Scotland will not be Scotland: Consequences of Independence Revealed in Top Secret Document

topsecret

A confidential and highly sensitive document by HM Treasury – marked restricted to only David Cameron, George Osborne, prominent Liberal Democrat ministers, and senior advisers – has made its way into the public domain. It reveals what the UK Government regards as some of the consequences of Scottish independence, outlining the ultimate ‘hardball’ positions of the UK Government.

We believe it is important enough to publish it in full here without any comment or edit.


THE CONSEQUENCES OF INDEPENDENCE:
A HM TREASURY BACKGROUND PAPER

 

Introduction to Paper

The Scottish independence referendum taking place in September 2014 is a huge event for Scotland and the UK. The potential scale of change if an independent Scotland is the outcome, is with one year to the vote, still barely understood in Scotland, let alone the rest of the UK. This paper aims to outline some of the fundamental consequences of Scottish independence, which need to be more widely disseminated and understood to inform the debate and to allow Scottish voters to make a more informed choice.

1. Scotland will not be called Scotland if independence occurred. The name ‘Scotland’ is owned by the British state.

2. What will happen when the UK becomes a foreign country to Scotland and Scotland to the UK?

3. Will future Scottish Governments be able to guarantee that passport controls along the border will not produce huge queues if people flee an independent Scotland? A lesser scenario is of significant delays in some Gibraltar-like spat between the two states.

4. What will the Scots do when they are evicted from the EU, NATO, the Commonwealth and United Nations? If the UK Government is seen to treat an independent Scotland too harshly they could react by becoming a ‘pariah nation’ and join a new ‘axis of evil’ with Iran and North Korea.

5. If Scotland is evicted, against its will from the EU, this could have unintended consequences if the UK decides by popular vote to leave the EU. There is a need to be sensitive and rethink this area, as being too absolute could aid the idea of a post-union (with two states outside the EU) ‘social union’ favoured by the Scottish Government.

6. Who will stop a future President Salmond restricting civil liberties or withdrawing from the European Convention on Human Rights? How will the time honoured checks and balances of the UK constitution be reproduced post-independence? Note: it would be advantageous if Tory MP calls for withdrawal from ECHR could be downplayed pre-independence vote.

7. Will the Scottish Government be able to guarantee the benefits of what the Secretary of State for Scotland called ‘the generous British welfare state’ with Jobeeker’s Allowance of £71.70 (for those aged over 25) and a single state pension minimum of £110.15 a week?

8. Trident is part of what makes the UK the state it is: prestige, influence, the fact we have our own Weapons of Mass Destruction in a dangerous, unpredictable world. The UK can’t just give up and leave Faslane after years of investment – so a Guantanamo Bay or Sevastopol scenario could be considered. One option is continued UK sovereignty; another leaseback.

9. An independent Scotland would have miniscule intelligence and security forces, and so could be a soft target for terrorists, as John Reid has previously pointed out. In certain circumstances, as the late former Lord Advocate Baron Fraser of Carmyllie suggested, it might be necessary to bomb and take out all of Scotland’s airfields post-independence.

10. Scotland’s oil is Britain’s oil. The UK Government could consider billing an independent Scotland for the decades of UK infrastructure investment. Another option might be nationalising the oil industry pre-independence.

11. The end of Britain as we know it would be a horrendous prospects for millions of Scots (as well as the rest of Britain). We may have to prepare contingencies for middle class, professional flight, particularly from areas of Edinburgh and Perthshire, and the possibility that without such key groups Scottish society might collapse. A recent ‘Scottish Sunday Express’ poll estimated that up to 16% of Scottish voters (640,000) may want to leave as a result of independence.

12. Scotland’s history 1707-2014 does not belong to the Scottish people – such a group does not legally exist – but the union. Haven’t pro-independence opinions watched the ‘Seinfeld’ sketch in which Kramer sells his lifestories to Peterman and thus has no identity? Clearly separatists don’t realise that this episode is an obvious metaphor for the union, with Kramer an allegory for Scotland.

13. Who gets custody of our shared history of the last 300 years? Do Scots realise they may have to give up not just the First World War, but the Battle of Britain and standing alone against the Nazis, along with the foundation of the British welfare state? All British, and thus, foreign.

14. What of the cultural histories of these isles? Who owns the shared cultural imaginations of union Britain? Are the ‘swinging sixties’, the Beatles, the Sex Pistols and punk, the Smiths and 1980s ‘indie music’, all to be claimed by Britain? What will this leave an independent Scotland musically? Sheena Easton, Simple Minds, Big Country and Runrig? A cultural desert.

