Time For Anti-Independence Parties To 'Face Facts' On Norway

The SNP have said it is time for Ed Miliband and David Cameron to “face facts” and accept that Scotland can be just like Norway, after both leaders heaped praise on the Scandinavian country.

During a visit to Oslo, David Cameron has this week praised the “vital relationship” between the UK and Norway, with Norway supplying over a quarter of the UK’s energy demands.

This follows on from a speech Ed Miliband gave last month to the Sutton Trust in which he lauded the “more equal” societies in Finland, Norway and Denmark.

SNP MEP Alyn Smith has called on both leaders to apply the same logic when looking at a future relationship between an Independent Scotland and the UK.

Alyn, who recently visited Norway as part of a European Parliamentary delegation and witnessed first-hand just how successful a small resource-rich independent European country can be, said:

"It is encouraging that both David Cameron and Ed Miliband see so much that is positive about our Scandinavian neighbours. Partnerships and constructive relationships between nations with cultural ties and similar values is certainly something to be embraced.

"But it is time they faced facts - there is nothing unique about Scotland which would prevent us from being a similar success story if independent.

"Since its independence in 1905, Norway has gone from being one of the poorest countries in Europe to one of the richest – largely on the back of its oil, fisheries and renewables industries.

"With its oil revenue, Scotland will be the sixth richest country in the OECD, much closer to the OECD ranking of Norway - which sits second - than the UK’s distant 16th spot.

"Instead of obsessing over the politics of negativity and scaremongering, the anti-independence parties would do well to treat a potential future relationship of equals with the same respect that the SNP do, governing Scotland responsibly within the constraints of the present restrictive constitutional circumstances.

"As my friends and colleagues in Norway have told me, they feel both Norwegian and Scandinavian, and post-independence I - along with anyone else in Scotland - will be free to feel Scottish as well as British."