Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

why should the UK exist and what arguments are there for keeping it together? Watch

    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    The arguments used to keep it together don't make sense:

    - We would lose global influence

    So? isn't the UK now globally influential due to England, not Scotland, Wales or Ulster? Where does the large GDP (mostly) come from? Where is the UK's capital (as arguably the world's major city) situated?

    Why is the worth of a country based on how influential it is? China is becoming more influential, but they stop their citizens from viewing certain internet sites, they only let families have one child, they deem persons who legitimately speak out against the government as mentally ill. What good then is "influence", if a country is like China? Does influence excuse how ****** life is for the average Chinese?

    - Our constituent countries couldn't survive as sovereign states

    I don't get this standpoint. England could, without much question, and for reasons I've touched on before now. Scotland could initially rely on fossil fuels. I'm not sure about Wales or Northern Ireland, but they could follow Ireland's lead and make themselves more attractive to investment. The key is finding what Wales or Northern Ireland would have comparative or absolute advantages in.

    so why should the UK remain as it is?
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    mate, its 4:16 in the morning. chill with the thought provoking questions yeh?
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Without global influence we would lose a lot of power over our sovereignty. Without our sovereignty we simply would not be able to operate our countries in the way that you admire in your post. Also, i'm not sure if you missed the memo or not but our GDP and qualities of lives are directly linked to our global influence as well.
    Online

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by rajandkwameali)
    so why should the UK remain as it is?
    Considering you are - at least apparently - arguing for the most major political upheaval in the British Isles in centuries, I really think it is down to you to justify why it should change.

    That change would be massively expensive: countless new departments of state would need to be created in the various countries and public services would need to be de-integrated and rebuilt to function independently.

    The UK is the most successful state union in history, I would say. By common endeavour, we have accomplished rather great things whilst - unlike other political unions - being able to be both British and maintain our local identities - whether English, Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish - just as strongly.

    The arguments used to keep it together don't make sense:

    - We would lose global influence

    So? isn't the UK now globally influential due to England, not Scotland, Wales or Ulster? Where does the large GDP (mostly) come from? Where is the UK's capital (as arguably the world's major city) situated?

    Why is the worth of a country based on how influential it is? China is becoming more influential, but they stop their citizens from viewing certain internet sites, they only let families have one child, they deem persons who legitimately speak out against the government as mentally ill. What good then is "influence", if a country is like China? Does influence excuse how ****** life is for the average Chinese?
    That's a very weak argument. A country's international influence is a good thing - that doesn't mean it is a panacea for all a nation's problems. Whilst China does have influence, that won't cure its poverty or human rights abuses.

    But yes, of course it will lose us influence. Most notably and obviously our seat on the UN Security Council, not to mention our status as having one of the most effective armed forces in the world.

    - Our constituent countries couldn't survive as sovereign states

    I don't get this standpoint. England could, without much question, and for reasons I've touched on before now. Scotland could initially rely on fossil fuels. I'm not sure about Wales or Northern Ireland, but they could follow Ireland's lead and make themselves more attractive to investment. The key is finding what Wales or Northern Ireland would have comparative or absolute advantages in.
    I don't think it is an argument which is actually made by anyone. Somalia 'survives' as a sovereign state, Monaco does the same - the size and economic standing of an area never makes statehood impossible, simply impractical.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    OK, but you still haven't said what good holding influence is, or why the value of a country is or should be based on how much influence it holds. Is holding influence just the international relations equivalent of ****-swinging?

    But yes, of course it will lose us influence. Most notably and obviously our seat on the UN Security Council, not to mention our status as having one of the most effective armed forces in the world.
    so? Again, is this just ****-swinging, or is there any tangible or reasoned argument here?

