Monday, May 19, 2014

A Comprehensive List of Debunked Better Together Scare Stories

I've not really had time to blog recently, with the pace picking up at work and an upcoming placement test for Korean Lessons. Study and work kind of dominate my life these days, much to my chargrin. I digress though. Even though its currently not the wisest use of my time, I would like to compile a list of every Better Together/ NOBorders/ UK government scare story, along with an accompanying link to a report/ official statement from the horses mouth/ or evidence that debunks it.

Currency Union:
Scare Story: The UK government will, under no circumstances consider a currency union with an independent Scotland.
Status: Debunked. Source
Reason: Political horse trading. Currency may be used as leverage to "buy" a lease for Faslane until Trident can be moved.

Scare Story:  Scottish pensioners would, under an independent Scotland, lose all of their pension contributions made in the UK
Status: Debunked. Source
Reason:  Pensioners who have paid into the British "pot" for the duration of their working lives have access to it, regardless of your citizenship. It's one of the reasons why the UK won't come to an agreement with other countries about offering foreigners the opportunity to withdraw their pension contributions when they leave the country

(Interesting note: The UK doesn't have a "pension pot". If you have paid national insurance for a certain period of your life, you are entitled to a pension taken from the taxes paid by current workers. Its a massive Ponzi scheme that screws future workers. Independence is the only way to start afresh and ensure the younger generation of workers in Scotland actually get a pension.)

Scare Story:  The UK government would set up border checks at the Scottish-English Border on the event of independence
Status: Debunked. Source 1. Source 2
Reason:  Costly. No border between the UK and Ireland. Senseless. Bad for business.

Scare Story:  Scotland is a subsidy junkie that has always been funded by English taxpayer money
Status: Debunked. Source (Figures from the National Library of Scotland)
Reason:  Scotland has been a net contributor to the UK finances since at least 1900.

Scare Story: Scotland would lose the British NHS if it broke away from the UK
Status: Debunked. Source
Reason: The NHS has never been united. The Scottish NHS is, and always has been a completely separate institution from the English (not British) NHS

Mobile Phone Roaming charges:
Scare Story:  Scots travelling in England would have to pay international roaming charges when using their mobile phones
Status: Debunked. Source
Reason:  The EU intends to completely scrap roaming charges across Europe by 2015

EU Status:
Scare Story: Scotland would never become a member of the EU because the EU would not let them do so.
Status: Debunked. Source 1 Source 2
Reason:  It's expected that Scotland would complete all appropriate negotiations before the date of Independence in 2016.

Scare Story:  In an independent Scotland, Scots travelling abroad may not have Embassy or Consular access in some countries
Status: Debunked.  Source 1 Source 2
Reason:  All EU countries must offer consular protection to all EU citizens, regardless of the citizens home nation. Its EU law.

Bank Bailouts:
Scare Story:  Scotland's economy is too small and if a big Scottish based international bank goes down, it will impoverish the nation.
Status: Debunked.  Source
Reason:  Banks are bailed out not in their host country, but in the country where they have most of their assets and operations. RBS do most of their business in London. London =/= Edinburgh.

The Queen:
Scare Story: If Scotland leaves the UK, Scotland will lose the Royal family!
Status: Debunked.  Source 1 Source 2
Reason 1:  The union of crowns continues as before. The Queen of the UK is also Queen of Canada, New Zealand and Australia, as well as numerous other small states. None of them are currently part of the UK.
Reason 2: The Church of Scotland is looking into the possibility of setting up a separate coronation ceremony for the Queen in accordance with the Scottish Claim of Right act (And hence take the title Queen of Scots, rather than Queen of Scotland).

Supermarket Prices:
Scare Story: In an independent Scotland, food prices will rise
Status: No basis.  Source 1 Source 2 Source 3 (Sources via Wingsoverscotland & Newsnet Scotland)
Reason 1:  Some supermarkets claimed distribution costs would increase, but distribution costs already vary across Scotland anyway. Tesco in say the Highlands is already much more expensive than Tesco in Glasgow. Given the distribution networks already exist, there is no reason for an increase in costs, over and above the already expensive overheads currently tacked onto distribution to remote places.
Reason 2: Morrison's and Asda(Walmart) have suggested the opposite to be true. Prices may actually fall if the Scottish government reduces corporation tax levels, as already proposed. Prices may also fall if the Retail Levy on Supermarkets selling Alcohol or Tobacco is abolished.

I'll continue adding to this list, so if there are any more, please let me know.

Credits to Newsnet Scotland, Wings over Scotland, The weegingerdug and Google for the sources.

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