What happens to ecommerce if Scotland leaves the UK?
There’s just a week left until people living in Scotland get to vote on whether Scotland should leave the UK. (Yes that doesn’t include Scottish people currently residing in England but does include English, Welsh, Irish and in fact any EU citizen resident in Scotland).
By all accounts the vote is too close to call, with the “Yes” campaign having closed the gap. Leaders from all three parties have rushed up to Scotland to try and sway undecided votors to vote “No”, but the big question for many Tamebay readers is if the “Yes” vote wins what does it mean for ecommerce?
When will it happen?
Firstly nothing much will happen until the 24th of March 2016, apart from a lot of politicians hashing out how to divorce the country relatively amicably. The 1707 Act Of Union would be dissolved and a new constitution created for Scotland. The Queen would according to the Yes campaign remain Queen of Scotland too, the Union of the Crowns dates back to 1603 when King James VI of Scotland inherited the English throne so predates the 1707 Act of Union.
So far as the politics go Scottish residents could still vote in the next General Election, but then come March 2016 Scottish MPs would be kicked out of parliament potentially creating a power swing leaving a sitting Prime Minister with a substantial minority of MPs.
Scotland would undoubtedly walk off with a chunk of the National Debt, but while the “Yes” campaign are convinced they could keep the pound, the “No” campaign are adamant that that just wouldn’t work. Scotland could have to adopt the Euro or even form it’s own fiat currency. Which ever solution if Scotland can’t use Sterling that will create a nightmare for online traders regardless whether they’re North or South of the border.
Talking of borders no one is quite sure what happens if Scotland is no longer part of the UK, will they apply to join the EU, will they be welcome as part of NATO? What happens to the armed forces?
The latest from the “Yes” campaign is that they envision open borders, but politicians are already saying if Scotland adopt different migration policies that border posts with passport or identity checks could be put in place.
Of course you’d also need to apply for a Scottish ID card or Scottish passport, although a UK passport would suffice until it expired. However British citizens living in Scotland would automatically be considered Scottish citizens when they came to renew passports.
Regardless if there are border patrols or a different currency, the chances are high that couriers will charge a premium for delivering “outside the UK”. With a bit of luck it’ll be limited to Europe delivery rates, but if Scotland isn’t within the UK there’s an outside chance they could apply “Rest of the World” tariffs. It’s yet to be seen what proposals for the Royal Mail would be, again it’s likely a “Scottish Royal Mail” would have to be formed to put in place a Universal service for Scottish residents.
An independent Scotland would be able to set their own rates of tax, benefits, working family tax credits and even VAT could be set at different rates. This would mean someone in Scotland could have to charge different VAT rates to someone running a business in the rest of the UK and for buyers this would definitely be confusing.
Also, once your sales exceed the VAT registration threshold in any EU country you will need to VAT register there. This could seen Scottish sellers having to register for both Scottish and UK VAT and likewise many UK sellers who sell to Scotland could have to register for Scottish VAT.
No one seems to have talked about eBay.scotland or Amazon.scotland. It’s likely that the marketplaces themselves would prefer to avoid any distinction between their .co.uk domains and new Scottish marketplace. In reality however it may be just too complicated with different currencies, taxation and domestic courier rates (for the UK and for Scotland) for them to avoid opening up new Scotland only sites.
Is Scottish independence a good thing?
Not being a Scot, it’s a difficult question for me to answer and any divorce, as with marriage, will inevitably be messy. However when looked at dispassionately from an ecommerce perspective it’s hard to see advantages and easy to see disadvantages.
Different currency, different taxation, higher courier rates and potentially even separate marketplaces from the likes of eBay and Amazon all suggest that businesses both in Scotland and in the remainder of the UK would be better with a United Kingdom than an independent Scotland.
Small mail/ecommerce businesses north of the border must be bricking it right now.
Faced with all sorts of unknowns in the event of a yes vote, anyone dealing at the sharp end in a competitive market will most likely lose any slight edge that they might currently have.
With a small thinly spread dispersed population both postal and courier rates just within Scotland would have to rise.
