SNP’s Hamza Yusuf unfortunately fell off his scooter
The SNP is calling for a second referendum on Scotland’s withdrawal from Britain, although it failed to win a majority in the Scottish parliamentary elections in May. Instead, he formed a government with the Greens, with Nicola Sturgeon vowing to hold another vote for independence when the coronavirus crisis is over.
Scottish nationalists are using Brexit to justify a second vote, as a majority in Scotland voted to remain in the European Union while England and Wales supported ‘Leave’.
However, according to David Bannerman, a former Tory MEP for East England, Brexit actually makes it less likely that Scotland will leave Britain.
He tweeted: “I think Brexit kills the independence argument; one of my reasons for supporting Brexit – to preserve the British Union despite the fact that many mistakenly think otherwise!
“That would mean being out of the EU and the UK; hard limits, no Barnet pound, more expensive loans, pension hits for 60% of Scottish exports.”
‘I think Brexit is killing freedom’ (Image: GETTY)
Sturgeon has called for a second referendum on Scotland’s withdrawal from Britain (Image: GETTY)
Mr Bannerman was reacting to new reports from the Institute for Government (IFG), which warned that an independent Scotland should cut substantial spending.
The IFG has warned that Scotland will “struggle” to borrow more than 3% of its GDP per year.
As a result, it would be necessary to raise £6.5 billion to £8.5 billion by either raising taxes or cutting spending.
Scotland began the pandemic with a deficit of eight per cent of its GDP, described by the IFG as “an outlier among its international peers”.
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Britain officially left the European Union in January 2020 (Image: GETTY)
Since the start of the pandemic, that figure has climbed to 22% of GDP, well above the maximum requirements for EU membership.
The IFG warned that Scotland would need “substantial fiscal consolidation in the first years of independence – about five to six per cent of GDP from where it stands -“.
Responding to the reports, Mr Bannerman said: “The reality of the SNP’s insane plans is becoming more clear by the day.”
If Scotland leaves Britain, it could mean a hard border with England, disrupting trade flows.
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The Scottish Tories strongly oppose the second referendum (Image: GETTY)
Scotland voted to remain in the UK in 2014 (Image: GETTY)
Around 60% of Scottish exports are currently destined for other parts of the UK.
In order to apply for EU membership, Scotland must also launch its own currency and commit to the euro and join the Schengen area.
The SNP has said it will continue to use the pound informally in the wake of the independence vote.
Then they hope to switch to a new Scottish currency.
If Scotland leaves the UK it could mean a tougher border with England (Image: GETTY)
IFG Deputy Chief Economist Thomas Pope warned: “If Scotland were to become independent, it would be difficult to consistently borrow more than 3% per annum in normal (non-crisis) times at low prices in international debt markets.
“This will require fiscal consolidation of four to five per cent of GDP as compared to the pre-coronavirus fiscal situation.
“Even then it would cost Scotland more to borrow than Britain because it would be a small country with no established track record.”
Speaking to Herald Scotland, Pamla Nash, who leads Scotland in the union, said the report strengthens the case for keeping Scotland in the UK.
Boris Johnson urged Sturgeon to focus on Scotland’s recovery from coronavirus (Image: GETTY)
She said: ‘The introduction of a new Scottish currency will have disastrous consequences for our economy, which will negatively affect the amount that can be spent on hospitals, schools and social services.
“When our NHS is in crisis and people wait for hours for an ambulance, and we have years of post-Covid recovery ahead of us, it proves how irresponsible the SNP’s isolation scheme really is.
“Individuals will also face higher taxes as well as uncertainty regarding their salaries, mortgages and pensions. “
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