Scottish independence? Yes, but only on these terms

by Robert Henderson

The Scots Numpty Party (SNP) has managed to defeat the attempts of the unionists who deliberately devised the electoral system to thwart single party government (and hence leave independence off the practical political agenda) and get a majority in Scotland. The SNP leader Alex Salmond can now call a referendum on independence . However, to have a referendum which is binding, the SNP needs the sanction of the UK Parliament. From his public comments David Cameron appears to accept that such a referendum would be binding because he has stated since this SNP victory that if a referendum was held he would campaign for a NO.

Whether or not Scotland would vote for independence is debatable. Polls consistently show a majority against, although there are always a substantial number of “don’t knows”. In a referendum held only in Scotland with the YES campaign headed by Salmond and the NO campaign led by Scottish non-entities or people from outside of Scotland such as Cameron, it is possible that a Yes result might be obtained.

I have no visceral objection to Scots independence, but the strongest objection to Scotland walking away from the Union without taking full responsibility for themselves and leaving the English to pick up the financial mess which a mixture of regular English subsidy of Scotland and the massive costs of the rescuing the Scottish banks RBS and HBOS. To this end the conditionsCameron should lay down for Scottish independence are these :

1. Scotland to take a share of the UK National debt (excluding the costs involved in supporting Scottish banks and building societies, mainly the RBS and HBOS banks) proportionate to the percentage of the UK population in Scotland. The servicing of this debt to be the first charge on Scotland’s public financing.

2. Scotland to pay for the past and future costs of bailing out Scottish banks and building societies.

3. The huge English subsidies to Scotland to cease immediately on a Yes vote being achieved.

4. All English public sector jobs which have been exported to Scotland to be brought back to England. This would include not merely traditional civil service posts, but facilities such as those supporting UK nuclear submarines.

5. Scotland to launch its own currency or join the Euro. If they remain tied to the pound they would have no true independence and practically be dependent on England for the macro management of their economy.

6. The division of the oil and gas fields to be made on the basis of extending a line at the angle of the coastline on the England-Scotland border. This is in accordance with the UN convention on the Law of the Sea article 7 – see
This would give England a substantial proportion of the oil and even more of the gas fields.

7. Scotland to be gifted any state owned building in Scotland but to have no claim on publicly owned facilities in the remainder of the UK.

8. Nuclear submarines and any other fundamentally important military equipment to
be moved to England

9. All military research to be moved to England.

10. All future UK defence expenditure to be made in the remainder of the UK.

11. Scotland to form its own armed forces. These will have to be capable of not only defending Scottish land but also of policing Scottish territorial waters.

12. Scotland to be gifted all military establishments in Scotland , but Scotland to have no claim on military establishments elsewhere in the UK or abroad.

13. Military equipment. Scotland to be gifted existing equipment sufficient to equip whatever forces Scotland forms provided this equipment does not exceed what is available to similar UK forces.

14. All publicly funded non-military research in Scotland to be moved to the remainder of the UK.

15. Scotland to be responsible for the payment of all public sector pensions earned in Scotland before independence.

16. Scotland to be responsible for a share proportionate to the percentage of the
UK population in Scotland of EU related pension earned before independence.

17. Scotland to be responsible for the financing all government contracts relating to
building, goods and services supplied in Scotland which were entered into before

18. Property relating to UK diplomatic missions to remain the property of the remainder of the UK.

19. Scotland to be responsible for a share of diplomatic pensions earned before independence proportionate to the percentage of the UK population in Scotland.

20. Scotland to be responsible for a share of any public service pensions other
than those related to the diplomatic corps which is earned abroad before independence proportionate to the percentage of the UK population in Scotland.

21. Immigration to Scotland from outside the EU and for any future new EU members to be controlled on the same basis as the UK controls immigration.

22. Scotland to make its own application for EU membership without support from the Westminster government.

23. If the remainder of the UK or England alone leaves the EU, the following may be put in place:

a) border controls between Scotland and the remainder of the UK

b) Scotland to be treated as any other member of the EU would be treated

c) UK protectionist barriers to Scotland

d) an end to free movement from Scotland to the remainder of the UK

e)an end to Scots citizens enjoying the benefits of the UK Welfare State

24. If Scotland is unable to gain EU membership, all of 23 may apply apart from (b).

Conditions 1-22 can be enforced while the UK without Scotland remains in the EU. If the UK without Scotland leaves the EU or England alone leaves the EU, then condition 22 is legal.

