EDITOR'S CHAIR: If Scotland goes it alone, where does that leave Wales?

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Handout photo issued by Devlin 
Photo Ltd of (left) Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond and former chancellor, the leader of the pro-UK Better Together campaign Alistair Darling at a TV debate of the independ

FREE FIRST USE ONLY EDITORIAL USE ONLY Handout photo issued by Devlin Photo Ltd of (left) Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond and former chancellor, the leader of the pro-UK Better Together campaign Alistair Darling at a TV debate of the independ

First published in News by

THE United Kingdom is, effectively, just six weeks away from breaking up.

It is a remarkable thought, but it is where we are as a union.

On September 18, the people of Scotland will decide in a referendum whether they want to be an independent nation.

Campaigning kicked off in earnest this week as the leaders of the Yes and No campaigns - First Minister Alex Salmond and former Chancellor Alastair Darling respectively - took part in the first of two live televised debates.

Most commentators believe Mr Darling won the debate, with immediate opinion polls backing their views.

And the Better Together campaign - backed by the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties - will be heartened by the latest opinion poll, which shows it running 14 percentage points ahead of Yes Scotland support.

But what happens if there is a Yes vote next month Scotland becomes independent in March, 2016?

And, more importantly for Wales, what would that mean for us?

There are, of course, a host of issues and scenarios that will be played out over the next six weeks. Sovereignty, currency, economics, democracy, agriculture, business, defence, energy, taxation, European Union membership and even the future of the BBC all come into the equation.

But let's imagine for a moment that Scotland votes for independence.

In the immediate aftermath, the Scottish and UK governments would begin negotiations towards a transfer of powers.

We would then have the slightly bizarre prospect of Scottish voters taking part in next year's General Election and Scottish MPs being able to vote on UK issues despite their jobs disappearing within nine months of being elected.

In the months following a Yes vote, I suspect there would be increased calls either for more powers for the Welsh Government or, in some quarters, for an independence referendum here.

As things stand at the moment, there does not appear to be the appetite for independence in Wales that there has been in Scotland for some years.

And let us not forget that, long before devolution, Scotland had its own legal and education systems among other separate institutions.

Wales is, at the moment, inextricably linked to England.

But let's look a little deeper at the political fall-out of Scottish independence and how that might change things for Wales.

Scottish independence would almost certainly mean future UK (or whatever the remaining parts of the union will be called) governments will be Conservative.

That would effectively create a permanent political divide between Wales and England - and that would almost certainly lead to demands for more autonomy or the Welsh Government.

And that might eventually lead to a concerted campaign for Welsh independence.

I can imagine a Westminster government post-Scottish independence wanting to do it all can to preserve the remainder of the union and offering more devolution to Wales and Northern Ireland as a result.

But I can also imagine a growing clamour for English devolution. There is already a campaign for it.

The real impact of Scottish independence on Wales, however, will depend on how Scotland fared as an independent nation.

If independence was a roaring success it would encourage Welsh separatism. If it was an unmitigated disaster, it would probably kill any thoughts of Welsh independence forever.

The next six weeks will be interesting. Scotland's independence referendum is a once-in-a-generation event.

Whether Scotland votes Yes or No remains to be seen - as does the potential impact of either outcome on Wales.

Comments (9)

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11:09am Thu 7 Aug 14

Musing Militant says...

I seem to recall some people mentioning the issue of NATO and the EU during this Scottish debate. I think if the Scots will have a big bargaining chip if they vote Yes. Imagine if NATO and / or EU say get lost. All Scotland has to do is cosy up a bit to the Russians. NATO and EU would be very nervous. Hence I do not think many defence etc will be lost if Scots vote YES. The EU and NATO will make sure that Scotland is kept sweet.
I seem to recall some people mentioning the issue of NATO and the EU during this Scottish debate. I think if the Scots will have a big bargaining chip if they vote Yes. Imagine if NATO and / or EU say get lost. All Scotland has to do is cosy up a bit to the Russians. NATO and EU would be very nervous. Hence I do not think many defence etc will be lost if Scots vote YES. The EU and NATO will make sure that Scotland is kept sweet. Musing Militant
  • Score: -6

12:11pm Thu 7 Aug 14

Mr Miffed says...

I wouldn't care about Wales voting for separation as long as Monmouthshire and Newport stay where they belong. With England. I'd rather be the on the outskirts of one of the world's richest countries than in the banana republic that Wales would be as the new Socialist Republic of North Korea.
I wouldn't care about Wales voting for separation as long as Monmouthshire and Newport stay where they belong. With England. I'd rather be the on the outskirts of one of the world's richest countries than in the banana republic that Wales would be as the new Socialist Republic of North Korea. Mr Miffed
  • Score: -1

12:16pm Thu 7 Aug 14

Stevenboy says...

