Can’t join the euro with that, can you?

The annual statistics which lay bare the strength of the Scottish economy revealed that the size of the deficit, £14.8 billion, was up £500 million from the year before. This would give an independent nation a deficit level comparable with GDP of 9.5 per cent, more than twice the rate of the rest of the UK and worse than that of every EU member state, including Greece.

33 thoughts on “Can’t join the euro with that, can you?”

  1. You’re talking. They’re not listening. I’m not sure you could penetrate the gargantuan delusions of the _average_ nat with .338 Lapua Magnum.

    For the serious ones, you’ll need 120mm APFSDS.

  2. Don’t know what the plan will be next time, but last time the plan was to be legally obliged to join the euro but do nothing about it (the Swedish approach) by keeping the pound instead, so there isn’t a currency to put into the ERM. Given that Brussels has made it clear that future members must join the euro, I wonder if they’d find a way to shut down such loopholes.

    Annual and increasing fines if you haven’t reached key milestones on the track to a single currency within a time limit? Something like that might work.

    Not sure I understand the point of independence of you’re going to let monetary (and to a lesser extent fiscal) policy be largely dictated by whoever you’re in a currency union with, be it London or Brussels. Joining the EU to preserve EU trade (a shrinking fraction of the pie anyway due to globalisation) when trade with the rest of the UK is well over 50% of your external trade does seem like cutting off your nose to spite your face.

  3. The Inimitable Steve

    Aye, but if they didnae have to pay for Trident and the Millennium Dome, there’d be enough money for millionaire shortbread all round!

  4. Not sure I understand the point of independence of you’re going to let monetary (and to a lesser extent fiscal) policy be largely dictated by whoever you’re in a currency union with, be it London or Brussels.

    They don’t want independence, they want to snub their noses at the English. They’ve got their terminology all wrong. Sinn Fein are much the same.

  5. MyBurningEars:

    Scotland simply can’t keep sterling and join the EU. We have to have our own currency if we join. Even the SNP are discussing a central bank set up with our own currency. So they know the rules even though they publicly say they don’t matter.

  6. “They don’t want independence, they want to snub their noses at the English. ”

    I agree with the first part of that sentence, not the second. Scots nationalism is a shake-down racket. Snubbing their noses is part of the act on which the shake-down is based.

    All over the world, for the last 25 years, peoples have been declaring independence willy-nilly and daring their hitherto metropolitan masters to do something about it. Mostly, said masters have not bothered. Any serious Scottish nationalist would know, on a moment’s reflection, that England is not going to send an army north to enforce the union.

    If they really wanted it, they’d have taken it by now.

    We can stop paying attention. We should stop paying attention.

  7. I doubt the good lady is serious about independence, and is just trying to placate her more rabid supporters, and wring more concessions out of Westminster.

  8. @Hugh

    That wasn’t the SNP’s line last time, though they were clearly in a tangle. Can’t have endeared themselves to Brussels by publicly announcing they were intending to drive right through a loophole.

    I don’t know whether the EU might just have had to suck it up had the 45% been 51%. This time round I imagine the “keep the pound” idea will be dumped but that seems as much an admission of its intellectual incoherence as it does any ruling by Brussels that they just won’t accept a new member state that is in another currency union. Or has there been some eurocrat announcement that I’ve missed?

  9. The SNP are faced with two unions:

    The one with the rest of the UK, which allows them to ‘run’ a deficit of nearly 10%

    The one with the EU, which topples governments with huge debts and deficits and forces massive deflation to reduce public spending.

    The SNP are desperate to leave the former and join the latter. I’m struggling to understand it, personally.

  10. @MBE:

    Their main line is still that everything is up for negotiation but announcing that they are investigating setting up s Scottish currency is new. Preparing the ground for reality if we do vote leave, I think.

  11. It seems to me that the SNP is more about socialistic “revenge” (on Fatcher?) than any sort of Scots Patriotism or nationalism.

  12. I think we should wait for Murph to give his viewpoint. Then everyone will know for certain what the worst option is

  13. Diogenes postulates an interesting situation.

    Murphy will ride like a white knight to save us.

    A new currency, Green QE printing money at no cost for unrestrained spending and everyone’s a winner.

    Maybe Murphy could become economic adviser to the SNP although presumably he’d have to move up here and give up the peerage idea permanently?

  14. They keep saying ‘Scotlands deficit is twice that of the UK’ but surely that includes Scotland already? So what is it compared to England, Wales and NI?

  15. I doubt the good lady is serious about independence

    Oh, yes, she is. To the extent that she (and her compatriots) will ignore any and all evidence that suggests that, at the current moment, it is an economically disastrous thing to do. (With the scots leftish wedding to public spending, I can’t imagine it ever being an economically sensible thing to do, but times do change.)

    they want to snub their noses at the English.

    Snub their noses at London. For us ex-pats, it’s more expulsions or concentration camps.

    With a wife and two kids who are jocks, I might just manage to squeeze in to a re-education camp, which I might escape once I get my bagpipe playing back up to its previous standard. I’m not looking forward to the compulsory Irn-Bru, though (although Tunnocks is fine, as long as I can choose the wafers rather than the tea-cakes.)

  16. The Inimitable Steve

    I might just manage to squeeze in to a re-education camp, which I might escape once I get my bagpipe playing back up to its previous standard.

    Maybe they’ll let you off with a warning and an Oor Wullie annual?

