A BREXIT vote would impact different parts of the UK in different ways and could have a bigger impact on Scotland’s economy, according to a leading business network.

Scotland for Business has launched the new video “Brexit – What Scotland needs to know before voting” which highlights the conflicting claims of the Leave and Remain camps.

Its founder and chief executive, Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp, who fronts the video, said the cost of the UK’s membership of the EU was £8.4 billion, while the Leave campaign claimed it was closer to £18bn.

However, he said the UK did not pay that amount as other countries contributed £4.9bn and the UK received £4.5bn in EU grants.

Scotland paid 8.4 per cent of the UK fees – equivalent to its share of the population – but benefited by receiving more than 17 per cent of the EU’s spending in the UK. This, said MacIntyre-Kemp, represented a total cost of £1.1bn for Scotland to be a member, but it received more than £782m in return.

“Once you also subtract the research grants to Scottish companies and the aid component of our membership that we’re committed to pay anyway, Scotland’s EU membership fee is £97m – £18 per head per year,” he said.

This gave Scotland tariff-free access to the Common Market, which was responsible for generating £7bn of our gross domestic product (GDP). This in turn created £2.2bn of tax revenue every year.

“Less the £97m, Scotland’s net benefit from the EU is approximately £2.1bn per year, so for every £1 Scotland gives the EU we get at least £20 back.”

MacIntyre-Kemp said there were three post-Brexit models that would allow Scotland to maintain that trading benefit – the Norwegian, Swiss and Canadian options, but they would fail for different reasons.

Norway pays 95 per cent of the UK’s total member fee and Switzerland 56 per cent, but received no spending in return.

He said: “Norway and Switzerland still require to allow EU immigration, to follow EU regulations and product standards, but they have no MEPs and no European Council members to vote or influence on these regulations.

“So they still have to pay, but they get no say.”

The Canadian option of a TTIP-style trade deal would take around seven years to negotiate, said MacIntyre-Kemp, but would offer only limited market access – and none to the financial sector.

He reiterated that a one-size-fits-all economic policy from London did not work for Scotland, and that Wales and Northern Ireland could fare even worse than Scotland in the event of Brexit.

We might even see a situation where only England voted to leave after the June 23 poll, but MacIntyre-Kemp said that would not necessarily lead to calls for another independence referendum for Scotland.

“We’re looking very specifically at the EU referendum. We’re not really saying anything about independence because that is a different issue and you can’t poll people on the EU and ask them how they’ll react afterwards, because they don’t know. We’ll have to wait and see what happens. What deals will be done will be what will affect the constitutional situation if there is a Brexit.

“I don’t know how it will impact Wales – they’ve just elected a lot of UKIP people and Plaid Cymru. Northern Ireland is an interesting one – they’re about as pro-EU as we are it seems from some of the polls. And yet the Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers is one of the Cabinet rebels who’s campaigning against.”

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