And a question – how would Royal Mail be compensated if they lost Scotland? Surely much more likely is for them to stick a Saltire on the vans and depots and carry on?
we live and our Business is based north of the border if its yes we move our business to England
we quite fancy the Donnington area lol [we often stay at the golf resort there]
We live in, and trade from, Edinburgh. I am not Scottish.
I am not at all worried about Scotland going independent. It will be just business as usual for us, I am sure.
Everybody is going to keep doing their job the same as always and enabling commerce, both sides of the border: governments, couriers, banks, eBay, Amazon, etc, etc.
The biggest advantage of Scotland leaving the UK is that it will be less likely Labour will get back into power.
Labour are probably a bigger threat to the growth of my business than a few extra regulations here and there for Scotland. Do I want higher taxes, more regulation, more interference, higher labour costs, more paperwork? More likely I’ll get all that with a Labour party in power and the Scots are a major contribution to that problem.
Being the Govt. who lost Scotland should be a great vote winner.
It does make Labour govts slightly less likely. But not by much as you might think.
Since 1945, the only two results that would have been definitively different would have been the first one in1974 and 2010. Cameron would have got a weeny majority of 9 without Scotland. 1974 would have meant the Tories would have led a coalition not Labour.
All three Blair victories would have been secured without Scotland. With slightly diminished majorities.
That is exactly the point. In our most recent election the country has had to suffer a coalition with a party that believes in fairytales and unicorns (lib dems). The economy has been doing pretty well and I can reasonably speculate it would have done much better without lib dem interference and would have likely resulted in a boundary review making it less likely labour gets in again. Now we’re stuck in a quandary wondering whether the son of a Marxist will be running our country in less than a years time.
I’m not a huge fan of the tories either but they’re by far the best out of a bad bunch.
I would certainly query the point about what the Lib Dems believe in. Here in Cornwall we have had to suffer Lib Dems at all levels of Political Life for many years. They are ALL just about totally useless and I have yet to find any of them who believe in anything at all.
In the coalition Government it does seem to me that the Tories have been trying to achieve something(please remember that I believe that the Tory Party is the personification of Evil on Earth-Quote from Isaac Foot Cornish Liberal M.P. from between the Wars). However while the Tories have been trying to achieve something the Lib Dems seem to have set out from the very start to sabotage everything that the Tories have tried to achieve.
So any progress by this Government is totally down to the Tories and had the Lib Dems been in opposition rather than Government then the chances are that the Tory Government would have achieved a very great deal more.
But of course there is a General Election due in 2015 and the greatest achievement during the Election would be for the Lib Dems(or the Quisling Party as many call it for its continuous support for everything EU against British Interests) to lose its last M.P.
“I have yet to find any of them who believe in anything at all.” unlike the conservatives many of them do have strong beliefs. Unfortunately they are the beliefs of another party (UKIP) rather than there own.
Scotland could leave the UK. The runt UK could leave Europe and we can all wave our new flag and be proud of our great nation, as the ship sinks.
You are right. F*** the Lib Dems, Conservatives, EU, Scotland, etc. Time we started looking after ourselves and stopped supporting a territory that has raped the UK Exchequer for time.
The Scottish vote raises the issue of Nationalism and good luck to them. Independence will remove the liability to England and they will no longer be able to depend on the South to pick up their annual deficate.
Maybe England should take a more nationalist outlook? I’m not sure UKIP is the answer but its currently more attractive than most.
Independence is a nice idea until it actually costs you personally. I expect the final vote to be a No – Scots know exactly which side their bread is buttered – its the cheap side!
I just hope I am wrong!
1974 was a great year. 2 General Elections and I enjoyed both of them. At the first in the Constituency I lived at the time(not in Cornwall) we were in a very poor 3rd place going into the campaign. I had been on the Constituency Executive as well as being Chairman of a Branch(the biggest in the Constituency with more Members than the rest of the Constituency combined).
After a lot of hard work we came out of the Election in a very good 2nd place having almost won enough votes to win the seat. After the Election the Candidate came up to me and asked me how I saw him. He expected me to say the ‘Great White Hope’ or something similar. I actually said ‘As a packet of soap powder’. He was not happy when I said that my job was to sell him to the Constituents.
You will not be surprised to learn that he did not speak to me again for getting on for 6 months. Oh those were the days.
