A Scottish Yes vote would see the gloves come off - FT.com. Independence debate: Yes, Scotland? Even pro-unionists accept that the country has all the ingredients to be a viable nation state After 307 years as part of Great Britain, Scotland will soon decide whether it is time to once again go it alone.
Opinion polls suggest that nationalists still fall short of the numbers needed to unpick the 1707 parliamentary union with England that lies at the heart of the UK. But nationalist and pro-union campaigners alike agree that with eight months of febrile campaigning to go, the result of September’s historic referendum is far from assured. So what would an independent Scotland look like? And what would be the impact on the remaining UK, or “rump UK” as some observers call it, of the departure of 8.3 per cent of its population and about 9.2 per cent of its gross domestic product?
Among the blizzard of contention and spin that surrounds the independence debate, some points of broad consensus are clear. Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2014. Politically Scotland has already left the union behind - FT.com. ©Sophie Gerrard Shrill, leaderless and fizzing with all the emotional power of a bank statement.
That is the abridged verdict on the campaign to persuade Scots to vote against independence in September’s referendum – from its own friends. As polls start to make secession look plausible, if nothing like probable, unionists are urged to state a more romantic case for the UK than the logistical ordeal of undoing it. They should resist.
There is no evidence that sentimental unionism would be outperforming this hard-headed version. Unionists should stop fretting about their campaign. This point is best made by reiterating two features of the referendum debate that we have come to accept as somehow normal. When even unionists accept that the union will become looser, its future is insecure. The next round of powers for Edinburgh will be followed by another – and another. This is the other feature of the debate that is nothing like as benign as we treat it. This disparity is not going away.
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