On Wednesday 17 September the History & Politics Department joined up with the Economics to debate the Scottish Independence Referendum. The question was “Will a Scottish ‘Yes’ for independence ruin the UK?”

Students from both Departments argued their case for either side. Whilst there were strong economic arguments to suggest that independence would “ruin” the UK, the case against argued well that by allowing the people of Scotland to vote on this issue, either way was a victory for democracy and thus, whilst there would be some inevitable transition needed, it would not “ruin” the UK. The popular vote, nonetheless, sided with those in favour to the statement, swayed by arguments of economic collapse and the idea that we are “Better Together”. However, the Adjudicator, Mr Paul Harvey, judged that the team against the statement, that independence will not ruin the UK, argued a stronger case and encouraged all competitors in future to widen their arguments to consider not only political and economic arguments, but social and cultural too. Good advice.

Over 60 students attended the debate, which was held in the Flecker Library over lunch. The enthusiasm and discussion generated was, like the referendum itself, a stimulus for participation, engagement and discussion on a matter of significant Political and Economic impact. The debate was such a success that we have made it the inaugural debate, for further such events on more topical matters each half term. Watch out and get involved.