Scottish independence: Scots and English 'willing to share institutions'

Pound coins The survey indicated a willingness to share the pound in the event of a "Yes" vote

People across the UK appear willing to continue sharing institutions after Scottish independence, according to the annual British Social Attitudes survey.

The survey indicated almost 70% of people in England and Wales believe an independent Scotland should be allowed to share the pound.

And more Scots think Trident nuclear missiles should stay in the country than think they should leave.

The majority of Scots also wanted to keep the monarchy and the BBC.

Start Quote

If Scotland does vote to leave the United Kingdom, Scotland and England will have to find ways of getting along with each other”

End Quote Prof John Curtice NatCen

According to the survey, which was carried out last year, 38% of those questioned in England and Wales said if Scotland left the UK it should "definitely be allowed" to continue to use sterling, while 31% believe it should "probably be allowed" to do so.

In Scotland, 79% believed the country should continue to use the pound in the event of a "Yes" vote in September's referendum, while 11% said it should have its own currency and 7% favoured the euro.

The research also found 28% of people in Scotland said that, while they want to be able to use the pound if the country is independent, they "anticipated that in practice this would not be possible".

In February, Chancellor George Osborne ruled out a currency union between an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK, a position backed by Labour shadow chancellor Ed Balls and the Lib Dem Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander.

A currency union with the rest of the UK is the preferred option of the Scottish government, which has accused its Westminster counterparts of "bluff and bluster" over the issue.

Nuclear submarines

Elsewhere, the survey suggested 41% of people in Scotland believed Trident nuclear submarines should continue to be based at Faslane on the Clyde after independence, while 37% said they should not.

Nuclear submarine A majority of voters in England and Wales thought nuclear submarines would have to leave an independent Scotland

In England and Wales, just over a quarter (26%) of people agreed that Britain's nuclear weapons should continue to be based in Scotland if it becomes an independent country, while 63% said they should either "definitely" or "probably" be moved elsewhere.

The Scottish government has pledged to remove all nuclear weapons from Scotland after independence.

The research was carried out by NatCen, which said "people in Scotland are not necessarily convinced that becoming independent should require the removal of British nuclear weapons".

Its research also suggested 62% of people in Scotland think an independent Scotland should keep the same King or Queen as England, while 65% in England and Wales agree.

And 86% of people in Scotland would like to be able to carry on watching the BBC after independence, while 82% of those in England and Wales think they definitely or probably should be allowed to do so.

line break
Analysis: Prof John Curtice, NatCen Social Research
The Queen

On the BBC: The vast majority of people in Scotland want to keep the BBC and the vast majority of people in England and Wales are happy for Scotland to keep the BBC in the event of independence.

On the queen: They're not quite so equally agreed about the monarchy - around two thirds of people in Scotland want to keep the queen, and two thirds of people in England and Wales are happy for them to keep the queen.

On sharing the pound: We were doing this research in the summer of 2013, before the currency intervention and the whole issue blew up. At that point, 70% of people in England and Wales suggested, if Scotland wants to share the pound, "that's fine by us".

We know from subsequent opinion polls the position changed after George Osborne said he didn't think it was a terribly good idea, but that does suggest - rather than as was argued by those on the "No" side that there's no prospect of the public in England and Wales being willing to tolerate this idea - their opposition is in fact the consequence of politicians on the "No" side telling them it isn't a very good idea.

On Trident: It is true that Scotland is a bit more opposed to nuclear weapons than England.

That said, when we asked people in Scotland, "do you think that the United Kingdom should be required to remove its weapons in an independent Scotland," actually slightly more people said "No" than "Yes".

The pressure in the event of a "Yes" vote so far as public opinion's concerned for getting those Trident weapons out of Scotland will in fact be much stronger south of the border, where the reaction seems to be, "if Scotland decides to be independent, then we better move them back into England and Wales", so, ironically, the SNP's position gets more support from public opinion in England and Wales than it does north of the border.

On more devolved powers: Aroundhalf of people in England and Wales are willing to support the idea of more devolution, and only a quarter are really opposed - although when we come to some of the detail, public opinion on both sides of the border is more complicated.

Scotland's pretty equivocal about the idea of the basic rate of income tax being different on the two sides of the border. England and Wales don't think it's a terribly good idea - so they're willing to back the principle, but when it comes to practice, it's much more difficult.

On dual citizenship: On both sides of the border, there's a reluctance to accept the idea that British citizens living in Scotland could claim their Scottish citizenship, but also hang on to their British citizenship.

Only half in Scotland think people should be able to have both a British and a Scottish passport, and, south of the border, only one in three do so.

That's a position where both governments could meet greater public resistance than either side anticipated.

line break

But while about half of Scots (47%) think they should be able to claim both a British and a Scottish passport should Scotland become independent, only one in three people in England and Wales think they should be able to do so.

More powers

If the referendum results in a "No" vote, 45% of people in England and Wales would support Scotland having more power and responsibility over taxation and welfare, with 27% opposed and 23% neither in favour nor against such a move.

