Economic Questions Surrounding Scottish Independence

On 17 October, the SNP Government used government resources once again to push for a divisive referendum. This paper, titled ‘A Stronger Economy with Independence,’ confirmed that the SNP still have no answers to the main economic questions of independence, including the currency and the hard border with England.

Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP lack a compelling currency case for an independent Scotland. Their economic paper proposes that an independent Scotland would use the pound sterling for a period before adopting a Scottish pound. This, however, is incompatible with the SNP’s desire to re-join the EU with the European Commission stating that an independent must use the Euro. It is ridiculous that the SNP hadn’t researched this key fact before publishing this paper.

The economic paper also proposes border checks between England and Scotland in the event of independence. 60% of our exports and half a million Scottish jobs depend on our trade with the rest of the UK, but Nicola Sturgeon is pushing her obsession with pursuing independence rather than outlining the economic cost of what a hard border would mean.

The SNP also proposes establishing a ‘Building a New Scotland Fund’. This would be funded by oil and gas revenues and other windfall income, as well as borrowing, and would invest up to £20 billion over the first decade of an independent Scotland. However, the economist who first proposed creating a wealth fund with Norway’s oil and gas revenues stated that it was “extremely doubtful” that North Sea revenues could generate enough wealth to finance the fund.

Scottish independence is the wrong priority at the worst possible time. The SNP Government are presiding over disastrous NHS waiting times and are failing to use their powers to ease the global cost-of-living crisis here in Scotland. That should be their priority during these difficult times, rather than their divisive referendum agenda that has no economic case.

The Scottish Conservatives will continue to oppose the nationalists’ plans for