wouldn't remain, particularly if NI were to leave too. Most people agree that wales isn't in a position to survive as an independent country, but that's not necessary for independence to happen - all that is needed is politicians who can convince enough people that it could.

    Conversely I could see a UK consisting of england, wales and northern ireland surviving if both wales and NI become seen as more active and respected participants and some balance and equality between the three is restored (I suspect carwyn's offer of housing the nuclear subs in wales is a move of that nature).

    Still I shouldn't speculate much, this referendum hasn't happened yet and at the moment it's looking like scottish independence will not happen anyway.
    • 14 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ShaqZigWINNER64)
    Appetite for independence in Wales at the moment is very low, I believe one poll addressed the possibility of scottish independence and that didn't change the outcome much either. However I can't say for certain what wales' future would be post scottish independence, should it happen. Regardless of the opinion in wales, if appetite for independence in england is strong enough then the union wouldn't remain, particularly if NI were to leave too. Most people agree that wales isn't in a position to survive as an independent country, but that's not necessary for independence to happen - all that is needed is politicians who can convince enough people that it could.

    Conversely I could see a UK consisting of england, wales and northern ireland surviving if both wales and NI become seen as more active and respected participants and some balance and equality between the three is restored (I suspect carwyn's offer of housing the nuclear subs in wales is a move of that nature).

    Still I shouldn't speculate much, this referendum hasn't happened yet and at the moment it's looking like scottish independence will not happen anyway.
    This is the poll you're referring to: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wa...1466-30435578/

    The ICM poll, carried out for BBC Wales to mark St David’s Day, found just 7% of people want Wales to break away from the rest of the UK, a figure that grew to 12% if Scotland were to vote yes in its independence referendum.

Reply

Submit reply

Register

Thanks for posting! You just need to create an account in order to submit the post
  1. this can't be left blank
    that username has been taken, please choose another Forgotten your password?
  2. this can't be left blank
    this email is already registered. Forgotten your password?
  3. this can't be left blank

    6 characters or longer with both numbers and letters is safer

  4. this can't be left empty
    your full birthday is required
  1. By joining you agree to our Ts and Cs, privacy policy and site rules

  2. Slide to join now Processing…

Updated: July 8, 2012
New on TSR

The future of apprenticeships

Join the discussion in the apprenticeships hub!

Article updates
Useful resources
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.