"Foreign diplomats believe Scotland is likely to vote for independence after a series of opinion polls have shown an increase in support for a yes vote in September's referendum. Sources in the diplomatic corps in Edinburgh, which is home to nearly 50 consulates and diplomatic missions, have told the Guardian they think the tide of opinion has shifted significantly in recent months, after a noticeable swing against David Cameron's government and the no campaign. One senior diplomat, who asked not to be named, said he had believed last year that a yes vote was unlikely, but had since changed his mind. In his view "it is now likely, but not certain" that Scotland would vote yes in September, he said." Guardian
Well, well, I did not expect this. It seemed to me until recently that the Scots would not have a sufficient sense of grievance against England to take such a step. The difficulties involved in such a separation are likely to be significant. Amng other things there would be assumption of a portion of the debt of the United Kingdom. There will also be a necessary settlement of the question of ownership of North Sea petroleum assets.
There are about five million Scots north of the border. There are twenty million people of Scottish descent in the US. There are many more in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. These are fairly small numbers compared to other ancestral groups such as the Scotch-Irish but nevertheless they are substantial. Scotland's future matters to a lot of us.
IMO, the future of the UK is not a major security concern for the United States. The British armed forces are in the process of a build down to levels of force structure that will make them largely irrelevant in anything but politically symbolic action. Scottish nationalists seem to intend to remain in the NATO alliance but that continuance would likely be insignificant from a strategic point of view. The nuclear submarine base in Scotland was important in the context of the Cold War but that was then and this is now.
I understand from discussion with Englishmen that many of them would be quite willing to see the end of the union. They believe that the Scots get more out of the present arrangment than is justified. At the same time there are persistant rumors that the actual number of Scots who will vote for independence is greater than the percentages displayed in polling.
My Scots ancestors left for Ireland at the end of the seventeenth contury in the hope of escaping English rule. Some things apparently do not change. pl