Coffee House

Westminster attack on Scottish currency union shows jitters about referendum result

12 February 2014

12 February 2014

It might be bullying but, I suspect, it will be effective. The Tories, Labour and the Liberal Democrats ruling out Scotland sharing sterling after independence—as Nick Watt reported this morning — is designed to hole below the waterline the SNP’s attempt to reassure voters that even after independence they could still share a currency union with the rest of the Union. (Alex Massie does a very good job of taking apart the SNP’s response).

The potency of this argument is a reminder of what a disaster the Eurozone crisis has been for the SNP. It has made the Euro a far less attractive alternative currency than it was a decade ago and it has alerted everyone to the dangers of currency unions that aren’t accompanied by political union.

That the Westminster parties are playing their ace card now, though, shows that they are not entirely confident about the result of the referendum.


More Spectator for less. Subscribe and receive 12 issues delivered for just £12, with full web and app access. Join us.

Show comments
  • Guest

    Why do I get the impression that increasingly English observers of the independence debate are pissing themselves laughing at seeing the SNP tie themselves up in knots?

  • Tony Quintus

    People seem not to realise that the referendum doesn not make Scotland independent, it will be granted independence by the crown following negotiations with the governement of westminster and will only be granted independence under the conditions set by that government. The treasury has stated that all current UK debts will remain with the rest of the UK in the event of independence, all this means is that Scotland’s share of the national debt would be a single debt owed to the UK, and at asize determined by the Westminster treasury. Any failure or refusal to honour this debt would be a default just the same as if it were money borrowed from the bond markets.

    In the event of a “Yes” vote, Salmond’s entire bargaining position with Westminster will be destroyed, no government is going to give Scotland favorable terms to break away under, it would be political suicide.

    • Angus McLellan

      If only you had read the Permanent Secretary to the Treasury’s little love note, you might have learned that “debt is one of a number of issues which would have to be settled post-independence”. Not before independence, as you and many others assume, for reasons I have never understood, but afterwards, just as was the case when Ireland bid the UK farewell.

      • Tony Quintus

        Exact debt share will be decided after a “Yes” vote, but the treasury has already stated that the existing national debt owed by the UK will remain with the UK in the event that Scotland breaks away, therefore any debt share that is attributed to Scotland during the seperation negotiations will be in the form of a single debt owed to the UK government.

        Not really rocket science.

  • Denis_Cooper

    Legally the Union would not end when the Scots voted for independence, but some time later when an Act of the UK Parliament came into force to repeal the Acts passed to approve the 1707 Treaty of Union, and it is inconceivable that the UK Parliament would agree to dissolve the Union unless there was a fair division of debt.

    Of course the Scottish government and Parliament could act illegally by declaring independence without that Act of the UK Parliament to dissolve the Union, but they know that all kinds of adverse consequences would flow from that decision and it would be very much a last resort if prolonged negotiations over the terms of the break up had come to a conclusive end without agreement and if they could convincingly tell the world that they were compelled to do that because the UK Parliament was being totally unreasonable and intransigent during the negotiations.

  • Tony_E

    I’m pro Scots independence – from an English standpoint I think it makes sense for both countries as the devolution arrangements were so poorly devised, and haven’t brought proper fiscal autonomy to either Scotland or Wales.

    But at the same time, I don’t agree with a currency union. I’m quite happy for Scots to use whatever means of exchange they want, but I would not allow them the right to expand the sterling money base, or to use the B of E as the lender of last resort. That would be tantamount to allowing the continuation of monetary policy driven by a foreign country to influence our own autonomous government in the rUK – a position that would never be acceptable to the English or Welsh (Northern Ireland has it’s own arrangements already). It would be a loss of English and Welsh sovereignty that we avoided by staying out of the Euro, just given up for no gain.

    As for debt allocation, I wonder what the advice from the French and Spanish would be as to whether they will accept that a ‘new’ country split from the old UK could possibly be an entrant to the EU without a proper allocation of liabilities. They have their own potential problems in this area.

