I have just returned from a great holiday in Argyll and Bute in the Scottish Highlands. The weather was kind to us and the scenery was superb.
As I drove around the area I was especially impressed by the quality of the roads – a great surface and no potholes. I also liked the 4x100-yard ‘countdown’ 30mph signs when approaching towns and villages – no excuses for speeding.
I noted the SNP signs at roadsides, and the lonely one Union flag, and I began asking myself some questions.
Why does the SNP want to remain in the EU when the EU is based in Brussels, 200 miles further away than London, and when it only has six Scottish representatives in 750 MEPs, compared with 35 MPs in the 650-member UK Parliament?
How would the six Scottish MEPs influence the EU when the UK has 73 MEPs with apparently little influence?
Perhaps it is best to ignore that and concentrate on gaining independence from the rest of the UK.
Would the new Scottish nation take on its share of the national debt, currently £1.73trillion? Even if you pro rata with the 5.3 million Scots against the 65 million people in the UK, it still works out a massive amount – or perhaps they just want to walk away from that responsibility?
The SNP wants to keep the pound Sterling. How does that work? I always understood that if you had 10 apple tokens and 10 apples, you had zero per cent inflation on your token. If you had 11 apple tokens and 10 apples, then you had 10 per cent inflation. So how would Scotland control its inflation independently to the Bank of England?
What about using the Royal Bank of Scotland? But what about its £76billion support given by the UK? Will the new independent Scotland take that on?
Where will the new independent Scotland get its money from? Oil revenues have tumbled from £1.8billion to £60million in 2016. There’s good news though – whisky sales have increased and the revenue for 2015/2016 is now £3.15billion.
Maybe there could be a resurgence in fishing, if the EU allows it. It still has restrictions on catches to reverse the falling fish stock.
How about manufacturing? There’s a bit of a problem there as the main employers, BAE and Rolls Royce, are mainly UK defence contractors.
So what are we left with? Tourism. The bulk of visitors to Scotland are from the UK, spending £2.9billion, so just as well the roads are good.
Seriously, come on our canny Scottish neighbours, I am sure the majority of the UK don’t want to lose you. We have developed a great relationship over the centuries and you have far more of a national identity that us, the swirl of the kilt and the sound of the pipes is known all over the world.
Perhaps the UK should have a referendum (yes another one) to decide if we really want to cut loose Scotland to make its own way in the world.