Brexit and the economy: the cost of kicking cans

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Whatever else happened with Brexit, a weakened pound and the widespread message that Scotland remains open to Europe - whatever England's up to - should have kept tourism from the continent at a healthy high level.

But it's not looking that way.

Economic uncertainty - not just in Britain but around it - has seen a falling away in numbers, at least at the start of the year. It's obviously not the most important time of year for the industry, but it is increasingly a year-round line of work.

That finding was according to one of the surveys out in the past week, which was giving us an dashboard of updates on the strange economic goings-on in pre-Brexit Britain.

Sharp deterioration

The rest of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce quarterly survey was as you might expect, if you keep across the other headlines: a sharp deterioration in outlook, investment down in every sector other than construction, and orders down.

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What if Brexit were revoked?

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Nearly six more months to reach the end of the beginning of Brexit. That's six months of can-kicking-down-road opportunities.

It gives us the summer months to puzzle over the constitutional contradiction of a prime minister who agrees to be forced from office if she successfully gets her deal through, but won't leave if she fails.

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Brexit's effect on the case for independence

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Honesty, truth-telling, detail and difficult issues being addressed: Andrew Wilson, guru of the SNP's rebooted economic case for independence, intends to contrast the road to Scottish independence with the Brexit saga.

That sorry tale of constitutional malfunction, and a slogan on a bus, is far from finished. We're stuck somewhere around the end of the beginning.

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Energy makes its move

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Oil majors have long been trying to mix some greenery with the black stuff, but it's clear now that the pace of that transition is picking up.

There was an audible jolt in the industry when Norway's vast pension fund - built up from tax revenue and profits from offshore drilling - announced it is pulling out of investment in oil company equities.

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Image caption Norway's huge pension fund is pulling out of oil company equities

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In-migration and Output

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What if... ? It's one of those questions which both fascinate and irritate historians.

But economists at PwC aren't so easily annoyed. They've asked the question: what if Scotland had the same level of immigration and population growth over the past 50 years that the rest of the UK has seen?

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Brexit: trading insults

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We may be close to the end of the beginning of Brexit. Or maybe the torture will continue, before the second act of the drama can begin.

It remains difficult to predict, except to say: next comes the tricky bit. Sounds familiar?

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Roll-on Roll-off Over-spend Fall-out

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There's something far from seaworthy about the next ship deliveries for Cal-Mac.

They'll float, as far as I know. One of them, the Glen Sannox, is already doing so, at the quayside in Port Glasgow, while it is fitted out.

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Offshore wind offshored

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Hopes pinned on blade production in Dundee and Renfrew: no more. Gamesa, Vestas, Areva and Doosan no more.

No sunshine on Leith for Pelamis wave power. Longannet was a sure thing for a billion pounds-worth of carbon capture funding, but that money went up in smoke - a prize pot pauchled by the Treasury.

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Testing time for Scotland's currency

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With one bound, the economic case for independence is free. Or is it?

Instead of arguing for joint control of the pound sterling, as the SNP sought to do in 2014, the party of government is set to embrace the case for a separate Scottish currency.

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The Library of Mistakes

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To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune, observed Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest. To lose both looks like carelessness.

It's with that lesson in life that some Edinburgh financiers and business academics have set about limiting the recent decade of frightful unpleasantness for Scottish banking to a mere misfortune. One wouldn't wish to look careless.

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