Coffee House

Osborne is serious. An independent Scotland won’t be keeping the pound

13 February 2014

4:39 PM

13 February 2014

4:39 PM

Could it be Bodie and Doyle? Perhaps Starsky and Hutch? Morse and Lewis? Whoever provided the inspiration, someone in Downing Street has clearly been watching too many old TV cop shows because what George Osborne’s performance today was the final part of an old-fashioned good cop, bad cop routine.

Last week David Cameron stayed in London to ‘love-bomb’ the Scots (as the Nats described it).’Please, please don’t leave,’ was his message, ‘We really love you lots.’

That was part one, the good cop routine. Today we had part two, the bad cop bit. The Chancellor didn’t stay in London. He came to Edinburgh and was hard, nasty and belligerent.’Go independent if you want to,’ was his message, ‘But you can’t have the pound, so forget it.’ It was the hardest kick in the crotch the Chancellor has ever delivered to Scotland and it will alter the independence campaign drastically.

All day, the Nationalists have been touring television and radio stations to claim that Osborne is playing political games, that today’s message was orchestrated by Better Together as a deliberate ploy to get the ‘don’t knows’ back to the unionist side.

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They are right – but only in part. Yes, this was a political move. Better Together strategists have identified the ‘don’t knows’ as the key to the campaign. They also know that uncertainty over the pound is what concerns them most. So they decided to end that uncertainty once and for all by making it clear today that an independent Scotland would not be in a Sterling zone.

There was also a secondary aim: trying to force Alex Salmond to come out with a ‘Plan B’ on the currency, something that would appear so unreliable and shaky it would destroy the Nats’ hopes of winning the referendum in one move.

But there was also a wider and deeper motive behind the Chancellor’s speech today which the Nationalists don’t seem to appreciate. Osborne has worried for months about sharing a currency with an independent Scotland. He doesn’t want to do it. Senior sources in Downing Street have made it clear that Osborne’s thinking goes like this:

‘I have saved the UK economy. Things are going well because we have put the brakes on excessive public spending. The economy is growing, the international markets and things are going to get better and better.

‘The last thing I am going to do is allow a small, independent country with a profligate, left-leaning government blow all that by spending too much, getting into trouble and then having to be bailed out by us – a country, incidentally, who’s financial decisions we can’t control. We have done too much hard work and been through too much pain to allow that to happen.’

This is apparently what Osborne believes and it is not difficult to see why. So there really is meat behind this piece of political posturing. Osborne has been hinting for months that he did not want the UK to share a currency with an independent Scotland but he never came out and said it – before today.

This announcement will polarise the debate like never before. It will lead to a reaction from some Scots who believe, as Salmond wants them to, that the Chancellor is bullying the Scots. It will also push some ‘don’t knows’ back to the cause of the Union. But the real message – and it is one the Nats don’t seem to want to believe – is that the Chancellor is very serious about this. If Osborne has anything to do with it, Scotland will not be allowed to share the pound after independence. This really is not a bluff, not matter what Salmond nor his allies may believe.

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Show comments
  • Doggie Roussel

    Great news !

    The future independent Scotland will make Greece look like Switzerland.

    Bring it on.

  • asalord

    Osborne can’t help but give the independence movement a boost. Bless.
    Scotland keeps pound as currency til new elections in 2016 when the people of Scotland will decide.
    No more arrogance from Westminster’s British nationalists.

    • Michael Mckeown

      You obviously live on benefits as if you had a job and a mortgage and investments then the thought of changing currency and creating a whole new central bank would fill you with dread.

    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      Nothing to stop you keeping the pound old boy but no lender of last resort or underpinning of debt etc. interest rates are going to rise so I hope you have your mortgage payments up to date.

  • Hegelian

    It’s too late. Will simply drive the Scots away even more.

  • Maidmarrion
  • Mr_Ominous

    The SNP are amateurs. They’ve had years (if not decades) to come up with a policy on what currency an independent Scotland would use but they have nothing. Instead they shriek about telling the rest of the UK what’s in our best interests, which conveniently is what’s best for Scotland.

    • starfish

      They just want everything on their terms like a spoilt child. And if they don’t get what they want they will sqweam and sqweam until they are sick…… next stage is to take their ball away and sulk saying they wont pay their share of the debt. That should go down well with the money markets

  • dougthedug

    Your reading of George Osborne’s mind is more revealing of you than him.

    “I have saved the UK economy”

    Something that has yet to be proven.