Scots will complain about not being given a share equivalent to their proportion of the UK population of the material assets of the UK armed forces or of diplomatic assets abroad. However, it is not unreasonable to advantage the remainder of the UK because England has massively subsidised Scotland since the Union in 1707. The subsidy began with the Act of Union, viz:

“Clause IX. THAT whenever the sum of One million nine hundred ninety seven thousand seven hundred and sixty three pounds eight shillings and four pence half penny, shall be enacted by the Parliament of Great Britain to be raised in that part of the United Kingdom now called England, on Land and other Things usually charged in Acts of Parliament there, for granting an Aid to the Crown by a Land Tax; that part of the United Kingdom now called Scotland, shall be charged by the same Act, with a further Sum of forty-eight thousand Pounds, free of all Charges, as the Quota of Scotland, to such Tax, and to proportionably for any greater or lesser Sum raised in England by any Tax on Land, and other Things usually charged together with the Land; and that such Quota for Scotland, in the Cases aforesaid, be raised and collected in the same Manner as the Cess now is in Scotland, but subject to such Regulations in the manner of collecting, as shall be made by the Parliament of Great Britain.” Act of Union (

The population of England was five times that of Scotland in 1707. Had Scotland paid the tax listed in Clause IX at the same rate as England they would have paid £400,000. Instead they were required to pay only £48,000, roughly a ninth of the pro rata sum.

As for the oil and gas revenues, a substantial part of that has come from oil and gas English waters. Moreover, oil revenues have only been flowing for around thirty years and Scotland was being subsidised by England for the better part of three centuries before that. Nor is it true that oil and gas revenues have been consistently high because the oil and gas price was very low for a decade or more. In most years since 1980 Scotland would not have been contributing more to the UK Treasury than they took out even if ALL the oil and gas tax was allocated to them.

If the Scots wished to start claiming they should be compensated for things such as the UK military expenditure , the retort would be all right we will let you have that, but in return we will expect you to repay all the subsidies Scotland has received since the Union began.

It is very improbable that Scotland would vote for independence on the terms I have outlined, but anything less would mean that England was taken for a ride and Scotland allowed to evade their responsibilities. There is a very real danger that Cameron would pander to the Scots and let them escape these obligations. That is why English campaigners should begin now to press politicians to make sure the Scots are not allowed an easy ride to independence at England’s expense.

17 responses to “Scottish independence? Yes, but only on these terms

  1. Whoever wrote this is an idiot…

  2. I have never read so much crap and untruths in one place the author of this is indeed a complete idiot and should be embarrassed to put their name to it.

  3. A bit rich from someone who won’t leave his name. Are you, by any chance, Scottish?

  4. I’m afraid the Scotch panic badly when faced with the reality of their country, Sean.

  5. Alexander Gordon

    If you please! Scotch is a whisky. The correct term would be Scots or the Scottish, or even Scotsmen.

  6. Sorry, these are blog entries written by Englishmen, for whom the correct word is Scotch. The patois of a foreign people cannot be imposed on us as correct English usage.

  7. Alexander Gordon – The attempt to enforce the use of language on those outside the group is an attempt at cultural conquest and should be resisted as resolutely as physical invasion.

    The aversion to the use of Scotch to describe the people of Scotland is a modern middle class affectation which has spread to the Scotch generally as they burnish their victimhood to an ever greater sheen.

    If you want to know more read

  8. For countless years, the British Unionist Parties have been telling the people of Scotland, that they are subsidized by the English Taxpayer and that Independence is the certain road to ruin. Mr Trevor Philips in his Election Manifesto for the Lord Mayorship of London called for this subsidy to stop and the money be given to London instead Even from February 1990 in the days of the handbag wielding Margaret Thatcher quote `We English, who are a marvellous people, are really very generous to Scotland.’ She was not alone in this, Scotland is constantly being sniped at by ignorant English people who accuse Scots of having an inordinent level of funding. London’s Evening Standard Newspaper has labelled the Scots `subsidy junkies’ on innumerable occasions.
    For nearly 300 years Scots have endured a barrage of such rhetoric which has sapped our innate Vitality and optimism. However I am asking the question ‘Is it True?’ Do the English Taxpayers really subsidize the Scots?
    Those of us old enough to remember Josef Goebbels, (Hitler’s infamous propaganda chief), know the quote he made:’If you tell a big enough Lie, and keep on repeating it, in the end people will come to believe it.’ The big lie of Nazism is still believed today by deluded people, still taken in by his lies. It would appear that no serious research into this Subsidy Claim has been done in the past, due in no minor part to the excessive cloud of Secrecy coming from the Civil Service Establishment. The Information was there, but had to be ferreted out of the Stationery Office and Office of National Statistics. Before much of the Government paperwork was put on the Internet.

