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How Osborne’s tactics drew Standard Life into the independence debate

28 February 2014

28 February 2014

In politics, as in comedy, timing is everything. It is worth bearing this in mind when considering George Osborne’s ‘you can’t keep the pound’ speech and what has happened since.

There were many (including some senior Lib Dems) who were quick to criticise the Chancellor after he ruled out a shared Sterling zone with a independent Scotland earlier this month. Alistair Carmichael, the Scottish Secretary, even went public to suggest it may well have been ‘wrong from a tactical point of view’ to goad the Nats in this way, particularly as the Yes camp received a noticeable surge in support as a result.

But it now appears as if there was a clear calculating method in Osborne’s approach. Senior sources inside the No camp have revealed that the timing of the Chancellor’s declaration was carefully planned.

The Chancellor had been prepared to rule out a shared currency for some time but it was decided that this had to be done in February, close enough to the referendum to have real impact but also – crucially – ahead of all those springtime annual meetings and reports of Scotland’s big financial companies. So the aim was not so much to receive a boost in the polls but to force Scotland’s financial services industry into the debate.

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No camp strategists knew that all the big Scottish financials – and the UK ones too for that matter – have to put out annual reports, confront shareholders and make declarations about the year ahead at this time of year. They wanted to frighten these so far reluctant business leaders into action and force them to make public their fears about Scottish independence. Up until now, this week’s decision by Standard Life to warn that it is considering shifting operations to England in the event of independence has been seen in the context of the Osborne announcement but the direct link between the two has really not been explored.

But these two key developments in the independence debate have to be taken together. Indeed they should be seen as cause and effect.

The Chancellor made his speech and then, on the back of it, Standard Life felt compelled to enter the debate, warning that uncertainty over currency was one of the big fears it faced as it looked towards the possibility of Scottish independence. If Standard Life is the only company to declare its fears in this way, then the Chancellor’s speech will have succeeded in its task, at least in part.

But Better Together strategists are convinced that more will follow the lead Standard Life has taken and the weeks to come will see company after company issuing warning after warning about the perils of independence and the prospect of lost jobs and businesses fleeing south of the border. It is also understood that Better Together strategists were well aware that they might suffer a setback in the polls from Osborne’s speech – or rather, the reaction to it and Alex Salmond’s allegations of ‘bullying’ which seemed to hit home.

But they also believed that the long-term gains caused by real fears over the currency would trump any short-term losses they would suffer. They won’t know whether that will actually be the case until much later in the campaign, specifically in the last six weeks when most undecideds make up their minds. It will be at that point that a combination of Osborne’s clear message that an independent Scotland will be outside a currency union with the UK and the list of businesses warning that they may have to relocate south of the border should have the most impact.

And if, at that point, the campaign does turn decisively in the No camp’s favour, then the strategists can look back, pat themselves on the back and realise that this was one occasion when they got the timing exactly right.


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Show comments
  • jazz606

    Unless Salmond can magic up a viable currency and financial regulatory framework out of thin air these companies will move to England. They have no choice and no amount of ranting and yelling from the yes campaign and cybernats can alter that fact.

    • Calgacus MacAndrews

      Loads of other countries somehow manage to have currencies, and to have legislation to regulate banks.
      I’m sure iScotland, as the 8th richest country in the world, will manage to do likewise.

      • HJ777

        The point is that the SNP have no such plans – in fact such an option was ruled out by their own fiscal commission.

        The issue is not that a seceded Scotland couldn’t have its own currency and regulation (of course it could) but that the SNP and the “Yes” campaign aren’t being honest with voters. They like pointing to a list of supposed advantages of independence 9earlier retirement, free childcare, etc.) but try to pretend that there would be no costs nor would Scots lose anything they like about being in the UK.

        • Calgacus MacAndrews

          Scots people know that you can’t have something for nothing.
          Please don’t believe what Johann Lamont said about the “something for nothing culture).
          With the laughable daily fear-bombing from Better Together, I suspect that the list of things that your average Scot likes about being in the UK is getting shorter and shorter.

          • HJ777

            Then perhaps you could explain to me why the SNP’s white paper contains a whole raft of policy promises (mostly involving spending more money on various things) but says absolutely nothing on the subject of the transition costs of secession and how this would impact GDP?

            I suspect that your suspicion is wrong.

      • The_greyhound

        Clearly not : Salmond was desparate for a currency union, and just came to pieces completely when Osborne Alexander and Balls straightened him out on the facts.

        Another day, another pratfall for our plump cry-baby.

        • Calgacus MacAndrews

          Salmond is playing a very clever game.
          I presume by the term “plump cry-baby” you are referring to Alistair Carmichael.

          • The_greyhound

            Salmond isn’t even in the game any longer.

            The chaotic shambles over the currency, the reminder of Independent Scotland’s exclusion from the EU, and this latest intrusion of the real world are all fatal to the yes “campaign”. Only the fanatical few are in any way interested in what the fat blustering booby has to say.

            • Calgacus MacAndrews

              Your last sentence is presumably a reference to Alistair Carmichael addressing the entire Bitter Together grass-roots campaign in a telephone box.

  • Cas Soper

    A comment in song:- http://youtu.be/TyeZe5axe1w

  • Thomtids

    I like conspiracies.
    Ignoring for the moment that there is no reason whatever for England to provide a continuing bottom-less pocket for Scotland’s unsustainable public spending plans, it might be considered prudent to actually let the Scots know that her right to use the £ Sterling ceases when her membership of the Partnership ceases.
    As for influencing the major financial interests, they have a realistic need to know what is going on within a reasonable time-frame, or is it intended that they should second-guess the English Treasury? No competition there. Leg it whilst the going’s good.
    Anyway, what financial undertaking opts for a Country of legal residence that hasn’t got a currency, a central Bank, a viable economic policy that isn’t based on Casino Banking with other folk’s money and a repetitious habit of going spectacularly bust.

    • Krackerman

      You need to stop reading the daily mail mate – pssssst – they lie to you…

      • jazz606

        That’s right blame the Daily Mail.

