Politics

Sturgeon crisis: Independence to risk 60% of exports and create £50bn blackhole – report

Scottish independence 'more difficult' than Brexit claims Blackett

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A report by Facts4EU.Org highlighted more than 60 percent of Scotland’s trade is conducted with the rest of the UK. The summary findings, based on reports published by the SNP Government, found such sales are worth £51.2billion to the Scottish economy. The figures show trade between Scotland and the rest of the UK is 20 times greater than transactions between Scotland and Germany – the EU’s largest economy.

Ms Sturgeon has outlined plans for a second independence referendum if the SNP wins a majority in the Holyrood election this May.

The SNP then wants Scotland to rejoin the European Union and its single market and customs union.

Britain left the EU trading bloc in January and an independent Scotland could therefore put future trade with the UK at risk.

The Facts4EU.Org report said: “One simple truth is that the rest of the UK accounts for 60 percent of all Scottish exports.

“The rest of the world comes next with 21 percent, and the member countries of the EU account for just 19 percent.

“The potential for Scotland once again to become a proud trading nation, freed from the shackles of the EU’s disastrous trade policies and performance and benefiting from the UK’s bold new initiatives worldwide, must now be considerable.”

In its summary report, Facts4EU.Org referenced previous arguments from the Scottish Government downplaying the impact of independence on trade.

A report released last September claimed exports bound for the UK would be then redistributed around the world.

It said: “In terms of exports to the rest of the UK, a proportion may be re-exported internationally. While it is not possible to quantify this exactly, it is likely to be a small proportion of the total.

“This is because exports from services, utilities and construction, which make up 72 percent of exports to the rest of the UK, are highly unlikely to be re-exported.

“The Scottish Government has also suggested that many of the manufactured goods exported to the rest of the UK are in sectors where re-exporting is unlikely.”

The prospect of an independent Scotland continues to grow after 22 polls in a row found a lead for breaking up the UK.

The latest Ipso Mori survey found 52 percent of Scots were in favour of independence in a poll were undecided voters were excluded.

However, this is a fall of four points from last November, where a poll found 56 percent supported independence.

Ipso Mori poll for STV News of 1,031 adults also found 52 percent of Scots intended to vote for the SNP in the Holyrood election.

SNP depute leader Keith Brown said: “This poll shows that voters in Scotland are continuing to put their trust in the SNP, ahead of the Westminster parties, to lead Scotland’s recovery.

“The people of Scotland want to have their say on Scotland’s future in a post-pandemic referendum and the clearest way to secure that opportunity is with an SNP majority in May.”

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He added: “It is up to the people who live and work here to decide Scotland’s future, not Westminster governments we didn’t vote for.”

Scotland voted by 55 percent in favour of staying in the UK during the 2014 referendum.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has repeatedly refused to sanction another vote.

Speaking on Thursday, Mr Johnson said he could not see the point of having a referendum “at any time in the foreseeable future”.

He said: “I think the focus of politicians throughout the UK should be on fighting the pandemic, working together to defeat Covid and building back better and quite frankly I do not see the virtue, value or utility of having a referendum at any time in the foreseeable future, particularly when we have to defeat Covid and take our country forward.”

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