Today we continue our look at 29 reasons to stay in the Union.
11. Integrated science research structure with rUK. – The UK government spends nearly £500 million per year on funding research in Scottish universities. The SNP have no realistic plan for replacing this. Instead they think that the private sector will step in to fill the gap. The British government has made it clear that joint funding will cease on all except projects shared with academic departments in rUK. Without world leading research in Scottish universities, like Dolly the Sheep and the Higgs Boson, Scotland will just become an academic backwater. We need to stay in the UK to stay in the forefront of technological development. (Check out Prof. Jill Stephenson’s blog posted earlier this week – here
12. Governmental economy of scale. – Government costs money. Buying in bulk is always cheaper than buying in small amounts. Paying for civil service staff is no exception. All the functions that are currently carried out UK-wide will need to develop their own miniature Scottish replica, from vehicle licensing to passports to health and safety to the UK National Savings and Investments bank to the post office, to the BBC. By contributing to our share of all these things that are run on a UK-wide basis, we get better value for our tax-payers money. We can be like Norway, say the separatists at every turn. Presumably that means that we can have the higher taxes we will need to pay for doing everything ourselves that used to be done by the UK as a whole. Indeed since the SNP have stated that they will not raise oil taxes and will lower Corporation tax, yet increase spending on services, raising taxes substantially is the only avenue left to them.
13. Likelihood of future Scottish UK PM. – Since Scotland has produced 7 UK Prime Ministers since 1900, we are well ahead of our notional 9% share. There will be many more Scottish PMs, perhaps Douglas Alexander, Jim Murphy or Michael Gove in the near future and who knows how many later. But they’ll only have the chance if Scotland stays in the UK. Why are the separatists so anti-aspirational? Why do they think retreat into the wee-bit-hill-and-glen is a positive thing? Why do they want to condemn our young people to a life of insignificance in the global world? A Scot has a right, as a UK citizen, to have the whole cake. Why settle for part?
14. Cultural links across UK. – When Andy Murray and Laura Robson won a silver medal in the London Olympics, it showedhow the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. In all fields of human activity, we co-operate across the whole UK, not worrying about which side of any spurious border we lie on. The separatists want us to think of the English as foreigners, as others, as people with which we have nothing in common. They make an “us” and “them” where none exists. But the British people realise that being British does not lessen any of the individual nationalities in the Great British family of nations. The separatists talk down Scotland when they claim that we need to be “not-British” in order to be truly Scottish.
15. Family links across UK. – In the 410 years since the union of crowns, Scotland and England have grown together. The long war that began in the 11th century and which continued unabated for almost 500 years was finally brought to a close. Never again would English and Scots fight each other on the battlefield in a contest between national armies. Instead of bloodshed and hatred a process of migration and integration began. Most of us today have mixed English and Scottish ancestry. The separatists want us to deny this, to betray the memory of our ancestors by adopting a false identity as “purely” Scottish. They speak of preserving the Social Union yet many of them speak of the rUK with hate.
16. Guaranteed continued access to UK bilateral trade treaties._- There are many of these. Very many. Very, very, very, many. How many? Take a deep breath separatists, you’re going to be really busy re-negotiating them. 14,000. Yes, not misprint, 14,000 treaties that give the UK preferential treatment around the world. https://www.gov.uk/uk-treaties This is actually not just an amazing number of prospective foreign freebie trips for Nicola Sturgeon, but actually a major weakness in all separatist economic calculations. Without these treaties, they cannot assume that Scotland will continue to do business around the world to the same extent as it currently does as part of the UK. Consequently, all calculations about GDP, exports, oil funds etc etc are just pie in the sky. The separatists cannot know how Scotland will fare economically.
17. Being part of what the OECD now recognise as the fastest growing Western economy. – In fact, the UK may be the largest economy in the Western world after the USA by 2030. The UK is also the top target for immigration for economic purposes. Of all the countries the immigrants could go to, what is their top target residence: the UK. Not Norway, or Iceland, or any of the other economies that the SNP hold out as models. Nope, economic migrants know where there is prosperity and it is found in the USA or UK. Fact. Inconvenient fact for the doomsaying negative seps. We are on target to grow our way out of debt.
18. Likelihood of restoration of AAA in 2014 – with consequent cheaper mortgages etc. The economic expansion of the UK to the position of largest economy in Europe will absorb the remaining debt crisis and lead to the re-balancing of our finances. Recognition of this positive outcome will restore our deserved position as a AAA economy. Anybody who has a mortgage or any other large loan wants to live in a AAA economy because the costs of borrowing passed onto the individual borrower are always less. Standard and Poor’s already have us on AAA and bond dealers are selling our bonds with no problems at AAA prices. The world has confidence in the British economy – but the SNP affect not to. The Pound has grown in value 10% against the dollar since last July.
. Bank of England as lender of last resort. – As part of the UK, we have the Bank of England protecting our economy, making sure that we don’t see the same bank run scenes here as sadly occurred in Cyprus and elsewhere. Professor Adam Tomkins, Professor of Public Law at the University of Glasgow stated categorically at a House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee that the Bank of England is not an asset to be shared. It is an institution and, as such, belongs to the continuing state (rUK). Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, while refusing to step into the political fray stated just yesterday that a currency union with rUK “requires some ceding of national sovereignty.” He also said it would be for Holyrood and Westminster to negotiate terms of any currency union. With rhetoric like “well we can use the pound just now and see what suits us later,” and “Wastemonster have destroyed the economy,” can we honestly see our friends in the South being willing to work so closely with is. And can a predominantly left wing Scotland, really work fiscally with a much more Conservative rUK? George Osbourne and Ed Balls are both on record as saying they can’t see it being feasible.
20. Avoidance of SNP anti-competitive policy on minimum wage. – The SNP want to price Scottish workers out of low wage jobs. Being in a minimum wage job is tough, but it is probably better than no job at all. Yet the SNP are trying to convince people to vote yes by promising them higher minimum wage levels. However, if the minimum wage in the UK stays at the same levels while that in Scotland rises, then those companies that employ people on minimum wage, will simply relocate to Carlisle or Berwick, where they can hire people for less. To keep minimum wage jobs in Scotland, it is best to stay in the UK. The only way out of this for the SNP is to allow companies to continue to pay UK levels of minimum wage but to then top them up by a subsidy from the Scottish taxpayer.