WGPlus (Archive)

Editorial Commentary:
Is the SNP threat of another Referendum realistic?

The SNP at Holyrood & Westminster have been (and still are) ‘making noises’ about Brexit leading to another Independence referendum (well within our ‘lifetime’), but one wonders if RUK (remember that terminology) should get very worked up about their announcements…….

The sight of the FM launching her ‘remain-in’ campaign in London recently, followed by a SNP MP pontificating on the BBC Daily Politics programme to the effect that the PM would do better to stay out of Scotland and it’s ‘Remain in’ campaign, brought back memories of that highly successful Conservative General Election poster showing Ed Milliband in the SNP’s top pocket.  Shades of vote to remain-in and be ‘ruled’ by the SNP!

As for a financially viable independent Scotland, the ‘fiscal playing-field’ has changed dramatically since their independence referendum.  RUK is in the process of finalising the legal processes with ScotGov on a Fiscal Framework Agreement that indicates the potential parlous state of Scotland as an independent country, following the collapse of the oil market.  Just why do they need so much RUK taxpayers’ money to ensure ‘no detriment’?  It is clear to many people (following the negotiations) that Scotland cannot ‘afford’ independence in the near & medium future, so is the SNP just bluffing about an early referendum?

One also wonders why the SNP is so keen for the UK to be ‘ruled by Brussels’, when they object to Scotland being ‘ruled by Westminster’.  It may make sense to ‘leave’ a union that imposes a nett annual UK contribution of £7bn+ (& rising), has an unemployment rate that is an average of twice the UK’s, a fiscal union that still threatens to implode, a decision process (which is increasingly being centralized – especially for the euro countries) that must take account of the views of 28 (& increasing) countries and a migration crisis spiralling out of control (not helped by massive disparities in national average wages and state benefits). 

It is quite another matter to leave a union which has a common currency, speaks the same language (but facilitates live ‘regional’ languages), is devolving powers and transfers significant sums of ‘aid’ from England to Scotland.  Especially after Scotland had a ‘once in a lifetime’ vote less than 2 years ago!

Researched Links:

ScotGov:  First Minister makes keynote speech on Europe

HMT:  Historic new Scotland funding deal agreed

ScotGov:  Fiscal Framework Agreement

IFG:  Statement in response to Scotland fiscal framework announcement

IPPR:  Budget cuts a 'down payment' on significant spending challenge coming to Scotland by 2020

IFS:  Full fiscal autonomy delayed?

IFS:  Spending cuts or tax increases would be needed to pay for Independence White Paper giveaways

Oil fund possible from day one of independence

NCA prevents significant rise in UK’s GDP-based contribution to EU

IEA:  EU policies threaten to cost Britain £9,265 per household

How the Barnett formula is 'flawed' in favour of Scotland and NI

Official North Sea oil revenue forecast down by 94% - BBC

Adoption of Intelligent Automation in the Public Sector