Scottish independence

Posted by Gareth Hargreaves

Gordon Brown accuses Scottish nationalists of being economic with the truth about the financial reality of full independence.

Alex Salmond

Former prime minister Gordon Brown issued a stark warning to Yes vote campaigners and SNP leader Alex Salmond that an independent Scotland would become ‘an international outcast’ if it refused to accept a share of UK debt.

Speaking at Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, Mr Brown said ‘there would be no hiding place from the international community for a country that reneges on its debts’.

His comments come after Alex Salmond, leader of the Scottish National Party, maintained that a post independence Scotland could not default on a debt it is not legally liable for.

The logic by which the first minister determines that Scotland holds no responsibility for the debt incurred during its membership of the union is flawed at best.

Mr Salmond is doing as all politicians do in the run up to the polls by cherry picking the bits that make good sound bites and ignoring the less savoury stuff like membership of the EU, a shared currency, and a share of national debt.

‘More and more people are waking up to the fact that Scotland has a strong and diverse economy on which we can build a more prosperous future with control of key economic levers," he said.

‘Scotland is currently in the international spotlight like never before, but the huge publicity generated by a 'Yes' vote - and the transition to independence - will be the opportunity of a lifetime for our food and drink sector to extend its global reach even further,’ he continued.

Salmond is correct. The spotlight is on Scotland, though clearly not in the way that the first minister has interpreted. Having rallied the independence campaign with nationalistic anti Tory rhetoric, he is now preparing to leave the dinner table without paying his share of the bill.

Salmond was a vocal supporter of the Edinburgh financial sector: "With RBS and HBOS - two of the world's largest banks - Scotland has global leaders today, tomorrow and for the long-term."  

It didn't work out that way and under the reckless leadership of Sir Fred Goodwin, RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland) collapsed after the inept acquisition of Dutch bank ABN Amro and was bailed out by UK taxpayers.

Having seen Salmond hector Alastair Darling out of the final televised debate, Gordon Brown has weighed in with a much needed reality check for voters to consider. "With a total of 1.4 million Scottish jobs linked to Scotland's trade with the wider world, it is difficult to see how the SNP's 'stop the world, I want to get off' posturing would help Scottish families.

"You need a coherent strategy for dealing with global capital, global financial markets and global institutions.

"Yet the SNP's proposal to default on the debt would make Scotland an international outcast, with dire consequences for our interest rates and our ability to raise funds.

Scots have 16 days in which to decide whether to remain in the United Kingdom or to go it alone and while Alex Salmond claims his vision for the Scottish economy includes not one Plan B but three, it is to be hoped that they are well developed plans, as a Yes vote victory would have far reaching consquences fo Scotland that the first minister seems content to skim over.   

The Scottish referendum takes place on 18 September.  


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