    Also, the proportion of trade that Scotland does with England is very high compared to that which the rUK relies of Scotland. If Scotland remains part of the EU, it will probably have to agree to debt resettlement as part of that agreement. If it remains outside the EU, then rUK could appeal to the EU for legal relief, which might include trade restrictions or high tariff barriers for trade into the EU. While a standoff would be unpopular and damaging both sides of Hadrian’s wall, the economic damage to a Scotland unable to issue its own currency or set its own monetary policy would be much greater. The damage to a Scotland with it’s own independent currency could be even more devastating – the markets would destroy the new ‘Scottish Pound’ overnight.

    So the threat over non payment of debts is just a non starter for me. Scotland cannot win on that one, every route seems more damaging than accepting reasonable liability.

    This is uncharted territory for the EU – there has never been a dissolution of a member country before. We still have no proper idea of the EU position on this, and until we do there will be uncertainty. EU Advice should be issued very soon so that Scots can make a reasoned choice based on solid facts. This vacuum is damaging in itself.

  • RavenRandom

    It’s not bullying when compared with a threat to leave the union.

  • DWWolds

    Actually, there is a democratic solution to this. The people of England, Wales and N Ireland should be granted a referendum on whether or not they approve of an independent Scotland being part of a sterling currency zone. Before voting they should be reminded that a “yes” to that would entail the Bank of England acting as lender of last resort for the newly independent Scotland. Thus, if the Scots got their economy into trouble, it would be the Bank of England, using English, Welsh and N Irish taxpayers’ money, that would have to bail them out.

    Surely, therefore, it is only right that those taxpayers should have a say. Sauce for the Goose ……..

    • HJ777

      Not sure that a referendum is needed.

      This is just a matter for a democratically elected government to decide. What it is not is a matter for Salmond to dictate to what would be, under his plans, a separate country.

      • DWWolds

        I agree that a referendum is not really required. However, the prospect of one would play Salmond at his own game.

  • HJ777

    The only bullying here is coming from the “Yes” campaign, which is trying, with threats, to tell what would be (and it wants it to be) a separate country to adopt policies that it demands.

    Those policies are the proper prerogative of a sovereign nation, to be decided in a democratic fashion within that country, not to be imposed on it from outwith.

  • Frank

    Why does everything have to be so black and white? Just go and try independence for, say, 15 years. if it doesn’t work out, then fine come back into the union (but you then cannot whinge about the nasty English!). It is like the EU, a degree of flexibility would go a very long way to making it palatable (most aspects of EU membership do not have to be inflexible, that is just a second rate bureaucracy getting above itself.).

  • The Laughing Cavalier

    One hears of Edinburgh being described as the Athens of the North. Surely, that it the concern, that an independent Scottish Government would do a Greece and, if it was allowed to keep the pound, damage sterling in the process.

  • Kwame

    Not bullying at all; from what I see and hear, it’s the SNP stalwarts who are the full-on mob north of the border, intimidating, insulting, ostracising and abusing those who have ‘better together’ stickers on their cars.
    It is stating the facts. If Scotland wants to break away and be entirely independent, then it should not be allowed to keep the best bits of UK membership. If the Scottish people are stupid enough to vote for Salmond, they deserve him and the mess he will cause. That should not be bankrolled by the rest of the UK, which can keep Sterling as Scots use some other currency, which will devalue fast as taxes rise and businesses leave for England.
    You cannae have it both ways and just cherry pick the best bits and leave the tough bits behind. I know that’s the what ex-wives tend to do in divorce cases because of our antiquated and chivalrous anti-man legal system; but the England/Scotland split should not be like that.

  • Treebrain

    “It might be bullying but, I suspect, it will be effective. ”

    Really?

    You clearly know little of the situation if you think the population will accept bullying and intimidation rather than debate and discourse!

    • Swiss Bob

      It’s bullying because ‘we’ won’t give you everything you want, which by the way changes on a daily basis.

      I can still hear the whine.

