Confidence in the economy of an independent Scotland has soared, according to a new survey from the National Centre for Social Research.
The survey found that 41% of people view independence as a positive for Scotland’s economy – up from 26% in 2014 – and now outnumber those who believe the economic prospects would be worse.
There is also a sharp increase in people believing that independence would give Scotland a stronger voice in the world – up from 33% in 2014 to 49% in 2017 – and shows that independence is the most popular constitutional option, with support at 48% putting it within the margin of error.
This follows hot on the heels of a BBC survey, which revealed people in Scotland are more optimistic about the future than those in other parts of the United Kingdom. More Scots believed that the country’s best prospects were in the future than in the past, by a margin of 36 per cent to 29 per cent, while in England 49 per cent believed the country was better in the past and just 17 per cent said the best days of the country were in the future.
Experts who analysed the data believe that the greater optimism about the future in Scotland (and Wales, where optimism was also higher) is down to the response from backers of independence.
Improving the confidence in the ability of Scotland’s economy to prosper through the powers of independence is Business for Scotland’s key goal and in the last year our Scotland the Brief Graphics Project (which will be published in book form later this summer) has generated more than 1.8m views via social media alone.
BfS have also launched an innovative new Independence Ambassador Training programme, which is being rolled out across the country for individuals, Yes groups and grassroots activists.
The Ambassador programme is the lynchpin of BfS’s push to help more and more people believe that Scotland will prosper with the full powers of independence.
BfS research and policy papers have been generating headlines and will arm independence campaigners with an arsenal of information and arguments to support their efforts. You can read more about the Independence Ambassador Programme here.
BfS CEO Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp said: The results of this survey underpin the arguments we have been making and also the track record of the Scottish Government which is clearly competent on the economy, when compared to The UK Government’s shambolic and chaotic handling of Brexit, and that means more people are rightly coming to believe that Scotland will prosper with the full powers of independence.
“The Scottish Government has a handle on Brexit and are working hard to protect the Scottish Parliament from a Westminster power grab (with support from Scottish Labour, the Lib Dems and Scottish Greens), as opposed to the UK Government which has a paucity of plans for Brexit and is still wrangling internally about what Brexit, and no deal, could mean for the country.
“It also speaks to the results of our recent EU research, in which 758 business leaders were asked about Brexit and their businesses:
“Scottish business is rejecting the UK Government’s shambolic Brexit plans and has made it very clear that Brexit is bad for business, bad for the economy, bad for jobs and could be disastrous for key sectors especially if the deal doesn’t include arrangements for Scottish business to have full membership of the Single Market and Customs Union.”