The last Opinion Polls were all remarkably consistent. They all showed the No Vote to be in the low 50%s. 51% to 53% With the Yes Vote in the high 40%s. 49% to 47%.
There are always two problems with Opinion Polls. a) The sample size. No matter how big the sample it is still a very small percentage of those eligible to Vote. The Pollsters all claim that there samples are scientifically chosen. But no matter how scientific you will never get a truly representative sample.
b)Those who actually turn out to Vote. You never get a 100% turnout(except in some foreign countries and then we are all concerned that the Vote has been rigged).
Have those who have not Voted from one side or the other? Also a Vote can be influenced by what is on TV. Many Married Couples go out to Vote Together. If there is a big episode on Coronation Street or whatever this can cut the Vote. Also if the weather is foul can severely influence the numbers that go out to Vote.
So even though the Opinion Polls say 53%-47% or similar the final Vote could be significantly different. Also there are allegations of intimidation. If the Police are around this might be reduced around the Polling Stations. But it will not control intimidation away from the Polling Stations.
Also once the Votes are cast they are in the ballot boxes and transported to the count. They should be under close supervision. But if that does not happen then there could be untoward things happening. I hope not but it has happened abroad and there have been claims about it happening in the UK.
Before anybody says that it could not happen the both sides have become very ‘heated’ during the Campaign so extremists could do almost anything to try to ensure that their side wins.
regardless of if its yes or no its costing a lot of money that could be better spent
and an awful amount of needless unrest and friction just so Alex Salmond can get his statue next to Robbie Burns
Alex Salmond may get a statue of himself next to Robbie Burns if the Scots say Yes.
If they say No, he’ll be in a basement somewhere…..
A book seller did phone into BBC Scotland this morning to ask John Swinney about the impact on eCommerce marketplaces. The clip is probably online somewhere.
It’s undoubtedly a difficult question, specially for me not being either British neither Scot citizen but looking at business perspective it is something interesting to see and think about of what it can happen about the position voters will take if goes yes.
As Chris Dawson placed in this article is just like a marriage separation and as all separation it can be messy.
I just wanted to make a couple of points on the issue:
1 – I run a fairly large mail order business (over 1 million a year) from Glasgow and I welcome Independence with open arms, I’m not worried about it affecting my business as I’ve spent close to a year analysing every side of the argument and am fully conversant with the ups and downs, something that the majority of the people leaving comments here cannot say for themselves judging by what’s been said
2 – Although there are a VERY small minority of Nationalists who are anti-English, this is not about the people of England, it’s about the government of Westminster – thats what we are trying to get away from. If you want to talk about money well spent (or wasted), how about cancelling the Trident replacement and saving us 100 Billion that could go to taking down a portion of that Structural Deficit that George Osborne has stubbornly failed to reduce?
The main responsibility of a Government…Any Government is to ensure that the Country and its inhabitants are safe. This means an Armed Forces.
In the post Second World War Europe there was a problem. The Soviet Union and its Allies had an enormous Armed Forces. Nato on the other hand had a small Armed Forces and year on year it continued to reduce in size still further.
The decision was made that Nato had to have a Nuclear Shield. That meant Nuclear Bombs of one sort or another. Today those are Trident but in the past there have been numerous different types. The bulk of Nato’s Nuclear Weapons are American and we in Britain contributed a small number.
Those who do not like Trident should come clean. If the Russian Armies started to move West over running Country after Country and smashing the conventional Armed Forces. How do we stop them before they get to Dover and the White Cliffs?
Remember the British Army has less tanks than Switzerland. So you can forget Conventional Forces.
You really have a limited number of choices. A Trident Replacement; Refurbish the existing Trident Nuclear system including the submarines(and this is only going to give you a few years before once again you will have to think about a Trident Replacement) or learn Russian. There really is no viable long term alternative.
There is one point about a Nuclear Weapons System(whatever it is) and that is that it really does only have one real use. A Conventional Weapons System has numerous different uses. As an example a Conventional Destroyer or Frigate can patrol the Oceans and intercept Drug Smugglers this week and next week it can be offering Disaster Relief where a Volcano has Erupted or there has been an Earth Quake. But under the Tories the Army, Navy and Air Force has virtually disappeared.
