Scotland must be Braver! – in The Scottish Times

Why an independent Scotland needs its own currency, against the edicts of Edinburgh’s White Paper. (Click here for the Scottish Times website)

Australian Republicans scored a famous own-goal in the 1990s when, in their eagerness to win a referendum on the proclamation of a Republic, they put to the electorate a proposal for a ‘minimalist’ Republic. Determined to placate the median voter’s aversion to ‘too large’ a constitutional change, they proposed that nothing should change except that the English Queen be replaced as Head of State by an Australian. Alas, they had not thought things through.

The problem with a minimalist constitutional agenda is that, while moderate sounding, it has a tendency to set off a chain reaction of questions that cannot be answered both adequately and in a manner consistent with the well-intended ‘minimalism’. The result is that ‘minimalism’ can very easily turn off the hearts and minds of potential supporters of constitutional change without attracting, in compensation, enough support from those fearful of any change.

In Australia the first uncomfortable question that followed the ‘minimalist’ Republic proposal concerned the method of electing the Head of State. A direct election would, naturally, lend the office of Head of State a degree of kudos that was deemed incompatible with the severely circumscribed role of the Governor General (the Queen’s representative in Australia). To prevent this departure from ‘minimalism’, the Australian Republican Movement recommended that the Head of State be elected by Parliament. However, this prospect put off many republicans. Indeed, the referendum was lost, in spite of the fact that the opinion polls were pointing to a majority preference for a Republic over the Monarchy’s preservation. Indeed, while no monarchists changed camps because of the ‘minimalism’ on offer, many republicans stayed away, disheartened that the proposed Republic was insufficiently… republican.

Alex Salmond and the SNP are making precisely the same mistake in proposing a ‘minimalist’ Scottish Independence. In a bid to settle the electors’ nerves about the effects of a ‘yes’ vote on the economic sphere, the recent White Paper “…commends to the Scottish Government retaining Sterling as part of a formal monetary union, and believes that this provides a strong overarching framework for Scotland post-independence.” Clearly, the soothing message to those who fret about their post-independence savings and purchasing power is: “Nothing will change, except that Scotland will be liberated from Westminster to pursue social justice policies that England has increasingly ditched”. Unfortunately, just like in the case of Australians’ republicans, the SNP has not thought things through.

The question is not whether the Scottish government will be able to twist England’s arm (perhaps by threatening to walk away from the UK’s public debt) so as to be allowed to stay in the Sterling zone. This is the wrong debate to have. The real question, that is already surfacing, is whether Scotland should want to share the Bank of England, as the recent White Paper sets out to do. The question for the people of Scotland is: If political union must precede a successful monetary union, as the Eurozone crisis has demonstrated so vividly, does it make sense to want to preserve a monetary union prior to dismantling a political union? The answer is unequivocally negative, turning the White Paper into unionism’s unwitting ally.

Suppose for a moment that London bows to Scottish demands that the two countries share the Bank of England, appointing a governing body of Scottish and English central bankers in proportion either to population sizes or to national income shares; and even renaming it the Bank of England and Scotland (BoE&S). Presently, following the Credit Crunch, the Bank of England pursues energetically a policy of quantitative easing, supporting Westminster with copious purchases of Treasury-issued gilts. Once Scotland begins to issue its own bonds, as an independent country must do, the question is: How will the BoE&S decide on the mix of gilts and Scottish government bonds that it will purchase? Is this matter to be left to the discretion of the English-majority governing board, thus rendering Scotland’s independent fiscal policy a sham? Or will some fixed ratio be devised, again limiting Edinburgh’s fiscal leeway?

Moreover, when the current ‘unconventional’ monetary policy comes to an end, with interest rates rising to ‘normal’ levels, how will this ‘tapering’ decision be reached? The English governors will always vote in favour of higher interest rates in tune with the London-based economy and its tendency to create real estate and financial bubbles. Unlike in the European Central Bank’s governing board, where no country can ever have an absolute majority, in the BoE&S Scottish governors will be consistently out-voted, the result being Scottish interest rates that are permanently too high for Scotland. With Scottish growth thus artificially restrained, Edinburgh’s fiscal policy will have to remain contractionary so as to meet the European Union’s deficit and debt limits, if the White Paper’s commitment to remain part of Europe is to be fulfilled. Without its own central bank to back its bonds, the Scottish government will be constantly threatened with rising bond yields; a scenario that bodes ill for a nation thirsty for national sovereignty.

Then there is the question of the banking sector. The Bank of England’s new governor, Mr Mark Carney, has recently made it clear that he has no quarrel with the idea of a burgeoning City of London, not even with the prospect that the assets of England’s banking sector come to represent nine times Britain’s national income. Will an independent Scotland wish to remain pinned on the mast of such a financialised, and thus unstable, mega-vessel? What degree of influence can Edinburgh hope to have on the evolution of an English banking sector that is increasingly decoupling from the UK monetary union’s real economy? Next to none, I submit.

Of course, the problem with banks works both ways. Who will recapitalise a Scottish bank, post-independence, in case of a future banking crisis, possibly one caused by the City of London? The English Treasury cannot be reasonably expected to foot the bill while Edinburgh will probably not have the capacity to do it, at least not without its own bonds ending up the same way that Ireland’s did in 2010. In which case, a downtrodden Scottish Prime Minister will have to rush to London, cap in hand, resembling a cross between Brian Cowen and George Papandreou.

None of the above are arguments against Scotland’s independence. They constitute reasons why a ‘minimalist’ Independence, of the sort proposed by the Scottish government’s White Paper, will fail either to inspire the Scottish people to vote in favour of Independence or to deliver genuine independence if the referendum is won. Scotland must bite the bullet and fearlessly seek to establish its own currency. The fact that, due to an historical accident, there already exist Scottish pounds in circulation makes a monetary de-coupling technically simpler. Edinburgh ought to declare its intention to create a Scottish Central Bank and a temporary currency board that will peg the new currency to sterling before, once cross-border capital movements have been stabilised, the Scottish pound is allowed to float freely and Edinburgh’s monetary authorities set Scottish interest rates with a Scottish inflation target in mind. All this can be done unilaterally, without bullying London or seeking its permission. Meanwhile, the real negotiations can commence regarding the distribution of the UK’s national debt burden as well as the crucial issue of banking jurisdictions.

As the referendum approaches, the people of Scotland must decide whether the current political union with England and Wales is consistent with their aspirations. To an outsider, it seems perfectly reasonable that they should not to want to remain part of an historically charged political union with a much larger nation that, over the past three decades, has shifted away from a once commonly cherished social justice agenda. However, the Scottish government should understand that these aspirations are served badly by its ‘minimalist’ White Paper. It should absorb quickly the lessons that Australia’s republicans learned the hard way.

28 thoughts on “Scotland must be Braver! – in The Scottish Times

  1. Wouldn’t creating a Scottish currency create the same phenomenon that you’ve described in past articles would happen to Greece if Greece we to leave the Euro and create their own currency again? I believe you called it the Kosovoization of the nation in that there will be a duel currency in Scotland in this case it would be the Scottish currency and the more dominant British pound?

  2. Here is a crazy statistic I came across about Scotland: More than half of Scotland is owned by fewer than 500 people. This is not a recent phenomenon — it goes back hundreds of years.

    Btw … independence, looking at the latest poll, seems very unlikely. The Yes vote is only at 38%.

    @jordi angusto :

    And as economist I’m starting to put currency issues under relativism. USA is deep indebted with its own currency…

    You need to rethink this :-)

    • Last Greek;

      I think on it very often and until recently I heavily argued against the euro. Much less today, when Germany maintain similar surplus but with non euro countries. The problem is not as much the currency as the surplus itself, a heavy weapon which facilitates colonization and is always the result of an internal low demand with contractive effects all over. Recent and maybe even old history can be written following surpluses. After IIWW, USA became hegemonic thanks to it surplus and today is declining with its deficit; China appeared a geoestrategic actor with its surplus and have started its heavy colonization of Africa; today Europe (Germany) replaces China as the main surplus country…

      I do insist in the Keynes clearing house idea, where surplus should be heavily penalized. Is not casual that the EC has stablished asymmetrical imbalances alerts: 4% per deficits; 6% per surplus. Just the opposite to the Keynes scheme.

      As Europeans we must fight against this European surplus while there are 130 millions of Europeans in poverty and 30 with no job.

    • @Jordi

      USA became hegemonic thanks to its surplus during a fixed exchange rate regime.It was accumulating BASE money out of a fixed quantity that existed.How is that similar in today’s system with floating exchange rates and without accumulation of monetary base for the surplus countries?Dollars never leave the USA as a result of its deficits.Furthermore, if the US didn’t run trade deficits how would the dollar be a world reserve currency?

