Saturday, 21 January 2017

The So-Called Single Market

Right, let's be clear. There's no such thing as The Single Market. The other EU members call it The Internal Market.

Now if you're no longer a member of the EU you are, by definition, no longer internal. Therefore you cannot be a member of The Single Market.

Scotland cannot remain in the EU because Scotland, as such, is not a member at present. Scotland cannot therefore remain in The Single Market when the UK leaves.

What matters, to both the UK and to Scotland, is not membership but free trade. The UK has offered continuing free trade to the EU. This means the UK has offered the EU exactly what Scotland has asked for.

It is nonsensical doublespeak to suggest that Scotland's voice is being disregarded.

Moreover, since we already enjoy free trade with the EU and have offered to continue it, it is up to the EU, if it is determined to act against its own interests, to erect the first tariff barrier. No-one is suggesting that the UK, or Scotland, should make the first move.

Meanwhile several powers currently held by the EU will revert to the UK and it will make sense for some of these to be further devolved to Scotland. Fisheries is an obvious case in point.

In the worst case scenario, the EU may choose to raise tariffs against the 15% of Scotland's trade that is conducted with it.

How by any stretch of economic logic does it make sense for Scotland to respond to such a piece of stupidity by leaving the UK Single Market which is responsible for over 60% of our trade?

The oil price has already halved. How poor are we determined to be?