There is a new Scottish Ipsos MORI poll in the Sunday Times.

The Sunday Times highlight that only 20% of people support full Scottish independence, though notably this was not a strauight YES/NO question asking voting intention in a referendum on Scottish independence. Rather it was a question asking about people’s broader preference on Scotland’s constitutional status – 20% supported independence, 32% the status quo and 46% a higher level of devolution such as that suggested by the Calman commission. This is indeed the lowest level of support for independence I’ve seen in recent polls, but it’s not completely out of line with previous polls – YouGov and the Scottish Social Attitudes survey have both in the past had it as low as 23%.

Asked about whether their should be a referendum at all, 75% supported a referendum, but only 25% wanted it as soon as possible, with 50% saying it should be held in a few years time. Looking at previous polling this seems to be the general pattern – when people are asked about the principle of a referendum they support it (as, indeed, they nearly always do when asked about referendums on almost anything), but asked whether it is a priority to hold it now they tend to say no.


54 Responses to “Ipsos MORI on Scottish Independence”

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  1. So does that mean that 66% of those polled support further devolution in some form? (ie. Either in the form of further devolution per se or even full independence)

    Whew. That’s pretty high.

    And after five years of a Conservative administration I have the suspicion that that figure will be a good bit higher.

    The obvious conclusion is that Salmond should bide his time.

    A referendum in 3 years will probably find a much more fertile ground.

  2. Given the performance of historically Scottish based banks, i.e. RBS and Lloyds HBOS, an independent Scotland over the past eighteen months would have made the troubles of Ireland and Iceland look like a picnic. And has everybody forgotten the precedent of the Darien disaster of the 1690s, when Scotland had to be bailed out by Union with England after large numbers of Scots invested in a disastrous plan to invest in a colony on the Panama isthmus?

    And look at all the benefits Scotland gets like free university tuition and care home fees.

    Is it any wonder so few Scots currently want independence?

    It is more wonder there is so little English pressure for fair treatment compared to Scotland.

  3. Frederik

    Just a thought.

    The UK National Debt is approaching 1 Billion pounds.

    A Conservative estimate of recoverable oil and gas value from the North Sea is 1 BILLION POUNDS. ie 20 billion barrels of oil and gas equivalent at £50 per barrel average price.

    Given the total lack of any other identifiable collateral I might be nicer to the Scots if I were you.

  4. @Alexander,

    I assume you mean 1 TRILLION? Slight Dr Evil moment there I think?

    I also assume you mean conservative with a small “C”?!

    This is a pretty old argument; there are four points that I’d make (and that are always made).

    1) Not all of the North Sea resources fall within what would be Scots territorial waters.

    2) The companies that currently operate those fields would not necessarily be headquarted in an independent Scotland, so much of the tax take would go “abroad” – unless the new Scottish government was ferociously left wing.

    3) Whilst Scotland does have mineral assets in greater abundance that the rest of the UK, she is behind in some other aspects of wealth. These include earnings from the City of London, which although greatly reduced are still phenomenal.

    4) An independent Scotland would be expected to take her share of the national debt with her. As a small country she might not find this as easy or affordable to service as the UK.

  5. Two ends of the argument there from Frederick and Alexander; both important but neither the whole truth.

    What I would like to know from these independence surveys is the degree to which people’s views on the subject are based on national identity, and to what degree they are mainly ‘civic’ – pragmatic and economic – as implied by the above posters).

    In my experience (as an Englishman living in Edinburgh), the main thrust of Scottish independence ideology is the former – it’s aboutidentity; what it is to be Scottish, as opposed to British – onto which the sums and calculations of civic nationalism are tacked. Alec Salmond is VERY adept at this, and has sought to reduce anti-Englishness and other forms of ethnic nationalism in his party, but I am skeptical as to how much the heartbeat of the Scottish independence campaign has changed.

  6. When I was a student in the 70s at St Andrews, I argued many times with Alex Salmond about the ownership of the oil and gas in the North Sea. Being from Yorkshire, I asked if he accepted that, if the gas and oil belonged to Scotland, England had a monopoly on coal.

    His view was that the oil and gas was Scotland’s alone as it was in Scottish waters, but the coal belonged to the UK as a whole as it was on land and that Scotland should get a share of it.

    Seems like his view is “what’s yours is mine and what’s mine’s my own”. (Forgive the unintentional pun).

