Working in Scotland’s best interests

scott arthurDr Scott Arthur says those who trusted Nicola Sturgeon to act in Scotland’s best interests in the aftermath of Brexit are being badly let down.

 

I was one of the many Scots who in the aftermath of the EU referendum moved from being sceptical of the benefits of independence to being willing to consider it. I believed and trusted Nicola Sturgeon when she said she would only act in Scotland’s interests, as I assumed this would not mean “independence at any cost”. I certainly didn’t think that the Scottish Government should shut up, stay away from the Brexit debate and focus solely on the real problems we face in health, education and social care in Scotland.

Nonetheless, things have now changed. Nicola Sturgeon has earned lots of air miles and drunk lots of espresso in the capitals of Europe, but has received nothing but polite indifference from the EU. Indeed, only this week the Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy said “Scotland does not have the competence to negotiate with the EU”.

It is now clear that if Scotland leaves the UK it will have to apply to re-join the EU – a process which will take several years and may come with conditions such as the Euro, Schengen and no rebate. Optimists claim that Scotland can become independent before Brexit and remain an EU member, but there is no rational basis for this.

As if being outside the EU and the UK would not be bad enough, we would be trying simultaneously to deal with the biggest deficit in the western world whilst our largest trading partner, which the SNP label as xenophobic and protectionist, would be busy building a border. This would make the rough seas of Brexit look like a millpond. Selfies wouldn’t get us out of that mess.

Of course, if Nicola Sturgeon really was “acting in Scotland’s interests” she’d be able to show that these risks were acceptable and she’d have a plan to deal with our deficit. Instead she has done nothing but amplify any report which raises concerns about Brexit. This reached new depths this week when the SNP tried to scare Scots with a HM Treasury report which Nicola Sturgeon had previously labelled as “fear-based” during the EU referendum. Her “positive” Yes movement has transmogrified into a parody of the “Project Fear” they loathed so much.

Whilst this leaves me feeling rather bemused, I do wonder how the economy will react. We have a First Minister who is trying to protect and build trade links with Europe (what took her so long?) whilst simultaneously shouting about the UK economy “falling off a cliff”. This is not rational.

Within this context, Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement that she will publish a second Scottish independence referendum bill is a sign that she is prepared to scare Scots into independence at any cost. Worse than that, she is now trying to claim that Theresa May is to blame – as if Brexit can possibly justify breaking links with our biggest trading partner (1 million jobs) and abandoning the pooling and sharing of resources within the UK (plugging Scotland’s £14,800,000,000 deficit).

It’s time Nicola Sturgeon stopped this pantomime and started to work with Labour to hold the UK Government to account and ensure we get the best possible deal. That, however, would mean working in Scotland’s best interests.

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108 thoughts on “Working in Scotland’s best interests

  1. Ha Ha Ha, do you honestly think anyone is going to believe that load of crap, yet another re-run of the project fear bollexs. You even have the cheek to pinch tory MP Mundel’s (I million jobs) will be lost nonsense, you should be ashamed of yourself for doing that.

    You and the rest of the “better-together-mark2” muppets can continue backstabbing Scotland, and watch the rest of your support vanish like snow afa dyke.

    At least we know where all these clowns are appearing from now, all in red, blue & yellow tory suits.

    1. Sorry “Davy”, but where did I say a million jobs would be lost? How many jobs in Scotland do you think are linked to trade with England and the rest of the UK?

        1. He suggests a million jobs are bound into the fabric of the existing UK.

          Where does he say they would be “lost”, as you put it? As far as I can see, he’s indicating a lot of surgery, reallocation, shifting would be needed. Presumably also entailing a burden of Brexit-type pain, even nearer home.

          But I have to say, Davy (whoever you are), you are definitely one for the “hard woo”. I’ve seen more convincing suitors rush out of a cave bellowing wild abuse and wielding a club.

          1. No he doesn’t, you can try and spin it as much as you want but the indication is clear that (I million jobs) would be lost or at risk.

        2. Davy, you should have went to Specsavers. 😉

          You skipped my other question for some reason….

          1. If you mean how many jobs are linked to the rest of the UK I don’t really know,

            So where did you get your figure of (1million) ???

          2. Davy,
            Fine. So you are advocating leaving the UK single market without knowing how many jobs are linked to it? You don’t see a problem with that?

      1. Nobody is questioning your 1 million jobs connected to trade with the rest of the UK (whether it’s true or not). But why would you mention them if you did not want to imply some kind of threat posed by independence? Standard unionist passive-aggressive scaremongering.

        Why would an independent Scotland in the single European market threaten them? The UK could either keep sourcing those goods and services from iScotland or, for some reason, from some other part of the EU. Not sure why they’d do that though as the tariffs would be the same. Must just be that “because we’re Scottish” thing.

        1. Pony,
          Sorry, you appear to be suggesting that leaving the UK single market would have no impact on Scottish jobs. Will free trade as part of the UK not always be better than trading with rUK via the EU?

