With various polls showing Sturgeon’s push for a second independence referendum picking up traction, doubts remain over Scotland’s economy if they were outside the UK.
This doubt was backed up by a report which showed there was a massive £12.6billion black hole in the Scottish economy. In 2019, a Scottish expenditure and revenue report was published showing that Scotland spending was at £75.3 billion, with the economy only making £62.7 billion.
This report sparked a reaction from the Tory Scottish Secretary, Alister Jack. He said: “Today’s GERS figures show clearly how Scotland benefits from being part of a strong UK with every man, woman and child in Scotland receiving a ‘Union dividend’ of nearly £2,000 a year.
“These Scottish Government figures also show there would be a £12.6billion black hole at the centre of an independent Scotland’s finances. Real questions need to be asked about the First Minister’s stewardship of the country’s economy.”
At the time, the SNP did try to defend their failed debt-ridden economic record saying: “With record tax revenues, strong economic growth and near record-low unemployment, Scotland’s economy and public finances are strong.
“Today’s figures show overall revenue in Scotland reached £62.7billion – exceeding £60billion for the first time – reflecting the strength of our economy.
“This strong performance from Scotland’s economy is at risk as a result of the UK Government’s EU exit plans, and in particular a ‘no deal’ Brexit, which poses a severe threat to jobs, investment and living standards.”
To add fuel to the indyref two fire, a Belgium MEP Philippe Lamberts said: “As Ireland discovered, you can be an island and still be connected to the EU.
“The same reasoning could apply for Scotland, and I would assume the EU will have a smart economic policy so ultimately, Scotland can have an economic benefit if it joins the EU.
“This would be likewise for Scotland leaving the UK, a political choice worth doing because of the assumption Scotland can be better off as part of the EU and can therefore benefit both economically and politically.
“When you see the way the Tory party disregards the judiciary, wants to get out of the European Convention on Human Rights, these are all arguments that can convince Scottish citizens to protect their basic freedoms.
“You can also see many Scots don’t feel respected by the UK Government.”