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To the brink, but no further

Scotland would gain few benefits from going it alone that it cannot already get as part of the United Kingdom

By John Kay   June 2011

The SNP’s victory in the 5th May elections, which delivered an overall majority of 69 out of the 129 seats, means that the party can now fulfil its commitment to push for a referendum on independence. But independence, if achieved, would bring complications—both political and economic.

The reality is that Scotland would gain little by full independence. In the modern world, economic sovereignty for small nations is inescapably limited, and political sovereignty is largely symbolic. There is very little possible autonomy for Scotland which is not potentially available to it as part of the United Kingdom.

Scotland is the most…

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