Facts and Figures Explained- Scottish Referendum
LCSS conducted the second of its roundtable discussions on the Scottish referendum, concentrating on the European Union and economic implications of independence as well as the actual referendum procedure. This roundtable discussion had the privilege of hosting a number of expert names within this field. The roundtable discussion was chaired by Prof Philip Booth from City University London and the Institute of Economic Affairs.
Prof John Kay started off the talks drawing historic references to the economic benefits Scotland enjoyed from being a part of the U.K. John Kay also touched upon the importance of competitive advantage for small nations. The other main points touched upon by John were the currency options, the budget balance as well as the business prospects of an independent Scotland.
Prof Robert Hazell talked about the prospect of dividing and sharing assets between Scotland and rUK. Prof Hazell also mentioned that 18 months would represent a realistic period for negotiations between Ruk and Scotland. The general elections next year may however complicate the negotiation period and that Scottish independence result could also affect a possible Labour Government with a narrow majority according to Prof Hazell.
Dr Monique Ebell, concentrated on the economic implications of an independent Scotland covering a number of issues including a formal monetary union, dollarization, debt and fiscal deficit. The main concept of Dr Ebell’s speech was the currency options available to Scotland with their plausibility.
Prof Panos Koutrakos concentrated on the legal aspects of Scotland remaining in the EU as well as the treaties in place making the prospect very difficult. Scotland’s situation is unique according to Prof Koutrakos, incomparable to the reunification of Germany. The cost and length of time for negotiations for accession to EU as well as EEA was also discussed.
A Q&A and discussion session followed with issues such as Scotland’s higher education sector as well as comparisons to other secession stories (e.g Czechoslovakia and Belgium/Netherlands).