MOSCOW, September 19 (RIA Novosti) - Late September 18, as polls began to reveal the narrow victory of the ‘No’ vote in the Scottish referendum, Mr. David Coburn, a UK Independence Party Member of the European Parliament representing Scotland, told Radio VR that the Scots, in fact, were never offered true independence. Instead, he claims, they were merely being offered the option of being ruled from Brussels rather than Westminster.
“The Scottish nationals are not offering independence”, Mr. David Coburn told Radio VR. “They are offering rule from Brussels and financial rule from Frankfurt. There is no question of independence. It is not what they are offering.”
He said that the pro-independence movement was telling Scotland they could “be ruled by the European Union or Germany”, instead of being ruled by England, and “that is what it is all about”.
Coburn also rejected the much-touted premise that an independent Scotland would enjoy the sort of prosperity that non-EU oil titan Norway does. He said that due to the “economic illiteracy” of the Scottish nationalists, what was on offer would not have been financially beneficial to the country.
“No, Scotland would not have benefitted from succession, it would have been absolutely catastrophic for Scotland,” he said. “The money is already flying out. You need not have waited for Yes to see what would happen. The money is pouring out of the banks, the businesses are heading south and private individuals are planning to register their companies in England and pay tax in England.”
Coburn added that even if Scottish National Party leader Alexander Salmond had 50 percent of the population , which he does not have, the other 50 per cent “would be quite happy to say: We will register our businesses in England”, and “he would have a hell of a job trying to find the money to fill the hole”.
Moreover, he believes the very idea of a referendum has been a disaster.
“We have a useless Prime Minister, David Cameron, who allowed Salmond to have a 50 per cent threshold,” he said. “If you are setting up a new state, which means removing the status quo, taking away people’s birth right, their passports, their nationalities, than it should be at least 60 percent. The whole thing is skewed anyway because over a million Scots raised outside Scotland, doing their own business, or in the army or whatever they happened to be [doing] at the time – they are being denied [the] vote. And those are a great number of people. The vast majority of them would have been voting No. It is a bent ballot from the very start.”
Coburn also mentioned the currency issue and EU accession for the “could have possibly be” independent Scotland.
“I asked the President of the European Union and he said that Scotland would not have been able to join the European Union, they would have to join the cue with everybody else and it could be as much as five years coming up after Turkey,” he said.
“That is nonsense. Scotland would not have been in the EU. And if it did get into the EU, it would have to accept everything, all the options that Britain has would have been removed, it would have to accept Schengen, it would have to accept the euro, which is causing catastrophe in Southern Europe. It is bankrupting the EU, it is bankrupting Greece [and] Spain. Why, in the name of goodness would we want the euro? Why not keep a perfectly good pound that we’ve had for 300 years?”
“And the other nonsense they’ve talked about – ‘sterlingization’. That means that they still won’t get any say. The Bank of England will be ruling. Under ‘sterlingization’ they would have less say than they have now.”
Mr. Hamish McRae, a financial journalist and associate editor of The Independent, also told Radio VR that the idea of using the British pound after independence would not have worked out.
“The experience of currency union without a political union in the case of the Euro has been such a catastrophe, that I don’t think that the Bank of England or the British Government could consider this. In any case, all the three major parties have said that they would not agree. And if all the three major parties say something, I think you have to believe them,” he said.