Stephen Daisley Stephen Daisley

Forget Greenland, Donald Trump should buy Scotland

Donald Trump’s attempted purchase of Greenland may have fallen through but if he’s still in the market, there’s some prime real estate in the neighbourhood. It’s smaller, yes, but just as cold, almost as sparsely populated and even has its own independence movement agitating for a breakaway. Happily, the president already owns a chunk of the country in question, so he might be able to get the rest for a bargain. 

Scotland, not Greenland, is where Trump should redirect his interest. If it’s a few more golf resorts he’s keen on, we can provide the countryside. If he needs space for a military base or two the Highlands offer all the scenic seclusion you could ask for. If it’s another hiding spot for the aliens now that the millennials have discovered Area 51, he could do a lot worse than Glasgow’s East End. (No one would notice little green men staggering around speaking an unintelligible language there.)

The transaction, if we’re being honest, would benefit the purchase more than the purchaser. Adhering to the principle that there is no country on Earth that wouldn’t be improved by becoming the 51st state of the United States, Scotland would enjoy the protection of the world’s biggest superpower and gain access to the world’s biggest economy. The latest balance sheet on Scotland’s finances suggests we could use the help. 

Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) is the Scottish Government’s annual run through the accounts and, as in previous years, the news wasn’t good. Scotland has a notional deficit of £12.6bn, roughly equivalent to the entire health budget. (If nothing else, an independent Scotland would be a shot in the arm for manufacturers of hospital cash machines.) The UK’s deficit as a whole stands at £23.5bn, so it’s no surprise that Scotland’s fiscal shortfall is the largest in Europe, at seven per cent of GDP.

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