First proposing speech
Ladies and gentlemen, Scotland should be an independent state for two types of reasons which will be presented in the following. Firstly, every nation should seize the opportunity of self-determination as it is the only way to effectively preserve its culture and language. Secondly, in a proper state, a nation is able to make policies that reflect its own opinion rather than follow the policies of an imposing government. In the case of the Scottish people, independence would especially affect decisions on oil production, nuclear weapons and the European Union. (Continues below…)
First opposing speech
Dear debaters, dear readers, in these times of crisis, a nationalist feeling is rising in many European countries. Today, the Scots are torn between a desire of independence and the fear of leaving the Union. In less than a year, the region will have to face a decision that could upset three centuries of History. (Continues below…)
First proposing speech
Ladies and gentlemen, Scotland should be an independent state for two types of reasons which will be presented in the following. Firstly, every nation should seize the opportunity of self-determination as it is the only way to effectively preserve its culture and language. Secondly, in a proper state, a nation is able to make policies that reflect its own opinion rather than follow the policies of an imposing government. In the case of the Scottish people, independence would especially affect decisions on oil production, nuclear weapons and the European Union.
The most important principle of democracy is political self-determination of nations - a principle binding by international law that is declared in the Charter of the United Nations in which "develop[ing] friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of [...] self-determination of peoples" is proclaimed a major purpose of the institution. A nation is a culturally, ethnically and linguistically homogenous people with a particular territory considered to be peculiarly its own and with a particular history. The Scots are a proper people, a separate nation from the English with special traditions, a distinct language, a specific territory and its own historical accounts - and they take pride in these facts. However this people is a minority within Great Britain and is poorly represented in the decision making process, with consequences: The knowledge and use of the traditional languages for one, such as Scots, has immensely decreased. With the Treaty of Union of 1707, Scots has commenced to deteriorate and today it is spoken fluently only by 30 % of the Scottish people, of which only 1 % are native speakers. An independent Scotland would be able to preserve its cultural heritage much better because it attributes a much greater importance to its conservation. Under these circumstances the right to self-representation is not only a right, but it is a duty.
The ill representation of the Scots is, however, not only reflected in the deterioration of their culture but at least as much in many policies and actions that antagonize the Scottish well-being and oppose the Scottish opinion. One of the main clash points is the oil production in the North Sea. More than 90 % of it belongs to Scotland yet the vast bulk of the oil tax revenues goes to London. In this one might see an analogy to the exploitation of a nation for resources during the era of colonialism.
On other important matters such as nuclear weapons, the Scottish and English stance could not differ any more. While the English support them, the Scottish oppose them strongly. Nevertheless Britain's nuclear fleet is on base in Scotland. With its independence Scotland would earn sole sovereignty over its territory and could expel the fleet. In today's world, many years after the cold war, nuclear weapons still exist and new countries are said to launch nuclear programs in order to acquire them. For a better, a more secure world, we need more countries like Scotland, that object to nuclear weapons.
Much has been said on the membership in the European Union. Only one thing is for sure: for the Scottish people and for the European Union, it is best if Scotland becomes independent, even if it has to renegotiate its membership. Right now, the British people opposes a membership in the European Union and current voting polls suggest it will leave it, taking pro-Europe Scotland with it. Ironically, for the Scots, independence might be the only way to be a member of the European Union at all. A strong Europe, is a Europe where many countries are united. A British exit would be a huge blow for the Union, but a Scottish reentry might at least partially compensate it.
In conclusion, we should not let the Scottish culture deteriorate any further! Neither should we let others decide on the use of Scottish resources and Scotland's stances on global issues. It is time the Scots take matters in their own hands, as an independent state, taking decisions in its own interest.
Thank you and vote for us.
 United Nations, Charter of the United Nations, 24 October 1945, 1 UNTS XVI, available at: https://www.un.org/en/documents/charter [accessed 11 January 2014].
 Walker Connor, A Nation is a Nation, is a State, is an Ethnic Group, is a ..., Ethnic and Racial Studies 1, (October 1978): 377-400.
 Scots Language Center, Willkommen zum Scots Language Center, available at: http://www.scotslanguage.com/translations/2222/Willkommen_zum_Scots_Language_Centre_ [accessed 11 January 2014].
 Terry Macalister, Who would get the oil revenues if Scotland became independent?, 2 March 2012, The Guardian Online, available at: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/reality-check-with-polly-curtis/2012/mar/02/oil-revenues-if-scotland-became-independent [accessed 11 January 2014].
 The Guardian Online, Scottish Independence: The Nuclear Options, 10 July 2013, available at: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/jul/10/scottish-independence-nuclear [accessed 12 January 2014]
 Anthony Wells, EU renegotiation and referendum, 18 December 2013, available at: http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/archives/category/europe [accessed 12 January 2014]
First opposing speech
Dear debaters, dear readers, in these times of crisis, a nationalist feeling is rising in many European countries. Today, the Scots are torn between a desire of independence and the fear of leaving the Union. In less than a year, the region will have to face a decision that could upset three centuries of History.
After 307 years in the Union, the Scottish nationalist feeling remains strong. The region is admittedly different from England on a cultural point of view. However, nationalism has not always been vigorous. The first claim for a Scottish parliament dates back to 1853, but was quickly forgotten. After its creation in 1932, The SNP got its first electoral success after the discovery of oil in the North Sea in the 1960s. One of its slogans was at the time: « Oil belongs to Scotland! ».
Indeed, the region is not allowed to raise taxes. The tax revenues are collected by London and then redistributed. The figures are clear: in 2010, the UK government has raised 50 billion euros of taxes in Scotland and given 74 billion back. Admittedly, this does not take into account the revenues from oil (approximately 12 billion euros in 2010) . But these are highly volatile, and Scotland would still have to face a big deficit. Thus, London is significantly subsidizing Edinburg. Therefore, independence would mean an important loss in living standards for the Scottish people.
Moreover, according to recent polls, a majority of Scots is againstindependence. Over the past three years, trends remained stable. The youth and the students are especially reluctant to independence, as 60% reject it. Since they are the future inhabitants of Scotland, their voice should be heard. This debate shouldn’t be left to some nostalgic old politicians.
Thanks to his charism and to his comforting speech, Alex Salmond and his party (the SNP) won an insolent victory at the last elections. The Scottish National Party currently has the majority at the parliament, even though most of the Scots reject independence. This paradox may be found in other countries: in Belgium, the nationalist party « the Flemish Alliance » has the majority at the parliament, while a majority of the Flemish people is against independence. Hence, in many regions, the nationalist vote is a vote of protest that shows frustration and lack of recognition. Those claims have to be heard, but independence clearly appears to be a too radical solution.
Finally, there are many questions that remain unanswered: How would an independent Scotland defend itself? Which currency would an independent Scotland adopt (The UK pound, the Euro or a new « Scottish pound »)? How much debt would an independent Scotland have? How would the oil revenues be divided? How long would Scotland remain out of the EU? Indeed, Spain said it would possibly oppose its veto, fearing repercussions within Catalonia and the Basque Country.
In conclusion, the aspirations of the Scottish people are legitimate. However, independence appears to be more detrimental than beneficial. The United Kingdom, with its long tradition of parliamentary democracy and debate should be able to build a trustful and respectful Union. Multicultural nations are sometimes problematic, but they are possible! The United States, Canada, India, Switzerland are good examples of countries where several communities live in harmony.
We beg you to reject the motion and to give the UK the opportunity to become such a nation.