Curious George

bullingdon
As writer Iain Macwhirter puts it plainly: “Britain isn’t in a position to tell Scotland anything, and the pound is common property” But facts don’t seem a problem for our bullish Chancellor. He specifically said: “The people of the rest of the UK wouldn’t accept it [currency union]”. Yet this is flatly contradicted by polls which tell us: 81% of Labour voters support a currency union and 75% of LibDem voters.

He also described the impact of losing north sea oil revenues to the Exchequer as ‘broadly neutral’. It’s a curious statement from an individual playing high-octane politics who looks out of his depth, high on privilege and power but low on tactical nous or strategy.

Gideon George Oliver Osborne the heir to the 17th century baronetcy of Ballentaylor today came to Scotland’s capital to threaten people that if we choose to manage our own affairs he will try and wreck our economy.

George Osborne spoke today in Edinburgh, to give the man some credit at least he had the nerve to actually come north, he said: “The pound is one of the oldest and most successful currencies in the world. I want Scotland to keep the pound and the economic security that it brings.”

The problem is that he doesn’t, and the clear contempt he and the other parties hold Scotland in is quite remarkable. You can read the full text of his speech here. 

One immediate impact of this escalation, which puts the debate in an entirely new framework, is how previously moderate voices will change tone. This will put a severe strain on some progressive Labour supporters finding it increasingly difficult to stomach the cross-party consensus – which now seems projected into an eternal future by Osborne’s remarks: “I don’t think any other Chancellor of the Exchequer would come to a different view.”

No doubt there will be a huge response to this. I think we can expect Henry McLeish to declare by the weekend with an orderly queue behind him. This will no doubt play well to the stage hypnotists at Better Together and the Red and Blue Tory twitterati, but for most ordinary people this will just seem like a shocking piece of vindictiveness akin to the Poll Tax, the Bedroom Tax, PFI or any other from the litany of economic distress caused by Westminster over the last thirty years.

The Tories would have been better sticking to their policy of just hiding.

We can predict several Devo Max enthusiasts to come over to Yes, a massive backlash from people not keen on being intimidated, and clearer voices from journalists and commentators are people are forced to take a position. Here’s one such riled by this approach:

Let’s be clear what this means. The rest of the UK (rUK) will unilaterally erect customs posts and force everyone to change money when they cross the Border. This would damage trade and free movement of people. It could mean sour-faced customs police nosing around in your car boot; tariff barriers, even. It would be a vindictive and self-destructive act that would damage England’s balance of payments and increase the cost of UK national debt.
And, it probably will make anxious Scottish voters reluctant to vote Yes for fear of economic chaos. The Chancellor is trying to make independence an offer they can’t accept, though a referendum held under duress would leave a reservoir of bitterness. This may well go down in Scottish folk memory as coercion by the UK political establishment, an act almost of economic warfare. So much for Section 30 of the Edinburgh Agreement, which was supposed to ensure respect.
Reuters reported the story as “Britain to tell Scotland: Leave the UK and Lose the Pound”. A historical howler as Britain was, of course, a joint creation of Scotland and England after a voluntary union. Britain isn’t in a position to tell Scotland anything, and the pound is common property.
This is why the SNP say that, if Scotland is “denied” the use of the pound, an independent Scotland would no longer be liable for servicing the debts of the UK Treasury. If Scotland was locked out of its share of the monetary assets represented by the Bank of England (founded by a Scot), the UK could not expect Scotland to assume its liabilities. Scotland’s share of this amounts to some £6 billion a year, almost as much as the value of North Sea Oil.
This is called “default” by Alistair Darling, chairman of Better Together, and it might look like that. But it would really be a kind of default in reverse, as the Scottish Government insists it is fully prepared to share the UK national debt as part of a currency union. This is not Ireland in 1933, when the Republic unilaterally ceased paying its negotiated share of the UK national debt and provoked economic war. It is the UK that is playing economic hard ball.
The Chancellor spoke of how we should trust him because “The UK works. In good times, and also in bad. Reducing our deficit, cleaning up our financial system, and working through a long-term economic plan for the country. A long-term plan that will allow people to feel secure again.”
For many people, not from a nationalist background or motivation but motivated to consider voting Yes, this will seem like a series of lies and distortions. Daily lived experience shows a different reality, of a punitive economics led by an elite we didn’t elect, and this will just act as a massive spur for change.
Writing on Switzerland’s recent vote to restrict freedom of movement, Daniel Hannan wrote (‘EU Can’t afford to punish Switzerland’):
My guess is that Brussels will find some similarly symbolic way to penalise the Swiss. It might, for example, sententiously announce the exclusion of Swiss banks from elements of the single market. Such exclusion already exists, and suits most Swiss financial institutions, since their business model depends on not being covered by EU regulations. What the EU won’t do is prejudice cross-border trade with its neighbour.
The same would apply, mutatis mutandis, to Britain. Our withdrawal from EU institutions would prompt angry speeches and vague threats and maybe some symbolic non-collaboration. But no one seriously thinks that the EU would restrict trade with what would be by far its largest export market – bigger than the second and third (the US and Japan) combined. In any scenario, EU countries benefit from free trade with Switzerland and with the UK – and, for that matter, with Norway, Macedonia, Andorra, Turkey and every other European non-member.
The idea that the EU will harm itself in order to harm Switzerland depends on the notion that it is motivated by vindictiveness rather than self-interest. I don’t believe that for a moment. But if I’m wrong – if Eurocrats really would impoverish their own countries out of sheer spite – what are we doing allowing such people to rule us?
And that’s what we have here, a Chancellor and now a cabal of unionist parties, or Blue Bloc if you will, that would attempt to impoverish their own country out of sheer spite. To think that elites act rationally, or on behalf of a greater whole is today exposed. Scotland is seen as a expendable outlying periphery, to be dispatched with when it becomes inconvenient.

