1. Economic performance
The majority of countries rated triple A by Standard and Poors are not UK sized but small, social democracies like Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway or liberal-ish, market economies like Hong Kong, Singapore and Switzerland – all with populations of five to eight million people – or large federal nations like Germany, Canada and Australia with genuinely devolved governance. That’s not to say an independent Scotland would be an automatic slam-dunk for triple A status. But it would need mismanagement of RBS proportions to miss that open goal.
2. Child wellbeing
Scotland is not doing well when it manages to outdo England. In many league tables the whole of the British Isles bumps along the bottom whereas the whole of the Nordic nations bump along the top. A different underlying outlook produces a different society – which one do we want?