  • abystander

    Did Better Together also arrange Willie Walsh’s intervention?

  • scotcanadien

    “It is also understood that Better Together strategists were well aware
    that they might suffer a setback in the polls from Osborne’s speech – or
    rather, the reaction to it and Alex Salmond’s allegations of ‘bullying’
    which seemed to hit home.”

    That’s not what they were saying immediately afterwards. They were jumping up and down, crowing and cockahoop that Salmond had received another blow job. They were wrong.

    Now, again they are looking for solace from scraps. Firstly Standard Life said nothing like what the MSM media have spun. It actually said http://www.standardlife.com/utility/customer_statement.html And it said the same thing pre the 1997 Devo Referendum and withdrew it soon after the YES vote, pic.twitter.com/AVjEiFtL9M

    The BritNatz continue to fart into the wind.

    • Michael Mckeown

      The difference between devolution and independence is Standard Life have now set up companies in England but with devolution they never in other words they talked about things with devolution but the independence threat has made them take action.

      • scotcanadien

        You ARE an inveterate LIAR aren’t you? What Standard Life has actually stated is “…we have started work to establish additional registered companies to operate outside Scotland,…” ie the ‘mythical additional companies’ don’t exist and are very unlikely to do so.

        Go and read the Company’s statement before you write any more lies. You are only making a fool of yourself

        • Michael Mckeown

          I have read it and that is what they said, registering a company at companies house takes all of 2 minutes.

          • scotcanadien

            Registering a Company and actually setting up office accomm, staff and business contacts are not the same thing.

            • Michael Mckeown

              Why would they set up offices until after the vote? They only need to sort the company registration out as a precaution for now.

              • David

                Absolutely. This is a precautionary move, in case one particular scenario were to play out. And what possible scenario could that be, and why would it have been done now of all times? Hmmm…. go figure!

              • Krackerman

                If it “only takes 5 minutes” why do it now then and not in the 18months from the vote to Independence day?

                • Michael Mckeown

                  The have not ‘done it now’ they are doing it now because the referendum was only finalized late last year and this is the first years shareholdings report.

        • Wessex Man

          You said you were going away, don’t you keep your word on anything?

    • jazz606

      The laugh is that most English are keeping their fingers crossed and hoping that the the Scots do vote for independence.

  • asalord

    Osborne hasn’t a clue about Scotland. I hope he makes more visits to Scotland to further expose his ignorance. Meanwhile…
    http://www.businessforscotland.co.uk/independent-scotland-could-be-aaa-rated-standard-poors/

    • Michael Mckeown

      He knows you need the £ more than he needs you.

      • Alasdair Neil MacLean

        Westminster needs a currency union more than Scotland as without Scotland Westminster balance of payments gets wider…more debt. We will have the pound either with an agreement or not. Most people in the Yes camp and the No camp for that matter agree on this subject and its only fair that a currency agreement is done if not then we, Scotland, can and will have the pound without a currency agreement and no debt.
        As the don’t knows move towards a Yes vote, thanks to Osborne, and for me the longer the bulls..t continues i am begining to move away from a shared debt agreement to using the the pound without a currency agreement, its a win win for Scotland
        The BT naesayers…You reap what you sow…

        • Michael Mckeown

          clearly not as they ruled it out, do try to keep up!

        • Ronnie Strachan

          yes using your Salmond economics go ahead and use the £ without agreement but dont expect westminster to bail you out at the first sign of financial freeze. This is absolute madness and no international money lender will look at Scotland as an investment without punitive interest rates.

          God ive heard more sense in a playground – speak about cutting your nose off to spite your face – madness

          • Michael Mckeown

            It gets even more ridiculous as only a few days ago Salmond was telling anyone that would listen how it was in the best interests of both party’s to be in a currency union but 5 minutes later at the next gathering he called Westminster a bunch of thieves so it begs the question of why it would be in the best interests of Scotland to be saddled with a bunch of thieves as partners? Perhaps Salmond is relying on the separatists not being that bright and thinking of that.

            • David

              Perhaps? The SNP’s grand schemes are falling apart before our very eyes, and you have to be terminally dim not to see that…

        • Denis_Cooper

          “… if not then we, Scotland, can and will have the pound without a currency agreement and no debt.”

          You dishonour all Scots by suggesting that they would walk away from their fair share of the UK’s national debt, just like somebody eating a meal in a restaurant as part of a group and then slipping off to avoid paying his share of the bill.

          Shame on you. If I believed all or most Scots thought like that I’d be saying goodbye and good riddance, but fortunately the moral bankruptcy is restricted to a small number.

          • Nicholas chuzzlewit

            You might like to take all that ‘dishonouring’ can’t and hypocrisy up with your great leader and his deputy. They are the people threatening to walk away from Scotland’s share of the debt. Could you kindly ask them to stop dishonouring the English, Welsh and Northern Irish by continually misrepresenting their thoroughly dishonest and unworkable proposals for a currency union.

            • Denis_Cooper

              Who do you think is my great leader?

              • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                OK for the deliberately stupid, Salmond and Sturgeon are the people threatening to walk away from Scotland’s share of the national debt.

                • Denis_Cooper

                  They are, but Salmond is not my great leader.

                  You’ve got muddled up.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  You have a good sanctimonious rant about dishonouring Scots who would not “walk away from their share of the National debt”. I suggest you address those comments to the leaders of the Scottish government who are threatening just that or can I assume they are amongst the moral bankrupts that you refer to?

                • Denis_Cooper

                  I addressed my comment to Alasdair Neil MacLean, who was putting forward the argument advanced by the Scottish government; would that be good enough?

                  You can see that at the top of my first comment.

                  As I say, you’ve got muddled up and you’re attacking the wrong person for the wrong reasons.

        • MikeBrighton

          How will you have the pound without agreement. If you peg the Scottish pound to stemming I hope you have the vast currency reserves to support the value of the Scottish pound.
          It’s not going to work.

          You know you could try er independence you know with the usual things like your own currency and your own central bank issuing currency in your name?

          • Derick Tulloch

            You do know that the Scottish Issuing banks already keep a sterling reserve to the value of all the Scottish notes they issue?