How about we scrap the lot, save Billions, and then do what we always do – rely on the USA? :)
Are the Americans our ‘Natural’ Allies???? Remember the War of 1812.
Mutually Assured Destruction – MAD.
The submarines are the ultimate deterrent. Location unknown and authorised to operate completely independently in the event that communications with the UK are disabled.
The US/UK deterrent’s been working fine in one shape or form for sixty-odd years.
Salmond will continue to benefit from it but just doesn’t fancy paying for it.
Scotland will significantly lose if Salmond gets his way and the Nuclear Submarines leave Scotland. The first and most obvious way is in the loss of thousands of highly paid jobs. Also a significant proportion of the Specialists are in fact Scottish. So if as expected the Nuclear Submarines go to Plymouth Scotland will lost Highly Paid Scottish Jobs.
When the staff leave the Navy being Scottish they take their skills into Scottish High Tech Industry. But if the submarines have moved to Plymouth it can be expected that the staff will stay in and around Plymouth and take their skills into High Tech Industries in the South West. So Scotlands loss will be the South Wests very significant long term gain.
We all trade cross border don’t we?
Differences create opportunity.
What’s the problem?
The problem is a trading border is being created that did not exist before
Which we will continue to trade across using the currency we are currently using.
Or possibly Euros or some other fiat currency yet to be decided upon or created?
Maybe a Scottish Groat? I have heard that suggested. The Groat was a British Coin. It was 4 Pennies(in the days then a penny really was worth something). It was a Sterling Silver Coin and the last ones were minted in 1888.
But how about the Scottish Salmond with a nominal value of One Pound. There could be Commemorative Salmonds even Silver Proof Salmonds.
The real problem would be what it was worth on the International Market? Obviously on day one the Scot Nats would claim that it had parity with the Pound Sterling. Then for a few months it would fluctuate up a bit and down a bit on Sterling.
Then as the Scot Nats Policies really got going and Scottish Banks, Insurance Companies etc left for London. Also lets not forget that senior Scot Nats have threatened to Nationalise Companies that had issued Statements about the effects that a Yes Vote would have on Industry.
If the Scot Nats were to Nationalise or if the Companies were to pull out before they were Nationalised we can expect that the Scottish Salmond to drift down in value against Sterling. How far would be a speculation that might upset the Scot Nats. But I would not be surprised if ultimately it might be like Germany between the Wars.
Then Working Men were being paid almost hourly because the devaluation of the Mark was happening so quickly that monies earned this hour were devalued the next hour. That it took a wheelbarrow of currency to buy a loaf of bread and if you left your wheelbarrow of currency unattended you came back to find the currency but the thief had taken the wheelbarrow.
It has been suggested to me that there is an alternative name for a Scottish Currency. That is the Scottish Trident.
There is an interested idea attached to this name. The Trident is of course a three pronged fork much beloved by Ancient Sea Gods. There is also a Gold Sovereign which of course is a Gold Coin issued by Britain with a nominal value of £1 with Britannia on the reverse and of course Queen Elizabeth II on the Obverse.
So how about a Scottish Gold Trident with Alex Salmond on the Obverse and a Nuclear Submarine sailing away from Scotland on its way to its new base in England(probably Plymouth) on the reverse.
I was just about to go to Truro when a thought entered my mind. The design of the final commemorative Gold Salmond as Scotland declares that it is totally broke in about 2021.
On the Obverse the usual smiling face of Alex Salmond. On the Reverse Salmond standing in a row boat or perhaps Sailing Dinghy saluting as the boat goes down.
I was just re-reading my posting re the Gold Sovereign and I realised immediately that I had made a very serious error. May I apologise on bended knees(if I was able to get down on bended knees-If I did I certainly would not be able to get up again). The reverse of the Gold Sovereign is of course the George and the Dragon not the Britannia. It is certainly sackcloth and ashes for me for my gross stupidity.
Independence? Stupid idea. Scotland takes billions from England each year, so can they actually be self sufficiant? If so why have we been subsidising them for so long? For a nation of “financially astute tightwads” it does seem odd that they require southern subsidy – or maybe its simply been a case of “if its free, take it all”.
