Here are the 10 reasons, according to official Better Together, that we, Scotland, are better together in the UKOGB&NI, the comments in capitals and at the end are mine.
10 Reasons We Are BETTER TOGETHER:
1. A successful Scottish Parliament and a strong UK. We get the best of both worlds. A powerful Scottish Parliament with power over things like schools, hospitals, police and transport coupled with the strength and security of being part of the UK, one of the biggest economies in the world.
WE HAVE MASSIVE POSITIVE BENEFIT OVER ENGLAND BY WAY OF DEVOLVED SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT WITH TAX VARYING POWERS
2. Higher spending and Scottish priorities. In Scotland we have £1,200 more per person in public spending than the UK average. Most of this extra money is spent by the Scottish Parliament on priorities we decide like the NHS or our schools.
WE ARE BETTER OFF, MORE CASH RECEIVED AND SPENT PER HEAD OF SCOTTISH POPULATION
3. More jobs and more customers – Scotland is a country of 5 million but we get to sell our goods and services to a home market of 60 million customers. The SNP Government’s own figures show that Scots firms sell twice as much to the rest of the UK as we do to the rest of the world combined.
UNFETTERED ACCESS TO UK AND EU MARKETS, LOST AND VERY BAD FOR SCOTTISH BUSINESS IF WE SECEDE
4. Influence and impact. As part of the UK we are on the UN Security Council and we have 270 embassies and consulates around the world helping Scots companies and travellers. We are one of the big nations setting the agenda in the EU. The UK has been voted the most culturally influential nation on earth.
SCOTLAND PUNCHES WAY ABOVE ITS WEIGHT IN EUROPE AND THE WORLD, IT HAS FOR 307 YEARS
5. More security and a force for good in the world. The UK armed forces are the best trained in the world. As part of the UK we are protected by an army, navy and airforce far bigger than we could pay for on our own. We have one of the biggest aid programmes, helping in disasters and the poorest parts of the world.
SHARED ARMED AND SECURITY SERVICES WAY BEYOND WHAT WE COULD PROVIDE
6. Lower licence fee and more programmes. Scottish licence fee payers contribute about £300m but by clubbing together with the rest of the UK, we get about £3.6bn worth of programmes. Viewers outside the UK have to pay for things like iPlayer and other small countries pay a far higher licence fee for fewer programmes.
FREE ACCESS TO NATIONAL WORLD RENOWNED BROADCASTER, LOST IF WE SECEDE
7. Better Universities and more investment. With more universities in the world’s top 200 per head of population than any other country on the planet, Scotland’s universities are thriving as part of the UK. Our scientists and investors are backed by investment from the rest of the UK.
UNBELIEVABLE ACCESS TO WORLD CLASS EDUCATION FACILITIES AND IRREPLACEABLE UK INVESTMENT FUNDING
8. Lower fuel bills and more jobs. Scotland has massive green energy potential. Today the cost of building wind and wave generators is shared across the energy bills of 26 million households. If the cost of this had to be paid for by just 2.4 million Scottish energy bills we would have to choose between green jobs or much higher energy bills.
WE GET MOST OF THE UK GREEN ENERGY SUBSIDY, LOST IF WE SECEDE
9. Scottish NHS and the specialist treatment you need. We make decisions here in the Scottish Parliament about our NHS but we also benefit from cost-free, hassle-free access to the lifesaving specialist treatment we need anywhere in the UK NHS.
ACCESS TO UK VAST FREE NATIONAL HEALTH FACILITIES, LOST IF WE SECEDE
10. Keep the Pound (with a lender of last resort) and keep interest rates lower. Today the UK pound is our currency and are mortgages are backed by the Bank of England. If we leave the UK and have to join the Euro or set up a new currency from scratch it would cost us with higher mortgage bills and will make it more costly to trade with the rest of the UK.
FINANCIALLY SECURE WITH LENDER OF LAST RESORT AND WORLD CLASS CREDIT RATING, WITHOUT £ CURRENCY UNION INTEREST RATES AND MORTGAGES WILL INCREASE (yes we could “use” it, crap still happens)
In return for all the above benefits (and let’s not forget pensions) we get the White Paper, the most vacuous and detail free plan for the future ever foisted on an ill-informed Scottish electorate.
All bright and shiny, full of promises, without a shred of economic reality or peer-reviewed respect. As an economic blueprint for Scotland’s future prosperity it is up there with the Darien debacle.
Only those emotionally blinded by independence rhetoric, suffering from unjustified jealousy, base selfish interest or an anti southern inferiority complex will swallow such errant nonsense put out by Yes Scotland and the White Paper.
The argument for Scottish independence? Too full of empty promises, too short on fiscal responsibility. The most dangerous long shot gamble with our future and a one way ticket to mediocrity and an economic backwater.
Steve Sayers – We are really better off together.