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  1. gksw8 says:

    If there’s any “bullying” going on it’s by the SNP. When 10% of the population demand that the other 90% accede to their wishes or else they’ll renege on their fair share of the national debt – that’s bullying.

    1. tartanfever says:

      What a bizarre, self delusional post.

      gksw8 –

      Firstly, the SNP won a democratic mandate from the people of Scotland to form a government in Holyrood which included as part of their policies, to hold a referendum for the Scottish people to decide whether or not they wished to become independent. They won the most convincing victory to date in a Holyrood election based on this policy. It’s completely democratic. To suggest otherwise takes you perilously close to being ‘anti-democratic’ and one which most people would find themselves embarrassed by.

      Secondly, throughout the campaign, Alex Salmond and the SNP have consistently said that an independent Scotland would take it’s fair share of the debt and assets. A completely reasonable stance and in tune with the Edinburgh agreement signed by Salmond and Cameron.

      Sterling is a UK asset.

      For Osbourne and Cameron to deny Scotland a share of the assets which we have contributed to and supported for centuries is nothing more than a crass attempt to bully. It nullifies the Edinburgh agreement’s ‘Respect’ agenda and of course, is rightly replied to with the SNP government’s reaction of, ‘well, if you’re not going to share the assets, how can you, in all fairness, expect us to pick up any of the debt ?’

      You can’t have one without the other. Share the debts and the assets fairly, or not at all.

      1. HJ777 says:

        You are confused.

        Nobody is saying that assets wouldn’t be shared fairly.

        The issue is whether Salmond has the right to tell what would, under his plans, be a separate country what its currency policy would be. Would that not be the democratic sovereign right of that country to decide?

        It has nothing whatsoever to do with assets and debts – despite Salmond’s threats.

      2. Dan Huil says:

        HJ777

        You are confused. Salmond is not the independence movement. People will vote Yes because they don’t want Westminster ruling Scotland. They will vote Yes because they want an election in 2016 where all parties in Scotland concentrate on what’s best for Scotland,not for what they can personally gain from the palace of Westminster. They will vote Yes regardless of who is leader of the SNP.

      3. HJ777 says:

        Blair Jenkins is the head of the “Yes” campaign and he said the same thing as Salmond on BBC radio this morning.

