Sturgeon: Expert says UK government ‘has the strong hand’
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And Adrian Hill fears the net result could be a “failed state” on the UK’s doorstep. Mr Hill was speaking to Express.co.uk after an analysis by Professor David Blake, in which he suggested independence would leave Scotland £300billion in the red, at a conservative estimate.
As a result, Mr Hill, 82, a former officer in the Royal Engineers who among other diplomatic posts worked as a member of the Channel Tunnel team at
the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the COBRA Committee of the Cabinet Office, suggested Ms Sturgeon would urgently need to secure alternative sources of investment, with all the associated risks.
With references to Germany, which he suggested would be Scotland’s preferred choice, he said: “I think if they were trying to invest in Scotland they, they would either give them loans, lend them money on pretty strict terms or they would buy stuff.
“There is nothing to stop anybody investing in Scotland, just like the Chinese have been snapping up small high tech firms overseas to get their technology because it’s much cheaper than them working it out themselves.”
Referring to the prospect of a nation divorced from the safety net provided by being part of the UK, Mr Hill said: “The Scottish nationalists present Scottish history as the previous 500 years were some kind of gold age but in the last 300 years before the Acts of Union 1707, Scottish history was dreadful.
“I mean, there are not many capital cities, you can go to and you can see where the Queen’s secretary and advisor was murdered in the next room, in the next room to her bedroom.
“The history is that they overreach themselves eventually and there’s a massive financial crisis because it’s a small country trying to act as though it’s a big one.
“And therefore they need big partners to foot the bills or at least act as a cushion.”
Therefore Nicola Sturgeon, as the First Minister of an independent Scotland, would be tempted to accept and even solicit heavy German investment, Mr Hill said.
He added: “The trouble is, how is that going to work, or is it going to be via the new mighty EU superstate?
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“Are they going to be allowed to stay out of the euro? Probably not because why should they make an exemption for Scotland and then all the others last year exemption started with the Greeks.
“My worry with them is it is the desperation moment.”
Citing an example from Scottish history, Mr Hill pointed out the alliance which Mary Queen of Scots had forged with the French in the 16th century against Queen Elizabeth 1 as part of her attempt to strengthen her claim to the English throne.
He explained: “If you go around some of the beautiful castles along the west coast of Scotland all of them are like French chateaux. You could be in France – except for the weather.”
Referring to modern Scotland, he said: “What they risk is they end up swapping a master for a partner.
“The most dangerous thing is if they become a failed state and then go to the worst possible source of funds or help in the world because that’s the only logical route.
“I mean they could go to the mafia, they could go to the Chinese, they could go to Putin.
“The EU helping them out is bad enough, but there will are plenty of worse people some we don’t know about they haven’t.
“If they have a failed state, they’ve lost control.”
He added: I think the Chinese would love to have some kind of place under its thumb in Europe because it’s the end of the line of their Belt and Road initiative.
“So what’s so different about Scotland? Again, except the weather.”
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