Passports? Never mind them requiring ID on entry, what about England protecting itself against an influx of economic migrants that will surely happen after Scotland can’t balance its books and falls into financial decline and recession. We will probably need a BIG fence!
Postage? Royal mail will treat Scotland as Airmail and couriers will consider it overseas like Europe. Massive price increases will ensue. But this probably won’t matter much once the country economically self destructs as there will be few orders anyway.
Happy days ahead! :)
If you go back to before the Union of England and Scotland Scotland was broke. It was a Financial Black Hole. Bankrupt. Of course now they have Oil and Gas but Oil and Gas are finite. I have seen the claims that there is a lot more to discover and that everything that is there can be recovered. But at the end of the day if you continue to take vast quantities out then eventually it will run out.
The Scot Nats have managed to convince a lot of Scots that there is going to be a great Oil and Gas Financed Party. But I do wonder if in the long term(10 or 20 or even 50 years) when the Oil and Gas have run out if Scotland will be broke again.
If it is I hope that we are strong enough to make it very clear that like in a Divorce there is no going back. We don’t want them. They are far too demanding and unreliable.
Absolutely agree and worth noting that many big companies have contingency plans in place to quickly relocate south if the Yes vote wins. Taking many thousands of jobs with them, and further reducing tax revenues to Scotland.
Clearly big business does not see this divorce as being viable.
Sadly, people with strong nationlist views easily influence others, few of which really understand the long term implications.
You can be sure that many people in Westminister will be hoping for the Yes vote to win as it will save the UK billions each year and also because the departure of so many Scottish “trouble making” members will reduce opposition.
Like I said, we will need a big fence to secure our border. Aside from that it can only be good for England.
There has been a great deal of speculation about what Big Business such as Banks and other Financial Institutions will do in the event of a Yes Vote.
My guess is that little will actually happen for several months after the Vote. This is because there will have to be detailed negotiations between London and Edinburgh and Edinburgh and Brussels. It will be the results of these negotiations that determine what big business actually does.
It used to be said that the Israeli Armed Forces have detailed contingency plans for everything, including siezing the North Pole. I doubt if Scottish Big Business will have that detailed contingency plans. But they will have Senior Officials and Departments looking at possible plans.
As an example if a Big Bank wants to relocate even a part of its business from Edinburgh into England it will need to identify possible sites and buildings. It takes years to go through the development of a New Headquarters from a green field site. So what suitable Office Blocks are available. Does the Bank or an associated company own them or will they need to be bought or leased. What refurbishment will be necessary or can they move straight in etc.
Its not going to be like if you or I decide to move we just go for a trip round the Estate Agents and consideration of where the nearest good Schools are etc.
We can probably find a possible new house in a week or two and then put our existing house up for sale(or perhaps put our existing house up for sale first).
It is significantly different if you are considering moving perhaps a 1,000 jobs from Edinburgh to London 400 miles or so South.
“Differences create opportunity”
I am unclear as to what opportunities will be created if this comes into effect?
Berwick-upon-Tweed will boom!
lol there are small villages just over the border, were economies could also boom.
BTW everyone seems too think the grass will be greener on the English/iUK side…..maybe not lol
If SNP are smart they will not let that happen lol
“I am unclear as to what opportunities will be created if this comes into effect?”
So are everyone else – but you cant deny that change brings about opportunity.
What if the Scottish government cuts VAT – Scottish sellers become more competitive.
As a proud English man married to a Glaswegian girl Ive a foot in both camps and can see it from both sides but the problem I see is the incertainty at the moment. The devil will be in the detail IF Scotland votes yes.
Two things if a Scottish government tries to cut VAT rates…
Firstly they’ll find it that much harder to join the EU if they decide to slash VAT
Secondly it won’t make a blind bit of difference to competitiveness. Assuming equal spread of sales across the (existing) UK, there are about 60m people in the UK of which 5m are in Scotland so 91% of a Scottish seller’s sales will on average be to England, Wales or Northern Ireland.
If Scotland is no longer in the UK and 91% of your sales are from Scotland to the UK then you’ll be obliged to register for and pay UK VAT. Scottish sellers not only won’t be more competitive in the UK (they will in Scotland but that’s only 9% of their sales), they’ll also have to fill out two VAT returns each quarter!
Chris, this is what I love about tamebay (and Im not taking the mick here) The comments on here are always very enlightening!
A Friday fact that hit my inbox this morning:
If Scotland votes ‘yes’ next week, the UK’s average annual rainfall will go down by 20cm
Ha! I like that.
yep scotland may use the pound though England will dictate its value
Years ago several of the Scottish Banks used to print their own Pound Notes that were legal tender in England as well. I used to take a Specialist Book Sales Stand around such as Traction Engine Rallies and other Specialist Events in those days. At just about every such event a Scotsman would come up to the Stall and ask me if I accepted Scottish Pound Notes.
My answer was always the same. I would accept anything legal. In fact if somebody offered me Spanish Pieces of Eight or Gold Dudblooms I would accept them as well. I probably would have drawn the line at Euros but I cannot remember anybody asking to buy a book for euros.
My daughter used to work at a Shell Petrol Station in Cornwall. She tells me that Shell instructed the Cashiers(she was a cashier) not to accept Scottish Pound Notes.
I have not done a Specialist Event with a Stall for several years. So I have not seen a Scottish Pound Note for years. Do any of the Scottish Banks still print their own Banknotes??
I’m Scottish, live in England. So I can’t vote which is good because I would be torn, make no mistake this is no easy decision for your average Scot.
IMHO, Alex Salmond cannot lose.
If the vote is Yes he gets an independent Scotland.
If the vote is No he gets more devolved power from Westminster.
He might not be the most likeable guy in the world but stupid he aint.
It’s no stroll in the park for any of us Jock.
Assuming a yes vote, and I fear that, then in the narrowest sense, I can’t see any difference for ecommerce, save perhaps some disruption for larger sellers of high price items.
However it is very likely that Scotland will endure a deep recession. UK less so but still a downturn. obviously the effect then needs no explanation.
Hope it doesn’t happen really, I understand the need to get away from Westminster.
To use a metaphor, the voyage may be right, but the seas are very stormy right now, the boat a floating wreck, and the captain barmy.
The UK would have to import more Oil…..from Scotland.
Oil is priced on the international market. It is very much governed by Supply and Demand. I get the impression that the Scot Nats calculations are all based on a high priced oil. But oil has been drifting down in price.
It is just about possible that a New Scottish Government may try to artificially influence the price of oil. In other words price it at above the market rate. In which case England might get its oil from elsewhere than Scotland.
if scotland votes yes royal mail is going to jump on the chance to stop the universal delivery service unless it receives a hefty subsidy from the Scottish government
If couriers and royal mail decide to inflate prices after a Yes vote, more courier companies will start up and undercut them in no time. Sounds like the competition could be healthy and i will be voting Yes.
What a great opportunity for us to rebuild Hadrians Wall with a manned gatepost and toll road into England
If we did rebuild Hadrians Wall would it be to keep the Scottish out of England or stop a lot of English from pouring into Scotland to enjoy the Oil and Gas Financed National Party???
It does seem to me that a lot of Scots are going to Vote Yes because they think that there are going to be enormous almost unlimited wealth pouring out of the North Sea and that the Scots are going to enjoy a long lasting National Drunken Party paid for by this wealth. Obviously this is crazy but I do get the impression that that is what a lot of Scots are going to Vote Yes for. Obviously if there was to be such a Party then a lot of English especially those in the Northern areas may very well want to go to Scotland to join in.
But all the (sensible) projections about North Sea Oil and Gas say that its peak has long since been passed. There is still a lot left but nowhere near as much as the Scot Nats are claiming.
Also the projections for future oil and gas discoveries must be dubious. After all it is fair to estimate but an estimate is just that. In effect and educated guess. But it does appear to me that the Scot Nats have based most if not all of their future Financial Projections on the projections for future discoveries being fact rather than guess.
If the actual discoveries turned out to be the much lower estimates from within the Industry then most of the Scot Nat Financial Projections are in dire trouble. They need their own estimates, that are way above the Industries estimates and probably then some, to keep their long term Financial Projections alive.
