England needs a smooth border more than we do

Merchant banker, Guy Stenhouse, has written the above in the Herald. I almost gave up my support for independence when I saw the headline and found out he is a merchant banker.

Then I thought, wait, maybe he has an agenda. Maybe it’s not true.

There’s a problem though. As readers know, economics, trade, money…not my thang.

BUT, suspecting this Guy, I’ll just start the ball rolling and let readers vent themselves with their usual erudition on him. Can you vent erudition?

Anyhow, what about this starter from Professor David Bell?


Trade flows across the Anglo-Scottish border are substantial. Figure 1 shows the size of imports and exports (excluding offshore effects) relative to Scottish GDP from 1998 to 2018 (figures for 2017 and 2018 are provisional). While Scotland’ trade with the rest of the world (RoW) is almost consistently in balance, it runs a deficit in goods and services with rUK, which has averaged 5.7 per cent of Scottish GDP during the last ten years. This would be an issue for a Scottish government if it set up a separate currency and could not establish compensating capital inflows. On the other hand, the argument put forward by the Brexiteers was that the EU needed a trade deal with the UK more than the UK with the EU because of the UK’s trade deficit with the EU – so a similar logic applies to a Scottish/rUK deal?

Zo, applying my Sarwar-like common sense, wouldn’t English companies go apeshit with Boris if he didn’t allow a smooth border operation because they sell more to us than we sell to them?

This economics lark is easier than I thought. Who was that Guy?

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14 thoughts on “England needs a smooth border more than we do

  1. Brexit will damage trade with Europe and the rest if the world. Down £Billions already. Oil, whisky, salmon are desirable the world over. China and the US trade the world over. They put up trade barriers. China the biggest produces more goods and is in surplus.

    Scotland has a more balance trade. Not a deficit. If the rest of the UK does not want Scottish goods they will go elsewhere. Different trade routes will be found. All countries trade with their nearest neighbours.

    Any business lost in trade will be made up with the £Billions gains from lack of Westminster colossal interference and mismanagement. Westminster have been taking Scotland’s revenues and resources for years. That is why they cling on so much. What is wrong with Scotland being Independent. If Scotland gets better off, so does it’s neighbours.

    Scotland discovery and invention changed the world. TV, radio, telecommunication led on to the internet. Helped trade enormously, worldwide,

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When the Brit Nits repeatedly tell their “Big Lie”, the truth does not matter.

    And the truth matters even less to the colonial media, led by the BEEB.

    There was a famous journalist (so famous I have forgotten hiss name) who made a program for BBC Scotland some time in the 70’s to assert Scotland could never become independent while the “opinion formers” in the media were agin it.
    This media bias has certainly kept Scotland back.


  3. Do these figures include electricity sales to rUK which are huge and increasing annually.

    He is concentrating on land traffic it seems. With electricity sales gap narrows significantly.

    If we are in the EU the controls will be like Dover or NI.

    As we have the common travel area then people can move easily in both directions. Technology allows this with camera scans of car number plates or code in window. No need for queues apart from goods.


  4. It’s a hogwash article, part of a suite of bunkum border propaganda which has been fanned out in the media in recent months to distort Indy and EU perspectives.

    Beyond his bogus assertion there is a trade deficit for Scotland in terms of GDP whether pre or post separation is at best “imaginative” the current distortions favouring England (electricty, whisky, etc., etc.) would be remedied.
    Yet is the deliberate distortion of how trade across the border may be affected by Scotland as an EU member which is as blatant a lie as it gets.

    The scam relies on conflation of two aspects –
    – Post Brexit and post Scexit conditions, central to which are EU phyto-sanitary rules, a point Ivan Rogers relentlessly hammered to deaf Brexiteers, yet here we are today.
    – The proportion of Scotland’s overall trade which is phyto-sanitary import/export and what is not, because this is crucial

    At the risk of repeating to the bored, Scotland as an EU member –
    – Scotland exports would be compliant with all EU rules, gone would be inter-EU restrictions on produce from day one, a massive hole in Scotland’s current economy plugged.
    – Unless England were to impose it’s own restrictions (which must apply equally to ALL the member states of the EU/WTO) Scottish exports would be unaffected.
    – Scotland imports from England would be affected in the exact same way as it currently affects those to the EU from the UK… BUT…consider what product shipped from England is affected by phyto-sanitary rules – 10 Tesco/Asda truck a day ? A Crisp consignment once a week from darkest Yorkshire ?

    Scotland is a net Exporter of phyto-sanitary product, import affected would be miniscule, and exports to English processors would continue as before.


    1. The deliberate removal of off shore asset transfer is pretty telling. £200 million a day ( £ 7.3 billion ) flows South via the St Fergus pipeline, representing just 40% of Scotland’s oil extraction.