  17. although Tunnocks is fine, as long as I can choose the wafers rather than the tea-cakes

    Re-education is clearly needed.

  18. Being married to a Scot with five brothers and having served in two Scottish units I’m well versed in the f’kn English b’stards approach. Been dangled out of more tenement windows than I care to recall… Water off a duck’s back.

  19. Nicola will shit herself if May says “Ok, have a referendum, but bear in mind you might win.”

    What she wants is a faux independence, where Scotland can do what it likes, backed by the BofE.

  20. I thought the only reason the rest of the UK couldn’t vote in the referendum was because it would have been a bye bye Scotland, and they don’t really want that.

  21. I suspect that all such figures are baloney anyway – what’s excluded is far too big to be ignored – while also being quite confident that Scottish Independence would be extremely foolish. Even idiots who didn’t see it before really ought to be left in no doubt by the collapse of the oil price, however long it might happen to last.

    Anyway, the buggers don’t mean “independence” if they plan to stay in the EU.

  22. Edward Lud: “Any serious Scottish nationalist would know, on a moment’s reflection, that England is not going to send an army north to enforce the union.”

    …one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but THEY’ll NEVER TAKE US SERIOUSLY!

  23. Bloke in Costa Rica

    Lego Heid is caught on the horns of a dilemma. If she managed to wangle another referendum and won, Scotland would be fucked six ways from Sunday. Like sending UNICEF food trucks over the bridge at Coldstream within a couple of years of independence. And if she lost, then that would put it to bed for thirty years.

    Right now if another one were run the Nats would lose it once more. Sturgeon might be a dreadful old baggage but she’s not completely daft. And she knows that Brexit has shafted the idea almost completely. Czechia and Slovakia split before accession. I have no idea what would have happened if Czechoslovakia had been a member state when they decided to dissolve. Quite apart from the economic stuff, the Spanish are entirely serious when they say they’ll veto Scotland joining. Outside the EU and the UK Scotland is a complete basket case, as opposed to a partial one like now.

  24. “Outside the EU and the UK Scotland is a complete basket case, as opposed to a partial one like now.”

    Actually, I don’t agree?

    If a country wants independence strongly enough, and is prepared to work at it (and seriously) once it has it, then why not?

    Isn’t that the UK’s argument for wanting to be free of an evolving United States of Europe.

    I’m just suggesting that a basket case country isn’t necessarily the outcome. In that, once independence is obtained, the SNP specifically has lost its pre referendum raison d’etre, and at which point – in terms of future politics and direction – it is down to both the people and democracy?

  25. “I’m just suggesting that a basket case country isn’t necessarily the outcome. In that, once independence is obtained, the SNP specifically has lost its pre referendum raison d’etre, and at which point – in terms of future politics and direction – it is down to both the people and democracy?”

    Yes but 70% of the Scottish population have been infected with the socialism virus, made possible by the rest of the UK paying for them for decades. They aren’t going to vote for independence and suddenly decide to become the Hong Kong of the north. They are going to demand more State spending, more taxes, more State interference etc etc. And when things go wrong (as they will from day 1) they will demand ‘the government’ do something about it. It will take national self-immolation on the altar of socialism before the Scottish people finally abandon it. I’d say 30-40 years might just allow a Scottish Thatcher to emerge, no sooner.

  26. Bloke in Costa Rica

    Yes, for a Scotland out of the EU and the UK, unless the populace gets smart really, really quickly then Greece is a best-case scenario. Venezuela is more likely. The depths of dependence on the State that the people of Scotland have cannot be overstated. It’s an entirely hollow country that simply cannot be made to work in its current incarnation without lots of cash infusions from the rest of the UK (read: England).

  27. Jin and BiCR

    That’s one version (and I’m not prepared to pre-judge).

    But if that’s what they want, who are we?

    “Virus”

    Maybe the antibodies will work more quickly than expected? But if not…

  28. “But if that’s what they want, who are we?”

    We are the country next door that would have to accept a decent % of the population of Scotland when they leave, and we are the country that would probably have to pick up the pieces if an independent Scotland became a sort of failed state. Its in our interests in this island not to let one of the parts of it become a point of entry for every immigrant and criminal who fancies coming here. We can’t have a Venezuela-on-Tweed to our north for decades while the Scots work out socialism doesn’t work.

  29. Jim,

    That’s all perfectly fair – but in which case the rational conclusion is that Scotland should never have been permitted such a referendum, at any stage, and never permitted one again.

  30. “What she wants is a faux independence, where Scotland can do what it likes, backed by the BofE.”

    I think they’re looking to be like Quebec – constantly demanding independence and throwing tantrums so they can get concessions + cash from the national government.

  31. “the rational conclusion is that Scotland should never have been permitted such a referendum, at any stage, and never permitted one again.”

    No, because at the time oil was $100/barrel and the sums added up, just. Scotland could have gotten away with independence in those circumstances, not the land flowing with milk and honey promised by the SNP but things chuntering along relatively calmly.

    Once the oil price crashed though, the whole position changed, and North Sea production has been run down as a result, its highly likely that oil revenue will never get back to its pre-2014 levels, its over. So an independent Scotland can never again rely on oil money to keep it afloat, and any attempt to run a country from scratch with a 10% deficit on day one is doomed to crash and burn.

    The issue of whether to allow another referendum is moot anyway – in the event one was held it would be 70-30 to remain. An idiot can see the situation now.

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