Scottish referendum: Will the English still drink scotch? 131



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So, the Scots (they’re Scots, not Scotchmen! Scotch is a drink, not a person). I’ll start again…So, the Scots want to leave the United Kingdom and ‘have a go’ on their own. Well, I’m sure most Englishmen will wish them the best of luck and warn them there’s no way back into the Kingdom once they leave! Ever since Culloden, England has been looking after the interests of the Scottish nation, but despite all the good they have received, they still refuse to forgive the Sassenachs for the whipping the British gave them on that fateful day, wiping out their chances of putting a Stuart on the throne of England again.

But look at what they have at the moment – a ready market for a heady brew they concocted, up in the Highlands, costing pence to make, but resulting in enormous profits for some – the drink mentioned in line one above! Then there’s the offshore oil; English companies like BP have been only too happy to help the Scots out with the purifying and marketing of that fine product, and they even allowed a small share of the profits to remain in Scotland too. What will happen if the country leaves the UK? Will BP still be happy to help remove the oil? Will the English still be prepared to drink scotch, when there is so much else available today, such as vodka, gin, brandy and Jamaica rum?

Or are the five and a quarter million haggis eating, kilt-wearing people who live north of Hadrian’s Wall suddenly going to find there’s not quite so much porridge in the bowl any more? (That’s a metaphor!). It’s very hard to guess, but what worries me slightly is the fact that the population is rather small for a global economy. Will the mighty organisations now running our world see fit to waste time, energy and money on such a mediocre sized market? Nissan alone can sell nearly three million cars in the UK, most of them south of the border – what will happen if Scotland suddenly starts charging duty on vehicles imported from that foreign country glued onto their southern boundary? Will Nissan say “Why bother?” – who knows!

Sales of most things into Scotland at the present time, from England or anywhere else, are small because of the population size, but there is a responsibility at the moment to keep sending the stuff up there, as with any other part of the UK, some of which are just as isolated and sparsely populated as Scotland! Once Scotland is alone, there will no longer be a responsibility to do this, so again those people ‘up there’ may find things they take for granted now, are either not available any more, or are much dearer.

One thing Scotland is very good at is a particular form of export, found all over the world and in large quantities – people. Scots are renowned for hard work, honesty and great natural skills, especially in engineering and similar trades. Pay for these skills is much higher in places like Australia, China, America, etc., so undoubtedly the ‘trade’ will still go on apace. But, without the support of England, can the new Scotland really afford to lose these people, or can they afford to pay them what they are really worth, in order to keep them there?

I for one, wish them the very best of luck, should the ballot go the way of the ‘Yes’ vote, but I think they are going to need it. They are suddenly going to be a very small fish in a very large pond, with no-one to care for them any longer. It will be up to them, ALL of them, to pull their joint weights, or I can see nothing but failure. Let’s hope they’re up to it!

Do you have Scottish blood? What are your thoughts on the referendum and what would you vote? What do you think will happen if Scotland becomes independent?

Brian Lee

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