Scottish independence takes a heavy toll


Scottish independence takes a heavy toll

Sturgeon’s push for continued membership of the single market for Scotland comes at a heavy price, argues Rory Broomfield.

Last weekend we saw the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, renew her push for Scotland to stay in the Single Market and look to make deals with the EU, independent of the UK. This, of course, continues to stoke the fires of discontent and, as a result, Sturgeon is not just hurting the UK’s chances of achieving a new and prosperous future, but also Scotland’s chance of doing the same.

You see, the Single Market is seemingly adored and loved by those that wish the UK to be tied to it. Instead of realising that the UK can trade with the EU without having to be in it, many like to also muddle access with membership for convenience and, as such, muddle the debate. Nonetheless, the truth must be told: the UK does not need to be in the EU’s Single Market for companies and consumers within the UK to trade with others within the EU.

But Sturgeon obviously won’t be told. As we saw in her interview with Andrew Marr, she wants access to the Single Market – seemingly at all costs.

But has no one mentioned that access to the EU Single Market doesn’t require membership?

Has no one said to her that the EU has done Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with 43 countries around the world without the need for those countries to be EU members?

Has no one told her that countries – including the USA, China, India and Russia – trade with the EU despite not having even an FTA with the EU?

Despite the fact that economists Professor Patrick Minford CBE and Professor Tim Congdon CBE have performed numerous studies suggesting that Single Market regulation – not just membership costs –  circa 6% of GDP per year (and rising), Sturgeon obviously thinks that the costs – and future costs – of Scotland being inside the EU outweigh the benefits.

Yet, in staying within the Single Market, Scotland would lose out on the chance to take back control of its own fishing and farming rights. It is odd that, despite Scotland’s fishing industry welcoming the decision to leave the EU, the First Minister of Scotland doesn’t want to know; doesn’t want to help Scottish farming; doesn’t want to help Scotland’s fishing industry.

But this goes deeper still. The interview she had with Andrew Marr was very telling. Indeed, Sturgeon believes that Scotland can be inside the Single Market whilst the rest of the UK leaves.

And let’s digest that for a second.

The costs of the Single Market (including maybe a membership fee?) with the same access that the UK will have post Brexit (with FTA)? I wonder what Scots would think about that.

What would it mean for Scotland regarding voting rights within the EU? Would they have votes within the EU? Given Scotland would be a minnow compared to other countries – and compared with its current deal on voter representation in Westminster – maybe Scotland will become the Greece without the Sun under Sturgeon?

Also, there are other questions that Sturgeon needs to answer in the plans she presents in the next couple of weeks.

Does she want Scotland to remain inside the Customs Union as well? That would mean allowing the EU to do its trade deals for it; it would mean waiting by on the sidelines as Liam Fox and the UK does trade deals with nations that are already queuing up to do trade deals with the UK.

If the rest of the UK does not have an FTA with the EU post Brexit (but goes for WTO arrangements) would the SNP – if they are in Government at that time – impose tariffs on the rest of the UK? This may seem like madness, but could be a possibility under Sturgeon’s SNP.

Why do I say that? What possible reason can I think of to suggest the above? Well, the SNP have demonstrated themselves to want to take back control. Not, of course, in matters concerning the EU, but rather their domestic policy has continued the centralising march of national socialism; their domestic policies have been a plan for central control.

Examples of this are numerous but the breaking of regional police structures to form Police Scotland, which prompted a stinging attack by Theresa May when Home Secretary, is just one example. As is the Named Persons Scheme, which looked to introduce a “state guardian” to be in charge of every child in Scotland, and was both blocked by the UK Supreme Court and described by the Court as ‘totalitarian’. (Despite this, the SNP still wish to introduce the Named Persons Scheme next year).

But the cherry on top could now be that Sturgeon’s SNP has allegedly begun censoring the press in Scotland‎.

The only silver-lining in all of this is that Sturgeon – and the SNP – cannot keep their iron grip over Scotland forever. Or can they?

For both Scotland – and the United Kingdom’s sake – I think Sturgeon’s loss is everyone else’s gain.

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  • Rory Broomfield
    Rory Broomfield
    Rory Broomfield is Director of The Freedom Association and the Better Off Out campaign. He is an authority on the EU and has written a number of books including his latest, co-authored with Iain Murray, Cutting the Gordian Knot: A Roadmap for British Exit from the European Union. He has previously worked in the City of London and in Westminster for a number of Members of Parliament, including the current Prime Minister, Theresa May; the current Chairman of the 1922 Committee, Graham Brady; and Sir Richard Shepherd.
    • David Rynn

      I couldn’t agree more, but nobody should be surprised at the SNP’s incoherence or inconsistency. They are no more than an aggressive anti-English cult, with a mix of hard left Socialist & Green policies, but with a small amount of more business minded stuff to soften up the mainstream. So they end up with a policy mish-mash with the common threads being anti-English, pro-EU, “progressive”, open borders, pro-immigration stuff. Reading SNP policy pronouncements is like reading the Guardian or listening to a Jeremy Corbyn speech, except with a red-haired Jimmy wig on.

