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Scotland Referendum: the SNP simply cannot go on dictating the terms of the debate.


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A recent trip to Edinburgh highlighted for me exactly the kind of dangerous political game Alex Salmond, the First Minister for Scotland is playing with the independence debate.

Alex SalmondOn a TV screen he was droning on about the Pound Sterling and the Bank of England post-independence.

His slagging off of the English and turning nations against each other is the worst kind of political posturing, and because of this kind of stance the UK is a disunited entity at the moment.

The Scottish National Party love to audaciously sling insults at the English, in particular the Westminster parliament in a desperate attempt to set their own agenda, ignoring reality, facts and fairness.

They salivate over the prospect over job losses in shipyards, in the public sector, and deeper spending cuts for Scottish Councils, because it panders to their dream of true separation - a loyal, socialist one-party state.

Certainly, many Scots, just like the English, Welsh and Northern Irish, have faced worrying financial circumstances in recent years. Food banks are on the rise, and so are gas and electricity bills.

Tory toff David Cameron hasn’t a clue about real living, or hard work for that matter. But neither does Alex Salmond, who takes up residency at the 17th Century Mansion Brute House, in Edinburgh, who tries to peg himself as a sort of social hero for the Scots.

What is even more worrying is the level of resentment from Scottish people towards the English, and vice versa.

For this I blame both parties involved - Yes Scotland and Better Together.

When Mr Salmond gleefully unveiled his long awaited white paper last November, he made a number of cast iron guarantees to the nation that disregard the complexity of the situation.

For instance, the pound will remain the currency of an independent Scotland, and the Bank of England will be the lender of last resort, no questions asked.

But if this is to be the case and it will affect the lives of the English, doesn’t Westminster need to be involved in the decision of what is the best route of action?

Certainly, the lovely people of Scotland can go it alone and hope to build a better, stronger country if they wish. But Salmond and his National cronies haven’t once consulted the English about this massive change to how our currency works. These importance issues are faced by both countries.

It would be mad for English taxpayers to be made liable for Scottish banks if and when they go bust. Their dogged assurances that Scottish representation will be at the Bank of England are preposterous as flying to the moon.

Put simply: the SNP cannot go on to dictate the key issues of the independence debate all by themselves. They cannot pick the best and ditch the rest, like Trident for instance: no-one wants nuclear weapons on their doorstep, but to claim that they will be removed off the Clyde is equally ludicrous.

Why is this? Well, in order to join Nato, each member state, nuclear or not, must abide by Nato rules. This includes allowing nuclear submarines on patrol in the North Sea and surrounding maritime boundaries: including Scotland. This will involve submarines being stationed in Scottish ports, as they are now, regardless if they are British, French or German.

A little fact that the SNP refuse to divulge.

The European Union will welcome the country with open arms! Business’s wont collapse or suffer at all if the union recedes, but if Scotland leaves the EU, then everything in life would halt. Because the truth is Scotland maintains that it will have completely different levels of corporation tax, spending plans and business rates to that of England: how on earth will British companies adjust to that?

Some recent survey’s put support for independence at the 30% mark, but the most recent survey by Salvation, placed support for the union at 52% and independence at a mere 29%.

Of course, there is plenty to play for, and the Yes campaign can still win the referendum. Even the President of the European Council, Jose Manuel Barroso, has indicated that any new state would have to reapply for membership of the EU. He made these comments in October 2013, speaking specifically about Catalonia in Spain. Yet we all know he had Scotland on his mind too.

I say this because the SNP are so obsessed with the EU, they are foaming at the mouth.

For centuries the SNP, and Yes campaigners, have argued that they detest policies being made in London. Yet they are more than happy for policies to be made in Brussels instead.

If you had the displeasure of reading the white paper, as I have, you find numerous references by the SNP about the ‘unequal country’ of the UK, and the ‘faltering economy’, ‘unfit political system’, ‘outdated constitution’ and much more.

Yet, why would both countries remain, as the SNP claim, the ‘very best of friends and allies’?

This idea would be damaging to Salmond’s rampant us versus them rhetoric. That is why he is demanding a live TV debate. David Cameron lecturing Scots on the referendum is not only offensive, but deeply damaging to the entire political fabric of the vote. Salmond knows this - the sight of an English Tory, who is keeping nuclear weapons in Scotland, imposed the bedroom tax and many other damaging welfare cuts, would have Scots running for the ballot box.

Salmond is a ruthless, intelligent politician who knows his way around a cabinet table. But give this man power and it goes straight to his head like a couple of Jagerbombs. He dreams of UN speeches, limousine lunches, shaking hands with Obama and Clinton, his deputy grinning in the background, draped in the satire.

The overwhelming question is, of course, whether Scotland can truly go it alone. Yes, is the answer.

But the messy, complicated negotiations in between can blur the lines easily. Whatever the outcome of the referendum, I firmly believe that the English have rights to deny the SNP their demands.

Whatever impact the result has, it will be felt for generations, not the length of Cameron and Salmond’s careers. And most importantly, to let the SNP dictate the debate, is simply too criminal to let past.

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