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Pro-union supporters celebrate as the Scottish independence referendum polling results are announced in Edinburgh, Scotland, Sept. 19, 2014.
In 2014, Scotland voted to maintain its more than 300 year old union with the U.K. by 55 percent to 45 percent. However, Scottish citizens backed Remain in the EU referendum by 62 percent to 38 percent while the rest of the U.K. voted to leave.
“It is tempting to think that Brexit is going to be so disastrous that any alternative must be better but two wrongs do not make a right and you’ve got to make a hard-nosed decision about it. I am sympathetic towards Scotland but then again this is not about sympathy, this is about pure economic logic,” Angus Armstrong, director of macroeconomics at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, told CNBC in a phone interview.
Sturgeon has called for Westminster to approve a second referendum between fall 2018 and spring 2019 in order to base the vote on information available deep into the two-year Brexit negotiations and therefore ultimately rectify a “democratic deficit”.
However, May argued it would cause massive economic uncertainty at the worst possible time for Britain.
“Quite simply, Scotland exports two-thirds of its goods to the U.K. which is around four times as much as it does to the EU and you’d have to say it is clearly more damaging to pull out of the U.K. based purely on that measure,” Armstrong added.
A hard border between Scotland and the U.K. would certainly appear to have a negative impact for the country should the country look to sever ties with its largest trading partner.
Scotland can no longer boast bumper oil revenues as it could in 2014, nor can it point to significantly higher levels of GDP in comparison to the U.K. yet Brexit, and perhaps even more notably, a so-called “hard-Brexit” without EU single market access has dramatically changed the argument.