    ” profligate, left-leaning government “

    Since the Scottish Government lives on a block grant from Westminster I’m not sure where “profligate” comes from.

    Osborne’s use of words is interesting. Unlike Balls he doesn’t speak for his party but says, “I could not as Chancellor recommend that we could share the pound with an independent Scotland.” Chancellors change and it’s a long way to independence yet.

    To be honest, with the formal alliance of Labour, Tory and Lib-Dem as directors of the Better Together 2012 company and their close co-operation in Scotland where the three parties appear on the same platform and under the same banner together it was always on the cards that they’d use the currency union as a fear factor in the campaign.

    The SNP offered a devolution option on the ballot paper if the unionist parties could come up with one and the unionists turned it down. The SNP have proposed a currency union and the unionist alliance of Labour, Tory and Lib-Dem have turned it down. It’s always the unionists who are put in the position of being unreasonable and failing to co-operate.

    I’m not entirely unhappy with the way the day’s gone. The currency union was always a hostage to the good graces of the unionists so it was simply a matter of time until they rejected it. Better now than closer to the vote.

    • Jambo25

      Swinney always makes the budget balance. In fact he normally runs a small surplus.

  • BarkingAtTreehuggers

    This currency bollaux is baffling indeed.

    Will the baffoons finally acknowledge that in a world of global corporations and international investment and capital flows, guarantees underwritten by micro-sized (British) nation states no longer work? Has it not been proven beyond doubt that the repeat bailout of the banks of gangsters repeatedly gangbanking the taxpayer for cash has led this nation into certain decline?

    In this context it is evident that ‘thinking big’ and backing currencies supported by 350 million, let alone one billion plus punters will be the way forward.

    So the ultimate question is not whether Scotland will *leave* this currency union, but whether a once disbanded *United Kingdom of former United Kingdoms Upholding* (UniKfUKup) will ultimately *join* the Euro (!)

    • John Clegg

      You haven’t had your medicine today, have you?

    • Mike

      If the UK dumps the Scottish debt burden the pound will strengthen and Scotland will be lost !

      • Jambo25

        Only, that’s not what’s happening. By claiming the £ and BoE as solely its own and no doubt wishing to keep other assets of the UK such as NATO, EU and other memberships. By wishing, no doubt, to keep the Security Council seat rUK would be the present UK’s ‘Successor State’ or would actually be regarded as simply a continuation of the present UK. That means, under international law, that rUK takes responsibility for all the UK’s liabilities. In other words Salmond doesn’t have to do anything. rUK takes on the whole UK national debt unless the new Scottish state wishes to voluntarily take partial responsibility through a bi-lateral agreement. Without agreement on the £ how likely do you think that is?

        • Mike

          Nothing is happening yet and you’re a tad premature.

          The BoE is not called the Bank of England for nothing and its not called the Bank of UK. As it stands, it underwrites debt as lender of last resort to prevent default. If I had business’s in England & Scotland but my Scottish business was hemorrhaging money I could just shut it down leaving those owed money with nothing with no recourse to my English operation for bail out. That’s just how business’s work today across the EU and with Scotland independent from the UK it would be no different.

          On NATO, the EU or the UN security council, I’d hardly call them an asset and they are irrelevant as far as value is concerned as they are in actuality a cost to England. For an independent Scotland it would be their choice whether to join NATO and/or the EU assuming those bodies would want Scotland or under what conditions but that wouldn’t be England’s concern. England’s contribution to all three would justifiably be re-negotiated but that’s our problem and just a distraction to the real problem for Salmond without a BoE pound.

          England does not need to take on Scottish debt on independence and I’m puzzled why you believe that to be so. When someone leaves a club, their personal debt leaves with them and so it would be here. The remnants of Scotlands bankrupt banking system would stay with Scotland just as assets like their oil.

          There doesn’t need to be any agreement over the pound as it was always very clear that you cant use someone elses currency if you aren’t operating under their fiscal rules. The Euro is a classic example of a on going failure where Greece, Spain, Portugal & Eire are well and truly f***** and will stay that way because their idea of financial prudence is totally at odds with Germany and other northern EU countries. They have no ability to affect their economy and create jobs as the Euro bankers own them lock stock and barrel. Scotland can track the pound with a Scottish pound but that didn’t work when Ireland tried it as its either hike interest rates and increase job losses or devalue a Scottish pound and become another PIIGS country outside the Euro.

