For example, look at the sea areas controlled by these three:
|Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) & Fisheries Protection Zones (FPZ), Iceland and Norway (Jan Mayen & Svalbard are Norwegian) Source: Bates|
|Scottish Sea Areas (from Scotland's Marine Atlas)|
Save for a couple of loopholes, there is a vast contiguous sea area under the control of the "SIN" countries.
Indeed, if Scotland is to join with anyone, Norway would be far better than the corrupt, undemocratic economic shambles of the EU. Their population sizes are similar (c. five million) but Scotland clearly has a lot to learn from the Norwegians: GDP per capita c. $40k for the former, c. $100k for the latter (and a big sovereign wealth fund that will provide financial security for the foreseeable future). Further, Norway has claims to the Arctic shelf that could result in still more oil and gas:
|Arctic territorial claims and potential for oil and gas |
(Source: The Economist, 16 June 2012)
I'm not suggesting that Scotland would roll up to the banquet with knife and fork to eat Norway's pie; I'm saying that the three countries might have a synergy based not only on geographical position but on their potential for joint economic and technological development.
For example, one reason Norway is so prosperous is that she can sell a lot of her oil abroad, since most of the country's domestic electricity comes from hydroelectric installations. Similarly, Scotland has 85% of the UK's hydroelectric resources and has great potential for other renewables (she provided 36% of the UK's renewables output in 2012). Some of the hydro power is used for aluminium smelting - just as Iceland uses geothermal energy for the same purpose.
Then there is the shared expertise of Norway and Scotland in shipbuilding and marine engineering.
And Scotland has fishing, tourism, brewing, the arts...
What if Scotland picked up the Treasury's gauntlet, dropped the British pound and floated its own currency to protect and develop its industries, maybe with some initial financial/investment support from her neighbours to the north-east?
Perhaps independence, with the help of carefully-chosen partners, is not such a romantic pipe-dream, after all.
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