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The Disraeli Room

Blog Post

The Future of Scotland: What is the best choice for Scotland?

11th March 2014

Rob Shorthouse, Director of Communications for Better Together, argues for Scotland to remain in the Union

As Scots, we love our country and want the very best future for our families, our friends and everyone who lives here.

The choice we will take later this year is huge. If we vote to leave the UK, there will be no going back. It is therefore vitally important that we get this decision right. Our children, our grandchildren and the generations who follow them are relying on us to make the right choice for their future.

I believe passionately that right now Scotland has the best of both worlds as part of the UK. We have a strong Scottish Parliament taking important decisions about schools, hospitals and the environment but we also have the strength, security and opportunities we can take advantage of being part of a bigger United Kingdom.

We know that if we vote to leave the UK, we vote to leave the UK Pound. In these economically uncertain times, Scotland has the absolute reassurance that comes from the financial back-up of being part of the United Kingdom. Independence would mean huge uncertainty for our mortgages and interest rates; jobs and pensions. The last few years have been tough enough. The last thing we need is to lose our central bank, join the euro or set up a new separate Scottish currency.

As well as the economic insecurity that losing the UK Pound would bring, it’s also clear that Independence would cost jobs in Scotland. In recent days businesses employing over 40,000 people in Scotland have warned of the huge risks involved in leaving the UK.

The nationalists dismiss the concerns of these companies, but telling us not to worry and that everything will be alright on the night isn’t good enough. When the jobs and standard of living of thousands of Scots are at risk we need more than the usual bluff and bluster from Alex Salmond.

Aggreko, BP, Shell, Barclays, Lloyds, Standard Life and RBS, just to name a few, have all warned that independence would cost jobs in Scotland. Losing the strength and security of the UK Pound and our membership of the EU would simply mean too much uncertainty for the businesses they have successfully ran in Scotland, some for hundreds of years.

The UK is the oldest and most successful economic union in the world. For 300 years, Scotland has bought and sold goods in other parts of the UK without having to worry about borders. It has been an extraordinary success story. Today we sell more to the rest of the UK than we do to every other country in the world combined.

The UK is Scotland’s home market. We may live in a country of 5 million people, but our company’s customer base is much larger than that. We can – and do – sell easily to a market of 60 million people across the entire UK. We also benefit from the fact that our economy is based on a principle of pooling and sharing risks and resources. When one part of the country needs help, it gets it. When one part of the country experiences good times, the taxes generated are shared across the entire UK.

The best choice for our future is to remain a strong and proud country while benefiting from the strength, security and opportunity we can take advantage of as part of a bigger United Kingdom.
More powers for our Parliament are guaranteed as part of the 2012 Scotland Act and we will see further devolution offers from all of the pro-UK Better Together Parties in the coming months. A vote to reject separation is also a vote for devolution.

We can better bring out the best of Scotland by working together across the UK. We have achieved so much together. Working together in the future we can achieve so much more.


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