A report by the U.K.'s National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) concluded on Thursday that Scottish independence may not be good for the nation's bottom line, according to The Telegraph. The organization analyzed the potential impact of independence on Scotland's debt load and overall financial prospects.
NIESR's report dovetails on earlier assertions by the group Taxpayer Scotland, which found that the nation may begin its new era of independence by being saddled with as much as 270 billion euros of debt. That amount translates into roughly twice what Scotland currently brings in as revenue annually.
Here are some of the details surrounding NIESR's report and the debate over an independent Scotland.
* NIESR asserted in its report that much of the bleak outlook regarding Scotland's debt comes from the fact that it would be taking itself out from under the protection of the fiscal risk-sharing that is now divided among all the nations in the U.K.
* NIESR also estimated that Scotland's reliance on oil revenues would also be problematic, as they would not equal the newly independent nation's expenditures. The group further estimated that Scotland's debt if it pushed for independence could account for as much as 70 percent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) each year.
* Labor leader Ed Miliband has also argued against full Scottish independence, citing the increased financial difficulties for both nations if they were suddenly to become global competitors, according to The Telegraph.
* Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond laid out his plans for an independence referendum at the end of January. Submitted referendum questions at the moment are slated to allow for either a "yes" or "no" answer on Scottish independence, as well as the third option of voting "yes" for greater autonomy from England, but not full independence, according to Euronews.
* Polling places support for independence among Scottish voters anywhere from 30 to 40 percent. Support for a "devolved" relationship with England rather than full independence appears to be greater.
* Salmond announced formal plans for a referendum vote on January 25, celebrated as a national holiday of sorts in Scotland, as it is the anniversary of the birth of national poet Robert Burns. He is pushing for an independence vote in 2014, according to the International Herald Tribune.
* For his part, British Prime Minister David Cameron has continued to insist that only London's Parliament has the power to approve a referendum vote regarding independence for Scotland. Salmond has said that the matter will be dealt with in the Scottish Parliament instead.
Vanessa Evans is musician, traveler, and freelance writer with an interest in European studies and events.