    This seems to underly the SNP approach to independence. They want the best of all worlds – total fiscal independence and ownership of resources but access to the rest of the UK’s facilities, including its defence. It’s got to be all or nothing – they’re either in or fully out, and the sooner that is made clear, the better.

  7. I suspect he might have a more nuanced view these days than when he was 20 ;)

  8. I’d be interested to hear if Salmond still thinks English coal belongs party to Scotland. :)

  9. ‘And has everybody forgotten the precedent of the Darien disaster of the 1690s,….?’

    Well, I had rather. 400 years is getting on to a geological rather than a political time scale.

  10. I do believe the SNP are dying a death in their main aim of Scottish Independence.

    Today Salmond has sold out as far as most Nats will be concerned,he has said now his referendum will give a choice of a ‘DEVO-MAX’ option,basically fiscal autonomy for Scotland within the UK,i,ve heard of pepsi-max Alec but devo-max?

    I do believe the Credit Crunch & the Scots realisation they could have ended up like Iceland with UK bailouts for HBOS & RBS have contributed to the death knell for the SNP,or at least the aim of what the party stands for.

  11. The poll may or may not be accurate (MORI certainly seemed out of line in their previous UK voting intention poll).

    The Sunday Times article, however, is not particularly illuminating. Comparing these results with a previous ICM poll does not seem to me to be good practice.

    If some former independence supporters have moved towards fiscal autonomy, that is not greatly significant. If they have moved to supporting Calman, then that is much more serious.

  12. So 66% of people want more independence and less Uk; independently will happen.

  13. @Hatfield Girl

    Well spotted. I hadn’t noticed what was, arguably, one of the daftest comments ever posted.

    @Jack

    Exactly. 66% are for some form of it.

  14. Neil A Your argument is simply not true. 90 % of oil is in Scottish territory and the companies dealing with scottish oil would have to Headquarter in Scotland, to deal with the administration issues there. Are you suggesting they would get taxed in England for scottish oil? How does that work?
    You cannot pick and choose which countries you pay tax on when you are drilling for oil in that country.
    You can only be taxed in the country you are drilling for oil.
    If you collect the oil reserves of Scotland you have to pay the tax to Scotland you cannot decide oh well i will pay the tax in England instead, because they have lower taxes. This is not like internet gambling companies that can move around. The oil is in Scotland, that is only where it can be taxed.
    Otherwise what would stop the USA deciding to collect all the tax reserves of Norwegian oil.
    Your argument is like a saying a British newsagent could decide to pay his VAT to the French government rather the UK government. No he can only pay in the UK. Not all tax issues can be moved to other countries.

  15. Tony Fisher

    You seem to be claiming that “England had a monopoly on coal.”

    I simply don’t’ believe this is remotely correct

    Look at this 2007 BBC report and the comment about “vast reserves”. Your definition of the word “monopoly” is not the one in the Oxford dictionary

    “Scottish Coal has said it would like both the Scottish Executive and the Westminster government to back their plans to restart deep mining.
    The company said new clean-coal technology could lead it to exploit the vast reserves of coal in Scotland.

    Scottish Coal said it had identified a site in the West of Scotland which could supply Longannet power station in Fife for at least 80 years.”

  16. David In France

    You make an excellent point.

    Labour as recently as the time of the 2007 Holyrood election claimed that no more devolution at all was required, and that the current level of devolution was “the settled will of the Scottish people”.

    2 years later Labour (fearing the SNP), now clearly claim that it is NOT the settled will of said people-and 66% of the people agree with them.

    So, appropriately, the people lead and Labour follow-good.

    All those who believe independence is finished might be well advised to consider this:

    * The Tories will probably be in power soon with few Scots MPs and, more significantly, a good deal fewer than they had under Margaret Thatcher.

    She cannot therefore be the full explanation of the weakness of the Tories in Scotland. It must run deeper than that.

    With around 80% of Scots voting against the Tories, this will be entirely logically exploited by the SNP.

    *Does anyone seriously believe that Iceland will join Norway (they might join the European Union with the minimum MEP seats currently set as 6 for an independent country they would have as many seats as Scotland although half the size of population as Edinburgh)

    As for Ireland, they won’t be rejoining the UK anytime soon, and a number of economists predict they will emerge from recession as they entered it-wealthier per head of population that the UK.

    So don’t expect Iceland or Ireland to permanently damage the SNP.

