Independence could lead to a wealthier Scotland

Scotland's Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, waves to the audience after addressing the 77th annual Scottish National Party conference in Inverness, Scotland. This week Scotland, backed by Sturgeon, launched a campaign for independence from the U.K.

David Brancaccio: Could Scotland become its own country? Official campaigning got underway today for a referendum over whether Scotland should leave the rest of the United Kingdom.

And as Christopher Werth reports, the push is in large part about the economy.


Christopher Werth: Scotland has been a part of the United Kingdom for the past three hundred years, but many Scots think it's a bad deal. Scotland is home to most of the UK's oil and gas production in the North Sea.

And Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland's Deputy First Minister, says independence would allow its economy to grow.

Nicola Sturgeon: Scotland's got a strong economy, an economy that more than pays its way in the U.K., and this debate about independence is a debate about whether we want to put the big decisions about our economy and other aspects of Scottish life in to Scottish hands.

But the shaky global economy cold throw cold water over all the warm feelings of Scottish national pride. With investors nervous over trouble in the euro zone, independence for Scotland could mean higher borrowing costs for the Scottish government, and North Sea oil and gas production has been declining for years.

Lewis Goodall is with the Institute for Public Policy Research.

Lewis Goodall: This whole debate has move in an economic direction and actually support for independence has actually as a result of those things.

The Scots have two years to weigh their options. The vote over independence takes place in 2014.

In London, I'm Christopher Werth for Marketplace.

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