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Independence vote could impact Scotland’s international aid

If Scotland votes for independence next year, the country will no longer be able to make a “transformational” contribution to international development, a cross-party group of MPs has warned.

The International Development Committee added that the amount of money that the UK spends on Official Development Assistance (ODA) would fall.

The new report warns that during any transitional period, restructuring the Department for International Development (DFID) would divert management attention away from frontline delivery.

The number of jobs available within an independent development agency in Scotland is likely to be relatively few, resulting in a “substantial” impact on jobs.

Sir Malcolm Bruce, chair of the Committee and MP for Gordon, said: “The UK’s aid programme, much of which is delivered from Scotland, is genuinely transformational. The UK provided £8.7bn of aid in 2012/13, but it is the quality of this aid – not just its quantity – which sets the UK apart.

“DfID is a world leader in its field, and as a big player on the world stage, the UK also wields considerable influence in multilateral organisations. One example is the World Bank, where the UK has the power to appoint one of the Executive Directors.

“As part of the UK, Scotland makes a tremendous contribution to all this. Scots have served as development ministers in the UK government and three Scottish MPs, including myself, sit on the International Development Committee.

“If Scotland were to become an independent country, its development agency would inevitably be a much smaller player.”

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