SNP – independence would be better for the North East than control from London

The Scottish National Party has told the North East an independent Scotland would welcome its workers with open arms.

The SNP said the region should see independence as offering an alternative to London’s dominance over the North East, a claim few of the region’s MPs appeared to agree with.

Instead, there were warnings yesterday of border chaos and towns reduced to “currency exchange kiosks” if a yes vote is returned in this year’s referendum.

Phil Wilson (Sedgefield – Blair’s successor) led MPs yesterday in a parliamentary debate on the impact of independence on the region’s economy.

Citing a Journal report from last year in which First Minister Alex Salmond told the North East it had no better friend than Scotland, the Sedgefield MP questioned the reality of that relationship.

He said: “To the SNP’s internal Scottish audience, the English are those from whom the SNP wants independence, but to the North East of England, according to Alex Salmond, we are Scotland’s closest friends.

“Call me old-fashioned, but I would not close the door on my closest friends by asking for independence from the rest of the UK.”

> Scotland is our next door neighbour – a good deal closer than the London city state.

SNP MP Angus MacNeil denied the possibility that a new border would hinder trade.

He told MPs: “The point of the SNP is to put the Scottish people first, rather than power struggles in London, which, unfortunately, is the point of the London parties.

“It is all about who is in government in London, and that is not for the good of the people of Sighthill, Skye or Lewis.

“That is an awful tragedy. It should also be in our interest in Scotland to ensure that the good people of the North East of England are benefiting as much as those in the regions of Scotland.

“I look forward to the day I witness people from the North East of England finding chances of employment in Scotland, rather than having to go far afield to the South East of England.”

> Amen to that !

Berwick Liberal Democrat Sir Alan Beith said the fact was that day-to-day trade would be changed if Scotland broke away from the United Kingdom.

He said: “That activity is not impossible with independence, we should not overstate the case, but it would become more difficult and the likelihood of administrative barriers being erected is that much greater.

“There are a whole series of reasons why anyone living near the border, unless they see their future entirely as a town of currency exchange kiosks and smugglers, would think that we are much better together.”

Also warning against a yes vote was Hexham Conservative Guy Opperman. He told MPs: “The boundary between Scotland and the rest of the UK would, by definition, become an international border between two separate states, with everything that entails.

“The evidence locally in the North East, whether from farming bodies or the North East chamber of commerce, is extensive.

> farming bodies or the North East chamber of commerce… oh yes, very representive of the population at large – and, I suspect, two groups from which Mr Opperman draws his support come election time.

“There is huge concern that this will have an impact on trade, businesses and jobs.

> Bigger than that caused by policies imposed by the London-based ConDem government, unrepresented in the NE except by Mr Opperman ?

The possible problems rising from Scottish independence are conjecture. The problems caused by policies imposed from the London posh boys are REAL.

“I met a number of oil and gas producers, several of whom are building huge sites on the Tyne at the moment. The two biggest construction sites are for construction projects in the North Sea.

“The producers are concerned that, if there were independence, those projects would be affected, and there would be greater difficulties.”

Source – Newcastle Journal, 05 Mar 2014

2 comments

  1. beastrabban

    Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    I’ve reblogged this as it presents a completely different perspective on the issue of Scots independence from what we’ve been usually hearing down south. Here the matter is presented very much in terms of whether Scotland will actually become independent, and whether it can actually survive economically as an independent nation, as well as the rhetoric from its opponents about breaking up the historic union. You don’t hear it suggested that Scots independence might actually be also beneficial for the north of England. I was taught in geography at school that one of the causes for the economic decline of the north, apart from the obvious decline in heavy industry, was that it was overshadowed by London. Evan Davies on his show, ‘Mind the Gap: London and the Rest’, stated several times that London had grown to dominate the British economy by pulling in people and expertise from elsewhere. It is also massively dominant economically because of the colossal concentration of British industry, particularly the financial sector and what remains of the civil service, in the capital. As a result, the provinces suffer, with those most acutely hit the further from London. Except when you get to Glasgow and Edinburgh. We were taught that they were furthest away from London and so could begin to generate their own economy without having resources and investment diverted to London. If that’s the case, then an independent, prosperous Scotland might be in a position to stimulate the economy of neighbouring English provinces south of its border. And that would clearly present a challenge to London’s hegemony. The Conservatives have already shown a determination to concentrate resources, public works and industrial development in London, and there is an attitude amongst some of them that the industrial north should simply be left to die. Recently declassified documents from Thatcher’s cabinet have shown that this was the attitude of one of her ministers to Liverpool. So, a successful, Scotland, which has established good trade relations with the English provinces would provide real challenge, at least to those part of England immediately near it, to the economic and political domination of London.

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