          All three political parties have agreed on one thing, the pound is a BoE pound and we don’t have to do anything as its underwritten by London. The Scottish pound which actually exists will go its own way and could operate like the Israeli shekel does. The only currency in Israel for tourists and international trade is the US dollar. Likewise if the Scottish pound is suspect (which it would be without backing) the English pound would be preferred currency and be used to purchase the Scottish pound at whatever rate was appropriate. This is the way these things work in practice when a currency is suspect and anything else is highly unlikely.

          These are the hard facts of going it alone and NOT the Salmond BS he’s been pretending all these years.

          • Jambo25

            1) The BoE has been the UK’s central bank, not England’s alone for 300 years.
            2) The BoE does not bail out commercial companies from bankruptcy.
            3) You may see the UN, NATO, EU etc as valueless but I’ll lay you odds that HMG insists on retaining the UK’s present membership and making Scotland apply.
            4) By insisting on ‘ownership’ of the BoE and the diplomatic memberships rUK becomes the ‘Successor State’ . It therefore takes responsibility for the full national debt. If rUK wants iScotland to pay its share then it will have to gain iScotland’s agreement through bilateral negotiations post independence.
            5) I’m sure the Irish will be thrilled at knowing they are “well and truly f…ed” and will stay that way because they are financially imprudent. That’s the Ireland with higher living standards than ours which has nursed itself back to financial health.
            6) Last time I was in Israel I paid for things in Shekels and everybody seemed quite happy with that.
            7) Personally, I’d go for a Scottish currency and central bank and leave the £150-£160 billion debt with rUK. Scotland would then be about the most solvent state in the world.

            • Mike

              1/ The BoE was around prior to the union in 1707 hence it is called the Bank of England. Scotland came to the party later on.

              2/ The BoE is not independent of government and although the government bailed out the failed Scottish banks, it was the BoE who put in measures like QE to help pay for that bail out. The two are inextricably linked what ever you like to think.

              3/ It would be in Scotlands interest to join NATO but thats still their choice.

              4/ Not so, If I have a French office that’s gone bust, I can shut it down and its debts stay in France. The debts that Scotland has are with Scottish banks and similarly we can walk away and leave them with their debts if Scotland gets independence. Even if we take a hit, its a one off hit rather than an ever increasing debt. This is how it could work.

              We walk away from the Scottish banks and write their debts off. They have no collateral, they have no confidence from the markets and essentially they can’t operate as they are bankrupt. End of story and we pick up all profitable Scottish bank business in England & Wales (or even further afield). The business’s we pick up would rather be banking with us that has a lender of last resort (BoE) than any cobbled idea that Salmond might try to finagle. Without any solvent banks or lenders of last resort, whats Salmond going to do ?

              5/ Ireland is still well and truly shafted as far as the normal person is concerned. Cost of living has rocketed and is 25% higher than the UK, property is stagnant just like Spain. I don’t know which Irish people you talk to but all the ones I know think its dire over there compared to the UK.

              6/ Of course you can pay for many things in Shekels when you go shopping in the markets. The problem arises with importers who prefer dollars because they can’t trust the shekel more than a few weeks.

              7/ Personally I’g go for that as well and end up like Argentina who defaulted on debts and is currently suffering hyper-inflation. Best of luck with that one !

            • Woodhorb

              Eire agreed to pay for it’s fair share of national debt when it left the UK and created it’s own currency which it then opted to peg to sterling pound; it did not get a share of the BoE or diplomatic memberships; UK has already said it would guarantee the whole national debt; however if Scotland decides not to honour it’s share it will not be able to borrow money (see Argentina) and even with oil money Scotland needs to borrow money or raise taxes or cut benefits; it’s not difficult, you go independant you have your own currency, you take your fair share of the national debt and you go your own way at your own risk, if oil prices rise and your prudent, great, if oil prices fall tough luck, you took the risk, stop whining, PS all 4 of my children are Scottish and I’m proud of them; I’m a Londoner and proud of that

              • Jambo25

                1) I’m not sure that’s true of Eire.
                2) Scotland is not Argentina. Read my posting. Salmond wouldn’t be repudiating Scotland’s responsibility for the debt: rUK would. Read ESRC web-site ‘Future of the UK and Scotland’, Currency Reflections : The Issues: Professor Christine Bell. That is the conventional position in international law. Scotland would, essentially, be left debt free by fiat of HMG. Money markets don’t pick friends and enemies. They look at balance sheets and borrowing levels. As the Americans say, “Money talks and bull sh.t walks.” The markets might actually turn against rUK/England as they would see a government basing money management on emotion.
                3) My wife is English She’s voting Yes. My son is, by definition, half English though he considers himself wholly Scots. He lives just north of London but would vote Yes if he could. I have numerous English friends some of 40 odd years standing. I, however, have no real sense of Britishness left. That has been hollowed out and abandoned over the last 50 years or so.

