Salmond's crusade for an independent Scotland 'dealt fatal blow by economic crisis'

How the current economic crisis has deal a blow to the Scottish nationalists' dream of Scottish independence...

Salmond's crusade for an independent Scotland 'dealt fatal blow by economic crisis'

By Benedict Brogan and John Robertson
15th October 2008]
Daily Mail

The world financial crisis has exposed Alex Salmond's 'fantasy economics' and left his dream of an independent Scotland in tatters, it has been claimed.

Scotland's two biggest banks are now in the hands of what the Scottish National Party leader considers a 'foreign' Government in Westminster.

The leader of the SNP is under fire after critics pointed out that a Scottish government would have been battered by the market meltdown.

Give us our freedom: Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond's dreams for an independent Scotland have been shattered by the economic crisis

An independent Scotland could never have found the £37billion needed to rescue Royal Bank of Scotland and Halifax/Bank of Scotland, ministers said.

And it must now cope with seeing the basis of its economic policy - the financial independence of its two biggest banks - now in English hands.

Critics have turned on Mr Salmond's claim that Scotland could be part of an 'arc of prosperity' by joining countries such as Iceland, Ireland and Norway on the edge of Europe.

He had initially trumpeted Iceland as an example of the success a small independent country can achieve, but now faces a painful truth after torrid weeks on the global markets.

All three countries have struggled to cope, with Iceland pushed to the verge of national bankruptcy and Ireland forced to offer massive guarantees to its banks to keep them afloat.

Doug McWilliams, chief executive of the Centre for Economics and Business Research, said: 'Political independence was never very likely but this makes it pretty much impossible.

'One of the things that created self-confidence was the fact that Scotland had two major financial institutions that were among the biggest banks in the country.

'Now Edinburgh has been shown to be a much more dependent financial centre than it had appeared.

'The total value of the bailout to the Scottish banks is approaching the size of Scotland's GDP of £100billion, and that would have been difficult for Scotland to cope with on its own.'

Former Labour Scotland Office minister Anne McGuire said: 'The risks of independence have never been more starkly highlighted. While families, savers and businesses in Scotland will be relieved that the UK Government has stepped in support RBS and HBOS, they only need to look at Iceland to see what would happen to an independent Scotland.

'Alex Salmond's fantasy economics held out Iceland as a model for Scotland. We can now see how dangerous that idea was.'

Mr Salmond has been forced to concede that the Government's investment was the right move that would be 'redeemed in due course'.

He added: 'I indicated last week that I support the stabilisation measures in the financial sector, and I will continue to do so.'

Tory Scotland spokesman David Mundell said: 'Recent events have been a reality check for the independence talk that we've heard over recent years.

'There is still no doubt that Scotland could go it alone but the reality is that we would be at the mercy of global events.'


Reality is that the biggest employer in Scotland is HMG. Scotland going it's own way would be a huge economic boost fro England and result in massive unemployment in Scotland as all the HMG jobs came back home. Unfortunately such reality does not suit the tub thumping politics of the SNP.
- JP, Bristol
Britain has always had to carry the Scots but we have been too polite to tell them. Now events have done it for us. We have even had to suffer their major export. Politicians and you can see where that has got us.
- John, France,

The act of union bailed out a bankrupt Scotland with England footing the bill.
Three centuries later comes the credit cruch and guess what .....
- Ken and Maggie Thompson, Sunderland, England

No screams of "foul" from North of the Border? If Salmond wants independence let him pay to bail out his banks. Let's not hear anymore of this lunacy from them.
- Dennis (expat), New York, USA, 14/10/2008 19:25

With approx 70%of working population employed by the state in some form or another,Independence was never an option.Sorry Scots your stuck with us! we will carry on supporting you.
- Dave, Chelmsford Essex England, 14/10/2008 20:43

I would welcome a FULLY Independant Scotland, with no MP's in Westminster, and no subsidies from the British taxpayer, and when it all goes belly up Edinburgh not London can look after it.
Now we have the worst of both worlds, Scotland has its own parliament and passes its own laws paid for by British taxes, but Scottish MP's have a disproportionate amount of power in Westminster.
OK many Scots will say that England stole the oil, but even allowing for the oil contribution to Britain Scotland has been a net benificiary of subsidies ever since the act of settlement.
So go it alone if you wish, or become an equal part of a united Britain with the same laws as everyone else, but this stupid halfway house that we have now HAS TO END.
- Graham, Torrevieja Spain

I don't suppose the Scots will now have to start paying all the charges we English have to (student tuition, prescriptions, etc etc...) to help bale their banks out?
- DanOxford, Oxford

Cut them loose, why should this change what they want if it is what they really want and not just talk? The truth is that it is just political talk, like most people, they really hate the English but only because of petty jealousy and racism, in truth they would be sunk without us.
If there really was a free market these banks should have been allowed to go and a new honest setup could have taken their place.
The Scots will never let go of the free money they get, and the preferential treatment, they got a lot more than what the oil was worth over the years.
- jim, California USA
Salmond also wants English tax payers to bail out Scottish councils who invested their money in Iceland banks. Independent one day, part of the UK the next! The guy is a joke as is the Scottish parliament, close it down, sack the workers and return the money.
- Pete, Huddersfield
When you look at the posts from all the English people I here, is it any wonder we donít want to be part of your nation any more, I say bring on English independence give the Scots the Welsh and the N.I a bit of peace for a change.
No more wars we donít want, when you go out into the world and ask people would they rather be English, Welsh or Scottish, I can assure you English will not be the answer, this Self-Absorbed Snobby attitude you people have has made you one of the most hated nations on Earth and the quicker we are disassociated from your forging policy the better.
(Scottish Ex-pat Nova Scotia)