    • Crossover;

      Fixed to the sterling or the Deutschmark prior to IIWW, when USA emerged? Germany got external balance through quantitative Sacht scheme, not by monetary adjustments. In fact, despite neoclassical faith on monetary adjustments (prices, interest rates and currency exchange), real economy has never worked as well as their models.

      Neither after IIWW there were fixed exchange rates. There was dollar fixed to golden until 1971, if I’m not wrong. The other currencies floated “depending” on their quantitative needs: if we in Spain needed much dollars than existing here, the peseta was devaluated; if any third country or the IMF made us a loan, then we became indebted and the peseta maintained its value.

      About dollars outside USA, you can find all over the world. In paper and much more in assets and passives denominated in dollars. And the dollar was a reserve currency when the USA was in surplus. All a long the history you can find different and sometimes surprising “value reserves”: salt, gold and even rocks in a lake (in the Polinesia). What it’s needed to become a value reserve is a humans shared faith on such value. Any empire currency use to give such faith, even despite and against the empire interest: USA would prefer a cheaper dollar since time ago, I presume.

    • Something else, Crossover;

      Exchange currencies adjustment through floating is based on the idea that all natives want their assets on local currency. Then, a surplus bring revaluation and a deficit, devaluation. But if natives prefer other foreign reserve value, then there is not such a floating adjustment.

      It’s impossible to demonstrate that Spain should be not as externally indebted as it is if had not entered into the euro, even if the euro has extremely facilitated it. And the possibility to devaluate the peseta is not very different to the possibility to exit the euro. In both cases, the result is a balance of theoretical trade competitive gains and the looses of a more expensive external debt. Also write off the debts should be similarly possible and with similar effects.

      I do insist: monetary issues are not so definitive as generally accepted.

    • @Jordi
      “Neither after IIWW there were fixed exchange rates. There was dollar fixed to golden until 1971, if I’m not wrong. The other currencies floated “depending” on their quantitative needs: if we in Spain needed much dollars than existing here, the peseta was devaluated; if any third country or the IMF made us a loan, then we became indebted and the peseta maintained its value.”

      From what I know, during the Bretton Woods system the USD was convertible to gold at a fixed price and all other currencies were following a “band” type of floating against the USD.In other words, they were practically pegged to the USD,being allowed to float between tight limits that if exceeded should be corrected by an intervention in the markets.I’m talking about limits up to +-1% so you understand that practically the currencies were pegged.

      “About dollars outside USA, you can find all over the world. In paper and much more in assets and passives denominated in dollars. ”

      Ofcourse you can.Precisely because the USA has ran large deficits for a long time.Since net imports are equal to savings in domestic currency for the foreign sector it goes without saying that deficits are necessary for the accumulation of the domestic currency if it is ever to be used as a world reserve currency.

      “And the dollar was a reserve currency when the USA was in surplus.”
      It was its convertibility to gold that established it as a reserve currency.But don’t forget that US recycled those surpluses thus any drain of base money from the deficit regions was rebalanced through the recycling process.

      In order to understand the difference between fixed and floating rate regimes (and the far greater impact trade deficits have in the former case) think about the Euro.
      When Greece had the (free floating) Drachma,its trade deficits constituted drachma savings for its foreign sector.But these drachma savings would obviously stay in Greece in one form or another because anyone holding drachmas could either buy goods and services for sale in Greece, or purchase drachma denominated assets.
      Today with the Euro which is practically a fixed exchange rate system,,the entities that export to Greece accumulate Euros than won’t necessarily (and most likely won’t) be spent in Greece but in other regions of the eurozone.This results in an actual reduction of base money in the Greek economy and there’s no rebalancing mechanism.

      “Exchange currencies adjustment through floating is based on the idea that all natives want their assets on local currency. Then, a surplus bring revaluation and a deficit, devaluation. But if natives prefer other foreign reserve value, then there is not such a floating adjustment.”
      I’m not sure I understand.So let’s say you are paid in Pesetas but for whatever reason you’d rather hold dollars.What do you do?You go to the markets and exchange your pesetas for usd.You are now holding dollars and someone else is holding your pesetas.It is also possible that your supply of pesetas put downward pressure to its price vis-a-vis the usd.
      The adjustment still happened, no ?

