It's Official: Scotland Is Better Than England

New EU study ends centuries-long debate

England vs Scotland: one of the great national rivalries in the history of the world, the cause of centuries of wars, rebellions and wildly inaccurate Mel Gibson movies.

And although we no longer hack at each other with swords, the froideur between the two countries persists, finding its expression in football, politics and the steadfast stereotypes that up there, they're all unwashed northern heathens and down there, they're all soft southern w*****s.

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Now the EU has weighed in – at a particularly sensitive time, given the split over the Brexit vote – to declare that, actually, decades of English superiority complex have been misplaced and bonny Scotland is the best country after all.

In a league table of 272 regions of the EU, funded by the US charity the Social Progress Imperative, Scotland scored higher on quality of life, were found to be better educated and to have a great tolerance of minorities.

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Scots also have more personal freedoms that their compatriots south of the border, something determined by asking both populations how satisfied they were with the ability to choose how the led their lives.

The only consolation for the 'England Till I Die' brigade comes from the fact that Scots have a lower life expectancy and lower personal safety than England, giving them a welcome opportunity to dust off those Trainspotting-inspired jokes about heroin and crime.

It actually gets worse for the English, accustomed to thinking of themselves as generally better off than the smaller countries in the United Kingdom: overall, the study concludes that Northern Ireland also overs a better quality of life. And they only just narrowly beat Wales.

Overall quality of life, out of 100

Scotland: 74

Northern Island: 73.2

England: 72.7

Wales: 72

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Scandinavian topped the study for quality of life with oil-rich utopias like Sweden, Denmark and Finland coming top. The bottom was made up of Romania and Bulgaria.