Economy: new challenge

Indy case ‘will require more radical solutions for economy’

Graeme Roy: sharp focus (pic: Terry Murden)

A more radical economic case for independence will be required than was presented in 2014 because of the changes prompted by Brexit, says a leading economic commentator.

Whereas the poll five years ago was predicated largely on “a degree of continuity” with open borders and retention of sterling, Scotland was now heading towards a bigger break with England.

Professor Graeme Roy, director of the Fraser of Allander Institute, said there were notable differences facing those calling for a second independence referendum compared to the situation at the time of the first in 2014.

“Brexit has thrown into sharp focus the challenges of major structural economic change. Voters will also want to be much more mindful about what both sides can credibly say about their so-called Plan B than was the case in either 2014 or the EU Referendum in 2016,” he said.

“Perhaps most significantly, many of those on the ‘yes’ side in 2014 argued that there would be a degree of continuity between the then status quo and independence.

“The plan was to retain sterling, share financial regulation and keep an open border. But if the case for a second referendum is now framed around Scotland pro-actively taking a different path to the UK, then it necessarily follows that the economic proposition for independence will need to be more radical on issues such as currency, customs and fiscal policy than in 2014.”

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