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Scotland to leave the UK?

Posted by
17 Sep 2014

As the vote on Scotland exiting the UK draws ever closer, we have found the subject to be of much debate within the office. Some of us think 'yes' they should leave, some think 'no' - but many of us find ourselves unsure of the consequences this will have for us and the country as a whole.

If Scotland does get a majority vote to exit the UK, they will become independent from March 24th 2016, so no real changes will come into immediate effect.

But there will be important decisions to be made...

The main one will be the dissolution of the 1707 Act of Union which is the official Acts to join the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland into the United Kingdom named Great Britain. Essentially, this is the union of the two parliaments - if Scotland do vote yes, a new constitution will need to be devised for Scotland.

Changes resulting from a 'yes' vote would also include the currency. It is still uncertain whether Scotland will keep the British pound, and I believe this will be a huge point of contention; however, the three main Westminster parties have rules out a currency union. One thing the 'yes' campaign has said they would want to keep is Her Majesty as the monarch so we can expect Scottish National Party (SNP) leader, Alex Salmond, to seek an audience with the Queen following the vote.

Other points that the public have expressed concern over are taxes, benefits and border control. 

Benefits and taxes would be under the control of the new Scottish government and so far the Scottish Parliament are stating that tax allowance and credits would only increase in line with inflation - of course we can only see how this pans out if independence is achieved.

As for the border, the SNP have expressed their interest in an open border. However, Theresa May, Home Secretary, has warned about the possibility of immigrants using Scotland to get into England so we may see passport controls on the border in the coming years. It is also important to consider UK passports; Scottish citizens would be entitled to a Scottish passport, with their UK one only be valid until the expiry date. However, these rules may be modified if Scotland chose to join, and were accepted into, the EU.

In getting independence, Scotland would have to decide and implement the changes outlined as above, and would also lose being party of one of the biggest economies in the world. This will effect the healthcare systems, currency, education, emergency services, defences and general economy of both Scotland and the UK.

As supporters of both sides are gunning for a final push of votes, it must be remembered that, either way, both countries will change forever. In our office, we will all be waiting to hear the verdict following the ballot on September 18th.

What do you predict will be the result of the vote tomorrow, and how do you think it will affect UK business? Leave your thoughts and comments below.

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