The London Scottish Conservative Club is a network for Conservatives in London with Scottish roots.
There are many voices which risk being lost in the debate over the future of the UK, not least those advocating why it’s not just in Scotland’s best interest for us to remain united.
The Acts of Union created one of the most enduring relationships in the history of the world. Why fix something which isn't broken?
While siblings may feud, families stand strong. The United Kingdom is a Union which has consistently proved bigger than the sum of its parts, enduring wars and depressions and facing down threats which overcame other, larger, countries. If Scotland walks, who next? With rumblings already emerging about the Welsh potentially following suit, could Scottish independence trigger the total dissolution of Great Britain? To hack apart what was forged over three centuries ago would be a brutal knock to British identity and a damp squib of an ending to what has been one of the most enduring relationships in the history of the world, and for such minimal gain.
The impending Scotland Act will make Scotland more accountable for its own public spending
A consistent and legitimate criticism levelled at the Union with Scotland has been the cost to the British taxpayer of the inherited Barnett formula, but the impending Scotland Act should make Scotland accountable for its own public spending and crucially, how it raises it. Splitting up the Union would be a clumsy overreaction to a resolvable problem; by tidying up the devolution settlement through legislation, we can ensure a fair and mutually beneficial relationship.
Scottish independence could mean the UK's largest trading partner has a different currency entailing greater risk, cost and bureaucracy
Britain should be nervous about the prospect of an independent Scotland with its own currency. With Scotland’s high proportion of public sector workers, contested oil revenues and potentially being forced to join a struggling Euro in the most uncertain times Europe has seen since 1945, there is cause for concern. There is a real risk of an immigration crisis should Scotland’s economy struggle on its own. Faced with a declining population, the Scottish administration is openly in favour of immigration and should times grow intolerably hard it is not difficult to see where those in search of work would head…
An independent Scotland would entail a significant loss in HMT revenues from the North Sea
Divorce is messy and would inevitably involve a division of assets. Losing Scotland would likely mean losing the North Sea Oil reserves just as technology for more efficient extraction looks viable. The stakes and the sums involved are sufficient to ensure years of international litigation over revenues which would be central to an Independent Scotland’s budget plans.
Scotland’s contribution to Britain’s armed forces is far greater than its population share
The United Kingdom has a long and proud military history and has drawn her forces from across the nation. The number of MoD staff stationed in Scotland is expected to rise to 20,000 over the next eight years and Defence Secretary Philip Hammond rightly said: "The UK armed forces are a highly integrated and very sophisticated fighting force”. In the defence of Britain as an island, Scotland would be a difficult strategic base to lose and Scotland’s contribution to Britain’s armed forces is far greater than its population share. To break up our highly trained and well assimilated military teams, which already face such pressures and challenges, would be reckless and would serve neither nation’s interests.
Those are some of the more logical grounds for why England should want to stay in the Union, but truth be told, the reasons run deeper. Despite the family politics of the thing, most of us believe in Britain and want to be British. In the words of David Cameron, we are stronger together and weaker apart. They say you can’t choose your family; in 2014 that will be demonstrably disproved. Scotland will vote and whatever the rights and wrongs of England, Wales and Northern Ireland not taking part, that decision will inevitably be influenced by sentiment throughout the United Kingdom. We must be clear as a nation: now is the time to Back British.