The REAL Reason Britain is Freaking Out About Scottish Independence

George Washington's picture

David Cameron and the British media have been freaking out about the potential Scottish independence.

They've blathered on about "history", "common defense" and other red herrings.

But it's really all about oil ...

Specifically, if Scotland becomes independent, it gets to keep 90% of the revenues from its huge oil reserves.

The New York Times reports:

Scottish nationalists have long argued that being governed from London has deprived their country of its fair share of the wealth from Britain’s oil and natural gas fields, which mostly lie in North Sea waters off their shores.


“It’s Scotland’s oil” was the rallying cry in the 1970s that helped raise the profile of the Scottish Nationalist Party, which now leads the country and is pushing for a vote to secede in the referendum on Thursday. Alex Salmond, the politician leading the separatist movement, has pointed to North Sea energy as the treasure that would help finance an independent Scotland — ensuring that the country could continue the generous public spending, including free university tuition, that he is promising voters.

Al Jazeera notes:

Massive oil reserves in the North Sea are at the heart of the Scottish independence debate. Many are questioning whether the reserves are just for Scotland or if the rest of the United Kingodm should continue to benefit from their profits.

NBC writes:

The ‘Yes’ campaign … says Scots should have total control of their own affairs and that revenue from Scotland’s offshore oil fields would sustain the country’s economy.


In addition, as Max Keiser explained:

(1) The UK can now borrow cheaply using the giant Scottish oil reserves as collateral


(2) If Scotland leaves, the collateral (oil reserves) is no longer available


(3) So the cost of borrowing money for Britain skyrockets

Scotland’s North Sea oil reserves are slowing running out, and so oil won’t be such a valuable resource forever.  But for now, it is still invaluable (especially as collateral for British borrowing) … and the key to Britain’s panic over potential Scottish independence.

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TheAnswerIs42's picture

An interesting analogy by Niall Ferguson:

For most of the early modern period, the Scots kingdom was Europe’s Afghanistan. In the Highlands and the Hebrides, feudal warlords ruled over an utterly impoverished populace in conditions of lawlessness and internecine clan conflict. In the Lowlands, religious zealots who fantasised about a Calvinist theocracy – government by the godly Elect – prohibited dancing, drinking and drama. John Knox and his ilk were the Taliban of the Reformation. Witches were burnt in large numbers in Scotland, not in England.


The reality is that, as an independent country, Scotland would be far more likely to revert to its pre-1707 bad habits than to morph magically into “Scandland”.

Article goes on here.



tempo's picture

Its always about oil, gas (Syria/Ukraine) or coal (Ukraine). ISIS (Sunnis) want Krud and Iraq oil.

New_Meat's picture

GW b 'skoshi' late to this party!

don't cha' know

- Ned

q99x2's picture

Not freaking out any more. They won. We lost. We are indentured slaves destined for starvation. Woe is me. Woe is me.

world_debt_slave's picture

Bloody hypocrites and psycho-paths. As on ZH, Democracy is only supported when it suits the needs of TPTB.

hendrik1730's picture

Already well stated by Marc Twain : if elections really mattered, they would have been forbidden al long time ago.

world_debt_slave's picture

ha, ha, yeah, watched a documentary on Theodore Roosevelt, also during Marc Twains time, same corruption just different characters. Nothing new today.

GreatUncle's picture

Think the UK has been telling porkies on the unfunded debt liabilities far in excess of the total amount of UK debt declared.

If the Scots go for independence then the UK government will be forced to declare the true level of debt so they can share this debt with the Scots else you pay for it all.

Recent number being bandied about is 1.3 trillion from official sources but some have estimates of 6-7 trillion and if true requires 4 trillion plus of debt to crawl out of the woodwork.

Duffy's picture

There is, believe it or not, more to life than "the economy."


An independent Scotland that joins the EU is pointless.  And notwithstanding comments above from the board's experts on Scotland and the UK, the divide between Highlander and Lowlander is much more significant than any divide between Scotland and England and Wales.  Indeed, I would expect a movement for regional autonomy for the Highlands and Islands region within a Free Scotland...


But all pointless if subject to EU and IMF strong-arming.  We all know that what the EU's bureaucrats and "globalists" want is to make everywhere a heterogenous mix of debt slaves.