  • Two Bob

    If Scotland does gain its independence, I’ll make sure I’m standing at the border, ready to wave them good luck.

    I missed the Titanic setting sail, so I’m not missing this.

  • Jabez Foodbotham

    I rather think that Salmond has skillfully manipulated things so that any darts hurled by Unionists at Westminster against him and his party policies are seen in Scotland as external attacks against the Scottish nation and people as a whole and thus are arguments in favour of the SNP demand for independence.

    • Two Bob

      Can he take a good pounding though?

    • Kwame

      Yes, that is his strategy but that has been it from the start: appealing to the heart not the head; trying to convince Scots that voting for independence is a sign of national loyalty and anyone who votes against is a traitor. The UK parties have been way too slow to challenge this chancer. Now it is not only a Tory toff versus salt-of-the-earth Salmond; it is the Labour and Liberal parties stating the facts and the Bank of England (which bailed out RBS, let’s not forget).
      I suspect today is the day that a No vote has been sealed. Just too much of a huge risk to go it alone, as most Scots realise. And anyway, they’ve already got a lot of devolved powers, and will probably have more, and are, like the English, ruled to some extent by Brussels. So the Yes/No vote is not as stark as it seems.

  • abystander

    Can someone explain to me the mechanism by which Scotland is forced to take a share of rUK’s debt? Legally its the successor state’s debt and its on that door that creditors will be knocking.

    • Mike Anderson

      ‘Legality’ in international relations, means that there are terms that are agreed to by both parties. Not quite the sense I believe you are using the term.When it comes to what can rUK do, they have brute threat of force, trade restrictions etc., diplomatic influence by rUK on relationships between Scotland and others, and so on.
      Also, international opinion of Scotland will largely be formed by how it treats rUK. Policies will follow the formation of these opinions.

      • abystander

        Thanks for the de haut en bas.
        So they will invade.
        Will this be before or after they withdraw from the EU, where they are so well-beloved?

        • Mike Anderson

          Not my intention at all. But I have heard that to the pure all things are pure.

  • AndrewS

    The media in England takes as granted that the Scots voting for independence is a bad thing. I, as an Englishman, cannot agree because the Scots are not happy which is an overwhelming reason to end this marriage. I hope that after the divorce (and I do think that the divorce settlement is going to be painful and test both sides) we can be good neighbours. Surely that is the best we can hope for now. The worst result for me, as an Englishman, is for the Scots to stay in the UK and refuse to be team players, as they currently do.

    • Makroon

      There is little chance that we would quickly become “good neighbours” – see the Irish experience. There will be decades of mutual rancor (to Salmond’s satisfaction), and endless quibbling over the “settlement”.
      And don’t forget that England would probably become more centre-right and Scotland more welfarist left, after the envisceration of the Labour party.
      It took Sweden (and Ireland) decades to “reform” their big-state/high tax ethos, when would Scotland learn that lesson ?

      • Denis_Cooper

        The Irish experience was rather different from the Scottish experience, which since 1745 has not involved repeated armed risings which had to be suppressed by brutal military force. In fact helping the English to make the Irish experience worse for the Irish was part of the Scottish experience.

        • Makroon

          That is all very true, nevertheless, Salmond and co. have succeeded in convincing many Scots that they too suffered horribly under the “English yoke”, and that they were blameless victims in the evil “English empire”.

        • El_Sid

          Only payback for the likes of Marshal Wade (of National Anthem fame) who was Irish, although the Irish fought on both sides in 1745.

    • HJ777

      Most are perfectly happy to stay in the union despite massive propaganda campaign form Salmond and his ilk. They are trying to portray every perceived problem in Scotland as a consequence of the union and trying to create division wherever they can – but they are failing despite this.

  • Framer

    Iceland is only a good example as it let the UK and the Netherlands pay off the depositors in its failed banks. Now they are suing for the £5bn. and the Icelandics are not so sure they managed to escape their responsibilities cheaply.