15. What will happen to ‘The Today Programme’, ‘Channel Four News’ and ‘Match of the Day? Have the Scots liberal intelligentsia fully thought through the consequences of their actions?

16. What will happen, for example, to ‘The Great British Bake Off’ TV series? Will Scottish contestants be allowed to compete post-independence in this ‘Great British’ enterprise? Multiply this many times over across TV and radio shows.

17. An independent Scotland would be a celebrity free zone. There would be no Michelle Mone or Billy Connolly to take just two examples, nor Sean Connery as he will still be a tax exile. Instead, Scottish people will be faced with a daily diet of earnest writers and thinkers constantly proclaiming that Scotland is living through a cultural renaissance.

18. Scotland’s older generation of pro-union elite opinion in the media have been very effective at raising doubts about Scotland’s capacity to be successful and viable as an independent nation. Post-independence, this group could be useful in undermining the embryonic state’s sense of confidence. One option would be setting up a front group and funding it, ‘We cannae dae it’, to aid this view.

19. An outlier possibility is that if Scotland votes for independence, large parts of the country will not want independence and wish to remain loyal subjects of the UK. In these circumstances, dismemberment is one last option. The UK Government could consider retaining Orkney and Shetland as part of the UK, along with Dumfries and Galloway and central Edinburgh. The rump Scottish state could be seen as a quasi-independent entity along Gaza Strip/West Bank lines.

20. In the final analysis an independent Scottish state, Balkanised or not Balkanised, may not be sustainable, and as an ultimate consideration, the UK Government should at least instigate scenario planning for the possibility that as a last resort, UK armed forces may need to militarily invade and re-integrate Scotland in the UK. Perhaps, UK military commanders could have a look at previous conquests and defeats of Scottish forces, for any potential lessons and route maps.


Two other observations. At all times ministers should refer to the notion of a successor state minus Scotland as ‘UK’ and not give any succour to the idea it may be called ‘RUK (Rest of UK), or that in any respect its claims on the UK’s position and responsibilities would be brought into doubt by independence.

Second, there is an argument being put forward in Scotland that unionists are a form of nationalism. We must not let this argument gain legitimacy. It is important in the battle of words to name Scottish independence as ‘narrow nationalism’ and ‘separatism’. Unionists are patriots and not nationalists.

Basically, if Scotland votes for independence things are going to change. Scotland will have to stand on its own two feet, accept responsibility, and stop its culture of gripe and grievance. Things could get worse or they could get better. Do Scottish people want to take that risk?

Scotland will be left historically with Bannockburn, Flodden, Wallace and Bruce, Mary Queen of Scots, Darien, ‘Sportscene’ and ‘Newsnight Scotland’. What they will lose will be 1707-2014 Scotland including; Robert Burns, Walter Scott, John Buchan, Hugh MacDiarmid, William McIlvanney, and our shared histories of these 300 years.

This will leave a modern Scotland as a blank canvas and we need to be careful not to inadvertently encourage the pro-independence sentiment of ‘work as if you live in the early days of a better nation’: words of writer Alasdair Gray which are seen by some as inspirational. Perhaps in this we could consider leaving selective moments of union Scotland in the ownership of the new Scotland: suggestions could include such negatives as Culloden, Argentina and the Bay City Rollers.

The above suggestions are written as a creative exercise exploring the areas that the UK Government could utilise in the coming debate. Each of the above would have to be carefully considered and realised, and on occasion a balance sought with mentioning at points some of the positive benefits of the union.

The stakes in this are high: the maintenance of the UK with all its commensurate status and influence, and we have to be prepared to think the unthinkable, and on occasion play hardball, to aid Scottish voters realising the full consequences of separatism, while at other points, being understanding and accommodating of their concerns.

 

(This is not a real document.)

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There are 37 comments

    1. yLordy

      we will call it Gods then everyone around the world will worship us and people will say, I want to go to that country….Which country…..Gods country

  1. Marc James Hoskins-Shimmin

    I did not vote this government in and I am a English guy living in Scotland and I think if Scotland or any other country wants to go it alone then so be it let them…. Scotland is being punished by the uk government for sticking up for what belongs to the Scottish not the uk…. the Scottish people are more polite and honest than the Westminster idiots who write this rubbish….

