26 August 2016

On the Record | In Just a Wee Bit of Irony Scots Could Be Orphaned by British Independence

Please see my first cable for The New York Sun, ‘In Just a Wee Bit of Irony Scots Could Be Orphaned by British Independence’:

Here’s a wee bit of irony. The decision of the British people to leave the European Union may have been seen by the Scottish elite as yet another chance for Scotland itself to secede from the United Kingdom and set up their own country, seated within the European Union. But it turns out that the scheme could run into trouble owing to Scotland’s own leftist tendencies.

It’s the Scottish adherence to welfare state policies that may yet do them in. “To be a member of the EU you should have, except in extremis, a budget deficit of no more than 3% of GDP,” writes political economist Tim Worstall for Forbes. “Fudging is possible [but] not a tripling of that target.” Were Scotland an independent state, its budget deficit would be 9.5%.

Scotland’s unofficial poet laureate, Robert Burns, might have remarked, “The best-laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men gang aft agley . . .”

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My thanks to Seth Lipsky, editor of The New York Sun, for his kind assistance in preparing this cable for the press.