In the event of a Yes victory in September, particularly through a slim majority of those voting, the creation of two parallel states within Scotland might provide a genuinely democratic alternative to separation.
Nationalists would opt for the conditions and benefits of a virtual independent Scotland, while unionists would remain for administrative purposes UK citizens. The situation would be analogous to the energy market, within which clients choose from different suppliers utilising the same distribution network.
Re-allocation of assets and liabilities would be on the basis of the Yes vote’s share, providing an incentive for a slimmer and cheaper new state, and problems such as the possible need for border posts and duplication of infrastructure could be circumvented.
There would of course be teething troubles prior to the seamless operation of the parallel states, as well as a few completely intractable issues. For example, Virtual Scotland could never change to driving on the right. It’s disappointing that thus far no politicians have had the imagination to consider this option.
R A Wallace