Scottish Independence: A Measuring of Economies

Part 4 of an 11-part look at Scottish independence and its potential impact on Scottish influence

In today’s global economy, a nation’s influence is profoundly impacted by its economic strength.[i] “Geoeconomics is replacing geopolitics,” noted World Policy Institute analysts Sherle Schwenninger and Jerry W. Sanders in the 1982 book “Betraying the National Interest” which was authored by Lappe, Shuman & Danaher and published by Food First and the Institute for Food and Development Policy. ”Economic strength and political dialogue, not military might, increasingly determine a nation’s power and influence-its ability to shape events, and to build a world order compatible with its values.”[ii]

One key question for me, as a Scot, is what impact Scottish independence would have on the economic status of both Scotland and England.

Today, the United Kingdom is the eighth-largest economy in the world[iii] with a Gross National Income in PPP dollars of $2.23 Trillion. If Scotland were to become independent, Scotland’s ranking would be fifty-ninth with a GNI of $151 Billion[iv] and the remaining nations in the United Kingdom would rank ninth, a drop of one position from that of the current United Kingdom, with a GNI of $2.08 Trillion.

Scotland would certainly lose economic influence globally simply because its economy would be fifty-ninth largest in the world, as opposed to being a piece of the eight largest, while the rest of the UK would not notice any significant difference. Scotland would however have total control over its own economic policy and international relations, rather than making up only 9 percent of the elected members of Parliament in the UK House of Commons and only being able to have a limited influence on the United Kingdom’s economic policy.[v]

Previous Posts

Declining Influence? How Might Scottish Independence Impact Scottish Influence?

A Historical Primer

Connected Yet Separate

Next week – Status in the EU


[i] Lappe, Frances M. & Shuman, Rachel & Danaher, Kevin (1982) Betraying the National Interest (Food First)

[ii] Lappe, Frances M. & Shuman, Rachel & Danaher, Kevin (1982) Betraying the National Interest (Food First)

[iii] World Economic Outlook Database, April 2012, International Monetary Fund

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