    Almost forgot to mention Norway (most like Scotland because of the Oil). They have barely noticed the recession as they haven’t wasted their resources on wars, Trident etc etc.

  17. What happens to the SNP if they hold a referendum and lose it?

    Isn’t that their raison d’etre down the drain? They surely couldn’t campaign on the promise to keep asking till people make the “right” choice.

  18. @Tom Robinson

    Noway wasn’t hit too badly by the global financial crisis because they didn’t have much of a financial sector to begin with.

  19. @Dirty Euro,

    I wasn’t aware that Shell was headquartered in Nigeria, or Chevron in Kuwait… Most of the companies that operate in the North Sea are London- or foreign located. They will have local offices in Scotland, and will of course have to pay tax on the production they glean there, but their corporate accounts will not be a matter for Edinburgh, unless they are nationalised. After all, it may be Scotland’s oil, but that doesn’t mean that the rigs, ships, helicopters, equipment and research facilities belong to Scotland.

    On the location of the fields, you make my point for me, really.. if 90% of oil stocks are in Scottish waters, that means that 10% aren’t. All I said was that it wasn’t all in Scottish waters. And the proportion of gas in English waters is, I believe, (but I am open to correction if an expert is reading) is higher than that of oil.

  20. Jakob.

    The existence of Holyrood makes it vitually impossible for the SNP to disappear-particularly under PR.

    There might be a gap of about 20 years until there was a further referendum e.g. 1979 to 1997 gap between the 2 devolution referendums. However, life moves faster and faster, so ten years might end up being considered a long gap.

    You could also consider that when the Quebec referendum failed 60:40 in 1980, it was followed (FPTP) by the largest ever Parti Quebecois victory in 1981 (PQ 49.26% of votes; 80/122 seats).

    Life is never straightforward.

    The point about Norway isn’t really about the size of the financial sector, but about the availability of its saved rather than wasted oil money to cushion it from the general decline in trade caused by the global recession

  21. Neil A

    You really need to take on board Dirty Euro’s point

    “The oil is in Scotland, that is only where it can be taxed.”

    That is critical

  22. And my point was that although a lot of tax revenue is raised directly on the oil, the revenue from the company profits may not necessarily accrue to Scotland. After all, the tax revenue from De Beers does not all accrue to South Africa.

  23. Neil A

    “so much of the tax take would go “abroad””

    So when you refer to “much” what do you mean?

  24. Tom Robinson

    At the time of Salmond’s and my discussion, 90% of Britain’s coal reserves were in England and Wales and only around 10% in Scotland, much of it in geologically difficult mines. So England (and to a lesser extent Wales) had the vast majority of the nation’s coal.

    And Salmond was already about 50 in terms of his mental age when he was at St Andrews, even if chronologically he was about 20. He was also extremely left wing (perhaps more obvious to me as a a Young Conservative at the time).

    I also suspect that the recent banking crisis, which saw the collapse of RBS and HBOS (2 of the biggest Scottish banks) may have focussed Scottish minds as to how an independent Scotland could really cope in the big wild world.

  25. Surely arrangements should also be made for a separate Referendum to be held in the Shetlands to establish whether they wish to be part of an independent Scotland – remain within the UK – or become independent in their own right?

  26. #Graham

    No sign at all of Shetland or Orkney wishing to leave Scotland.

    Both voted in favour of Scottish devolution in 1997. Lib Dems won both seats for Holyrood and the SNP were second in eaxch case with Tories and Labour way back in third and fourth.

  27. Tom Robinson,
    Devolution and Independence are very different matters. There is a legal controversy going back many centuries as to whether Scotland has a right to sovereignty over the Shetlands. I believe it relates to some Treaty with Denmark? Beyond that , I have heard it suggested that there would be serious unease at any break with the UK and given the legal doubts that arise, any principle of self determination surely demands that the Shetlanders be asked for their views.

  28. Graham

    Only as long as a similar vote takes place in Berwick on Tweed- and possibly the whole North East of England- if the Tories get in with little support there.

  29. Graham

    Is there any polling evidence to suggest that Shetlanders want independence from Scotland?

    Is there any polling evidence that Shetlanders wish to give up their oil fund and send the cash to Westminster?

    Is there any polling evidence that the propaganda effect, designed in the 1970s, of deploying the Shetland argument has ever had any effect there, or in Scotland as a whole?

    There is evidence that Shetland might seek autonomy within Scotland . The SNP has welcomed that.

