Wednesday, 30 March 2016


Though the referendum held in Scotland on whether to split from the United Kingdom did not pass, with the discussion and debate of the coming plebiscite over the BREXIT question, the country may be getting another chance to weigh memberships. The Scots enjoyed their independence (though under a shared monarch) three centuries ago but the union was rather coerced under duress when Scotland needed to be bailed out and presents an allegory, I think, for the current economic and political environment.
Wanting to stake their claim on the world’s stage (another possible case of imperial envy though the Scots treated the natives of their colony fairly well, relatively), some entrepreneurs secured a royal charter to establish an outpost in the South Pacific—New Caledonia, after the Roman name for the lands north of their province Britannia (the wilds beyond Hadrian’s Wall were also known as Pictavia). Financially, the venture was not very successful to begin with—with sandalwood being the only unique commodity and many investors went bankrupt over the ambitious scheme. To compound matters, the English refused trade with the Scottish colony and economic cooperation back home—even kidnapping New Caledonia’s native labour-force to work the more profitable sugar-cane plantations in Australia and Fiji—until Scotland said uncle and agreed to re-join the UK. To re-coup some of the losses, Scotland sold New Caledonia to the French Empire where it remains to this day. How do you think this might apply to the EU?