- It could have been significantly shorter. There is so much repetition throughout the document, it almost feels like a hopeful 'say it enough times and it shall be'.
- It is a curious blend of government white paper and political manifesto. I'm not convinced it works as a document.
- A huge amount of future policy up in the air - there is a lot of aspirational stuff devoid of any real detail.
- There are some very sizeable assumptions in there over which the Scottish Government has no real say. (e.g. EU membership, Sterling zone membership)
- The complexities of splitting things such as pensions are not really detailed.
As an aside, I really don't know what the Scottish Air Force intends to do with 12 Typhoon fast jets other than either burn though an awful lot of cash, or leave them in the hangar. Given the Scottish Government's plan to move away from London's more interventionist use of military assets, the SAF will spend most of its time training or escorting long-range Russian bombers out of Scottish airspace. Both of these tasks can be readily achieved with SAAB Gripens at a quarter of the hourly running costs.
So, here's what I think will happen: Scotland will vote no.
However, should I be wrong about that, here's what I think will happen:
Ultimately, the next few months are about cringe worthy, mud-slinging politics and then, given a yes vote, it will be about the thankless task of negotiating separation and making sure everything still works.
To wrap up, the thing to bear in mind is that no political solution is going to be perfect. On the one hand you have perceived safety in maintaining the status quo, but you must rely on the promises of the Westminster government for any increase in autonomy. On the other, you have the chance to decide amongst yourselves just how you move your own country forward, with all the uncertainty that entails. I know which way I'd go but, as I have no say in the referendum, I'll keep that to myself.
I still think they'll bottle it.