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Scottish Independence and Scotland's Future
Scotland in Europe
My take on where we go now after Brexit by Alastair McIntyre, 24th June 2016

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 EU regulations.

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 independence referendum.

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