Originally posted by Stephen Noon on May 17, 2012
Here are ten things you should tell your friends and family about an independent Scotland
- Being independent means that the people of Scotland will be in charge of Scotland’s future. Together, we care most about our nation, so nobody else is going to do as good a job of making Scotland a success.
- If Scotland votes yes, the first independent parliament will be elected in 2016 – we will get the government we vote for, unlike today, with a government in London the majority of voters in Scotland did not support.
- Scotland more than pays her way in the UK. We get 9.3% of UK spending, but contribute 9.6% of UK taxes. We are in a stronger financial position than the rest of the UK, to the tune of £510 per person last year - that's over £1000 for each Scottish household. As an independent country, this money would stay in Scotland.
- Scotland already pays for all the government services we need as an independent country - we don't have to start from scratch. However, the money will be spent in Scotland, rather than London, creating thousands of Scottish jobs.
- With independence we'll save on some UK spending - so the initial start up costs will be met by the £250 million annual saving from the UK's existing nuclear weapons and the £50 million annual saving by no longer paying for politicians at Westminster.
- Scotland would remain part of the EU. EU law doesn't allow for Scotland to be unilaterally kicked out on independence. And, EU law also makes clear that Scotland can't be forced to join the euro. We will continue to use the pound, just as we do today.
- Scotland has 25% of the EU's offshore wind and tidal energy potential. By 2020 our renewable energy could be generating £2 billion a year of exports and by 2050 our renewable energy could be worth £14 billion a year.
- Scotland doesn't need oil to become independent, but our oil and gas resource is worth over £1 trillion and gives us a safety net for the future. Last year saw record investment in the North Sea and in October, BP said they expected North Sea oil and gas to flow for at least another 40 years.
- The UK government doesn't include oil and gas when it talks about Scotland's finances. But, if you do include oil and gas in our national accounts, we would be the 6th wealthiest nation per capita in developed world.
- Scotland has a wealth of talent - for our size we have more world-class universities than any other nation and our research tops world league tables.