Scottish ‘independence’ is, as of today, officially envisaged as not being independent at all.
Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory – as are the Falkland Islands.
A British Overseas Territory is one with a degree of self-government – under the jurisdiction and sovereignty of the United Kingdom.
You could call it devolution – which is what Scotland already has.
Today we have what is arguably the greatest intellectual mash-up in the independence campaign.
With the First Minister metaphorically staggering around the world serially trying to find Scotland somewhere – looking at Ireland, Iceland, Sweden, Norway and even the tax haven of the Isle of Man, the MP for Na h-Eileanan Siar, Angus MacNeil, has ridden to Mr Salmond’s rescue – or rather sailed to it.
Mr MacNeil’s ambitions are even greater than his master’s – taking his ID parade for Scotland to the Mediterannean and the South Atlantic.
The MP has just outclassed the First Minister’s mastery of the overstatement by reassuring the electorate for the 2014 Independence Referendum that actually, an ‘independent’ Scotland will be just like Gibraltar or The Falkland Islands – still British.
He somehow forgot to check the actual status of these places – that they are British Oversea Territories whose sovereignty lies with the UK. Or perhaps he was fully aware of the fact and this is Plan B in action.
Does this mean that the SNP’s current wheeze to be able to claim victory in September 2014 is to spend the fortune it’s taking, put the country through a referendum, achieve a vote for independence - and then declare the promised status quo: we’d still have British sovereignty, but we’d have decided on it independently. The sole difference here would be imagining our ‘detachment’ as emblematically taking us ‘offshore’ so that we can be just like Gibraltar and The Falklands – a British Oversea Territory.
One wonders if the drive to an ever ‘lite’r definition of independence has now gone halogen – and if Mr MacNeil was speaking in a very squeaky voice as he made this airy promulgation.