Recently Jeremy Corbyn, on one of his occasional visits to “North Britain” – a.k.a. Scotland – is reported to have said that it would be difficult for Scotland to have its own distinctive legal system, separate from that in England. Would someone please take him on one side and gently whisper in his ear that Scotland has had its own distinctive legal system for centuries.
Large quantities of North Sea oil are processed on the rigs and exported directly to other countries without coming ashore. Prior to December 2016 oil that was shipped directly from the rigs was counted towards the Oil Companies’ Head Offices, rather than being counted as produced in Scotland. Oil imported or exported into or out of the UK was normally associated with the region of the UK where it was produced, but oil exported directly from the rigs was associated with a business, not the country of origin. It was allocated to an “unknown region” and credited to the region where the business’s Head Office was registered (usually not Scotland).
The system has now been updated so that, since 2016, in UK records the value of oil extracted from Scottish waters has been credited to Scotland instead of to an “unknown region”.
This change has resulted in Scotland’s allocation for 2015 rising from £588 million to £6,825 million and the allocation to the “unknown region” falling from £8,826 million to £1,529 million.
Spain is home to more than 100,000 British pensioners. Most moved there many years ago to enjoy their retirement with the understanding that they would be able to export their pension and healthcare rights with them. But since the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, these rights are no longer guaranteed.
Of course if Scotland stays in the EU, Scottish pensioners in Spain and the rest of the EU would have their pension guaranteed.
At present, the maximum British state pension of around £480 a month is barely enough to cover living costs and is low by European standards – in comparison the Spanish state pension averages around €900 (£790) a month. An independent Scotland could easily do better.