          My point is this: Nationalists, and I’m not saying you are one, can’t claim that leaving the EU will be bad for Scottish jobs whilst leaving the UK will not! After all, we do conduct far more trade with rUK.

          1. “we do conduct far more trade with rUK.”

            Yes we do, and what’s going to stop the trade if we stay in the EU and they leave.

            We are still going to be their closest trading partner, transport costs and information/communication links are going to be lower and better than the rest of Europe even from a language point.

            I don’t see any problems between NI and Ireland trading in the future, infact the Westminster government appears to be going out of their way to avoid having any problems.

            If England and Wales come out of the EU fine, any tariffs etc will just be the same for us as any other country in the EU.

          2. Sorry Davy, you can’t pretend that leaving the EU will impact on UK(inc Scot) /EU trade but not rUK/EU(inc Scot) trade.

            You must also address how long it will take Scotland to join the EU and what the conditions will be!

          3. Name a single Scottish job that will be lost outside of the Westminster Parliament as a direct result of Scottish Independence Scott.

          4. Davy, that’s a weak response to the point I made. Are you genuinely saying there will be no economic impact if Scotland leaves the UK Single market?

      2. How many of those jobs are based on trading with anybody? Scotland doesn’t have to trade with England Scotland chooses to trade with England. If England doesn’t want or need Scotlands produce it can be sold anywhere else on the planet.
        England is the only part of the UK which is the net importer. Scotland NI and Wales are all net exporters.

        1. 1. Why the obsession with England?
          2. “If England doesn’t want or need Scotlands produce it can be sold anywhere else on the planet.” – What’s stopping Scottish companies *also* selling to elsewhere right now?

          1. Nothing which is why they do. Its not me who’s trying to claim that Scotland desperately needs the English market for its exports to a point where it affects jobs its you.
            Like I said if England wont accept Scottish goods we will sell them to everybody else.

          2. “Its not me who’s trying to claim that Scotland desperately needs the English market for its exports” – rUK is our biggest export market.

            Again: What’s stopping Scottish companies *also* selling to elsewhere right now?

  2. “I believed and trusted Nicola Sturgeon when she said she would only act in Scotland’s interests”

    Scott, you’re having a laugh?

    If you shook hands with Nicola Sturgeon, you would have to count your fingers afterwards, to make sure they were all still there!

    I wouldn’t trust the anti democratic Sturgeon as far as I could throw her.

    1. Since when has a vocal supporter of Westminster rule ever had problems with a lack of democracy?
      The very fact that Nicola Sturgeon opposes the undemocratic rule of Westminster puts her further ahead in the democracy stakes than you are.

  3. One MP, third party at Holyrood. Jeremy Corbyn leader by default. A shadow cabinet that looks as if it were picked by the Bullingdon Club on acid. A CLP ashamed of their own leader. Momentum in the drivers seat. Next years council elections looking bad, Kezia resignation there after. And yet the diagnoses is, Sturgeon is rubbish.
    Thank god Dr Scott is not my GP.

    1. Your argument is that Labour are in a bad state therefore the SNP cannot be doing badly? Or don’t criticise SNP failings because Labour is in trouble? Both are so vacuous I’m almost embarrassed for you.

      1. Clearly the point being made is that Labour are not the answer to any of Scotlands problems.

    2. Richard,
      Your view of the Labour Party does not really address the points I raise in my blog does it? In fact, it’s nothing but a distraction.

      1. But your not raising any points in your blog are you, instead your just spinning the info to suit yourself and produce SNPBAD outcomes.

        “It is now clear if Scotland leaves the UK it will have to re-apply to join the EU”, where is it “clear”, that’s something you have just made up.

        Your whole article is just spin.

      2. I am not trying to make a point, defend the SNP or argue as Duncan puts it. All I am trying to do is highlight the farce that is a Labour website that never addresses the present and real issues facing the party it professes to support. There has never been as far as I can see an article on Labour Hame analysing the predicament The Party is in. Labour looks to me as if it is in its death throes, in Scotland in particular. I actually think Labour Hame and its editorial line since 2011 is in a small way partly responsible for the down fall but that is beside the point; the point is, where are the contributions on this site that allow this to be analysed?
        Labour Uncut, Labour List, Left Futures, Left Foot Forward, even Progress Online are all searching for answers. Labour Hame on the other hand continues to steam full ahead with one article after another, on a single theme, rubbishing the SNP, looking for failings of its government and criticising its leader.
        Scotland has just voted unanimously (by region) to Remain in the EU but total Brexit looms. There is talk from senior politicians at Westminster including Labour MPs and possibly even moderate Tories of an alliance against the threat posed by this small group of extreme right wing ideologues. A major obstacle to any alliance is the remnants of Scottish Labour and their diehard refusal to even discuss a working arrangement with The Nationalists.
        I do not come here to argue for an alliance, for Indyref2, for anything. my point is Labour Hame fiddles while Labour burns.

