What are the opportunities of Scottish independence?

The biggest opportunity of independence is that decisions for Scotland will be made by the Scottish people through a democratically elected parliament and government and not imposed on Scotland by a Westminster system that is failing.

In 2014 the Westminster parties promised that a ‘No’ vote would mean Scotland would be an equal partner in a UK that was firmly in the EU. Since the 2016 Brexit referendum Westminster has ignored Scotland and imposed a hard Brexit with all the dire economic consequences that flow from that.

The Westminster government also claimed that Scots would be £1,400 better off every year if there was a ‘No’ vote. Do you feel £1,400 better off since 2014 with the rising costs of food, energy and mortgages?

Scotland hasn’t voted for a Westminster Tory government since 1955 – a time when the vast majority of people never even had a house phone, never mind a mobile one. Yet for the majority of those years Tory governments have imposed policies on Scotland it soundly rejected.

Independence means Scotland will no longer be subject to policies it has rejected for decades.

Research shows that the UK economically and socially underperforms compared to its near neighbours in north west Europe with countries similar or smaller than Scotland in population size often performing the best. Their wealth per person is higher and they have less poverty and inequality.

The research not only shows that the UK is already performing poorly and has done for decades under both Labour and Tory governments, but there is a broad consensus that Brexit will lead to a further deterioration in the UK’s relative economic performance.

Improving our economy will therefore become even harder if Scotland stays tied to the under-performing Westminster model and outside the world’s largest single market in Europe.

What do these other countries have that Scotland does not? They have independence which gives them the power to significantly make economic policy that suits their needs with a much greater ability to tailor policies to their own specific circumstances. 

The Westminster government still holds most of the major economic levers that affect Scotland so independence will broaden Scotland’s power to address those areas of relative under-performance and to make the most of Scotland’s potential.

The full powers of independence won’t guarantee success – but will increase Scotland’s potential and put the levers of change in the hands of the Scottish people and the governments they vote for instead of a Westminster parliament ignoring Scotland’s voice and opinions.