Today would have been the anniversary of Scottish Independence Day, had Scotland chosen in 2014 to separate from the rest of the UK.
Well, that was Nicola and Alex’s plan, telling us that we would have been ready to leave the UK in eighteen months. It’s now been proven that such a timescale would have been impossible.
The UK leaving the EU is still unresolved nearly three years down the line from the vote. This, a political union of forty-six years compared with the UK’s political, cultural and financial union that was established more than three hundred years ago and with a shared history far beyond that.
The difficulties in Scotland breaking away from the UK would undoubtedly have been exponentially harder than we are seeing now in Brexit.
Indeed, research carried out on behalf of Scottish Business UK showed that according to the Scottish Government’s own figures, independence would be more than eight times as costly as the worst case scenario Brexit.
And we don’t need to examine hypothetical situations to see the difficulties. The administration of some welfare benefits were devolved to the Scottish Government resulting from the Smith Commission, and subsequent Scotland Act 2016. This has been fraught with delays, with the latest announcement saying that it will be 2024 before the structures are in place to allow these benefits to be administered in Scotland.
The claim that Scotland separating from the UK could practically be achieved in eighteen months is in tatters, with the devolution of some benefits proving impossible to carry out in less that eight years.
In any case, it’s clear that we do not need any further constitutional chaos in Scotland, when Scotland is stronger in every way as part of the UK. This union is one we should nurture and be proud of.