Ireland is proof that Scotland would thrive as an independent country

Dublin skyline

There are often many comparisons drawn between the projected benefits of independence for Scotland, and the current situation in Ireland, an already successful independent country, which even during the worst of times, has shown great endurance.

Scotland of course has a massive wealth of natural resources and a massive banking and finance industry, an impressive tourism industry, massive food and drinks industry, a huge whisky industry etc, that Ireland would of course envy.

The banking sector alone in Scotland is worth £1.82 trillion according to Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, who said it's worth ten times Scottish GDP.

The north sea oil and gas reserves can be comfortably estimated to be worth at least £1 trillion, according to current estimates. Scottish Conservative MP Ross Thompson boasted in the House of Commons recently that Scotland has a minimum of 17 billion barrels of oil off the north sea, so this is not even contested by the British government.

So let's get back to Ireland - Ireland's economy is currently booming.  They have learned from the most recent financial crisis, and will be more prepared to avert disaster should another financial crash happen anytime soon.  Scotland can learn from the mistakes that were made too.

US multinational firms make up 14 of the top 20 Irish firms.  This is indicative of a country that's ALLOWED to make it's own corporation tax deals, a country that's free to decide it's own rules in order to attract bigger business.

Scotland is unable to attract the multinational firms and foreign investment that would make our economy boom, due to being attached to the union.

Ireland's ability to offer a competitive corporation tax deal, means that they can attract multiple huge firms, providing excellent jobs for ordinary, working people - that provide excellent pensions and working conditions.  Just think about the tens of billions of pounds that Scotland is missing out on, because we are completely powerless to do these types of deals?

There are some who would argue that Ireland is a corporation tax haven - but attracting big business improves economies, in more ways than one, and with all the additional taxes paid into the government as a result - you at least have the financial ability to take care of the needy and the most vulnerable members of society.

Ireland proved that even a small country, with few natural resources, can cope, and survive through even the harshest of global financial climates.  The lessons learned during that period are of great benefit to Scotland.

Many point to the fact that Ireland had to be bailed out during the financial crisis.  I would simply say to that, that many countries had to take out loans to cope, but whilst the likes of the UK is still struggling to cope after the financial crisis - Ireland has come out of the other side stronger, and wealthier than ever before.

The people of Ireland understand, just like the people of Scotland - that trade relationships with Europe are extremely important.  Unfortunately, while tied to the UK, Scotland can be removed from these trade deals at any time that the English electorate decide, against the will of the Scottish people, as Brexit has proved.

The Scottish tourism industry is already doing pretty well, but of course, Scotland could easily benefit from a greater tourism industry after independence because we'd be able to sell the true Scottish experience.  The gaining of independence in itself will be an attraction to visitors.  There is also the aspect that some people would quite rightly be put off visiting Scotland whilst it is attached to the UK, for political reasons.

Being in the single market means that you can attract the work force to keep big business afloat, again, Brexit has proved that whilst within the UK, Scotland can be dragged from such a vital arrangement against her will.

the cost of not being independent

I am aware that many in Scotland and even in Ireland are Eurosceptics, but whether you like the EU or not, you should still be outraged that an entire country, in a supposed 'equal union' could be dragged from vital arrangements that benefit our economy, simply because another country within this so called 'equal union' decides to leave.

Services and high tech industries are vital to the Irish economy.  Scotland can learn lessons from the massive wealth that these types of industries bring to the Emerald Isle.

Ireland has a competitive edge over Scotland, because it's the only small, independent, English speaking country in Europe - free to make it's own decisions entirely.  Scotland can join the Celtic brotherhood of nations on day one of independence and will finally be able to compete for those huge corporations and for that significant foreign investment that benefits Ireland so much.

Scotland can look across the Irish sea for inspiration in other areas too - social policy.  Look at how Ireland treats their low paid workers, their pensioners, their disabled and unemployed.  The safety net that you pay your whole life for in your taxes is protected in Ireland.  The state pension is far greater, and the opportunities are far greater for the lower working classes.

The maximum Irish state pension is £215 pounds, where as the UK maximum state pension is a paltry £125 pounds a week. I have analysed the financial implications in other posts on this blog, and have concluded that with slightly different priorities (ie spending less than our current £4.8 billion a week contribution to defence), an independent Scotland could divert £1.5 billion to immediately increase the state pension by £30 a week across the board, and eventually, once economic conditions improve, increase it further.

If you are a low skilled worker in Ireland (talking from personal experience), you will have far more left over at the end of the week once you've paid your bills.  Having that little bit extra, as a result of an independent Scotland being able to attract the foreign investment and corporations that will make us all a little wealthier, will improve the quality of life of all of our citizens, the childhoods of future generations and improve the future of generations to come.

If you watch the video above, you will see that Irish economists often look to Scotland puzzled that the people here could not envision the massive benefits of becoming independent.  They look at how impoverished people are in Scotland and cannot quite grasp why the Scots would accept being permanent 2nd class citizens, as a secondary state to England within the UK.

Of course, Scotland is different, but in many ways, we're extremely similar to the Irish.  The Irish not only survive outwith the union - it is clear to any outside observer that they THRIVE outwith the union.  Let's hope that we can now open the eyes of the people of Scotland so that they can finally have the courage to recognise their true potential as an independent state and finally harness the self belief that is required to put a cross in the yes box next time.

Then and only then, can we drag the working classes out of the abject poverty that they have become so used to in the UK.


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