RESPONSE TO MARC WELLER (Scotsman 22.02.21)

Scottish independence debate balances financial risks against a vision of a Scandinavian future – Professor Marc Weller (

Marc Weller is not an economist but assumes he can explain the finances of an independent Scotland. He can’t.

He bases his analysis on the discredited Growth Commission Report that assumes Scotland will use the pound whereas SNP policy is for Scotland to have its own currency and central bank upon independence, ensuring full monetary control.

Weller cites figures from the Tory-designed GERS that assigns a fictional 8% deficit for Scotland, meaning a region with 8.3% of the population is responsible for 54-60% of UK total debt - absurd. Westminster charges Scotland £3.5b per year for defense when Ireland spends £1b, and £4.5b for UK debt servicing.

He cites an LSE report by two students funded by the pro-market Centre for Economic Performance that has been has been debunked by economists - who are not students - for making up data, looking only at trade and failing to account for any Scottish government investment.

He assumes a hard border with England when the international norm is to have smart borders, like the 1000-mile border Norway shares with Sweden, that ensures smooth trade because of technology and collaboration.

He says accession to the EU will be difficult but that’s a decision for the Scottish people. They may decide to join EFTA instead for freedom of movement and free access to the EU market.[1]

Weller claims Scotland will inherit a share of UK debt. But Scotland will not be the successor state, so it will be debt-free, something London has conceded.[2]

As a UK region, Scotland’s economic growth has been half that of similarly sized EU nations thanks to Tory austerity and economic mismanagement. International Economics Professor Mark Blyth, a Scot, said, “The UK growth model is unsustainable and Scotland can do better than simply subsist on inter-regional transfers.”[3]


*Leah has a background in economics and is a member of Now Scotland. 

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