            • MikeBrighton

              Yes of course, this reserve is held in what us known as “giants” and “titans” in the Bank of England (not in the issuing banks as they are not reserve banks). This reserve is to ensure Scottish notes will not be rejected as they are backed by reserve currency if say er RBS failed.
              This reserve would have to be kept in the proposals by the Nats.

              I’m not talking about this I’m taking about the vast reserves of sterling that Scotland would have to keep to ensure they could peg their scotch dollar to the pound, or use English pounds. Not feasible

        • HJ777

          The balance of payments argument is nonsense, as many economists have pointed out. The effect on the balance of payments of secession would be approximately neutral as although Scotland exports more per capita outside the UK than the rest of the UK, the ScotNats omit to account for the fact that it ‘imports’ far more from the rest of the UK than it ‘exports’ to the rest of the UK.

        • David

          Err, no it’s not, and if Scotland is full of people with your level of awareness of the international money markets then I don’t think your brave and free new SNP government will last very long before the IMF is called in. What you’re proposing is a default on your debts in the international money markets. They would crucify you, as they have done Greece. But sadly you won’t have a European Central Bank to bail you out, or the Bank of England. Err, good luck with that.

          • Derick Tulloch

            Explain how it is possible to default on debts issued by another party? If have a lodger, and you fall behind with your mortgage, the bank chases you, not your lodger!

            Scotland has no debt at this time. The Scottish Government has very reasonably proposed an arrangement whereby Scotland would pay a proportion of the UK’s debt post Independence, provided that the assets of what would then be the former UK are shared. Clearly if assets are not to be shared, then neither is the debt.

            Standard & Poors take a rather different view

            • HJ777

              Scotland is part of the UK, therefore it already has a share of the debt. What is your point?

              In the unlikely event of secession, who has said, or even suggested, that Scotland wouldn’t get a share of assets ?

            • David

              Scotland is not a lodger disappearing without paying the rent. She will be there post-seccession and the money markets will take a view about a country that decides who it wants to pay on a whim. Any notion that Scotland is defaulting on its share of debt will give the international money markets a terrible case of the jitters; if you think you’ll be able to live in a consequence-free environment, then you’re in for a shock.

              There is no way English taxpayers would agree to underwriting the (new) Scottish economy. No way, no how. It would be politically toxic for any political party in the rUK to sign up for it. It would result in them being removed from office pretty smartly and an English National Party (which goes by the name of UKIP) getting power, or at least holding the balance. So however you deal with your debt, don’t bank on having a fiscal union with the UK; that is not going to happen.

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          But there is one tiny flaw in your argument. You will be deemed by the market to have defaulted on your share of the existing national debt and will find it next to impossible to borrow money. Why do you think Salmond wants a currency union? Do you think it is because he wants to help the UK in its hour of need? It is because with the UK Treasury underwriting new debt, Scotland will be able to access markets more cheaply than on a stand alone basis. The UK is unwilling to underwrite the newly issued debt of a foreign country without limitation as to amount or term. We do not do it for anybody else why would we do it for Scotland? You cybernats are incredible; you seem affronted when people who want to preserve the Union, which they are perfectly entitled to do, fight back and don’t want to cooperate with your ridiculous wishes for a currency union.

          • jazz606

            Nicholas, trying to have a rational conversation with a cybernat is like teaching a pig to dance…etc they spend far too much time drinking Buckfast and Tennants Super Strong Lager and watching re runs of Braveheart.

            • Nicholas chuzzlewit

              You are quite right of course but allowing them to peddle their rubbish unfettered is simply impossible.

      • Kerstin Rosee

        We already have the £ – no one can take that away – it’s a tradable currency – he can say no to a Currency Union but a CU is NOT required by Scotland… at all…

        • Michael Mckeown

          Not being able to control the flow of money or the value of it or the rate of interest is not independence. I would imagine some even more sour faces in Scotland if independant when they go to the cash machiene and withdraw Bank Of Engkand notes because the licenses to print Scottish notes in sterling are withdrawn (natural security measure).

          • scotcanadien

            Another financially illiterate M1nger. Go and read
            http://www.iea.org.uk/sites/default/files/EA%20Autumn%20cover%20story%20lores.pdf Educate yourself before making stupid assertions in public.

            • Michael Mckeown

              Not being able to control the flow of money or the value of it or the rate of interest is not independence, your link does not prove me wrong and the bluff and bluster only makes you look angry.

              • scotcanadien

                I am not bluffing nor blustering I am stating FACTS. It’s you who is ducking and diving to avoid acceptance of the truth.

                • Michael Mckeown

                  You haven’t stated any facts you simply linked me to a website that you allege proves me wrong when I said “Not being able to control the flow of money or the value of it or the rate of interest is not independence” needless to say your link does not prove me wrong.

                • scotcanadien

                  I give up. You are an idiot.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  I am afraid it is you who is the idiot old chap. There is absolutely no incentive for the UK to be part of a currency union with Scotland. Why would we guarantee the newly issued public debt of a (hostile) foreign country without limitation as to term or amount and act as lender of last resort to the banks of a foreign country? The only way we could enter a currency union would be to retain complete control over Scotland’s fiscal, monetary and expenditure policies and what kind of independence is that. Shouting, swearing and abusing people as you have done continually on this thread will not make these unpalatable truths go away. You don’t believe Salmond wants a currency union because he is desperate to do the UK a favour do you?

                • Wessex Man

                  “oh I’m a lumberjack and I don’t care.”

              • Thomtids

                I think our Scotcanadien needs to consider the effect of the loss of the standing subsidy provided by the Barnett Formula. Even if RBS £Sc. are printed at par for English notes they are on the down slope. And who would accept a £Sc. note in England no more legal Tender than the Zloty or the Euro.
                And consider all those white and blue Fivers under mattresses from Alnwick to Lerwick. Nothing like persuading them to use them or lose them.

