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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

First Minister Outlines Scotland's Case for Economic Optimism

Scotland’s First Minister (FM), Humza Yousaf MSP, has today delivered the first in a series of major economic speeches.

The FM said that while the Brexit-based UK economy is failing people in Scotland there is cause for optimism – pointing to Scotland’s wealth of natural and human resources, established and emerging industries and the economic success of comparable independent nations.

The FM highlighted industries such as the space sector, manufacturing, and green sectors, such as hydrogen production, offshore wind and carbon capture and storage (CCS) as key.

People across the UK are being let down by Westminster-based parties who are not providing an alternative to UK economic decline.

Mr Yousaf also made clear that the ongoing UK cost of living crisis is evidence why the economic case for independence has never been more urgent – demonstrating that rejoining the European Union and encouraging inward migration would raise living standards in Scotland. He said:

“Scotland has economic strengths such as our great universities, longstanding capabilities in renewables, advanced engineering, food and drink, life sciences, creative industries and our finance and business services are recognised the world over.

“As well as these traditional strengths, we have specialisms in industries of the future: in digital technology, including artificial intelligence and cyber security, building on Edinburgh’s international prominence in data and AI and its aim to be the Data Capital of Europe.

“And there is further reason for optimism - the real-life shining example for Scotland that we can aspire to: independent countries that are significantly fairer and wealthier than the UK.

“Countries like Ireland, Norway and Denmark have both higher productivity and lower inequality than the UK.

“In other words, they combine economic dynamism with social solidarity. So, with all our strengths, the key question is this: why not Scotland?”

The full speech is at:

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