  • Hello

    I think this is more effective in showing what the English attitude to Scotland would be after independence, it illustrates that independence would be a true break-up of a family. That’s what will ultimately deter Scots from voting Yes, most of them actually want to maintain good relations.

  • ButcombeMan

    No it does not say anything about your so called jitters.

    The people of Scotland are entitled to know if what Salmond is now suggesting is a starter.

    It is not. So now they know.

    It is very difficult to see how any party could sell a currency union to the voters of rUK without huge damage being incurred at the polls.

    Salmond has dithered about the prospective currency. This is a key issue, it should have been sorted long ago. He has only his own weakness to blame.

    • Michael Mckeown

      I see no jitters, perhaps if this announcement was around the week to go mark then yes but referendum is a long time off so its a cool and calm response giving the residents of Scotland ample time to reflect on the gravity of the situation.

      The bad thing about this announcement is we will now have to endure months and months of rent a profs giving there varied opinion on the matter.

      • ButcombeMan

        I agree. It gives time for the dust to settle and Wee Eck to re-visit his drawing board

        • anncalba

          But he wont.

    • Fergus Pickering

      He can’t sort it out. He wanted the Euro and now he doesn’t. Which shows he is not entirely barmy.

      • ButcombeMan

        It shows he is a slow learner and no economist if he did not see the euro difficulties

  • anyfool

    Deny the Scots the chance to use sterling and you give Salmond the excuse to deny or defer the debt, economic turmoil would damage the rest of the UK probably more than Scotland, the politicians we now have are so used to thinking about the next headline, they have all taken leave from reality.
    Salmond has these witless fools over a barrel, maybe two, Oil and Whisky come to mind.

    • ButcombeMan

      Delusional.
      .Scotland is actually an irrelevant minnow .
      Most of the oil profits goes to international firms,owned largely via London, and oil is anyway less valuable because of US shale and other resources e.g. Iran, becoming more negotiable.Note the lack of price rises this winter.
      Salmond has overplayed and under thought, his hand. he is actually not very bright, though he is I agree, a slick orator.

      • anyfool

        When has reality ever figured in peoples voting intentions, you just have to look at the polling figures, the Labour party that destroyed the country with a borrowing and spending spree leads the polls, this is despite the fact that their solution is more of the same, delusional is what the Scots are, along with a big tranche of voters in the rest of the UK.

    • Fergus Pickering

      I have noticed that English whisky is being launched. I imagine it is just the same.

      • The Laughing Cavalier

        In blind taste tests English malt whisky is scoring better than Scottish competitors.

        • Fergus Pickering

          Very Interesting.What do they call it?

    • jazz606

      The Oil and Whiskey argument is a damp squib, both these commodities are not only owned outside Scotland but are subject to the global market.

    • HJ777

      Nobody is proposing to stop Scots using Sterling. Anyone in any country is perfectly free to use Sterling. There are no currency controls.

      However, after secession, there is no reason why the rest of the UK should be obliged to enter into a formal currency union against its wishes. So why is Salmond issuing threats unless what would be a separate country agrees to adopt his preferred policy? What he is saying that his threats should override democratic decisions in another country – it is outrageous.

      • ButcombeMan

        HJ, you seem fairly switched on on these matters, why do you think does Salmond want a currency union, if he can just use the pound?

        Is it his insurance policy?.

        Is it the fact that without the UK support, the markets will make his Jockistan pay more for debt?

        Is it because he always knew the UK would refuse and just wanted to rabble rouse?

        Another reason?

        • HJ777

          Of course, he originally slagged off the pound and said that Scotland would adopt the Euro. And then the Euro crisis happened and this option was likely to be highly unpopular with the electorate so he had to look around for an alternative.