        Someone on the “Yes” side has to decide what the currency policy will be – and whoever it is will have no right to tell a separate country (which is what the rest of the UK would be) what its currency policy will be were Scotland to secede. That would properly be the decision solely of another sovereign state.

      4. tartanfever says:

        HJ777 – ‘Nobody is saying that assets wouldn’t be shared fairly.’

        What ! Except for that asset called Sterling ? I’m sure there was a speech today by some unionist type saying that it would not be shared, wakey wakey lad.

        As for the comments about Salmond and currency, Yeah, how dare he tell us that we’re..err.. going to have the same currency set up on independence as we have now and when the time suits us we can then move to whatever currency we want, whether that is our own or join the Euro. A currency move could be made when it best benefits Scotland.

        He’s been saying this for years now, just doesn’t quite paint the ‘dictator’ picture you’re trying to paint now does it ?

      5. HJ777 says:

        “tartanfever” appears not to understand that currency policy is not an asset to be shared.

        It is the sovereign right of a nation.

      6. tartanfever says:

        I never said currency policy was an asset to be shared

        ‘sovereign right of a nation’

        What a vague term with no meaning in the current UK. In the UK the people are subjects, Parliament in Westminster is sovereign. In the UK the people can shout all they like, they are beholden to the government of the day and to their decisions.

        Your phrase, if used in an independent Scotland, could refer to the sovereignty of the people, dating back to the Declaration of Arbroath. That of course, would have to be confirmed within a new Independent Scotland, which it most likely would through a written constitution.

        All the SNP have said is that an independent Scotland would continue to use Sterling until such time as it became beneficial for the country to change, either to it’s own currency, or the euro. This seems quite sensible given that there will be Holyrood elections soon after the planned day of independence. You simply cannot dictate what future governments must do, and clearly the SNP are not.

        Yet somehow by keeping the status quo in terms of currency, you claim that the SNP are dictating terms to the Scottish people.

        I simply don’t see that.

    2. HJ777 says:

      @tartanfever:

      “…you claim that the SNP are dictating terms to the Scottish people.”

      No. Perhaps I wasn’t clear.

      I wasn’t saying that they are dictating to the Scottish people. What I was saying that they are trying to dictate to the people of the rest of the UK what the currency policy of the rest of the UK would be after a Scottish secession.

      They have no right and no power to do that and neither would any elected Scottish government following a secession.

  2. Will Mcewan says:

    gksw8
    Away with your silly rubbish. Wee Scotland bullying big England. England the big wimp is what you appear to be describing.
    Actually the dense stupidity of the unionists beggars belief. They have just told the whole world they are terrified that Scotland is moving to Independence and that they will do anything to stop it

    1. Aye Will they are feart and all this after calling us subsidy junkies and we could not manage ourselves,aye they need us more than we need them or else why are they trying so hard to keep us under their control?

      1. gksw8 says:

        If Scots want to be independent that’s their choice. But independence means independence. Not some halfway house where Scots hang on to a foreign currency because they’re frit of going alone. The SNP must be the most timorous cowering beasties in the history of nationalism since Nigel Farage had to hide in an Edinburgh pub to escape the consequences of his nasty views

  3. really? border posts? That doesnt happen in Ireland, why would it happen in Great Britain? the scare tactics seem to have come full circle. And there seems to be a huge confusion between using the pound (which any country can do) and a currency union (which requires the apporval of the parliaments of the countries involved).

  4. Jim Monaghan says:

    Border posts? Really? this doesnt happen in Ireland, why would it happen in GB? The scare tactics have come full circle! There seems to be a lot of confusion between using the pound (which any country can do) and a currency union (which requires the approval of the praliaments involved).

  5. gksw8 says:

    No – they’ve said that an independent Scotland would have to be, er, independent. And that means independent of a foreign country’s currency. It’s a strange, unconfident nationalism that pleads for independence only to shrink from its consequences

    1. innerbearsdenurchin says:

      How long did, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand keep the £ after their independence?

