The SNP has today been challenged to be ‘honest’ with voters about the reality of leaving the UK.
Ahead of this week’s release of the annual Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) data, it has been estimated that Scotland’s deficit is around four times as large proportionately compared to the UK as a whole.
Economic activity is down by nearly a quarter and nearly 1 million Scots are furloughed through the UK’s job retention scheme.
It has also been reported today that a senior member of the European Commission, Vice-President Frans Timmermans, has rejected claims it would be ‘easy’ for a separate Scotland to join the EU.
The Sunday Times reports that he said: “I’m not so sure about that given the position of many member states on this...
“As far as I can see the developments in Europe, I would not be overly optimistic.”
Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said:
“It’s time for honesty from the SNP about the reality of leaving the UK.
“The constitutional debate must not be about people’s views on how Nicola Sturgeon or Boris Johnson have handled the COVID-19 crisis; it should be about what leaving the UK would mean for Scotland’s future.
“The people of Scotland deserve answers from the SNP about how it would cope with the seismic financial shock of leaving the UK; how much it would cut from the NHS, schools and other public services; and how much it would put taxes up by.
“The SNP must also acknowledge that a separate Scotland could not quickly or easily join the EU and provide answers to questions about the currency and a hard border with England.
“The simple truth is that Scotland is better off as part of the UK, ensuring we can successfully rebuild our economy following the coronavirus pandemic and invest more in health and education.”