Quitting UK ‘would hit Scots economy harder than Brexit’
The LSE report gives a devastating verdict on independence (pic: Terry Murden)
Leaving the UK would be more damaging to the Scottish economy than Brexit, according to a new report.
The London School of Economics (LSE) study shows that the economic costs of independence are two or three times greater than Brexit because of the volume of Scotland’s trade with the rest of the UK.
It says the losses from breaking up the UK are similar regardless of whether an independent Scotland joined the EU or maintained a common market with the UK.
The damage to Scotland’s economy would be the equivalent of an income loss of between £2,000 and £2,800 per person.
Anas Sarwar, Scottish Labour constitution spokesman and leadership candidate, said: “This report confirms that the SNP’s plans for independence would create deeper austerity, which is why Scottish Labour firmly opposes it.
“The difficult years ahead of us must be about economic recovery, not inflicting further economic pain on our communities and people who are already struggling.
“Rather than return to the old politics of division, the next parliament must be a Covid Recovery Parliament that focuses on bringing people together.”
Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said: “This devastating report exposes the economic damage the SNP wants to inflict on people with its negative vision for Scotland’s future.
“Leaving the UK would take money away from vital public services like the NHS and schools for the sake of a border with England.
“That would be unforgivable at any time, let alone in the difficult years ahead as we recover from the pandemic.”
The report says that even if a separate Scotland joined the EU, the negative impact of leaving the UK would be far worse because of the higher volume of trade with the rest of the UK.
“Remaining in the UK means we not only avoid building a trade barrier with our largest market; it means we don’t build a border between friends and families,” said Ms Nash.
“We are stronger together as part of the UK, ensuring we can rebuild our country together.”