      1. gksw8 says:

        An Australian £ was introduced on independence in 1910. It was fixed to the pound but, as far as I’m aware, not backed by the Bank of England. The fact that it was pegged, however, left the Australian economy vulnerable to war inflation and depression deflation in the UK. I doubt the miseries afflicting the Australian economy caused a ripple in London. And that, unfortunately, would be the fate of Scottish economy pegged to the £ but unable to have any say over it.

  6. gksw8 says:

    A newly independent Scotland could use the pound – but it would have no central bank issuing currency, and hence no central bank to back its financial institutions

    1. Jim says:

      There are several possibilities. An independent Scotland keeping the pound while establishing a central bank, for example. It’s not actually difficult.

      1. gksw8 says:

        Yes it is, if it doesn’t actually print or own the money it circulates. If you’re talking about sharing the pound, that’s a UK-wide question not a Scottish-only question. And why on earth would the rest of the UK opt to play Germany to a Scottish Greece?

  7. barakabe says:

    For the last thirty or so years we’ve had Chicago School Shock Doctrine Neo-Liberalism rammed down our throats at every available opportunity- the key message of the Adam Smith inspired form of Monetarist laissez faire economics is free no borders, or barriers to free trade. Now what do we get from the bastard generation of Friedmanites presently incumbent at Downing Street? A whole load of barriers to free trade. And there are a whole load. We’re now on the cusp of foreign nation status. We, the pro-independence supporters, are depicted as narrow vindictive parochial separatist’s and yet this is what we get from this mob. Pure rotten dark age spite.
    Osborne said in his preposterously choreographed speech ( with implanted questioners) that ‘Nationalists’ were peddling “nothing more than confusion, wild accusation and empty threats”- is this the very zenith of irony? If you want to know the truth then assume the opposite of what a unionist tells you. It was the same old tired cliches of ‘security of belonging to a bigger more stable economy’ or ‘lower north sea oil reserves’ and all the other myths parroted by the No campaign. Almost everything Osborne said in his speech was taken out of context, in particular Jim Sillars, Denis Canavan and Patrick Harvie. The ‘cleaning up the financial systems’ part had me choking on my spaghetti hoops: what of the Bank of England’s part in the LIBOR scandal? HSBC laundering of Mexican drug cartels? Now it’s been exposed as guilty of insider trading, front running and the FOREX manipulation. The breadth of hypocrisy is staggering.
    As an aside last night the referendum doc on BBC 2 had Strathclyde Uni’s own Robert Wright telling us Scottish Independence/EU membership is an irrelevance to the EU. Is Denmark, Austria or Ireland an irrelevance to the EU? Why accept membership from Bulgaria and Romania and not the nation with the biggest oil and gas reserves in the EU?
    The biggest mistake the Scottish government made was seeking a currency union in the first place. It’s the only hope the UK gov have now to hang onto. It was designed to appease the more craven mainstream Scots among us that ‘nothing much will change’ etc- but we really need greater financial independence from a currency whose only value is in international monetary exchange speculation- it is tailor made for the debts are assets culture of the City of London. We should have bitten the bullet long before now and got people more used to the idea. Nevertheless Scotland is still in a strong position. All this nonsense about defaulting on the ‘UK debt’- has it held back Iceland? Would the sociopathic financial markets care about the ‘ethic’s of walking away from someone elses debt? Unlikely.

    1. gksw8 says:

      Leaving aside the issue of whether you can be a nationalist and progressive – because all nationalists ultimately blame those who aren’t part of “the nation” for their troubles, which is itself pretty suspect and reactionary – but even leaving that aside, the point is that the Westminster parties have called the SNP’s economic bluff. If the SNP is confident Scotland can go it alone, go it alone. But if it’s not, why on earth did it put the country through this unnecessary charade in the first place?

  8. Well as I have been saying for years now and oh aye its more than I thought I had passed.Anyhow if we Scots vote YES and I believe we will,we are DISSOLVING the union not leaving it.The questions that remain are about what our standing was/is in this United Kingdom,were all the treaties and agreements signed on behalf of the component parts of said UK? and therefore is yes then we have the choice of keeping to said treaties and agreements,or re-negotiating them while still bound to them.Its simpler to me now we are voting to have our country,or for Scotland to be just a region/shire/county well what are we Scots or nots?