    • “It’s impossible to demonstrate that Spain should be not as externally indebted as it is if had not entered into the euro, even if the euro has extremely facilitated it. ”

      It would have to run large current account deficits for this to happen.So if its impossible to demonstrate what you’re suggesting then this means it’s impossible to demonstrate that it wouldn’t run large and persistent CA deficits.I personally don’t see how Spain could run a 10% CA deficit if it issued the peseta and let it flow.
      From the 80s until the euro, its largest ca deficit wasn’t greater than 4%.It would take 2% inflation and 2% real growth to keep debt/gdp stable forever with such a ca deficit.Something feasible under normal circumstances.

  3. Pingback: Three objections to independence | Social Policy

  4. In Catalonia we are following with great interest what happens in Scotland and even using Scotland as an example. And as Scottish have done, here there is not a serious debate about currency and the main pro-independence politicians argue that Catalonia will maintain the euro “even” if we should be out of the EU. This was my worst scenario in the assay I’ve recently published… But probably, exit the euro could sound to most of the common people, as it’s for the economic mainstream thinking, a complete catastrophe and should abort the independence process.

    Personally, I’ve changed my personal position recently. As politic, I understand the Scottish movement: to win the independence first; latter the other discussions. If they keep the possibility to resolve the monetary union if it becomes inconvenient, this is an strong argument to get a fair position with London bankers. Isn’t it? And as economist I’m starting to put currency issues under relativism. USA is deep indebted with its own currency as well as have been also indebted a lot of third world countries with their own currency. If there are countries willing to finance their surplus by giving loans to the deficit countries… the currency doesn’t matter to much. Floating exchanges are not only driven by trade deficit/surplus but also by capital compensation movements, and these are not completely managed by interest rates.

    In the EZ, the euro clearly helped to the actual division between creditors and debtors countries, by fixing parities which required an impossible common growth and inflation path. But “clearly help” does not mean “completely explain or drive” the facts. Without the euro, the German reunification and its effects on the GDP distribution, with a strong “cut” on the salaries part, a low consumption and the need to compensate it with exports, is more than possible that had produce similar surplus/deficit and credit/debt scheme. The Deutschmark had been undervalued versus peseta or dracma and we had arrived to a similar situation.

    As a conclusion I do support the Scottish decision in relation with the sterling, I’m convinced that it will help them to get more supporters for independence and I will similarly do here in Catalonia supporting the euro maintenance. At the same time I insist in the need of a new “Bretton Woods”, a clearing house where surplus are penalized double than deficits.

  5. Nothing to add to your Scottish opinion. Just like other commentators, I am completely astonished by your seemingly maintained opinion that Greece must continue to stay in the Eurozone. Are you not free to give your opinion on Greece ? (just bought your Minotaur btw, kindle version of it)

    • Freedom of speech and opinion is all I have. My position on the matter is that Greece and Scotland are different kettles of fish. Scotland was annexed by an invading power, England, of course with the connivance of local lords. Scotland’s political union with England will always be an historical extension of its colonisation. Scottish independence is, therefore, part of an historic duty of the Scots – at least in the mind of most of them. In contrast, a political union in Europe would never allow any power to dominate the Union. This is why the German elites loathe the idea of a democratic federation. To conclude, Scotland should dissolve its monetary union with England to the extent that the Scots feel it is in their interest to dissolve an asymmetrical political union. Greece and the rest of the European Periphery are in the opposite situation: a proper political union would yield a desirable federation – one that the current guardians of the euro do not want to enact.

    • “A political union in Europe would never allow any power to dominate the Union”. Maybe this is why the German elites try to lock EU into the current state of affaires, where they have the upper hand, and will never allow a symetrical federation. After all, they did not want to step in the euro in the first place, they were forced into it by we, French, as the price for reunification. In this respect, we can also say that the German are like Scots : trying to escape a union they did not wish.
      My question for Greece and your position about it is, at what time will you think that the hopes of a symetrical union are definitely not worth the turmoils of the assymetrical situation ?
      Aren’t you sometimes inclined to think that things have gone too far ?
      Regards

    • “My question for Greece and your position about it is, at what time will you think that the hopes of a symetrical union are definitely not worth the turmoils of the assymetrical situation ?”

      And at this point our host, Yanis, stops … the discussion.

      Dear Yani, I still watch this blog regularly, waiting for the day you will find your answer to this (admittedly hard) question.

