Scotland, the UK, and the UFP

In response to a recent post, Josh Graham (@delitescere) tweeted
@PhilipWadler I'm proudly for Scottish identity but shouldn't our species look to the stars and remove borders, not remake old ones?
Good question. I approve of the United Nations and (alluding to @delitescere's wording) the United Federation of Planets. So why should I agitate to undo the 1707 Act of Union?

While my knee-jerk reaction is to support larger groupings,  upon reflection I realise that the issues are not so clear cut. In favour is the argument for peace: the UK, the EU, and the UN (not to mention the UFP) promote resolution of conflict by negotiation, avoiding warfare—clearly a good thing. Neither in favour nor opposed is the argument for trade: while removing trade barriers is a good thing, organisations like NAFTA and the WTO can impose the agenda of prosperous nations against the interests of the less prosperous. Opposed is the argument that democracy is more effective at a smaller scale: it is easier to make an electoral impact in Edinburgh that in Scotland, in Scotland than the UK, in the UK than in the EU, and in the EU than the world. Though my heart yearns for World Government (or a Federation of Planets), my head finds the issues more equivocal.

How do these arguments play out when considering independence for Scotland? On the issues of peace and trade, independence will have little impact. While there are many uncertainties concerning independence, none believe it will lead to war and it seems unlikely to seriously impair trade. It is the issue of democracy that I find most compelling in this case.

I want to live in a country that promotes education, provides for the health of its citizens, takes good care of its elderly, and eschews nuclear weapons. Scottish voters support free tuition for higher education, free prescriptions under the NHS, free personal care for everyone aged over 65, and oppose Trident nuclear submarines. The UK as a whole takes none of these positions. Britain faces grave economic decisions, and I trust Scots to make a better fist of these than I do the entirety of the UK. For me, it is the argument for local democracy that carries the day.

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According to BBC the free tuition might be difficult to maintain because whilst you are allowed to discriminate in your own country, so Scotland can now have free tuition not offered to the English students, if Scotland becomes a separate country and gets in the EU, then it will have to allow English students free tuition under EU laws.
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