SNPs EU plan crushed as Scotland set for unimaginable austerity

Douglas Ross clashes with Nicola Sturgeon over IndyRef2

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Scotland would be set for austerity on an “unimaginable scale” that has “never been seen” in the UK before if they attempt to join the European Union, a Scottish foreign policy expert has said. Professor Azeem Ibrahim told Express.co.uk that Scotland would have to join the Euro if it wanted to rejoin the EU as an independent country. But he warned that the country would be forced to reduce its deficit from 12 percent to three percent in order to be accepted into the currency, which he said would involve “hugely drastic” cuts.

He explained: “If they decided to join the Euro, that means they have to bring their deficit down as a percentage of GDP.

“At the moment, Nicola Sturgeon is not responsible for raising a lot of the funds that are expended in Scotland.

“They come from the Barnet formula and they are considerably a lot more generous – that would mean a hugely drastic cut.

“At the moment Scotland runs about a 12 percent deficit GDP. That would have to be cut to three percent.

“It would mean extremely aggressive tax hikes and austerity on an unimaginable scale that we have never seen in this country before just to try and bring down the GDP deficit from 12percent to 3 percent.

“It’s simply not manageable.”

Professor Ibrahim added: “None of this stuff is viable at all and none of it is practicable.

“None of it is sellable either, so that’s why they try to obfuscate and avoid developing a proper economic plan.”

Earlier this week, the Scottish First Minister was criticised by a leading economist and the Scottish Conservative Party for her economic plan for independence.

Scottish economist Tony Mackay said it was “extremely doubtful” that there would be enough oil and gas in the North Sea to finance the SNP’s plans.

Meanwhile, Donald Cameron, Scottish Conservative Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Constitution and External Affairs, told Express.co.uk: “Tony Mackay is just the latest expert to point out the gaping holes in Nicola Sturgeon’s economic case for independence.

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“On top of her failure to provide credible answers on currency, pensions and a hard border with England, the First Minister’s claim that independence would be bankrolled by a £20billion oil and gas revenue fund doesn’t stand up to the slightest scrutiny.

“For all of their spin, the truth is that the SNP have never had a viable economic plan for independence.”

He added: “The SNP need to drop their push for another unwanted and divisive referendum.

“Instead they should focus on the priorities of the Scottish people – namely the global cost-of-living crisis and unacceptable NHS waiting times.”

This came after Ms Sturgeon unveiled the SNP’s latest independence paper, which outlined economic and currency plans for a Scotland outside of the Union.

The paper included a proposal on re-joining the EU for access to the Single Market, making it clear that reversing Brexit is key to the SNP’s independence vision.

Speaking about the paper, the Scottish First Minister said that the UK Government “cannot be trusted to act in Scotland’s interests”.

She said “independence is now essential” in order to “prevent further economic damage being inflicted by Westminster Governments”.

Ms Sturgeon claimed that Brexit has made the UK even more “ill-equipped to cope with events like the cost of living crisis”.

Ahead of the speech, the First Minister said Scotland had an “abundance of skilled people, innovative businesses, and natural resources”.

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