This looks at three myths about Scottish independence:
MYTH 1: You'll have had your referendum.
MYTH 2: Scotland has a huge deficit because we spend too much on public services.
MYTH 3: The costs of establishing Scotland as an independent country will be huge.
Brexit, at a stroke, undermined the main argument of Better Together. We were told the only way to guarantee remaining in the EU was to vote against independence. In reality, we were then thrust into a referendum to leave Europe in which Scotland’s and Northern Ireland’s desire to remain was overruled.
Scotland has recently been granted very limited borrowing powers, but while the UK’s debt was being built up it had none. The truth is that Scotland’s economy was either in surplus, or had a lower deficit than the UK. In other words, Scotland did NOT contribute to the creation of the UK’s debt. The allocation of the debt is not related to the UK region or nation which generated the debt, nor where the money was spent or the economic benefit felt but simply as a percentage of the UK population.
The transition costs over five years (including the £50m for banking and financial regulation above) would be £439m. The additional tax and national insurance revenues to Scotland would be £75m, meaning a net cost of £364m. To put that into context, as part of the UK, the cost to Scotland of the refurbishment of the Palace of Westminster will be around £300m over the same period, a cost that Scotland won’t have to meet if it becomes independent.
The ability to manage monetary policy and set exchange and inflation rates (in the long term) that are tailored to Scotland’s needs means any costs would be an investment that will be a massive advantage to the Scottish economy.