Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Hard Choices on Scottish Independence

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Hard Choices on Scottish Independence

Article excerpt

THERESA May's warning today that an independent Scotland could lose the protection of British intelligence agencies is a sign of the intensification of the debate on independence ahead of next September's referendum. The Home Secretary says that it would be "very difficult" for Scotland to give itself the same level of protection as MI5 and other agencies do at present, while co-operation between English and Scottish police forces could also be damaged. In truth, though, Scottish independence would present challenges in dozens of areas of government: it is quite simply uncharted territory.

Thus on defence it is very unclear how the armed forces and their bases might be divided up, especially the Faslane nuclear submarine base: the Scottish National Party wants a nuclear-free Scotland. Sharing the national debt would probably be even more complicated -- not least because Scotland gets far more in public spending (around [pounds sterling]40 billion a year) than it generates in taxes ([pounds sterling]27 billion. …

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