                • Michael Mckeown

                  Its difficult to see why Scottish banks would be allowed to print sterling outside a currency union, it could destabilize the whole currency and The BOE would not know how much money there was so given that it seems highly likely the very first act after a yes vote would be to suspend the three Scottish banks licenses to print sterling, no other country allows another to issue its money.

        • David

          Poor Kerstin. It sounds like you’re one of Alex Salmond’s 16 year olds, who can barely tie their shoelaces. You should give your vote to someone who deserves it, like on of the millions of proud Scots in working in England.

          • Kerstin Rosee

            No answer then David? Looks like you shouldn’t even be allowed to vote on the X-factor.

            • David

              Nicholas chuzzlewit has said all that needs to be said. If you can’t understand it, then I pray for you in your darkness!

              • Kerstin Rosee

                But Nicholas has it wrong…

                • David

                  Well you believe what you wish. I think the SNP’s vision of ‘independence’ (one which by the way isn’t very independent) is more faith-based than rooted in reality. History will tell who is right and who is wrong here. I know which way I would bet my financial future if I was a Scot, and it wouldn’t be on Alex Salmond’s wishful thinking.

                • Kerstin Rosee

                  Faith-based? And here I was thinking that prayer was your thing (see above). At least Salmond has an educational and vocational background in Economics.

                • Wessex Man

                  and he refererred to the pound sterling as a “millstone around Scotland’s neck” go away.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  I have just put the idiot right.

                • Krackerman

                  So David – are you saying Independence under the YES vision gives LESS control over our own country than we currently have under Westminster?? Please explain! I’m amazed to hear this statement and I’m sitting on the edge of my seat for you to explain that one! BTW Salmond has an education in economics and genuine work experience whereas Osborne has a degree in History and work experience in folding towels – I know where I’d put my faith and it’s not in the half-wit towel folder…

                • David

                  Yes. Because Salmond’s plan is to leave the UK to join the EU. Quite how being one of the smallest of 29 ‘regions’ in the EU – and being forced to use the Euro (which is a requirement of every new member state who joins the EU) – is more free than Scotland in the UK as she is now is beyond me.

                  Personally, if I were a Scot I would be looking at either 100% autonomy within the UK (except defence and the £ sterling), or at being outside the UK *and* the EU with my own currency, the Scottish pound shadowing the UK pound. Nor would I want to be in the Commonwealth as that would signal my allegiance to the British crown.

                  Salmond’s vision of ‘independence’ is half-baked, an awkward political fudge that attempts to get around a number of problems he doesn’t have an answer to. Sadly, it’s all falling apart.

                  The understandable unwillingness of the UK to underwrite Scotland via the UK £ was the first blow, and then when Baroso and Rompuy said that Scotland will have to reapply to join the EU (and take the Euro too), the cracks really started to appear.

                • David

                  By the way, I wouldn’t bet my country’s entire economic future on the fact that one leader “has an education in economics”. The international money markets won’t look at Salmond or Osborne’s CVs before they start speculating against a newly ‘independent’ Scotland that refuses to pay its debts to them.

                • Krackerman

                  We’re not – that’s why the fiscal commission recommending CU as the first option has two Nobel Laureate’s in economics on it. Again with the lies – Scotland HAS NOT DEBT to pay back – PLEASE STOP LYING TO PEOPLE…

                • Wessex Man

                  THEY CAN RECOMMEND THAT THE SUN RISES IN THE WEST, WON’T STOP IT RISING IN THE EAST! The UK won’t take the imposed option of shared currency demanded by the Fat Controller!

                  STOP LYING TO PEOPLE…

                • Krackerman

                  1) Scotland has no say in the EU at the moment as it’s all runs through the UK – your assertion that Scotland would have less say with a full and equal membership of the EU then she has now with no seat on the chamber is a joke – a sick one at that.
                  2) Devo-max was ruled out by Westminster – it’s not on the table so your points are meaningless to the discussion
                  3) Salmonds vision is irrelevant – Indepedence will be what we make of it post the first free election – you assume Salmond will still be on power? On what basis?
                  4) The proposals in the white paper to break the political union but retain other unions with the UK is not half-baked – it’s exactly the same process that many countries now free of the UK followed – the important step is always the first – political control without which no change for the better can be made..
                  5) if it’s falling apart then why are the polls showing support for indy increasing? Why the carpet fear-bombing campaign eh?
                  6) The UK is not being asked to underwrite Scotland via the pound but to join in a currency union for the common good – you don’t want it then fine.
                  7) Baroso is already under fire for his comments – he has no remit to make them and as for Rompey – he’s irrelevant – what matters is EU law and if you can show me the line in the EU charter by which a member state for 40 years can be ejected I’d be stunned… there isn’t one.

                • HJ777

                  You may not like Osborne, but asserting that he is a “half-wit” tells us more about your intellect than it does about his.

                  If independent, under the currency union model proposed by Salmond, then there would be absolutely no weighting given to Scotland in Sterling monetary decisions – whereas at present it has equal weighting in proportion to GDP. Scotland would also suffer severe fiscal constraints, either in a currency union (which isn’t going to happen) or imposed by the markets if Scotland simply used the pound without any formal agreement.

                  There is, of course, the possibility of a separate Scottish currency or joining the Euro – but neither of these options are proposed by the “Yes” campaign.

                  What can’t be done in the referendum is to simply vote away economic reality.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Uh no I do not. There is no incentive for the UK to join a currency union with Scotland that requires the UK to guarantee new public debt issuance by the Scottish government without being able to control the amount borrowed or for what term. Would you offer such a guarantee to your next door neighbour who could then, safe in the knowledge of your unlimited guarantee, run up whatever debts he or she liked? That is what Salmond is proposing and what Osborne et al have refused. Neither will the UK act as lender of last resort to Scotland’s banks which are 12 times the size of the Scottish economy. The UK does not offer such guarantees to other independent foreign countries why would offer them to Scotland? You are perfectly welcome to use Sterling but not as part of a currency union. You don’t believe Salmond wants a currency union in order to do the UK a big favour do you? He wants it in order to be able to borrow money more cheaply and safeguard Sotlands banks. In short he wants independence while retaining the benefits of the union. It is called ‘wanting your cake and eating it’ and he is fat enough already.

