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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:25 pm 
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Pentlandpirate wrote:
It is true that the EU and NATO have helped to keep the EU at peace. So it is worth bearing in mind that an independent Scotland is not guaranteed membership of either. At the moment Scotland is part of a nation strong enough to protect itself.

Thanks to Cameron's referendum promise the UK's continuing membership of the EU is now more in doubt than Scotland's.

All this talk of Scotland becoming some sort of international outcast is just scaremongering. Lord Malloch-Brown, a former deputy secretary general of the UN and retired senior diplomat, recently said that "Other countries would try to smooth the way for an independent Scotland to become a member of the European Union " and that UN membership would not be a problem.

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And it seems very unlikely to me that NATO would not welcome Scotland as a member - its absense would after all leave a gaping hole in a vital strategic area.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:47 pm 
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And it seems very unlikely to me that NATO would not welcome Scotland as a member - its absense would after all leave a gaping hole in a vital strategic area


You're absolutely right. Scotland's intention to ban all nuclear weapons from its territory would leave a gaping hole in a vital strategic area. So why would NATO let Scotland in if Scotland won't let NATO base it's weapons there?

Yes, The UK might leave the EU. But the UK doesn't need the EU for defence. The EU doesn't even have an army, and the UK is a key member of NATO

Quote:
"Other countries would try to smooth the way for an independent Scotland to become a member of the European Union "


Any ONE member of the EU can veto a new member joining. We know Spain doesn't want to lose Catalunya or the Basque region and will resist any bandwagon of small states trying to breakaway.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 11:06 pm 
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Pentlandpirate wrote:

You're absolutely right. Scotland's intention to ban all nuclear weapons from its territory would leave a gaping hole in a vital strategic area. So why would NATO let Scotland in if Scotland won't let NATO base it's weapons there?

Same reason they 'let in' 25 other countries out of the 28 members that don't have nuclear weapons based on their territory.

Re. the EU question - I'm sorry, but I prefer to take the opinion of a former deputy secretary general of the UN - and many others such as Professor Crawford, of Cambridge University (legal advisor to the 'NO' campaign :shock: ) who told BBC Radio Scotland that an independent Scotland will remain in the EU, and membership of other international bodies such as the UN would be “straightforward”. Or constitutional law experts, such as Professor David Scheffer, who said Scotland would 'negotiate its independence from inside the EU'.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 11:28 pm 
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Same reason they 'let in' 25 other countries out of the 28 members that don't have nuclear weapons based on their territory


You're twisting things there. There are three nuclear powers in NATO...USA, UK and France. The other 25 don't have their own nuclear weapons. But name one of those 25 that refuses to have nuclear weapons on its soil?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:47 am 
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Pentlandpirate wrote:
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Same reason they 'let in' 25 other countries out of the 28 members that don't have nuclear weapons based on their territory


You're twisting things there. There are three nuclear powers in NATO...USA, UK and France. The other 25 don't have their own nuclear weapons. But name one of those 25 that refuses to have nuclear weapons on its soil?


Norway.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:51 am 
You implied that 23 out of 28 NATO countries refuse to have nuclear weapons in their territory. That was wrong. As you say, there is only one.....officially. But it is believed that Norway has nuclear weapons on its territory, broken down into key components that can be put together in a couple of hours. This makes it comply 'officially' with the line they don't have any 'made up' nuclear weapons on their soil whilst at the same time allowing them to have valuable military assets close to Russia. Using the same approach might allow an independent Scotland to keep a foot in each camp as seems to be the vision for everything else regarding currency, head of state, EU membership.............


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:13 pm 
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Pirate, you only asked me to name one country, which I did. You then concocted some weird fantasy to deny this.

It IS true that 5 European members of NATO still have dismantled US nuclear weapons. These are Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands, Italy and Turkey.

By my count that leaves 20 NATO members who are not nuclear powers in their own right and who do not have nuclear weapons on their soil.

As far as I am concerned, if NATO does not want Scotland as a member then that is NATO's loss. However, most experts on the subject find such a scenario very unlikely.

Next bogey man please!

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 4:07 pm 
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Well, no one has taken exception to my last posting, so herev is another observation for consideration.
Both Norway and Iceland have been cited as a modern utopia and an example to us all.
Two points-
1) If these were the lands of milk and honey then there would surely be a serious immigration problem for them, not only from the third world but expats from these shores also. Such is not the case, economic migrants are thin on the ground.
2) We have a son who works for a multinational company with headquarters in Oslo. Periodically he has to visit head office. His observation on Norway, and it equally applies to Iceland is - " I don't know how the Norwegians can afford to live in Norway".
The Danes who used to own Iceland gave it that name to try and encourage emigration onwards to Greenland (99.9% ice). These attempts at enticement have been completely unsuccessful.
However all is not doom and gloom - Iceland has it's thermal springs, and Norway has it's oil (at the moment), and neither country could be accused of contributing to population explosion.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 4:47 pm 
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I seem to have got caught up in an altercation about Nuclear weapons and NATO.
When I read my previous posting this afternoon there was no other posting
So I typed out a new line on the subject.
Unfortunately, although I clicked SUBMIT I did not get confirmation that it had been accepted, so went through the whole procedure again.
This time it did get through, and so did the original - so now there were 2 almost identical postings.
But in the interim there have been about half a dozen to and fro postings between the two main protagonists, which suggests that they are quicker at typing than I am.
Anyway I apologise for having two almost identical postings in succession.
So - message to Pentland Pirate - Thanks for agreeing on my original point about the lack of wars - and to moderator - please delete one of my duplicate messages - either will do.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 4:59 pm 
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jimcee wrote:
. . . to moderator - please delete one of my duplicate messages - either will do.


