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article image'Independence'— Can Scotland survive and prosper? Special

By Lesley Lanir     Apr 2, 2014 in World
Glasgow - In September, Scotland will vote in a referendum for independence. A Scotsman discusses if Scotland is ready to be an independent country; can Scotland survive and prosper and whether Scotland should declare independent statehood.
A national referendum is to be held in Scotland on 18 September, 2014, to decide whether or not Scotland will become an independent sovereign state and separate from the United Kingdom.
In discussions with Digital Journal, graphic designer and digital artist, Adrian McGarry, who lives in England, said the following regarding the information he had been privy to regarding Scotland's future referendum on independence:
“I feel there seem to be uncertainties over currency, regulation and business as if not everything has been thoroughly thought through or maybe just not explained properly to the voter.”
To understand the extent of the uncertainties raised by Adrian McGarry, Digital Journal turned to a Glaswegian who openly discussed his thoughts on the upcoming referendum and commented on whether he thinks that those living in Scotland have a clear idea how the country would function independently and be successful autonomously should the majority vote turn out to be ‘yes’ in the September referendum.
Could you firstly refer to Adrian McGarry's points?
In reference to Adrian McGarry’s points: The recently published white paper, Scotland’s Future, sets out the current Scottish Parliament’s position, or, rather, the majority SNP (Scottish National Party) party’s position, on all of the areas Adrian mentions and many others. It’s worth noting that the SNP will not necessarily form the government in an independent Scotland.
A general election will be held in 2016 and, as with all elections, different political parties will have their own proposals and the electorate will make a decision based on those.
To expect cast-iron guarantees on almost anything at the moment is to misunderstand the nature of democracy and the political system.
That said, the recent uncertainty about currency is beginning to clarify, with reports in the press that government ministers are secretly acknowledging that a currency union with the UK to retain the pound would almost certainly happen, despite the current government and opposition leader’s public opposition.
Stirling Castle: One of the largest and most important castles  both historically and architecturall...
Stirling Castle: One of the largest and most important castles, both historically and architecturally, in Scotland.
Neil Gunn
Could Scotland survive and prosper as an independent country?
Yes, it definitely could. Even those against independence have acknowledged that.
People have started to hear a little about the Scottish referendum but are unaware that Scotland has any means of surviving economically if it does become an independent country.
Can you give examples as to why and how Scotland could survive and even prosper?
Scotland is a country rich in natural resources – oil, natural gas, wind and tide. We have a skilled, highly trained workforce in several competitive areas – manufacturing, heavy industry, computer sciences, medical sciences, business, the service sector.
Our businesses export globally and we have and would continue to have after independence, strong trade ties to almost every other country and market on the planet. The OECD has stated that an independent Scotland would rank as the 8th richest country among all its members (the UK is 17th) and the international credit agency Standard and Poors has indicated that an independent Scotland would be given a triple A credit rating for business investment.
What about the health service in Scotland? How would that function?
NHS Scotland (the health service) is already a separate entity from the health service in the rest of the UK and regularly outperforms its larger counterpart.
What about further education and research?
Scotland’s universities and scientific research facilities are respected globally. We have made and continue to make a massive contribution to numerous academic and scientific areas of research and knowledge, relative to our size.
And besides Scotland's natural resources, trained work force, and prospects for businesses, there is of course, tourism. Scotland has a thriving tourism industry.
Scotland - Inveraray Bridge - Loch Fyne
Scotland - Inveraray Bridge - Loch Fyne
Neil Gunn
So are there any reasons why Scotland wouldn’t be able to survive?
The fact is no one anywhere has said that Scotland is incapable of surviving on its own. There are plenty of statistics on both sides of the argument, and obviously (very slightly) they contradict each other depending on the motives of the side presenting them. The unarguable truth however is that Scotland is entirely economically capable of thriving as a small, independent European nation.
So no, there is no objective reason why Scotland could not only survive but would certainly prosper after independence.
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