        1. Richard,
          you clearly have not been reading Labour Hame posts. As for the “editorial line”, I think even Pete Wishart has posted a blog here!

          Scott

      3. You haven’t made any points. You’ve made claims and assertions founded on nothing but your own inward looking unfathomable affinity to political corruption and self serving.

  4. Nicola has repeatedly stated she is willing to consider all options to save Scotland from the damage Brexit will cause. Scottish Labour on the other had dogmatically refuse to consider one potential solution. Perhaps you should take a wee look at yourselves in the mirror.

    1. The SNP have yet again failed to accept the result of a democratic referendum.

      “Perhaps you should take a wee look at yourselves in the mirror”

      1. Which one?

        The one where just over 1/2 of Scots voted to remain in the UK as it was including being part of the EU or the one where nearly 2/3 of the population voted to remain in the EU.

        Whichever one it is, the answers the same we still get dragged out of the EU against our will.

        1. In 2014 Scotland voted to remain part of the UK.

          In 2016 we voted as the UK whether to remain in, or leave the EU.

          It was a UK wide vote, every vote stacked and every vote counted.

          How Scotland voted made not one shred of difference.

          Face the facts Jim, it’s over.

          Sturgeon is leading the SNP followers a merry dance.

          There isn’t going to be a second independence referendum.

        2. Jim,
          in June Scots voted for the UK to remain in the EU. We didn’t vote for #IndyRef2, the Euro or Schengen.

    2. Jim,
      We are all concerned about the “damage Brexit will cause”. However, Labour oppose #indyRef2 as independence will also cause damage – that’s the point of my blog!

      As for the options “Nicola” keeps talking about, what exactly are they? She was asked here: https://youtu.be/YT5JLRpY2xQ?t=3m29s

      1. There are reports today that the UK govt are working on a deal to keep the City of London in the Single Market, which proves keeping parts of the UK in is possible.

        If it can be done to keep the Bankers in the UK, they do it to keep Scotland from leaving as well

      2. “We are all concerned about the “damage Brexit will cause”

        Not strictly true Scott.

        They’re very many people, of all political persuasions that are very happy we’re leaving the EU.

      3. Options for Scotland? I am puzzled you have to refer back to July for Sturgeons Brexit solutions. There are much more recent interviews.
        She wants Scotland to maintain as many of the advantages of the Single Market as possible—–don’t you?
        If London gets a “bespoke” deal, she wants Scotland to have that option—-don’t you?
        Why are Scottish Universities “locked” out of the post grad visa scheme when it was Scotland who fought so hard initially?
        Why is the Government Brexit committee made up with an absence of those with a Scottish, Welsh N Ireland responsibility?Who is looking after their “sovereignty?
        Is the country that has been “won back” England?

        Independence will cause economic difficulty. But it offers opportunities as well. The Single Market is the worlds biggest and internally, the most open. We give that up at our peril.
        You certainly wont see the Republic of Ireland coming back to join the UK, even though there will be a Brexit price for them as well. They KNOW self government is worth it.

  5. “It’s time Nicola Sturgeon stopped this pantomime and started to work with Labour to hold the UK Government to account and ensure we get the best possible deal. That, however, would mean working in Scotland’s best interests.”
    “Ed Miliband has ruled out forming a coalition with the Scottish National party after the general election as he moved to close off a Tory campaign based on the warning that Labour would join forces with a party committed to the break up of the UK.”
    “Shadow chancellor Ed Balls has ruled out entering a coalition with the SNP should Labour fail to win a majority at the general election in May.”
    “Kezia Dugdale has hit out at suggestions that Labour could form a pact with the SNP in future, after several party figures raised the possibility of a progressive alliance. ”
    You’re right. That Sturgeon is a pure disgrace for not going into coalition with labour.

    1. Labour is 100% open to working with the SNP where we agree. However, on things like education partnership is impossible – the SNP want to cut and Labour want to invest.

      1. So why does Labour in Scotland vote against SNP budget proposals every year even when their own amendments are added?

      2. The SNP are being forced to cut because Labour is as bad in opposition at Westminster as they are in Government.

        People don’t want to see their Governments investing public funds into the private sector Scott. That’s a big fat No No.

        1. If only Holyrood had it’s own revenue raising powers. Oh wait…

          Despite all the powers coming to Holyrood, the SNP are now boasting that their budget will be only “marginally different” to what the Tories are offering. Shameful.

      3. i thought it was only Kezia who went on denying what everybody else could see. I would appear to be wrong

  6. Brexit has caused an awful lot of damage to the SNP.

    Their ship is now holed below the water line and is sinking fast.

    1. Remarkable, you seem to be able to write but are clearly unable to read.

      You must have seen Curtice’s latest on the council elections but clearly haven’t been able to read them, it’s not the SNP that are sinking.

