Life in an Independent Scotland would be much worse

One of Scotland’s most prominent exports is Andrew Marr, the BBC commentator on all things Scottish and British (although he says he’s not sure what these terms mean, even after a career spent in the BBC).

At Kings College London recently, in conversation with Mary-Kay Wilmers of the London Review of Books, he opined that Scottish people, in their view, “have to vote against the Union because frankly life could not be worse”. Well here are a few facts of life which would be definitely worse had Scotland voted for separation from the UK.

See our post of 18th September (Referendum day) for 11 things which individual Scots citizens would definitely not be able to count on in their civic life, and 3 things which would be huge inconveniences for individual Scots in their personal lives.

And of course Jobs

Jobs were hardly mentioned by the Separatists because Scotland’s current unemployment figures are better (at 6%) than the average for the UK as a whole (6.3%). Not much whining to be done there.

But consider for starters the loss of jobs which would immediately follow Scottish separation:

  • All future naval contracts on the Clyde – 9 Frigates worth about 100,000 man years.
  • In the Glasgow region alone, say, 20,000 engineering jobs over 5 years. In the Edinburgh financial district 40,000, as Lloyds, RBS and Standard Chartered banks moved all but branch office jobs to England.
  • Closure of the Cumbernauld UK tax HQ office and its removal to Wales or Northern Ireland.
  • After 2-3 years, closure of the UK and EU science research programmes in Scottish universities and the loss of hundreds of scientific jobs.
  • Plus of course all the jobs in the supply chains.

Then there would be the loss of Barnett transfers from the UK Treasury, which in their excess above the UK average are worth more than double Scotland’s claim of oil revenues.

Given that the Scottish government’s own deficit, which is at 8% already substantially bigger than the UK’s at 6.7%, and which would rise still further as a result of the loss of Barnett – how does anyone, snuggly in the UK, believe that “life cannot be worse than it is now”? How could a separate Scotland avoid making the massive tax rises that the Republic of Ireland had to, or go in for crippling borrowing to avoid running out of cash and then having the International Monetary Fund come in to impose spending cuts?

Top| Home

Leave a Reply

Top| Home