The report stated: "Public opinion in the rest of the UK would not necessarily be enthusiastic about more Scottish devolution, but would probably be willing to tolerate it,"

Prof John Curtice, of NatCen Social Research, said: "If Scotland does vote to leave the United Kingdom, Scotland and England will have to find ways of getting along with each other.

"In some instances, such as the monarchy and the BBC, there appears to be a willingness on both sides of the border to share institutions.

"Even on the issue on which the Scottish and UK governments have been most obviously at loggerheads - on the prospect of an independent Scotland sharing the pound - public opinion in England and Wales may not necessarily be as hostile to the idea as has sometimes been suggested.

"However, those living in the rest of the UK might want Trident moved out of Scotland, irrespective of whether a future Scottish government is willing to keep the nuclear weapons facility on its shores or not."

Responding the survey's findings on the currency of an independent Scotland, a Treasury spokesman said: "The position on currency union is clear. The Chancellor, Chief Secretary and shadow chancellor have all said there will not be one with a separate Scotland.

"The only way to keep the pound is to stay together in the UK.

"Public opinion has shifted, and shifted significantly. When it comes to a currency union, the people don't want it, business rejects it and parliament would never pass it."

A Scottish government spokeswoman said: "We believe nuclear weapons have no place in Scotland, and have made clear our intention to negotiate for the removal of Trident within the first parliamentary term of an independent Scotland."

She added: "As we have outlined, an independent Scotland will keep the pound, and a formal currency union will be in the overwhelming economic interests of the rest of the UK."

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Scotland politics stories

RSS

Scotland Live

  1.  
    Park and ride delays 10:07:

    Reports of long delays on the park and ride at Eurocentral, with thousands of rugby fans trying to get to Ibrox.

    Ibrox is hosting the rugby sevens at Glasgow 2014

    One disgruntled passenger has texted in to say: "Now on a bus to Ibrox 75 minutes after getting to park and ride at Eurocentral, but massive queues still! Buses now seem to be arriving but those still at Eurocentral will probably miss the start of the 7's."

     
  2.  
    Today's papers 09:55:

    Most of the Scottish papers lead with three-year-old Mikaeel Kular's mother admitting to killing him.

    The Scotsman says an independent review into the death of Mikaeel is to take place after his mother admitted killing the toddler.

    Scotsman front page July 26 2014

    The Daily Record, meanwhile, reports that his mother beat him to death because he was sick after eating ice cream.

    Read the Paper Review and see the front pages.

     
  3.  
    Barbados rugby stars 09:39: Graham Fraser BBC Scotland

    At around 18:00 tonight, Scotland will play Barbados in the rugby sevens.

    The Barbados team will play in front of thousands of fans at Ibrox Stadium after a late call up to the Games.

    One of their players is car mechanic Sean Ward.

    Barbados rugby sevens team

    Some of the team are based in the UK, while the Barbados-based players train on the beach or in Sean's back garden using tyres.

     
  4.  
    Lawn bowls fightback 09:34:

    Watch Scotland pair Paul Foster and Alex Marshall bowl their way to an "impossible" comeback after going 15-7 against South Africa's Jason Evans and Jerry Baker in the lawn bowls yesterday.

    lawn bowls

    The Scots managed to score 3-1-5 in the final three ends and, with the last ball, South Africa could not reply, meaning a 16-15 win for Foster and Marshall.

    You can watch all the latest in the lawn bowls on the BBC Sport website.

     
  5.  
    Latest travel 09:27:

    A very busy day at the Commonwealth Games means delays and disruption is likely. So if you're heading to or past the SECC, Ibrox, Scotstoun, Glasgow Green, Tollcross or at the Barry Buddon shooting centre in Carnoustie, be prepared for delays and leave extra time for your journey.

    SECC

    In East Renfrewshire, the A727 East Kilbride Road in Clarkston is closed because of an accident. Police are directing traffic.

    And trains through Motherwell are returning to normal after an earlier signalling fault.

     
  6.  
    Latest weather 09:15:

    Dry with some bright or sunny spells for most but rain will reach the west coast by around lunchtime, and extend north-eastwards across the Highlands this afternoon.

    Some of this rain will turn heavy with thunder. Across the south and east it should remain largely dry but with the risk of a shower around Glasgow. Another very warm day with highs peaking at 26C in sheltered parts of the northeast.

     
  7.  
    Flotilla excitement 09:06: Laura Bicker Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    The boats are piped out James Watt Dock Marina. The logistics of getting the fleet of 250 boats safely out of the harbour is proving challenging. The Clyde looks calm and serene this morning.

    Commonwealth flotilla

    People on board are excitedly chattering on the radio and to each other. The plan is to muster out just outside the harbour before sailing down the Clyde. All the boats are decked out with flags and banners gently waving in the breeze.

    It should be a spectacular sight for those along the route.

     
  8.  
    This evening's highlights 08:54: Andrew Southwick BBC Scotland

    18:00 - Judo: An intriguing side story with Scot Euan Burton and wife Gemma Gibbons both competing, but under different flags. Burton represents the host nation in the 100kg men's category, while Gibbons will compete for England in the 78kg women's category.

