Will Scotland Kill the Union?
Scotland is voting on independence today. In fact, the vote ended a couple hours ago at 4pm Central Time (by my estimates).
Will they? Probably not. Should they? Depends who you ask.
Some say economically it makes no sense. They may have some fair point. The Pound is a strong currency, and having an economic union with England is goo for them too.
One big problem though. As I've been reading Pro-Union opinion pieces I've actually noticed a decent bit of stereotyping/borderline racism.
In an article in the New York Times by Niall Ferguson (himself a Scot) this little quote comes up.
Yet the economic arguments against independence seem not to be working — and may even be backfiring. I think I know why. Telling a Scot, “You can’t do this — if you do, terrible things will happen to you,” has been a losing negotiating strategy since time immemorial. If you went into a Glasgow pub tonight and said to the average Glaswegian, “If you down that beer, you’ll get your head kicked in,” he would react by draining his glass to the dregs and telling the barman, “Same again.”
I know it's extreme to consider this racism but it's still super unfair to Scots. Even though the author himself is Scottish, he's spent more time in England where he probably had this stereotype of his people drilled into his head. It's an incredibly unfair assumption. Yes Scots have a history of defiance, but that defiance is normally aimed at English oppression. Not sound economic arguments (let's not forget that Adam Smith who published The Wealth of Nations in 1776 was also a Scot).
Also John Oliver, on his show Last Week Tonight, does an excellent job of highlighting just how shitty the English really treat Scotland.
Economically it would be advantageous to stay. There are benefits to staying that shouldn't be ignored. That being said, the Scottish are much more European-minded than their English neighbors. They want to stay in the EU but England wants out. So, if they declare independence then join the EU ASAP, they'll probably be better off.
They would have an economic union with a larger chunk of Europe than before. Replacing the Pound for the Euro isn't a bad idea at all (better than a unique Scottish currency). Finally, and probably most importantly, in a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual European Union, Scotland would have no problem receiving the respect it deserves. Let's face it. They will likely NEVER get that respect from England UNLESS THEY LEAVE.
I promise I'm not biased.
Jumping off the soapbox now.