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    If you take a look at the opinion polling for Scottish independence now (link below) pretty much every poll, but the odd few, say if there was a second referendum Scotland would vote to stay in the United Kingdom.

    This is basically exactly the same as the opinion polling had been during the 2014 referendum, which resulted in Scotland voting to stay in the United Kingdom. So, basically, it's not certain that Scotland would vote in favour to stay in the EU, if it did it's not certain that they'd get a second referendum and if they did it's by far not certain (highly unlikely, judging by this and what we've learnt before) that they'd vote to leave the UK.

    As a result, I really think an independent Scotland is, at most, a very minor risk to Voting to Leave the EU.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_independence
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    (Original post by Thutmose-III)
    Utter nonsense and wishful thinking to boot.

    If Cameron attempts to override a Brexit result, he will be toppled by his own party. There are many Remain-inclined MPs who would not be so dishonourable as to ignore the result of a public referendum, they will see they lost fair and square and vote accordingly.

    The referendum is politically binding, everyone has made clear there will be no second referendum. Pro-Brexit Conservatives, Conservatives who don't want to be de-selected and pro-Brexit faction of the Labour Party will constitute majority in parliament.

    The arrogant and delusional Remain MPs who attempt to fix remaining in the EU out of a Brexit result will be signing their political death warrants.
    You have this completely and utterly wrong. The referendum result is politically binding on Cameron and senior members of the government who will loyally try and implement a Leave decision.

    Sturgeon will certainly not see a Leave vote as politically binding on the SNP and probably the same can be said for all the minor parties. Corbyn's line all along is that this referendum is a spat in the Tory Party. Although Corbyn personally has no affection for the EU probably fewer than 30 of his backbenchers favour Brexit. Corbyn has adopted a line which gives him freedom of action to reject a referendum decision.

    Europhile Tories, particularly if their constituency has voted Remain, may convince themselves on whatever grounds that they are not bound to vote in favour of Brexit. They may not vote against the legislation, they may just abstain.

    However the main problem for Cameron trying to carry Brexit legislation will be lack of support amongst MPs who vote Leave. The key faultline is between those Leave Tory MPs for whom tariff-free trade with Europe is the key term in any negotiated exit and those Leave MPs for whom no free movement of labour is the key term in any negotiated exit. We won't be able to have both. Whichever way Cameron argues it (and clearly Osborne's inclination is for the primacy of tariff-free trade) the other Brexit group is unlikely to back the legislation.

    The only way Cameron would get his legislation through is via another referendum and the position is no better with any other Tory leader.

    Your mistake is to see Cameron as trying to sabotage a Brexit vote. His true problem is inability to loyally deliver it. We had an example of this in the last Parliament when Cameron was unable to deliver the constitutional reform deal he had made with the Liberals. Similarly, the Labour government's devolution plans failed in 1979 because the SNP opposed them and backed abstentionism (where because of the need for a minimum level of support abstention equated to a "no" vote)
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    Whilst Cameron possibly cannot deliver, the resulting bloodbath in the Conservative party might kill it.

    I really cannot see the Conservative party thwarting the electorate and surviving in government. I would more expect the government losing a vote of confidence and a general election rather than referendum 2

    How the electorate would then behave is pretty difficult to predict, both main parties could suffer massive damage if they both refused to follow the referendum outcome, I would not like to predict the winners and losers.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    I appreciate that this was, for obvious reasons, the line that was being advanced before the referendum vote. However, with the fait accompli of an independence vote, it is difficult to see that being sustained. There would have been a fudge; probably some political punishment for Scotland such as exclusion from the European Council for a period of years.
    May I ask your opinion on whether we should stay or leave?
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    (Original post by Fenice)
    I am leaning towards voting to leave the EU. The only major thing staying my decision is the possibility of Scotland leaving the union in the event of Brexit. I remember this possibility being raised early on but it seems to have been entirely ignored in recent interviews and debates.

    I would like to know how probable this is.
    I may be wrong but I think I remember that before the Scottish referendum the EU said Scotland wouldn't be guaranteed membership if they left the UK. So if Brexit does go ahead and Scotland leaves, it would be funny if the EU wouldn't take them!
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    If the UK votes to leave then Cameron will be a non-issue because he'll resign that day. The rest of the summer will see no real movement on the EU issue as various Tory factions begin to tear into each other and a new leader is elected. How kind the parliamentary party will be in the exit negotiations will depend on who wins, i can't for a second imagine Cameron loyalists backing somebody as opportunistic as Boris (who actually has only rather mild support in the commons) and equally i can't imagine Brexit people backing Osbourne.

