During the 2014 referendum campaign, the Better Together campaign, in such a way that it was difficult to decide whether it had been done with a lot of copy and paste or on the back of a cigarette packet in the pub, produced a list of 500 questions. It was complete with typos and grammar mistakes too.
Some of them were ludicrous, such as “How much would a first class stamp cost in a separate Scotland?”, or “What is the Scottish Government’s strategy for achieving a separate Scotland’s membership of the World Meterological Organisation?”.
As another blogger pointed out, most of them could be answered by “we’ll fill in the application form” or “we’ll do the same as every other country”. However, I took a quick glance at the list again and think about where we are now. Where necessary, play around with the names of the countries and nationalities involved and see where that takes you.
All of the following is their content…
- Does the Scottish Government recognise that an independent Scotland would not continue to enjoy a share of the UK European rebate which equates to around £135 for every Scottish household?
- How would the Scottish Government fill the financial gap left by the loss of around £135 per Scottish household of the European rebate?
- What will happen to contracts involving Scottish legal entities in the rest of the European Union?
- What assessment has the Scottish Government done on the impact on whisky producers and other manufacturers if they have to pay import duties to sell their products in other countries during the period in which an Independent Scotland would have to negotiate accession to the World Trade Organisation?
- What would be the governance arrangements for the financial services regulator(s), and what degree of independence from government would it have?
- What assessment has the Scottish Government made of the likely impact on the cost of mortgage and credit card borrowing from Scottish independence?
- How many votes would a separate Scotland have at the Council of Ministers for Agriculture and Fisheries if it becomes a separate member of the EU?
- What assessment has the Scottish Government made of the speed of EU direct payments, given that at present for new member states direct payments to farmers are phased in gradually?
- What assessment has the Scottish Government made of whether a separate Scotland would be able to be part of the Common Agriculture Policy and Common Fisheries Policy and if it accepts it would be required to accept the acquis communautaire in this respect?
- What would happen to those areas of Scotland currently covered by mobile telephone masts located in England? How would you ensure people using these masts don’t face international call roaming charges?
- Would you have to pay for a separate Scottish passport and how much would it cost?
- Charities benefit from access to EU structural funds, if Scotland separates from the rest of the UK what assessment has the Scottish Government made of the impact of independence?