Scotland politics

Scottish independence: What might happen to?

If people in Scotland voted for independence would there be border controls for dogs and would Royal Mail be renationalised?

These are just a couple of questions sent in by BBC news website readers focusing on what might happen in the event of a Yes vote on 18 September.

Do you have a referendum-related question? If so, email it to (Please put "referendum questions" in the message field)

Border collie

Image copyright PA

David Beattie asks: "In an independent Scotland, would there be border controls for dogs between Scotland and the remainder of the UK?"

It's unlikely that your dog would have to show his or her passport at the Scottish border, as long as Scotland becomes an EU member.

The Scottish government says that, within the EU, Scottish pets would be free to holiday throughout Europe.

A Scottish government spokesperson said: "Existing EU rules for both commercial (Council Directive 92/65/EEC) and non-commercial (EC Regulation 998/2003) movement of pets into Scotland from all other Member States and third countries would remain unchanged."

However, a Better Together spokesperson said: "Everything would be up for negotiation if we leave the UK and reapply to join the EU."

The Open

Image copyright PA

Andrew Higgins asks: "Will it be possible for the Open to be played on Scottish courses as it is a UK event and there is a separate Scottish Open?"

The R&A, based in St Andrews, is the ruling authority for golf throughout the world (outside of the United States and Mexico) and decides which venues will host The Open championship.

It confirmed that The Open would definitely be played at St Andrews in 2015 and Royal Troon in 2016 regardless of the referendum result, but it didn't want to speculate any further.

However, the Scottish government said: "Of the nine venues on the currently established Open rota, five are in Scotland and we have worked closely with the R&A to establish consistent arrangements to prepare, deliver and maximise the opportunities from future Open Championships in Scotland.

"Scottish independence will not change that."‬

Post independence

Image copyright Getty Images

Fiona Stewart asks: "It is proposed that, should Scotland become independent, the Royal Mail will be brought back into a state-owned entity. As a Royal Mail shareholder, what happens to my shares? Do I have to sell them back to the Scottish government?"

The UK government still owns about a third of the Royal Mail, and the SNP-run Scottish government plans to negotiate for a share of that stake if Scotland becomes independent.

A Scottish government spokesperson added: "Individual shareholdings would not be affected as Royal Mail would continue as a private company in the rest of the UK, unless a UK government decided otherwise.

"Our approach will be considered in the light of circumstances at the point of independence, including the prevailing structure of the Royal Mail. It will also require negotiations with Westminster."

But a Better Together spokesperson responded: "The Nationalists say the Royal Mail will be renationalised but can't give any detail about how this would be paid for. It's just another item on the nationalists' uncosted wish list."

Sterling in Stirling?

Alexander Hampton asks: "What are the downsides of Scotland using the pound without any agreement with the rest of the UK?"

BBC Scotland Economics Correspondent, Colletta Smith, explains: "Without a currency union, an independent Scotland wouldn't have a say in how the currency was controlled.

"When things get expensive because inflation is really high, then the Bank of England can cut interest rates to try and change that, and visa versa.

"If prices in Scotland start heading in a different direction to the rest of the UK - either up or down, then there would be very little that an independent Scotland could do to make sure the economy didn't overinflate, or underinflate.

"Many view the idea of pegging your currency to another, as equivalent to being on a rollercoaster ride without access to the controls."

MEP map redrawn?

Joshua Holman asks: "This year Scotland will elect its six MEPs along with the rest of the UK. If Scotland votes for independence next September, what happens to them?"

If an independent Scotland becomes an EU member, then MEPs elected this year won't be visiting the job centre.

The Scottish government said: "Whatever the outcome of the referendum, Scottish MEPs elected in May this year will serve a full term until the next elections in 2019.

"In terms of future representation, an independent Scotland stands to be better represented in Europe, and that includes having a higher number of MEPs. For example, Denmark, which is almost identical in population to Scotland, currently has 13 members - while Cyprus, which is much smaller, has six MEPs, the same as Scotland's current number."

But a Better Together spokesperson said: "The Prime Minister of Spain, EU legal experts, the President of the European Commission and the President of the European Council have all said a separate Scotland would need to reapply. The idea that everything would stay the same is fantasy."