    Sometime around Christmas is when the fun begins as by then the SNP will have made some kind of push for independence (probably with Green backing) and the exit negotiations begin with the vision of what comes next laid out.

    That said, i don't believe that the UK will leave the EU or that Scotland will leave the UK. If there was an opportunity for the SNP to push independence, it was after the general election last year.
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    If the UK votes to leave then Cameron will be a non-issue because he'll resign that day. The rest of the summer will see no real movement on the EU issue as various Tory factions begin to tear into each other and a new leader is elected. How kind the parliamentary party will be in the exit negotiations will depend on who wins, i can't for a second imagine Cameron loyalists backing somebody as opportunistic as Boris (who actually has only rather mild support in the commons) and equally i can't imagine Brexit people backing Osbourne.

    Sometime around Christmas is when the fun begins as by then the SNP will have made some kind of push for independence (probably with Green backing) and the exit negotiations begin with the vision of what comes next laid out.

    That said, i don't believe that the UK will leave the EU or that Scotland will leave the UK. If there was an opportunity for the SNP to push independence, it was after the general election last year.
    Cameron probably won't resign, nor should he, nkr should any attempted MoNC pass. The last thing Britain needs at that point is a leadership battle and an acting PM. If he doesn't have a cabinet reshuffle putting a eurosceptic in charge of dealing with the EU and other trade partners that's another matter. But while he may be a wet he isn't an idiot and probably has a new cabinet to announce over the post brexit weekend to neutralise the threat because he isn't an idiot.

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    (Original post by Fenice)
    May I ask your opinion on whether we should stay or leave?
    Do you mean the UK in the EU or Scotland in the UK?

    On the first, I favour Remain.

    Sovereignty in the sense in which Brexiters use it, hasn't really existed in the West since WWII even for the USA. That sense of sovereignty amounts to "we'll do what we like and no-one else can impose any consequences on our decisions". It is an irrelevance.

    My view is that immigration is broadly a good thing where the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. Most, not all Brexit, supporters favour targeted immigration and there is an argument that targeted immigration improves the outcome over a free for all. I think in practice that doesn't happen. I accept that immigration does not favour a minority of the population.

    I think the mainstream economic benefits are in favour of Remain and anyone who suggests the contrary is really in La La Land. The truth is that Brexit can give you no immigration and freedom from the western political and economic order in return for a much reduced standard of living.

    There would minor national security drawbacks from Brexit but not enough that it should sway anyone's decision-making. I don't think it has any bearing on world peace (Germany isn't going to invade France, or Russia invade Estonia because the UK leaves the EU). It won't forge any new relationship with the Commonwealth. It won't improve or detract from human rights or workers' rights.
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    If the UK votes to leave then Cameron will be a non-issue because he'll resign that day.
    I think he would want to resign but I don't think he has that freedom. Boris has already said he must stay on and I don't think Gove or, whatever their views are worth in a Brexit scenario, May or Osborne would let him go either. However, I think the key bar to him resigning will be HMQ.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    Sovereignty in the sense Brexiters use it, hasn't really existed in the West since WWII even for the USA. That sense of sovereignty amounts to "we'll do what we like and no-one else can impose any consequences on our decisions". It is an irrelevance.

    My view is that immigration is broadly a good thing where the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. Most, not all Brexit, supporters favour targeted immigration and there is an argument that targeted immigration improves the outcome over a free for all. I think in practice that doesn't happen. I accept that immigration does not favour a minority of the population.

    I think the mainstream economic benefits are in favour of Remain and anyone who suggests the contrary is really in La La Land. The truth is that Brexit can give you no immigration and freedom from the western political and economic order in return for a much reduced standard of living.

    There would minor national security drawbacks from Brexit but not enough that it should sway anyone's decision-making. I don't think it has any bearing on world peace (Germany isn't going to invade France, or Russia invade Estonia because the UK leaves the EU). It won't forge any new relationship with the Commonwealth. It won't improve or detract from human rights or workers' rights.
    Interesting - I was referring to the EU. I consider myself well-informed on most major issues but like many people I feel almost entirely without any decisive facts about the EU. That is perhaps not an inadvisable reason to vote to leave in itself.

    From what I have been able to conclude the risks of leaving are not demonstrably greater than the risks of staying. It reminds me of those doctors reminding people that not medicating young people with mental illnesses is as much as if not even more of a risk than doing nothing.