    1. gksw8 says:

      I think it may be news to the Welsh and Northern Irish, let alone the English, that Scots opting to leave the union would “dissolve” the relationship they have with each other

      1. Ian Kirkwood says:

        Check out the signatories of the Acts of Union

  9. HJ777 says:

    This is delusional.

    Salmond is trying to tell what he wants to be a separate country what its policy must be when it comes to its currency. What is more, he is trying to back this up with threats.

    If he wants the rest of the UK to be a separate country, he has no right to try to tell it what its currency policy must be. It has a sovereign democratic right to decide that for itself.

    He is perfectly within his rights to suggest a currency union, but he has no right whatsoever to demand one.

    The arrogance of Salmond is staggering.

    1. Dan Huil says:

      I think Osborne easily wins in the arrogance issue.

      1. HJ777 says:

        It’s not Osborne who is trying to tell what would be a separate country what its currency policy would be. He is just pointing out that if a seceded Scotland (were it to happen) wants a currency union that it would require the consent of both countries – and that one is unlikely to agree.

        Osborne is doing his job for the whole of the UK in pointing out the limitations and consequences of what a minority of separatists want. Were he not to, he wouldn’t be doing his job.

        Salmond, on the other hand, wants to be a separate country whilst telling the country he wants to leave what it must do after separation. That is astonishingly arrogant – and Osborne has refrained from doing anything so arrogant.

    2. tartanfever says:

      Lordy lord. I’ve never heard Alex Salmond ‘demand’ a currency union. I’ve heard him say it ‘would be in the best interests of both the rUK and and independent Scotland’, a fact clearly backed up both by business and the recent Panelbase poll.

      Panelbase asked 1,000 people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland if an independent Scotland should use Sterling and be in a currency union, an overwhelming majority of them (over 70%) responded Yes to a currency union.

      So just who exactly is ignoring the wishes of the electorate ? George Osbourne clearly.

      I’d love you to provide some links to examples where Alex Salmond has made these demands in such an ‘arrogant’ fashion. And I mean quotes, not some Daily Mail interpretation.

      1. HJ777 says:

        Salmond has demanded a currency union and on BBC radio today I heard both Sturgeon and Blair Jenkins make threats if they didn’t get one.

        The currency policy of the UK has never been decided by an opinion poll – let alone one commissioned by the SNP to give the answer it wants. Most people had no idea of the technicalities or potential liabilities of a currency union. Ask people in England whether they would want to underwrite the banks of a seceded Scotland and you would get a very different answer.

        The issue here is that Salmond and the others are entitled to propose a currency union, but they cannot demand one – it takes two parties to agree. What they need to be clear about is what they would do if they cannot obtain agreement for their preferred plan. In other words, what is the ‘Plan B’?

      2. tartanfever says:

        So you heard Alex Salmond say ‘I demand a currency union’ did you ?

        You also heard Nicola Sturgeon make threats !

        Funny, I didn’t.

        Please provide links to that phrase. If it’s from the BBC it will be on the I-player, you can post up the relevant time stamp from the programme, you still haven’t provided a link to a direct quote from Alex Salmond ‘demanding’ that currency union. Any chance of that ?

        And so the poll is now in question because it’s commissioned by the SNP. Yet Panelbase, an independent polling company that has to adhere to the standards of British polling companies is now in question.

        Presumably then every poll commissioned by Unionist politicos and Better Together is also ‘suspect’ ? Is this the case ?

      3. HJ777 says:

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/scotland/scottish-politics/10634697/Scottish-independence-SNP-retribution-plan-over-pound-would-cripple-economy.html

        Sturgeon is quoted, as part of the demand for a currency union, saying that Scotland would share the debts if it also shared the assets. She repeated that on the radio today.

