Scottish Independence and the Markets
Why do we have to wait so long to see whether the Scots want to run their own ship or stay within the Union?
The extra time seems unlikely to make the outcome any different to what the polls currently say.
Whilst a small proportion of Scotland would love independence, it seems that the majority are content with the status quo because, on the whole, people simply don't like change.
Much of the tax generated within the Union is spent on excellent public services north of the border, particularly health, and those against a break up see no reason to threaten that.
If the vote does go the way of independence, Westminster would be more than happy to offload the toxic banks that are still being supported with taxpayers' money.
In addition, one of Scotland's key industries is still on life support, meaning that it wouldn't be the best of starts for a country starting out on its own again.
The vote is a long way off and the campaigning will be long and hard over the next couple of years.
The SNP faces an uphill struggle to persuade Scots that they'll be better off outside the Union, but it is another issue that the coalition could probably do without ahead of the next general election.
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By Simon Denham, 16 October 2012