Scotland economy 'will be bleak if independent' says expert
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Director-General of the think tank Centre for Brexit Policy, John Longworth, said Nicola Sturgeon should be careful what she wishes for on Scottish independence. During an interview with Express.co.uk, Mr Longworth outlined the many economic struggles an independent Scotland may face. He also claimed Scotland would struggle to adapt and could not rely on quickly rejoining the EU.
He insisted if an independent Scotland attempted to rejoin the EU, the bloc would insist on a physical border between Scotland and England.
Mr Longworth said: “One hopes Scottish independence would be unlikely, but the wee old cranky Nicola Sturgeon should be careful what she wishes for.
“This is because the economic outlook for Scotland would be bleak if it was not part of the UK internal market.”
Mr Longworth went into greater detail about the economic ramifications of Scotland winning independence.
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He said: “For example, if we actually treated Scotland like a third country, having left the UK, they would not have access to Sterling.
“They would have to run their own currency, even though they have got a significant budget deficit.
“That would lead to higher borrowing costs, inflation and a reduced currency valuation in Scotland.
“They would also have to rely on the business sector to provide the taxes necessary in order to run public services like the Scottish health service.
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“At the moment it is effectively cross-subsidised by English taxpayers to the tune of about £2,000 per annum per person in Scotland.
“They would immediately lose that subsidiary that England pays to Scotland.
“They would probably lose defence contracts and other things that the UK taxpayer pays for.”
Mr Longworth concluded that Scotland had a lot to lose with independence and would likely struggle.
He continued: “Scotland would be in a very difficult situation as an independent country.
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“Particularly because 60 percent of the exports Scotland would have would be to England.
“Then you have the added things like border posts on the Scottish-English border.
“That sounds pretty crazy because you would think that we would actually want to include Scotland in the special relationship we do with Ireland.
“Irish citizens are able to live, work and vote in the UK without hindrance because of a treaty that was signed in 1920.
“You would imagine Scotland would have the same sort of privileges.
“Because of the EU, if they attempted to join the EU, it is likely the bloc would insist on a hard border.”
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