STV has confirmed details of a live TV debate with the leaders of the four main political parties in Scotland ahead of the General Election in June.\ \ Scotland Debates will feature SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon MSP; Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson MSP; leader of the Scottish Labour Party Kezia Dugdale MSP; and Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP.\ \ The debate will be chaired by STV's political editor, Bernard Ponsonby, and broadcast live from the Tramway theatre in Glasgow on Wednesday 24 May between 2030 and 2200, in front of an audience of 150 comprising a representative sample of the Scottish electorate.
Status: In Development
Runtime: 90 minutes
Scotland Debates - Scottish independence referendum, 2014 - Netflix
A referendum on Scottish independence from the United Kingdom took place on Thursday 18 September 2014. The referendum question, which voters answered with “Yes” or “No”, was “Should Scotland be an independent country?” The “No” side won, with 2,001,926 (55.3%) voting against independence and 1,617,989 (44.7%) voting in favour. The turnout of 84.6% was the highest recorded for an election or referendum in the United Kingdom since the introduction of universal suffrage. The Scottish Independence Referendum Act 2013, setting out the arrangements for the referendum, was passed by the Scottish Parliament in November 2013, following an agreement between the devolved Scottish government and the Government of the United Kingdom. To pass, the independence proposal required a simple majority. With some exceptions, European Union (EU) or Commonwealth citizens resident in Scotland aged sixteen years or over could vote, a total of almost 4,300,000 people. This was the first time that the electoral franchise was extended to include sixteen and seventeen-year-olds in Scotland. Yes Scotland was the main campaign group for independence, while Better Together was the main campaign group in favour of maintaining the union. Many other campaign groups, political parties, businesses, newspapers and prominent individuals were also involved. Prominent issues raised during the referendum included which currency an independent Scotland would use, public expenditure, EU membership, and North Sea oil. An exit poll of voters revealed that for “No”-voters, the retention of the pound sterling was the deciding factor, while for “yes”-voters, the biggest single motivation was “disaffection with Westminster politics”.
Scotland Debates - Currency - Netflix
Another major economic issue was the currency that would be used by an independent Scotland. The principal options were to establish an independent Scottish currency, join the euro, or retain the pound sterling (a form of currency substitution). Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, the SNP's policy was that an independent Scotland should adopt the euro, though this was relegated to a long-term rather than short-term goal by the party's 2009 conference. There was disagreement over whether Scotland would be required to join the euro if it wished to become an EU member state in its own right. All new members are required to commit to joining the single currency as a prerequisite of EU membership, but they must first be party to ERM II for two years, something that requires an own currency. The Scottish government argued that countries have a de facto opt-out from the euro because they are not obliged to join ERM II. For example, Sweden has not yet adopted the euro. The people of Sweden rejected adopting the euro in a 2003 referendum and its government has not joined by refusing to enter ERM II. The SNP favoured continued use of sterling in an independent Scotland through a formal currency union with the UK, with the Bank of England setting its interest rates and monetary policy and acting as its central bank. The white paper Scotland's Future identified five key reasons that a currency union “would be in both Scotland and the UK's interests immediately post-independence”: Scotland's main trading partner is the UK (⅔ of exports in 2011); “companies operating in Scotland and the UK [...have] complex cross-border supply chains”; there is high labour mobility; “on key measurements of an optimal currency area, the Scottish and UK economies score well”; and short-term economic trends in the UK and Scotland have “a relatively high degree of synchronicity”. In June 2012, Alistair Darling said voters in the rest of the UK could choose not to be in a currency union with Scotland. Former Prime Minister Sir John Major rejected the idea of a currency union, saying it would require the UK to underwrite Scottish debt. Another former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, said the SNP proposal would create a “colonial relationship” between Scotland and Westminster. The Welsh First Minister, Carwyn Jones, said in November 2013 that he would seek a veto on a currency union between Scotland and the rest of the UK. Yes Scotland said that a currency union would benefit both Scotland and the rest of the UK, as Scotland's exports would boost the balance of payments, and consequently strengthen the exchange rate of sterling. Meanwhile, UK economists and financial experts stated that the effect on the balance of