Earlier this week, British author J.K. Rowling – her of the Harry Potter series of novels – announced her opposition to the coming referendum on Scottish independence, donating a sum of £1 million to the anti-independence side this past week:
“I came to the question of independence with an open mind and an awareness of the seriousness of what we are being asked to decide,” Rowling wrote on her blog. “I wanted to write this because I always prefer to explain in my own words why I am supporting a cause and it will be made public shortly that I’ve made a substantial donation to the Better Together Campaign, which advocates keeping Scotland part of the United Kingdom.”(Think Progress)
Given that Rowling has lived in Scotland for nearly 2 decades, that’s a bold move on her part, to quote Think Progress…and for what its’ worth, I agree with her; as much as it might be a good thing for Scotland to regain its’ independence after 300 or so years of union with England, a relationship that hasn’t been entirely bad for Scotland (after all, it could be worse…just look at what their western neighbor‘s gone through over just as long a period). But think for a moment what Scotland would have to do as its’ own nation should the referendum pass in September…for instance:
- On agricultural matters, Scotland would have to renegotiate ag subsidies w/out the benefit of sharing the current pool given to the U.K. each year from Brussels (currently estimated at around $593 million for Britain’s four home nations). Should Scotland gain independence, there has been talk as to whether Brussels would either give Scotland a direct subsidy w/out re-negotiating with London or whether they would require Scotland to negotiate separately for a smaller amount
- On policies relating to border security and immigration, Scotland currently enjoys the protections that the U.K. have negotiated with Brussels in this area (for instance, Britain was allowed to opt-out of the Schengen Area)…would Scotland be allowed to do likewise or would they be required to follow the rules contained w/in the Schengen Area in regards to immigration and border security?
- Care to spend $2.5 billion on military affairs? Well, Scotland…if you desire independence, that’s the butcher’s bill for a separate Scottish military (which would include allocations from the British military for ground, air and naval assets to be partitioned, for example) and the basing facilities said units would require, something which they currently don’t have to deal with as a part of the U.K.
- In addition, does Scotland want to end up like New Zealand? A friend, but not an ally…the reason: at present, the Royal Navy houses its’ fleet of Trident nuclear submarines at the Firth of Clyde and – unless I’m mistaken – the SNP have made it a vow that, should they gain their independence, Scotland would become a nuclear-free zone. This, IMO, would have big implications for both the U.K. and for NATO because, at present, London has no other naval facilities capable of handling nuclear materials and it is a well-known open secret that, should Scotland win its’ independence, the organizations’ current nuclear powers (France, Great Britain & the United States) would all-but-oppose Scottish membership in NATO for that reason.
- Finally, there’s also the matter of membership within the European Union; if, assuming the referendum succeeds, and Scotland gains its’ independence, Scotland would almost certainly be booted from the E.U. and would have to ask for re-admission as a sovereign nation. Given that, at present, admission to the E.U. requires the affirmative assent of all EU member nations, would do you think the odds would be that London would give its’ assent to Scottish membership?
Now tell me again why Scotland should get its’ independence? Anyone…anyone….Bueller?!?