Britain’s Labour Party leader has argued that England and Scotland share “one economy” and predicted a “race to the bottom” on salaries and working conditions if the two separate.
Speaking in Glasgow, Ed Miliband said he feared regulatory competition between an independent Scotland and the remainder of the UK would prompt companies to move “wherever the rules are weakest.”
Miliband argues that the priority should be “creating a more equal, fair and just society” across the whole of the United Kingdom.
I say let’s confront the real divide in Britain, not between Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom, but between the haves and the have-nots.
Scotland is due to vote on independence before 2014.
Labour, which is strong in Central and Mid Scotland, including the area around Glasgow, opposes independence. So do the Conservatives, despite them being virtually nonexistent north of the border. If Scotland were to secede, it would make it more difficult for Labour to win British elections.
There isn’t a majority for independence in Scotland according the polls. Most are satisfied with the current arrangement under which the region has its own parliament with the power to legislate on education, health and police.
Separatists argue North Sea oil and gas revenues are distributed unfairly. While drilling platforms are situated off Scotland’s North Sea shore, the central government issues licenses and collects taxes. The value of these revenues is roughly equal to the subsidies Scotland receives from London every year.
If Scotland does break away, the Scottish National Party intends to continue using the British pound to make life easier for businesses.