At the start of the Scottish independence leading up to the referendum vote the UK has a national debt of over £125 Billion. The UK government has told Scotland to expect to take a share of that national debt equivalent to our 9% share of the population.
But should we?
Did You Know Scotland Can Be Legally Free of National Debt When It Leaves The UK?
Two leading international constitutional lawyers independently have proven it. This gives Scotland and our Scottish Independence negotiators enormous leverage to get a good deal.
Scottish Independence Starting With NO National Debt
Dr Matt Qvortrup world-renowned academic based at Cranfield University near Swindon in England has studied the history of other countries breaking up over the last 140 years. These included the independence of Belgium leaving Netherlands in 1830 and right up to the break up of Yugoslavia and the almost total collapse of the USSR in the 1990s.
In summary his historical report says that generally countries have shared the debt built up during the union of the countries. However if one of the countries claims that they are the successor then that the country continues to shoulder all the national debts.
The UK government has stated several times in various ways that they are the successor state. For example:
- They are keeping their membership of the EU and Scotland would have to reapply.
- They will be seated around the table with NATO chiefs and Scotland would have to apply to England and their partners for membership.
- They are retaining their membership of United Nations and their security council.
- They are retaining control of the Bank of England and have clearly said they would not be willing to let Scotland share the Sterling pound.
Putting all these statements together the UK government can not argue that Scotland has a legal duty to take a 9% share of the UK National Debt of £125 billion sterling.
This has given the Scottish Independence negotiators great power. Alex Salmond and his team have already said they will take this stance if the UK government continues to insist Scotland will not be able to use the pound Sterling. As Dr Matt Qvortrup himself said this report
“Imagine — ‘vote Yes and send the bill to David Cameron’.
“Of course I am neutral and just an observer, but the world deserves to know the facts. Personally speaking, I think this could be a game changer.” Dr Matt Qvortrup Cranfield University
Professor David Scheffer of the Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago, US has agreed with Dr Matt Qvortrup’s report He also points to the only written international law dealing with this issue is the Vienna Convention treaty which states clearly
“When part of the territory of a state is transferred to another state, the state debt is to be settled by agreement.”
However only eight countries signed up to that Treaty and the UK did NOT sign up to be bound by the report.
The choice is clear “does Scotland want to be debt free?” If so, they have the legal right to be so following Scottish Independence. However they buy some legal rights such as access to the Sterling currency by accepting some debt.
What do you think is the way forward. Please share your ideas in the comments box below.
Other matters you might be interested in reading after your comment includes
Scottish North Sea Oil Was it stolen by England or not?
Scottish Currency after Independence. Should it be Pound Sterling, the Euro or a new Scottish currency?