First Minister: Independence “essential” to Scotland’s prosperity
Blueprint for fairer, stronger, greener Scotland published.
Independence is essential to build a fairer, stronger, greener Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said as she launched the Scottish Government’s independence economy prospectus.
The First Minister said the paper, Building a New Scotland: A stronger economy with independence, sets out plans to make the economy work for everyone and forge a different path to the Brexit based UK economic model that, as outlined in the first paper, is poorer and more unequal than comparable independent countries.
- re-joining the European Union (EU) to benefit from, and contribute to, the vast European Single Market, helping to forge a different path to the UK system
- a redesigned energy market that aims to provide secure and reliable low cost energy
- retaining free movement of people, without a passport, across the UK and Ireland, with trade borders implemented smoothly
- using the pound sterling, until the time is right to move to a Scottish pound
- up to £20 billion in major infrastructure investment through the Building a New Scotland Fund, including investment in more energy-efficient homes, greener transport, better digital and mobile connectivity, and more affordable housing
- using full powers over employment law to help improve pay and working conditions for people across Scotland, including introducing a minimum wage with a single rate for all age groups and stronger access to flexible working
- a plan for better industrial relations through a social partnership approach involving business and unions
- a migration policy tailored to Scotland’s needs and designed to boost the working population
The paper outlines the new institutions that would be set up to manage the Scottish economy, including an independent Scottish Central Bank and a new Debt Management Office. Credible and responsible fiscal rules on borrowing and other key measures will be independently assessed by an enhanced Scottish Fiscal Commission.
Speaking as the paper was published, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:
“The UK economy is fundamentally on the wrong path and there is no real alternative on offer within the Westminster system.
“The establishment consensus on Brexit - despite the harm it is causing - illustrates that.
“For Scotland, not being independent means we are being dragged down the wrong path too: one people in Scotland did not vote for.
“To build a more stable, sustainable economy - with fairness and human wellbeing at heart - independence is therefore essential.
“That is the fundamental point we make in this paper. Independence is not an abstract argument separate from people’s daily lives.
“It has at its heart the ambition - and crucially, it equips us with the essential tools - to build a fairer, wealthier, greener, happier country.”
Building a New Scotland: A stronger economy with independence
Building a New Scotland series
This is the latest in a series of papers that will form a prospectus to enable people to make an informed choice about Scotland’s future before any referendum on independence takes place.
The first paper in the series was published on 14 June and presents evidence of the stronger economic and social performance, relative to the UK, of 10 independent countries across Europe that are comparable to Scotland.
Further papers in the Building a New Scotland series are to follow in the coming months, including a paper that will detail provisions around social security and pensions and a more detailed paper on Scotland’s relationship with the EU.
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