payments and the exchange rate would be “largely neutral”. Sterling fell by almost one cent against the US dollar in a day early in September 2014, due to an opinion poll showing a swing towards the Yes campaign. The Financial Times reported a few days later that “Asset managers, investors and pension savers are moving billions of pounds out of Scotland” because of fears that Scotland would leave the UK. The newspaper also reported that “'exit clauses' are being inserted into commercial property contracts in Scotland to allow buyers to scrap deals or renegotiate prices if voters opt for independence”. The Scottish government stated that not having a currency union could cost businesses in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland £500 million in transaction charges when trading with an independent Scotland; Plaid Cymru treasury spokesperson Jonathan Edwards commented that such costs were a “threat to Welsh business”. Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont said that any additional transaction costs would fall largely on Scottish companies, costing businesses in Scotland 11 times more than those in England. The Institute of Directors stated that any new transaction costs would “pale in comparison to the financial danger of entering an unstable currency union.” If Scotland joined a currency union with the UK, some fiscal policy constraints could be imposed on the Scottish state. Banking experts have said that being the “junior partner” in a currency arrangement could amount to “a loss of fiscal autonomy for Scotland”. Dr Angus Armstrong of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research wrote that the implicit constraints on its economic policy would be more restrictive than the explicit ones it faces as a member of the UK. Salmond said in February 2014 that an independent Scotland in a currency union would retain tax and spending powers. Gavin McCrone, former chief economic adviser to the Scottish Office, stated that Scotland's retention of the pound would be pragmatic initially, but problematic thereafter if a Scottish government wished to implement independent policies, and he warned that keeping the pound could lead to the relocation of Scottish banks to London. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, as well as equivalent post-holders in the two other main UK political parties, rejected the idea of a formal currency union with an independent Scotland in February 2014. Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls said the SNP's proposals for a currency union were “economically incoherent”, and that any currency option for an independent Scotland would be “less advantageous than what we have across the UK today”. After the three main UK political parties ruled out a formal currency union as a possibility, the Adam Smith Institute said that the economies of Panama, Ecuador and El Salvador “demonstrate that the informal use of another country's currency can foster a healthy financial system and economy”. In September 2014, former European Commissioner Olli Rehn stated that an independent Scotland would be unable to meet EU membership requirements if it shared sterling informally, as it would not have an independent central bank. Rehn's comment was disputed by Salmond, who restated his belief that a sterling currency union would be formed and pledged to create the necessary financial institutions. The Scottish Socialist Party favoured an independent Scottish currency, pegged to sterling in the short term. The Scottish Green Party said that keeping sterling as “a short term transitional arrangement” should not be ruled out, but also said that the Scottish Government should “keep an open mind about moving towards an independent currency”. The Jimmy Reid Foundation, in early 2013, described retention of the pound as a good transitional arrangement, but recommended the eventual establishment of an independent Scottish currency to “insulate” Scotland from the UK's “economic instability”. Other proponents of an independent Scottish currency included Yes Scotland chairman Dennis Canavan and former SNP deputy leader Jim Sillars. On 9 September 2014, Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, said that a currency union between an independent Scotland and the remainder of the UK would be “incompatible with sovereignty”. Carney was involved in a “Q&A” session at the Trades Union Congress and further explained that cross-border ties on tax, spending and banking rules are a prerequisite: “You only have to look across the continent to look at what happens if you don't have those components in place ... You need tax, revenues and spending flowing across those borders to help equalise, to an extent, some of the inevitable differences [across the union].” A spokesperson for the SNP's finance minister responded, saying “Successful independent countries such as France, Germany, Finland and Austria all share a currency – and they are in charge of 100% of their tax revenues, as an independent Scotland would be. At present under devolution, Scotland controls only 7% of our revenues.” Carney's comments received vocal support from Darling and the GMB trade union, the latter of which supports the retention of the current UK formation.
Scotland Debates - References - Netflix