Europe Economy

England Should be Separated from Scotland: Economist

The English economy would be better off if it was separated from Scotland, its UK neighbor, because the cost of backstopping Scotland's banks far outweighs any benefits, Roger Nightingale, strategist at Pointon York, told Monday.

"We pay an enormous sum of money in support (for Scotland)… support for their banks has outweighed the oil in total," Nightingale said, referring to income generated from oil and gas reserves in the North Sea.  

The Scottish Parliament currently has power over certain policy areas, while some areas are reserved for the broader UK government based in London. But the issue of full devolution remains hotly debated and has proved highly contentious for centuries.

"The English would vote 80 percent in favor of Scottish devolution," Nightingale said. "They'd say 'go and shut the door behind you.'"

Sharon Lorimer

The English should be given the choice of whether to separate from Scotland via a vote, instead of just Scotland choosing whether to break away from England, he added.

"I think this is outrageous. You ought to ask the Scots and the English… why should you just ask one side?" he said.

"When people are getting divorced you don't just go and ask one of them whether he or she wants to be separate, you ask them both. At least you do if you want it to be an amicable separation," Nightingale added.

Nightingale also said he thinks that England should be allowed to vote on whether it should be part of the European Union and if it did vote, the answer would be "no."

"I know that the Brits by and large want to be more distant from Europe and we don't get a vote. We've been promised lots of votes on European issues," he said.

The Lisbon Treaty that outlines changes in how the EU will operate should have been scrapped when Ireland failed to ratify it in 2008, according to Nightingale. And the fact that Ireland has the opportunity to vote again on the same issue means that every other country should get two votes, he said.

"What do they do? They cheat, the Europeans always cheat. At that stage they say 'ah, well we'll faff around and fiddle about and then we'll write it again,'" Nightingale said.