Will the Scottish vote on the 18th September see more questions raised than answered?
The polls in the Scottish referendum campaign are narrowing. The most recent YouGov poll finds the no vote in the lead down to by 6%.
While the “No” campaign are still ahead, it looks as though the momentum is with the pro-independence “Yes” campaign. But whatever the result it may well be close and come the 19th September, almost half of Scottish voters could well be disappointed by the result.
No strategists are already making it clear that a No vote, however, narrow must be treated as the end of the matter. “We must make it clear it is a once-in-300-year choice. It will have been made. It will not be revisited. The ‘Yes’ vote is not a ‘good start for one more heave’ – it will be the end of the line'” the senior Labour strategist John McTernan wrote today.
But Yes campaigners are highly unlikely to treat the surge to their cause over the course of the long campaign as the end of the matter. And in the event that Scotland does vote to leave the UK, again, however, narrowly, the result will not mark an abrupt break from the UK but the start of a long and complex negotiation over the terms of departure.
How will might that play out? And what will the implications be for the rest of the UK?
A key figure in the cross-party No campaign, former Liberal Democrat MSP Jeremy Purvis – now Lord Purvis of Tweed – was in Cardiff today to deliver a keynote speech at the UK’s Changing Uni0n Project’s Young People’s Constitutional Convention. A leading figure in the Devo-plus campaign, Lord Purvis now Chair’s of the All-Party Parliamentary group on Reform, Decentralisation and Devolution in Westminster. IWA Director Lee Waters discussed with him the potential fallout from the referendum campaign in the latest IWA podcast
6 thoughts on “The IWA Podcast- Will the Scottish referendum settle the issue?”
If Westminster had offered meaningful further devolution to Scotland, that would quite probably have easily won the ballot. As it is, that option was ruled out by London, forcing a stark Yes/No choice on the Scots. So be it, you know where the blame lies, it will be perfectly plain who was responsible for “loosing Scotland” and “breaking the Union”. I just hope the English don’t turn their anger on Wales, but be prepared for an anti-devolution backlash.
If Scotland says No, London will hammer them; albeit surreptitiously. If Scotland says Yes, London will hammer us (business as usual!). Whatever way, the British Establishment will get their pound of flesh after September 18th.
A narrow-margin response is the worst possible outcome – either way. A narrow ‘no’ won’t put the matter to bed for 300 weeks, never mind 300 years. But what about a narrow ‘yes’? Will a 300 year old union be ruptured permanently on a 51-49 vote? Salmond has shown the way. He wants to keep the pound and the Queen so the only difference between his independence and devo-max is defence and the Fastlane nuclear installation. I predict independence light with Fastlane negotiated to stay for five years plus devo-max – whatever the referendum outcome, followed by another referendum in five years’ time. London won’t hammer the Scots with issues still in the balance. Wales will continue to be treated with indifference, moderated by occasional condescension. Given our government’s reluctance to take on more responsibility and its whinging for a bigger hand-out can we expect anything else?
A No vote would mean we all get hammered, with a Yes at least Scotland has a chance to escape. As of now the Unionist cause appears to be collapsing in disarray. The election rules (some postal votes already cast, etc.) mean that they can’t up their offer even if anyone would believe them, and more and sillier threats no longer work. They’re just no longer credible. The main block to a Yes were the instinctive Labour voters, but even they are now coming over to Yes in growing numbers. Next week we’re promised a gaggle of ‘failed Yesterday’s Men’ from Labour, probably just the latest in a run of own goals for BT. Cameron is keeping his head down hoping to escape as much of the blame as he can.
When you think about it, a Yes will probably cause more of a shake-up south of the border than in Scotland. Scotland will just continue along the course it’s been following for the past few years, but without being impeded by Westminster. I’d be interested to learn how you think this will effect Wales. Will, for example, the weakening of the England-and-Wales Labour Party lead to more people turning to Plaid or God help us, UKIP? Well, you tell me.
If you follow this blog you know that some English speaking Welsh people live in a state of paranoia about the Welsh language. That means they can never vote for Plaid Cymru, whose origins lie in a desire to preserve Welsh language culture. If the Scots had 1 1/2 million Gaelic speakers, irrationally feared by the rest of the population, the SNP would never have got off the ground either. Also unlike Scotland we don’t have an oilfield and get a subsidy from the rest of the UK equal to a quarter of our GDP at least. Of course Wales could rule itself but not many people want to take a 25 per cent pay cut so an increased UKIP vote is the most likely outcome. I don’t approve so don’t shoot the messenger.
Are any bookies offering odds on a Labour party independent of the current one emerging in Wales.
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