Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Scotland: Independent Nation State, Or Dependent Welfare Junkie – Your Choice

There was an article in The Herald newspaper recently about how the Conservative/Liberal Democrats were trying to get the SNP to answer how, under independence, the Scottish Government will continue to fund an alleged £13 Billion that the UK Government currently spends on welfare in Scotland.

Firstly, the argument is essentially flawed. The economy of an independent Scotland will be very different to that under its current state of dependence. Some businesses may leave and some will naturally remain. Yet Scotland will also gain many industries and companies who will want, and indeed need, direct access to the Scottish market. Whereas currently, multi-national companies are able to base themselves in England and serve Scotland as a mere peripheral market, under independence many would actually need to be based here. Indeed, this is a subject that I've blogged about previously: http://thisscotland.blogspot.com/2010/09/cost-of-scotland-not-being-independent.html.

Secondly, it is simply not possible to predict the future economy of any nation, independent or otherwise. Economies change over time and the idea of presenting some figures related to Scotland's current economic state as a region of the United Kingdom and trying to imply that they have any relevance at all to its future as an independent nation-state at some unspecified time years in the future is an entirely futile argument to make. The economies of both Scotland and England will be very different in the future and entirely impossible to predict. Indeed with globalisation, as the current turmoil in international markets show, national economies are not only unpredictable entities, but highly susceptible to forces from outwith their own national borders. And, given that this is the case, surely it would be in Scotland's interest to have direct access to, and representation at, those international organisations that maintain some modicum of control over global markets, namely the IMF, the World Bank, the European Union and the United Nations?

Yet, returning to the initial argument with regard to Scotland's current alleged welfare dependence on England, surely it serves only to highlight the fact that political union with England is simply not working in Scotland's favour. Indeed, if Scotland is currently a welfare junkie dependent on England then clearly its high time to check into rehab and shake off its debilitating addiction to the Union.

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