This January the Scottish Government published its policy paper on Scotland’s future outside the EU: Scotland’s Place in Europe: People, Jobs and Investment.
It is a remarkable document. It claims that unless Scotland is able to stray in the EU Single Market wages will fall by £2,000 every year to 2030, Scotland’s strong productivity growth will be reversed, GDP will fall by almost 10 per cent, 80,000 jobs will be lost and Scotland’s population will shrink to such an extent there will be insufficient resource to care for the old and sick.
It claims that the EU represents an indispensable driver for growth and its Single Market holds the potential for even greater trade liberalisation, particularly in services and marketing, to the benefit of Scotland.
The document makes no mention of any aspect of the EU that anyone on the Left might find objectionable – its ban on state aid, its demand for fully marketised public procurement, its competition rules that prevent comprehensive public ownership or its hostility to collective bargaining.
The document’s most worrying feature, however, is its lack of realism. It is almost frightening that any government should be running a country on the basis of such ignorance. Scotland, it claims,