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Old 2nd August 2019, 03:02 AM   #1
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Is Scotland a country? (From: Brexit: Now What?)

Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
In what way is it not? What does Scotland have that Texas doesn't?
Nationhood.
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Old 2nd August 2019, 03:09 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
It's not like a US state, and the UK is not in any sense a federal union. That is the main constitutional problem with the UK. The power of parliament to make whatever decision it likes at whatever time it likes can not be constrained by any written constitution. Here is what the relevant authority says about the situation.
"That Parliaments have more than once intended and endeavoured to pass Acts which should tie the hands of their successors is certain, but the endeavour has always ended in failure,Ē he wrote (Law of the Constitution, p.65). Dismissing what may have been thought of as one contender for higher status with a degree of mockery, he argued that ďneither the Act of Union with Scotland nor the Dentists Act 1878 has more claim than the other to be considered a supreme lawĒ. So it's not like a state. It's like a joke.
Hey now, the Dentists Act was an important piece of legislation in regulating and controlling the profession.
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Old 2nd August 2019, 03:34 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by catsmate View Post
Hey now, the Dentists Act was an important piece of legislation in regulating and controlling the profession.
Likewise, the Act of Union was an important piece of legislation in regulating and controlling Scotland.
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Old 2nd August 2019, 05:07 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by catsmate View Post
Nationhood.
Indeed.
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Old 2nd August 2019, 05:12 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
//referencing various statements made about what is and isn't a country//

The idea that the fact that you used to be a country makes a... political unit (the language is obviously going to get a little fuzzy) different from all other equivalent political units rather non-convincing.

This is the Texas Mentality here in the states. "We're a special state because we used to be a country." No you aren't buckaroo.
I don't know about what special status 'used to be a country' entails. You would have to ask someone from a place that 'used to be a country'.

Scotland still is a country. Always has been.
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Old 2nd August 2019, 05:15 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by catsmate View Post
Nationhood.
That's no more enlightening than the politically meaningless term 'country'.

I'm still not sure what makes Scotland any different to Texas or NSW other than "It's a country!", which seems meaningless, as nobody can tell me what that means. Or "Nationhood", which I'm suspecting will be as significant as 'country'. Someone want to tell me what 'nationhood' means? Preferably with a link or similar to back it up.
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Old 2nd August 2019, 05:18 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
I don't know about what special status 'used to be a country' entails. You would have to ask someone from a place that 'used to be a country'.

Scotland still is a country. Always has been.
I guess it's just the Yankee in me. "Country" is top level. A country... under another country doesn't make sense to me. The UK isn't an international organization like the UN or the EU, it's a country made up of countries which is just... weird to me.

Probably just all terminology. Europeans seem to see a huge difference between "country" and "nation" that's all Greek (no pun) to me.
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Old 2nd August 2019, 05:35 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
That's no more enlightening than the politically meaningless term 'country'.

I'm still not sure what makes Scotland any different to Texas or NSW other than "It's a country!", which seems meaningless, as nobody can tell me what that means. Or "Nationhood", which I'm suspecting will be as significant as 'country'. Someone want to tell me what 'nationhood' means? Preferably with a link or similar to back it up.
Me: Scotland is a country

People: No it isn't. 'Country' is a special word with special meaning and Scotland isn't one. It's just like a state or a region

Me: But it's a country. Look the UK says it's a country and everything

People: So what? There is nothing special about being a country. It's a meaningless word. The word isn't special in any way.

Me: So WTF was your point then?
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Old 2nd August 2019, 05:45 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
Me: Scotland is a country

People: No it isn't. 'Country' is a special word with special meaning and Scotland isn't one. It's just like a state or a region

Me: But it's a country. Look the UK says it's a country and everything

People: So what? There is nothing special about being a country. It's a meaningless word. The word isn't special in any way.

Me: So WTF was your point then?

I don't believe 'It's a country' carries any weight at all. I don't see it as relevant seeing as the term 'country' seems to be meaningless.

I simply don't see that the term carries any weight at all. What can a 'country' (Scotland) do that a notcountry (NSW, Texas) can't?
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Old 2nd August 2019, 05:45 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
I guess it's just the Yankee in me. "Country" is top level. A country... under another country doesn't make sense to me. The UK isn't an international organization like the UN or the EU, it's a country made up of countries which is just... weird to me.

Probably just all terminology. Europeans seem to see a huge difference between "country" and "nation" that's all Greek (no pun) to me.
It may well be weird to you. It's a fairly unique situation.