                • Woodhorb

                  Google says Irish Free State independance treaty included payment of share of national Debt.

                  RUK would be the Continuator State and Scotland the Successor state.

                  Vienna Convention (not signed by the UK) states that Sucessor states should take share of debt via negotiation and if not agreed debt should be shared by equitable means.

                  Catalan proposal for independance agreed to take all national debt specific to Catalan, no share of debt specific to another spanish area and share non location specific debt on a demographic basis.

                  If the Yes vote wins there will be negotiations; there is no timetable for those negotiations except those stated by Salmond; the UK has not agreed to any dealines; if Salmond fails to get agreed negotiations due to unreasonable claims to get a currency union and refusal to take a fair share of the debt I suspect the SNP will replace him with someone who deems independance the more important issue, most independants don’t want the pound and will agree to take a fair share of the debt to bring things to a close. If the terms are seen to be fair to both sides Cameron has to agree, but Salmonds current position is quite silly, until a few years ago he didn’t want the pound and now it’s a deal breaker. Cameron will be in no hurry neither will Milliband.

                • Jambo25

                  You are the one nominating the 2 left over states in a way that suits the rUK. There is no necessary reason why either iScotland or the international community should agree with you. Given the position of HMG, at present, I’ll go with my judgement. At present HMG is insisting on the right to the UK’s currency, central bank and diplomatic provisions. That looks very much that rUK will be, indeed, the Continuator state but iScotland will be being put into a position as a seceding state
                  On the question of putative Catalan independence. The Catalan nationalists can take any position they want, at present, as there are not going to be any negotiations with the Madrid government. The Madrid government doesn’t even recognise the legality Catalonia even organising a referendum.
                  You are right in one respect, however, and that is that outstanding topics such as debt, diplomatic positions, borders; indeed pretty much everything will be up for negotiation. Note that last word.

                • Woodhorb

                  I think most experts are of the view that if RUK claims continuator state status having 90% of the UK population it would be recognised as such. If Texas declares independance does that mean the USA ceases to exist.

                  There is the faint option that RUK doesn’t request Continuator state status, would Scotland then claim it and take all the 1.2 trillion national debt; maybe not a good idea. Hey Alex here’s the stirling pound and the BoE and 1.2 trillion debt; we’ll have a new currency the GB Pound, tied to the USD for now. No debt as we’re the successor state. Oh you can keep all the embassies as well and stay in the EU and UN; we’ll maybe negotiate entry at a later date; you want some aircraft carriers; there’s two in Glasgow for you; Oh you want are banking assets OK here’s RBS and BOS; can’t speak for HSBC. Faslane, OK we’ll shut that down, sorry about the job losses. You want the gold, sorry some Scots guy sold it all and spent it.

                  If neither state claims Continuator state status such as happened with Czech and Slovakia, both claimed successor state status does that mean their national debt just disappeared; ermmm not.

                  I believe that claiming a continuator state must bear all the debt and a successor state starts with a clean sheet is not supported by international law or by precedent and Cameron will not accept it unless he wants his political future to be very short lived.

                  Most English are quite happy for Scotland to be independant but you take your share of the debt and you don’t have an open guarantee from BoE. We believe Alex wants to borrow and spend; good luck with that. We’re not acting as guarantor.

                  All that happened the other day was although most people in the know told Alex a currency union would be highly unlikely he went ahead and said that was what was going to happen because it helped his YES campaign; Westminster clarified the highly unlikely to a “find an alternative”; he refused and demanded he got his way or he was taking his ball and going home.

                • Jambo25

                  Problem is that the Treasury has already guaranteed UK debt. In addition as the state claiming all the diplomatic privileges of the old UK plus the currency and central bank I suspect that rUK is making itself the Continuation state. I don’t want the £ or the BoE. I’m quite happy to use the Merk or £ Scots and be the seceding state. Enjoy.

    • Bonkim

      May be a future Euro-Rinminbi land.

  • AdH2011

    I still don’t understand why Scotland would actually want a currency union anyway – vote for independence yet then link the country into another fiscal union with those you’ve voted to split from. May as well just have Devo Max instead (though this isn’t on the table right now obviously)

    • BarkingAtTreehuggers

      they don’t – it’s a trap (!)

