Is Scottish independence more likely now and if so why?Watch
There is a majority in the UK parliament of the so-called Conservative and Unionist Party. Who will never agree to Indyref 2, however strong the support in Scotland for independence, or indeed the support elsewhere in the UK. So no chance before 2025 or even later.
The case may be stronger, at least culturally, but that will make no difference.
And it's perfectly reasonable for Scotland to think that if it had full control of its finances and wasn't operating with one hand tied behind its back, it would be able to act in the interests of its own economy and boost it – not so much too poor to be independent but too poor not to be independent.
It's a shame that we haven't had Indyref2 already to be fair. What I ideally would have like to see is Scotland vote to leave, and then rejoin the EU.
Where is the evidence for this? The Scottish government received one billion less in tax, and this was tax that they had full control over. The argument your putting forward is 'if only we were independent we could have control and then everything would be great' but the reality isn't demonstrative of it. The Scottish Government can act in the interest of its own economy through devolution powers at the moment and that economy gets boosted through being in the UK.
Even if you found the argument persuasive, the financial impact of no longer pooling and sharing resources across the United Kingdom would outweigh, hugely, any ability to grow the economy. In any case, Scotland has lagged behind the rest of the United Kingdom in terms of growth and productivity - maybe if the nationalist administration in Edinburgh had shown any ability to handle that, they might get taken seriously on this sort of rhetoric.
The SNP and the Pro-Independence Bloc need to answer a few questions:
1) What currency would Scotland use? If it were to use the pound it would not be able to control its own monetary policy due to the fact that the BoE is the issuer of the GBP. If it were to use the Euro then this would take two years (Countries like Spain would voice their concerns too). It has no gold reserves and lacks foreign reserves to make its own currency. If it decided to peg its currency to the USD that would be absolutely mad and that would mean there would be little to no control of their monetary policy.
2) Would it be able to join the EU? At the moment, probably not. Excluding Oil revenue, the budget deficit sits at 6.8% of GDP (Scottish GDP). The Copenhagen agreement states that a nation must have a budget deficit of less than 6% of its GDP. Another issue is Spain. Spain will most likely veto Scotland's membership application as Scotland joining the EU would show that Catalonia would be absolutely fine as an independent nation (Same for Basque). Scotland outside the EU would have an extremely tough time of it and Sturgeon would get heckled like no tomorrow because she would have lied.
3) Scotland has a GDP of £237.8 billion, England and the rest of the UK would be absolutely fine without Scotland. We would be the 8th largest economy and not the 'Little England' that Indy supporters think. What would Scotland gain?
This is the point though: tax and spend isn't exclusive to the UK, and nor is a furlough scheme. An independent Scotland would collect and spend taxes and borrow money in the same way as any other country, the money just wouldn't come via London.
It feels like the language of benevolence has come back into the devolution debate, and we've gone back to 'look how generous the UK are being by funding public services in Scotland', rather than accepting that people in Scotland are also taxpayers and business owners who want public services, and may or may not feel that they no longer want their money to be cycled via London in doing so.
That's like expecting a 16 year old to get a platinum credit card. With no currency reserves, a huge defect and a new/unstable currency borrowing rates would be extortionate compared to the BoE.
Some of the extra funding distributed in Scotland can be justified in terms of rurality and population density, but there's a big chunk of it that can't. Yet there's no expectations, nothing in particular that the cash is tied to. If it was about producing economic growth or boosting productivity - to bring about greater economic convergence across the UK - then there should be some accountability in terms of how it is used and the results it produces. Instead the gap remains.