Workshop on Economic Policy in Ireland and Scotland 24th March

Workshop on Economic Policy in Ireland and Scotland

This workshop is intended to begin a dialogue between Ireland and Scotland (and perhaps Wales and Northern Ireland) over economic issues of joint interest. This first workshop is being held in Edinburgh, Scotland and is being organised by David Bell (Stirling Management School) and Liam Delaney (Stirling Management School and University College, Dublin) and Ray Perman (David Hume Institute). The papers from the workshop will be published by the David Hume Institute. The event is sponsored by Fiscal Affairs Scotland. Registration is free but spaces are limited so please register here in advance.
Speakers include:
Anne Nolan (ESRI, Dublin)
David Bell (University of Stirling)
David Eiser (University of Strathclyde)
Elaine Douglas (University of Stirling)
Frank Barry (Trinity College, Dublin)
John Cullinan (National University of Ireland Galway)
John Mclaren (Fiscal Affairs Scotland)
Kirsty Hughes (University of Edinburgh)
Liam Delaney (University of Stirling and University College Dublin)
Lucy Blackburn (Adventures in Evidence)
Muiris Maccarthaigh (Queen’s University Belfast)
Nicola McEwen (University of Edinburgh)
Paul Cairney (University of Stirling)
Ed Poole(University of Cardiff)

A full programme for the day will appear on this site soon!

4 replies on “Workshop on Economic Policy in Ireland and Scotland 24th March”

Room for talk of a Celtic Confederation? South, North and Scotland stay in the EU. Let the little Englaners go home with their ball on their own.

This is very timely. The organisers are to be congratulated.

Its now looking increasingly likely that there will be another independence referendum in Scotland, possibly as early as next year. There is a story in one of today’s papers that Nicola Sturgeon will call it for autumn 2018. There is a real chance of victory this time. Its in Ireland’s interest that this be so. If Scotland can achieve its overdue independence and the U. Kingdom ceases to exist, the end of the U. Kingdom-imposed partition of Ireland will rapidly follow, and all the worries about a post-Brexit hard border will vanish in a puff of smoke.

The perception of how Ireland is doing will have a bearing on the result. As in 2014, the pro-Union side will portray post-independent Ireland as a disaster area. They were quite successful at rubbishing the Irish economy in 2014 (indeed, the leader of the pro-Union campaign, Sir Alistair Quisling, referred a few times in that campaign to the Irish economy as ‘bust’). It will be more difficult for them to do so this time, as Ireland will have spent the intervening 4 years at the top of the EU growth league.

If the comparison between Ireland’s performance outside the U. Kingdom and Scotland’s performance inside it is done fairly and becomes an important yardstick by which the case for independence is judged, there can only be one result. The reality is that since the late 1950s Ireland has outperformed Scotland in every sphere: population growth, economic growth, health, education, and even sport:

[1] population growth 1961-2016: Ireland +68.2%, Scotland +4.1%

[2] mean annual economic growth 1972-2014: Ireland +4.7%, Scotland +1.9%

[3] GNI per capita in 2016: Ireland 21.6% higher than Scotland

[4] industrial production 1972-2016: Ireland +562%, Scotland +16.8%

[5] currency: notwithstanding all the talk about the collapsing euro, the reality is that the £sterling is down by 40% v the euro since the euro was launched at end-2001.

[6] health: life expectancy in 2010-2012: males: Ireland 78.38, Scotland 76.51 – females: Ireland 82.86, Scotland 80.75

[7] health: age-standardised death rate in 2015: Ireland 528.4, Scotland 658.6 (per 100,000 population)

[8] education: 2015 PISA tests: reading: Ireland 521, Scotland 493 – mathematics: Ireland 504, Scotland 491 – science: Ireland 503, Scotland 497

[9] sport: 6-Nations rugby 2000-2016: Ireland has finished above Scotland 16 times, while Scotland has finished above Ireland 1 time – Euro and World Cup soccer: R. Ireland has qualified past the final group stages 5 times since 1988, Scotland not once – while this is a trivial item to put in the list, I put it in partly for amusement and partly because its linked to the divergent population growth trends described in [1] above.

It is to be hoped that this time round, the Irish government will throw its full weight behind the independence campaign. One practical thing it can do is to announce publicly that it will support independent Scotland’s application for membership of the EU. The Irish government has a vested interest in coming off the fence this time, since dismantling the U. Kingdom with N. Ireland and Scotland exiting, is the only realistic way of resolving the problems Brexit will pose for Ireland.

I attach below the link to a lecture given by the Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, at the LSE, on the 9h February last on the impact of Brexit on the future of Europe:

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