SCOTLAND’S economy would take a severe blow if it left the UK, as trade and business are reduced, economists warned today.
If the new border has the same impact on trade and business as the Ireland-Ulster border, David Comerford and Jose Rodriguez Mora will tell the Royal Economic Society that GDP will take a 5.5 per cent knock. In another blow to Alex Salmond, the UK government will warn today that £1.8bn will be added to Scottish customers’ energy bills by 2020 if it becomes independent, as they will have to bear the entire cost of subsidising the country’s low carbon energy generation.
Scotland currently supplies 4.59 per cent of the energy used in England and Wales, but the new analysis will say that if Scotland becomes independent the UK may source cheaper suppliers elsewhere, putting Scottish jobs directly at risk.
But the remainder of the UK will also suffer, as the national debt will increase, according to the National Institute for Economics and Social Research.
It estimates the UK’s debt burden would rise to more than 100 per cent of GDP, as the debt would remain unchanged while UK GDP would be reduced by Scotland’s exit.
Tim Wallace, Suzie Neuwirth