• Seventy percent of Scotland’s trade, accounting for almost 40% of Scotland’s GDP, is with the rest of the UK.
• Whereas exports from the rest of the UK to Scotland account for just 4% of UK GDP. In basic terms, Scotland is very dependent on the UK as a home for its goods.
• While Scotland enjoys a good trading relationship with the rest of the world, as an independent country it would need to address its consistent £10-12billion deficit with the rest of the UK. At £5,000 per household, it’s a substantial figure.
• Current arrangements allow a free flow of trade through similar and well-harmonised legal systems, as well as close cultural and economic ties. Separation from the UK would weaken these links and make trading conditions more difficult and costly.
• Weakened ties would mean an independent Scotland would need to work hard to find new markets.
• If Scotland were readmitted to the EU, it would be part of the single market regulatory area. However, if Scotland was not able to keep the pound, the implications for trade would be profound, as currency fluctuation would act as a significant barrier to trade.
For more in-depth analysis, please click here for the full-version of the white paper, Much cost, little benefit