The UK isn't a country. It's a union of countries. And you can even start an argument about whether Northern Ireland is a country or whether it's just a part of the country of Ireland if you want.

Part of the reason why this is complex and there are greater levels of subtlety maybe in European thinking is because the map of Europe has gone through a lot of changes.

Was the Soviet Union one country? I'm sure Ukrainians, Latvians, Lithuanians, etc would say no. It was a state made up of several countries.

When the Germans invaded Europe did the countries they took over cease to be countries?
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Old 2nd August 2019, 05:48 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
I don't believe 'It's a country' carries any weight at all. I don't see it as relevant seeing as the term 'country' seems to be meaningless.
Then why the hell are you arguing about it?
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Old 2nd August 2019, 05:54 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
Then why the hell are you arguing about it?

Because you, and others, seem to think that it is of significance. If it isn't why has anyone mentioned it. I didn't bring it up, I just challenged its relevance.

If you want to know why I'm arguing about it, ask the person who first put the "It's a country", or "Nationhood!" card on the table like it was the ace of trumps.

If you agree that it is of no significance whatsoever, then we are in hearty agreement.

If you don't agree (And I freely admit I may be missing information, that's why I'm asking for it) then I'm inviting you to show me your working.
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Old 2nd August 2019, 06:07 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
Because you, and others, seem to think that it is of significance. If it isn't why has anyone mentioned it. I didn't bring it up, I just challenged its relevance.

If you want to know why I'm arguing about it, ask the person who first put the "It's a country", or "Nationhood!" card on the table like it was the ace of trumps.

If you agree that it is of no significance whatsoever, then we are in hearty agreement.

If you don't agree (And I freely admit I may be missing information, that's why I'm asking for it) then I'm inviting you to show me your working.
It's merely a statement of fact that Scotland is a country.

If someone was arguing that a banana is just a fruit like any other then it's perfectly legitimate to point out that it isn't a fruit at all.

And no amount of pointless to and fro over whether fruit is a meaningful term or whether it really means something else or whether it makes sense to anyone that a banana can be not a fruit is going to change the facts.

I can't speak for Texas as I am no expert on the US constitutional arrangements. And I certainly couldn't care less whether you or anyone else thinks that the difference is important.

What matters is that Scotland is a country. That the sovereignty of Scotland lies with the people of Scotland. And that BoJo's government will have not a speck of legitimacy in Scotland if they are wiped out at the next election.
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Old 2nd August 2019, 06:18 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
What matters is that Scotland is a country.
With the information I currently have that is of no note whatsoever. It's an utterly meaningless statement.

If you can show me that being a 'country' is of any significance in international law or international statesmanship, then I'm listening.

All I have so far is "It's a country". Which holds zero weight.

Can you show me what you've read or seen that makes you think that being a 'country' is in any way a significant or relevant thing.


What can a country (Scotland) can do that a notcountry (Texas, NSW) cannot?
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Old 2nd August 2019, 06:27 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
With the information I currently have that is of no note whatsoever. It's an utterly meaningless statement.

If you can show me that being a 'country' is of any significance in international law or international statesmanship, then I'm listening.

All I have so far is "It's a country". Which holds zero weight.

Can you show me what you've read or seen that makes you think that being a 'country' is in any way a significant or relevant thing.


What can a country (Scotland) can do that a notcountry (Texas, NSW) cannot?
You missed out the rest of the line.

Scotland is a country. And the sovereignty of that country lies with the people of Scotland.

I am not interested in Texas or NSW.
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Old 2nd August 2019, 06:31 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
You missed out the rest of the line.

Scotland is a country. And the sovereignty of that country lies with the people of Scotland.

How does the one follow from the other?

Can you show me where this is coming from? Some document or statute that shows that what you say above has any significance in international law or diplomacy?

What effect do you think your statement has? What weight does it apply to your argument?

I'm afraid I just don't get it, It just seems to me like meaningless bluster. It clearly means something to you and I'd just like to know what and from which authority or academic source you derive the information to form your opinion.


Can anyone not emotionally invested in the topic please tell me if I'm making any sense here? Because the answers I'm getting just don't seem to fit the question I'm asking. Am I asking it wrong?
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Old 2nd August 2019, 06:36 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
You missed out the rest of the line.

Scotland is a country. And the sovereignty of that country lies with the people of Scotland. .
If the people of Scotland want another referendum on independence what is the process?

My understanding is that legally it can't have such a referendum without the agreement of the UK parliament which suggest that if sovereignty for Scotland lies anywhere it is in Westminster.
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Old 2nd August 2019, 06:41 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
You missed out the rest of the line.

