SIC - Orkney & Shetland valuation joint board

Scottish Independence Debate / Views from Brae High School

Against Scottish Independence:

No benefits

As a young Labour supporter I am naturally against Scottish independence. In my view it would bring no benefits to Scotland or Shetland.

The SNP haven’t thought this out and so have vague answers on important issues like the currency we would have; the position of our armed forces; what happens with embassies; and the share of oil revenues we would get. Braveheart nationalism is no alternative to the security we get by being in the UK.

In the unlikely event of independence, I would be against giving more powers to the SIC as I’m not impressed by their spending priorities, including wasting money on the Bressay bridge proposal and other things we don’t need – (by the way I am not referring to Mareel, which is one decision I do support).

Declan Turner S4

Economic disaster

As a member of the Shetland Liberal Democrats executive committee, I am totally against Scottish independence.

An independent Scotland would spell economic disaster for Scotland and Shetland because our country lacks the economic means to survive on its own. The fact is that it was Westminster that bailed out our Scottish banks and saved us from the experience of Iceland and Ireland.

Shetland’s future is best served by the continuation of the Union and if Salmond ever did win I would worry about the centralising plans of the SNP, which would be against Shetland’s interests. On the other hand I would not like the SIC to have more powers as their track record proves they are incapable of handling more power.

Ben Raikes S5

Irresponsible fantasy

An independent Orkney or Shetland is a fantasy and hardly worth taking seriously. Nobody believes it would work and why should Orkney and Shetland go it alone when other parts of Scotland cannot?

On Scottish independence I would say it is not a viable path for Scotland to take, and certainly not at this time of economic instability. It’s hard to see how the markets could favourably view an independent Scotland which has lost any say over sterling and is no longer part of a union that has been beneficial.

It is irresponsible of the SNP to try to introduce such a radical and far reaching change to the running of the country at a time when we should be focusing on recovery as part of the union.

Drew Manson S4

Too risky

While Scotland is capable of being independent, why risk an uncertain future as we can continue where we are with support from the rest of the United Kingdom?

It was shown in the banking crisis that Scotland does need help in some situations as Westminster had the resources to bail out Scottish and other banks, with the result that nobody lost their savings.

Going for independence is a risk which could fail, leading Scotland to being economically damaged in the future. If independence does fail we cannot go back and people should remember this when they cast their votes in 2014.

If Scotland does become independent there will be a government in Edinburgh with local councils all over the country. Shetland should not seek independence, nor gain any more financial power as we have spent a lot of money on various projects that have not come about – the Bressay bridge and the new AHS to name a few.

Joy Ramsay S4

Losing influence

Some people seem to have forgotten that England helped us with the Treaty of Union as our economy wasn’t doing well with the failure of the Darien scheme.

It’s being suggested by the SNP that we turn our backs on 300 years of history and also our identity as Great Britain in the modern world. Losing this will take away much of our influence globally.

I think that Shetlanders should vote no to independence in the referendum. If Scotland was independent it would probably need to increase taxes to maintain this standard of living in a smaller country.

Craig Manson S3

For Independence:

War and health

I am for independence because it would mean we could pull Scottish soldiers out of Afghanistan.

Had we been independent in 2003 we wouldn’t have been pulled into the Iraq war. I also think that becoming independent would improve our health service as we would be running it and financing it ourselves.

Shetland should vote for Scottish independence and the SIC should have the same amount of power as it does now.

Sianlee Lawson S3

Sustain ourselves

If Scotland had independence we could easily sustain ourselves and we would have done more to regulate the banks. Also we could get more foreign companies to invest in Scotland if we lowered our corporation tax. If independent we could pull our soldiers out of wars we shouldn’t have got involved in like Iraq and Afghanistan.

If Scotland was independent Shetland Islands Council should keep the amount of control it has as it can barely handle the amount of power it holds at the moment.

Ewan Sinclair S2

Ready for change

S1 at Brae has already had a debate on Scottish independence and the majority was for the motion. We think that Scotland is big enough, confident enough and ready for this change.
Scotland will get oil income, more companies coming in and will have a bigger impact on the world. Scotland could be like Norway, an independent wealthy country that can stand on its own two feet.

Shetland could not be on its own and we are happy with it being part of a good independent nation.

Catherine Johnson and Ellie Ratter S1