Referendum 2014
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Referendum 2014
The Scottish independence referendum and the debate about Scotland's constitutional future
Curated by Peter A Bell
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Scottish independence: ‘Scots welcome in Nato’

Scottish independence: ‘Scots welcome in Nato’ | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
AN INDEPENDENT Scotland would be welcomed into Nato even if it ditched Trident, says a former UK ambassador to the nuclear-based defence alliance.
Peter A Bell's insight:

Another unionist scare story evaporates.

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The ultimate Britishness fail

The ultimate Britishness fail | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

The Times of London (to give it its full title) has been the newspaper of record for the British establishment for 226 years. It was practically the only facet of British life that survived in the ...

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The unionist case for independence

The unionist case for independence | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
The unionist case for Scots voting No in the independence referendum is enscapulated in the following quote from the website of "Better Together", the official No campaign: "Devolution offers us th...
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Labour peer Robertson says No to Scotland but Yes to Russia in NATO

Labour peer Robertson says No to Scotland but Yes to Russia in NATO | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Scottish News, News Scotland - Politics, Referendum, Economy, Culture and intelligent opinion | Newsnet Scotland, uniquely Scottish
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Norway PM’s expected Nato role ‘welcome’ - SNP

Norway PM’s expected Nato role ‘welcome’ - SNP | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
SUPPORTERS of Scottish independence have privately hailed the expected appointment of Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg as the next head of Nato after he was publicly backed by David Cameron.
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Independent Scotland would be invited into NATO 'immediately' | Yes Scotland

Independent Scotland would be invited into NATO 'immediately' | Yes Scotland | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

An independent Scotland would be invited immediately into NATO and the removal of the Trident nuclear arsenal from our shores would have ‘absolutely no impact’ on that decision.

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The keepers of the gate

The keepers of the gate | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Professor Michael E. Smith, the Chair of International Relations at the University of Aberdeen, is a man who it’s fair to say knows his onions when it comes to the politics of transatlantic defence. A native of the USA who describes himself as “increasingly intrigued about independence”, he’s written extensively on EU military and security policy, and also understands the internal machinations of NATO a touch better than plebs such as ourselves or even, dare we say it, Willie Rennie.


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Jim Arnott's curator insight, August 21, 2013 5:40 AM

An expert analysis on Scotland and NATO from a renowned academic. Professor Smith highlights some of the scaremongering that Better Together are deploying in the vain hope of retaining Trident in order to secure their seat in the United Nations Security Council

 

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Blood from a stone

Blood from a stone | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
We might have to transcribe the whole thing, because it's remarkable. But for now here's just a brief flavour of Willie Rennie on the subject of an independent Scotland's membership of NATO, from l...
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NATO: Unionist nuclear attacks undermined by Spanish precedent

NATO: Unionist nuclear attacks undermined by Spanish precedent | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Claims that an independent Scotland would be prevented from joining NATO if it insisted on the removal of the Trident nuclear weapons system from the Clyde have been undermined after it emerged a similar situation has arisen before.


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Nato opens Scottish independence talks - The Targe

Nato opens Scottish independence talks - The Targe | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Reports have emerged that Nato officials met with representatives of the Scottish Government in Brussels last month to discuss an independent Scotland’s continued membership of the security alliance. The talks, facilitated and attended by the UK’s Nato delegation, have been described as “informal and informational in nature”.


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Talks welcomed between Scottish Government & NATO | Scottish National Party

Talks welcomed between Scottish Government & NATO | Scottish National Party | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

The Scottish National Party has welcomed news of talks between the Scottish Government and NATO about non-nuclear membership of the defence alliance.

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Danish interviews contradict Better Together's EU claims

Danish interviews contradict Better Together's EU claims | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

SENIOR Danish politicians and academics have claimed that the entry of an independent Scotland into the EU and Nato would be swift and straightforward.

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Scottish independence: Nato entry ‘not automatic’

AN INDEPENDENT Scotland would have to apply to join Nato, the Scottish Government has admitted for the first time.
Peter A Bell's insight:

Many will find the UK government's aggressively antagonistic posturing highly regrettable.

