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Scottish Referendum: What does an independent Scotland mean for your vacation?

By September 15, 2014 No Comments

Scot_Eng_CountryAmong the latest round of countries with regions at various levels of getting into the secession game, Scotland is on the cusp of making that a reality.  Part of the UK for the last 300 years, on 18 September, the country will vote on independence.  Scotland is painting the way ahead for regions on the fence for decades.

Some of the bigger issues involved in the upcoming vote:

Money: This is a major issue; will they adopt the euro or keep a British outlook on finance by using their own currency.  Defense contracts in the country, oil, and the budget in general; the Scottish banking system is intertwined with the UK, Untangling the two will be a huge task.

Border issues: Scotland could opt out of the Schengen area, meaning you would still have to show your passport upon arrival from Europe.  However, they would most likely adopt the Common Travel Area agreement allowing for free movement once in the current UK + Ireland.

Security and Intel:  Currently leaning on UK services, Scotland would have to dust off Scotland Yard and create their own services from scratch. (And yes – Scotland Yard is in London, but you know what I’m getting at)

Fun fact:  How would this change the monarchy?  It wouldn’t. The government is not looking to oust the head of state. Long live the Queen.

Passport stamps: Not really an issue, but I’d love to see what their passport stamps look like. A thistle? The Stone of Scone?

But wait – just because they win the vote doesn’t mean it’s over, there’s still 18 months of bureaucracy to be had! Negotiations wouldn’t be final until March 2016.

“Scotland would become an independent country after a process of negotiations”

Internationally, it looks like the Catalonian region of Spain is queuing off of the Scottish referendum and demanding their own vote.  Other separatist areas of Europe like Flanders, Wallonia and the Basque region could spark their own processes depending on how this turn out.

For the traveler, an independent Scotland would most likely not muddle what is currently a seamless process of traveling through the UK.  Safety wise, the long term effects seem negligible depending on how the newly independent country would finance and approach border control, immigration and defense against terrorism within their borders.

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