Scotland puts out pro-independence report

Scotland is economically deprived by the decisions made by UK governments, according to a report promoting Scottish independence.

In the report, published on Tuesday (21 May), First Minister for Scotland Alex Salmond wrote that the country is in a fiscally stronger position than the rest of the UK. He said: “A one-size-fits-all economic policy for the UK, with all the key decisions taken in Westminster deprives Scotland of the levers it needs to set our economy on a path to higher growth and employment.”

Although the report focused on the country’s whole economy, part detailed the food and drinks sector, claiming the country to be “a land of food and drink”.

The report said people around the world know that Scotch Beef and Lamb, among other food crops, were “second to none”. It continued: “We have some of the best natural produce in the world. The food and drink we rear, grow and make stands for quality, for beautiful unspoilt landscapes, clear air, pure water and all the traditions of good husbandry.”

Increased exports

The Scottish government’s ambition is to increase exports by 50% by 2017. Adding weight to this ambition, the report outlined how food and drink exports had grown by 50% since 2007 and reached £5.38bn in 2011, “making it one of the biggest export sectors” in the country.

It was also highlighted that the country holds more than 25% of the UK’s beef herd and lands 60% of the UK’s fish.

Turnover in the country’s food and drink sector was estimated at £12.4bn in 2010 and Scottish food and drink brands across Great Britain increased by 28% in retail sales.

Salmond added: “The proposition at the heart of this document is thus not just that Scotland can afford to be independent. It is that independence is an essential step if we are to build a better, more prosperous and fairer country.”