Benefits of the Union

What are the benefits of the Union?

The Union serves all four parts of the United Kingdom well and enables us to achieve much more together than would be the case if we were separate nations.

History

  • The Union has been one of the greatest political success stories of modern European history. It has helped to provide us with a degree of political stability in the United Kingdom that is virtually unparalleled anywhere else in Europe over the past 300 years.
  • Thanks to the Union the English language is possibly the greatest export that Britain has ever produced.
  • In the 18th century, the Union helped create the sense of possibility that inspired the Scottish Enlightenment. In the 19th century, the Union brought unparalleled prosperity to both our countries in what was Europe’s first common market between Scotland and England. In the 20th century, we confronted side by side totalitarian regimes that were the scourge of mainland Europe.

Economy

  • The Union allows Scotland to be part of a larger, more powerful economy and within the Union, Scotland enjoys the four freedoms – movement of goods, services, people and capital.
  • By remaining part of the Union, Britain has the fourth largest economy in the world. Edinburgh’s role as a major financial centre is built on the expertise of its workforce and underpinned by its position in the UK.
  • Being in the Union allows us to pool resources and risk. The fact that Scotland receives more from the UK Treasury than she contributes does allow the disproportionate remoteness of some regions and the disproportionate economic disadvantages of others to be catered for.
  • Most of the Scottish budget comes from a block grant from the UK Parliament, paid for out of taxes collected from across the UK.
  • Being part of the Union and the current funding setup means that public services are less exposed to sudden fluctuations in revenue with a tax base as wide as the UK’s
  • Social security payments are available and are paid on the same basis to people across the country, according to their needs. This principle of fairness should not be undermined.
  • Being part of the UK allows the costs of say bank rescue plans to be more easily absorbed and spread out across a far larger tax base and therefore makes the costs less acute on the individual.

Political

  • Being part of the UK, Scotland is able to wield meaningful influence for good around the world. Scotland is in the privileged position of being amongst the five permanent members of the Security Council, is in the G8 group of the most prosperous nations, is one of the three big nations at the centre of the EU and leads the Commonwealth. Scotland’s interests are therefore represented in the most influential and important international organisations in the world by virtue of the Union.
  • It goes without saying that Scotland is physically safer with the pooled resources of the UK military and counter-terrorist services at our disposal.
  • Over the centuries, Scots have made an outstanding contribution to the UK’s military successes. Scotland punches above its weight in Britain’s Armed Forces and Britain punches above its weight in the world because of the expertise and bravery of those Armed Forces.

Social Benefits

  • The Union allows individual Scots to continue to play a major part in the social fabric of the UK.
  • Many of us will have family in other parts of the UK.
  • Sports stars like the Scottish Olympic Gold Medallist cyclist Chris Hoy trained in England and competed at international level for Britain.
  • A common bond we have is the Royal Family.
  • Within the Union there are aspects of Scotland’s national life which are different from the rest of the UK. The distinctive Scottish legal system and the Scottish education system are good examples.