Independent Scotland Would Give Conservatives Majority

Since the announcement that a referendum on the future of Scotland will be held at some point in 2014 — also the centenary of the beginning of World War I, a ploy to remind the nation of what a United Kingdom can achieve? — there has been much discussion about whether the region’s secession would leave the Conservative Party with a permanent majority in Parliament.

Scottish independence seems a win-win for Conservatives. If a majority of Scots votes against secession, the union is saved. If Scots vote in favor, the Tories win a huge advantage over Labour. While Ed Miliband’s party would be stripped of 41 seats in Parliament, David Cameron’s would lose just one.

Indeed, some wry observers have pointed out that there are now more great pandas in Scotland than Conservative parliamentarians. But it’s doubtful whether the region’s secession would imply permanent right-wing government in Westminster. Read more “Independent Scotland Would Give Conservatives Majority”

Barroso Dampens Scots’ Hopes of Independence

European Commission president José Manuel Barroso said Thursday that regions that secede from European member states would have to reapply for membership and ultimately carry the single currency.

“A new state, if it wants to join the EU, has to apply to become a member of the EU, like any state,” Barroso said on BBC radio. He added that all existing member states have to give their consent before a country can join.

Scottish nationalists, who plan to call a referendum on secession in 2014, insist that the region can remain part of the European Union. An exit, if only temporarily, could be hugely detrimental to Scottish businesses who would be locked out of the bloc’s single market.

Scotland’s ruling nationalist party planned to continue to use Britain’s sterling currency post secession to enable companies to operate with ease across the border. As a independent European Union member state, however, it would have to commit to ultimately adopting the euro from which only Britain and Denmark are exempt by treaty. Read more “Barroso Dampens Scots’ Hopes of Independence”

Miliband Fears “Race to Bottom” If Scots Secede

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.” Read more “Miliband Fears “Race to Bottom” If Scots Secede”