      • M2

        So you think SNP lied to its voters with its white paper? Some accusation!

    • M2

      This difference is that with Devo Max Mr Salmond does not get to call himself Prime Minister

  • Magnolia

    Well if Mr Osborne grew some side burns then his new hairstyle would be a real Bodie!
    Incidentally for those who don’t know, The Professionals shows you why the late seventies/early eighties were great as well as dire.
    Great style, great fashion, great flair, great TV drama, great acting talent and all on the backdrop of a horrible economy.
    Bodie is still the best dressed man on TV even though sadly, Lewis Collins is now dead.
    Andrew Neil is the second best dressed man on TV.
    Mr Osborne is right to state the truth, the cutting of the umbilical is a clear break after all.

    • CraigStrachan

      Osborne with sideburns would be more Beau Brummell than William Bodie.

      • Magnolia

        His hair is a bit ‘Prinny’ now.
        Note I said the hairstyle would be Bodie, not the man!
        No one was ever more beautiful than Bodie.

    • Iain Hill

      Many of us in Scotland will be glad. We need a clean break from the Fascist Empire.

      • starfish

        Fascist empire? Right on comrade!!!!!!!!

      • 2trueblue

        You’ll still be whinging no matter what happens, but the £ you will not have.

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        Game over you have lost. Thank you for sharing the true feelings of the SNP with us all. You will not be missed.

  • ButcombeMan

    And Nicola Sturgeon on BBC TV Daily Politics today, repeatedly refused to answer Andrew Neil’s very reasonable and persistent question on the Jockistan currency,

    What is plan B?

    Of course both her and Salmond are all at sea, a currency union with rUK was not even Plan A.

    Plan A was the Euro.

    Neil’s question should have been:

    What is your Plan C?

    This is Salmond bungling and incompetent on a grand scale. The currency issue and economic management should have been dealt with first, not as an afterthought, in an “it’ll be alright on the night” kind of way.

    It is really to be hoped the voting Scottish residents see through his bluster.

    Scotland should vote to stay in the Union,

    We really ARE better together.

    • Michael Mckeown

      Osborne has shown the SNP leadership to be the bunch of buffoons that they are and really he should have done it sooner.

      Cant wait for the Home Secretary’s turn as when she rules out uncontrolled borders the game will be well and truly over.

      • HookesLaw

        Its certainly true that crackpot single issue political parties are full of buffoons.

        • Michael Mckeown

          It wouldn’t be so bad if the single issue party understood what their single issue was but they dont get it at all.

    • Iain Hill

      Oh dear, you appear to think that schoolboy mudslinging will solve the real issues to be faced.

      • ButcombeMan

        It is not mudslinging to point out how inept Salmond and Sturgeon have been on this, so important an issue.

        Sturgeon demonstrated it amply. It was embarrassing.

        Others here may not have seen it. they should watch it. She was absolutely shredded by Andrew Neil, himself a product of Paisley Grammar..

      • Jambo25

        Quite a few of them do. Insulting people is what passes for thought amongst a lot of these people.

        • Colonel Mustard

          Including you.

          • Jambo25

            How long did that take you to think up?

          • Jambo25

            Examples then.

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          A perfect self-assessment.

          • Jambo25

            Whatever.

            • Nicholas chuzzlewit

              So no comment about you fellow cybernat Iain Hill who has accused the UK of being a “fascist empire”. You are quite happy with that are you?

              • Jambo25

                I’m not Ian Hill. Why not ask him. Having seen some of Mr. Hill’s admirable contributions to various discussions I suspect any answer he gives you will be mauch more rational and lucid than anything from you.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  A disgusting and cowardly response. He has called my country a “Fascist Empire” and your disgraceful, contemptible reply suggests that you are in agreement. Well done you.

                • Jambo25

                  Please get over yourself. You come onto suites and fling some fairly unpleasant insults at anyone who doesn’t agree with you and then you get all upset because somebody wrote something you didn’t like.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  I have never called anybody, let alone a whole country, fascist so do not tell me to get over myself you disgusting little coward. The SNP shows its true colours. Disgusting.

                • Jambo25

                  “Disgusting little coward”. Big coward please. I’m six foot three.

