Scottish independence would stimulate North to "take on London", says SNP Christine Grahame

SNP claim independence would spark devolution in England and could send shockwaves across the North East

Sedgfield MP Phil Wilson
Sedgfield MP Phil Wilson

Scottish independence would revive the North East and change the political landscape for the better, an SNP Yes campaigner has insisted.

English-born Christine Grahame, the MSP who represents Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale at Holyrood for the SNP, said Scotland breaking away from England would stimulate the case for devolution of powers to the North of England.

Referring to popular SNP policies which include scaling back the air passenger duty and scrapping tuition fees, she said the North should make a case against Westminster policies which favour the South of England.

“There is nothing stopping the rest of the country from doing the same thing,” she said. “Scottish independence would stimulate the North of England and it would be a wake up call for it to take on London.”

The MSP was at at the BBC’s Scotland and Us debate at Berwick upon Tweed’s Maltings Theatre this week, which explored the impact of the vote on the region.

She added if Scotland was able to better its economy and create jobs and wealth it would send shock waves across the North.

Phil Wilson, the Labour MP for Sedgefield, however, said a case for devolution of powers would be made by the newly-formed North East Combined Authority but believes arguing for full blown independence was counterproductive.

He said Sunderland’s Nissan and Newton Aycliffe’s Hitachi were part of global businesses and similar businesses could be offered better incentives to stay in the UK if the countries remain united.

He said: “One thing we have got to face - and it is missing from the [independence] argument - is that you can’t stop the globalisation of the economy. We must face up to it and we are better together.”

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer