A QUESTION Time audience member was applauded after she said that the Government south of the Border should “look to what Scotland’s done”.

Speaking on the BBC show as it was broadcast from Exeter on Thursday, the audience member praised Scotland’s more nationalised approach to services adding: “If I could move, I would.”

The moment came as the panel discussed water in England and the consequences of privatisation.

In December, industry regulator Ofwat flagged five privatised English water suppliers whose financial resilience it was most worried about: Thames Water, Portsmouth Water, Yorkshire Water, Southern Water, and SES Water.

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Thames Water is in particular danger, with £14 billion of debt and issues repaying what it owes amid interest rate rises.

Mhairi Black, the SNP’s depute leader at Westminster, argued that nationalised water, as in Scotland, was the better system.

“In Scotland we see water as being a fundamental basic right,” she said. “It shouldn’t be there for anyone else to profit off of.”

Dia Chakravarty, who has worked as the Telegraph’s Brexit editor since 2017 after stints at London-based libertarian pressure groups, argued for privatisation.

“The problem with nationalisation, or that the problem that England faced when water was under state control, was that funding, capital always always had to compete with other sectors such as the NHS, such as education,” she said.

“It was a drastically underfunded institution which is why it had to be privatised.”

Though she accepted that privatisation “in this context didn’t work very well”, Chakravarty argued in a lengthy speech that putting more power in the hands of politicians would only lead to them “making a mess of things”.

But in response, one member of the audience argued that Scotland’s system of nationalised water is better, and she would move north of the Border if she could.

“Isn’t it a little bit naive to say that the government won’t be able to employ people who are capable of a job – and hopefully that will be a Labour government,” the audience member told Chakravarty.

“If we look to what Scotland’s done, they’ve got independence in terms of your water so that’s free, your prescriptions are free, and your education is free,” she then said to Black, adding: “If I could move, I would.”

“We’d welcome you,” the SNP MP said in response.