So if there is a Party we can expect large numbers of English to pour into Scotland to join in. Then when the money runs out for the English to come home probably with monster hangovers probably being joined by many Scots who all moan that they had been taken in by the claims of unlimited Oil and Gas Wealth.
Then a rebuilt Hadrians Wall is likely to come into its own.
If the Hadrians Wall is rebuilt will the border guards wear genuine Roman Legionaries Armour etc. Also will the Scots finally provide an answer to one of Histories Greatest Mysteries. What happened to the Romans Ninth Legion. This is the one that marched north to subdue the Scots and was never seen again. No Battle Field has ever been found. No artifacts. No Scottish Folk Tales or Legends nothing. Where did they go and what happened to them. Go on Salmond come clean what have you done with the Ninth Legion.
If Hadrian’s wall is rebuilt we’ll be giving the scots a massive chunk of England!
Of course it could be considered as a ‘Buffer Zone’ to increase the separation and safeguard the English from being invaded by huge numbers of starving Scots when Salmond’s utopian dream turns into a nightmare.
Who owns the oil? The Scots seem to think they own it? The companies who take the gamble and have the exploration, drilling and extraction rights seem to think they own it? Is a future Scottish government going to use Scottish taxpayers money to set up a publically owned Scottish oil company? Are they planning to nationalise all existing oil assets within Scottish borders owned by private companies? Who pays?
What value does a Country such as Scotland put on the assets of Companies that they Nationalise?
I suppose in theory it is as if a Country had bought a Company in the same way that a competitor would buy out a Company. The value would be the equivalent of the Stock Market Valuation. But of course the Stock Market Valuation might not be the break up value of a Company.
Years ago there were a number of buy outs of companies where speculators had looked at the assets such as land and buildings and recognised that the values were either years out of date or in some cases the original purchase price perhaps decades previously.
The speculator would do their own valuation finding it to be substantially different and raised the monies necessary and bought out the company making a fortune. This does not tend to happen today because property tends to go through a periodic revaluation.
At the end of World War II the New Labour Government Nationalised the Railways. The Railways had been operated by the Government during the War. The Government owed the Railway Companies a great deal of money for the use of the Railways Assets. The Labour Government calculated that they owed a similar amount to what it would cost to Nationalised the Railways. So they did(it had been in its Manifesto anyway).
But of course it was to lead to the total shambles of British Railways and then more recently the so called Privatisation of the Railways. So the answer to the question ‘Who Pays?’ The answer is ‘We all do through the nose’.
In Scotlands case it is hard to see how there will be any money at all for Nationalisation as they have promised to spend every penny they get plus a lot on all the various promises that they have made to the Scottish Voters.
The Scots may consider that they ‘own’ the oil. In reality they levy taxes on it and the turnover of the oil companies and of course if they export it it makes a big contribution to the Scotlands Export Income and Balance of Trade etc.
All the various companies that work in the North Sea employ highly paid staff many of whom live or work near Aberdeen. So if there was a mass exodus from Scotland of Companies it could make a significant difference to such as Taxation and employment statistics.
There is going to be a need for negotiations as to where the boundary lies between England and Scotland re the Oil Fields. I understand that Scotland has one idea and England has another. The difference could make a significant difference in regard to how much of North Sea Oil is Scottish and how much is English. I understand it could be as much as 10% difference. Might not sound a lot but when you are talking in very large numbers 10% is a significant amount.
Living in Cornwall I only see the various Newspaper Stories and the Items on the Media. However we do keep talking about Scottish Oil and Gas. Let us not forget that a great deal of the oil and gas is in fact located off the coast of Orkney and Shetland.
Are the inhabitants of Orkney and Shetland that sympathetic to the idea of being ruled by faceless men and women in Edinburgh hundreds of miles to the south of them. Indeed it is not that long ago that Orkney was a part of Norway. A few hundred years ago it was a part of the marriage settlement when some Norwegian Princess married a Scottish Prince.
It could be that the next thing that we will see is a call for independence of Orkney and perhaps a call for Orkney to be given the right to Vote on joining Norway. This could be especially true if Salmond and his merry bunch make a glorious mess of it.