The SNP’s decisive victory in the elections in Scotland on 5 May 2011 creates a marked shift in the political landscape. The Scottish government is now committed to holding a referendum on independence. In the previous Scottish Parliament (under an SNP minority government) John was a member of the Council of Economic Advisers established by the First Minister, Alex Salmond. John believes that the independence issue is a red herring – that Scotland wants and is now likely to obtain greater economic autonomy but the degree of economic autonomy a small state can enjoy is necessarily linked in today’s global environment.
For a fuller description of this position, read Johnn’s recent Prospect article. Readers outside the UK may wish to begin with this month’s Handelsblatt (a German magazine for whom John does a monthly article ) which provides more background. See also The Economics of Small States and The Fabric of Scotland.