    On the issue of sovereignty I am not sure I agree. Foreign influence is one unavoidable thing but that does not involve law-makers whose primary interests all lie in their own countries and who the populations of EU states have not elected and cannot dismiss creating a large number of that nation's laws. That to me is a fundamentally dangerous and unhealthy state of affairs which should not be tolerated and is not comparable to the kind of influence to which I believe you refer.

    There is also the matter of being part of an ever-greater political union which EU officials openly boast of working for which will further exacerbate this democratic deficit and degrade the cultural identities of individual member states.

    I don't have any objections to immigration in principle though I am uneasy about the scale of it in recent years and the strain this has on public services which affects a majority and not a minority of the population.

    I have yet to see any convincing evidence that remaining would ultimately be of net interest to us and that leaving would leave us poorer in any way. The EU seems to me tumourously bureaucratic and an ego trip for a small clique of career politicians based on the undemocratic and unworkable idea that a large and ever increasing number of major world powers can and should make each other's laws. I am open to being persuaded (Paypal only please)
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    (Original post by Fenice)
    Interesting - I was referring to the EU. I consider myself well-informed on most major issues but like many people I feel almost entirely without any decisive facts about the EU. That is perhaps not an inadvisable reason to vote to leave in itself.

    From what I have been able to conclude the risks of leaving are not demonstrably greater than the risks of staying. It reminds me of those doctors reminding people that not medicating young people with mental illnesses is as much as if not even more of a risk than doing nothing.
    This has got lost in the noise. Anyone who is offering economic modelling is coming down firmly against Brexit.

    You have got various people offering different views on the political future, but you might as well look in a crystal ball because the external variables are vastly more significant than whether we stay or go. Both sides are playing this game and both sides are vastly overplaying the political risks.

    You then have a few economists who are basically wishing to change the economy, usually, but not exclusively, in a radically deregulated direction who see Brexit as an opportunity to do so. If you are a revolutionary, wanting to remodel society, you need some kind of discontinuance in the established order and Brexit is more likely than an armed uprising in Goldalming.

    But every economic forecaster, extrapolating from the present and crunching the numbers says we will be significantly poorer if we leave.

    On the issue of sovereignty I am not sure I agree. Foreign influence is one unavoidable thing but that does not involve law-makers whose primary interests all lie in their own countries and who the populations of EU states have not elected and cannot dismiss creating a large number of that nation's laws. That to me is a fundamentally dangerous and unhealthy state of affairs which should not be tolerated and is not comparable to the kind of influence to which I believe you refer.
    You are still looking at a theoretical model of sovereignty.

    To all intents and purposes the EU has banned capital punishment in America and the United States has banned the original Land Rover. The EU has introduced VAT in West Virginia and the United States has outlawed non-electronic passports in the rest of the world.

    Globalisation diminishes sovereignty. If the EU bans a food additive after Brexit, that food additive will disappear from the UK market regardless of public opinion unless Parliament decides to create a siege economy about that item by requiring (not merely permitting) its use and subsidising its production.



    There is also the matter of being part of an ever-greater political union which EU officials openly boast of working for which will further exacerbate this democratic deficit and degrade the cultural identities of individual member states.
    This is really Cameron's one and only victory in his re-negotiation. "Ever closer union" isn't an issue at the political level in the EU Council but it is significant at the administrative level in the Commission and more so at the judicial level. Stopping a single direction of travel in EU decision-making will have an effect.

    I don't have any objections to immigration in principle though I am uneasy about the scale of it in recent years and the strain this has on public services which affects a majority and not a minority of the population.
    Everyone in the economy is both a giver (either by directly providing services or by paying taxes) and a receiver of services and the present state of the economy is the net result of all that giving and all that receiving. Each individual person in the economy doesn't contribute equally at any moment in time or indeed over a lifetime.

    If we suddenly add a lot more economically active, working age people in good health for whose childhood we have not had to pay to the economy, it is ridiculous to say that this will add a net burden to the economy. If that was the case, the UK should have been encouraging economically active, working age Brits in good health to emigrate, because it would have made those of us who stayed richer.
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    (Original post by Thutmose-III)
    Let them go. Europe is stagnating and so is Scotland. Let them stagnate together.
    And England, Wales and NI isn't stagnating? Have you not seen the rather dismal economic figures of late? Manufacturing in recession again, wage growth lower than expected and inflation teetering just above zero with interest rates at a record low of almost nothing for the last 6 years. That doesn't present a powerhouse of an economy to me.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    I think he would want to resign but I don't think he has that freedom. Boris has already said he must stay on and I don't think Gove or, whatever their views are worth in a Brexit scenario, May or Osborne would let him go either. However, I think the key bar to him resigning will be HMQ.
    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    Cameron probably won't resign, nor should he, nkr should any attempted MoNC pass. The last thing Britain needs at that point is a leadership battle and an acting PM. If he doesn't have a cabinet reshuffle putting a eurosceptic in charge of dealing with the EU and other trade partners that's another matter. But while he may be a wet he isn't an idiot and probably has a new cabinet to announce over the post brexit weekend to neutralise the threat because he isn't an idiot.

