Dear Editor (Herald 16th March 2021),
Robert IG Scott demonstrates a poor understanding of Scotland’s economic potential (Letters, March 17) when he suggests:
Without the enormous backing from the UK Exchequer, and the worldwide influence exerted by the Foreign Office on behalf of the whole of the UK, an independent Scotland would become a second-class state.
Adam Smith knew that natural resources and people make up the ‘wealth of a nation.’ Scotland is one of the world’s most naturally wealthy nations. With 8.4% of the UK population, Scotland has 34% of the UK’s natural wealth including a quarter of renewable energy and 90% of hydropower. Scotland produces double our population share of the UK’s food and 70% of fish landings. Our per capita exports are more than twice the UK’s. We’re innovative, have world-class universities and a highly educated population. What we are missing are the full economic powers – our own currency and central bank – that any independent nation enjoys to maximise human and natural resource potential.
Being part of the UK has held Scotland back. Measured against 16 European nations, the UK ranked near or at the bottom on pensions, national debt, income inequality, productivity, GDP per capita, and overall economic performance. The UK siphons off Scotland’s revenues and resources, each year taking £65.1b from Scotland and returning £49b, allocating us a £15.1b ‘deficit’ that includes billions in servicing a debt we did not create, an immoral nuclear arsenal on our soil, and an unfair tax system.
Even Andrew Neil admits that upon Scottish independence, rUK inherits all the treaty obligations. Scotland would start with a clean slate.
Independence is natural. The anachronism is the UK.
Leah Gunn Barrett