Done.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 5:01 pm 
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jimcee wrote:
If these were the lands of milk and honey then there would surely be a serious immigration problem for them . . . economic migrants are thin on the ground.


In fact Norway has a substantial immigration 'problem' with 30% of Oslo's population made up of first- or second-generation immigrants.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 5:38 pm 
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While I am not conversant with the statistics on the Norwegian's Capital, might I suggest that the figure quoted is made up to a large extent by an influx which is worldwide, from the country regions to the towns, and is not made up of foreign nationals.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 5:48 pm 
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jimcee wrote:
While I am not conversant with the statistics on the Norwegian's Capital, might I suggest that the figure quoted is made up to a large extent by an influx which is worldwide, from the country regions to the towns, and is not made up of foreign nationals.


Jim, please check out the Wikipedia entry on Norwegian immigration - over 13% of Norway's population is now composed of foreign nationals.

(Then perhaps you could remind me why this is relevant to a discussion about Scottish independence)

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:45 pm 
What will an independent Scotland's policy be on immigration?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:36 pm 
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Pentlandpirate wrote:
What will an independent Scotland's policy be on immigration?

SNP policy is that (broadly) Scotland welcomes immigrants. It's not really about the SNP though. A future independent Scotland will be a representative democracy, with the government elected by proportional representation. An independent Scotland's policy on immigration will be determined by the Scottish electorate, who will vote for representatives who support their views on this and other issues.

(Apologies if I've used the words 'representative' and 'represent' too much, but they are at the heart of the pro-independence argument)

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:08 pm 
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The reason I was being rather critical of both Norway and Iceland was because these two countries were being cited in the arguments as places where independance was a jolly good thing and were role models for all those considering this step.
Ultimately, the true test of a country's desirability as a domicile, is the number of people wanting to live there, and willing to relocate. In this respect, both Norway and Iceland must be at the lower end of the league tables.
Scotland, in this respect, is probably somewhere in the middle, and is historically renowned for exporting it's talent, and importing retirees from the rat race, which probably balance out, but do nothing to address future welfare problems.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:37 pm 
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jimcee wrote:
Ultimately, the true test of a country's desirability as a domicile, is the number of people wanting to live there, and willing to relocate. In this respect, both Norway and Iceland must be at the lower end of the league tables.
Scotland, in this respect, is probably somewhere in the middle, and is historically renowned for exporting it's talent, and importing retirees from the rat race, which probably balance out, but do nothing to address future welfare problems.

Jim,

I've already pointed out that 13% of Norway's population is made up of foreign nationals from outside Scandinavia, so plenty of people are willing to relocate there.

I've never been to Iceland, but I have both holidayed and worked in Norway and can assure you that it is a very desireable place to live, similar to Scotland in many ways but with much better infrastructure and social services. In fact Norway ranks 1st on the Human Development Index, which is a comparative measure of life expectancy, literacy, education, standards of living and quality of life for countries worldwide.

Iceland is 14th and the UK is 28th.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:37 pm 
Would you wish to model Scotland on Norway? Is Scotland ready for 13% of its population to be made up of people from outside Europe?

If an independent Scotland becomes a better place to live will it suck in the economic migrants, the elderly seeking free healthcare, the retirees, the jobless and poor seeking more generous handouts? So will an independent Scotland be forced to restrict immigration even from England?

And if it does will that cause conflict between the incomers and the 'locals'. Will it mimic the same sort tensions seen at times in Seil and Easdale where some have tried their own brand of ethnic cleansing?

The UK has been settled for hundreds of years. It's the land I call my home and now someone wants to break it up. If Mr Alex Salmond has his way it will become a foreign land to me filled with foreign people. My own parents and siblings: foreign. Mr Alex Salmond has come along and upset the whole status quo opening a dangerous can of worms he now cannot put a lid on. And for what? No one has been able to answer that question yet.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:59 pm 
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Pentlandpirate wrote:
If an independent Scotland becomes a better place to live . . .

Monstrous suggestion!

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:10 pm 
Yes, quite amusing. But Mr Salmond wants us to have a serious debate and the Loch Ness monster is pure fantasy.


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