Alex Salmond has preached his message of power and freedom for Scotland freeing it from the shackles of tyranny of Westminster. He believes, or at least he insists, that an independent Scotland will serve the Scottish electorate to create a better and more prosperous Scotland. He continues his efforts by criticizing the ‘Better Together Campaign’ for its lack of originality and simply pursuing its own objectives without relying on the facts.

However, despites reassurances that Scotland will have a definite place in the EU if Scotland was to vote for independence, this has come into doubt after the European Commission President Barroso mentioned that Scotland cannot be guaranteed membership but rather would have to apply for membership.

The ‘Yes Campaign’ has faced further criticism, due to the Chancellor expressing that there will be no currency union between Scotland and the United Kingdom if Scotland became an independent state. However, polls have found the Scottish electorate are sceptical about the Chancellor’s remarks. Despite Mr Salmond’s passionate campaign, support for independence remains low with recent polls showing just 28% in favour of it. The ‘Yes Campaign’ disputes this however and argues that support for independence is higher.

Polls continue to suggest that Scotland does not wish for independence. Is Mr Salmond simply another power hungry politician or is Scotland’s prosperity undermined by Westminster’s monopoly?

Figures and estimates are difficult to compile because even Westminster is unable to calculate all the money that is spent on citizens in Scotland.The UK Treasury Public Spending audit reports that with the exception of Northern Ireland, Scottish citizens already receive more government money per head than citizens in other parts of the UK.

With this figure, Scotland is relatively prosperous within the UK. However, the control over the oil in the North Sea is a significant dispute; the Yes campaign believe that they are entitled to the oil revenue from the North Sea, whereas all the money raised presently goes to the coffers of Whitehall. At the moment the Scottish Government reports that Scotland receives approximately 8.5% of the 6400 million pounds of oil revenue. Scotland would be a more prosperous nation if it received all the revenue raised from the North Sea.

The contentious nature of remaining in the EU is likely to be convoluted and complex to say the least, without being a member of the EU, Scotland will forfeit the benefits of membership. In fact, European Movement in Scotland recommends delaying independence from March 2016 in order to obtain formal EU membership.

The contentious task of creating a new state cannot be underestimated. Scotland may have some knowledge of existing without the foundation of Westminster due to the power transfer from devolution such as the control of health services, housing etc. However, overall monopoly of power remains firmly in control of Whitehall, foreign policy, immigration and with the exception of alteration of certain taxes all monetary and economic policy.

Apart from this there is no defence force for Scotland so the creation of an independently functioning economy and military will be necessary. This is set to be a difficult and debated task, specifically when it comes to creating a self-defence force and the initial cost of setting up the military. The assumption that all Scottish citizens serving in the British Armed Forces will automatically serve in the newly formed Scottish Defence Force, cannot be guaranteed as some may wish to continue to serve in the British military.

The SNP has created posters claiming that Scotland would be one of the wealthiest nations in the world. However, economists claim that this is misleading the public because living in a wealthy nation does not necessarily lead to improved economic circumstances for the citizens. If Scotland managed to negotiate a currency union, this would not aid in sustaining economic stability, demonstrated by the Eurozone crisis; fiscal as well as monetary union is needed for sustaining a currency. Furthermore, as Scotland desires to join the EU, it may also have to join the euro, which is likely to have an adverse effect on its economy.

In conclusion Scottish independence remains a proposal with many unknown facets. Alex Salmond has offered his proposals and continues to vehemently support the road to Scottish independence. But is his passion for independence clouding his better judgement? His rhetoric has not translated into working resolutions. For instance, there is no guarantee of a currency union or membership in the EU and without a resolution to these contentious issues Scottish independence is not a viable prospect. Therefore, Alex Salmond may be less of a saviour and more of a dreamer instead.

DISCLAIMER: The articles on our website are not endorsed by, or the opinions of Shout Out UK (SOUK), but exclusively the views of the author.