Scottish independence: Cost 'up to £1.5bn'

Professor Patrick Dunleavy Prof Patrick Dunleavy, of the London School of Economics, has been looking at the costs of Scottish independence

The total cost of establishing an independent Scottish state would be between £600m and £1.5bn in the first 10 years, an academic has said.

London School of Economics professor Patrick Dunleavy said much of the cash would be needed for IT systems.

He previously put the initial cost at £200m, in the event of a "Yes" vote in the September independence referendum.

Prof Dunleavy said the final bill depended on issues like negotiations between Scottish and UK ministers.

The pro-Union Better Together campaign said the figure showed that Scottish independence would be a "costly business".

The Scottish government said much of the costs would occur whether or not the nation became independent.

Prof Dunleavy told the BBC: "Nobody in their right mind believes that the nation state can be created from nothing in just one year.

"But equally during that, let's say the first 10 years of transition, the Scottish government will have to invest in new IT and new systems."

In a report commissioned by a Sunday newspaper and published at the weekend, Prof Dunleavy said an independent Scotland would face up to £200m of immediate start-up costs.

His report added that, although an independent Scotland could share UK bodies during the transition to independence, it would have to build its own systems by 2021 to the cost of hundreds of millions of pounds.

He has now put the "total transition costs" at between £600m and £1.5bn in the first decade of Scottish independence.

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