  30. I’ve heard all these arguments or their like for over half a century, and I’m not impressed by either side.

    By telling Scots they are better off in the Union they feed the Sun reader (English edition only) with the fiction that “hard working families” in England are subsidising the Scottish workshy to live on benefits.

    So why isn’t it the English that are pressing for independence for Scotland? What’s in it for them that they want Scotland to stay in the Union despite this financial burden?

    Tory Unionists think that the economic arguments are compelling and that money is the only thing that matters.

    That’s because they have – as AS said about Margaret Thatcher in the Ian Dale interview – only read the Penguin edition of The Wealth of Nations (and not the Theory of Moral Sentiments).

    As far as I’m concerned, Its about values, or rather its about a corrupt and failed parliamentary system that has other values that at times have made me ashamed to be British.

    Independence isn’t necessary, but good government is worth having. Whatever independence may cost, it will be worth it in the long run because we can get good government in an independent Scotland with a parliament that is fit for purpose and is ready for use.

    We won’t in the UK.

  31. It’s interesting how quickly nationalists will resort to brazen hypocrisy. They all want their preferred nation to be independent and are happy to vilify their opponents as evil oppressors, but when a part of that nation wishes to break away they suddenly switch roles.

    The same people who moan about British sovereignty going to Brussels are dead set against any part of the UK having independence, and those who want Scottish independence would never contemplate allowing any part of Scotland to break away.

    As far as I’m concerned it is all misty-eyed romantic drivel.

  32. ” What’s in it for them that they want Scotland to stay in the Union despite this financial burden?”

    To ask that question, in that way, confirms that you have no concept of what the United Kingdom means ( becoming “meant” rapidly) to it’s supporters.

    I hope that you get your independence soon, so that we can hear less of the whinging Scots nationalist.

    But you have to persuade your countrymen first.

    Berating the English may make you feel better, but it doesn’t get you any more support in Scotland & it just makes you more & more tiresome south of the border.

  33. #Jakob

    Thanks for that rant-how very unpleasant.

  34. #Jakob

    ….and how very untrue.

  35. Tom,

    Sometimes the truth is unpleasant.

    Which bit of Jakob’s “rant” do you consider to be untrue ?

  36. Paul H-J

    “misty-eyed romantic drivel.”

  37. Personally I support the Union, but not principally for economic reasons. Having been born in England, and brought up in Ireland and Scotland, I find the idea of ‘Britain’ important…. English is and ethnicity, Scottish is an ethnicity, British is something much more encompassing, something to which many many people can belong without feeling specifically English or Scottish (or Welsh, Anglo-Irish, Shetlander, Scillionian, Cornish, Viking whatever!).

    I am also inclined to believe that the only significant difference on this island is accent. Finally, while the world has been heading in a multi-lateral globalised direction of late, where small states are listened too, I would not bet on that continuing…

  38. Having watched the manufacture and success of romantic Irish nationalism, I am also concerned with the efforts by some sections of Scottish Nationalism to try and create a romantic national myth, although the history of the two countries is totally different. There is excessive focusing on Bannockburn, Culloden, Arbroath, Darian etc… as part of an attempt to create a tragic romantic history – heroic, but oppressed, and ultimately not responsible for the modern state of things.

    This is seems to me is a cynical method of appeasing people’s guilts and anxieties about the 21st century.. and one common to many nationalist movement..

  39. You cannot seriously claim oil rigs belong to England. What so if Scotland goes independent you will take all the oil rigs, cars, and anything not nailed down.
    As Australian once said on a internet message board after the English rugby team beat them, in a moment of pique. he said the mindset of the English elites was; “Anything not nailed down is mine. Anything I can pry loose is not nailed down”. It seems he was right. Also most of the oil is not near the Shetlands either. Plus Since when was the Shetlands, English? And it is more than nailed down so you can’t take it of us. This sort of attitude makes me not want this union. You have Boris writing in the telegraph today that the whole economic strategy of the country should be based on what is best for London, as it can subsidize everyone else. Then other English people saying they should invade or steal the shetlands islands if we get independence. This is a humiliating situation.

  40. Dirty Euro – No one has said Shetland is English, you are making the mistake of confusing England with the UK. In the event of independence/partition, Shetland etc would have the right to remain with the rUK (although I can’t imagine this happening).

