Much has been made about the challenges that Scotland might face as part of a ‘hard’ – or ‘clean’ – Brexit. Both SNP Members of Parliament in Westminster and their MSPs in the Scottish Parliament have been quick to signal discontent with any status outside the EU’s Internal (Single) Market or its Customs Union. Moreover, in a new paper released this week, the Scottish Government has channelled George Osborne’s Project Fear by producing doom-laden economic forecasts if the UK were either to leave with a deal or a no deal Brexit. It seems that Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, is positioning her party to use leaving the EU as a springboard to press for a second referendum on Scottish Independence from the UK.
However, what the SNP should realise is that Scotland’s economic fortunes can be enhanced with the UK outside the EU, that there are opportunities for Scotland with either a deal or no deal with the EU, and that a Scottish exit from the UK would harm both sides economically – in the short and medium term.
Scotland could also benefit from a no-deal scenario where the UK adopts unilateral free trade. This idea has been put forward by Professor Patrick Minford and has recently been championed by the Institute of Economic Affairs. With higher levels of competition, productivity and foreign direct investment which would result in this scenario, it is hard to reject this out of hand. Of course, the Scottish Government’s new economic analysis – tied to the Osborne way of politicising economic forecasts – does dismiss it; however, if they did look at the analysis of Minford’s work, along with that of Economists for Free Trade, they should be able to see that the road ahead in this scenario is paved with gold.
To read the full piece by Rory Broomfield from The Freedom Association on Brexit Central, click here.