Scotland is a country. And the sovereignty of that country lies with the people of Scotland.

I am not interested in Texas or NSW.
Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
How does the one follow from the other?

Can you show me where this is coming from? Some document or statute that shows that what you say above has any significance in international law or diplomacy?

What effect do you think your statement has? What weight does it apply to your argument?

I'm afraid I just don't get it, It just seems to me like meaningless bluster. It clearly means something to you and I'd just like to know what and from which authority or academic source you derive the information to form your opinion.


Can anyone not emotionally invested in the topic please tell me if I'm making any sense here? Because the answers I'm getting just don't seem to fit the question I'm asking. Am I asking it wrong?
I'm not emotionally invested in this, you are both posting on an internet forum which means none of what you do has any significance whatsoever. Neither of you will succeed in convincing the other that they are right. However you have learned something today.
If you want to piss off a Scot, tell them Scotland isn't a country, if you want to piss off someone English, tell them it is.*

*Does not work for all Scots or English people.
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Old 2nd August 2019, 06:51 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
It may well be weird to you. It's a fairly unique situation.

The UK isn't a country. It's a union of countries.
"A country of countries".
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Old 2nd August 2019, 06:56 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
You missed out the rest of the line.

Scotland is a country. And the sovereignty of that country lies with the people of Scotland.
Indeed. The centenary parallels are......interesting.
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Old 2nd August 2019, 06:58 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Lothian View Post
If the people of Scotland want another referendum on independence what is the process?

My understanding is that legally it can't have such a referendum without the agreement of the UK parliament which suggest that if sovereignty for Scotland lies anywhere it is in Westminster.
Scottish parliament votes on it, probably with the absence/abstention/opposition of non-nationalists, hold referendum while UKGov fulminates. Then possible UDI.
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Old 2nd August 2019, 07:02 AM   #22
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Ignore this.
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Old 2nd August 2019, 07:03 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Guybrush Threepwood View Post
I'm not emotionally invested in this, you are both posting on an internet forum which means none of what you do has any significance whatsoever.


Well, that's a given.

Quote:
However you have learned something today.
If you want to piss off a Scot, tell them Scotland isn't a country, if you want to piss off someone English, tell them it is.*

*Does not work for all Scots or English people.
I'm not pissed off at all. Just genuinely curious about something that seems to someone else to be a supporting pillar of their argument but seems to me to be meaningless bluster.

There are much, much better arguments for and given by Scottish Nationalist than this one. I just figured I'd missed something.

Now I'm figuring I havne't, but I'm open to correction.
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Old 2nd August 2019, 07:25 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Lothian View Post
If the people of Scotland want another referendum on independence what is the process?
They vote for it (already done), pass it through the Scottish Government (in process) and then hold it.

Quote:
My understanding is that legally it can't have such a referendum without the agreement of the UK parliament
Legally it can have a referendum on anything it wants. Which law would stop it?

Quote:
which suggest that if sovereignty for Scotland lies anywhere it is in Westminster.
Which would be a wrong conclusion to reach.

That sovereignty rests with the Scottish people dates back at least to the declaration of Arbroath and that never changed.
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Old 2nd August 2019, 07:46 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
There are much, much better arguments
That Scotland is a country is not an argument for or against anything. It is a statement of fact.

If your follow up question to that is 'so what?' then all well and good. But that doesn't change the fact of the matter.

If you wish to know the difference between Scotland and Texas or NSW then you would need to find someone who understands the ins and outs of Texas status in the Union or NSW's status in Australia's constitution.

You may wish to ask:

1. Does the sovereignty of Texas/NSW lie with the people of Texas/NSW? On what basis?
2. Can Texas/NSW secede from the Union/Australia legally? On what basis? How would it be achieved?
3. Does the USA recognise Texas as a country? Does Australia recognise NSW as a country?
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Old 2nd August 2019, 07:47 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
They vote for it (already done), pass it through the Scottish Government (in process) and then hold it.
They have voted for another referendum? When did this happen?


Quote:
Legally it can have a referendum on anything it wants. Which law would stop it?
Scotland Act 1998

Quote:

Which would be a wrong conclusion to reach.
Nevertheless it is the conclusion reached by the institute for government and Nicola Sturgeon who said a section 30 order would be necessary.
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Old 2nd August 2019, 07:53 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Lothian View Post
They have voted for another referendum? When did this happen?