    As for Boris – he is Mayor of London, so it is no surprise that he advocates a London-centric economy – this will not happen….Do not make the mistake which many in Scotland and elsewhere do of thinking that London and the home counties is England. Next time you think of England why not think of Exmoor, or Northumbria or Manchester – just try it out…

  41. @JACOB
    I am an English Tory who objects to anything more than a “common market” regarding my countries relationship with Europe. However, I wish the SNP every success they wish themselves in their quest to break the union. I can assure you many English Tories feel the same way. I think that blows one of your theories out of the water. I fully realise Elizabeth the 1st
    used her unmarried status as a bargining tool but the Stuarts where a bloody nuisance from start to finish. It is about time England got back to normal.

  42. Apologies, this has all gone wildliy off-topic. What the polls basically say is that Scots do not want a break with the Union, but they do want enough autnomy to stand up for their interests within the whole.

  43. Colin

    I have at no time breated the English. I am sorry for them because they cannot so easily escape their failed constitutional arrangements as easily as Scots can, but that’s no reason to berate them. I note that it is not unknown for the English to berate the Scots.

    You didn’t answer my question. Are there no advantages to England? You say that I “have no concept of what the United Kingdom means” so please educate me. What does it mean to you? Are there advantages to both nations together that are not available separately?

    Independence is not my first preference, but since there is no hope of the second part of Donald Dewar’s vision – reform of Westminster on the model of the Scottish Parliament – being realised in my lifetime, I will vote for independence. If reform were available, an English Parliament and a very small very even-handed and fair federal parliament with minimal remit would be a better solution for all of us. English nationalists fixated with romantic notions about the excellence of the UK parliament (grounded in comparison of 1688 with the French revolution) do not see the need and will not allow that to happen. Those in power will not lightly give it up.

    What we have had for the last 30 years (the years that have seen the growth of the SNP) is a corrupt and badly functioning parliamentary system which has marginalised Scotland, not through any ill will, but through stupidity, ignorance and detatchment failing to prevent the application of doctrinaire policies conceived in terms of a different geography, demography and culture.

    Half way through that period we were presented with a fit for purpose parliament, and it works. It would work even better with Bavarianisation of the UK parties and a federal parlaiment. Independence will do instead.

    What I understand by a Union is a willing sharing agreement on both sides for the greater common good.

    So the citizens of Glasgow must accept that Trident in the Clyde makes them the first target, pollutes the water and causes cancer clusters. If the Union is worth having overall, that’s a part of it and we accept have to accept that in a democratic union.

    On the other side, we know that the English taxpayer willingly and with a good grace accepts a share of the cost of subsidising rural post offices and lifeline ferry services and doesn’t complain about benefit junkies or the smaller private sector in Scotland recognising that this is partly because Scottish industry was trashed by a government we didn’t vote for.

    The English taxpayer won’t do that? It must be Scotland’s oil after all then, and Jacob is right except for one detail.

    Jakob

    The only part of Scotland that might break away is the Northern Isles and the principle of self determination is accepted. That is a matter for them and for Norway. They can take their oil with them.

    If you live in England you may not be so attuned as Scots to noticing that the English Nationalists often fail to distinguish correctly between England/English and Britain/British. Some of the content of government documents on proposed Britishness tests and guidence on British customs for foreigners has been an embarassment because of the ignorance of the authors and some of it is offensive to Scots.

    Lord Tebbit once managed to get it wrong in both directions ways in the same sentence, saying England when he meant Britain, and Britain when England would have been correct.

  44. Alasdair Cameron

    The myths about Bannockburn are wrong but it’s not the SNP that are attached to the errors but Scottish academic historians.

    http://www.elenkus.com/Bannockburn_Proved.htm

    The truth is more to the credit of the strategy of the Scots and the bravery of the English than what you have been told, though the English lost just the same.

    Culloden was part of a civil war in Scotland. The SNP justice minister drew that to my attention personally, and I am sure he is right. The brutality of the Duke of Cumberland (a battlefield war criminal to rival any of the 20thC) was deplored even by his own side.

    Scottish history has been neglected and not only in Schools. The SNP government has made a start and they are trying to cover the whole period of known history. As things stand the focus is on aspects that have been the basis of popular romantic tales. Some nationalist historians are aware of the dangers and it will take time to get it rignt. Bannockburn is a case that illustrates that. You will be surprised to learn that the aspect of Scottish history that is of most relevance to current politics and most supportive to Scottish pride in their history is totally ignored despite the effects of it being visible today in every Scottish town.