  7. was one of the many Scots who in the aftermath of the EU referendum moved from being sceptical of the benefits of independence to being willing to consider it.

    Havent seen any evidence of this “consideration” on YouTube. From the day after the referendum you’ve posted nothing but anti SNP pish. Supported Conservative pish and collected a fan club of the UKIP demented.

    I’m starting to believe that you Duncan Andy and Jim are having a sweep stake on who can lie the most in the least amount of time.

    1. Mike,
      Verhofstadt was not speaking on behalf of the EU or any EU government! Did you read the whole article you liked to? Professor Michael Keating of Aberdeen University “Some, such as the Spanish Government for example, take a very hostile position, some are more sympathetic and some just don’t really understand the complexities of the situation in Scotland. Verhofstadt is certainly somebody who takes an interest in Scotland and is more sympathetic, but that does not change the rules of the game.”

      The SNP’s James Dornan was even clearer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uboC9imQLp0

      Do I need to quote what the Spanish PM said last week?

      1. “Some, such as the Spanish Government for example, take a very hostile position, some are more sympathetic and some just don’t really understand the complexities of the situation in Scotland”

        Which is exactly the point I made and the point which destroys your own claims.

        There is NOTHING CLEAR about the situation at all so stop lying by claiming there is!

        The whole point of the Scottish Government going over to the EU after the referendum was to feel out and get a sense of what is and what isn’t possible with regards to Scotlands position within the EU and they will base their actions on what they interpret happened as a result of those meetings and further meetings to come.
        The harder the UK Government presses for Brexit the more enemies they will make in the EU and the more sympathetic MORE EU officials will become to Scotlands position.

        You on the other hand will pretend to believe every word written in the pro UK Tory tabloid media circus which will inevitably write utter pish on what some people in the EU will say.
        And it will come with all levels of accuracy from the bare faced lie to the sublime partial quote and the deliberately misinterpreted partial statement.

        And you will do this because you think project fear won the first indyref instead of understanding that project fear lost an overwhelming voter support for the union and is continuing to hemorrhage support by the week.

        People now understand that if we stay part of the UK we are out of the EU lock stock and barrel. But they also know there is a decent chance of staying in through ridding ourselves of the Westminster regime and the closer we come to Brexit the greater that belief will grow.

        Brexit was the game changer we on the pro Indy side never dreamed of.

        I always knew it would be Westminster who won Scotland its Independence rather than the SNP.

        1. Mike,
          “Brexit was the game changer we on the pro Indy side never dreamed of.” – the opinion polls are still stuck at 55:45. Nonetheless, jobs are being lost and you think it’s a dream come true. You want “Independence at any Cost” me thinks!

          Your whole argument/hope appears to be that the EU will assist the the breakup of the UK simply to spite the UK Gov. That’s just silly as the EU will have to work with the UK long after Brexit.

          You also should not confuse polite words from EU officials with clear statements from EU Governments. Like the Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy said just last week – “Scotland does not have the competence to negotiate with the EU”.

          1. The opinion polls are as consistent as they were before the 2015 GE and the EU referendum.

            Jobs are being lost because people voted No to Independence and as a result we ended up with the effects of Brexit and more Conservative Tory right wing ideological policy dogma.
            Not to mention the ineffective worthless Labour opposition who have done nothing but infight and pull itself apart throughout the whole Brexit episode.

            The Spanish PM was referring to a Scotland within the UK not an Indy Scotland.
            The Spanish PM said he had no problems at all dealing with an Indy Scotland outwith the UK and would respect any internal constitutional arrangement which was based on a democratic outcome.

            Your entire argument/hope is that the EU will NOT treat the UK with spite and animosity and everything will be rosy sweet and fluffy pillows.
            You’re like these UKIP online goons who believe the EU needs the UK more than the UK needs the EU.
            Delusional.
            Guy Verhofstadt is the man the EU is trusting to run the negotiations and he just so happens to be Scotlands man in the EU!
            He is the man Teresa Mays team is going to have to deal with and he doesn’t like the UK anymore than I do.

            You tried to dismiss him earlier on yet he has more influence in the negotiation process than the PM of Spain or indeed the PM of any of the EU states.

            Really fucking pathetic of you to try to dismiss the head of the negotiation team as irrelevant.
            Just proves how worthless and corrupt your opinions are.

          2. Mike,
            you are all over the place here. Wild accusations and personal insults won’t convince me you have a point.

            Sorry!

  8. “we would be trying simultaneously to deal with the biggest deficit in the western world”

    The Scottish economy doesn’t have a deficit it has an underspend. You’re still dishonestly trying to attribute UK Conservative Government ideological spending outwith Scotland onto Scotland.
    Instead of attacking the Conservative Governments ideological cutting of the Scottish budget and reserved expenditure you prefer the option of bare face lying about Scotlands potential because you’d rather be a criminally corrupt Yoon than a Scot.

