As former colonies and current members of the Commonwealth, a group that comprises the United Kingdom and states that were once part of its empire, including dependencies, the Caribbean is taking a particularly keen interest in the Scottish referendum on independence from the UK. The move towards independence is being pushed by The Scottish National Party, which won 2011's Scottish parliamentary election by a definitive margin.
Proponents of the “Yes” vote maintain that the centuries-old union no longer meets modern-day needs. They feel like what West Indians refer to as the “outside child” of the UK parliament and think that Scotland can be better served by using its economic strength (primarily derived from oil and gas revenues) for its own interests.
“catch a fire”, a blog run by a Bermudian resident who can and will vote in this Thursday's referendum, thought that a vote for independence could have a strong impact on Bermuda. He noted that the British overseas territory actually held a referendum on independence in 1995, but “in general, support for Bermudian independence has hovered at around 25-30% – […] a minority position.” The blogger suggested that despite “the potential loss of the colonial carrots of home tuition and EU [European Union] citizenship, the Scottish independence movement – and actual Scottish independence in the event of a Yes vote – has the potential to captivate the imagination of Bermudians about the potential of Bermudian independence.”
The UK, in its current formation (of which Scotland is an integral part), offers many benefits to the Caribbean under the umbrella of the Commonwealth of Nations. Member states cooperate with one another on issues of democracy, including things like human rights, international peace, transparency, good governance and sustainable development, values which are enshrined in the Commonwealth Charter. The group is also supportive of the needs of smaller and more economically vulnerable member states.
With this in mind, a guest post by Sir Ronald Sanders at Barbadian diaspora blog The Bajan Reporter called Scottish independence “a one-way ticket to their own misfortune, and with consequences that will go beyond their borders”:
For countries in the Caribbean, a shrunken UK has several consequences. One of them is as basic as contributions to the Commonwealth Secretariat and its Fund for Technical Cooperation. […] The 12 Commonwealth Caribbean countries also need a strong UK in the European Community and in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development as an advocate for Caribbean interests […] there are a host of economic linkages including tourism, investment and development assistance that a less well-off UK will certainly be forced to curtail.