Parsons (2012) mentions that pro-independence contend for their autonomy, owing to the breakdown of UK regime, politics and a whole society. Conversely, Cameron claims that Scotland would encounter difficulties and uncertainty if it is separated from the United Kingdom, and it would be deprived from any advantages and favorable circumstances that it would gain from joining the UK. The aim of this essay is to discuss both sides of the views both against and in favour of the Scottish independence referendum. There has been complicated history between Scotland and England.
Scotland was united with England in order to encourage its economy. Recently, however, there are two opposing sides of the independence referendum including “Yes Scotland” campaign. This is a group that supports Scotland to become independence, led by Alex Salmond, chief of the Scottish National Party. Another campaign is called “Better Together”, which aim to keep the country united, directed by Alistair Darling, the British Chancellor (Spector, 2014). On the one hand, Alex Salmond mentioned that Scotland’s economy would be more prosperous if it becomes independence (Green et al. 014).
The proclaimers maintain that Scotland has enormous resources in their country, with all the circumstance that the country obtains, for instance, human resources and tidal power; they have to take advantage of their own possession. Salmond estimated that Scotland has the capacity to become one of the wealthiest nations in the world, based upon Scotland’s gross domestic per capita and the expectation of dominating all gas and oil reserve as demonstrated by Morse’s article (2014). A further argument in its favour is that those Scotland citizens desire to have their own government.
Scottish voters have customarily been left wing, and they generally vote for Labour Party. In contrast, people in England typically choose Conservative Party, which is recently governing the country. In case that Scotland could successfully separate from the UK, people in Scotland will eventually have a government that they satisfy. In 2008, the country encountered with financial crisis as the UK government introduced the austerity policies, which cut the government spending on public service works and state benefits.
These policies create severely impact on poor Scottish families (Vale, 2014). Lesley Riddoch, a community activist, says, “We are not going to get the social democracy we want within the UK” (Brooks et al. , 2014). Likewise, Brooks et al. (2014) states that there is an anticipation of sovereign Scotland to enhance its democratic system to be more impartial and advanced as well as enable to tackle its most crucial issue namely, youth indigence, adult’s health problems and care for people who are weak.
It could also be argued that separated Scotland would bring more equality. Brain Cox, an actor, claims that it is good for all part of the UK if Scotland become independence as the economy, which prosper merely in the capital, could be rebalanced. Eddie Izzard, a protester of No campaign, says, “The fact is we can’t be better together when one in five scots kids are in poverty” (Morse, 2014). Additionally, the underlying message in Brooks et al. article (2014) is that there is one way to eliminate impoverishment and budget cuts by British government that is to win the independence referendum. Moreover, According to Vale (2014), “the idea that Scots can shape their own destiny, both at the referendum and afterwards, is exhilarating”. This is because the autonomy is believed to be an emblem of national pride. In addition, Scottish teenagers aged between 16 and 17 are expected by Salmond to vote for independence, as they are believed to be more patriotism.
On the other hand, according to UK government paper on Business and Microeconomic Framework, UK market which separated by establishing any form of boundary could possibly bring about an obstacle to the free flow of outputs and also factors of production, creating a damage to the businesses, employees and buyers in both part of the country and it will be more difficult to obtain investment from foreign capitalist (Currie & Black, 2014). In an article by Currie & Black (2014), an autonomous Scotland has to set up the framework such as economy and institution by its own.
An uncertain economic interaction might be a consequence of a distinct policy and institution between independence Scotland and the rest of the UK. In the long run, additionally, there might be a collapse of business structure owing to the deteriorated relation of economic, historical and cultural between separated countries. In addition, Monaghan (2014) maintains that the financial situation of Scotland would be in crisis, partially resulting from considerably high government spending per capita in Scotland, and generally owing to larger amount of funding on public aids instead of welfare.
The unionists state that “the integrated UK economy means risks are pooled and opportunities shared within a home market inside one of the world’s largest economies”. It provides a “single market” and “barrier-free trade” that help stable economy (Swanson, 2014) In addition to this; the pro-independence asserts that an isolated Scotland might encounter extreme budget cuts that perhaps create a tension on welfare spending (Green et al. , 2014). According to Dr.
Brad Mackay of the University of Edinburgh’s Business School, in the long period of time, it is burdensome for firms to make decision of investment in Scotland as a consequence of uncertainty. This restricts the potential of businesses to allocate the resources for different sectors such as employment, payment and financial assets (Webber, 2014). Another point against Scottish Independence is that there are more opportunities for Scottish workers to be recruited if Scotland remains a part of the UK and this can encourage export to other union countries.
The pro-union campaigners assert that even though Scotland is a member of EU trade free, domestic transaction is more effortless than dealing with oversea businesses. Scottish employees earn ? 2,000 per family from trading with the other part of the UK, calculated by the UK Treasure. (Boost Capital n. d. ) Although an autonomous Scotland would be able to reconsider itself in the flexible way, yet it might have to confront with more arduous situation it has previously refrained.
Changing taxation rate is the most difficult decision among other aspects, which Scottish government has not been able to handle. Small independence countries could find it difficult to operate in the world markets (Monaghan, 2014). Furthermore, The No campaign has fenced that counting too much on oil revenue is likely to be risky because this commodity is volatile. Independence Scotland might have to rely on income from oil to fund government spending.
Therefore, services might be affected by fluctuated amount of public investment. Sir Ian Wood, an oil industry professional, claims that Scottish government tend to overestimate the amount of oil that it own by more than 60 per cent (Green et al. , 2014). In addition to this, Morse (2014) points out that unlike Norway, Scotland does not contribute in oil investment, thus it will be unable to generate excess income from selling oil which possibly help Scotland become wealthy country like Norway.
Moreover, tax revenues collected from North Sea oil were estimated not to be sufficient to compensate for deficit earnings presently transferred from the other part of the UK. As a consequence, Scottish authority could not raise enough funds from trading fossil fuel to spend on daily expenses, thus it would be lay away for using in the future, and simultaneously the government also need to cut additional costs. (Monaghan, 2014) In Webber’s view (2014), currency is a basic query in Scottish independence controversy.
It involves several elements such as interest rates, borrowing expenses as well as pension fund. George Osborne has informed that Scotland would not be able to use the pound as its currency, supported by Labour and the Liberal Democrats Party (Morse, 2014). For this reason, separating Scotland has to choose which currency it would adopt. It might use the euro or generate its own currency or use sterling without financial union (Murray, 2014).
In the UK government paper on Currency and Monetary Policy, the entire economy of the UK including Scotland, is appropriately positioned in the present UK settlements. Although an independent Scotland would still apply a sterling currency, an appraisal would be changed if Scotland becomes self-governing. As a result of financial independence, the monetary policy of the Bank of England would be less suitable to Scottish economic positions (Currie & Black, 2014).
Paul Krugman says, “Sharing a currency without sharing a budget can turn recession into depression”. The economist claims that Scotland needs to establish its own currency as well as its own central bank, however it is not easy to do so (O’Brein, 2014). Nevertheless, in the final result of the referendum, Scottish voted for No independence and thus both Scotland and the rest of the UK have conserved 307 years united after a historical plebiscite that grasped electors and crashed elective records (Morris et al. , 2014).