Sturgeon told re-joining Single Market to hurt Scotland’s growth

Nicola Sturgeon asked why Scotland should re-join single market

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Nicola Sturgeon was confronted on the trading impact leaving re-joining the EU’s Single Market would have on Scotland’s economy. Inside the 30-member Single Market, Scotland would be able to trade with all the 27 EU member states, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. However, it would raise trade barriers at Scotland’s border with the rest of the United Kingdom.

ITV Robert Peston told Nicola Sturgeon on his show: “You as an independent country want to re-join the Single Market but that would mean trade barriers with the rest of the UK and that therefore would be a knock on your own growth if you got independence and if you joined the Single Market.”

Nicola Sturgeon said: “Look, firstly, the Single Market is eight times bigger than the UK market by population size. 

“Scotland against their will has been taken out of that. Brexit is projected long-term to cost UK growth something like four percent – a significant hit on revenues over the long term. 

“So yes, I think it is right for Scotland to aspire to be back in the Single Market, that much bigger trading market.”

Nicola Sturgeon has used the UK’s financial crisis and the economic fallout triggered by by Liz Truss’ mini-budget to make her case for independence in Scotland. 

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has tried to cushion the economic blow provoked by his predecessor with the highly-awaited Autumn Statement on Thursday, setting out £55billion of tax hikes and spending cuts.

Following the announcement, the pound dropped sharply against the dollar in the wake of the gloomy forecasts from the independent fiscal watchdog, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR). 

According to the OBR, household disposable income will drop by more than 7 percent over the next two years, making it the biggest fall in living standards since comparable records began in 1956.

In the long term, the cumulative fall will wipe out the past eight years of economic growth and would will see disposable income back to the level it was in 2013/2014.

Jeremy Hunt also confirmed the UK’s economy is in a recession. Rishi Sunak’s Government is hoping the budget will make inflation shallower and make the economic pain shorter.

The economic chaos has boosted the case for Scottish independence and for re-joining the EU’s Single Market where Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP could trade with 30 trading partners. 

After failing her first attempt at leaving the UK in 2014, Nicola Sturgeon has used Brexit and Scots’ vote against it to boost her case for independence. Scotland was dragged out of the European Union against its will, as an ovewhelming majority of 62 percent voted to remain. 

Because of its membership to the union, Scotland was forced to follow the voice of the British people and left the EU and its Single Market under Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal.

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In its economic and fiscal outlook, the OBR forecast that Brexit “will result in the U.K.’s trade intensity being 15 per cent lower in the long run than if the U.K. had remained in the EU.”

The finances watchgod added: “The latest evidence suggests that Brexit has had a significant adverse impact on U.K. trade, via reducing both overall trade volumes and the number of trading relationships between U.K. and EU firms.”

While the OBR says it is difficult to disentangle the impacts of Brexit and Covid on the UK economy, it forecasts that Brexit will reduce the UK’s productivity by 4 percent in the long run. 

The Supreme Court will announce next Wednesday at 9:45 am whether Scotland’s Government can legally hold a second independence referendum. 

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