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Former NATO ambassador backs Yes vote

Former NATO ambassador backs Yes vote | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

The UK's former Ambassador to NATO has said she will be voting Yes in the independence referendum.

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An actual letter from America

An actual letter from America | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
I'm Will McLeod and I'm the Government and World Affairs Correspondent for Netroots Radio. I've been following the Scottish independence referendum for a few years now. Most of the fallacious argum...
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Scotland ‘will use nuclear weapons to bargain with’

Scotland ‘will use nuclear weapons to bargain with’ | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
AN INDEPENDENT Scotland might be forced to postpone banning nuclear weapons from its territory in exchange for an easier passage into Nato and the European Union, a leading defence expert has claimed.
Peter A Bell's insight:

It is interesting, if not at all surprising, that The Scotsman chooses to hurriedly gloss over the main finding of Professor Malcolm Chalmers's report, namely that plans for Scotland's defences are perfectly viable. Instead, we get this focus on the issue of nuclear weapons.
 
Professor Chalmers is wrong about one thing. There has been no "softening of the SNP position” on Trident. All there has been is a statement of what was already obvious. There was never any possibility that Trident would be removed overnight. The nature of the referendum campaign has made it necessary to spell out things that would normally be taken for granted simply to minimise the extent to which the anti-independence mob are able to misrepresent SNP policy and the Scottish Governments plans.
 
The time-table for removal of Trident is something that was always going to have to be negotiated. And it was always going to be impossible for the Scottish Government to force early removal. To do so would leave them open to accusations of compromising safety for political reasons.
 
But while Professor Chalmers and the anti-independence mob persist in the notion that Scotland comes to these negotiations empty-handed, the reality is that the British state's obsession with Trident, and Nato's obsession with WMD in general, puts Scotland in a strong bargaining position.
 
The rUK will desperately need time to arrange the relocation of its nuclear arsenal. It is the needful buyer and Scotland is the seller. It will be Scotland that sets the price that rUK will have to pay for any leeway in the time-scale for the removal of Trident.
 
Likewise, geopolitical factors make Scotland's cooperation crucial to Nato. The clue is in the "North Atlantic" part of the alliance's name. It is both simplistic and insulting to maintain that Scotland will be the only party to negotiations required to make concessions. Both rUK and Nato will be under considerable pressure to make accommodations that the Scottish Government can live with.
 
In the end, nobody will get everything that they want. That is ever the way with such negotiations. Trident will probably stay longer than most people in Scotland would like. But this concession will not simply have been extracted. It will have been bought. And, as an independent nation, Scotland will be in a position to freely negotiate the price.

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SNP’s nuclear weapons ban ‘unacceptable for Nato’

SNP’s nuclear weapons ban ‘unacceptable for Nato’ | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
THE SNP’s plan to scrap Trident would cast a “dark shadow” over the international reception given to a newly independent Scottish nation, according to a dozen high-ranking defence veterans.
Peter A Bell's insight:
Apparently, a bunch of mothballed military types have seen fit to write a threatening letter to Scotland's First Minister.

Where have these people been for the last two years? Why are they talking about negotiations on currency etc. being "complex and difficult" when the UK Government has already ruled out negotiations? Well, the UK Government except for Philip Hammond who seems not have have received the memo.

Why are they talking about a risk of these these negotiations being soured when they have already been turned rancid by the UK government's belligerent, antagonistic attitude?

Why are they purporting to speak for NATO? Nowhere do I see any of these people identified as having any particular standing within NATO.

By what authority do these people presume to speak for the US? Or France? Or any of the other member nations of NATO? Or, for that matter, the entire international community?

What exactly are these people proposing? Are they suggesting that some kind of pressure would be brought to bear in an effort to force the Scottish Government to allow Trident to remain on Scottish soil? Wouldn't that be illegal?

What kind of pressure do these people envisage being used? Economic sanctions? Military intervention? Wouldn't that also be illegal?