                • HJ777

                  In what respect does he have it wrong?

                  Such an assertion without any supporting argument or evidence isn’t very convincing. In fact, it suggests that you don’t understand the issue at all and are just blindly denying anything you don’t like.

              • Krackerman

                Whoa – “pray for you in your darkness!” – that’s a pretty creepy thing to say there mate but putting that aside DO you have any answers of your own to Kerstin’s points?

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          You can indeed. What you will not have however is the UK treasury underwriting any newly issued public debt and the BOE acting as lender of last resort to Scottish banks. Scotland has no track record for issuing public debt on its own and so it will be priced much higher than UK Treasury supported debt. Scotland’s banks are 12 times the size of the entire Scottish economy and with no lender of last resort you had better clear a few hotel rooms as the IMF will soon be coming to call. That is why your ‘great leader’ is no longer calling the pound “a millstone around Scotland’s neck” and is desperate to have a currency union.

      • scotcanadien

        We don’t need the £ The rumpUK needs us more than we need it. See FT Reports during w.b. 3 Feb2014

        • Michael Mckeown

          Tell that to Salmond who wont let go of it.

          • scotcanadien

            Go and read the FT Reports. Or are you afraid you might find out the truth?

            • Michael Mckeown

              The truth is Osbourne ruled out a currency union and he has the UK and devolved Scottish accounts so he clearly knows enough to make decisions he did.

              • scotcanadien

                As so many other have told you, WE DON’T NEED A CURRENCY UNION, is that loud and clear enough for you?

                • Michael Mckeown

                  Why are you obsessed about it then?

                • scotcanadien

                  Me obsessed? If anyone has an obsession it is you. You have already posted about 100 posts on here, all bullshit I might add, and before you make the obvious reply … yes I have been replying to some of them but only because you are LYING about important Independence matters.

                • Michael Mckeown

                  You keep saying I’m lying but its unfortunately true that no one wants to have a currency union with Scotland.

                • scotcanadien

                  We’ll see. Goodbye.

                • Michael Mckeown

                  Bye, hope you come out of your denial soon.

                • David

                  You’ll see. Put the boot on the other foot. Would Scottish taxpayers voluntarily subsidise the English as they because independent of you lot? Haha, I think not!

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Why in the name of God would we want to guarantee the newly issued public debt of a clearly hostile ( if your language is anything to go by) foreign country without restraint on amount or term?

                • Wessex Man

                  It’s amazing, have we found the missing link?

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Yes but I hope your taxpayers can cope firstly, with the massive increase in public debt borrowing costs and second that your banks which are twelve times the size of the Scottish economy can manage their liquidity etc without a lender of last resort. No you don’t need a currency bunion and you cannot have one away. Good luck.

                • Krackerman

                  What massive increase in public spending? What are you wittering about – we already put MORE into the UK than we get out – can out count? Those banks are owned by the UK government mate – not our problem 😀 Sorry couldn’t resist that one – the truth is that banks are bailed out where the contagion is – as these banks are 90% working in England then the BOE as lender of last resort for the English regulatory body would bail them out – exactly what happened in 2008 when the US fed bailed out Barclays and RBS to the tune of half a trillion dollars – did you not know this is how it works????

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Well you just enjoy your delusions old boy because RBS is headquartered and registered in Scotland. Oh and do desist with all that rubbish about putting in more than you take out if you want to believe all that bogus rubbish put out by the SNP you are free to do so but don’t insult anybody else’s intelligence. Why in the name of God do you think Salmond wants a currency union utilising a currency that he previously derided as a “millstone around Scotland’s neck”? Do you think he is desperate to help his beloved friends in the UK in their hour of need? No it is because the euro is a non-starter for him and he wants access to international debt marks at UK prices. You are clearly to stupid to recognise the truth but please stop polluting the argument with your ridiculous fantasies and belief that The UK is subsidised by Scotland and that a debt free life awaits as soon as you vote Yes.

                • HJ777

                  Who is “we”?

                  You, apparently, don’t even live in the UK so presumably you are speaking for a small group of CyberNats somewhere in Canada. You certainly have no right to pretend that “we” means Scots in general.

          • Krackerman

            It’s not Salmond promoting it – it’s the recommendation of the fiscal commission as the best solution for everyone. The SG under the Edinburgh Agreement are BOUND to deliver to the Scots the best options for them to vote on – this is the basis of the white paper. The UKG is then also BOUND by the agreement to work with the SG to deliver it if the people vote YES.. So the CU stays ON the table as the best option until after the vote and the REAL negotiations are concluded – anything before then is pre-negotiation which is AGAINST the EA so Ossis we speech which they are at pains to claim is not breaking the EA is NOT pre-negotiation which means it’s simply propaganda and sabre rattling…

            • Michael Mckeown

              The Edinburgh Agreement does not bind the UK on anything except the result. There is not going to be a currency union.

              • Krackerman

                Ahem – “The two governments are committed to continue to work together constructively in the light of the outcome, whatever it is, in the best interests of the people of Scotland and of the rest of the United Kingdom.

                • Michael Mckeown

                  That does not mean that a currency union can be forced, Salmonds cronies and rent a profs do not decide for the UK that they will be in a currency union.

    • Shinsei1967

      No one has ever claimed Scotland wouldn’t be investment grade nor that it couldn’t survive as an independent country. So why do you constantly keep inventing these straw men ?

      The (economic) argument is that Scotland would be worse off under independence. As the S&P report says.

      • Michael Mckeown

        The report implies a BBB rating not a AAA, I’m unsure why the nationalists lie the way they do while linking to the source material.

        • Jambo25

          Maybe you have missed this but the UK no longer has a AAA rating. Osborne managed that.

          • Michael Mckeown

            it does with S&P, do try to keep up!

          • HJ777

            There are three credit rating agencies. The UK still has an AAA rating with one of them.

            That is better than most countries.

            • Jambo25

              So it doesn’t have AAA with 2 out of 3.

