Transatlantic Relations Program Assistant Director Sarah Bedenbaugh writes for US News and World Report on the upcoming referendum on Scottish independence:
Independence sounds impressive. The concept evokes grand images of triumph through adversity and of the ultimate power of the underdog to overcome an oppressive, larger power. Despite the tendency to romanticize independence, the reality does not often live up to its advocates’ idealistic high hopes. A “yes” result on the Scottish referendum on Sept. 18 would serve only to showcase the country’s naïveté about the economic and geopolitical disadvantages of separation from the United Kingdom.
First, independence will not miraculously turn Scotland into an economic powerhouse, as the “yes” camp would like to believe. None of the economic considerations that have been raised around the hypothetical of an independent Scotland have been adequately addressed by First Minister Alex Salmond and his Scottish National Party. Doubt over whether Scotland would be allowed to adopt the pound sterling or the euro as its currency, uncertainty about the supply and management of North Sea oil reserves and questions about how the UK will split its debt with an independent Scotland are but a few of the problems Scotland would face in the event the “yes” camp wins.