If Israel can survive, so can an independent Scotland

By Simon Round, March 7, 2014

I’ve been watching developments in the Scots independence debate. I know we Sassenachs don’t have a vote but there are still pros and cons to the process which deserve to be debated seriously.

For example, it is a matter of great national importance to ascertain what will happen to North Sea oil and the nuclear naval base at Faslane. Will we be able to keep Andy Murray, under residency rules? I suspect the curling team will be lost to the rest of the UK, as will haggis and and deep-fried Mars bars. But we might be able to negotiate the repatriation of George Galloway in return for a few bottles of single malt.

But the wonderful thing about Scottish independence is that it will be decided by a single democratic vote of the people who live there. If they decide to go their own way we will wave them a cheery farewell, after first cutting off the electricity, denying them use of the pound, removing them from the EU, cutting government subsidies to deprived areas and watching as large insurance companies hurriedly relocate south of the border.

So yes, there will be a tricky couple of years ahead for the fledgling state, but the Scots will be able to take heart from the experience of another small country which dared to declare its own independence around 66 years ago, under much more hostile circumstances.

Just imagine if on the first day of its existence, the combined armies of England, Wales, Ireland and Norway decided to march on Edinburgh, vowing to kick the rebellious Scots into the Firth of Forth. I very much doubt that there will be many countries which will deny Scotland its right to exist. There will be no need for a partition plan (Celtic supporters in one half of Glasgow, and Rangers supporters moved to another, perhaps with Hampden Park administered as an international area by the UN).

I don’t anticipate that there will be many katyusha rockets fired over the border onto the residents of Kelso or Jedburgh. I also don’t see any issues should the newly independent country declare a right of return for anyone who can prove they are halachically Scottish.

And while there are plenty of English people who have made their homes north of the border, I don’t foresee that they will form guerilla groups like the PLO (Peebles Liberation Organisation). And although there was a security wall erected some time ago to separate the English from the Scots, I can’t see the need for this to be fortified and strengthened against attacks from the south.

The great news for the Scots is that Israel has survived and thrived despite all of these threats to its nationhood — and has managed rather well against the odds. And if they can, so can Scotland.

As someone who is one-quarter Scottish — so eligible and willing to play for the national football team — I do recognise Scotland’s right to exist within secure borders. I wish I could vote yes just so we could see an actual version of the tartan army... and navy and air force.

Last updated: 8:45am, March 7 2014