Where, in all of the pompous posturing from these blimpish buffoons, is there any indication that they have taken due account of the value of Scotland to NATO? Are they unaware of Scotland's geopolitical significance? Or are they merely intent on portraying Scotland as powerless in the face of a petulant and spiteful British state? Is their purpose to convey the impression that Scotland comes to the independence negotiations with no bargaining chips at all? Is that down to their ignorance? Or is it wilful dishonesty?
The UK Trident system represents only around 1% of of NATO's nuclear capability. In military terms, it is an expensive white elephant. Scotland's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), by contrast, represents a massively significant and increasingly important section of the Northern Atlantic. Is there any doubt that Scotland's strategic position is frequently used by the British state to bolster its position?
Are we supposed to believe that. like our oil reserves, this national asset suddenly becomes worthless when it is no longer administered by a British state which has shown itself to be neglectful and incompetent in this regard? Are we supposed to believe that NATO would not look favourably on the Scottish Government's defence plans relative to the badly managed decline of the U' imperialistic pretensions?

Why would rUK's problems with how to dispose of its WMD be a consideration at all for those voting in the referendum? We know, do we not, that Scotland's problems in being used as a dumping ground by the British state were never a consideration?

Why are these people trying to give the impression that the Scottish Government is making unreasonable demands? The SG has bent over backwards to stress its willingness to cooperate fully with rUK in the matter of removal of Trident, as it has in all other matters. What is unreasonable about declining to host another nation's WMD? Indeed, would doing otherwise not contravene various international protocols?

Are these people claiming that some way could be found to circumvent such protocols? If so, why would Scotland want to start its new life as an independent nation in such a way? Would that not seriously tarnish the nation's reputation and standing with the international community? Arguable more so than standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the vast majority of nations which possess no WMD, desire no WMD, abhor them, and will not permit them on their territory?

Who the hell do these people think they are?
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George Galloway: Independent Scotland 'could be dragged into war'

George Galloway: Independent Scotland 'could be dragged into war' | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
SNP claim the Dundee-born MP 'needs to get to grips with reality' after Nato membership comments.
Peter A Bell's insight:

"George Galloway needs to get to grips with reality." - Great advice from Angus Robertson.

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Britain to host next Nato summit

BRITAIN is to host next year's Nato summit - possibly just weeks before the independence referendum.
Peter A Bell's insight:

Unionists will doubtless see this as an another opportunity to strike one of those "crushing blows" against Scotland's independence campaign which, curiously, never seem to have any effect on Yes campaigners or any impact on support for a Yes vote. I note that already one of the more seriously delusional British nationalist fanatics who haunt this place is making the ludicrous prediction that holding the Nato conference in Scotland will have the "inevitable consequence of yet more SNP MSPs resigning from the party". Utter nonsense, of course.


Personally, I would welcome the Nato conference coming to Scotland. Just as I would welcome any debate that might be had on Scotland's post-independence relationship with the alliance. I have not the slightest doubt that such a debate would serve only to further expose the UK Government's increasingly shrill scare-mongering on the matter. Those who are opposed to Scotland's membership of Nato would have an chance to make their views known. At the same time, the anticipated conciliatory - or, at least, non-committal - tone of any Nato response to the UK Government's anti-Scottish lobbying would provide reassurance for those who take the view that conditional membership of Nato is in Scotland's best interests.


Most importantly, what would be highlighted by the event would be the fact that the decision on Scotland's relationship with Nato must be taken in Scotland by a government elected by the people of of Scotland. And the only way this can happen is if we vote Yes in next years' referendum.

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The limits of democracy

The limits of democracy | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

We’ve already noted part of Willie Rennie’s appearance on Newnight Scotland this week, reinforcing the strange phenomenon by which the Unionist parties continue to suggest that an independent Scotland would be a dictatorial state more reminiscent of Zimbabwe than a modern western democracy with a proportionally-elected parliament.


Peter A Bell's insight:

Willie Rennie's role as a quote dispenser for the anti-independence campaign suggests that it may be reasonable to take him to be a good barometer of British nationalist thinking. Which is cause for considerable concern.

Note the reluctance to allow that an independent Scotland would be a functioning democracy. Is it that Rennie actually doubts the democratic credentials of the Scottish Parliament? Is it that he has reservations about the democratic effectiveness of the electoral system which was, after all, designed by the British parties for their own purposes?

