EFEBy Viviana García Edinburgh, UK

Support for Scottish independence in the case of a second referendum would bring about considerable economic challenges, analysts have told Efe.

The Scottish National Party, led by Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon, is campaigning for a second independence referendum as part of its manifesto ahead of the regional parliamentary elections taking place on Thursday.

The SNP is expected to keep its majority in the devolved chamber, Holyrood, seated in Edinburgh.

During the campaign debates, Sturgeon has argued in favor of another plebiscite on Scotland’s membership in the United Kingdom, for which it would need the approval of the UK government, currently in the hands of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party.

In the historic 2014 independence referendum, voters in Scotland opted by a margin of 55.3% to 44.7% to remain in the UK.

The vote was billed in a once-in-a-generation ballot, but the issue returned to the political agenda following the Brexit referendum in 2016, which saw the UK divorce itself from the European Union.

While England and Wales voted in favor of Brexit, Northern Ireland and Scotland voted against. The SNP argues that Scotland is being taken out of the EU against its will.

The current economic situation in Scotland has changed since 2014 thanks to both the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit.

Scotland’s deficit has increased, and some analysts predict its economic standing will be further weakened by a rise in public spending combined with lower tax collection.

According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), the Scottish fiscal deficit may stand at 22% of its gross domestic product (GDP) in the 2020-21 period, compared to 8.6% in the previous period.

Experts attribute this development not only to the pandemic but also to a reduction of revenues for North Sea oil following the plunge in crude oil prices last year.