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Operators May Raise Prices if Scotland Votes ‘Yes’ to Independence

Freedom Isn't Free

Brace yourselves: I’m about to talk politics. Dry, boring, possibly important politics.

On the 18th September, Scotland (which I'm reliably told is the one just above England) is set to decide whether or not to become independent from the rest of Britain. And while I’m sure a quick Google could fill me in on why, the whole damn thing just seems pretty ungrateful if you ask me.

Luckily, no-one is asking me.

Instead, I'm here to tell you what could happen to our phone bills if the Scots go all Braveheart on us – and it’s a future that isn’t bright, or orange. According to a joint statement issued by BT, TalkTalk, O2, Vodafone, EE and Three, the indecision regarding new regulations and so-called ‘spectrum allocations’ will be enough to drive up prices in the would-be Republic of Scotland. Independence will have its side effects, and this isn’t even the first case of companies warning of rising prices.
While some may see the claims as a cynical attempt for companies to cash-in on the day’s key political issue, we’re assured that they have their reasons for a price hike. Scotland voting yes would allow them to negotiate their own infrastructure costs and deals, which would raise prices for companies and, of course, for us. On top of this, Scotland’s low population density will increase the cost of upgrading its infrastructure even further.

Scotland’s new government may adhere to existing EU regulations, but a yes vote would certainly open up a door of uncertainty that’s currently bolted shut.

This isn’t the first instance of a company warning against voting yes. According to John Lewis chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield, delivering products to Scotland costs more than delivering the same products to England. Separating the countries politically will make these costs even higher – and we’d have to cover the extra costs. Asda have also chimed in, saying that Scotland becoming independent would lead to complications in their business model and a subsequent rise in food prices. A more complex business model equals more costs to consider, meaning higher prices to keep profits up.
Social media users have reacted angrily to Asda’s claims, however. Thousands took to Twitter to announce their anger about the comments, with some even promising to boycott the supermarket chain. Mike McGrail, founder of Velocity Digital, said in an interview with The Drum that “the volume of tweets has been large and people have been really riled (as they have been with Waitrose et al). Any attempt to engage with the public now would most likely lead to further negativity and only serve to fan the flames.” So watch out, telephone companies, you may be next.

So, Scotland, I beseech thee: don’t vote yes. You’re a proud nation, and you should be. Blue is a lovely colour. Your accent is...acceptable. But can you look me in the eye and truly claim that your nation’s independence is worth a few extra quid on my monthly phone bill?

No, you can't. Of course you can't.


Emile is a postgrad from the University of Saint Mark and Saint John. He’s hoping to break into journalism or publishing, and won’t stop blogging until he’s managed it! Follow him @EmileAtSMF.


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Operators May Raise Prices if Scotland Votes ‘Yes’ to Independence Reviewed by Emile Cole on Tuesday, September 16, 2014 Rating: 5
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