That’s the implication of Ian Blackford’s claim that after Independence, the UK would carry on paying Scottish pensions. With a straight face, Nicola Sturgeon affirmed this view. This unconditional generosity would come on top of the ‘full fiscal transfer’ – the nationalists’ belief that Scotland can walk away from its share of UK debt, including the vast sums it has run up since devolution.
What Blackford’s comment exposes is that Scottish Independence affects all partners, including the 92% of voters and the 91% of elected MPs from the rest of the UK (RUK). It is those MPs who would rightfully set the terms of any departure, and their duty would be to their constituents and the future UK, not to Scotland. And thanks to Brexit, we’ll never again have a referendum without precisely defining the terms before the vote. Back in 2014, David Cameron was so confident of winning that he was happy to indulge the SNP’s fantasy manifesto. But times have changed, and RUK has every incentive to make the terms of any future independence referendum as onerous as possible.