              • HJ777

                So you were wrong to say that the UK no longer has an AAA rating. It has an AAA rating and two AA+ ratings.

                That makes it one of the most creditworthy countries in the world.

                Would you like to make an estimate of what the rating of a seceded Scotland would be if it tried to walk away from debt because it didn’t get a currency union? I know you personally prepared are to endure an economic disaster simply because you ‘don’t feel British any longer’ but your lack of concern for, and lack of honesty towards, other Scots is disturbing.

                • Jambo25

                  2 out of 3 no longer give the UK a AAA rating.

                • Krackerman

                  Soon to be 3 out of 3 after the recent revision upwards of UK debt from Q4 last year… Once the YES vote is in it’ll be another downgrade for the UK as 10% of it’s GDP walks away leaving it with all the debt pushing the ratio to near 110% GDP…. Not to mention the impact to the trade balance of all that oil and whiskey blowing a 50bln per year hole into it’s side… not good – not good at all for blightly – got to admire Ossy for one thing – you’d have to be INSANE to bluff with a hand that’s so obviously that bad….

                • Michael Mckeown

                  ‘Once the YES vote is in it’ll be another downgrade for the UK as 10% of it’s GDP walks away leaving it with all the debt pushing the ratio to near 110% GDP.’

                  12% of spending goes with the 10% of revenue, the spending is a greater sum by over 6 billion!

                  Scotland not paying its debt means (in no particular order)

                  No EU membership.
                  Trade worth 80% of its output at risk of punitive taxes.
                  No transitional arrangements. (yes no way to collect taxes or pay benefits)
                  No military.
                  Border controls.

                • HJ777

                  Perhaps you would be so kind as to predict the expected credit rating of a seceded Scotland?

                  The UK has, of course, one of the world’s top credit ratings.

                  Independent economists say that the effect of secession on the balance of trade would be approximately neutral. ScotNats conveniently forget that the rest of the UK ‘exports’ far more to Scotland than it ‘imports’ from Scotland, which would largely cancel out the effect of Scotland’s proportionately greater exports to the rest of the world.

                • Krackerman

                  Hilarious argument – the debt is in the name of the UK government – not Scotland – the treasury confirmed this – it is NOT Scotlands debt – we cannot default on it anymore than I can default on a debt YOU owe a bank. Laughable logic and outright lies from the British nationalists

                • HJ777

                  Well I am getting used to CyberNats shouting “lies” whenever confronted by difficult facts.

                  Even Salmond has retreated from his absurd “we’ll walk away with no debt” threat but some people are still desperate enough to repeat it. Let me be quite clear – a secession could not happen without an agreement with the rest of the UK on debt. What’s more, a seceded Scottish state would have precisely no assets unless agreed with the government of the rest of the UK. It wouldn’t even own the Holyrood Parliament.

                • jazz606

                  “…It wouldn’t even own the Holyrood Parliament…”

                  Who would want to ?

              • HJ777

                So you admit to having been wrong then. That’s progress, I suppose.

                However, you still refuse to answer, or even acknowledge, difficult questions about the likely credit rating of a seceded Scotland, I notice.

        • scotcanadien

          You are the LIAR. The S&P Report implies a AAA rating.

          • Michael Mckeown

            It does not. The report is here:

            worldofstuart.excellentcontent.com/repository/StandardAndPoorsKeyConsiderations.pdf

            • scotcanadien

              I’ve read it, and I quote from it “… Even excluding North Sea output and calculating per capita GDP only by looking at onshore income, Scotland would qualify for our highest economic assessment…”

              In S&P’s case that is AAA. Are you going to continue with your nonsense?

              • Michael Mckeown

                Nevertheless, Scotland’s economic performance would be subject to several potential adjustment………………………

                You have to keep reading not stop at the bit you like!

          • Makroon

            What’s this Canuck, the long goodbye ? Close the door after you.

            • scotcanadien

              It was goodbye to one idiot. But it is also goodbye to another in the form of you.

              • Wessex Man

                goodbyeee, goodbyeee, it’s good to see you go!

          • Wessex Man

            For heavens sake I thought you had gone away!

        • The_greyhound

          “I’m unsure why the nationalists lie”
          they’re liars. It’s what liars do. Many of them are seriously disturbed, and can’t deal with the real world, contradiction, fact, or indeed any of the things proper grown ups take in their stride. Hysterical vapouring and whining victimhood are their only modes of expression. Fortunately they are few in number, and the Scots electorate is already profoundly bored with them. The only really interesting question is how they will behave after the crushing NO vote. Badly, one suspects.

          Incidentally, where’s fat cry baby Alex? Is he too skulking in Rostov?

          • jazz606

            I know a few Nats, it is not a good idea to argue with them they soon become loud and abusive.

    • perdix

      Osborne doesn’t need to know anything about Scotland. He’s merely stating that a currency union would be unacceptable to rUK.

  • Jambo25

    Oh FFS. Standard Life threatened to withdraw from Scotland in 1992 and in 1997 if we voted for Devolution. They’re still here. The head of SL is an ex-Treasury civil servant.

    • Michael Mckeown

      90+% of Standard Life’s customers are in the rest of the UK. Standard Life has not threatened to withdraw from Scotland they have simply stated that they have already created companies registered in England to ensure the 90% of the customers in the rest of the UK are still served in the UK, does that mean 5000+ people wont be needed in Edinburgh I think so.

      • Jambo25

        No, such is your dislike of the very idea of independence, that, I suspect, is what you hope.

        • Michael Mckeown

          What would the 5000 workers be doing if 90% of their customers were being served elsewhere?

          • Greenslime

            The more socialist country would obviously step in and give them tractor factory jobs where they could work alongside the previous employees of HMS Neptune, et al.

          • Thomtids

            Eating deep-fried Mars bars and drinking their whiskey before the sassenachs take it away and demand their cattle back.

            • Krackerman

              Whoa – the racism is strong with this one…

              • Michael Mckeown

                The Scots are a race?

        • Wessex Man

          well you know I really really want you to achieve your indepenedence, so I can say this without upsetting all my Cybernat friends. Standard Life looked at Scottiish Independence and made a commercial decision to consider a move south of the border. Nothing to do with politics just business!