        But this is a completely false argument – and she either knows it or completely fails to understand the basics of what a currency is. Nobody is denying that a seceded Scotland would be entitled to its share of the assets. But Sterling is not an asset – it is a currency. It is not even backed by assets since the abandonment of the gold standard (it’s a fiat currency). Scotland could have all the Scottish notes and coins. Even a share of the gold reserves – but that is not what is being discussed. What is being demanded by Salmond and Sturgeon is that the rest of the UK enter a currency union AFTER secession. That’s not a demand for a share of assets, it’s a demand to set the policy of another country.

        All polls tend to reflect the position of the organisation that commissioned them, if it has a position – that’s why they commission them (and that applies to the “No” campaign as much as the “Yes” campaign). They get to set the question and they get to reveal the results (or not reveal them if they don’t like them). I could easily set up two polls to ask contradictory questions and get a majority in favour (or against) both of them depending on the wording. Its easy.

        But governments actually have to make and implement policy – according to the constraints of what will work and what they think will produce the best results. You cannot mange things by poll.

    3. Please do yourself a favour and read the Edinburgh Agreement, especially ‘currency union’ and then talk about arrogance!! if your Scottish you should be ashamed of yourself!!

      1. Ian Kirkwood says:

        Well said Anne! You beat me to it.

  10. Dan Huil says:

    It’s well known we Scots loved being lectured at.
    I think the main thing voters in Scotland will take from today’s lecture from Osborne et al will be; who cares about the currency we’ll use – first things first,Vote Yes.
    It’s the Thrawn Factor,stupid!

    1. HJ777 says:

      I think most Scots like being presented with the reality rather than living in a fantasy world.

      That’s why they will appreciate Osborne’s lecture which lays out the facts of the situation, and will reject Salmond’s posturing.

      1. muttley79 says:

        The electorate in Scotland will appreciate Osborne’s lecture?… Do you know anything about Scottish politics?

      2. Dan Huil says:

        The reality of squandering Scotland’s North Sea oil revenue on WMDs and war in Iraq and Afghanistan where thousands of innocent people have been maimed and murdered?
        Osborne and his fellow British nationalists are the ones living in an imperial fantasy world.
        The arrogance of Osborne in ignoring the Edinburgh Agreement is clear for all to see.
        The fact is Osborne is gambling not just with Scotland’s economic future but also England’s The Yes campaign should/will keep its policy of keeping the pound post-independence because that is the sensible thing to do. Osborne can go in the huff if he wants but in doing so he endangers the economy of England. There is plenty time for the people of an independent Scotland to chose its long-term currency. The 2016 election will be a good time to have the parties of an independent Scotland put forward currency proposals. Until then there will,no doubt, be a continual stream of scaremongering from Westminster – the people of Scotland are well-used to that – but the people will still stay calm and chose representatives who will do what’s best for Scotland. They will not be subject to politicians who only have Westminster’s interests at heart. They will never again experience the arrogance so crudely shown today by the city of London’s eager representative, George Osborne.

      3. HJ777 says:

        @muttley79 – So what you’re trying to tell me is that Scots are so irrational that they won’t listen to the logic of Osborne’s position because his opponents like to demonise him.

        I don’t think most Scots are like that. A small minority may be, but then there are, unfortunately, people like that in any country.

      4. HJ777 says:

        @Dan Hull – there wasn’t a single coherent argument in your post. Osborne isn’t gambling with anything since he is not proposing a change in the current arrangements.

        The gamble is all by those on the “Yes” side because they have proposed a policy that is not in their gift to deliver without the agreement of another party, and they have not said what they will do if they don’t get their way (other than to issue empty threats).

        There are policy options they could propose which they could deliver but they have not outlined any, so the position is currently one of extreme uncertainly.

        You might like to read this which discusses the options:

        http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/finance/andrewlilico/100026646/an-independent-scotland-would-have-to-join-the-euro-heres-why-and-what-it-means/

      5. HJ777, are you Scottish? Do you live in Scotland? Just asking as you don’t seem to know to much about the race!!!!

      6. HJ777 says:

        I don’t know whether you know many Scottish people but let me assure you that most are not going to make a decision about the future of their country based on whether they like George Osborne or not.

        Neither are they going to decide based on a photo of a stupid student drinking club.

