As the future of the Union appears more uncertain than ever, unearthed reports shed light on the implications of Scottish independence on the rest of the UK.
According to a throwback report by The Telegraph, during the 2014 Scottish independence referendum campaign, former Prime Minister Gordon Brown warned Scots that leaving the UK would have meant the end of the British pensions.
He argued that England, Wales and Northern Ireland would have benefitted from it, as in case of independence, they would have got the lion’s share of the pension fund.
In a keynote speech in Fife, the former Prime Minister noted pensions were the third of Alex Salmond’s “real” problems after former Chancellor George Osborne ruled out a formal deal to share the pound and ex-European Commission President, José Manuel Barroso, said it would have been “difficult, if not impossible” for a separate Scotland to join the EU.
The Scottish Government’s White Paper on independence during the 2014 referendum promised that workers’ state pension entitlements would have been honoured and raised the prospect of having a lower retirement age than the UK.
However, Mr Osborne’s decision to rule out a currency union raised questions about this pledge, particularly in what currency Scots’ state pensions would have been calculated and paid.
Launching a campaign to “keep our British pensions”, Mr Brown said: “They [the separatists] haven’t answered the basic problem – you have paid into your pension, into the UK Exchequer all your lives, you’ve paid your national insurance, you’ve paid your taxes so that you have a right to a pension.
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