Scotland has got what it takes to be an independent country

Independence is about the right of people in Scotland to decide their own future

Just like everyone else, we are entitled to get the governments we vote for. Yet for the majority of the past 60 years, Scotland has had repeated Tory governments at Westminster that the people of Scotland consistently rejected in the ballot box.

In an independent Scotland, never again would we have to put up with the likes of Tory governments, led by Boris Johnson or anyone else, that we overwhelmingly and repeatedly reject.

With independence, the democratic right to get the governments we vote for will be guaranteed.

And the government of an independent Scotland will be able to use the full range of economic powers available to all other countries.

How successful we are will, of course, depend on our efforts and the decisions we make.

But the evidence demonstrates the potential we have to build a more prosperous, fairer country.

Scottish Parliament

We’re the ideal size

If you look at the OECD – the organisation of the world’s developed nations – seven of the ten richest countries in the world have populations of less than 10 million people, like Scotland.

If countries like Norway, Ireland and Denmark can do it – then why not Scotland?

And something else stands out too.

Independent countries our size also tend to have a happier, fairer and more equal society.

Scotland is a wealthy nation with a big economy

Scotland’s national income in 2019 was a huge £177 billion.

On a per head basis, that makes us wealthier than rich countries such as New Zealand, Japan and Italy.

Our manufacturing and export industry is flourishing, and as a member of the EU in our own right, we would be part of the European Single Market – which by population is around seven times the size of the UK.

a pile of Scottish banknotes

We’re educated and talented

Scotland has some of the best universities in the world, and we’re proud to support students by enabling access to education based on the ability to learn, rather than the ability to pay.

What’s more, Scotland’s people are among the most highly educated in Europe.

47% have university, college, or vocational qualifications – 5% above the UK average, and 16% above the EU average.

We have extraordinary energy resources

There are still billions of barrels of oil left in the North Sea – with revenues that could be invested in a green transition for the benefit of future generations.

And as we move to that greener future, with a world-leading target of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2045, few countries on earth have our abundance of natural resources.

Scotland has up to 25 per cent of Europe’s tidal power potential, and 25 per cent of Europe’s offshore wind potential.

Scotland already generates over 90 per cent of its electricity from renewables, and our green energy research and innovation are internationally renowned.

Wind turbines in the sea

We export high quality produce and goods

Our food and drink industry is an incredible success story – built on high quality produce, priding itself on its high environmental and consumer standards, and reaching every corner of the globe.

Scotland’s food and drink sector is worth around £15 billion – and Scotch whisky alone accounts for more than one-fifth of all UK food and drink exports.

We export more manufactured goods to the EU and those countries that the EU has a free trade deal with, than we do to the rest of the UK. In total, we export nearly £19 billion of manufactured goods to countries outside the UK.

And Scotland is the only UK nation to have internationally exported more goods than it has imported every year since records began – in fact, we export nearly double per head than the rest of the UK.

Nicola Sturgeon at a distillery

We are at the cutting edge of the industries of the future

70 satellites for the space industry were manufactured in Glasgow in 2019, more than in any other European city. In fact, Glasgow builds more satellites than anywhere else outside of California.

Our life sciences cluster is one of the biggest in Europe.

Scotland’s digital economy is creating around 13,000 highly paid jobs per year – and our flourishing digital industry is predicted to become the fastest growing industry in Scotland in the years ahead.

We’re big enough, rich enough and smart enough – even opponents of independence believe so

Scotland is one of Europe’s leading centres for professional services.

The size of our economy, our highly educated workforce, the abundance of natural resources, and cutting-edge innovation – with strengths in both manufacturing and services – all demonstrate that Scotland’s got what it takes to become a prosperous and thriving independent nation.

In fact, even opponents of independence believe that to be the case.

The former Prime Minister David Cameron said: “It would be wrong to suggest that Scotland could not be another such successful, independent country.”

The former Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson said: “Actually, I believe Scotland is big enough, rich enough and good enough to be an independent country.”

Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands, or those of Boris Johnson?

The key question then is, who should be in charge of Scotland’s economic policy and resources?

The COVID crisis means a major economic rebuilding job will be required in every country across the world. Who can be trusted to undertake that re-building of Scotland’s economy to ensure a fairer, greener, and more prosperous society?

Should it be yet another Westminster government, like Boris Johnson’s, that Scotland has consistently rejected – or a government in Scotland, elected by the people who live here and equipped with the full powers of independence?

In an independent Scotland, we will have control of our economic policy and all levers at our disposal.

With our people, our resources and our values we too – like other independent nations our size – can be wealthier, fairer and happier.