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Scottish Independence Predicted to Hurt Ireland: Reports

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The decision on Scottish independence could prove detrimental to Ireland should voters say yes in the upcoming referendum, the Irish Independent reported Monday.

MOSCOW, September 8 (RIA Novosti) - The decision on Scottish independence could prove detrimental to Ireland should voters say yes in the upcoming referendum, the Irish Independent reported Monday.

Current Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Charlie Flanagan and his predecessor Eamon Gilmore have so far expressed indifference concerning the upcoming referendum on Scottish independence, ignorant of the huge implications for Ireland, the newspaper reported.

The Irish economy will take a hit should voters choose to end the 307 year-old Union between Scotland and England. One conservative estimate has valued Irish exports to Scotland at 270 million euro (about $348 million) per year. An economic downturn in a newly independent Scotland could significantly decrease that value. Scotland may also cut company tax rates from 20 pc in Britain to rates closer to Ireland’s 12 pc rate sparking increased competition for overseas investment.

Although Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson proclaimed the North would side with England and Wales should Scotland endorse independence, North unionist identity would inevitably be shattered.

Alex Salmond, the Scottish national Party leader and Scotland First Minister has been preparing Scotland for the impending referendum for over 20 years. Scottish voters will go to the polls held on September 18 to answer the question, “Should Scotland become an independent country?”

The referendum was initially planned by the ruling Scottish Nationalist Party as a three-option ballot (independence, independence-lite and further devolution with the remaining union), but was permitted by the central British government at Westminster to have two options only (independence, union). As a result, the majority of voters (around 60 percent would rather prefer an intermediate option of further devolution) have to make a difficult choice with no option corresponding to their preferences, causing the results of the referendum to be unpredictable.

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