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        You mean like referring to England, Wales and Northern Island as a “Fascist Empire” as you have done below? Do you mean that kind of “mudslinging”? Do you mean calling the 52million people Fascists is schoolboy mudslinging? Please clarify because I am sure you would not like to be regarded as a monstrous hypocrite as well as an imbecile.

    • Andy

      She came across as a very stupid woman. She failed miserably to answer any of the questions put.

      • 2trueblue

        She did not have an answer because they really thought that they had a choice. It appears that they do not understand what independence really means.

        • Andy

          No, they thought they could dictate to the rest of us what would happen.

          • 2trueblue

            They always have. They have their own parliament and still they are allowed to vote on things that do not concern them…. our business in England.

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        Andy, that is because she is a very stupid woman.

    • will

      Plan B (or C) seems to be back to the Euro or a floating Scots currency. She appeared to rule out a peg to the pound by making the point the pound would fall and there would be a trade balance issue if the English didnt go with a currency union. Neil should have picked her up on that

  • CraigStrachan

    Nicola Sturgeon was hung out to dry by Andrew Neil. Unbelievable that the SNP have no answers on the currency question at this late stage.

    • Iain Hill

      All the answers would be there by now if Westminster was willing to proceed with the necessary negotiations.

      • ButcombeMan

        Your record is broken, nobody will listen, have you read the Permanent Secretary’s advice?

        I suggest you do.

        There will be NO negotiation on this point. The risks for rUK are too high.

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          Agreed totally except it should be UK. No need to change our name on their account.

      • starfish

        Eh? Negotiate a separation before deciding to separate?

        • Colonel Mustard

          Mind boggling isn’t it? Cake and eat it again.

          • Nicholas chuzzlewit

            Hilariously deluded. As if following a Yes vote Osborne or whoever would say ‘ yep you got us Alex and here’s your no holds barred currency union. Thank you for being so patient with us’.

      • CraigStrachan

        If the SNP were proposing a fully separate, independent currency backed by a Scottish central bank, no negotiations on this issue would be necessary.

        As things stand, they’ve said “We want to keep the pound”, and they’ve been told “No, you can’t”.

        So what now?

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          Well absolutely nothing for the UK because the decision is made. Scotland on the other hand must decide what it wants as a medium of exchange. I suggest the euro but it’s your choice. You just cannot have a currency union with the UK.

        • ButcombeMan

          A fully separate independent currency with a Scottish central bank would mean interest rates in Scotland would need to be higher than rUk . It would also mean the prospect of capital flight, Salmond knows that.

          The markets would make a judgement,

          Trying to avoid taking a share of the UK debt is not a good omen for the markets either .

          Sturgeon shot her mouth off without engaging any brain.

          It is astonishing how inept this all is.

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        Uh, the vote has not taken place yet so what would we negotiate? Second, negotiation is not defined as ‘giving Alex Salmond everything he wants’. Indeed, this would be a negotiation whereby Westminster would, in the interests of the UK, have to drive a very hard bargain with little concern that the outcome needed to be a ‘win, win’ and of any benefit to Scotland. Salmond now looks like what he actually is a glib, shallow blustering fool whose bluff has been called and his pockets are found to be empty. He does not have a plan B and so resorts to the ludicrous suggestion that Osborne etc are bluffing. As if after a yes vote they are all going to say “yep, yep you got us Alex have your currency union with no restraint”. Utterly risible.

  • HookesLaw

    The simple fact is that no UK political party can commit to allowing an independent country from having a say in the running of its currency and hence its economy – I would imagine the electorate would be dead set against it and the first party to break ranks and hint it would be possible would be shredded by the rest. This is why Labour and LDs are so compliant.
    The nationalist ‘bullying’ argument is bogus and predictably so. They cannot contemplate leaving the UK in a vacuum. The rest of the UK must look at the consequences for its own situation and lay down the facts of life from their point of view.
    An independent Scotland can use the pound if it wants but it would be a ‘pegged’ pound and they would be bound to running their economy accordingly.

    • Count Dooku

      One of the consequences must be that they take back RBS and HBOS. It’s no surprise that all 3 banks that issued Scottish currency went bust and England had to bail them out. Back to the 1707 future.

      • Mr_Ominous

        You’re right Scottish banks should be Scotland’s problem. There is £187 billion of RBS toxic debt at the treasury, on top of Scotland’s debt share of about £150 billion that would mean Scotland is technically bankrupt. Scotlands’ banking sector is 12 times it’s GDP: https://twitter.com/faisalislam/status/428517214635819008/photo/1/large

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          “You would need a heart of stone not to laugh” Oscar Wilde

        • Elaine McCrossan

          And yet all political parties agree that Scotland is a viable country that can support itself financially.

