The Scottish should be fearful of the economic consequences of independence if they choose to vote for it in their referendum to leave the United Kingdom next week, said New York Times
columnist Paul Krugman.
In an opinion piece Monday, the Princeton University economist said that those who have suggested that the country would prosper the way Canada did are sorely mistaken.
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"I have a message for the Scots: Be afraid, be very afraid. The risks of going it alone are huge. You may think that Scotland can become another Canada, but it's all too likely that it would end up becoming Spain without the sunshine," Krugman wrote.
Krugman noted that while Canada has its own currency, which gives it the freedom to control its economic destiny, an independent Scotland would not.
"The Scottish independence movement has been very clear that it intends to keep the pound as the national currency. And the combination of political independence with a shared currency is a recipe for disaster," Krugman said.
Krugman warned that Scotland is more likely to experience the economic hardships Spain and other European countries endured after their entry into the euro: deep, prolonged depressions as a result of having no domestic control over the currency.
"In short, everything that has happened in Europe since 2009 or so has demonstrated that sharing a currency without sharing a government is very dangerous," Krugman wrote. "An independent Scotland using Britain's pound would be in even worse shape than euro countries, which at least have some say in how the European Central Bank is run."
He concluded by saying, "I find it mind-boggling that Scotland would consider going down this path after all that has happened in the last few years. If Scottish voters really believe that it's safe to become a country without a currency, they have been badly misled."
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