Independence in the modern world. Wealthier, happier, fairer: why not Scotland?

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Scottish Government
Scottish Government
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Fast Facts

Small independent countries are performing better on many measures than larger ones. Why not Scotland?

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The focus of this paper is on the future and on how to strengthen Scotland's economic and social performance (which would of course also be the most effective way to improve Scotland's fiscal position). The success of comparable countries – all independent, some of a similar size to Scotland – point the way forward.

This paper shows that the UK is already performing poorly relative to a group of such countries and there is a broad consensus that Brexit will lead to a further deterioration in the UK's relative economic performance. Improving the Scottish economy will therefore become even harder if Scotland stays tied to the under-performing UK model.

What do these other countries have that Scotland does not? They have significantly more economic policy autonomy and a much greater ability to tailor policies to their own specific circumstances. The evidence points to independence broadening the policy options available to address areas of relative under-performance and to make the most of Scotland's potential.