          • Derick Tulloch

            Perhaps you should read what SL actually said, rather than what BBC Pravda said they said?

      • scotcanadien

        With your lack of brains I doubt if anyone would be convinced by your analyses of what Standard Life Management might or might not do.

        • Michael Mckeown

          My analysis is based on what they said and have done and they have already setup companies in England so that tells you all you need to know.

          • scotcanadien

            Your analysis? You haven’t a clue about anything so how can you analyse? Go read this http://www.standardlife.com/utility/customer_statement.html THAT is what it ACTUALLY said.

            • Michael Mckeown

              yes indeed “we have started work to establish additional registered companies to operate outside Scotland

              • scotcanadien

                The operative words there are “we have started work”…

                I have started work to establish myself as a world authority on the stupidity of Englishmen and even though that might be an easy task it is very unlikely that I will finish my work

                • Michael Mckeown

                  Why are you abusing the English?

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Er because he is stupid, has no cogent arguments and thinks that swearing and abuse will make unfortunate truths go away. A bit like Salmond really.

          • David McCann

            Standard Life have also just spent £75million in Edinburgh- not the actions of a company likely to quite Scotland.

            • Nicholas chuzzlewit

              And yet they are establishing new companies in England.

              • Krackerman

                Err yes – just as they have companies all round the world operating under the different regulatory frameworks – they still have 5000 people back in Edinburgh though don’t they…

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Indeed they do but with the vast majority of their UK customers and UK products domiciled and regulated outside of Scotland and there being no prospect of a currency union, the question is ‘for how much longer will those 5,000 people have jobs in Edinburgh’?

          • Wessex Man

            oh dear, I feel sorry for you two, you are trying to reason with a half-witted slow bully.

        • MikeBrighton

          Some facts. Standard life has 6 million customers of which just over 90% are in the rUK. It manages assets of some £240bn known as AUM.
          Given the nature of its business a very material % of that AUM is in the form of pension funds or other investment products such as ISAs. Givens the nature of those products, they cannot be held offshore from the rUK those assets will have to be moved into the rUK and regulated in the rUK.
          In addition the accountable investment management and senior management of Standard Life cannot be offshore, on a materiality basis Standard Life will have to be regulated in the rUK so all it’s senior and accountable, management will have to be in the rUK.
          You move 90%+ of the company and all it’s management you’ve moved the company.
          This is broadly true of most of Scotland’s financial services industry.
          The Nats have not thought this through.

      • Tom Tom

        Just England ? i expected a few in BVI, Cayman, Jersey, Luxembourg

    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      There was no question of changing Scotland’s fiscal and monetary arrangements on those occasions. On this occasion, Scotland will have to find a new medium of exchange if it votes for independence because a currency union with the UK will not be available. Hence SL, which is a Plc and thus has responsibility to protect the interests of its shareholders, is considering contingency measures. Thanks for the non-point though.

      • Jambo25

        Thanks for the usual insult and the usual non-reading of SL’s statement.

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          I am a shareholder so yes I have read their statement from start to finish. It is simply that 30 years plus experience of International finance means that I understand the contents whereas you try and make them fit they ‘cybernat’ narrative. Are you saying that the circumstances of the vote in 2014 are identical to those for devolution? If yes, you need to read up a bit on fiscal and monetary policy.

          • Jambo25

            It depends on what arrangements are made after any putative ‘Yes’ vote.

  • HookesLaw

    Tactics may be important but the clear point that voters in Scotland need to know is that voters in the remainder of the UK are not going to see their currency and interest rates and economy manipulated to the benefit of any 3rd party country. They are not going to vote for any party offering a currency union. Its not a question of the ‘No Camp’ or ‘Better Off Together’ strategists saying or plotting anything. Its simply dealing with what the rest of us want.

    • scotcanadien

      Voters in Scotland do not give a flying fuck about what voters in England think about Independence. In fact they don’t give TWO flying fucks about all the nonsense in the media about Currency Unions and the EU. Your ordinary voter thinks that is BORING POLITICAL CRAP. They will vote with their hearts on the day, on the basis, Q, “am I Scottish”? A, “YES.”

      • MikeBrighton

        The polls appear to say the opposite.

      • The_greyhound

        “Voters in Scotland do not give a flying fuck about what voters in England think about Independence.”

        Most voters in Scotland take exactly the same view as the English electorate of the matter.

        Last month electors at Cowdenbeath gave 71% of the vote to candidates from Unionist parties. Precisely repeating the result at the Dunfermline by-election.

        Salmond and his fruitcakes have been dead in the water for months. Just too stupid to notice.

        • scotcanadien

          You are a thick little Englishman aren’t you? The elections in Cowdenbeath and Dunfermline were by-elections. The Referendum is a vote to become Independent. Only idiots would try to compare them. Running avge of polls YES 39% NO 48% UND 13%. Only a tiny 5% swing needed for YES in lead.

          • Michael Mckeown

            Latest poll: Yes 35%, No 53%, Don’t Knows 12%, the NO’s are rising!

          • Tom Tom

            The English prefer Opinion Polls to Elections

      • David

        Some will, without doubt. Other, more sophisticated Scots will weigh up the pros and cons on the basis of their ongoing financial wellbeing – and that is closely interlinked with the way the rest of the UK works (or doesn’t) with a newly independent Scotland.

        The critical thing here is that if the rest of the UK doesn’t want a currency union, there is no way that English, Welsh and Northern Irish political parties can agree to one – or they themselves will be damaged at next election.

        So basically, currency union isn’t going to happen in the rUK because the rUK voters won’t let it. And the reason they will not allow it because it would mean them subsidising the Scottish economy and bankrolling Scotland the next time one of your banks implodes – just like we did in 2008.

        No one begrudges you your romantic dreams of independence, just don’t expect the rest of the UK to pay for them.

        • Krackerman

          LOL patronising and hilarious incorrect all in one! you should write for the mail mate 😀

          • David

            So you really think English taxpayers will share their £ with you? Pay for you when your banks – which are twenty times richer than your country – crash again? Wishful thinking!