          For a seceded Scotland a formal currency union would certainly be a better option than just using the pound ‘freelance’. It would give it exchange rate stability, credit rating stability, banking guarantees, low borrowing costs (piggybacking on the UK’s credit rating) a say in interest rate decisions and, of course, it is a requirement of EU membership to have a central bank. His problem is that the benefits of this would flow almost entirely to Scotland and there would be few, if any, flowing the other way. Effectively, the rest of the UK would be underwriting a fledgling state that has no credit history and which may be economically unstable (at least for a number of years). When Salmond/Swinney were cheerleaders for the rBS takeover of ABN Amro, you can see why the rest of the UK might be nervous about underwriting Scottish banks without having any control over their behaviour.

          in any case, the only circumstances under which the rest of the UK could or would ever agree to such a formal currency union would be under terms that would be considered too onerous by a seceded Scotland (i.e. strict fiscal limits, etc., submitting to UK banking regulation, etc.). However, because the population/GDP of Scotland would be only around a tenth of that of the rest of the UK, it is hard to see why it would be worth all the bother to the rest of the UK to design such a currency union with all the precautions that would be necessary to “de-risk’ it. So much easier to simply say “no”.

          The problem is that Salmond has no other alternative than to propose the Euro, which he knows would be unpopular and potentially very damaging. This is why, he proposed a currency union and why, when it has been ruled out, he has no option but to try to turn this into a supposed issue of ‘bullying’ – in the knowledge that most voters in Scotland really don’t understand the subject at all but don’t like the idea of being bullied.

          His position is ridiculous but because he knows that he can offer no alternative, he is trying to turn it to his advantage through rabble rousing.

          For a good discussion on this subject (the currency issue, not the political argument) it’s worth reading this piece:

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

          • ButcombeMan

            Your point about he must have a Central Bank. Exactly right.

            His whole policy is incoherent.

            I think he has given up and has mentally settled for some renewed devo max offering when the first vote fails.

            With him behaving the way he is, the rUK public are not going to be too friendly towards devo max either.

            He cannot really BE as stupid as he seems, can he?

  • Makroon

    The fact is, Westminster politicians have been tip-toeing around Scottish sensitivities, in a fruitless effort to avoid inflaming the situation, for so long, that Salmond feels he can get away with anything. You can hardly blame him.

    He is even allowed to preach that Westminster is profoundly anti-Scottish, and not a single parliamentarian, of any British nationality, including the over-represented Scottish contingent, many representing English seats, even dares to challenge him publicly.

    • Jambo25

      And this, of course, confirms Salmond’s message.

      • ButcombeMan

        Dear boy

        I do hope you have just watched Daily Politics.

        Minced Sturgeon anyone?

        • Jambo25

          I did and she didn’t do all that well. You know what, though, it doesn’t really matter all that much as the actions of Labour and LibDems in siding with Osborne who is possibly the most disliked pol, in Scotland, has given the SNP an unlooked for boost.

          • ButcombeMan

            Your first line is massive understatement, very funny actually.

            It was fairly crass of her to leave Edinburgh without having a decent answer to the obvious & inevitable question.

            She kept pretending monetary union could happen.

            It cannot, rUK will just not have it, no rUK party could live with the electoral backlash and the economic danger.

            • Jambo25

              Away from the knockabout of a BBC studio I’m, actually, fairly sure that, if there is a Yes in September and the SG requested a currency union it would get one.

              • ButcombeMan

                Ok. A small wager then.

                I think there is absolutely ZERO chance of that happening.

                If you are right,

                I shall buy you a couple of pints in the Bon Accord.

                http://www.bonaccordweb.co.uk/

                Assuming we are both spared that long.

                • Jambo25

                  Rarely ever drink in Glasgow. Rarely visit it at all now.

                • HJ777

                  Jambo25 has ably demonstrated that he has no understanding whatsoever of the currency issue.

                  That is the reason why he still thinks a monetary union will happen. You can believe such things if you refuse to inhabit the real world.

              • HJ777

                Yes, but you probably believe that the moon is made from cheese.

                There is precisely zero chance of a currency union were Scotland to secede. There is just too much potential downside and very little upside (unless Scotland were to agree to some very, very, onerous conditions) to the rest of the UK. Anybody who is even vaguely familiar with the issue knows that.

                • Jambo25

                  Well, if a Yes vote comes to pass we’ll see. Won’t we?

  • BarkingAtTreehuggers

    The German Constitutional Court will issue *forward guidance* that will shape the future of the ECB on German soil.
    The Bank of England will issue *forward guidance* that is not worth the paper it’s written on.

    Now repeat this mantra until the underlying truth reveals itself.

  • Swiss Bob

    WTF should the English guarantee the debts of a bunch of alcoholic spendthrift socialist who loathe them?

    • AtMyDeskToday

      You seem really dislikeable, so I guess you fit the description of “loath them”. The rest of the English I’m perfectly happy with.

      • Swiss Bob

        As you like correcting other people’s English I should point out loathe and loath are two different words.

        • AtMyDeskToday

          Is that the best you can do, point out a slip of the pen? You’re even more pathetic than I imagined.

          • Kitty MLB

            Words if used correctly are like xrays.
            The slip of a pen can be forgiven, as long as the words are true.

            • AtMyDeskToday

              Since Swiss Bob, by his own words, is clearly dislikeable I accept your forgiveness.

              • Kitty MLB

                Thankyou.
                You clearly have the noble soul of
                a knight whilst some are more like
                Knaves.

          • Swiss Bob

            Says the pedant who likes to point out other people’s errors.

      • Makroon

        Are you Salmond or Sturgeon ?
        The SNP “high command” made their career on denigrating the English. That doesn’t necessarily mean that their followers and Scots in general “loathe the English”.

        • Kitty MLB

          ‘Are you Salmond or Sturgeon’
          Still fishing for answers are you
          The Scots really do loathe the English,
          I am afraid they will never be hugged like
          huskies.

          • Makroon

            There are a few Scots on here declaring their affection for England, and the ‘No’ voter intention is apparently in the high 50s%. Not to mention our Scottish editor.
            Are you convinced the “Scots really do loathe the English”, because Saint Nigel received some barracking from a bunch of Scottish students in his little stunt to the north, and couldn’t take it ?

            • Kitty MLB

              I know the comment was not aimed at
              quiet little me, who never says boo to a
              duck. The most humble apologies-
              You did not have to answer , if you
              did not want too, and Nigel was walloped
              badly, in Scotland last October,
              got his lip cut.
              No need to answer, silence is the art to conversation.

    • Colonel Mustard

      It is impossible to predict exactly what would happen following Scottish “independence” let alone have faith in it. History teaches that the intentions of governments, real or embryonic, are seldom matched by the consequences.

      Nevertheless, the position of the several pro-Yes zealots posting here who are determined to line up every single unknown entity in their favour can be summed up by two well known phrases:-

      “Heads we win, tails you lose” and

      “Having our cake and eating it”

      • Kitty MLB

        Let them eat cake.
        You reep what you sow.
        Salmond is sinking rather fast with this one.

        • Fergus Pickering

          I don’t think he CAN sink. Hot air and all that.

          • Kitty MLB

            For now.Wait until Nicola the fragrant
            grizzly bear gets her sharp teeth into
            Salmond’s rotund flesh-he shall sink.
            I wager that no one has seen Nicola Sturgeon
            smile, or has seen her sharp teeth .
            Salmond platter for dinner at some point,
            I am sure.

            • anncalba

              She’s a canny lass, and waiting to take over when Wee Eck floats away on the balloon of his own self esteem.

              • Kitty MLB

                ‘Floats away on a balloon of his own
                self esteem’. Love that !

              • Kitty MLB

                Just thought of one.
                As the sun shines through the morning
                mist, Wee Eck floats off to his abyss.

            • Fergus Pickering

              y to go, Kitty Way to go.

        • anncalba

          “reap”

          • Kitty MLB

            Yes apologies for that,
            Trying to get used to a new tablet thingymybob
            and causing all manner of problems with it.i

      • Kitty MLB

        ‘t he intensions of governments… are seldom matched by the consequences’.
        Those words actually sum up Cameron, a decent man I am sure
        a naïve one with good intensions to start with
        apart from’ I want to be Prime Minister because I think
        I would be quite good at it’.
        Is Salmond on a personal crusade, just wondering.