Mr Miffed wrote:
I wouldn't care about Wales voting for separation as long as Monmouthshire and Newport stay where they belong. With England. I'd rather be the on the outskirts of one of the world's richest countries than in the banana republic that Wales would be as the new Socialist Republic of North Korea.
Well true. Any minute now though the 'chip on both shoulder' nationalist loonies and fruit-loops will weigh in reminding us all of how beastly England has always been to the down-trodden peasants here and how they made them wear the Welsh knot, and wasn't Henry V111 an evil git for taking them over .....etc
[quote][p][bold]Mr Miffed[/bold] wrote: I wouldn't care about Wales voting for separation as long as Monmouthshire and Newport stay where they belong. With England. I'd rather be the on the outskirts of one of the world's richest countries than in the banana republic that Wales would be as the new Socialist Republic of North Korea.[/p][/quote]Well true. Any minute now though the 'chip on both shoulder' nationalist loonies and fruit-loops will weigh in reminding us all of how beastly England has always been to the down-trodden peasants here and how they made them wear the Welsh knot, and wasn't Henry V111 an evil git for taking them over .....etc Stevenboy
  • Score: -1

12:21pm Thu 7 Aug 14

KarloMarko says...

Scotland will not vote Yes, more's the pity. But if it did and whatever the then constitutional implications, Wales would roll itself into a ball, think nostalgically of the 1950s and "Mam", switch on Roy Noble or the "rugby", drain the last SA and sob itself to sleep. Because that's what WALES does best. Politically dead from the neck up.
Scotland will not vote Yes, more's the pity. But if it did and whatever the then constitutional implications, Wales would roll itself into a ball, think nostalgically of the 1950s and "Mam", switch on Roy Noble or the "rugby", drain the last SA and sob itself to sleep. Because that's what WALES does best. Politically dead from the neck up. KarloMarko
  • Score: 3

3:06pm Thu 7 Aug 14

DavidMclean says...

The Scots are fundamentally different to the Welsh in one key respect; they have a fire in their belly, while the welsh have a chip on their shoulder.

The Welsh culture is (sadly) one of begrudging cap-doffing subservience to our English masters. Only in sport does that change and a fire, passion and resistance start to show.

The idea that you need to be part of something larger - a union, an empire, the EU - in order to survive is an outdated one in the modern world where boundaries are largely only representative and where business, commerce and communications have no boundaries.

The smallest of states can survive and prosper if they knuckle down and have something they can sell to the outside world. Wealth is relative to size - a single person earning £30,000 is better off than a family that earns £30,000 between them. The same applies to nations.
The Scots are fundamentally different to the Welsh in one key respect; they have a fire in their belly, while the welsh have a chip on their shoulder. The Welsh culture is (sadly) one of begrudging cap-doffing subservience to our English masters. Only in sport does that change and a fire, passion and resistance start to show. The idea that you need to be part of something larger - a union, an empire, the EU - in order to survive is an outdated one in the modern world where boundaries are largely only representative and where business, commerce and communications have no boundaries. The smallest of states can survive and prosper if they knuckle down and have something they can sell to the outside world. Wealth is relative to size - a single person earning £30,000 is better off than a family that earns £30,000 between them. The same applies to nations. DavidMclean
  • Score: 6

5:33pm Thu 7 Aug 14

Stevenboy says...

DavidMclean wrote:
The Scots are fundamentally different to the Welsh in one key respect; they have a fire in their belly, while the welsh have a chip on their shoulder.

The Welsh culture is (sadly) one of begrudging cap-doffing subservience to our English masters. Only in sport does that change and a fire, passion and resistance start to show.

The idea that you need to be part of something larger - a union, an empire, the EU - in order to survive is an outdated one in the modern world where boundaries are largely only representative and where business, commerce and communications have no boundaries.

The smallest of states can survive and prosper if they knuckle down and have something they can sell to the outside world. Wealth is relative to size - a single person earning £30,000 is better off than a family that earns £30,000 between them. The same applies to nations.
The Scots have a fire in their belly huh? On current projection about one third will vote to leave the Union. The rest prefer the self-serving economic argument apparently.
[quote][p][bold]DavidMclean[/bold] wrote: The Scots are fundamentally different to the Welsh in one key respect; they have a fire in their belly, while the welsh have a chip on their shoulder. The Welsh culture is (sadly) one of begrudging cap-doffing subservience to our English masters. Only in sport does that change and a fire, passion and resistance start to show. The idea that you need to be part of something larger - a union, an empire, the EU - in order to survive is an outdated one in the modern world where boundaries are largely only representative and where business, commerce and communications have no boundaries. The smallest of states can survive and prosper if they knuckle down and have something they can sell to the outside world. Wealth is relative to size - a single person earning £30,000 is better off than a family that earns £30,000 between them. The same applies to nations.[/p][/quote]The Scots have a fire in their belly huh? On current projection about one third will vote to leave the Union. The rest prefer the self-serving economic argument apparently. Stevenboy
  • Score: -1

2:04pm Fri 8 Aug 14

cymrocaerffili says...