The best chance for Scotland to remain Scottish is to leave both the UK and the EU. 


Believe it or not, this is more important for many than the 'optimum' {short to mid term} economic prospects. 


Take a look around London away from the tourist areas.  How on earth did they allow that to happen?  The English certainly didn't want to become a minority in theiw own capital - but for the EU, globalists, and bankers, it is best if all European countries, even small ones, are flooded with immigrants to help erode any idea of national identity.


More, smaller governments strikes me as better than fewer, larger ones run by bankers, war profiteers, and th rest of the usual suspects...


NuYawkFrankie's picture

Not everything is about Mammon, George.

There is such as thing as "self respect" - and not wanting to be  a party to a rogue Estabishment

GoinFawr's picture
The REAL Reason Britain is Freaking Out About Scottish Independence


that's the headline DangerMan, not,

The REAL Reason The Scottish are Considering Freaking Out Britian by Becoming Independent


tumblemore's picture

I don't know why the UK government suddenly panicked over Scottish independence - as they didn't seem as concerned earlier - but it definitely happened. One thing to bear in mind is UK politicians are as bought as US ones so the reason doesn't have to be anything to do with the UK. It could just as easily be to do with either the US, the EU or the banking mafia in the City of London.


CEE's picture

This is quite perverted. Let us assume that the separatists will succeed. Wonder what whould they do if a few oil seashore scottish counties start calling for their independence.

GoinFawr's picture

That was quite perverted; I think I can safely assert that you'll find most here on ZH, regardless of their viewpoints/delusions/illusions/sophistry/misnomering, will at least pay lip service to the benefits of the decentralization of power; vehemently too.

Well, anyway,  right up to the point where they discover that, relatively, they have more power than they've actually earned and might have to give up something they consider their own for such decentralization to happen; then they immediately start eating their own tails.

"I don't care if the world is unfair, just so long as it is unfair in my favor" -Calvin

Fix It Again Timmy's picture

Yes for Scotland, it's YOUR oil; let England export spotted dick for its revenues.....]

Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

If they vote yes the oil issue is a bit overstated here. Remember the Bank of London and the financial district still holds control of all those Scotish pensions.

Notice how the Scots don't want to drop the pound. If they do the banksters destroys the pension funds and Scotland has it's own internal strife to deal with now. That is the leverage the banksters hold with gentrifying population bases and largely dependent on bankster controlled savings ie union employees, 401ks invested in stock markets etcs. They don't lose shit in the end with oil being controlled by the Scots if it is priced in pounds. If anything they make more money since it is being sold now instead of being used directly aka the skim on the sale plus they still maintain price control if they control the pound.

The politicians/military lose on the deal not the banksters. Royality well they aren't the owners. The just lose prestige here the owners don't lose shit as long as they own the currency.

As long as owners control the money and savings mechanisms they also control to generate 'wealth through assets' they own you period regardless of anything else and that is why this referendum don't mean shit to them one way or the other.



Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

With that said this referendum should it pass is only a first step towards freedom and self dependence. If they really want true freedom and self dependence then that is the next step that needs to be taken which is taking back control of their savings and the ability of owners to destroy it's value and quantity as a nation.

JohnFrodo's picture

The real reason they fear a Yes vote is because the masters of reality that have ruled for centuries will finally face reality.

disabledvet's picture

"The other Kingdom." England, Scotland, Wales.

I fail to see the Revolution. The Queen is still Soveriegn although they might get a King Andrew out of the deal.

Talk about a First Family.

The great thing about Scotland is you don't have to listen to the arguments. You know they've already hashed it all out already. "Now there will be a vote."

Sorry for not knowing the largest City in Scotland though. Not "the Burgh" apparently.

Global Observer's picture

The biggest reason for the panic in London is the fact that they assumed the vote will be an overwhelming 'No' and hence didn't even bother to figure out what to do in the case of a 'Yes' and what it will mean.


Quite likely independence will mean a significant loss financially for Scotland and no difference to the rest of UK. UK's well-being is underwritten by the finance industry (banksters) and not by North Sea oil.


Of course, another reason for the panic may be that a 'Yes' vote will act as the pin that pricks the bubbles (the Black Swan event). It has that potential precisely because the implications (of a 'Yes' vote) have not been thought through and hence not properly discounted by the markets.

