Sunday, 12 February 2017

Just Slaying A Couple of Dragons

1. By far the biggest threat to the Scottish economy is Brexit. (Source: the SNP, in resonse to virtually every economic bad news story for the last six months).

FALSE. The EU accounts for 15% of Scottish trade. The rest of the UK accounts for more than 60%. Even if Brexit resulted in the complete destruction of Scotland's EU trade, and there's no obvious reason why it should, it would do less than a quarter of the damage that Scotland leaving the UK Single Market would do.

Probably the biggest threat to the Scottish economy at the moment is the perpetual political uncertainty engendered by the SNP's determination to threaten a second independence referendum at any conceivable opportunity. Unlike the Scottish government, foreign investors can do sums. They know an independent Scotland would be a lot poorer and no-one really wants to invest in a shrinking economy.

AND if that weren't bad enough, Scotland is now the most heavily-taxed part of the UK. We have a lower level of income at which you start paying higher rate income tax, a higher level of big business rates and a higher tax on purchase of more expensive houses. Sure. Come and invest. Come and live in Scotland all you high-fliers. We guarantee you'll pay for it.

2. There are many possible forms of Brexit. The Government has no mandate to take the UK out of the EU Single Market / Customs Union / Euratom etc. etc. (Source: anyone who voted Remain who can't accept the result of the referendum and is still trying to keep the UK subject to one or more EU institutions.)

FALSE. The mandate was quite simple. LEAVE THE EUROPEAN UNION. In spite of which the determination to keep the UK subject to one or more EU institutions, and especially the European Court of Justice, continues undiminished.

Will the Remoaners please explain how the UK can cling on to vestiges of EU membership without being subject to the ECJ's power to arbitrate on all disputes?

Or how we could remain in the customs union and still negotiate independent trade deals with non-EU governments? 

No? Didn't think so.


There. That's those dragons dead. (I don't think).