SNP’s independence argument always ‘falls apart’ says Wallace
Nicola Sturgeon’s hope for a swift independence campaign were dismantled this morning in a discussion over Scotland’s future economic plans. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace told the BBC’s Sunday Show that the SNP’s arguments always “unpick” under scrutiny. He singled out currency as an issue where the SNP’s plans for an independent Scotland “all slowly fall apart”.
Mr Wallace also insisted he was confident that the case for the Union would win out against independence in any future referendum campaign.
Commenting on the polls showing a majority in Scotland favour independence, the former MSP said: “I’ve seen all this before.
“The debate around Scottish nationalism, the Union and independence has always, in my experience, fluctuated.
“When it comes down to the brass tacks, in referendum or election campaigns, we find that the arguments unpick and people get serious about the debate.”
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He continued: “When I started in Scottish politics, it was all Thatcher’s fault, then it was Tony Blair’s fault, then it was even Gordon Brown’s fault.
“Now it’s the current Prime Minister’s fault. I’ve seen it all before.
“But, when you start to play the ball, like the currency debate in the last referendum campaign, it all slowly falls apart.
“The Union comes into its strengths in a pandemic like this, when we are better together and can share each other’s science and capacity.
“We should all be grateful that the Union has worked in this event, to help us all stay safe.”
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Mr Wallace is part of a so-called “anti-SNP hit squad” in the Westminster cabinet, in addition to the Michael Gove, Kwasi Kwarteng and Liz Truss.
They are tasked with reversing the trend towards independence north of the border.
The SNP is expected to ask Westminster to transfer the necessary powers to hold a referendum if it wins a predicted majority in Holyrood in May.
However, Boris Johnson has repeatedly rejected calls for a second ballot.
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A report this week showed that the impact of leaving UK’s common market would hit Scotland three times as hard as leaving EU
The study from the London School of Economics and City University of Hong Kong showed that independence could cost Scotland’s economy £11bn a year.
The decision to break away from the rest of the UK would shrink Scotland’s economy in the long run by between 6.3 percent and 8.7 percent – equivalent to a loss of between £2,000 to £2,800 per capita a year.
Hanwei Huang, one of the report’s authors, said: “This analysis shows that, at least from a trade perspective, independence would leave Scotland considerably poorer than staying in the United Kingdom.”
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