IRELAND'S economy is on a "solid growth path" while Scotland's potential is being "hampered" in the Union, according to a senior MP.

Figures released on Monday show Ireland with 5.5% worth of GDP growth in 2023 and 5% in 2024, while the UK lags behind.

In 2023 the UK is expected to see 2.1% growth, followed by 2.6% next year.

For the 20 countries in the Eurozone, the EU's growth was expected to be 0.9% this year and 1.5% next year. However, the revised figures show 1.1% in 2023 and 1.6% in 2024.

In response to the report, Stewart Hosie MP, the SNP economy spokesperson, said countries like Ireland show why Scotland should "rid itself of Westminster control for good”.

The Dundee East MP said: “This latest analysis from the European Commission has shown, once again, why Westminster control continues to hamper Scotland’s potential.

“Small, independent countries like Ireland – with a similar population to Scotland – continue to thrive as part of the European Union, taking full advantage of their access to the world’s largest single market."

He went on: “With the Tories and pro-Brexit Labour intent on pursuing a damaging Brexit ideology, there is only one clear alternative for people in Scotland who want to re-join the European Union and rid itself of Westminster control for good.

The National: Stewart Hosie - UK Parliament official portraits 2017.

“Only the SNP is focused on getting the best deal for Scotland, including powers over an independence referendum, pursuing a close relationship with our European neighbours, and making the Tory-made cost of living crisis a priority.”

The Commission's report, released on Monday, showed the EU's economy is managing "remarkably well" amid the war in Ukraine and post-pandemic challenges.

"Last year, the EU successfully managed to largely wean itself off Russian gas," it said. "The modest growth registered in the first quarter of the year dispelled fears of a winter recession which only a few months ago appeared unavoidable.

"Survey data, moreover, suggest that, though timid, the expansion is set to continue in the second quarter. The better-than-expected performance at the beginning of the year lifts the forecast for EU economic growth marginally upwards."

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The report comes after Ireland announced its intention to set up a sovereign wealth fund next year, which aims to channel around €65 billion in budget surpluses expected between now and 2025 into tackling long-term pressures such as pensions.

The boom has come after the country attracted US tech giants such as Apple and Google to set up bases through low tax rates, with one area of Dublin nicknamed "Silicon Docks". 

But Ireland’s finance minister Michael McGrath has cautioned the soaring revenue being generated from corporation tax receipts could be “potentially transitory”.

Professor Paul De Leeuw, director of the Robert Gordon University Energy Transition Institute said: “Ireland is in a unique position – it is of a similar population size to Scotland but of course, it is an independent country and it has a period of budget surpluses – so that is money there to be spent, which is always a good position to be in.

“So basically, what are you going to do with the surpluses – they have actually been putting it away anyhow in the previous years, but now because of all the surplus that is coming out in the next couple of years, it does make sense to put in into a sovereign wealth fund.”

A number of countries have some form of sovereign wealth fund, with the most well-known in Norway reaching $1.4 trillion generated from oil and gas revenues and investment.

Greater integration with the EU and reducing reliance on trade with the UK have been central to Ireland’s success – and it has also benefited from Brexit in recent years, economists say.