Unfortunately only 3 of our number attended what proved to be a wide ranging discussion on the proposed referendum and the consequences of Scottish Independence. We asked ourselves a series of questions and concluded:
Scotland should have it’s referendum provided that “Devo Max”, be ruled out from day one. The proposalscontained within any “divorce settlement”, need to be thrashed out between Edinburgh and Westminster to clarify the implications that flow from the dissolution of the union so that the Scottish electorate will be fully aware of the implications before any vote. In the event of a “yes” vote the rest of the UK must, as soon as possible thereafter, be given the chance to endorse or block the divorce.
As our debate continued it became evident to us all that any rational Scottish elector may soon consider that in order to achieve independence any short term gain in terms of oil/gas revenues will, in our opinion, be far outweighed by the sheer practical difficulties and the huge costs, or loss of subsidy, which Scotland would lose or be obliged to pay the UK.
Our only disagreement was over the transition period required following the dissolution of the union in order to complete the process : the other two considered all could be achieved within one year whereas I believed it would take five.
It will be intriguing to see how events unfold but to conclude our discussion we asked ourselves “do we believe the Scots will vote for independence?” and it was no surprise when the result was an emphatic, unanimous NO!
We then switched to the prospect of expats having the right to vote in all Spanish elections, (as indeed Spaniards, living in Scotland, have the right to vote for the Scottish Parliament!)
Some doubt was expressed, by those who have public service pensions, taxed at source in the UK, that with the principle of “no taxation without representation” in mind, it was difficult to accept the loss of a vote in the UK. However, it was considered that it would be more appropriate if the right to vote was transferable, to wherever you reside in the EEC.