    1. Arron James

      wow mark i am genuinly proud of your remark as an english man
      and you have as much right to comment as anyone
      the misconception is that its about hate or having go at england
      its not its purely about democracy and he truth
      to rid this rich and poor society that exsists.
      the truth is its about a better future and for scotland and all its peoples
      whatever their nationality
      cheers

    2. David Alexander Harrison

      “Westminster idiots who write this rubbish” You do realise this is satire, right? It’s not an actual government paper… As if it wasn’t already obvious enough, it clearly states as much at the bottom…

    3. oudinot

      You generalise just as crudely as any Westminster politician. What is your specific evidence that “Scotland” is being “punished” by the “UK”? (erm, Scotland is still the UK, is it punishing itself?) Beyond emotive claptrap what is your evidence?
      “Scottish people are more polite etc etc etc…” sentimental crap.

  2. Charles Patrick O'Brien

    Brilliant,and its almost possible to believe that somewhere in the depths of the Labour and others mind’s there could be a kernel of possibilities there maybe send it to the BT mob could get them into trying it on,hilarious must share.

  3. Robert Harrison

    westminsters a joke they already in trouble by the un for breaking human rights act which was brought to there attention by the Scottish people and sent by holyrood they English are happy it has to be scrapped and this on the armed forces was caused by Westminster and mod and no 9 in the article can be seen as a declaration of war forgettion Scotland has allies which is france Ireland north and south china Canada austrilia Germany and the un as well. If they do that the planet will obilate England in 1 swoop they also forget scotlands got all the nukes of the uk

  4. McNic

    I’m likening “Batemanland”, this is crackin wee report with a whiff of The Bateman. Keep them comin as I can even get Her Indoors to read this type of report.

  5. Arbroath 1320

    I’m having problems reading all of this article at once.

    ‘Scotland will not be called Scotland if independence occurred. The name ‘Scotland’ is owned by the British state.’…..REALLY!!!

    Scotland’s history 1707-2014 does not belong to the Scottish people – such a group does not legally exist – but the union. ….. REALLY!!!

    Has anyone in Whitehall deemed it necessary to tell us Scots about these itsy bitsy little pearls of wisdom?
    Oh wait a minute we can’t call ourselves Scots now can we, I wonder what we should be calling ourselves…….the nameless ones from the country with no name perhaps?

  6. JAMES MORRISEY

    Whilst recognising “(This is not a real document.) ” it is still important to point out that Scotland will not be seceding from the UK it will be dissolving the 1707 International Treaty of Union which means there will be no UK after full Scottish Independence in 2016.
    What will be left is two re-emerging independent states of Scotland and Independent England with it’s principality of Wales [ at present legally part of England] and it’s province/colony of Northern Ireland.

    1. Eddie Black

      As long as we retain Elizabeth Regina as regent the United Kingdoms [sic] will remain – that particular entity was established in 1603, if I recall correctly

      1. JAMES MORRISEY

        Very wrong there, but a very common mistake.

        The 1603 Union of the Crowns is a legal and historical misnomer.

        What happened was that one head came to wear two separate crowns. Scotland and England remained separate Kingdoms till the International Treaty of Union 1706 was ratified by the Acts of Union [these are just ratification acts and don’t make the union, the Treaty does] .

        “That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England shall upon the first day of May next ensuing the date hereof and forever after be United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain And that the Ensigns Armorial of the said United Kingdom be such as Her Majesty shall appoint and the Crosses of St Andrew and St George be conjoined in such manner as Her Majesty shall think fit and used in all Flags Banners Standards and Ensigns both at Sea and Land”

        Union with England Act 1707

        http://www.legislation.gov.uk/aosp/1707/7/section/I

          1. JAMES MORRISEY

            As I said a common mistake.
            Quick tip.
            You can always tell between a Treaty and an Act.
            Treaties have articles and Acts have sections.

  7. Rose Garnett

    Argh. Don’t say we’ll be stuck with the Rollers, Sheena my baby takes the morning train Easton AND Culloden. I’m sorry but that’s a deal breaker….

  8. Stuart Knox

    they will say that Alex Salomon is a member of

    Al-Qaeda how stupid do they think we are that this is a leaked document yes strate from Cameron’s hands lol

  9. Eloquentforward

    Satire is only funny if you get it! Most people will think all of this is true. It does add up to the claims that Westminster has been pushing all these months in some form or other. The scare stories which are not true, the manipulations of facts and the sensationalism, such as the supermarket nonsense. All just added up to an unbelievable story. If Scotland not be Scotland, let it be Caledonia!

  10. Marianne Rodgers Garabedian

    Surely, this is satire, “tongue in cheek”, bit of fun possibilities! N.B. “This is not a real document”.

  11. John Mallan

    Complete and utter garbage. Try and stop us calling our nation Scotland once we reclaim our independence.
    Do so at your own risk, do not be so foolish.
    Your arrogance will be your undoing.
    Saor Alba agus Albanach gu bráth agus thig ar latha.
    Beidh Westminster Rule Bàs.

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