The decision has now been
made to leave the EU although Scotland voted to remain. The immediate
reaction in Scotland is to have a second referendum which in my opinion
is totally against the interests of Scotland and the Scottish people.
Fact is that our First
Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, is fixated on being a member of the EU and
even to the extent that if we had voted YES in our Independence
referendum she totally ruled out having a referendum on EU membership.
This is despite us having to cede some of our hard won independence and
thus she felt she could give away some of our independence without
reference to the Scottish people. That is just wrong.
Fact is coming out
provides great opportunities for Scotland. There is bound to be some
short term instability in our finances but the medium to long term is
absolutely fantastic for us.
Let's look at two
opportunities we now have. First we can start to rebuild our
Fishing industry which due to EU mismanagement cost us 100,000 jobs in
that industry and a loss of some 2 billion in annual revenue.
We can now protect our
Steel industry by raising tariffs on cheap steel coming in from China.
This wasn't possible before due to EU regulations.
On the International
front we can now rejoin EFTA which gives us an in to the EU while still
protecting our Fishing and Agricultural industries. We can now consider
joining the Nordic Council.
And probably the most
important is to join all the world organisations of which the World
Trade Organisation (WTO) is the single most important organisation in
the world. Previously we couldn't join these organisations due to
We may also be able to
reconnect with the Commonwealth.
The opportunities are
amazing outside the EU.
Note that in leaked
documents from Germany they are proposing that the UK get special
association status in the EU. The thing is we are a trading nation
and it's certainly in the UK's interest to trade with the EU but as
we're the 5th largest economy in the world it's certainly in the EU's
interest to trade with us.
Due to being members of
the EEA and EFTA we will still have much of the free movement within the
EU and world organisations already protect workers rights, health
services and pensions.
The idea that Scotland
can re-join the EU is fantasy land. Let's remember that having taken the
decision to leave we find that France, Italy, Austria, Hungary and
Denmark are already talking about also having a referendum.
The Chokka Blog, which has great credibility on finance has
already detailed in great depth the findings of the GERS
report showing how Scotland would have a 7.5 billion black
hole in our finances were we to have independence. EU
regulations also state clearly that to join the EU you must
have a debt to GDP of only 3%. Scotland already has a 9.4%
deficit so to join the EU we would have to agree to put in
place policies to meet the EU’s target.
It is foolish of
countries to identify their future with the EU. By 2050 there will be
some 9 billion people in the world. The EU will then account for only 6
per cent of the world’s population, as against 20 per cent before 1950.
Its share of the world’s gross product will have shrunk to some 10 per
cent by 2050, as against 30 per cent in 1950.
In the coming decades most growth in GDP, market size and investment
returns will tend to occur outside continental Europe. Most EU countries
will have a shrinking and ageing population. The EU in general is likely
to decline economically, politically and culturally relative to the rest
of the world, and in particular Asia, where the bulk of humanity lives.
So I say that the
opportunities for Scotland outside the EU are massive and we need to
grasp this opportunity with both hands. By all means have a second
referendum for Independence but we should wait to see how things develop
over the next couple of years. Now is not the time for an