Kina's picture

If they vote No....then they will never get another chance.....and they will be severly punished thereafter to teach them a lesson.


Having come so far there is no turning back.


They better vote Yes today....or get revenged fucked up the arse by London forever more.

dreadnaught's picture

Prima Noctes will go up by 500%!!!!!    NB:   PN never happened-a myth

Supernova Born's picture

May the young and/or the brave of Scotland choose their own path.

Troy Ounce's picture



Paper, my friend, paper...will save Britain.

the0ther's picture

I want to see you on Max Keiser GW.

Peter Pan's picture

There may not be much oil left but whatever is left is far more valuable to a small population like that of Scotland than to a large population like the UK.

MeBizarro's picture

This isn't about oil.  UK production peaked in '99-'00 including in Scotland and if all of the various ridiculous estimates that have been floating around the last few weeks were true about tens of billions of oil in deeper parts of the North Sea were true you don't think that BP would be double-down on the back door instead of largely moving out of the UK oil fields over the last decade?

Jano's picture

I agree, this is not only about the oil.

Oil is only to 99% in the game.

Oil=money=political power to supply or not to supply

nathan1234's picture

While all this goes on- Is there any derivative exposure on this account?

On the British Pound - of course possible.

Who wins? Who Looses?

Which Bank goes under?


Escapeclaws's picture

George says this is about oil revenues, and surely George is an honorable man. Not to question George, but could it rather be that the scots wish to control their borders? Are they rebelling from King George under the slogan


JoJoJo's picture

I have always liked Scotland,the Scotch and the Scottish way of life but when it was reported that Scotland is more liberal than the Britts, if freed, Scotland will welfare its way into oblivion not unlike Braveheart. No currency and no national defense, and worse yet, Liberal. Definitely taking the low road laddies.

dreadnaught's picture

writing and playing pocket pool at the same time are we?

luckylongshot's picture

If Scotland wants to become truly independant then they must have their own currency issued by a central bank that is owned by the Scots themselves. Without this any independance is illusory as they will remain controlled by whoever has the power to issue their currency. The oil issue is important but  secondary to the issue of financial independance.

Jano's picture

No economy needs a system, based on a central bank. I recommend James Corbett Century of Enslavement


But it has one risk, to ignore the system, based on central banks/western capital control/:

NK is a foe, but a foe with nuclear bomb.

Sudan: dissolved

Syria: being bombed

Cuba: USA tries to destroy it

Syria: being bombed and destabilised

teslaberry's picture

i'm convinced that the english oil and industrial companies will be worse off, yes, but their loss is the HUGE gain of the english banking system as scottish money runs out of the hills and into english banks.


to me, i'm exertemely suspicious of 'indepence movements' as being engineered. why? because cartels like ALEC and the koch brothers are tyring to sponsor constitutional convnetions, because wall street funded inQtel silicon valley billionaire 'entrepreneurs' are trying to encourage the balkanization of california "for freedom and indepence!" 


if these referendums succeed the public may well be better off in the LONG LONG run , which is anyone's guess as to what will happen. 

but in the short run you have a guaranteed capital outflow and massive gains to any banks and takers of that money. the money changers and takers will win BIGTIME at everyone else's short term expense. 


i'm not saying their gain means voting for independence will be bad if it succeeds. i'm saying the set up seems clear at this point as to who is backing whose horses.

kchrisc's picture

No need to pay attention to all of this, as the banksters will let us know the disposition of Scotland tomorrow.

An American, not US subject.


"I voted, therefore I bleat."

detached.amusement's picture

hahahaha +1

"I voted, therefore I bleat."

bilbert's picture

I'm no Euro expert, but what are the odds Scotland would keep the Pound Sterling, as it's currency, should it vote for independence? 

Could this be a market moving and ForEx event if it happens, or will it, too, be "contained" like every other Circus Freak Show, we call the "markets".



jharry's picture

I predict with 100 percent certainty that the vote will be a very narrow win for NO.

GoinFawr's picture

you`re probably absolutely correct; though of course any victory by a `narrow` (let's say 2% or less) margin should definitely mean that another vote on the matter will take place sometime in the near future, right? Because of the obvious polarization of the population and all that...

What do you mean 'you won't be holding your breath'?

1 stPeasant: ... and all the decisions of that officer have to be ratified at a special bi-weekly meeting by a civil majority (in the case of purely internal affairs), but by a 2/3 majority in the case of more major...