  5. So Guy works for SBUK ( scottish business uk ) a think tank with union flags all over it , SBUK is part of a company called SB supports the union LTD the company was set uo by robert dow kilgour a few years ago he is also director of another company
    SCHI – care homes , and dow investments which again is care homes.
    The same people you see in the range of photos on SBUK funnily enough are also directors in some of these other businesses i nsme , there are more.
    Mr kilgour lives in england .
    Care homes care homes carehomes , big business, across the border too i imagine.


  6. Following on from my earlier post above I have now read this article. It is accurate as far as you can be before the event. It is also a balanced article and does not attack Scotland.


  7. Guy Stenhouse arguments would be more relevant to Brexit. That will harm British industry and business more than any Scotland/England borders. Scotland raises more pro rata for public services. So can afford it, Scotland raises £66Billion+. The UK raises £630Billion+.

    Guy Stenhouse misses out all the £Billions Scotland pays for Westminster colossal interference and mismanagement. £Billions lost paying repayment on loans not borrowed or spent in Scotland. Paying for HS2 and Hinkley Point. Trident and redundant weapons. A total waste of monies. Military not based in Scotland.
    Illegal wars, tax evasion and financial fraud. Westminster has been taking £Billions from Scotland for years, by their own admission. The McCrone Report etc.

    If people from Scotland could not work easier in England. People from England could not work in Scotland. 10% each way. The Clearances and higher unemployment reduced the population in Scotland. It is only since Devolution 2000, that the population in Scotland has increased. Westminster lying mismanagement. Kept secret under the Official Secrets Act.

    Guy Stenhouse needs a history lesson. Another ignorant, arrogant unionist sycophant. Totally uninformed. There are plenty of them. They think they are so smart but display their ignorance in every farcical statement.

    Alba appears to be the only Party that spent money on internet ads. According to the Herald. With Labour being show to have spent 3 times more than the SNP.
    Labour obviously spent the most. More nonsense reporting.


  8. Sorry for the length of this
    As Independence is permanent then choosing a 20 year timespan to frame this arguement is questionable. Actually framing the question of Independence in purely economic terms is nonsense and just perpetuating the Margaret Thatcher home budgetting approach to the economy that has given us austerity.

    Free trade arrangements are entered into by countries because at a purely economic level they reduce costs and that encourages growth which feeds into the wider economy (assuming endless economic growth is desirable, which is highly debatable) . They also drive countries to specialise in the particular goods and services that they are best at. This is one of the reasons that UK had a PPE crisis because generally speaking manufacturers of mass garments have moved their production overseas. Therefore this specialisation makes it easy for certain politicians to frame the operation of free market economics (of which they approve) in protectionists terms (they are stealing our jobs) in order to get mass public support and power for themselves.

    Regarding the border with England. Firstly any move by Scotland to rejoin the single market and customs union will automatically open the border with Ireland so any reference to rUK is misleading. With respect to flows over the Scots/English border retaining the status quo would undoubtedly be best for both countries. However England chose to leave the EU and assuming Scotland is returning then the onus is on the Westminster Government as to how the border will function. If they play hardball then Scotland, backed by the EU, will have to play the same game. BTW If you look south to how the Channel border is currently operating we find that UK exports are being curtailed but the UKG has not yet restricted imports, a strange state of affairs as it penalises all UK companies and doubly so for exporters.

    With Scotland rejoining the EU there will immediately alternative sources of supply for our “imports” and a return to our traditional markets which cannot be said for England (& Wales). In the graph, there is no breakdown of what is being “exported” to Scotland and where it is purely resales of goods imported into England in the first instance then the distribution chain will just adjust and a Scottish or European primary importer will be established.

    From a political stand point talking up a hard border will bouy up Unionists but from a purely economic perspective over a sensible timespan it is nonsense.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Prof D Bell’s graph does not quote the sources of data displayed and that’s where the problems start. There’s a real problem of quality and compatibility of data on cross-border traffic between Scotland and rUK.
    A friend who used to work in a senior Customs & Excise/later HMRC position told me that there are 2 different forms to record exports: one records the immediate destination of the goods and the other the ultimate destination, so a shipment of whisky to Brazil via Felixstowe will appear on form 1 as a shipment to England and on form 2 to Brazil. When the shipment leaves England Felixstowe will issue both forms: forms 1 & 2 show an English export to Brazil. So, depending which HMRC data source is quoted the shipment out of Scotland could be attributed wrongly as inter-UK trading, while the HMRC stats for English exports could be overstated. Indeed, I remember years ago seeing an official export table which showed that England exported more whisky than Scotland (I wish I could remember where I saw it).
    This is just one of numerous examples of unreliable/ confusing /distorted data employed in UK statistics, others being taxes raised in Scotland, exclusions from Barnett Formula allocation (HS2, Hinkley Point etc which we contribute to via our UK taxes), the annual GERS farce etc.

    Liked by 1 person

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