On 18th September, all British, EU and Commonwealth citizens over the age of 16, residing in Scotland will vote Yes or No to the question: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”
There are a lot of rumours floating around about what will happen if (or if not) Scotland votes yes. We have debunked all the myths for you, because we’re nice like that.
Alex Salmond will be Prime Minster
FALSE. (At least not automatically). If, and it’s a pretty big if, Scotland vote yes next month – in the run up to their independence there will be an election for Prime Minster. Alex Salmond, currently the First Minster of Scotland has proposed March 23rd 2016, for the first date of independence. Poetically, the 413th anniversary of the Union of the Crowns,
However, experts have speculated a date in 2018 as more sensible. If Scotland vote no, then it’s quite likely there will be discussion for more devolved powers to Scotland.
Scotland will keep the pound
FALSE. At least, very unlikely. Chancellor, George Osbourne is against Scotland keeping the pound, and this has been backed by Labour and the Lib Dems. Regardless who gets into power in next year’s General Election, it’s pretty unlikely.
English, Northern Irish, and Welsh students will go to Scottish Universities for free
TRUE (probably): As it stands, English students pay a whopping £9000 to go to University in Scotland, Welsh and Northen Irish Students pay around £3000 – £4000, while Scotland and the rest of the EU go for free. So, if Scotland vote yes on September 18th, under EU anti-discrimination laws Brits would have to go for free (yay!). Although it all gets a bit confusing when you consider if an independent Scotland will stay in the EU.
Scotland will stay in the EU.
FALSE (at least, pretty unlikely). An independent Scotland would have to re-apply to the EU as an independent country. Jose Manuel Barroso, former European Commission President said Scotland’s bid would be “extremely difficult, if not impossible”
Harry Potter is pro-union.
TRUE. JK Rowling is one of the myriad of famous figures to chip in on the Scottish Referendum debate. The writer has lived in Edinburgh for 21-years and last month donated a whopping £1 million to the Better Together Campaign.Other celebrities backing the Pro-Union campaign include Mike Myers, David Bowie, Alex Ferguson, Susan Boyle, Ross Kemp Emma Thompson, and John Barrowman.
TRUE (at least one of them). Sean Connery too has joined in the debate stating an independent Scotland is ‘too good to miss’. While Connery is currently residing in the Bahamas, he has said he would return to his Scottish homeland if they became an independent country. Frankie Boyle, Brian Cox and Kevin Bridges have also publicly spoken about their support of the ‘Yes’ campaign.
Scotland will stay in NATO
MAYBE. No one really knows, but the SNP are strongly against NATO.
It’s bad news for Labour
TRUE. As it stands, Labour have 41 MPs in Scotland, and the Tories only have one. While Labour would lose a lot of seats in an independent Scotland, it’s still unlikely that the Conservative party would get a majority.
Scotland will leave the Commonwealth
TRUE. An independent Scotland would be out of the Commonwealth, although it’s very likely they will re-apply for membership.
It’s all about Oil
FALSE. But oil is a big factor. The North Sea oil and gas reserves are crucial to Scotland’s Yes campaign. However, no-one really knows who is going to get the oil in an independent Scotland.
When you weigh all of this up, really no-one knows what will happen because lots of politicians and experts are saying different things. Hence, nothing is set in stone.
If Scotland vote yes, there’s an awful lot of ambiguity over what will happen.
This piece also appeared in Wessex Scene.