            You should realise that more English people want Scotland to leave the UK than Scots do. It would be political suicide for British politicians to commit to bankrolling you via the £ sterling, so it ain’t going to happen. Live with it.

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        Yes thank you for the expletives; how original and persuasive is the semi-literate mind. The fact remains you will not be joining a currency union with the UK, we will not be underwriting newly issued public debt and our central bank will not act as lender of last resort to Scottish banks. All very boring but perhaps you could amuse yourself by finding a medium of exchange that all those ‘Yes’ voters can use post independence.

        • Jambo25

          “Semi-literate mind”. Back to the insults then.

          • Alex Creel

            @Jambo25 – No matter what you do, how moderately and carefully you put your arguments…..some people can’t control themselves and have to introduce an offensive element to their response. They are simply fulfilling the doctrine of bitter together – as wee Eck says – a positive message will always triumph. These guys are abusive and negative even when they think they’re winning the argument-..a very unattractive trait

            • Nicholas chuzzlewit

              Well I have yet to hear one of those from Salmond. Kindly explain why joining a currency union which would require the UK to guarantee any newly issued public debt by Scotland without any limitation as to amount or term is a good idea for the UK. Why would it be a good idea for the UK’s central bank to act as lender of last resort to the banks of a foreign country particularly when that country’s banks are 12 times the size of its economy? Why should I be polite to somebody who endorses the view that England is a “fascist empire”? Try and park your sanctimony for one minute and answer those questions.

          • Nicholas chuzzlewit

            As expected you approve of his swearing just as you endorsed the suggestion by another cybernat that everybody in England is part of a “fascist empire”. There are literally no depths to which people like you will stoop.

      • HJ777

        What would you know about voters in Scotland? You are thousands of miles away and your opinions are hardly representative – after all, most Scots are reasonable people which you clearly are not.

      • Gobby

        What is a scotcanadien? oh I see some asshole who has never lived in Scotland but feels he has the right to be listened to because he once had a forefather from Scotland? what are your views on Quebec should that province be granted independence?

    • Krackerman

      Yeah because the UK government puts all it decision to a referendum eh and it always delivers on election/manifesto promises eh? Laughable. If the UK wants a currency union with Scotland as part of the negotiations then there will BE one and don’t kid yourself for a second that a single voter will have any say in it. To think this way is to deny decades of past experience!

      • Michael Mckeown

        They dont want a currency union and they are not negotiating the issue, what part of there wont be a currency union are you having trouble with?

        • David

          Amazing isn’t it? SNP supporters are engaging in an incredible act of delusory groupthink. Once again, there is no way English taxpayers will agree to bankrolling the UK £ in Scotland. It is politically toxic – just in the same way we are not bailing Greece out with Bank of England cash. You wouldn’t if the boot were on the other foot; you’re not stupid and neither are we.

          • Michael Mckeown

            They come back at you and say stupid things like ‘the Isle Of Mann uses the £’ but forget that all islands or territories using the £ are doing so because they are part of the British state so the BOE is the lender of last resort only because they are British territories.

        • Wessex Man

          He strikes me as being really really stupid but that’s OK as long as he votes for independence!

          • Jambo25

            “really stupid!”. So you’re back to your best non-insulting self as well.

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        Yes but we don’t want a currency union with Scotland. It would be the height of irresponsible madness to underwrite the newly issued public debt of a, judging from your intemperate interventions, a very hostile foreign country that hates the UK. Incidentally, the latest estimates suggest that it would cost Scotland and additional 65 to 125bps over the current UK rate if Scotland chooses independence. I would pay your mortgage down if I were you.

        • Krackerman

          You missed the point mate – it’s IRRELEVENT want YOU want – YOU won’t be asked. You never have been and you never will be – not on anything that matters. Love the rest of your ill informed ranting about “hostile countries” – that’s a hoot – though if you can point me to the source of that “estimate” I’d be interested to see it – you on the other hand might want to read this and reflect that reality often does not match your prejudices http://newsnetscotland.com/index.php/referendum/8806-credit-agency-confirms-indy-scotland-set-for-triple-a-credit-rating

          • Nicholas chuzzlewit

            Keep barking away but nothing will change the fact that the UK will not join a currency union with Scotland. It is not in our best interests and you will have to make other arrangements. The Daily Telegraph estimates a premium of 175 bps over UK rates so like I said, better start paying down that mortgage.

          • Duke_Bouvier

            Equally, there is nothing that can force the UK government to have a currency union with Scotland – or more specifically acting as lender of last resort to the banks and providing liquidity for the economy in event of financial crisis. Maybe the UK will, maybe the UK won’t. But it isn’t Scotland’s decision.

            And odd, isn’t it, that the Nats want to shackle them selves to the country they are desparate to leave. This is just desparation as the Euro has become electorally toxic and the “arc of prosperity” with Iceland and Eireland ain’t looking so good.

            And all the polls I have seen say that economic prospects are what swing voters for or against, not Mel Gibson.

    • Tom Tom

      The UK has its currency and interest rates manipulated to suit Barcap, Goldman, UBS, Deutsche. We know the BoE conspires with The City to rig LIBOR, Forex, and any other Index or Market that exists so stop spouting crap as if Voters in England matter – they are cows in a field waiting to be milked

  • Denis_Cooper

    “particularly as the Yes camp received a noticeable surge in support as a result”

    If you mean the Survation poll you mentioned in an earlier article, they changed their methodology from that used for the previous polls:

    http://survation.com/2014/02/a-note-on-methodology-for-our-recent-scottish-poll/

    “Taking into account the variation in the raw figures (likely more due to random sample fluctuations than any real shift in opinion during the last 20 days), the effect of changing the weighting appears to account for approximately 6.5 of the 10.8 points of apparent reduction in the “No” lead compared with the previous Survation poll. As found by other pollsters, false recall of their 2010 vote by nationalist voters is the most likely explanation for this effect.”

    I don’t know about other polls, but there’s a long while to go until September and so people will have time to think about it.

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