Brexit, fall of the pound sterling and rise in interest rates
In Scotland, the government I lead is doing its utmost to protect citizens from the serious economic challenges we face. These challenges, however, are exacerbated by the reckless actions of the UK government. His policies drove the pound to historic lows against the dollar, while prompting the Bank of England to intervene to cool the economy, which, by driving up interest rates, had a punitive impact. on ordinary citizens. And this at a time when inflation had already reached its highest level in forty years.
In such a difficult environment, some might wonder why the Scottish Government is so determined to offer the people of our country the choice to become an independent nation. The answer is that under current conditions Scotland simply cannot afford to refuse the opportunity to gain independence.
The “No campaign”, an empty shell?
When our people were last consulted on this in 2014, the then British government explained to them that the only way to protect Scotland’s place in the European Union was to reject independence . This commitment, like so many other promises of the “No campaign” in 2014, turned out to be an empty shell. Scotland was taken out of the EU against our will and deprived of the world’s largest single market – a market around seven times larger than the UK market.
No one can now claim, given the chaotic nature of British governance of late, and particularly in light of the upheaval of recent months, that the future of Scotland is in safe hands as long as we remain subject to the Westminster decisions.
The fact that the UK is now forecast to have the weakest growth of any G20 country in 2023, except for sanctioned Russia, is further evidence of this.
Scotland’s future in the hands of the Supreme Court
As I write this, Scotland’s ability to hold a referendum without Westminster’s backing – in line with the democratic mandate to that effect which emerged overwhelmingly in the Scottish Parliament in 2021 – is in the hands of the British Supreme Court. If the Court refused this possibility on November 23, it is only because the British government seeks to block this electoral mandate.
We will continue to defend the benefits of independence, and the Scottish Government is drawing up the program for an independent Scotland with a series of texts showing the opportunities it will open up. We have already shown that the United Kingdom, and therefore Scotland, is overtaken in a whole series of rankings of economic and social performance by many neighboring countries.
Many of them are similar to Scotland in size and population – although most are not blessed with the same natural resources as ours. This is why the question arises with increasing acuity: if other nations can record such successes, why not Scotland?
Labor rights, climate crisis
Independence will give us the opportunity to build an economy that works for the benefit of all, where workers’ rights are upheld, environmental standards are upheld and the climate crisis is addressed with the urgency it deserves – all of which are below the elbow as post-Brexit Britain seeks to make up for the loss of the trade links it has depended on for decades.
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Independence will not be a panacea. An independent Scotland will always face the challenges of the 21st century that are rocking economies big and small around the world. But unlike the current situation, we will meet these challenges with the ability to make the decisions ourselves in our own national interest.
A good thing for the UK and the international community
This would not only be good for Scotland, but also for the rest of the UK and for the international community. An independent Scotland, in a true partnership between equals with the other nations of the British Isles and firmly anchored in the European Union, would be a model of cooperation, common sense and stability, all qualities which have been lacking in recent governance of Great Britain.