      • Dusty01

        Clydesdale Bank never went bust!

      • Elaine McCrossan

        The Bank of England is in charge of how many banknotes each of the three Scottish banks and the four Northern Irish banks can issue each year. Issuing Scottish currency had nothing to do with the banking crisis. The United Kingdom bailed out the banks, not England. And is Nothern Rock a Scottish bank?

    • saffrin

      With the UK soon to be leaving the European Union, if Scotland gets its independence as Salmond believes, Scotland will be forced to accept the euro as that will be one of the conditions Brussels imposes.

      Salmond should be a little more honest with the Scottish public by informing them they’d have more say staying within the United Kingdom than they would by leaving.

      • asalord

        as honest as the pound

        nemo me impune lacessit

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          Not your concern. You need to cobble together a plan B.

      • Jambo25

        There is no provision for regional/national representation on any BoE committees. Fiscal policy is always set in favour of London and the South East.

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          And so it will continue. So what is your plan B?

          • Jambo25

            Join the Euro. Always has been. I’m not a big admirer of the £ or London’s wonderful fiscal policy making.

            • Nicholas chuzzlewit

              Better apply to join the EU then.

              • Jambo25

                I think that’s the idea.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Bye bye then.

            • Lena Helena

              Thank you Jambo25 a sound reply. Of course Scotland could and should adopt the Euro. The gloom merchants who say the Scottish people would not accept it are living in cc land. We see this bullying by Cameron and Osborne as the lever by which the ‘doubters’ will finally board the ship to a prosperous and truly Independent Scotland, freed -finally!!! – from the apron strings of a prejudiced and all controlling Westminster parliament.

              • Jambo25

                I think some of our cousins, down south, really have to wake up and smell the coffee. The world is not as described in the Mil, Express and Telegraph.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  As if any of your pathetic assumptions are based in reality or reasonableness.

                • Jambo25

                  Cool, rational discussion again I see.

                • Mike

                  No, its a lot tougher and not as Salmond would have you believe.

              • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                I like the way you define bullying as ‘sticking up for your own country. When Salmond and Sturgeon threaten to renege on Scotland’s share of the national debt it is perfectly reasonable but when Osborne says we will not underwrite the spending and borrowing of a foreign country he is a bully. We have no objection to you deciding your own future democratically but do not expect to be able to dictate to the 55 million people of the UK solely for your own advantage. It is ludicrous and naive in the extreme to believe that the interests of a few million Scots will simply be allowed without reservation to trump the interests of the UK. By all means adopt the Euro assuming that EU membership is automatic but if that is such a good idea why have Salmond and Sturgeon Ben pressing for a currency union. Please do not tell me they are doing it for the benefit of the UK.

                • Lena Helena

                  But I did not say for the benefit of the UK which I detest – for decades it has been punching above its weight in matters international – an absurd foreign policy being just one example.I and so many of us look forward to the golden day when Wales is independent, NI is absorbed into an Irish republic,Scotland is of course independent, and England is just that, a single nation state – with very little clout in international affairs.At the moment, the pink of PAST (thank goodness) Empire still lingers in the minds of a few, it is time to banish it and the appalling subversive colonialism to where it belongs – the history books.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  well thank you for your quote bizarre vision of the world, I am sure the people of Wales will be grateful. No euro for you I am afraid because Mr Barosso has today kicked Salmond’s, already very sore, private parts.

                • Lena Helena

                  You very conveniently forget – so typical of the average arrogant Brit (they invariably think they know best, but they do not!), that Mr Barroso has kicked S almonds ass,yet failing to mention that he, Mr B is fearful of the Catalonia situation, in other words he is prejudiced. We will have to wait and see what other members of the all important and essential European union have to say on the matter. Likewise, as a recent commentator stated, paraphrasing Clinton: “It is NOT about the economy stoopid”, when referring to Scotland’s rightful and just demand for independence, but of a much broader and deeper significance.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Gibberish. I have no idea what you are rambling on about but you seem happy.

                • Lena Helena

                  Nicky Chuzzlewit? Clearly you did not read or listen to the comments made by Mr Borroso, let alone understand them. Why are you on this blog if you are unable to understand the meaning of a quite simple but prejudiced statement; the transaltion was perfect. – Moreover you do not have to sink to silly comments that equate with impertinence of the highest order.I suggest you sit quietly for a day or two and mull over your blinkered and shallow thinking. I wish you well nevertheless.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Impertinent? You mean like: “your average arrogant Brit”. You are clearly hypocritical as well as incoherent.

