I've been through this with you before LB. Presence on international stage? Would be the same as any other small country - we wouldn't be aiming to be a world power. We already have consulates around the world, it would not be a huge problem to set up embassies/hire staff. Small countries often come to arrangements with other countries to share embassy space.
It's a pretty awe-inspiring thing if you think it through. For instance Scotland doesn't have a standing army either, or any armed forces. It has no ambassadors or formal relations with any other country. It will be forced to accept trade tariffs at a huge disadvantage (as the alternative is isolation). It lacks much of the central bureaucracy of a country. In fact, it has no presence on the international stage at all.
I was thinking about the implications of the Scottish referendum re this as well. The timing of things puts the Scottish vote before the British/English/UK/whatevers thing. There has been doubt already cast on the question if Scotland would automatically get EU membership if it did devolve. Then we really would have border patrols with Scotland . Would it have to sign up to the Schengen area?
It's fucking mental.
And then there's the question of what kind of country it looks like as a standalone. Ignore its geographic location, and instead note how underdeveloped it is. Few cities, only two of any size, no motorways north of Edinburgh, and an economy built on oil, tourism and salmon.
We would negotiate a share of existing armed forces. Trade tariffs - we would either inherit EU membership or negotiate entry. You'll have to point out what central bureaucracy we lack. DVLA? Social security is the only main thing not devolved to the Scottish Parliament, but we already have the infrastructure. Our NHS is separate, we've always had our own legal and education systems. Tax - all our VAT/PAYE is dealt with at local centres.
No motorways north of Edinburgh? Pretty sure the M9 goes up to Perth, but I'm not sure what this argument is for. THe A9 should soon be near motorway standard all the way up to Inverness (the UK's fastest growing city). We don't have a large number of huge cities...that's because we are a small country. Geographic location? Not sure what that has to do with it... Under-developed? Again, small population, large land mass...not sure how this affects the issue! It certainly doesn't feel as crammed in as the South of England - I don't think that's a bad thing.
There are 11 countries in the EU with smaller populations than Scotland. A lot of these countries did not exist until the fall of the Iron Curtain. They have smaller cities, less motorways, less development than Scotland and would probably quite like to have some of the industries/resources we have.
None of your arguments against independence hold any water - and I'm for the Union remember
@MD - we have a healthy Polish population, with close links since the war - lots of Poles were based here and stayed on after (I used to go drinking in a Polish/Scottish club). My local Tesco has a Polish aisle.