King: Be quiet! I order you to be quiet!

2nd Peasant: 'Order' eh? Who does he think he is?

King: I am your King!

2nd Peasant: Well, I didn't vote for ya...

King: You don't vote for Kings!


Your certainty became reality

Alananda's picture

NO, not oil.

NO, it's not even about absolute control of the "monetary system" -- aka DEBT NOTES -- and the power to manipulate and extract wealth therefrom, mostly managed by the Dreadful Few, who seem well trained after a few centuries' practice.

GW, you will not mention this, will you?l  Why not?

You assert the Israeli agencies and corpses played a "subsidiary role" in 9-11, at best!  Perhaps.  Who directed the dual Israeli-US citizens (so characterized) and their minions?  You seem to know far more than you tell.  Why?

Let us name the "Powers That Be", shall we, those in the know like you, and Cognitive Dissonance!  Who are the human beings, if such they really be, manning the deck and masquerading as you and me?

TPTB ain't the USoA (GOD rest that republic), nor "The State of Isreal" per se -- IS IT?

Who do YOU name, then?  Let's put names on this affair.

The Powers That Wannabe want full control, to sample the great array of eatables, right?

Rootin' for Putin's picture

This is a much more accurate take on the whole independence thing.
The problem is, the Scots are lazy shits who think independence will mean a big fat oil cheque in the mail for each of them.  They wont find out until later that is doesn't, and nothing will have changed.  They will be the new Ukraine, with unemployment going up and politicians siphoning off huge amount for themselves.

TheGreatRecovery's picture

Adam Smith was a Scot.

David Hume was a Scot.

I think the Scottish thinkers laid most of the groundwork for what we today consider to be democracy.

And inventors.  Wikipedia says, "Even before the Industrial Revolution, Scots have been at the forefront of innovation and discovery across a wide range of spheres. Some of the most significant products of Scottish ingenuity include James Watt's steam engine, improving on that of Thomas Newcomen,[1] the bicycle,[2] macadamisation (not to be confused with tarmac or tarmacadam[3]), the telephone invented by Alexander Graham Bell,[4] John Logie Baird's invention of television,[5][6] Alexander Fleming's discovery of penicillin,[7] and the discoveries of electromagnetics, radar,[8] and insulin.[9]"

I believe that the reason Indians speak English with a sing-song is that they learned English from the Scots, who speak English with a sing-song.  I think many of the soldiers in the British Empire were Scots.

And I like their bagpipe music too.

DeusHedge's picture

I'm kinda getting the flavor... that the UK will have to give scotland their danties if it wants a clean default from all that good debt.

Totentänzerlied's picture

Two words for the author:

Thatcher turned the UK into a petrostate, unless you've been living under a rock, you know the results.

Norway is the only notable exception - because it's (classical) liberal tradition was already in place long before its first wells were pumping (though it still has many qualities of a textbook petrostate), though don't look now but most of its famous Sovereign Wealth Fund just happens to be invested in the financial markets of dead-ass-broke western serial debtor nations like the US and UK, so don't act too surprised when, like so many state pension systems, most of the money just ain't there.

Clowns on Acid's picture

Well the coal thing had not worked out so well had it ..... Doomkoff.

GoinFawr's picture

hahaha! A decade passes like nothing for Tot and His Fabulously Fugacious Phreak Sisters!





Tell ya what Tot, the next year Norway runs a budgetary deficit you get to say "I told you so", and that's me being generous; by rights I should make you wait until they are actually carrying a national debt.

'Resource curse'- what a laf (when it comes to how Norway has handled things; IE completely differently from the ol` Iron Maiden)

You lot are reeeeeeeeeaching, and missing; falling.

Salsipuedes's picture

Yes indeed. Specialization can destroy nations. Balance is everything. "Dutch disease" can never be a pretty thing, even if they're only referring to tulips.


"Don't take no wooden nickles!" - Your Grampa

SmittyinLA's picture

Do UK bonds pledge Scottish oil assets as loan collateral for other than oil expenses?

Do they* pledge Scott Oil assets for UK national liabilities? 

TheReplacement's picture

How much have they pledged already?  How will they deal with the loss of that collateral if the vote goes yes?

Ukraine part duex?