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    While these are good points i'm thinking back to the morning of the Scottish referendum where it was widely believed he'd written a resignation letter. While leaving the EU is nowhere near as bad as losing a part of your country i suspect that having cowed to the Euro-skeptics in such a public way and the EU issue being pretty important to a fair segment of the population that he'd probably be sufficiently wounded that he'd feel he could not stay. I doubt he really wants to spend another 3 years having to quibble about which Brexit policies the skeptics will approve of since he'd no doubt need to retain some involvement in exit negotiations as the sitting PM.
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    (Original post by Fenice)
    I am leaning towards voting to leave the EU. The only major thing staying my decision is the possibility of Scotland leaving the union in the event of Brexit. I remember this possibility being raised early on but it seems to have been entirely ignored in recent interviews and debates.

    I would like to know how probable this is.
    "Scotland being taken out of the EU against its will" was one of a range of possible manufactured events that would constitute a "material change in circumstances", that the SNP would hope to capitalise on to obtain another referendum.

    Or so they said.

    But several things have happened. Firstly, and most recently and surprisingly, the SNP have lost their majority in the Scottish parliament, and will be governing with a minority. Of course, they still won almost half of the constituency votes and have more than double the amount of seats that the opposition does, but with a slightly reduced mandate I don't think they will be as quick to call a referendum than when they had a majority.

    I actually think that much of the independence talk from the SNP was a ploy to keep the hardcore nationalists onside. I'm sure that the SNP don't want to risk losing a second time, and although there are plenty of people in their ranks that refuse to believe the reasons they lost the first time, there are also plenty of people who can and have performed the analysis. Which leads me onto the second point.

    The economic situation in Scotland has changed since the referendum, and not for the better. It would be a more risky proposition to call for a referendum now, because the economy was one of the key reasons why the SNP lost the last one. I think it would be quite a bizarre argument that we would be better off outside the UK but in the EU than vice versa. And a lot of Scots aren't massive Europhiles anyway - their stance is probably more based on what Nicola Sturgeon tells them it should be. If we do have another referendum based on EU vs UK membership, these arguments would really come under scrutiny and I'm not sure that the SNP would really want that.

    In reality, I think that the SNP would be quite happy to be quiet about a referendum for the next few years while they regroup and aim to regain their majority at Holyrood. One thing that Sturgeon is right about is that it is mainly the pro-Union parties that keep bringing up a second referendum.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    You are still looking at a theoretical model of sovereignty.

    To all intents and purposes the EU has banned capital punishment in America and the United States has banned the original Land Rover. The EU has introduced VAT in West Virginia and the United States has outlawed non-electronic passports in the rest of the world.

    Globalisation diminishes sovereignty. If the EU bans a food additive after Brexit, that food additive will disappear from the UK market regardless of public opinion unless Parliament decides to create a siege economy about that item by requiring (not merely permitting) its use and subsidising its production.
    That is true only for marginal issues.

    The EU adopting the Euro has not imposed the Euro on Britain. The Euro has created a second Great Depression in Spain, Italy, and Greece. If we had "moved to the heart of Europe" we would have the Euro today. If we had listened to the economic modellers we would have the Euro today.

    The standard of living in Singapore is three times higher than in Portugal. This disparity is due to differences in policy permitted by the world system but not by the EU. Portugal is in the EU; Singapore is not.
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    That is true only for marginal issues.

    The EU adopting the Euro has not imposed the Euro on Britain. The Euro has created a second Great Depression in Spain, Italy, and Greece. If we had "moved to the heart of Europe" we would have the Euro today. If we had listened to the economic modellers we would have the Euro today.
    No. There was no consensus on the financial merits of the UK joining the Euro.

    Moreover, even with 20/20 hindsight as to the events of the last eight years, all you need to do to make historic membership of the Euro appear more beneficial to the UK is to fiddle the initial joining rate.


