The polls are closed, the decision is approaching: Is Scotland staying or going away from the UK? In a few hours we’ll know about the verdict. So, it’s about time for a last qualified and legal bet. I bet hereby that it’s gonna be a No: 52.7 to 47.3 percent or somewhere around that. If I loose, I will blog daily next week and put up with a reason day by day why it’s ok to be independent for the Scots and their farm sector. You may call me opportunistic, but no, if it’s a Yes, all that remains (after the celebrations and mournings of course) will be to get up/come down and keep going.
Anyway, meanwhile let me line up a few reasons, why it’s good that that it will be a No for scottish agriculture. To put it straight beforehand, I understand every Scotswoman and -man who prefers to be governed by an outspoken and witty guy like Alex Salmond instead of a public school boy like David Cameron. But unfortunately, a swallow doesn’t make spring, as we say in Switzerland. The lonely Salmond won’t save the whole Loch. He’s a great promise and talks the blue down from the sky (as far as there is any in Scotland). Still, he hasn’t got a clue about the consequences of Independece yet. When he talked to us a fortnight ago at the congress of the IFAJ in Aberdeen, he wasn’t able to make any clear statement about how a Yes would influence the future of his country very probably not to be.
He complained about the very low contributions the Scottish farmers are receiving from the EU honeypots (see the article of my colleague Jonas Ingold on Swiss agpress agency LID). That may be true, but I’m pretty sure that an independent Scotland will mean a lot of insecurity to the farmers whether at all they will get any money from Brussel in the next few years. And it’s always better to have the sparrow in your hand than the beautiful white dove on the roof, to use another Swiss saying.
Another thing I don’t understand from an agrocommercial point of view is why the Scots should build a frontier towards their most important market. In a world or at least a Europe where pulling down the borders has caused a few problems but has mainly prevented this agitated continent from more wars and bloodshed, I think it’s quite stupid to build toll stations and create free trade barriers. Notably because the Scots have a lot of excellent products to offer, eg Whisky, Salmon and Landscape to die for and some of the most excellent cattle (the Aberdeen Angus bull above for example) and sheep in the world to just mention the tip of the iceberg. And look (below) what they have made out of our Simmentals (the two bulls to the right) and you know immediately, what they are able to achieve.
This doesn’t mean that I think the whole idea of the Independence Referendum is wrong. I think Mr. Salmond and his pals are quite clever. They knew from the beginning, that it will be a No, but a tight one. And that bottom line, there will be an even higher level of independence within the UK once the whole thing is over. I would even go so far to say that the Salmonds are happier about a tight No than a tight Yes. But who knows, maybe I’m totyally wrong and will have to blog again tomorrow…