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More scaremongering from London over Scottish use of Sterling


Ren84

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The GB Treasury has ratcheted up tensions once more by casting doubts on Scotland's continued use of Sterling post independence. This directly contradicts the view of the Scottish Government's Fiscal Commission Working Group which has concluded an independent Scotland could continue using Sterling without trouble.

The rhetoric by the Tory government also seems to fly in the face of historical precedence of former colonies continuing to use Pound Sterling after independence. Terrible that the English would resort to such lousy scare tactics.

UK Chancellor George Osborne believes the SNP "are tying themselves in knots" over plans to retain the pound in the event of a yes to independence.

He insisted that a currency union could only work as part of a political and economic union.

Scotland's SNP government wishes to maintain sterling in the event of a yes vote in next September's referendum.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said keeping the pound was the "common sense position supported by the facts".

However, in a UK government article published on the HM Treasury website, Mr Osborne and his Treasury chief secretary, Danny Alexander, said the Nationalist plan "did not add up".

They write: "The conclusion is clear. The pound we share now works and it works well. Under independence all the alternatives are second best. So our question to the Nationalists - are you really saying second best is good enough for Scotland?"
BBC News - Scottish independence: Osborne and Alexander dismiss SNP currency plan
 


Sync

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I don't think anyone's arguing that it can't work. The UK are saying that they won't let it work, and that if Scotland want to go it alone then they go it alone. If they vote to go independent next year (as is their right), the UK don't have to allow them use the pound (as is their right).

Given the ease at which the referendum's facing defeat right now, I've no earthly idea why they'd let Osborne, the least popular politician on the island be at the face of this.

You've been tracking this better than most I think, have both sides gotten around to actually calculating what Day 1 of an Independent Scotland looks like? What's the national debt, what are their assets, what amount will they get from the UK kitty, how will they pay social security on Day 8?
 
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Ren84

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I don't think anyone's arguing that it can't work. The UK are saying that they won't let it work, and that if Scotland want to go it alone then they go it alone. If they vote to go independent next year (as is their right), the UK don't have to allow them use the pound (as is their right).
The problem with that argument is that countries can, and often do, unilaterally adopt another nation's currency as its own. Montenegro has been using the Euro since its launch, Zimbabwe likewise uses the US Dollar. There would be nothing, in theory, stopping Scotland unilaterally using Pound Sterling.

Although it would probably not be able to print its own bank notes any more as the Bank of England alone gives approval for Scottish and NI bank notes. They would be obliged to use Bank of England notes and I'm not sure the ordinary Scot on the street would be to chuffed seeing "England" emblazoned across their currency.

Given the ease at which the referendum's facing defeat right now, I've no earthly idea why they'd let Osborne, the least popular politician on the island be at the face of this.
Yeah, someone really should have a word with the Tories to shut up. They'd be better off saying nothing and leaving Labour to run the pro union campaign in Scotland.
 

Cruineach

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I don't think anyone's arguing that it can't work. The UK are saying that they won't let it work, and that if Scotland want to go it alone then they go it alone. If they vote to go independent next year (as is their right), the UK don't have to allow them use the pound (as is their right).

Given the ease at which the referendum's facing defeat right now, I've no earthly idea why they'd let Osborne, the least popular politician on the island be at the face of this.

You've been tracking this better than most I think, have both sides gotten around to actually calculating what Day 1 of an Independent Scotland looks like? What's the national debt, what are their assets, what amount will they get from the UK kitty, how will they pay social security on Day 8?
I've been tracking this since the SNP were re-elected in 2011 and the answer to that question is no, sadly. Also, if you think George Osborne's an odd choice look at Alistair Darling, Johann Lamont, Ruth Davidson or Willie Rennie. They're barely articulate imbeciles who propose vacuous arguments largely based around pleasing phrases like "better together, weaker apart", "UK family", "shared history", "coming together". That's their positive case. Their negative case, the far stronger "half" of their campaign, is focussed mostly on personalising the entire pro-independence campaign into Alex Salmond and spreading as much uncertainty and scare-stories as they can.