    The standard of living in Singapore is three times higher than in Portugal. This disparity is due to differences in policy permitted by the world system but not by the EU. Portugal is in the EU; Singapore is not.
    Both sides of the debate are making proof by random irrelevant statistics.

    Over the period of Portugal's membership of the EU, Portugal's standard of living has increased over 33% more than Canada's.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    However, with SNP support past its peak and the Tories playing a more explicitly Unionist card than did Labour, it is a dangerous game.
    I'm not sure if we can say for certain that SNP support is past its peak, or whether the latest Holyrood election was a small blip in an overall increasingly nationalist trend. It was only last year that there was a nationalist tsunami at the GE.

    And even if we have past peak SNP support, that does not necessarily mean that we have past peak independence support. There are other parties poised to gain from the independence supporters fed up of the faux leftism from the SNP, such as the Greens.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    No. There was no consensus on the financial merits of the UK joining the Euro.

    Moreover, even with 20/20 hindsight as to the events of the last eight years, all you need to do to make historic membership of the Euro appear more beneficial to the UK is to fiddle the initial joining rate.
    Here is Wikipedia:

    The entry of the UK into the eurozone would likely result in an increase in trade with the other members of the eurozone.[12] It could also have a stabilising effect on the stock market prices in the UK.[13] A simulation of the entry in 1999 indicated that it would have had an overall positive, though small, effect in the long term on the UK GDP if the entry had been made with the rate of exchange of the pound to the euro at that time. With a lower rate of exchange, the entry would have had more clearly a positive effect on the UK GDP.[14] A 2009 study about the effect of an entry in the coming years claimed that the effect would likely be positive, improving the stability for the UK economy.[15]
    14: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/dae/repec/...f/cwpe0528.pdf Cambridge, Cambridge, Birkbeck

    Note this paper was written before the financial crisis and makes no mention of the risk of Euro inflexibility in the face of recessions; this factor was not considered to be outweighed by other positive factors, it was just ignored.

    15: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.c...act_id=1391841 Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

    Written just after the financial crisis hit, but before the Eurozone started underperforming. Again, no mention of bad monetary policy risk.

    If there were major open letters by economists to papers predicting the Euro would be harmful, or modelling predicting it would be harmful, please link those to me.

    The wider problem is that if economic modelling as a science works, Gosplan should have worked. If Gosplan worked, being part of a regulatory omnistate that produce 5,000 pages of rules how to classify a grapefruit would be a good idea. Problem is Gosplan didn't work, and similar institutions elsewhere have never worked. So should not surprise anyone that Singapore outperforms the EU Commission, yet academia is perpetually surprised.

    Both sides of the debate are making proof by random irrelevant statistics.

    Over the period of Portugal's membership of the EU, Portugal's standard of living has increased over 33% more than Canada's.
    I do not think this is irrelevant, I think it is devastating for the case for the EU.

    The theory that institutions are irrelevant or at least relatively fixed, and success comes from power and scale, cannot explain the relative success of Singapore over Portugal.

    The theory that institutions are important and relatively flexible, while power and scale are at best minor factors, can easily explain the relative success of Singapore over Portugal.
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    There is a pro-independence majority at Holyrood, and the Greens have already said they would support another referendum in the event of an OUT vote. I know many people who gave their second vote to the Greens who are normally SNP voters.
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    If there were major open letters by economists to papers predicting the Euro would be harmful, or modelling predicting it would be harmful, please link those to me.

    In 1997 HM Treasury asked the question "in summary will joining the EMU promote higher growth, stability and a lasting increase in jobs?" and answered "no". In 2003 it asked the same question again and on this occasion answered "yes but only if sustainable and durable convergence between business cycles and economic structures was achieved and that had not yet been achieved". The Economist magazine considered the same question in 2002 and came to the conclusion "no". I cannot find anyone purporting to do an economic analysis between 1997 and the present day who has answered the Treasury question as an unequivocal and unconditional "yes".



    The wider problem is that if economic modelling as a science works, Gosplan should have worked.
    I do not think that any Soviet leader after Stalin was unaware of the economic failings of his country due to an inability to model those failings. The position with Stalin was somewhat different, but executing people who bring you bad news tends to distort statistical results.

    In 1912 Thomas Andrews accurately modelled the effect of the collision of a large passenger liner with an iceberg. What good did it do?


    I do not think this is irrelevant, I think it is devastating for the case for the EU.
    You think that it is devastating for the EU that an EU member not very typical of the UK underperformed a non-EU microstate utterly untypical of any EU state other than (at a considerable stretch given its lack of seaboard) Luxembourg?
 
 
 
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