    • @Vasilis
      It will be a long wait since our host appears to believe (contrary to every theoretical and empirical evidence) that a symmetrical political union that will eventualy lead to a symmetrical economical union through a common currency is possible and thus dessirable. A case of “hope springs eternal” in my book, but still his prerogative I guess.

    • @tasos
      “our host appears to believe (contrary to every theoretical and empirical evidence) that a symmetrical political union that will eventualy lead to a symmetrical economical union through a common currency is possible and thus dessirable.”

      But Taso this was not edgarpoe’s (and my) question! The question is about time. Let me repeat the question, adding emphasis:

      “@edgarpoe:
      at what _time_ will you think that the _hopes_ of a symetrical union are _definitely_ not worth the turmoils of the assymetrical _situation_”

    • Let me be frank, in answering your question: That time, when the hopes of a functioning union will expire, is approaching. Too fast for my own liking…

  6. I like your idea of a “temporary currency board” – and I think if the SNP had given serious thought to what an independent currency would mean, they would have come to a similar conclusion: that a “genuine” new currency would have a “genuine” introductory period, and not be a leap into the unknown. As an aside, I wonder if Scotland would have any traction on future direction of the euro itself – as in “we’ll join the currency union if….”.

  7. A tax on the Scottish lands ought to raise enough to fund a public bank. Then, that money could be used for development purposes, interest returned to the people since they would be the direct owners of the bank. There is probably more in the Scottish government accounts than is being acknowledged too; in the U.S. it amounts to 10s of trillions, yet because governments only count revenue, and not assets, it is not counted in the so-called budget.
    Of course, Scotland should have its own currency. May I suggest calling it the Scottie?

  8. Good post Yanis, and I agree totally that Scotland needs its own currency. But I think we have the chance to introduce a 21st century networked and resilient architecture, which is the subject of my research at UCL’s Institute for Security & Resilience Studies.

    A couple of points.

    First question is, why do we need a Central Bank at all? We don’t. Hong Kong does not have one, and – like Scotland – they have three note-issuing banks which are supervised by a Monetary Authority. The HK$ is pegged using a currency board arrangement against the US$ essentially backed indirectly by land value. I wrote this piece on an HK land-pegged currency a couple of years ago

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China_Business/MJ05Cb01.html

    Also on the land theme (and don’t forget that over two thirds of money today s deficit-based but land-backed), you may recall that John Law proposed with great insight (“Money & Trade Considered: with a Proposal for providing the nation with money”) a land-backed currency for Scotland in 1705, just before the Act of Union in 1707 and not long after a Scot incorporated the (private) Bank of England in 1694.

    I don’t think that the distinction between credit and currency is widely understood, and I don’t think that it is widely understood either where mobile payment infrastructure is leading. But that is another story.

  9. You are right about Scotland needing its own currency. What’s worth pointing out, though, is that the White Paper explicitly states that it is only the beginning of the story. It states that “this is the position that Scotland will be in on the first day of independence.”

    It’s explicit that if the people of Scotland want further changes – for instance, to be a republic with its own currency – then this argument will be made by parties contesting the first election in an independent Scotland.

    For me at least, not having our own currrency on independence day is not a reason to vote against independence, but an encouragement to begin arguing for a more radical change now. Common Weal and the Radical Independence Campaign are already doing a fine job of this.

  10. So your suggestion is that Scotland should have their own currency if they were to become an independent country. Are we allowed to generalize and consider that your suggestion is that there can not be full independence goes without a separate currency? And if adopting a common currency means partly sacrificing independence, when does that part that was sacrificed becomes too large and so outweighs the benefits of the common currency?

  11. Scots have to decide yet on the issue of devolution from the UK!!! The issue of a national currency is hypothetical.

    Varoufakis is technically correct that an independent country should have its own currency. The Swedes, for example, escaped the chains of the Eurozone because their Constitution considered using another currency devolution of national sovereignty and required a national plebiscite, not leaving the matter in the hands of politicians. Greece did not have these constitutional safeguards.

    What about an independent country like Greece or Ireland, who voluntarily blew themselves up financially by joining the Eurozone and lost their national sovereignty. Consider the case of Greece where the EU and the creditors have a veto power on basic things like elections and elected governments!!!! We are at the point in Greece of suspension of basic civil liberties like habeas corpus. We have got MP’s imprisoned the first time since the Junta.