Scotland Act 1998

Nevertheless it is the conclusion reached by the institute for government and Nicola Sturgeon who said a section 30 order would be necessary.
But then again, if the SA decides to hold a referendum what would BJ do?
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Old 2nd August 2019, 07:56 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
That Scotland is a country is not an argument for or against anything. It is a statement of fact.
As far as I can tell, a meaningless one with no bearing on arguments of Scottish independence or brexit so I don't know why you're so insistent on it when you can't show that it actually has any significance at all.


I'm going to leave it there. Thanks.
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Old 2nd August 2019, 07:59 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
The effect is self explanatory. Sovereignty lies with the Scottish people, it is up to the Scottish people to determine what it's government is and how they are governed. Ergo any government which has been soundly rejected by the people of Scotland has no legitimacy to govern the people of Scotland.
That sounds exactly like the argument a bunch of our Southern States made round about 1860.
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Old 2nd August 2019, 08:01 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by catsmate View Post
But then again, if the SA decides to hold a referendum what would BJ do?
Tie the Scottish Government up in court cases. Possibly withhold Treasury funding,

Last edited by Lothian; 2nd August 2019 at 08:13 AM.
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Old 2nd August 2019, 08:44 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
Me: Scotland is a country

People: No it isn't. 'Country' is a special word with special meaning and Scotland isn't one. It's just like a state or a region

Me: But it's a country. Look the UK says it's a country and everything

People: So what? There is nothing special about being a country. It's a meaningless word. The word isn't special in any way.

Me: So WTF was your point then?
IMO country implies international political standing that Scotland does not have. It could separate from the UK and become a country but until it does, its not a Country. Nation may be a more appropriate term as itís grown to be used for groups of people that consider themselves distinct but donít have any particular political standing internationally.

FWIW, Scotland has less direct control of itís affairs than Canadian Provinces do, and culturally is probably less distinct from the rest of the UK than Quebec and maybe even Newfoundland are from the rest of Canada. That last part is somewhat subjective though so ymmv.
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Old 2nd August 2019, 09:07 AM   #32
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Texas and Scotland.

Geographic region? Check. So they are countries.

Unique culture and distinct dialect? Check. So they are nations.

Political body? Check. So they have governments.

State? Oooh, this is where it gets tricky.

The big issue is the perceptions that are generated from international diplomacy. Basically, there are conditions under which it is considered inappropriate to overtly display one or several of these aspects in dealings with other entities.

State implies status to deal with other entities of status. In both the U.S. Federal model and the U.K. union of countries model, it would be improper for officials of a subordinated political entity to directly interact and coordinate affairs with officials of a foreign state. When it does happen, it is almost always initiated and guided by diplomatic personnel at some level. Any attempt to draw upon legitimacy from a constituent geographic part or population group in doing so has immediate consequences for the legitimacy of the recognized state in the eyes of other states.

I mean look at how Nicola Sturgeon and Junker had to go "pontificating out loud and in public voices" about whether Scotland breaking away would allow it to rejoin the EU. The closest they got was allowing her to "lobby", but Junker was very clear that the EU would not "interfere in the British process."

ETA: Then you've got the attitude of other EU members with their own separatist issues like Spain, who quite clearly repudiated the whole thing:

"I want to be very clear: Scotland does not have the competence to negotiate with the European Union. Spain opposes any negotiation by anyone other than the government of the United Kingdom”

Scotland and Texas are not states in the sense of "Nation-State." (the use of which may help clarify the discussion or just further confuse everyone...) Interestingly, though, for these two entities, they both were at one time. That, of course, creates a whooooole other kind of attitude.

Last edited by Delphic Oracle; 2nd August 2019 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 2nd August 2019, 09:20 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
That sounds exactly like the argument a bunch of our Southern States made round about 1860.
Any part of any country can decide to succeed. The truly relevant questions are whether the country will accept it and whether the international community will accept it. Czechoslovakia ns may be perfectly content to separate into Slovakia and the Czech Republic and face an easy path to be accepted internationally. Things would not go so smoothly for Tibet, even though most of the world thinks it should be an independent country.

I donít think the UK would oppose Scotland succession militarily, but if the separation didnít happen on mutually agreed to terms Scotland would have a tough rode to international acceptance IMO.
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Old 2nd August 2019, 09:32 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
Any part of any country can decide to succeed. The truly relevant questions are whether the country will accept it and whether the international community will accept it.
That's what I said a page back. What makes you a country is whether other countries consider you a country.

I can plant a flag in my backyard and declare my house "Morguetopia" all I want and go on about the "right" of a people to declare sovereignty.

But since the city of Jacksonville, County of Duval, State of Florida, and United States of America aren't going to stand for those kind of shenanigans I might as well declare myself the Pope.
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