    1. The SNP Government “has an under-spend” (not the “Scottish economy”), in that it does not spend all the revenue it has in hand. Total public spending, however, far exceeds the total revenue collected in Scotland by ~£14.7 billion. If you disagree, please share your analysis!

      These are simple facts which nonsense about “ideological cutting of the Scottish budget” does not hide. The Tories are actually cutting all public spending… and the SNP are passing on those cuts with only “marginal” differences!

      1. You mean the Scottish Parliament has an underspend. The budget gets voted through every member of Parliament Scott.

        “Total public spending, however, far exceeds the total revenue collected in Scotland by ~£14.7 billion”

        No it doesn’t and the ONLY source that says it does is the OBR. The OBR also tells us that the so called “Scottish deficit” has increased annually since 2010 while also telling us that the UK Government has decreased reserved Scottish expenditure over the same period.

        So we have a situation according to liars such as yourself who try to make a claim of a deficit built on a contradictory claim on expenditure cutting and growing simultaneously.

        If the Scottish Government is balancing its books and has an underspend with regards to Devolved expenditure and the UK Government is by its own admission been cutting reserved expenditure since 2010 then how is it physically possible for a deficit based on expenditure to grow over the same period?

        You admit that the Tories “Are cutting ALL PUBLIC SPENDING” so where is the deficit coming from?

        Who is spending more on what to the tune of 15 billion?

        1. The Scottish Parliament allocates 100% of the budget – the Scot Gov depts is where the underspend happens – either way, that’s a distraction (and that excludes Scot Gov borrowing).

          If you want to reject the Scottish Gov GERS numbers (~£14.7 billion deficit) you’ll have to come up with an alternative analysis!

          If you are are going to call people “liars”, you should really put up some evidence.

          1. GERS gets its figures from the OBR and everybody including Labour reject the credibility of the OBR.

            And you’ve avoided my clear point.
            The OBR are claiming that the so called deficit has increased since 2010 in spite of also claiming the UK Government has reduced public sector expenditure every year since 2010 so the fact is Its impossible for the so called deficit to have increased over that period.

            That’s clear blue bare faced evidence of a lie based on a contradiction!

            Now instead of avoiding the point why don’t you try to refute it?

          2. The Scottish Government lays out its spending plans to the Parliament for approval and gets its budget passed through Parliament on that basis so the underspend is Parliaments.

            You mean the Scotland Office GERS/OBR figures.

            I gave you an analysis of a direct contradiction which proves the figures are a lie and completely unreliable.

            Where is you evidence that the OBR figures are accurate?

          3. Mike,
            you are our of your depth – lying on GERS and wrong on the under-spend.

  9. Most No voters who I know in the Scottish Referendum have changed their minds after Brexit and see the only way for Scotland be part of the EU is through Scotland’s Independence even today a Labour source Paul Mason has championed this idea and called upon Scottish Labour Party to back a Indy-ref 2 and ditch Kezia.

      1. The same pollsters told us remain would win the EU referendum and we would have a Labour Government.

      2. That’s the poll the guy on “scot go’s pop” totally debunked as being completely wrong in both its question and method.

        Your scrapping the barrel trying to use that poll.

        1. Ah, so now the “guy on scot go’s pop” is your polling expert? Lovely!

          1. Says the man who sources the OBR.

            Self awareness is clearly a problem other people have eh Scott?

          2. He certainly has the expertise on analysing the data that produces the polls. Far ahead of anything you produce.

  10. As a party we’ve gout ourselves into a classic heads-you-win-tails-I-lose situation.

    What are our options? On the one hand we can adopt the Mundell position of saying to Scottish voters

    “It’s not our fault all you were too thick to realise there was an outside chance of a Conservative majority and an EU referendum. You voted for it, live with it”.

    That puts us back in bed with the Tories, and we’ve already seen how that turns out. Alternatively we say

    “We hear the voice of the people and we will support every possible initiative to deliver what they have voted for,including a second referendum”.

    The danger with that of course is that no-one’s going to believe it, particularly if it comes from the current leadership.

    There may be a middle way but nobody in the Party hierarchy seems to be enunciating it and I certainly can’t see what it might be. Making statements like ” I want us to stay in both the UK and the EU” just looks like we don’t understand the problem.

    My fear is that the current party leadership will take a position that sides with the Conservatives and we’ll be told to make the best of Brexit. That might be ideologically pure but it’s political suicide.

    Answers on a postcard…

  11. “and abandoning the pooling and sharing of resources within the UK (plugging Scotland’s £14,800,000,000 deficit).”

    Are you suggesting that the rest of the UK plugs Scotland’s deficit? That would only happen if the rest of the UK had a surplus which they used to offset our deficit – but the rest of the UK also has a deficit !!!

    Truth is, both Scotland and the rest of the UK have public sector deficits – and both are financed by the same source: public sector borrowing. So to suggest that ‘pooling and sharing of resources within the UK’ is plugging Scotland’s £14,800,000,000 deficit is completely misleading.