    Such is dreary quality of life in the EU and Eurozone!!! Lucky are the Norwegians and Swiss…… Second prize to the UK, Swedes and Danes. Greece and EU Periphery in the dog house….

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  13. Is this article a clever allegory about Greece and how its political elite blew up the Greek economy and went into bankruptcy? Perhaps Greeks should be braver and consider leaving the chains of the Euro and renegotiate the debt burden (a large part the other side of the coin here)? All the Varoufakis hypotheticals on Scotland and the Bank of England apply at least ten time more cogently in the case of Greece!

    After successfully fudging Greek entry to the Eurozone by derivatives and false accounting with EU collusion, Loukas Papadimos – the worst Greek central banker in the history of Greece!!! – created a huge credit bubble with the low Euro currency interest rates in housing and consumer credit. The Athens Stock market bubble (another Papademos achievement) preceded this on expectations…) The Greek Politicos were able to maintain a high public debt load and even further enrich themselves by financing the Olympic Games boondoggle. The Greek balance of payments collapsed with a flood of foreign imports and migration of local Greek production abroad – spectacular end in a long term decline in the Greek productive base. Greece become dependent on foreign imports for even basic foodstuff, etc. The other side of the coin was the debt load from the trade imbalances.

    Yet Varoufakis jumps the gun on the matter of currency zones by ignoring one the most fundemental aspects: trade relations, which is a central theme in the work of Robert Mundell in his work on curreny zones. Not a word about the Mundell criteria for optimal currency zones!!! Does it make sense for a country where most of its trade relations are say hypothetically with the UK and the US to enter a currency zone dominated by Germany? Germany imposed Bundesbank rules on the ECB in the construction of the Eurozone and gamed the system from the beginning so they are permanently undervalued…. Has Varoufakis considered the work of Mundell? Let him respond!

    Finally, Scotland presently is part of the UK. The Bank of England very wisely passed on the Eurozone. There are no man made economic disasters in Scotland by any currency boondoggles of the likes of an Argentina, Ireland, Greece, etc. The Scots have their problems and differences with London, but they should consider carefully jumping into the fire on the basis of political smooth talk. Let them consider how the Irish and Greeks demolished themselves by joining the Eurozone. Greece is presently down to EU colonial status with their TROIKA masters. Discretion is the better part of valour.

  14. I’m emotionally a supporter of Scottish independence, especially since it may well involve (perhaps for the first time ever?) a country getting rid of nuclear weapons on it’s soil. Britain is increasingly run for the benefit of the City of London and the others can go to hell.

    But yes – there can by no independance without currency independence. Perhaps the plan is that that should come after the vote for independence within the Sterling / City of London financial zone. The Euro isn’t an option because it has been sabotaged in the way you have many times outline.

    I don’t know whether the issue is cut and dried yet.

    See this analysis in the Guardian:

    Currency: This, perhaps, is the biggest issue of all. The SNP government has said that it wants to retain the pound and form a currency union with the rest of the UK (or rUK, as it’s called in this debate). But the UK government has strongly suggested that it would refuse to form a currency union with an independent Scotland. So what would happen then? What would Edinburgh do to force London to cooperate? Would it really refuse to pay its share of the UK’s national debt, as Scottish ministers have hinted? Even if rUK did agree to a currency union, what constraints would this impose on Scotland? A private Scottish government cabinet briefing paper (pdf), written in 2012 and leaked this year, admitted that if Scotland were in a formal monetary union with rUK, “Scotland would decide on the best overall fiscal stance which is appropriate for the Scottish economy, whilst ensuring that it remained in line with any agreements for the monetary union.” The UK government itself has said that any currency union might require “rigorous oversight of Scotland’s economic and fiscal plans by both the new Scottish and continuing UK authorities”. What might these agreements actually say? And would Scotland expect a seat on the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee?

    Perhaps the strategy is to win approval of independence first and then establish a currency. Some kind of union with Scandinavian countries outside the Eurozone may not be unthinkable.

  15. I d like to read your own view about this,whether you believe is better for scotlandto stay or leave the pound.,so to say.??

    • If I were a Scot I would vote for independence provided it ‘came’ with a plan to form a new Scottish currency. Without it, it makes no sense to go it alone. (If the Eurozone were properly ‘fixed’ then the best option for Scotland would have been to join the Eurozone – alas, the Eurozone is a catastrophe that no sane new nation should want to join.)

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