If you don't like Wales, move out. If you don't like our culture, move out. If you don't like our language, move out. These unionists here are constantly getting 'a happy' over England yet they remain here in Wales...so confused...must be because of our cheaper housing, free bus passes and free prescriptions. They moan all the time about Wales yet do nothing about it.
I cannot wait for the vote and Scotland getting it's independence; to be able to sit with the other 190 odd independent states of the world. to have a say in NATO and the EU. There are 3 states out of 28 in NATO that harbour nuclear weapons...I'm pretty sure Scotland can remove Trident and sit with the other 25 non-nuclear WMD states. They will also sit beside the Ministers of the EU members (something they don't have the privaledge of now)...why, because the EU won't kick out European citizens that have abided by European law for the past 40 odd years. They will also be able to keep the pound...why...well because England doesn't own the pound...the Bank of England was established by a Scotsman...so England can't deny them what is already rightfully theirs. Come on Scotland...follow Ireland and the rest of the 'free' world and one day Wales and England will follow...neighbours and friends instead of being in a moaning and unhappy married relationship.
If you don't like Wales, move out. If you don't like our culture, move out. If you don't like our language, move out. These unionists here are constantly getting 'a happy' over England yet they remain here in Wales...so confused...must be because of our cheaper housing, free bus passes and free prescriptions. They moan all the time about Wales yet do nothing about it. I cannot wait for the vote and Scotland getting it's independence; to be able to sit with the other 190 odd independent states of the world. to have a say in NATO and the EU. There are 3 states out of 28 in NATO that harbour nuclear weapons...I'm pretty sure Scotland can remove Trident and sit with the other 25 non-nuclear WMD states. They will also sit beside the Ministers of the EU members (something they don't have the privaledge of now)...why, because the EU won't kick out European citizens that have abided by European law for the past 40 odd years. They will also be able to keep the pound...why...well because England doesn't own the pound...the Bank of England was established by a Scotsman...so England can't deny them what is already rightfully theirs. Come on Scotland...follow Ireland and the rest of the 'free' world and one day Wales and England will follow...neighbours and friends instead of being in a moaning and unhappy married relationship. cymrocaerffili
  • Score: 7

5:16pm Fri 8 Aug 14

Martyn Butler says...

If Scotland goes it alone, where does that leave Wales?

Superior - So Nothing changes ;-)
If Scotland goes it alone, where does that leave Wales? Superior - So Nothing changes ;-) Martyn Butler
  • Score: -3

10:16am Sun 10 Aug 14

scraptheWAG says...

cymrocaerffili wrote:
If you don't like Wales, move out. If you don't like our culture, move out. If you don't like our language, move out. These unionists here are constantly getting 'a happy' over England yet they remain here in Wales...so confused...must be because of our cheaper housing, free bus passes and free prescriptions. They moan all the time about Wales yet do nothing about it.
I cannot wait for the vote and Scotland getting it's independence; to be able to sit with the other 190 odd independent states of the world. to have a say in NATO and the EU. There are 3 states out of 28 in NATO that harbour nuclear weapons...I'm pretty sure Scotland can remove Trident and sit with the other 25 non-nuclear WMD states. They will also sit beside the Ministers of the EU members (something they don't have the privaledge of now)...why, because the EU won't kick out European citizens that have abided by European law for the past 40 odd years. They will also be able to keep the pound...why...well because England doesn't own the pound...the Bank of England was established by a Scotsman...so England can't deny them what is already rightfully theirs. Come on Scotland...follow Ireland and the rest of the 'free' world and one day Wales and England will follow...neighbours and friends instead of being in a moaning and unhappy married relationship.
you do know wales is totally supported by the english taxpayer it just livess of grant money
[quote][p][bold]cymrocaerffili[/bold] wrote: If you don't like Wales, move out. If you don't like our culture, move out. If you don't like our language, move out. These unionists here are constantly getting 'a happy' over England yet they remain here in Wales...so confused...must be because of our cheaper housing, free bus passes and free prescriptions. They moan all the time about Wales yet do nothing about it. I cannot wait for the vote and Scotland getting it's independence; to be able to sit with the other 190 odd independent states of the world. to have a say in NATO and the EU. There are 3 states out of 28 in NATO that harbour nuclear weapons...I'm pretty sure Scotland can remove Trident and sit with the other 25 non-nuclear WMD states. They will also sit beside the Ministers of the EU members (something they don't have the privaledge of now)...why, because the EU won't kick out European citizens that have abided by European law for the past 40 odd years. They will also be able to keep the pound...why...well because England doesn't own the pound...the Bank of England was established by a Scotsman...so England can't deny them what is already rightfully theirs. Come on Scotland...follow Ireland and the rest of the 'free' world and one day Wales and England will follow...neighbours and friends instead of being in a moaning and unhappy married relationship.[/p][/quote]you do know wales is totally supported by the english taxpayer it just livess of grant money scraptheWAG
  • Score: 0

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