24 November 2013

Just like that?

The SNP is perhaps veering to the optimistic with regard to this timetable:
ALEX Salmond will this week announce that Scotland’s independence day will be 24 March, 2016, when he unveils his blueprint for breaking up the UK amid growing disagreement in the Yes campaign over plans to keep the pound.In the event of a Yes vote in next September’s referendum, Salmond proposes that Scotland will become a sovereign nation state some 18 months after the poll, on a day that marks the 309th anniversary of the 1707 Act of Union.
Assuming (somewhat heroically) that the referendum were to produce a "yes", eighteen months is not a long period of time, given the vast number of issues which would need to be resolved between the Scottish and UK adminstrations before any declaration of independence.  Furthermore, the UK administration would be most unlikely to take seriously any negotiations before the general election in May 1915; and, even after a new UK government had been elected, the prospect of detailed negotiations on matters such as debt repartition, oil revenues, defence responsibilities, currency unions, is unlikely to be one of its first priorities.  And should be we be proceeding to set up an independent state wihout sorting out where we would stand on membership of the EU and NATO, neither of which is renowned for speed of decision-making?

Domestically, there are even more tasks to undertake, from setting up a Scottish Treasury and Inland Revenue, a Scottish Ministry of Defence and a Foreign Office, to arranging for new elections on the basis that the present Scottish administration was not intended to form an independent government.  Do you really see yourself paying income tax to a Scottish Inland Revenue with effect from 16 March 2016?

Could all this happen within less than twelve months, as the SNP envisage?  Well maybe, but I rather doubt it ...

1 comment:

David said...

Are there no UK civil servants to do the donkey work?
Westminster does very little legislating nowadays what with Brussels and Strasbourg doing most of it.
I rather doubt that there is not enough time.