I'm a bit irritated though with the scaremongering thing. It's all based around "what-ifs" involving the government of the RUK being really horrible to Scotland and stopping us from using their currency and forcing border controls and all sorts of doomsday scenarios out of sheer badness. If an awkward, archaic, imbalanced political union is all that's keeping us together and stopping the rest of Britain from becoming our arch enemies, why the hell are we in it with the bastards in the first place? It's utter nonsense. Scotland would be England's closest ally. I thought we were all in the "UK family".
 
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NYCKY

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It's a post independence topic but if Scotland wished to join the EU as an independent state, they would have to adopt the Euro as currency. Britain, Denmark and Sweden don't as they negotiated opt outs (well technically Sweden has to join eventually) but any other new accession countries have pledge they will adopt it when ready and some already have. Scotland would not have the delays that the old Eastern bloc countries have and would be expected to join soon after potential accession.
 

Cruineach

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I'm still waiting for debate to be opened on the adoption of an independent Scottish currency. Thus far nobody's really looked at it seriously, preferring to say things like "well you'd have to be brave to do that in the current economic climate".

Regardless though - whether I use the pound, the groat, the euro or the North Korean won won't be the factor guiding my hand when I tick a box on the ballot paper.
 

Frank Galton

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Because using a currency from another central bank has worked out so well for Ireland, Portugal, Greece, Spain, Cyprus ....
 

NYCKY

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I'm still waiting for debate to be opened on the adoption of an independent Scottish currency. Thus far nobody's really looked at it seriously, preferring to say things like "well you'd have to be brave to do that in the current economic climate".

Regardless though - whether I use the pound, the groat, the euro or the North Korean won won't be the factor guiding my hand when I tick a box on the ballot paper.
Can you tell us what will or have you made up your mind yet?
 

Cruineach

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Can you tell us what will or have you made up your mind yet?
I'm going to vote yes because it's the only chance I'll get in my life to take part in building a new, truly democratic, peaceful country. Within the structure of the UK that cannot happen. Even if that new country was in Ireland's dire financial position, I would rather live like that than within the UK. I won't do it out of hatred for the English (or the rest of the UK) though, I've actually been considering applying for a British passport as soon as we get independence.

I also want to rid this country of nuclear weapons placed here by a government we did not elect. I can go on if you want.
 

Amnesiac

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Because using a currency from another central bank has worked out so well for Ireland, Portugal, Greece, Spain, Cyprus ....
A poor comparison. Scotland using Pound Sterling is likely to be far less problematic than Greece/Portugal/Ireland adopting the Euro. Your concern is well founded, but Scotland and England are a whole lot more integrated than Greece and Germany.
 

NYCKY

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I'm going to vote yes because it's the only chance I'll get in my life to take part in building a new, truly democratic, peaceful country. Within the structure of the UK that cannot happen. Even if that new country was in Ireland's dire financial position, I would rather live like that than within the UK. I won't do it out of hatred for the English (or the rest of the UK) though, I've actually been considering applying for a British passport as soon as we get independence.

I also want to rid this country of nuclear weapons placed here by a government we did not elect. I can go on if you want.
Thanks for the response and I appreciate the perspective.
 

zippo222

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I'm going to vote yes because it's the only chance I'll get in my life to take part in building a new, truly democratic, peaceful country. Within the structure of the UK that cannot happen. Even if that new country was in Ireland's dire financial position, I would rather live like that than within the UK. I won't do it out of hatred for the English (or the rest of the UK) though, I've actually been considering applying for a British passport as soon as we get independence.

I also want to rid this country of nuclear weapons placed here by a government we did not elect. I can go on if you want.



Please do.
 

ruserious

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Tbh, I think Salmond is playing it cool by not sounding too radical. Keep the currency, keep the head of state. But then if independence is won, start to tear down the rest with time.
Anyway, if Scotland did go, the UK would cease to exist wouldn't it? Would probably have to call the State Britain but that poses its own problems vis a vis an absent Scotland and Northern Ireland on the other hand.
I think the Scots can go it alone. If we can, they can. Irish-Scottish relations could blossom into something fantastic.
 

