Ms Sturgeon’s SNP is also looking hoping for a dominant victory in May’s Scottish elections, but doubts over Scotland’s economic prospects outside of the UK persist.
This wasn’t helped by a damning Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) report, released in August 2019.
It outlined the performance of the Scottish economy for the financial year 2018/2019, and found total public spending in Scotland was £75.3 billion while money raised only reached £62.7billion.
Tory Scottish Secretary Alister Jack hit out at the figures. He said: “Today’s GERS figures show clearly how Scotland benefits from being part of a strong UK with every man, woman and child in Scotland receiving a ‘Union dividend’ of nearly £2,000 a year. Our deficit is over six times higher than the entire UK, but our public services in Scotland are protected thanks to the pooling and sharing of resources across the UK.”
A £13 billion shortfall, without backup from the rest of the UK, would have to be reclaimed from the Scottish taxpayers. Devastating in the post Covid economy.
Robert Tombs, the renowned British historian of France and Professor Emeritus at the University of Cambridge, told Express.co.uk that the EU would not readily accept a newly independent Scotland into the bloc as it would be “too much trouble”.
He said: “It would cost the EU money, the Scots would expect to be subsidised by the EU, and the bloc is getting more and more reluctant to do that. Countries like Spain would oppose the idea too because it would be an encouragement to the Catalans again. Also, the EU would hesitate to do something which would seem really to be a seriously unfriendly act towards a major state like Britain, to actually encourage the breakup of another state. Countries in other parts of the world go to war over things like that. We wouldn’t, of course, but you would be risking a real crisis of relations if the EU was seen to be trying to encourage the breakup of the UK.”
The SNP had hoped to force a referendum on Scotland leaving the UK before the end of this year, according to senior SNP Minister Michael Russell. However, these plans were quickly dashed as Scottish Secretary Alister Jack ruled out an independence referendum. Speaking to BBC’s Politics Scotland, in a scathing assessment, Mr Jack said that the plan was “quite muddled in its thinking”.
For Scots what is important is the economic results of breaking away from the Union, which would be financially catastrophic for the ordinary people of Scotland.
Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross also claimed the SNP have been sitting on funds provided by the UK Government that would help businesses across Scotland recover from the coronavirus pandemic. He said: “We had a welcome announcement yesterday from Kate Forbes that some of the money that the UK Government have delivered to the Scottish Government is going to go into a new scheme but we’ve got to see these schemes delivering.
“The fact is that out of the 30 schemes that have been funded to the SNP by the UK government, only 7 have been paid out to the people. Where is the money?” Is this the behaviour that can be expected from an independent SNP Government? Be careful what you wish for.
Scotland’s Holyrood elections are fast approaching, set to take place alongside Welsh, mayoral and local elections around Britain this May.