    1. From the SNP Gov: “Including an illustrative geographic share of North Sea revenue, was a deficit of £14.8 billion (9.5 per cent of GDP). For the UK, was a deficit of £75.3 billion (4.0 per cent of GDP).”

      Scotland’s deficit (per person) is more than double that of rUK. Outside the UK, Scotland would have to find that £14.8 billion (£2500 per person per year) or implement that level of cuts.

      1. GERS is Civil service not Scottish Government. There is only one Civil service in the UK and its reserved to Westminster. The Civil Service in Scotland is run from the Scotland Office not the Scottish Parliament. That’s why the worthless discredited figures come from the OBR and ONLY the OBR.
        Figures based on spurious reserved expenditure attributable to the Westminster regime outwith Scotland.
        Allowing dishonest claims to be made attributing unaccountable spending to be added to Scotlands account.
        Outside of the UK there would be no spurious dishonest accounting no OBR no reserved expenditure at all so clearly you cant be claiming an Indy Scotland would have to find anything to cover a non existing expenditure deficit.
        That would be lying.

        1. GERS is produced by the SNP Gov. They control the method – they can (and do) change it!

          It’s only “worthless & discredited” when nationalists feel like it, at other times they are happy to quote it.

          1. The ONLY connection the Scottish Government has with GERS is to provide it with Devolved economic data. This is then meshed with the reserved OBR economic data by the SCOTLAND OFFICE CIVIL SERVICE to produce the final report.
            The Scottish data will include the underspend while the OBR provides the data that contributes to the deficit myth.
            It is their “RESERVED SPENDING” figures and their “RESERVED SPENDING” figures alone which alleges Scotland overspends.
            And as Ive pointed out before they will contradict themselves by showing the deficit increasing in the face of massive spending RESERVED CUTS to Scottish public services.
            Which begs the question what is the UK GOVERNMENT spending public funding on and why are they attributing it all to Scotland?
            A rhetorical question because the obvious answer is that they are deliberately creating a false overspend expenditure figure for the Scottish economy!
            And its not as if I’m telling you anything you don’t already know and understand.

          2. GERS is produced by the Scottish Government, not the Scotland Office.

            Again and again you peddle basic untruths, Mike. What sort of a person must you be to choose to do so?

            Just stop lying.

      2. That is debatable as the alleged 14.8bn “deficit” is based on UK govt assumptions and guesstimates on how much of current UK-wide spending “should” be attributable to Scotland. £bns are added to that figure that have very questionable relevance to Scotland under the union, never mind an independent one.

        And that is the rub. The figure you delight in throwing in the faces of Indies is the “alleged” huge deficit … under the union! It is not that of an independent Scotland.

        The subsequent question is why you therefore think the union is good for Scotland. While ALL our small, independent neighbours thrive, resource rich Scotland has somehow accumulated an “alleged” huge deficit. Why? All that they have that Scotland doesn’t is sovereign independence and the subsequent ability to make ALL decisions in their own best interest. Do you not think that is a better situation than the one Scotland currently labour’s (sic) under, where it is a peripheral economy of a dominant larger neighbour whose own economy is openly run in the best interests of one city far from Scotland?

        If you don’t, you’ll have to come up with some more credible reason than “SNPbad” and that Scots are just not up to it …. unlike the Danes, Finns, Dutch, Irish, Swiss, etc, etc, etc.

        1. Yep, GERS is uncertain. The actual deficit could be worse or better by a few percent. Either way, we’d still have the largest deficit in the western world!

          Oh, and my response was not “#SNPBad”.

          1. You now state GERS is uncertain after quoting its headline figure as gospel for the entire thread. To say it is “uncertain” is an understatement. It is downright dodgy. Interesting that you take the opportunity to insinuate the “deficit” may be even larger though. Interesting but not surprising. It is your modus operandi to insinuate the worst without providing any cogent reasoning for it.

            You have, however, failed to answer why you believe the fiscal position you insist Scotland is in is an advert for the union (if you can haul me up for not answering one of your points, its only fair I can do the same). Are you struggling to concoct a suitably obfuscatory reply?

            Oh, and I didn’t say your reply was #SNPbad. I just said your reason for claiming Scotland’s “alleged” deficit was a positive argument for the union needs to be better than that.

  12. Sorry, I’ll have to post here as this computer is so old it won’t let me post at the point in the thread I want to.

    October 18th, 2016 at 5:53 pm
    “Pony,
    Sorry, you appear to be suggesting that leaving the UK single market would have no impact on Scottish jobs. Will free trade as part of the UK not always be better than trading with rUK via the EU?

    My point is this: Nationalists, and I’m not saying you are one, can’t claim that leaving the EU will be bad for Scottish jobs whilst leaving the UK will not! After all, we do conduct far more trade with rUK.”

    No Scott. I’m saying, if the rUK leaves the single market while a newly independent Scotland remains inside it there will be no obvious reason for the rUK to cease trading with Scotland in favour of anywhere else as the tariffs would be the same.