    UK Treasury Taxation Figures 1999

    UK Whole Percent Scotland Percent
    Description of Taxes £ Millions % £ Millions %
    Value Added Taxation £ 55,700,000 100 £ 4,957,300 8.9%
    Hydrocarbon Oils £ 22,500,000 100 £ 4,477,500 19.9%
    Tobacco £ 8,300,000 100 £ 672,300 8.1%
    Alcohol Inc Whisky £ 6,400,000 100 £ 2,515,200 39.3%
    Betting & Gaming £ 1,500,000 100 £ 129,000 8.6%
    Air Passenger Duty £ 900,000 100 £ 77,400 8.6%
    Insurance Premium Tax £ 1,400,000 100 £ 120,400 8.6%
    Landfill Tax £ 400,000 100 £ 34,400 8.6%
    Other Excise duties £ 2,100,000 100 £ 180,600 8.6%
    TOTAL Customs/Excise £ 99,200,000 100 £13,164,100 13.3%
    Income Taxes Net of
    Tax Credits £ 90,700,000 100 £ 6,711,800 7.4%
    Corporation Taxes
    Non-North Sea £ 30,100,000 100 £ 2,739,100 9.1%
    Corporation Taxes
    North Sea Scotland £ 3,400,000 100 £ 3,301,400 97.1%
    Petroleum Revenue Tax £ 800,000 100 £ 776,800 97.1%
    North Sea revenues £ 2,600,000 100 £ 2,524,600 97.1%
    Capital Gains tax £ 2,400,000 100 £ 199,200 8.3%
    Inheritance Taxes £ 2,000,000 100 £ 168,000 8.4%
    Stamp Duties £ 6,100,000 100 £ 512,400 8.4% TOTAL Inland Revenue £138,100,000 100 £16,933,300 12.3%
    Vehicle Excise Duties £ 4,900,000 100 £ 445,900 9.1%
    OilField Royalties £ 400,000 100 £ 388,400 97.1%
    Business Rates £ 15,700,000 100 £ 2,527,700 16.1%
    Social Security £ 56,200,000 100 £ 4,158,800 7.4%
    Council Taxes £ 12,800,000 100 £ 1,190,400 9.3%
    Other Taxes/Royalties £ 7,500,000 100 £ 645,000 8.6%
    Interest and Dividends £ 3,600,000 100 £ 309,600 8.6%
    Gross Operating Surplus
    and Crown Estate Rents £ 18,400,000 100 £ 1,582,400 8.6% TOTAL Other Taxation £119,500,000 100 £11,248,200 9.4%
    GRAND TOTALS £356,800,000 £41,345,600 11.6%

    UNDER THE BARNET FORMULA £12,200,000 3.4%!

    Treasury Estimate of Scottish Population is that of 8.6% of UK Total.

    List of Sources used in researching the ‘Big Lie’
    1. Scottish Parliament / Publications / Government Expenditure and Revenue in Scotland 1998-1999 Section 7 : Revenue.
    2. HM Customs and Excise
    3. Pre Budget report November 1999 annex B
    4. CSR White paper Chapter 22.
    5. Crown Estates Financial Highlights 1999-2000

  9. I see that you choose to completely ignore the massive English bailout of the collapsed Scottish banks.

    Without England, Scotlands finances would make Irelands look good. Scotland is basically a welfare colony, living off money earnt in England.

  10. Why oh why do people keep repeating, mantra-like, that an independent Scotland could not have saved the banks. That argument is not only artificial, in that who knows what the banks would have done within the context of independence but it ignores the obvious – that the banks went bankrupt while part of the Union. And if Scotland is a “welfare colony” as you say then tell that to the torries, labour, and the joke that is the liberal democrats because they are all trying very hard to hold on to Scotland, now I wonder why that is… aah! maybe it’s the fact that Scotland is not an economic black hole but in actual fact is bailing out England. Stupidity combined with arrogance and a huge ego will get you now where, remember
    the English Empire is no more.

  11. They repeat the ‘mantra’ because it is true.

    Scotland is economically totally dependent on England, the idea that it is ‘bailing out England’ is gloriously, hysterically funny.

    Thanks for the laugh.

