Scottish Independence

FWIW if I were eligible to vote in the Scottish referendum I’d probably vote no. I don’t think it Scottish leftists will be satisfied with the outcome of independence in 10 years time.

Just a quick (and fairly speculative) explanation:

1. Britain is not a terrible place to live in, and Scotland already has powers to set its own policies on many issues (hence free higher education, dental care etc).
2. Things could be worse in an independent Scotland. Scotland will need to borrow to finance their deficit and to pay interest on the share of the UK debt – will they be able to borrow as cheaply as the UK as a whole? I think it’s unlikely that they’ll get particularly favourable interest rates.
3. If it turns out it’s difficult to borrow to finance their debts, they will have to do things like cut public services, so possibly no more free dental care!
4. I think politics will probably move to the right in an independent Scotland – rich people will resent paying to fund a large public sector in Scotland when the rest of the UK isn’t helping them.
5. All in all, a lot of advocates of independence seem to be promising Sweden. I think they’ll probably get Ireland – I think the country will move to the right, and they’ll cut public services and lower corporation tax in the name of attracting businesses.
6. If Scotland do win the election I place fairly high probability on them lowering their corporation tax below England’s level and moderate probability on them lowering their corporation tax below Ireland’s level.

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