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A New Twist in the Scottish Independence Debate


A new report has added another arrow to the Scottish anti-independence movement’s quiver, finding that an independent Scotland would face serious, structural economic challenges. The FT has more:

The IFS said that even in its most optimistic scenario – using forecasts for oil revenue cited by the Scottish government and expectations of high levels of immigration – Scotland would find it much harder to achieve sustainable state finances than the UK.

“An independent Scotland would need to cut public spending and/or increase other tax revenues more than would be required across the UK as a whole,” it said.

This could be read as an argument for England to favor Scottish independence. Scotland is headed for a worse demographic transition than the rest of the UK, and its aging population would impose greater financial strain on an independent government. Letting Scotland go could make the UK’s demographic problems less severe, which is why many Scots may not want to be left on their own.

[Scottish flag photo courtesy of Shutterstock]

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