Scotland voted to remain in the EU. It also voted, two years ago, to remain in the UK. Clearly Scots believe that we’re better off as part of a larger entity.
But which one? Some reasons why Scotland should choose the EU over the UK:
1. The “better together” argument is that we are better off as part of something bigger. The EU is bigger than the UK.
2. The converse of being part of something bigger is that you lose some independence. The EU will give us more autonomy than the UK.
3. If the UK economy tanks post-Brexit, there are economic reasons for Scotland to stay in the EU. During the 2014 referendum, a strong argument against independence was that it would create economic uncertainty and that Scotland may well be worse off; that no longer applies.
4. Scotland voted to stay in the EU by a larger margin than it voted to stay in the UK.
What Scotland should do, therefore, is leave the UK in order to stay in the EU. Since the rump state will be the England-dominated former United Kingdom I suggest we call it FUKED (Former United Kingdom, England-Dominated).
At the same time Scots should acknowledge that many south of the border, particularly the young and educated, voted remain. These people are the most productive part of society and should be encouraged to remain in the EU by moving to Scotland. An independent Scotland with a million or two of the most productive English Remainers would be an economic powerhouse.
Scotland should provide incentives for the best people in FUKED to join us. Young people have been screwed by high house prices and exorbitant student loans, so Independent Scotland should attract them with a policy of affordable housing for all. The Scots government would also not do anything to enforce payment of student loan debt.
Scotland should acknowledge that most of the UK’s national debt was incurred by the post 2010 Tory government which Scotland didn’t vote for, so Scotland will only be paying its share of Britain’s 2010 national debt. If FUKED doesn’t agree to this, we pay nothing — FUKED would be unable to start a trade war against us over this because we’d be in the EU and them out. In order to deter them from a real war, maybe we could have an alliance with France? There are precedents…
Parts of London’s financial services industry may wish to relocate in the EU — we should make it easy for them to do so in Scotland.
Looking at how England voted, two areas that voted heavily for Remain were Cambridge (73.8%) and Oxford (70.3%). If those universities want to relocate to Scotland, they should be encouraged to do so.