    At the moment, both Scotland and the rUK are both within the single market and England still chooses to trade with us despite there being no advantage in terms of tariffs, because there are none. It is an even playing field at the moment and, if rUK “separates” from the single market while a newly independent Scotland remains inside, it will still be an even playing field.

    The main threat, if there is one, will be from the expected nose-dive of the rUK economy as Brexit bites leading to less trade with everyone. Not just Scotland. I’d rather Scotland’s economy wasn’t dragged down by being in a complete, all-encompassing and domineering union like the UK that is becoming more and more insular, and remained in an open confederation of sovereign and independent states like the EU. The EU is far from perfect, but it is a better model than the parochial, increasingly xenophobic and right wing UK.

    All in my opinion of course.

    1. Pony,
      Like a good nationalist you are talking up the threat of Brexit to the UK economy, but are quiet on the impact of Scottish independence. Given that rUK is our biggest trading partner, you have to also accept that leaving the UK will have a negative impact on the Scottish economy… and that’s before we consider the Scottish deficit.

      You also have to consider how long Scotland would be outside the UK and EU, and what the terms of EU membership will be.

      1. Why do I have to “accept” that leaving the UK would have a negative effect on the Scottish economy? Just because you say it will? Sorry, but I have little faith in your rather subjective assertions.

        Brexit will leave Scotland on the outside of the single market with no trade deals with anyone in the world for years to come. That’s a bad thing. Remaining in the single market, with all its trade deals in place, is therefore a good thing. That rUK will be isolated is not good for them, and that may have a knock on effect on ALL who trade with them (not just Scotland). However, that will be the case whether Scotland is independent or not. Brexit will have a negative impact on Scotland’s trade with England. The choice is between accepting that and remaining in the single market with all its trade deals intact, or accepting that and following the rUK into economic isolation. The former option is in Scotland’s best economic interests.

        And I don’t have to consider how long Scotland would be outside the EU. As you well know, there is every possibility Scotland would remain in the EU after independence and Brexit. The EU is pragmatic and would see no advantage to excluding a long standing, enthusiastic member state to appease a hostile rUK. Without Scotland, the EUs Common Fishery Policy and Energy Policies are in tatters. That is all the pragmatism the EU needs to allow Scotland to remain.

  13. “rUK is our biggest export market.”

    It doesn’t have to be. Anybody can be our biggest export market. The rUK only has a market value of 55 million. The rest of the world has a market value of over 6 billion.

    “Again: What’s stopping Scottish companies *also* selling to elsewhere right now?2

    What do you mean “Again”? I told you in my original post. They do sell elsewhere which is why not having an rUK market is irrelevant because the slack will easily be taken up by everybody else who has a market for trade goods.

  14. Again, sorry. Back to the decrepit computer and posting at the bottom instead of where I want to.

    “Scott Arthur – October 21st, 2016 at 8:46 am
    Pony,
    Like a good nationalist you are talking up the threat of Brexit to the UK economy, but are quiet on the impact of Scottish independence. Given that rUK is our biggest trading partner, you have to also accept that leaving the UK will have a negative impact on the Scottish economy… and that’s before we consider the Scottish deficit.

    You also have to consider how long Scotland would be outside the UK and EU, and what the terms of EU membership will be”.

    Scott, I also remain quiet on the plight of the Scottish Wildcat but, then again, like “the threat of Scottish independence”, it was nothing to do with the point I was making.

    But, since you ask, I don’t see a rUK Brexit/Scot-remain as a threat to trade for the very reasons I mention above. If Scotland remains in the single market with the vast bulk of the rest of Europe, it is difficult to see where rUK would source its goods and services any cheaper anywhere else.

    You continually insinuate there would be a problem but never actually flesh out your “fears”. A theme of this, and many of your other threads. As is your continual answering of points with further questions instead of cogent arguments while you body swerve anything that calls your Brit-Nat (see, I can call you a Nationalist too) rose tinted view of the union into question.

    If only you saw Scotland as viable entity like ALL our small, independent neighbours instead of the feeble, dependent “subsidy junkie” you delight in telling the rest of us it is, perhaps I would have more sympathy for your Brit-Nat views. That seems a forlorn hope though.

    1. Pony,
      being abusive and putting words in my mouth is no way to win an argument. Maybe you can highlight where I have said something which leads you to conclude I’m a “Brit-Nat”? The reality is that my constitutional politics are based on what’s best for Scottish jobs and services – Perhaps I’m a Scot-Nat?

      You are still arguing that leaving the UK will have no impact on our economy, but leaving the EU will. I’d argue that a separate currency & a border will make trade with England a wee bit harder. You have also not considered the impact on the Scottish economy if we are outside the EU & UK even for a few years. Plus, where’s the plan to deal with the deficit whilst trying to gain EU membership on unknown terms?

