Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has reacted to a new analysis by the London School of Economics which found that the costs of trade disruption from Brexit to Scotland would be doubled or tripled by independence. The LSE report suggests that per capita income would drop by between 6.3 and 8.7% with independence, with rejoining the EU making only a small dent in the loss due to the far larger trade between Scotland and the rest of the UK. The report does not take into account other disruptions including currency or the fiscal costs of independence.
Mr Carmichael said:
“Just like the Brexiteers in 2016, the SNP want people to ignore the experts and double down – in fact triple down – on destroying businesses. We are already seeing the destructive results of that approach in our seafood industry and yet apparently the solution to today’s trading problems is to make them even worse.
“Every pound taken out of our pockets as a result of nationalist border-drawing is a pound we cannot spend on the NHS, on transport, on schools. As we try to recover from the pandemic it looks like those at the top of government are living in another world. Perhaps they don’t care because they don’t think any of this will affect them.
“What is truly concerning is that this analysis does not even account for the many issues beyond trade, like currency. I cannot fathom how ministers can say with a straight face that Brexit trade disruption is bad but three times as much with independence is good. They are both bad. That is why my party opposes these attempts to divide people and wants as close a relationship as possible with the EU.”