  12. Anonymous – when looking at tax take you need to understand that only tax collected from those working in the private sector (and there only where they do not work for companies working on government contracts) actually contribute new tax. Those whose wages are paid by the taxpayers are merely circulating already collected tax.

    In this context Scotland is even more indebted to England than the bare figures suggest because her public sector is much larger than that of England.

  13. Very strange. Scots money goes into the tax system, which has paid for military establishments and equipment across the globe, yet on independence england get to keep it all? Typical.

  14. “3. The huge English subsidies to Scotland to cease immediately on a Yes vote being achieved”

    I think you’ll find it’s the other way about. :-)

  15. Another English/Brit Natz rant blown out of the water!

    If you don’t like it, then feel free to grow a spine and vote to “free” your poor downtrodden England!

    “Professor Andrew Hughes Hallett is a world class economist who divides his time between George Mason University in Virginia and St Andrews. He spoke to Newsweek Scotland today about the implications of the Comprehensive Spending Review. He carefully explained how Scotland is actually in surplus, how the calculations on UK spending misrepresent Scotland and why the bank bail out is not the disaster some would have us believe. Forget what you have been told. When the sums are done Scotland actually sents a small subsidy to England, not the other way around.”


    “Interview with Andrew Hughes Hallett, Professor of Economics at the University of St. Andrews and George Mason University (Virginia).

    Derek Bateman (DB): “…that brings us nicely to Mr. Swinney who says all these cuts are the cost of the union and we can no longer afford our membership of club Britania. The implication is that our natural resources are being bled to swell around the coffers of the Treasury and the firm bite of austerity can be avoided via independence. Is there an election looming? Well we thought we would test his treaties, not with politicians but with one of our foremost academics, Sir Andrew Hughes Hallett, who is a professor of economics at both the University of St. Andrews and George Mason University in Virginia. He’s a proponent of fiscal automony for Scotland, he went into our Washington Studio.”

    Andrew Hughes Hallett (AHH): “It’s really not an issue of independence as such, as it’s the ability to use and spend your tax powers yourself. Which would make the difference, whether that’s in the context of independence or not is neither here nor there.”
    DB: “But would you not need to be an independent state in order to get those powers?”

    AHH: “If you want to get into the nitty-gritty… the usual perception is that Scotland spends something like 20% more on public services per head than the UK average, now there is nothing wrong with that if you can raise the money. Those numbers are very misleading because the spending in that part is what is spent on behalf of Scotland but not necessarily in Scotland. The estimates of Scotland’s share, that’s contributions to defence is £2.8billion whereas roughly £2.0billion are actually paid out in Scotland. So THERE IS AN IMPLICIT SUBSIDY GOING SOUTH in that sense and you can think of plenty more examples, I don’t want to get into North Sea Oil – which is an obvious one. But things to do with the crown agents who take fees for electricity generation and give it to the treasury, there use to be a case of landing fees. The foreign exchange earnings are, the tax revenues are all accredited to the London Government and so on. And so when you get down to it, on the current account for the last five years at least, maybe longer, Scotland’s had a CURRENT ACCOUNT SURPLUS – which is currently, according to the National Accounts of Scotland is £1.3 BILLION.”
    DB: “Can you actually say that Scotland would definitely be better off or is there a lot of suspicion there?”

    AHH: “No, you can DEFINATELY SAY THAT WE WOULD BE BETTER OFF in terms of revenue. It would depend on what they do with the revenue when they get it but that’s another issue of course.”
    DB: “Economically, not politically, does John Swinney have a case to make when he says that ‘Scotland can’t afford the union’?”

    AHH: “Well, I would’ve thought he has a case. I mean you would probably think the same if it was your private income because at the moment on the current account there is a subsidy going to London.”

    • “If you don’t like it, then feel free to grow a spine and vote to “free” your poor downtrodden England!”

      Sadly, the English won’t get a vote on independence. That’s something only the Scotch will have the power to decide. If you believe the Scotch are subsidising England, great – vote for President Shrek to lead you into the Promised Land. Good luck to you there. I say.

      • Well if a professor of economics tells me that is the case, why should I not believe him, yet believe you?
        And what is this thing you English Brit Natz have about Salmond? Promised land,!!!!!???? What the fuck are you babbling about?
        I don.t need salmond to tell me that in this ” union” we’re getting shafted, Salmond and the SNP are only a small part if the story.
        I realise he’s streets ahead of any other poly in the uk, but don’t think that I look upon I’m as some kind of mosses.
        Again if you hate us that much and don’t want to “feed” us then by all means , bite to “free” your England, and leave us in peace.