The Caledonia Gambit: Scottish Bid for Independence Thread

10 posts

Niccolo and Donkey
Bye, bye England? SNP plans closer Scandinavian ties after independence

Independent UK

Hamish MacDonnell

December 4, 2011

An independent Scotland would shift much of its attention away from the UK to become a member of the Scandinavian circle of countries, with its own army, navy and air force modelled on its Nordic neighbours, according to detailed plans being drawn up by the SNP.

Senior SNP strategists are compiling a "prospectus for independence" which they hope to use to sell the idea of separation to Scots ahead of the referendum in 2014 or 2015.

The document is not due to be published in full for another year but SNP insiders have disclosed key extracts.

They reveal that SNP leaders want an independent Scotland to look north and east in Europe for partnerships, trade and key defence relationships, rather than continuing to focus on western Europe and the Commonwealth, as the UK does now.

Senior Nationalists, including Alex Salmond, have made several trips to Scandinavia over the last couple of years, meeting ministers and officials in an attempt to pave the way for greater co-operation if Scotland becomes independent, particularly on energy. Indeed, initial plans have already been drawn up for an electricity super-grid between Scotland and Norway.

SNP strategists insist that Scotland would continue to be extremely close to the rest of the UK, which would remain its biggest trading partner, but they also believe that Scotland has more in common with its Scandinavian neighbours than the UK does and they are keen to take this relationship to a new level.

The Scandinavian approach is being driven by Angus Robertson, the SNP's defence and foreign affairs spokesman in Westminster. Mr Robertson said recently that Scotland's relationship with its Scandinavian neighbours had suffered because of a southern bias since the Act of Union in 1707.

He declared: "Our neighbours to the north and east have already made a good start and work constructively together. We need to join them and play our part. The UK has opted out of a serious approach. We should not."

As well as being used to sell the idea of an independent Scotland at home, the prospectus for independence will be the basis for negotiations with Westminster if the referendum is won. In those negotiations, Alex Salmond will demand 9 per cent (roughly Scotland's share of the UK population) of all UK assets, including defence hardware.

Under the plans being drawn up there would an independent Scottish navy based at Faslane – currently the base of the UK's Trident submarine fleet – and a Scottish air force based at Lossiemouth and Kinloss in Moray.

SNP strategists also expect an independent Scotland to be given the Royal Regiment of Scotland, whose five regular and two territorial battalions would form the backbone of a new independent army.

The Nationalists who are drawing up the prospectus have been told to make sure it is signed off before 2014, the earliest likely date for the referendum.

Scottish independence: how it would look

Closer co-operation with Sweden, Denmark and Norway on trade, energy grids and oil and gas exploration.

An independent Scottish navy based at Faslane. The Clyde facility would be transformed from its current role as the base of the UK's Trident submarine fleet to become the headquarters of the Scottish navy. The navy would be similar to those run by Norway and Denmark, with a small number of frigates, a few corvettes and patrol vessels and possibly a couple of submarines.

An independent Scottish air force based at Lossiemouth and Kinloss in Moray, centred on a squadron of Lockheed Orion P-3 maritime surveillance aircraft. These would have to be bought by the Scottish Government at a cost of £29m each.

An independent Scottish army. SNP strategists expect an independent Scotland to be given the Royal Regiment of Scotland by the Ministry of Defence. The regiment's five regular and two territorial battalions would form the new Scottish army.

The exploitation of new sea lanes from Asia over the top of Russia, which are being opened up because of global warming, and possibly establishing a major new container port in Fife to rival Rotterdam.
Niccolo and Donkey



They should install Franz, Duke of Bavaria, as king.


I expect to be approached with a position in the new cabinet as the day draws nearer.


There is no doubt that Scotland will have a very different relationship to the rest of the "United" Kingdom after the referendum. My own view is that the Nats don't actually want a vote for full indpendence and won't get it. But the "devo max" or "independence lite" option is the go: basically Scotland controls everything except immigration, defence etc. The Tories would be happy with this as the deal would involve Scottish MPs absenting themselves from all Commons votes except on those matters, leaving England pretty much Tory forever.

Alex Salmond, and I've seen the man operating up close for a long time, is head and shoulders above anyone in the UK worldwide as a political tactician and strategist. The Unionists are only now beginning to realise this but much of the damage has been done.


The closer Europe comes to looking like this, the better. The current borders have little regard for ethno-geographic reality, majorities are forced to accommodate minorities, minorities are denied sovereignty. Each nation should have a mostly contiguous state where they can be responsible for themselves.

That seems to be a rather whimsical and unbalanced map. Some of the changes, such as the breaking up of Belgium, are easy to envision, real possibilities in fact. Some such as independent Sorbia and Frisia seem pretty hare-brained. I also don't understand why Spain is shown broken up into its major subregions while most of peninsular Italy (a linguistically and cultured fractured country) remains intact and Germany has managed to effect Anschluss with not only Austria but also with German-speaking Switzerland (I find it extremely doubtful that any canton will want to leave the Swiss federation in the near future). I could go on naming weird changes; suffice to say that, if it were taken seriously, this fantasy map overall seems capable of igniting World War Three. Your desire to help is to be commended, but I think for once we should let Europeans sort out their own affairs.
The map isn't meant as a fantasy of total continental irredentism and secessionism realized, it is meant to show the generally agreed upon strongholds of Europe's 'nations'. And it is only mostly accurate, not 100%. Kurdistan for example includes many areas primarily populated by Turks, and so is reflecting historical Kurdistan's boundaries more so than present Kurdish geography. Tatarstan, in the Crimea is also strange. It is true that Crimean Tatars today comprise ~25% of the Eastern Crimea, and Tatars were once the majority in most of Crimea, but it doesn't make sense to label the whole of modern Crimea Tatarstan.
I also noticed that Italy wasn't broken further, but I assumed that the map maker considers what it has designated 'Italia' homogenous, while Iberia is not and so was broken accordingly. Is that plausible?

Yes, this notion is not popular in Europe, and most are content with borders as they are. But I stand by this statement, the people of the Eastern Hemisphere would benefit if they declared nation-states, rather than multi-national states. States like Japan and Korea, where over 95% of the population belong to one people, have an advantage over countries like China, where large chunks of it are populated by distinctly different peoples with different interests and desires... or two (three, four?) headed horses like the UK.
Though I may be mistaken, I would hazard that España is more homogenous than Italia , at least partially due to the fact that the former was unified in 1492, wheres the latter was not unified until 1848 and later.

There are winners and losers from the national movements of the 19th century; Ruthenia is a good example of a country that might have been but never was. Except for a few ethnic minorities here and there, the current borders do at least roughly match national strongholds. Some of the problems stem from the fact that only a few national strongholds like England and Spain have very well-defined boundaries i.e. mountain ranges and coastline, so perfect borders have always been impossible, which has been a tragedy for the European peoples. At any rate, the bigger threat to the autonomy of the peoples of Europe are immigration, globalism and modernism, not the current borders.