The London Times writes that Scotland, which is preparing for elections, has accumulated a large budget deficit, making it doubtful how it will adapt to the Brussels rules if it leaves the UK and applies for EU membership.
Scotland holds elections on May 6, and the campaign has focused on economic issues, but independence is also among its themes. Separatists were holding another referendum on independence after the pandemic. The UK’s exit from the European Union has presented many new arguments for seceding from London, which polls say a small majority of Scottish voters will now support, in contrast to the 2014 referendum when the case failed. The newspaper wrote that the IFS Institute for Economic Research in London’s weekly estimate of the Scottish budget deficit could shed new light on the issue.
According to The Conservatives, IFS will make the deficit for the fiscal year ending March 22nd to 25 to 25 percent of GDP, which is three times the deficit of the previous year.
It would also far exceed the UK’s total deficit of 14.5 per cent, the highest number since 1946. Although the European Union has suspended the 3% limit on member states ’budget deficits due to the pandemic, it may remain more lenient in the years to come.
The big question is how, should the Scottish advance for membership, Brussels’ bureaucrats perceive the continuing promising budgetary tensions in Edinburgh.
In previous decades, the Scottish National Party (SNP), which supported secession, had a comprehensive sheet when it came to the debate about how independent Scotland would finance itself: from the huge revenues from oil fields in the North Sea.
However, the world is moving away from oil and gas, and even SNP itself rules Scotland:
97 percent of its electricity consumption was already covered by renewables last year, although transportation, heating and agriculture remain dependent on fossil fuels.
Oil revenues have declined in recent years and this process can continue.
The Scottish National Party, which currently has 61 seats in the 129-member legislature, is seen as an opportunity to hold elections, although support for the party, which split internal debates, has now fallen below 40 percent from its highs at around 50 percent of the summer. The campaign left it unclear how to solve the huge deficit, with promises focused on spending. The ruling party’s tsunami promise includes items like free dental care and school meals, or free internet and a tool for children to use, and a free bike for needy schoolchildren.
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