  15. Where was I being abusive?. And you still have not answered my points above.

    As to your last point; unfortunately I do not have a plan for government as I do not intend to put myself forward as the first PM of an independent Scotland. It will be up to the government of the day (be it SNP, Labour or Tory) to put forward their plans to deal with it. Just as it is up to the governments of the day in each and every independent country in the world to do the same. The small, independent countries that surround us seem to do fine without Westminster rule. Why do you think Scotland would, uniquely, struggle?

    Perhaps you finally answering that last point would nail whether I have “put words in your mouth” concerning Scotland’s alleged fiscal position under the union.

  16. “work with Labour”? Didn’t Labour in Westminster have a policy of non cooperation with the SNP?

  17. “GERS is produced by the Scottish Government, not the Scotland Office.”

    The impossibility of that statement being true is proven by the fact that the data used by GERS comes from the OBR. The OBR is not a Devolved institution but is a UK Government quango and works from London.

    The Data its presentation and its conclusions are therefore NOT Scottish Government or Scottish Parliament but UK Government and Westminster Treasury using the Scotland Office for its compilation and distribution.

    Are you really going to keep denying these transparent unimpeachable facts?

    1. http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Economy/GERS

      “The Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) web area provides information on the annually published GERS report. GERS is compiled by statisticians and economists in the Office of the Chief Economic Adviser of the Scottish Government. The Scottish Government’s Chief Statistician takes responsibility for this publication.”

      You fucking muppet.

      1. Oh you pathetic cunt Hothersall. Unable to contradict the facts you simply block them from view.
        Well its your website and as such I have to accept the value of its “moderation”.
        But at least you cant avoid having the truth slap you across the pus.

        1. I’m not “unable to contradict the facts”, Mike. I’m unable to persuade you to stop spouting lies on these pages. Call me whatever you like, you’re a liar and I’m sick of you spreading your lies here. GERS is compiled by the Scottish Government, according to a methodology devised under the SNP. You are a waste of atoms.

  18. Whoever is responsible for publishing the document, the GERS figures are only an accurate record of exactly how much the Scottish Govt gets in its block grant, raises itself and where it spends it. The figures for how much the UK govt “spends on our behalf” (which makes up nearly half the “budget”) are purely assumptions and guesstimates “made up” by Westminster based loosely on the Public Expenditure Statistical Analysis (PESA). It is wildly innaccurate (in my opinion …. among many others) and only tells us what the current figure “might” be under the Union. It tells us nothing of what the figure would be for an independent Scotland making its own decisions, in its own best interests. Not assuming, as many of those who oppose independence do, Scotland would just blindly go on mimicking Westminster choices.

    Maybe tone the language down a bit guys. Not conducive to informed debate.

    1. Great point well made. Taking defence as an example the UK is one of the biggest spenders on defence in the world, in part due to global ‘interests’ overseas like the Falklands, Gibraltar, Cyprus and Germany for example.

      Scotland simply would not need this amount of defence expenditure post-independence.

      Currently GERS apportions £3 billion to defence expenditure for Scotland which in this case the MOD confirmed was more or less accurate reflection of current expenditure as part of an FOI request http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/scottish-independence-spending-on-defence-sells-scots-short-by-1-9bn-1-2748605

      However, the Irish Republic spend less than £1 billion on defence, are not in NATO and benefit from being geographically so close to the UK as to fall within the UK’s ‘near abroad’ and protected interests (sharing a land border, key trading partner etc).

      That’s a £2billion potential saving to be had. Of course you have to consider the job losses and economic impact of this reduction as a separate case but purely on the basis of the arguments about GERS, it shows while the figures are in some respect fair, they are not necessarily an accurate reflection of future funding in an independent Scotland.

  19. ‘It is now clear that if Scotland leaves the UK it will have to apply to re-join the EU – a process which will take several years and may come with conditions such as the Euro, Schengen and no rebate.’

    This isn’t strictly true. When France vetoed the UK’s EU membership in the 1960s, the UK joined EFTA along with Austria, Denmark, Portugal and Sweden prior to EU membership.

    If Scotland joined EFTA and agreed to sign up to be part of the EEA, Scotland could enjoy being part of the freedom of movement treaties but at the same time retain control over fisheries and agriculture like Norway.

    It’s not a perfect solution by any means but it is preferable to hard Brexit.

    For the sake of the Good Friday Agreement and the peace process, it is in everybody’s interests that the UK will find a way to avoid a hard border between the Republic and Northern Ireland, with the Common Travel Area already in existence long before the EU. Why couldn’t the same agreement then be applied to Scotland if it became independent?

  20. the snp members have never accepted the 14 result and any nationalist leader in power knows that Nicola needs to remember that she needs to keep the troops hap py so she needs to keep threatening indy 2 if she thought she would win she would do it tonight the conference speech was very clever no promise to do it no date publish a bill after the conference do the selfies troops happy job done except the public just want them to govern and are fed up with it

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