SNP minister blames Westminster for Scottish recession

By politics.co.uk staff

The minister for parliamentary business in the Hollyrood government has suggested the Scottish recession is the result of its association with the UK.

Speaking to TalkSport for an interview to be broadcast tonight on the Ian Collins Late Show, Bruce Crawford said Scotland had been “pretty much dragged” into the recession.

In an interview with Sean Dilley, Mr Crawford launched into a robust defence of the arguments for Scottish independence.

“[Independence] would give us is the ability to say on our economy, in future how we can grow that economy in Scotland a lot more successfully, particularly if you look at the current situation we’re in now,” he said.

“I think Scotland’s been pretty much dragged in to this recession – our fundamentals were pretty good.”

The comments come as Scottish National party (SNP) leader Alex Salmond faces intense pressure to revive his party’s performance during the economic downturn.

The first minister came in for criticism when his speeches on a future ‘arc of prosperity’ involving Scotland, Iceland, Ireland and Norway looked weak in the face of the economic collapse of two of those countries.

Enterprise minister Jim Mather was derided by his political opponents for sticking to the line this week.

But Mr Salmond has other issues on his desk. Tories have berated his claim to be one of the top-ten hardest working Scottish MPs after publishing Commons record showing him to have one of the worst records of all 59 MPs north of the border.

In a wide ranging interview with TalkSport, Mr Crawford said Scotland would have a separate army from the UK if it voted for independence, allowing it to avoid unpopular wars like Iraq.

“Of course we would have that,” he said.

“Otherwise you wouldn’t be able to take that decision about how you deploy your troops, how you deploy your navy or your air force, unless you’ve got a separate command system that allows the government of Scotland to deploy its forces in an appropriate way.

“You know, whether it’s army, or whether it’s the economy, or whether it’s the social fabric between England and Scotland, of course there’s going to be continuing close relationships forever.”

The SNP came into power in a minority government in 2007.