    Ross Murdoch in tears after winning Commonwealth gold

    18:40 - Boxing: Scotland's Josh Taylor - Commonwealth silver medallist (at lightweight) in 2010 - faces Botswana's Kagiso Bagwasi at 64kg.

    20:50 - Swimming: He won the nation's hearts with his tears on the opening day, and Scotland will be hoping for more when Ross Murdoch goes for another medal in the 100m Breaststroke final.

     
  9.  
    Rangers appoint Nash 08:41:

    If you missed it last night, Rangers have appointed financial consultant Philip Nash to their board of directors.

    The former Arsenal and Liverpool executive will assume the position immediately, having been a consultant at Ibrox since January 2014.

    Ibrox

    An accountant and former banker, Nash was brought to the club by chief executive Graham Wallace.

    Read Richard Wilson's report.

     
  10.  
    Karen Gillan transformed 08:30:

    Scots actress Karen Gillan is to appear in her biggest movie role yet in Marvel's sci-fi action adventure Guardians of the Galaxy.

    Inverness-born Gillan's big break came when she was cast as Doctor Who companion Amy Pond.

    Karen Gillan in Guardians of the Galaxy

    While Pond was part of a force for good, Gillan's character in Guardians of the Galaxy has a villainous dark side. It certainly looks like it.

     
  11.  
    This morning's highlights 08:16: Andrew Southwick BBC Scotland

    08:45 - Lawn bowls: Scotland are confident of medals at Kelvingrove. In the men's triples sectional the top two of Scotland and Wales go head-to-head, and in the women's sectional group stage world champion Caroline Brown carries the home nation's hopes against Australia's Kelsey Cottrell.

    Scotland are also in action in the men's pairs and women's fours.

    Hannah Miley with her 400m individual medley gold medal

    10:30 - Rugby sevens: Ibrox makes it's Glasgow 2014 debut today. It does not get much tougher for Scotland in their opening match, with four-time champions New Zealand squaring up to them in pool A. The All-Blacks have never lost a game at the Commonwealth Games.

    Scotland also face Canada and Barbados in the evening.

    10:40 - Swimming: The 400m individual medley gold medal winner Hannah Miley is back in the pool in the women's 200m Breaststroke heats.

    Scotland are also aiming for a place in the women's 4x200m Freestyle final.

    You can watch all the latest Commonwealth Games events on the BBC Sport website.

     
  12.  
    Pool Party 08:08:

    It was Scotland's pool party, but where was the poster boy? BBC Sport's Aimee Lewis reflects on Scotland's success in the pool and the disappointments for Michael Jamieson.

    Michael J
     
  13.  
    07:50: Via Twitter Huw Williams BBC Scotland reporter

    tweets: Crew of the Lerwick registered Swan taking part in @Flotilla2014 and live on @BBCRadioScot Out of Doors.

    Commonwealth flotilla crew

    Listen live to Radio Scotland.

     
  14.  
    Last night at the Games 07:33:

    It was another great night in the pool for Scotland last night as Daniel Wallace won gold in the 400m Individual Medley.

    Daniel Wallace

    Meanwhile, Neil Fachie and Craig Maclean won Scotland's first Commonwealth Games cycling gold with victory in the Para-cycling 1000m tandem time trial for blind and visually impaired athletes.

    However, it was disappointment again for Michael Jamieson after he finished fifth in the 100m breaststroke semi-final meaning he will miss the final.

     
  15.  
    Sir Jackie's car up for sale 07:13:

    Racing legend Sir Jackie Stewart's first ever race car is set to go under the hammer.

    The 1960 Marcos GT Xylon is being offered for sale this weekend by Silverstone Auctions.

    Sir Jackie Stewart's car

    Only nine Xylons were built by Marcos, which was founded in 1959 by racer Jem Marsh and engineer Frank Costin.

    The auction estimate is between £35,000 and £50,000.

     
  16.  
    Commonwealth flotilla 07:07:

    The largest flotilla ever seen on the River Clyde will sail from Greenock to Glasgow later as part of the city's Commonwealth Games celebrations.

    Commonwealth flotilla

    About 250 boats are due to leave from Greenock at 10:00 and arrive at Pacific Quay, home of BBC Scotland, at 13:00.

    Small ships, leisure yachts and clipper and working boats will be taking part.

     
  17.  
  18.  
    Good morning 06:58: Graham Fraser BBC Scotland

    Good morning and welcome to BBC Scotland Live. We'll be here until 23:00 bringing you all the latest news, sport, weather and travel from across the country, including all the action and atmosphere from the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

    Keep in touch and send us your comments and pics via Twitter using #ScotlandLive, by email or by text on 80295.

     

Features

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • CastleRoyal real estate

    No longer reserved for kings and queens, some find living in a castle simply divine

Programmes

  • Leader of Hamas Khaled MeshaalHARDtalk Watch

    BBC exclusive: Hamas leader on the eagerness to end bloodshed in Gaza

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.