    Without our sovereignty we simply would not be able to operate our countries in the way that you admire in your post. Also, i'm not sure if you missed the memo or not but our GDP and qualities of lives are directly linked to our global influence as well.
    I did not mention quality of life. My point was that an indepedent England (i'm not Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish, so what happens to them is by the by for me) would retain much of this international influence the UK currently has, and is the reason why the UK is internationally influential (and perhaps always has been).
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    To be honest, I wouldn't be all that upset if Scotland left the union. If that is what the Scots wish, then who are the English to keep them in the union against their will. I don't favour change for change's sake, but if there is a referendum in Scotland that comes out in support of leaving the union then the government in Westminster fulfil the wishes of the Scottish electorate. England will carry on fine with or without Scotland, as arguably Scotland needs England more than the English need Scotland.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    As one nation state, the constituent countries share resources, support each other and promote tolerance of one another. It's economically and socially advantageous. Personally, it's less of a question of "why?", and more of a question of "why not?"
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by L i b)
    Considering you are - at least apparently - arguing for the most major political upheaval in the British Isles in centuries, I really think it is down to you to justify why it should change.

    That change would be massively expensive: countless new departments of state would need to be created in the various countries and public services would need to be de-integrated and rebuilt to function independently.

    The UK is the most successful state union in history, I would say. By common endeavour, we have accomplished rather great things whilst - unlike other political unions - being able to be both British and maintain our local identities - whether English, Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish - just as strongly.



    That's a very weak argument. A country's international influence is a good thing - that doesn't mean it is a panacea for all a nation's problems. Whilst China does have influence, that won't cure its poverty or human rights abuses.

    But yes, of course it will lose us influence. Most notably and obviously our seat on the UN Security Council, not to mention our status as having one of the most effective armed forces in the world.



    I don't think it is an argument which is actually made by anyone. Somalia 'survives' as a sovereign state, Monaco does the same - the size and economic standing of an area never makes statehood impossible, simply impractical.
    I don't understand that bit. I'm just talking from a Scottish perspective btw. We already have independent health, education and law(and church which is one of the main reason we have them) from the UK. Aren't these already functioning independently.
    Online

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by wilko1991)
    I don't understand that bit. I'm just talking from a Scottish perspective btw. We already have independent health, education and law(and church which is one of the main reason we have them) from the UK. Aren't these already functioning independently.
    That's not strictly true in some areas: the NHS, whilst politically separate in Scotland, is operationally integrated across GB (the NI situation is different). However there are plenty of public services and other state institutions that are very much singular across the UK: bodies like the DVLA, Passport Authority, Jobcentres, HMRC etc.

    Like the NHS, a lot of issues aren't black and white in terms of responsibility; whilst policing is a devolved matter with regional policing authorities, there is still an overlap: the Metropolitan Police has national duties in dealing with terrorism, diplomatic and royal protection etc, and policing is often functionally brought together when the necessity exists. Take for example the G8 Summit at Gleneagles - in Perthshire that week there were police officers and equipment from all over the UK in active service, combined for one event.

    But I suppose this is of secondary importance and expense to issues like defence, foreign affairs, taxation (the creation of a Scottish Treasury and revenue body would be a particular burden), national security and counterterrorism etc. These would be the major areas which would require building-up, and frankly I simply don't think an independent Scotland could or would sustain the same levels of service that we can co-ordinate on a UK level.
    Online

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by rajandkwameali)
    OK, but you still haven't said what good holding influence is, or why the value of a country is or should be based on how much influence it holds. Is holding influence just the international relations equivalent of ****-swinging?
    I should think it is obvious: a government unable to set its agenda is useless. A state that cannot exert influence, whether over its population or over other states (and in an increasingly globalised world, one largely depends on the other), is worthless. No government can further its agenda without international co-operation, and co-operation is dependent on influence and standing.

    I did not mention quality of life. My point was that an indepedent England (i'm not Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish, so what happens to them is by the by for me) would retain much of this international influence the UK currently has, and is the reason why the UK is internationally influential (and perhaps always has been).
    England would not be anywhere near as internationally influential as the United Kingdom is now. A lot of our status we owe to what we were and who we are rather than what we are - to ignore that is exceptionally naive.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    [QUOTE=rajandkwameali]OK, but you still haven't said what good holding influence is, or why the value of a country is or should be based on how much influence it holds.QUOTE]

    That is a supremely basic question. 'Why is holding influence good?'

    Well, why is holding influence in any area of life good- because you can shape an agenda to fit your own needs and goals. The most basic benefit of 'influence' is that dealing with other nations and remaining a major player allows the UK to prosper and to enjoy substantially better living conditions than many places around the globe. We can afford public services and personal possessions beyond imagination for many countries...
    I can't help but feel that this is something of an idiotic post by OP.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I bet the Liblabcons will split our once great nation.BNP is our only hope
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by L i b)
    I should think it is obvious: a government unable to set its agenda is useless. A state that cannot exert influence, whether over its population or over other states (and in an increasingly globalised world, one largely depends on the other), is worthless. No government can further its agenda without international co-operation, and co-operation is dependent on influence and standing.



