LibLink: Willie Rennie – after the referendum

Willie Rennie - Some rights reserved by Liberal DemocratsIn The Scotsman, Willie Rennie asks some pertinent questions about what might happen after the Scottish referendum:

The Electoral Commission surprised us all on Wednesday when it went beyond spending limits and the wording of the question to press for clarity on the process after either result in the referendum. It did not ask us to negotiate a solution on the substance of our conflicting cases as pre-negotiations are impossible.

Yet, on reflection, I believe this will ­assist those who share my view that Scotland should remain in the UK.

Although the Nationalists say negotiations could be wrapped up in 16 months you only have to consider what would need to be agreed to realise it may take much longer. To start with there is Scotland’s place in the UN, EU and Nato, never mind the UK’s 15,000 international treaties. When would the deadline be for the redrafting of centuries worth of legislation and regulations? What would ­happen if Scots didn’t like the deal secured by the Nationalists?

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3 Comments

  • I thought that precedent esablishes that the successor states inherit the treaties and obligations of the previous state. Surely this has to be the case, otherwise there would be a spate of succeeding states as a device to shrug off national debts. Would Crete become debt free simply by splitting from Greece? – I do not think so.

    I am unclear why devo max or devo plus is not on the table. Surely this is the most popular option, yet it is not available. It seems to me that every ‘Yes’ vote strengthens this choice whilst a ‘No’ vote reinforces the status quo. I see a parallel here with the AV vote, which in effect became a reaffirmation of FPTP.

    A ‘Yes’ vote opens up negotiations and establishes a direction of travel (with possibly a variable timetable for arrival).

  • Steve Comer 4th Feb '13 - 11:50pm

    Surely we have many precedents for states breaking away from countries don’t we?
    Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Slovakia etc. were all re-established in the early 1990s, what about the ‘thousands of treaties’ they would have been part of? I don’t remember a crisis of legislative re-drafting in these countries.
    Sorry but the ‘better together’ campaign needs to do more than just silly scaremongering if its going to win a referendum.
    There is actually a powerful argument on subsidiarity grounds for Scottish independence, not in the old narrow nationalist sense, but in a desire that Scotland’s future lies as a state ruling itself within the context of the European Union.
    Liberal supported Home Rule for Scotland and Ireland 100 years ago, why have we become little unionists now?

  • Steve, I agree completely and have commented on other threads to the effect that the apparent Lig Dem position does not seem to add up.

    On this forum there has been little in the way of response. Perhaps it is a lack of interest, a lack of policy or simply tacit dismissal of anything other than the status quo. It is depressing to see Lib Dems joining in with scare mongering.

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