Independence Means "Stark" Choices

Independence could mean a tougher time for the economy in the long term, compared with staying in the union.

A new report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) examined the fiscal consequences for Scotland if it were to leave the UK following a planned 2014 referendum.

It said an independent Scotland, in common with all countries, would ``face constraints and would have to make, sometimes uncomfortable, choices''. 

The report argued that if North Sea oil and gas revenues were allocated on a geographical basis, then in the short term the ``outlook for an independent Scotland looks as if it might be no more uncomfortable than that for the UK as a whole''.