      The fishing thing is one thing in particular the SNP don’t seem to have the political nous to capitalise on. I honestly don’t understand why they seem so intent to keep allowing foreign vessels to fish in our waters, when they could do something that would (for a change) allow them to truly deliver something that would be “stronger for Scotland”.

    • Laurentiu Veliscu

      Liars, you can have a trade agreeent with EU, only if you accept free movement! No other exceptions!

      • ScaryBiscuits

        So why are the US and China allowed sell stuff (far more than the UK does) to the EU without having to accept free movement?

    • Alan

      The Shilpit Nyaff Party – nationalist, and socialist, and doing their best to live down to that infamous combination.

    • SonofBoudica

      She’s as thick as two short planks. She believes that her rhetoric about independence will guarantee future prosperity, yet fails to see that in exchanging significant influence in Westminster for negligible influence in Brussels, she would sell her people short.

      • Fubar2

        “in exchanging significant influence in Westminster for negligible influence in Brussels, she would sell her people short.”

        Absolutely. They dont matter so long as she sticks it to the English b*******ds. Its completely built on old enmities and hatreds.

      • Dartfordian

        Nail on head sonny boy. That is the great lie – they hate being ‘ruled’ by England, but are adamant that we shouldn’t, by way of Brexit, take away their wish to be ruled by Brussels, Paris and Berlin. Absolute madness.

    • The Werewolf

      It’s absolutely fascinating how Brexiters believe so passionately that the UK can exit the EU and do better, even though almost all experts suggest otherwise, yet when Scotland says exactly the same thing about leaving the UK, these same people become the Remoaners and are sure of Scotland’s imminent failure.

      This, ironically, is Scotland’s motivation to leave… That England sees them as a failure if they leave the UK and that their dreams are irrelevant to the point of being dismissable.

      Blind and hypocritical. Brexit in a nutshell.

      • Fubar2

        Except that Scotland’s case is based on centuries old emotive hyperbole, nothing else. Its not that their dreams are irrelevant, its just that they have no realistic way, no realistic plan to fund them and to make them happen. There isnt the vision, the detail, the planning.

        Arguably the same could be said for Brexit, but as with the Scots, it is up to the voting populace to hold the government of the days feet to the fire.

      • Vuil

        You know, of course, but it just slipped your mind I am sure that the IMF – that EU mouthpiece that prophesied catastrophe for the UK were Brexit to succeed- now says that Britain will grow the fastest of all developed economies in 2017.

        Britain is likely to do very well post the EU. Far better than the dysfunctional EU.

      • Dartfordian

        These are the same ‘experts’ who insisted that we should have to join the Euro, in order to avoid Armageddon, a few years back.

      • SonofBoudica

        The facts and figures suggest otherwise, but don’t let these get in the way of your closed mind.

      • Mojo

        Only EU based ‘experts’ say we will not survive outside EU. But this has already been trounced. If you had listened to all our own independent ‘experts’ they were unanimous in writing of the benefits to the whole of the UK in leaving.

    • Med Jumper

      Wee Krankie has no other choice but to go on about the evil English in Westminster and promise things she has no power to deliver upon. She’s blown all the money on nothing and is more incompetent that Sadiq Khan, only with a smaller population.

      • Dartfordian

        But was her dad a bus driver??

    • Mojo

      IT seems that the majority of the voters in Scotland who voted to Remain in the EU were the academics who foolishly think they receive EU money and not rebounding UK taxes. They would be better off listening to their fisheries and farmers. The people who actually create wealth. Nicola Sturgeons SNP voters were very much for Leaving EU because they understood academics and government do not create the country’s wealth. But I believe her stance goes much much deeper. The SNP have always been affiliated to Nazi thinking. If you look at their history during WWII they were inviting the enemy to visit and discuss the distruction of the U.K. Her whole history from a teenager, and her parents history before, has been the break up of the Union. I believe they should be given their independence. how long they will survive remains to be seen. But I do believe many business will work hard to turn Scotland around. It may even realize that the likes of the SNP are not the future.

      • SonofBoudica

        She believes in a socialist paradise, just like the soviet union, which cause untold misery across generations.

