Research has shown that Boris Johnson is the prime minister of the poorest country in northwest Europe, measured in terms of per capita prosperity.
An analysis by the House of Commons Research Library – based on data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) – shows that Great Britain lags behind all 13 of its neighbors in per capita wealth.
Figures for 2021 show the UK’s GDP per capita at just £31,038 – behind other underperforming countries like France at £32,622 and Finland at £34,187.
Luxembourg has the highest GDP per capita in Northwest Europe at over £80,000 per capita – followed by Ireland (£65,411) and Switzerland (£50,015).
Nicola Sturgeon’s party took advantage of these figures, claiming they showed why it would be better for Scotland to secede from the “poor man of Northwest Europe”.
The deputy chair of the Scottish National Party in Westminster, Kirsten Oswald, said there was evidence that independent countries the size of Scotland or smaller were “outperforming” Britain.
“It is becoming increasingly clear that independence is the only way to realize the full economic potential of Scotland – so that we can be as rich and successful as our European neighbours,” Oswald said.
“Great Britain is the poor man of northwest Europe – with the lowest wealth per capita of any country in the twenty-first century and a prosperity gap with our European neighbors that has worsened over the past two decades.”
IMF figures also show that the wealth gap between the UK and its closest European neighbors has widened over the past 20 years.
The UK’s per capita GDP in 2000 was about £5,000 less than the Northwest European average (7.6 per cent below the average). The gap rose to around £10,000 in 2021 (16.3% below average).
Johnson promised that Brexit would lead to a “national renewal” and increase economic opportunities for Britain around the world.
But The current analysis of Independently Recent research on the UK’s GDP shows that the damage caused by Brexit is a loss of between £400m and £800m a week.
A British government spokesperson said: “The UK government will continue to help the people of Scotland – our economy is one of the strongest in the world, thanks in large part to our strength or union.
“Scotland continues to benefit from the £352 billion coronavirus aid package, one of the most generous in the world, protecting one in three Scottish jobs and more than 90,000 businesses.”