    England would not be anywhere near as internationally influential as the United Kingdom is now. A lot of our status we owe to what we were and who we are rather than what we are - to ignore that is exceptionally naive.
    But nobody, apart from the British, cares about the Empire. I don't see how it is naivety at play. I think the UK is still respected for what we are. We have world class institutions in many areas.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    [QUOTE=dannymccs]
    (Original post by rajandkwameali)
    OK, but you still haven't said what good holding influence is, or why the value of a country is or should be based on how much influence it holds.QUOTE]

    That is a supremely basic question. 'Why is holding influence good?'

    Well, why is holding influence in any area of life good- because you can shape an agenda to fit your own needs and goals. The most basic benefit of 'influence' is that dealing with other nations and remaining a major player allows the UK to prosper and to enjoy substantially better living conditions than many places around the globe. We can afford public services and personal possessions beyond imagination for many countries...
    I can't help but feel that this is something of an idiotic post by OP.
    I can't help but feel that your post is economically illiterate.

    UK GDP per capita is in the lower half of the top 30 in the world. So is out UN HDI rating. In terms of raw living standards, quite a few EU countries outdo us. A country's wealth has little to do with its standing in the world. If this is the case, how can Ireland is smaller in standing than we are, but is wealthier? The same can be said about Luxembourg or Denmark.

    I'm not an economist, but IMO the key to a country's living standards are improvements in productivity, ease to do business, and investment in strong public services.

    UK public services are still worse than in other EU countries, so what good is being an influential country internationally regarding our living standards? :confused:

    What has made the UK wealthy, in recent times, is structural change under Thatcher and increased worker productivity under Major, Blair and Brown. I don't see how this is related to our international standing.
    Online

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by rajandkwameali)
    UK public services are still worse than in other EU countries, so what good is being an influential country internationally regarding our living standards? :confused:
    Where did anyone say the two were linked?

    Public services largely depend on taxation levels, investment and infrastructure not international influence.

    And for the other fellow:
    I'm not an economist, but IMO the key to a country's living standards are improvements in productivity, ease to do business, and investment in strong public services.
    These seem to me to be contradictory ideals.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    What would England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland actually gain by separating? Wouldn't disbanding the UK just be too much hassle for too little gain (if any)?
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Random thoughts (each paragraph is self-contained):

    A reason for unity is it saves the stress of having a border to potentially defend (not just against the Scots hehe but what if they got invaded? Or vice versa). I know we do have a border at the moment. Maybe we should think about getting rid of it, maybe this will be a possibility sometime soonish (Ireland unified)?

    I think England could have done fine without the others, in terms of empire-building etc, except for the distraction of potential wars. Economically etc I don't see that being Britain made so much of a difference. For the record, what language do they speak in Scotland? (sorry, had to be said!)

    Things like UN Sec Coun seat wouldn't be a big issue, they would sort something out like rotating it.

    If we want to be one country permanently we should head for further assimilation of identity, literally let future generations forget to call themselves Welsh etc, rather than the current appeasement-style policies. No one's arguing for an independent Berkshire even though the people there once had their own language and culture - that genuine regional (national?) identity has simply been forgotten.
    ...I guess things like the separate legal systems, which would be really tricky to combine, have just kept the disunity flame smouldering enough to reignite now. Another one is the language, 'English' - if we want combined identity we should really start talking about the 'British' language. How does that strike you?

    When studying History I saw an old document describing Perth as a town in 'North Britain'. Could that idea come true?

    I think we need to get over this idea of Britain's 'place in the world', dominance, power, leadership, influence, etc. We're now a small country again and we'd probably do best to work within that concept. Now is a crucial time to achieve that, as the empire fades out of living memory.


    Random, as advertised. I'm not pro- or anti-union, it's just the stuff I thought of while reading through the thread.
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Would you like to hibernate through the winter months?
    Useful resources

    Groups associated with this forum:

    View associated groups
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.