    It is hardly an argument that a nation should not be allowed to be independent because its history has been badly taught and little known or understood while its parliament and most of its government has been subsumed in that of a larger neighbour albeit that education was separate. Nor is it surprising that a nationalist government might seek to remedy that omission. There are dangers to be avoided, of course.

  45. 66% want more powers then- similar to the levels that originally voted for tax-raising powers in the 1997 second question. Perhaps if Labour hadn’t flunked the tax part the fiscal situation might have been a bit clearer.

    Funny how the status quo now is what a decade ago they told us would mean the end of the world- and people want more!

    I think the banking crisis has cowed people a little. RBS has the world’s biggest balance sheet

  46. Ye Gods don’t they rabbit on!

    If Holyrood talks like JB Dick, I’m surprised they get any business done at all.

    John-persuade your countrymen that they want independence, & as far as I’m concerned you can have it-provided the divorce settlement is as fair to me as it is to you.

    At the moment you are trying to persuade a happily married couple that they should part company.

    No amount of 1800 word postings from you on a UK politics website, is going to give you what you want.

    Save your energy for your fellow Scots-does it ever occur to you that they might be bored rigid with the topic too?

  47. @John B Dick
    I am in complete sympathy with you regarding the level of history taught in Scottish schools.
    History as you and I knew it, is not taught at all in English schools. However a deep sense of shame regarding the slave trade and the British Empire (a tidy few Scots involved there I think) is passed on. We dont want any pride you see, its very unhealthy.

  48. Tom,

    Re “Misty-eyed romantic drivel”:

    Nationalism, like any political credo, can be romantic or pragmatic. Romance is based on concepts of culture and values. Pragmatism is concerned with what works – almost utilitarian in its dispassion.

    The problem with a dispassionate view is that the utility / economics may change according to circumstance whereas culture and value tend to be more enduring.

    So, for nationalism to endure, it needs to capture hearts rather than heads. This is where arguments about oil are a false friend.

    Romance and passion are emotions, and these often bring a gulp to the throat and a tear to the eye. This is an inherent quality and not to be decried – except by the soulless utilititarian.

    Only a cold logician would describe feelings as drivel.

    Jakob may be a Vulcan, but if you really feel passionalely about your nation, you should not be offended at being described as a misty-eyed romantic !

  49. Colin

    Maybe in 1800 words or fewer you can tell me why the English Nationalists are opposed to independence.

    If Scotland is such a burden, why don’t you make it easy for the SNP. Remember that you would lose a surplus of 30+ Labour MP’s over Conservative, plus 12 to 10 LibDems, and have a permanent Conservative government. You’d be rid of the whining benefit junkies and the most overblown part of the public sector.

    In fact you would be well on the way to leaving the EU.

    The advantages are so many I just can’t see why you don’t want to help them on their way. That’s why I ask: “What’s in the Union for the English?”

    There must be something I’m missing don’t you think?

  50. Ill state my opinion before i start. I am a Unionist. I believe passionately that pride in Scotland doesnt detract from pride in Britain.

    Im pro devolution, indeed i believe in fiscal autonomy and much of what the calman report suggests-infact i think we should be a federal britain (quite how England would form a `state` of a federal Britain is unsure-the regional rivalrys within England more than outshine those in Scotland. Maybe a parliament for England further sub devolved into english regional assemblys?)

    The issue i want to raise is that of the EU. Much SNP discussion is centred around the notion that Scotland would march out of the UK and straight into the EU. This is not guarunteed. As with Russia post the fall of the USSR, the UK remnant, as the population and militarily dominant of the 2 new states, would retain the international legal personality of the current UK-Scotland on the other hand would start from scratch, which also means applying for EU membership.

    Proof of such a reality is found in the comments of Joe Borg, former EU commisoner (2007) who stated

    “if, for one moment, we were to assume that Scotland gained independence and therefore is eligible as a new member state for the European Union, I would see that, legally speaking, the continuation of the membership would remain with the rest of the UK – less Scotland. And, therefore, Scotland, as a newly independent state, would have to apply for membership.”

    Now, in order to gain entry to the EU, you need unanimous consent from pre existing members-would Spain vote Scotland in, given the messege it would send to Catalonia and the Basque-or France re Corsica, Belgium re Wallonia dn Flanders, Germany re Bavaria and Italy re Padania………………..not guaruntee, and what if Scotland doesnt get in straight away-tough times methinks

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