As Scotland prepares for its September 18th referendum vote on independence, respected U.S. economists and political leaders have shared statements with Britain’s Financial Times expressing concern about the resulting implications for Scotland and other western countries should the independence vote win.
Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the US Federal Reserve, has said the economic consequences of independence would be “surprisingly negative for Scotland, more so than the Nationalist party is in any way communicating.” He further emphasized that “[t]heir [nationalist] forecasts are so implausible they really should be dismissed out of hand” with reference to the North Sea oil supply. Mr. Greenspan also does not forsee England agreeing to a currency union. “There’s no conceivable, credible way the Bank of England is going to sit there as a lender of last resort to a new Scotland,” said Mr Greenspan.
Robert Zoellick, the former deputy secretary of state and World Bank president was equally forceful in his comments: “[A] break-up of the UK would be a diminution of Britain and a tragedy for the west just at a moment when the US needs strong partners. I strongly suspect it would not work out well for the Scots either.”
Senator John McCain (R-AZ) was equally pessimistic, stating “I don’t see how it could be helpful, not just as far as intelligence ties are concerned, but to the unique military relationship as well.”
The White House’s response has been muted. “We have an interest in seeing the UK remain strong, robust and united,” said White House spokesman Josh Earnest. But an unnamed senior administration official was more direct, indicating “[t]hat is our nightmare – Scottish independence followed by a British exit from the EU.”
Addendum: The U.S. Congress shows division over whether Scottish voters should declare independence. Click here for the report.