Scottish independence ‘ten times worse than Brexit’ says MSP
Nicola Sturgeon’s new economic blueprint for an independent Scotland have been brutally torn apart, with the Scottish Conservatives raging the SNP’s economic case for independence is “as weak as ever”. The First Minister has vowed Scotland would establish its own central bank and adopt a new currency after a “careful and phased” transition following Scottish independence. The SNP leader set out her economic plan and said the transition from the British pound to a new Scottish currency should be as short as “practicable”.
Ms Sturgeon’s comments came following the release of the third in a series of papers designed to demonstrate how an independent Scotland would function if it did indeed split from the rest of the UK.
Last year, Scotland’s deficit was 12.3 per cent of gross domestic product – double that of the UK. She has claimed an independent Scotland would have a similar deficit to the rest of the UK, although she has yet to specify what that would be.
But her economic blueprint has been torn apart, with Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross telling Express.co.uk: “This illustrates just how thin the economic case for independence is. The SNP are trying to sell Scotland a pig in a poke.”
“It’s completely the wrong priority at the worst possible time for Scotland. Nicola Sturgeon should be using Government resources to help struggling families instead of to push for another divisive and unwanted referendum.”
Nicola Sturgeon news: The economic blueprint for an independent Scotland has been savaged
Nicola Sturgeon news: The First Minister has outlined her economic case for an independent Scotl;and
Scottish Conservative Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Economy Liz Smith MSP told this website: “It’s hard to see what the point of this paper launch was, given that it fails to address the fundamental questions that have always undermined the economic case for independence.
“The SNP are still unable to provide details about how our currency would work, who would pay our pensions, and how we would cope with the potentially devastating effects of a hard border with the rest of the UK.
“Absurdly, they expect the Scottish public to vote on independence without any of these crucial questions being answered. The fact is that the SNP’s economic case for independence is as weak as ever – this is a lightweight SNP pamphlet dressed up as a glossy Scottish Government paper.
“These proposals would be a leap in the dark that would directly endanger jobs, wages, savings and investment. Scotland deserves a Government focused on people’s real priorities, not sketchy, un-costed schemes.”
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The currency an independent Scotland would use dominated the campaign ahead of the 2014 referendum and looks likely to follow the same path this time around.
Scotland could be left without automatic access to Bank of England support in the event of financial headwinds if the country uses the pound without the agreement of the UK Government.
Liberal Democrats Home Affairs spokesman Alistair Carmichael told Express.co.uk: “It was anticipated this paper would be received like everything else in Scotland these days – if you are in favour of independence then you will praise it, but if you are not, you will criticise.
“In fact, the response has been universal criticism, and rightly so, as this is an incredibly thin piece of work, and it was inevitably going to be so because the economic piece just isn’t there.
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“If Scots look back at what has happened over recent years, and think back to the Covid pandemic, we were able to undertake the rescue package and things like the furlough scheme because the UK is able to undertake a programme of quantitative easing, which involves the Bank of England lending money to the UK Government.
“To put it another way, we have been printing money.”
He added: “Don’t get me wrong – there are a lot of long-term problems with that, but it is something you can do when you are part of the big economy that is a well-established and respected economy and when you have a well-respected central bank like the Bank of England.
“If Scotland is going to be independent, is it going to have its own currency? Is it going to have a central bank in the way you would expect? What do you do when the unexpected hits?
“If we have learnt nothing else in the past three years, we have surely learnt that we have no idea what is around the corner.”
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Last month, Ms Sturgeon also said Scotland would look to rejoin the European Union after independence, insisting: “We can rejoin the EU, and be back inside the world’s biggest trading bloc.”
But those plans have been dealt a monumental blow after the EU insisted any new member state would have to adopt the euro as part of any plans to rejoin the bloc.
Andrea Masini, the official spokeswoman for economic affairs at the European Commission, said: “In principle, all EU member states, except Denmark which has an opt-out clause, are legally committed to join the euro area once they fulfil the necessary conditions.
“It is up to individual countries to calibrate their path towards the euro and no timetable is prescribed.”