Is it that he questions the commitment to democratic principles of the people of Scotland?

Or could it be that, put to the test, he was torn between acknowledging Scottish democracy and maintaining Project Fear's line that independence would inevitably lead to some kind of one-party dictatorship?

And what are we to make of Rennie's barely coherent babbling about "the UK’s nuclear deterrent"? Is it really the view of the British parties that rUK should be permitted to impose its WMD on another sovereign nation against the democratically expressed wishes of the people? What kind of democracy is this?

To whatever extent it may be sensible to take Rennie seriously it seems that arrogant, aggressive imperialism continues to be a defining characteristic of the British state - even if Scotland is one of the few remaining places where this overbearing sense of unchallengeable entitlement can be exercised.

Why would anybody vote to keep Scotland in this position? Why would anybody vote to empower people who hold Scotland, its Parliament and its people in such casual contempt?

Why would anybody vote No in Scotland's independence referendum?

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Jim Arnott's curator insight, August 20, 2013 11:39 AM

The wee boy is at it again. Best just to ignore his innane utterances.

 

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NATO: Unionist nuclear attacks undermined by Spanish precedent

NATO: Unionist nuclear attacks undermined by Spanish precedent | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Claims that an independent Scotland would be prevented from joining NATO if it insisted on the removal of the Trident nuclear weapons system from the Clyde have been undermined after it emerged a similar situation has arisen before.


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Scottish independence: Scots Government-Nato talks

Scottish independence: Scots Government-Nato talks | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
SCOTTISH Government officials have held talks with Nato to discuss membership of the alliance in the event of independence, it was confirmed yesterday.
Peter A Bell's insight:

Unless the sovereign people of Scotland elect a government that is in favour of allowing foreign powers to use Scotland as a dumping-ground for their stockpiles of WMD then Trident is gone. Nato and the rump British state will just have to find a way to live with that.

And they will. Scotland is just too strategically and economically important for it to be otherwise. In which case the half of the country that favours Nato membership will be happy.

Or they won't. But they will then have to find a way of fitting Scotland into the region's defence arrangements as a non-member of Nato. In which case the half of the country that is against Nato membership will be happy.

Either way, Michael "Mr Pointless" Moore will have no say in the matter. Hard as it may be to believe, he will be even more irrelevant after independence than he is now.

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Alex Salmond accused of misleading voters over Trident base promises

Alex Salmond accused of misleading voters over Trident base promises | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Both political opponents and allies of Scottish government say pledge to join Nato is at odds with stance on nuclear disarmamant
Peter A Bell's insight:

It is interesting to note how the British nationalists have back-pedalled on this issue. They started off with a blanket assertion that Scotland would not be allowed to join Nato. This has been eroded to the point where they are now desperately trying to contrive reasons why Nato might exclude Scotland. This imagined dispute over Faslane is the latest of these desperate concoctions.

There is no dispute over the fate of the British state's stockpiles of WMD. They will not be permitted to remain in Scotland. All that is left is to settle on a timetable for the removal of this obscenity. That is a matter of negotiation, not dispute.

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The unnecessary umbrella

The unnecessary umbrella | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

The No campaign is fond of mocking the SNP’s insistence that an independent Scotland could be a member of NATO while still getting rid of Trident. The USA in particular, it’s frequently argued, would simply not stand for the Scots taking the strategic base at Faslane out of the North Atlantic picture while still seeking the benefits of the alliance’s military presence and protection.


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Jim Arnott's curator insight, July 15, 2013 4:11 PM

As always the comments section is just as illuminating as the article itself.

 

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Exclusive: ‘Scottish EU Membership Straightforward and in Denmark’s Interest’

Exclusive: ‘Scottish EU Membership Straightforward and in Denmark’s Interest’ | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

An independent Scotland’s membership of the European Union would be straight-forward and in Denmark’s national interest, according to Danish academics and politicians. In a series of exclusive interviews with National Collective, members of the government, opposition and academics from the University of Copenhagen made it clear that Scotland would be welcome in international organisations. This follows supportive comments from the new Prime Minister of Iceland, who said Iceland would “welcome Scotland with a new thriving relationship” in the event of independence.

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