TheWexfordInn

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I also want to rid this country of nuclear weapons placed here by a government we did not elect. I can go on if you want.
I'm amazed to see Scottish people so adamant that they want to see nuclear weapons removed from Scotland, it would lead to massive job lay-offs. I can see the economic wasteland that exists down here in Chatham Kent due to the closure of the Naval dockyards there, there would be immense partying in that economic ghost town if it was announced that the nuclear subs were being relocated from Faslane to Chatham.
 

ruserious

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I'm amazed to see Scottish people so adamant that they want to see nuclear weapons removed from Scotland, it would lead to massive job lay-offs. I can see the economic wasteland that exists down here in Chatham Kent due to the closure of the Naval dockyards there, there would be immense partying in that economic ghost town if it was announced that the nuclear subs were being relocated from Faslane to Chatham.
Presumably a Scottish Navy would replace the RN at Faslane. Nuke free.
 

Sync

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I'm still waiting for debate to be opened on the adoption of an independent Scottish currency. Thus far nobody's really looked at it seriously, preferring to say things like "well you'd have to be brave to do that in the current economic climate".

Regardless though - whether I use the pound, the groat, the euro or the North Korean won won't be the factor guiding my hand when I tick a box on the ballot paper.
I think that there's a group of voters who will vote yes because they want independence and will vote for it regardless of the impact, that it's a national pride/sovereignty issue.

There's then a second section of voters who want independence in principle but need to be convinced of the impact/merits of doing it now/long term risks and benefits.

The first group don't represent a majority and the SNP have done an utterly horrible job of reaching out to the second one.

The fact that we're a year out and we're reading articles and then having to have the discussion here of "Wait are they talking about keeping sterling, tying their own Scottish Pound to sterling or buy sterling and use that (Like Montenegro do)" is a symptom of their problem.

Tying yourself to another currency works fine in the good times or when both countries are in the same economic high or low.

But absolutely everything the SNP say is based on the best case scenario. The questions the SNP haven't addressed:
1. What happens if your economy dips and you're tied to a strong sterling? You can't devalue unless you've got your own currency as well. Look at what's happened Venezuela (A small natural resource dependent country which tied itself to the dollar).

2. What happens if the oil runs out? Or there's a change in geopolitics? What happens if Iran/Iraq are happy sunny places and the price of oil/gas plummets? The net deficit of Scotland without oil and gas runs at around 18%. With oil and gas included it's around 10%, the same as the UK, but you're not guaranteed to get everything you want when it comes to deal time with the treasury.

3. What basis do you have to say you can have access to the EU? You're in absolutely no way guaranteed access the to EU. This is one of the ones where the SNP are simply lying. They're saying that they won't need to apply, that there won't be an issue. This is not true. Multiple foreign ministers have stated that it would need to apply (Including Ireland's.) The reason for this (Aside from basic stuff like "You're clearly a new country, why should you automatically have entry") is because if you're the Spanish, Italian or Belgian govts you're hardly going to want to feed the Catalan, Flemish independence movement by showing that a breakup will result in the new states having EU membership.

If a realistic, accurate picture of the future is presented to voters, one that's been discussed with international partners, then I think this passes. At the moment it's a heavy no.
 

seabhcan

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Is there any mechanism that England can use to deprive the Scots of their Sterling?

Can the bank accounts owned by Scots, held in Natwest, Barclays, RBS, etc, be distinguished from those of English people?

Of course not. It would be impossible to untangle the two countries financially - even an independent Scotland would find it virtually impossible to convert the nation to a new currency.

Remember Ireland's situation. We became independent in 1921 and that time it was far easier to prevent money being transferred across the Irish sea. Even so we didn't manage to really split from sterling until 1979 - 58 years later. Scotland would find it even harder today.

I think even joining the euro would prove very difficult. It would be the only case where a country would join and their former currency (in this case, Sterling) would continue in use - giving people the choice to retain their savings in sterling.

Scotland could probably negotiate an opt-out from joining the euro until England joined - on the basis of practicality. It would be a similar logic to Ireland's opt out from Schengen (which Scotland would also have to opt-out from).

As usual, the Tories are talking nonsense.
 

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