                • Lena Helena

                  Nicky Charles D Chuzzlewit – Even more grotesque impertinence from you -let me explain, oh first, are you fully awake? eyes open, sitting comfortably? then I will begin. So you seriously believe that there are no average arrogant Brits? See what I mean now? – or do you? – no I think not, my goodness this is hard work. No doubt another arrogant reply as per the previous attempt at imagined coherency will arrive soon.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  I am not really needed here because, judging from the above, you are fully engrossed in a conversation with yourself. Hopefully, one half of you will eventually boor the other half into silence.

              • Mike

                I have to smile seeing the lambs about to go to the slaughter by joining the Euro club. Haven’t you learned anything about how it works in Euroland, here’s a clue.

                They tell you how to run your economy and if you refuse, they would remove Salmond and appoint a new leader for you. See Italy.

                If your debts are high, they will have you sell off the family silver. In the case of Greece, they’re selling off their antiquities and islands and in your case it would be north sea oil.

                Sovereignty, that’s a joke as you’ll have none at all.

                If you really believe England was trying to ‘bully’ you, that’s nothing compared to what Barrosso, Von Rompuy and the Eurobankers will do to a small country like Scotland.

                Dream on and don’t complain afterwards !

                • Lena Helena

                  Mike; Nope! I and millions of others do not accept your isolationist comments, which if implemented will be the ruination of this country. You have got it wrong – again.

                • Mike

                  I’d rather Scotland stay in the union but if they want full independence as Salmond demands, it should be FULL independence and not hanging onto Englands coat tails in case it gets rough.

                  As for the Euro, the fat lady still hasn’t sung and its still a total mess with no end in sight. The worst effects of Euroland are in unemployment and these are the stark figures compared to non Euro countries for 2013.

                  UK & US around 7%, Ireland 12.3%, Italy 12.7%, Portugal 15.5%, Spain & Greece around 27%. These figures tell it as it is with the unemployment for younger workers reaching 35% or more in Spain & Greece.

                  Before the crash, thousands of workers came to Spain for construction work from South America. They’ve all left now and ‘surprise, surprise’ young Spaniards are even going to South America to find work since there is none at home.

                  Call me what you like but the Euro has destroyed families and young peoples hopes all across the Med region but obviously you don’t care as long as the dogma for the Euro remains intact !

        • Mike

          Then explain how the north gets a far bigger slice of the cake for regional development and job creation compared to the south.

          • Jambo25

            I’m writing about the BoE’s fiscal policies. That means money supply, interest rates etc. That has nothing to do with regional aid. In any case public capital spending is far higher in London than in any other part of the UK and that creates more jobs than any job creation scheme in the North.

            • Mike

              Lets see some examples of your vacuous claim that BoE fiscal policies favour the south when the bulk of public money goes to subsidize the North. It might well be the case that capital spending in the south is higher than the north but that money came from private investment not tax payers.

              Try as you might, you can’t dispute that more tax sourced money is spent in the north than the south and without an English lender of last resort, Scotland would have to either join the Euro to get one or risk the vagaries of the world markets with a Scottish pound that would certainly cause higher interest rates.

              • Jambo25

                Fiscal policy has little to do with the geographical destination of government spending but the sources of that money (Taxation, borrowing, simple creation of money as under QE ertc.).

                • Mike

                  Fiscal policy has everything to do with the needs of geographical areas and if the North didn’t have high unemployment then the fiscal policies determined in the South wouldn’t need the re-distribution of tax take from south to north.

                  Fiscal policy looks at the whole picture to see where tax income can be collected and how much is needed to then spend in areas that need it. If Northern Wreck, Royal Bank of Shysters & Bank of S***heads hadn’t all gone bust, we in the south wouldn’t have needed a fiscal policy to bail out the geographical North of the UK.

                  In fact, the very sound argument to deny Salmond use of a underwritten English pound is to prevent him following in the Gordon Brown version of Prudence. He can do what he likes with a Scottish pound and the markets will control him or he can join the Euro and bend over for the Eurobankers. Either way, our fiscal policies will be determined by our geographical needs excluding an independent Scotland.

    • Mike

      Or fall like the Irish pound did and we’d have a BOGOF deal for Scottish pounds for an English pound !

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