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Economics was pretty much invented in Scotland, and over the years, the economics profession has had more than its share of Scots. However, as the Brexit referendum shows, most people don’t vote on the basis of economics in contests involving national pride. Just as with Brexit, it is hard to make an economic case for separation: Scotland’s links with the rest of the UK are even more substantial than the UK’s links with the rest of the European Union. Ironically, even though Brexit now looks set to precipitate a fresh Scottish referendum, some of the strongest reasons for voting to remain in the EU (as a majority of Scots did) also apply in the case against Scottish independence.

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In Prospect’s May issue: Neal Ascherson, Simon Jenkins, John Curtice and Frances Cairncross examine the growing divide between England and Scotland. Ascherson argues that England has become Scotland’s “neurotic neighbour,” while Jenkins says we should learn from history and prepare for Scotland to leave the Union. Cairncross and Curtice debate whether Scotland could afford to break with England and whether a fresh referendum on independence is actually winnable. Also in this issue: Jason Burke questions whether the world will be a safer place after the downfall of Islamic State, Paul Hilder examines how politics got tangled in the web and Michael White reviews a new book charting the history of the Daily Mail