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Andrew Neil dismantles Scottish independence campaigner's argument as complete 'gibberish'

Mr Neil lashed out at Francis Johnstone who questioned if he had evidence to back up the claims. Mr Johnstone, tweeted: “Every other Nation in the World would be knocking on our doors for we’d be the second biggest exporter in the World with Indy.”

But the BBC Politics Live host hit back and said: “Very interesting. What source are you citing for Scotland being the second biggest exporter on the planet?

“And if it’s so big how come Scotland runs such a huge balance of payments deficit? Thank you in anticipation.”

Mr Johstone said back: “Well if yer talking about the GERS Figures & Deficit they are FALSE Figures, we as only 8 percent of the Population have most Deficit, with over half the UK deficit, while England with the Biggest Population has the least only 8 percent of the Deficit which is always Unchallenged.”

But Mr Neil joked that if Johnstone was on “cooking sherry” and hit back saying: “By the way I asked, because you raised it, about Scotland’s balance of payments deficit. 

“You’ve replied with some gibberish about Scotland’s fiscal deficit. 

“Two entirely different deficits. Have you finished all the cooking sherry already?”

Mr Neil’s tweet sparked a huge divide between unionist and indy supporters, with one saying: “Coming from England, I’d love Scotland to be given independence but they’d have to use their own currency NOT be tied to ours, separate passports the whole 9 yards.

“If you want it you can have it but it’s a clean break.”

READ MORE: SNP fans furious as Sturgeon trolled with brutal Andrew Neil clip

“Then on top of that, we are also allocated a debt that we didn’t spend. How is this fair?”

UK government figures show that Scottish exports to the rest of the UK are more than three times higher than those to the 27 EU countries.

£51bn or 60 percent of Scotland’s exports (excluding oil and gas) went to the rest of the UK in 2018.

The Centre for Constitutional Change undertook a study in 2014 called the “border effect”, an observation that trade is higher within countries than between countries.

Prior to the vote in 2014, the centre said that “If in the long run, the border between an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK border affects trade like the current border between the Republic of Ireland and the UK, then we estimate costs at 5.5 percent of Scotland’s GDP.”

But Mairi Spowage, deputy director of the Fraser of Allander Institute, added: “In 2014 there was a choice between the status quo and independence.

“But with Brexit, there is going to be economic change and uncertainty no matter what the people of Scotland decide to do. It does frame the argument differently.”



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