Scottish independence is all many Scots are hearing at the moment, including the myths but not the facts. The vote is on September 18, and now is the time for the people to learn the truth about what it will mean. Here are some of the biggest myths people are being told, and the facts surrounding them.
Relationships With Other Countries Will Not Change: This is simply not true. If Scotland gains independence, it will be a country on its own. All agreements previously created were with the United Kingdom as a whole. Scottish independence will mean that negotiations will need to be made. This will include whether the country can become part of NATO, the United Nations and the European Union.
European Union Entry Will Remain the Same: This links to the point above. Being an independent state will mean that the country is no longer part of the EU as it would be as part of the UK. The terms of the current agreement are for all UK countries. It will be up to the Scottish ministers to determine the best terms for re-entry into the EU, but it will usually mean similar ones to the Eastern European countries that are currently joining. It will not be as easy as just slipping straight back in, and the re-entry can be vetoed by other countries.
Tax Can Be Cut: This seems to be one of the most common myths to get people to vote for Scottish independence, but what exactly is the fact? The truth is that Scotland currently overspends the money raised. Tax cuts will not be realistic, and it could actually mean taxes go up. Devolution already offers Scotland the chance to reduce some taxes, but ministers stick to the rates set by Westminster for a reason. When part of the UK, the overspending is more manageable because the tax from the whole of the UK is used to try off-set it.
More Devolution Is Not Possible: Devolution max was considered to be one of the options in the referendum at one point. Now the ministers are saying that devolution is not an option. This is certainly not the case. Scotland has gained more devolution since getting its own parliament in 1998. All the three main parties—Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats—have agreed that more devolution is certainly an option.
Scotland Will Keep the Pound: The question of currency has come up time and time again. First Minister Alex Salmond wants to keep the pound, but the three main UK parties are saying it is not possible. Salmond has mentioned that he has a plan B, but will not share that plan, believing that the UK government will give in. Chances are that Scotland will have to create its own currency, and now is certainly not the time to think about that.
Too many people are hearing the myths and not the facts. Yes, there are some positives to an independent Scotland, but there are also many negatives. People need to look into the Scottish independence myths and then consider their facts.
Opinion by Alexandria Ingham