      • The Werewolf

        Scotland had THAT many “scholars”??? You do realise they voted over 60℅ to remain, right?

        • Mojo

          Sorry, I meant to say academics and public sector. Non of whom create any wealth. Came out in a report for SNP parliament a few weeks ago. 60% as ever is banded about as though it was 60% of the country when in fact it was 60% of those who voted. Turnout was not exceptional. The 60% is roughly the same number of people who live in Yorkshire. When these figures are put into context it is not a very significant number in comparison to the numbers who voted to leave in Wales and England and yet the biggest UK vote in our history is being disrespected by the few.

    • Tim

      A trade deal hasn’t even been discussed with the EU so how does she know we wont get a free trade deal. Sturgeon is either an idiot or just doing this to shut up the back benchers.

    • David

      Another weasel word creeping into the post referendum discussions is “passporting”. As far as I can understand it, this is some kind of ransom that some think the UK would be required to pay in order to allow such activities as financial services businesses to operate from the UK in their dealings with the EU. Do the American banks (for example) have to pay this ransom to deal with the EU? Ditto Chinese banks. Leaving the EU means among other things paying absolutely NOTHING to the EU, otherwise we might just as well not leave. Ransoms were used widely in the Middle Ages but I thought that we had made some progress since then.

      • The Werewolf

        Holy **** are all leavers this stupid? American banks set up shop in London so they CAN do business across Europe without having to pay those tariffs.

        They choose London because English is the first language and the culture is closer to the US than the rest of the EU is. But if they lose passporting rights they’ll have to move their head offices to a country IN the EU, keeping a small local office here.

        The cost of staying in the UK while doing business in the EU would be immense and in case you missed it, the EU would still be nine times bigger than the UK.

        • David

          Thank you for your clarification. My understanding is that provided a country’s laws and regulations are equivalent to those within the EU then that country’s regulations and laws ( regulation etc) are accepted by the EU. The UK could readily undertake to have a financial regulatory regime which is compatible with those within the EU, and I suspect that UK based financial institutions are stronger that most EU financial institutions. My main point was why a non- EU country should be expected to actually PAY the EU to trade in financial services because I did read that the EU was threatening this. The main intention of those who wanted to leave the EU is a political choice – the UK would retain sovereignty over its own affairs and would not be subject to externally imposed laws.

    • Callumity

      Sturgeon did a brief spell as a poor law solicitor but has no serious grasp of economics.

    • geo

      independence is a solution in search of a problem.
      its the nats response to anything and everything. a one solution solves all if you like. problem is it solves nothing and isnt a solution, its a religious doctrine … a Gregorian chant, a mantra, a hymn to their diety. And NOTHING IN THIS WORLD is going to stop the nats from trying to turn scotland into a bankrupt 3rd world hell hole till they are put down.
      I just hope that my countrymen and women see through these blue face painted, freedom screaming, economically illiterate clowns before something irrevocable happens although the crash in oil prices/report that we have a public spending deficit of 9% (eu max allowed 3%. solution = double income tax or vat) may have been enough to start the ball rolling.

    • MrVeryAngry

      All this is mischief by La Sturgeon in pursuit of her single agenda – Scotland to leave the UK. Everything she says or does must be viewed through the lens of her idee fixe.

    • MrVeryAngry

      Despite the fact that economists Professor Patrick Minford CBE and Professor Tim Congdon CBE have performed numerous studies suggesting that Single Market regulation – not just membership costs – circa 6% of GDP per year (and rising), Sturgeon obviously thinks that the costs – and future costs – of Scotland being inside the EU outweigh the benefits. Eh? Does this need an edit?

      • Alan

        I think it does.

        • MrVeryAngry

          Yes. I think that the ” – ” after ‘costs’ and before ‘circa’ should be after ‘membership’ and before ‘costs’? I don’t think it reads well at all.

    • Leo Savantt

      The Single Market is the main instrument whereby the European Commission exercises political control of member states and since Sturgeon doesn’t want Scottish independence, but Scottish subservience to Brussels, there is logic in her position of keeping Scotland in the Single Market. It is her best chance of ensuring that Scotland will never become an independant state.

    • Dr Evil

      If they don’t want to be with us then they obviously don’t want our money. Kick them out of the UK.

      • The Werewolf

        Uh, that’s actually what they want. You can’t actually “kick them out” when they’re trying to leave and you won’t let them go.

        • Leo Savantt

          If you remember at the last referendum the rest of the UK did not get a vote and although the Scots voted to stay, opinion polls showed that a clear majority of the English, if they had been given a vote, would have cast their ballots so that Scotland left the UK.

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