        Now if you want someone to give chapter and verse on things Osborne could have been a better chancellor, then I am your man. However, that doesn’t make him wrong on this issue – and I note that in all this slagging him off, no-one has even bothered to address a single fact or argument that he made in his speech, preferring instead to abuse the man. I wonder why?

  11. andygm1 says:

    Wouldn’t it be unfortunate if an old ferry sank in the Rhu Narrows and blocked the channel?

  12. jimmy white says:

    I’m almost sure that I have just read what I had always thought, though I have never asked or voiced an opinion on the subject, in that the pound belongs to neither one of the countries or the province of N.I. and in all but self governing, Scotland has always been independent, in such as a willing partner and founder of Great Britain, the U.K. Therefore the pound, sterling, is surely as much Scotland’s as it is England’s,the U.K.’s.
    As I state the word sure, the same cannot be said as to my knowledge of politics and law and would appreciate any enlightenment on what seems a simple case of ‘ Scotland has as much right to the pound as any other U.K. nation or N.I.’ or is this just too simplistic?

    1. HJ777 says:

      @jimmy white

      It is too simplistic. Scotland has, of course, as much right to the pound as the rest of the UK. It can continue to use Scottish pound notes and coins even if it secedes. It probably also has a right to a share of the gold in BoE vaults. Nobody is saying otherwise.

      But that is not what is being discussed. The “Yes” campaign is demanding a formal currency union AFTER a secession, which would mean, for example, that the taxpayer in the rest of the UK would have to agree to pay for “lender of last resort” actions to save Scottish banks should the need arise. It is simply ridiculous to assert, as the “Yes” campaign is trying to do, that what would be a separate country cannot decide for itself whether it wants a monetary union with Scotland.

      If the SNP’s policy had been to join the Euro after secession – as it was not so very long ago – how would it have reacted if Osborne had stood up and said that after secession it couldn’t do that because he, as chancellor, had decided that he wanted an independent Scotland to be in a sterling monetary union with the rest of the UK. You can just imagine the howls about “bullying” from the SNP’s leaders!

      1. jimmy white says:

        @HJ777………..

        Thank you much appreciated, I shall continue to untangle my mind, but it is now beginning to make sense…. I think!!! LOL.

      2. HJ777 says:

        @jimmy white

        In the second of two pieces in the Daily Telegraph, the economist Andrew Lilico explains the issue rather clearly:

        http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/finance/andrewlilico/100026676/scotland-probably-would-not-have-to-have-its-own-separate-currency-first-before-joining-the-euro/

        “The statements by George Osborne, Ed Balls and Danny Alexander that no currency union with an independent Scotland would be feasible have exposed a large degree of confusion amongst Scottish politicians and other commentators regarding what the dissolution of a currency union implies. For example, some have made remarks along the lines of “The pound is a shared asset – the English can’t deny Scotland its share” or “Scotland is entitled to its claim upon the assets of the Bank of England”. Each of those remarks is entirely correct, but have not the slightest thing to do with whether there is a formal currency union with England, rather suggesting that those making such remarks do not understand the basics of currency break-up.

        Thus there is no sense in which refusing to form a currency union with Scotland implies the rest of the UK attempting to deny Scotland its share of the pound or of the Bank of England’s assets.
        These are basic points. The independence debate in Scotland would benefit, considerably, if Scottish politicians and commentators were to grasp them.”

        1. jimmy white says:

          once again thank you, although I am not too up there in a political sense I have begun to take a interest over the past couple of years, solely because of the independence debate, might I add that I am one of those scots who aren’t actually scots, but only in a political sense, you see I was born and bred in berwick upon tweed and like my family and most of my friends consider myself a scot, this is why I am taking an interest, also it has always been my dearest wish, going back to the home internationals when we were all so uber patriotic, to have a independent scotland, I was only seventeen when the last referendum was held and if I remember correctly I was more enthralled than I am now, excited would more appropriate, now I am more like a child who has been left out, well a child who knows he is being left out, which is worse if you ask me, but hey scotland is coming of age and not before time and I wish my true homeland all the best and am sure she will flourish.

  13. EblfgHfvyx says:

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