For sure, Scotland would have a difficult time establishing their country as a financially viable state, but ever was it thus so for any country becoming independent. It's nothing new and wouldn't come as any surprise.
In England, much is made of the amount of support that they draw from the British exchequer, but what is never mentioned is how much Scotland contributes to that exchequer in terms of tax revenues. It's always argued "Britain gives X to Scotland. How would they manage without that..?" Well, a big hunk of it would come from not having to contribute to the British economy for a start.
There is also forever the English argument that Scotland would lose all of it's north sea oil and gas revenues, and again there is a valid argument for saying that they would lose access to SOME of the oil and gas fields. But according to the London based National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR), who conducted an evaluation of that very question, the revenues would have to be divided up according to The Geneva Agreement On Natural Resources Under The Sea. According to NIESR, Scotland would have a legal claim to 91% of the remaining revenues, so actually, it would be England who were the major losers.
And then there is fish. You only have to look at where the best fishing areas in the North Sea, and Atlantic around Scotland lie. And as an EU member state, that fish would be on sale to the EU, a market England will no longer have from January if there is no deal.
Scotland has a significant tourist industry, could revive its shipbuilding and steel industries and a significant part of Britain's electronics and technology industry is based in Scotland.
For sure, there would be lean years to start with, but with membership of the EU and access to the Single Market and Customs Union, there is no reason to believe that it could not be a viable economy in a relatively short space of time.
Should Northern Ireland integrate into the Republic, the whole island of Ireland would benefit from the heavy industry in the north that the south lacks. The north would become less reliant on mainland Britain for food and materials. It would be a mutually beneficial arrangement. By merging with the Republic, the north would automatically become a part of the EU and enjoy the benfits of that from the very start.
It has to be said that Scotland would have to meet all the EU conditions for joining and be subject to a vote, but the Scots are quite amenable to that and would be prepared to join the Euro, the Schengen area and pay their contribution. The Scottish people are overwhelmingly pro-Europe and are aware of what the obligations are.
One word of warning though.
The Scottish National Party (SNP) who govern Scotland are profoundly anti-nuclear and it has been their stated aim to remove all nuclear weapons from Scotland on independence from England.
The US nuclear missile submarine base at Holy Loch would be under threat of closure from the very start, as would the British base just down the coast at Faslane.
For England, this is a serious problem. If Faslane is closed, England has nowhere to base its nuclear missile submarines. The two major naval bases at Portsmouth and Devonport (Plymouth) are not deep enough for the subs to get in and out of, they do not have the infrastructure, the expertise or the security that Faslane has.
There is also the problem of public acceptance. Neither city would want these weapons on their doorstep. Putting them there would be guaranteed to meet with massive opposition. Remember back to the 1980's when USA put Pershing and Cruise missiles at Greenham Common in the south of England. The protests and civil unrest eventually caused them to be withdrawn.
To build a nuclear submarine base in England..... assuming they could overcome civil opposition.... the legal challenges alone could tie things up for ten years or more..... would cost hundreds of billions of pounds and take another five years on top of that to become operational.
Nobody says much about the future of Faslane, but it's a massive problem for England waiting to happen.
How USA would deal with Holy Loch is for them to decide. There would have to be one massive carrot on offer and even then I can't see the Scottish government going with it. You're gonna need another place to put your nukes.
There is one hell of a mess waiting to happen but the Scots seem happy to accept the consequences. It's difficult for me to explain in words, but in Scotland, the detestation of the English government goes so deep that any price is worth paying to be rid of it.
I’m sure the US, like they do everywhere, would be able to work out an agreement on where to set up base militarily, especially if Scotland is hungry financially. Take it as you will, for better or worse, and unfortunate as it may sound.
Regardless, I’m happy to hear Scotland would have a lot going for it to grow long term success independently. I would hate for things to deteriorate there, for personal reasons as much as non-personal, as part of my heritage is from there (as well as England, Wales, Northern and Southern Ireland, Germany, Denmark, France, and Norway
I'm not entirely sure whether the 90 day rule is of Spanish origin or is an EU regulation. I also think I didn't make it entirely clear that it applies to those expats who don't obtain dual nationality, but what we do know is that the noises coming from Spain are that a significant proportion of those who are now applying, won't.
I don't know what sort of agreement the USA has with the EU. Perhaps you could contact the Spanish Embassy and ask them. Any EU member state embassy would be able to supply the information for you. They all co-operate with each other and operate under the same rules.
The language barrier in Spain and Portugal isn't too difficult a hurdle to overcome because of the close connection those countries have had with Britain since Franco's dictatorship ended. Most Spaniards and Portuguese speak at least some English and they are very welcoming countries.
If you are amenable to a more Alpine climate, I can thoroughly recommend Austria, if only by virtue of my own personal experience of holidaying there and having friends who live there.
Again, it is an EU member state so the same rules that apply to Spain would apply to Austria.
My friend Wendy and her Austrian partner Gretel lived and worked as school teachers in the south of England until their relationship became known and they were outed. Because of the hostility they faced, they decided to move to Gretel's native Austria to live and work where they have happily been since 2004.
We have visited them in Wien a number of times when we have gone to Austria to ski at Innsbruck. Wendy has nothing but good things to say about the country and they are happy. It does get very cold in the winters but the summers are mild, the economy is sound, the country is stable and as far as I know, the Austrian people bear no ill-will to Americans. It might be a good place to consider. Who knows..... if you did move there, we may all meet up one day for a weekend of skiing and perhaps a little Jagertee
to warm us up. <wink>
I hope my posts help. I'm sorry if I don't know enough about specific questions, but I hope I give the impression that Europe is a very welcoming, stable, benign and friendly continent.
I wish you luck in finding somewhere nice to retire and if I can be of any more help, please feel free to ask.
Thanks. I looked it up, as I was curious. It looks like, for the most part, the 90 day within 180 day rule would apply to Americans as well, as with all foreigners, so that would limit options. Yes, there are a few exceptions with US agreements with individual countries, such as those with France, Portugal, and Italy, but most of those just extend the period and don’t allow for permanency either.
Oh well, I guess we’d just be travelers then.