Thursday, August 21, 2014

Scotland: Get out now while you still can

Scotland goes to the polls in a month in a referendum on independence. The assumption throughout the campaign has been that if Scotland votes to stay in the UK, it will be rewarded with further devolved powers - an assumption made explicit this month by a cross-party pact amongst the English parties. But a new poll shows that these promises can't be relied on, and that English voters want to hammer the Scots:

The Future of England Survey found that people south of the border are overwhelmingly against Scotland leaving the UK, with 59 per cent saying they would like the Union to stay intact and only 19 per cent favouring separation.

But it also showed that English opinions over what should take place after the referendum differ widely from the scenarios on which politicians on both sides of the debate are pinning their hopes.


However, in a blow to the Better Together campaign, the survey also shows that English people would be in favour of the UK Government taking a much tougher stance on Scotland if it decides to say in the Union.

Most of those polled (56 per cent) agreed that public spending in Scotland should be reduced to the UK average following a No vote, while the vast majority (63 per cent) believe that Scottish MPs should be prevented from voting on English laws in the future.

Meanwhile, UKIP explicitly wants to roll back devolution, which will place pressure on the Conservatives and Labour to do likewise. The upshot: English politicians are making promises they can't keep, and there's a real chance that Scotland will be stripped of its parliament and made to share the misery of the rest of the UK if it stays. If Scots want to retain what they've got, they need to get out of this abusive, colonial relationship now, while they still can.