The Channel Tunnel and Scotland

Dourmashkin, Neil (1989) The Channel Tunnel and Scotland. Quarterly Economic Commentary, 15 (1). pp. 84-86. ISSN 2046-5378

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The opening of the Channel Tunnel, expected in 1993, will have a number of distinct effects on the Scottish economy. In the short term, Scotland will benefit from faster, cheaper and much more reliable links to the continent, though the improvement will have less of a beneficial effect than it will in southern England. In the longer term, a more negative effect will partly counteract this as firms based in southern England will have less incentive to locate in Scotland. While the benefits to Scotland should outweigh the costs, even in the longer run, the full advantages are dependent on the effective use of the tunnel by Scottish business and on the implementation of solutions to the transport bottleneck between London and the Channel Tunnel. If the tunnel and associated projects are not handled well or Scottish industry does not adapt to the changing transport environment, the long-term prospects for the Scottish economy could be worsened, though not dramatically. If these changes are made, Scotland will benefit, though not radically. This paper discusses the benefits and disadvantages the the channel tunnel will potentially have on Scotland.