Scottish Independence Poll: 85% of UK Businesses Are Against Union Break
Scottish Independence Reuters

One of the leaders of a hardcore campaign group says that growing income inequality, intensifying poverty, and social deprivation in the UK warrants the bid for Scottish independence.

Jonathon Shafi, co-founder of the Radical Independence Campaign, told Russia Today that Scotland is strong enough economically to go it alone as an independent nation.

"The questions are always posed about whether Scotland can afford it. I think we have to pose another question which is "Can we afford not to vote 'yes' to independence?" he said.

"And the reason for that is that the way the economy in Britain is run now is leading towards massive inequality on a historic scale, it is leading towards intensification of poverty and social deprivation."

Despite the incumbent Scottish National Party (SNP) telling voters repeatedly that Scotland would retain Sterling if it became independent, Shafi said that it doesn't matter, because the country should forge its own currency in the event of breaking the 307-union with the UK.

"We want to see an independent currency, we want to see a Scottish pound that can actually start to break the trend of increasing poverty and inequality, that can start to propose something much definite as to how our economy should work, not just in the interest of the GDP, but in the interest of the people of the country as a whole," he said.

In response to the debate over oil revenue sharing, he said the people of Scotland have not benefitted from the money raised from the energy source for decades.

"The people of Scotland, I would argue that the people of the whole UK haven't seen that. It is always the people that are left last, and it's corporations and the elite at the very top of this estimate benefit from everything," he claimed.

"Independence is a platform, a possibility to start redressing this balance to something more fair. I would say, on oil, it's a bonus to the Scottish economy. It's not going to be the thing you place your entire economic argument on."

Shafi also criticised US President Barack Obama, who recently said he does not favour Scottish independence.

"No wonder that he thinks that. If he thinks that because Britain is a vassal state for the US, the 51st state of the US, and we want to break with that and everything that it means," said Shafi.

"But we want to have influence with partners across the world on the basis of mutual aid and mutual trust."