Many of you will have already picked up on the Wings Over Scotland poll in which 53% of Scots said that they would be happy with a hard border between Scotland and England if that was the price of effectively remaining in the EU, against 26% who did not agree.
Before the 2014 referendum, Better Together used a hard border as one of their negatives against Scottish independence. They also claimed that the volume of trade between Scotland and the rest of the UK was so great that Scotland could not afford to lose it. That was, of course, before Brexit blew everything out of the water. We no longer see a hard border between Scotland and England as something to worry us.
An independent Scotland would continue to trade with the rUK. Why would Scotland and the rUK not do so? But what happens if this trade reduces and Scotland loses volumes of both imports and exports? This is exactly what is going to happen between the UK and the EU very very soon. The UK says that it will replace EU trade with markets further afield. This is costly, time-consuming, inefficient and uneconomic. Even if the rUK can deliver new trade deals they will be on the new markets’ terms – hello privatised NHS, privatised Scottish Water, no labour rights, lower health and safety standards, reduced pensions, etc.
Scotland, on the other hand, has a ready market for its exports and imports closer to hand – the EU. Not only will this take up the slack of any reduced trading with rUK, it is extremely likely that trade will increase. An independent Scotland, fully-controlling its own resources and economic policy, forging new trade routes to bypass rUK, has a bright future. As rUK haemorrhages manufacturing and financial services jobs, Scotland is also ideally placed to accommodate a good portion of them.
Of course, had we voted “Yes” in 2014, this would have taken place by now, but it is never too late.