        • AtMyDeskToday

          Interesting that the anti-independence argument is framed in terms of personal insults towards Alex Salmond. He leads a majority government in a proportional representation system which makes it difficult for a single party to achieve that result. A government which remains popular after two terms and is the favourite to win the next GE in Scotland. Alex himself is a popular leader in his party and among the voters. Contrast that with Dave Cameron who could not achieve a majority again a hated Liebour PM and is distrusted by his own party. I know whom I prefer.

          • Holly

            So, if this great leader wants the ‘independence’ he has been mouthing off about from just after birth, maybe, just maybe he should have at least explained the ‘trivial stuff’ like, what currency/the EU/defence etc to the Scottish voter by now, instead of the lazy cop-out of, nay bother, we’ll just keep Sterling and stay members of Europe etc without bothering to check with the other (bigger) teams in the game, and running it like a ‘simple’ General Election, with lots of give-away sweeteners.
            Then he spins it to Westminster ‘bullying’.

            Now he reckons if Scotland can not keep Sterling, they will not take any of the RBS debt….Who is ‘bullying who’ here?

            I would dump RBS into Salmond’s lap to deal with seeing as it is the Royal Bank of SCOTLAND, debts and all.
            No if’s or but’s.

          • Makroon

            Very few insults flying north, whole flocks of them flying south.
            Salmond is/was an oil economist, he is the best educated of all the UK party leaders. The fact that he continually misleads the Scottish electorate on the significance of the remaining oil resource, is about the strongest sign you can get that he is congenitally “economical with the truth”.

          • HJ777

            Whether he is popular or not is neither here nor there.

            He has no right or power to tell what would be a separate country what its policy wold be on its own currency, and even less to try to do this based on threats about what he will do if it doesn’t agree.

            His behaviour is simply unacceptable for someone who claims to believe in democracy. That has nothing to do with so-called personal insults.

            Personally, I feel insulted that he purports to tell my government what they must do – rather than leaving it to democratic decision-making processes.

            • Brian Taylor

              well your government is tell scotlands government what to do, so fairs fair don’t you think

          • anncalba

            Glasgow has overtaken Liverpool as the UK city with the most people living on welfare. It is also the largest city in Scotland. It is these people, who, if they bother to vote, will decide the result, and these people Salmond is going for – wait for endless showings of “Braveheart” and more anti English rhetoric. Could be interesting if Glasgow votes yes (as it probably will) and Edinburgh votes no. Meanwhile, the votes of those who don’t live in the Central Belt will count for nothing.

        • Rocksy

          Salmond the Red likes us to see him as William Wallace except he comes up short literally and metaphorically.

          • Kitty MLB

            I suppose everyone should be greatful
            that the wee little Wallace wanabee,
            does not roam the hills of Scotland
            on horseback and with a bare chest like Putin.

    • Glucoboost

      Swiss Bob. Do you want to make the world a better place? Then please move on from this kind of comment.

      I am a Scot and I definitely do not loathe the English. I am delighted to be living next to such a great country. As a doctor and scientist I collaborate daily with English colleagues living in Scotland as well as elsewhere. My favourite bands are nearly all English.

      Scotland does unfortunately have high rates of alcoholism, as does England. Scotland is more left-wing, and wants a more Scandinavian model. We don’t want lots of our children living in poverty. We want a generally high standard of living. We can afford it: we contribute 9.9% to the UK exchequer and get 9.3% back (these are the GERS figures — ie. UK Govt figures — look it up if you are in doubt).

      As I imagine you do, all I want is more control over the future of my country. Why is that a problem for you? Where does all your hate come from? I am really puzzled by the degree of scorn and demeaning language on these kinds of forums. Can we please be a little more civilised?

      • Michael Mckeown

        So why would the rest of the UK seek to underwrite this Scandinavian model of society?

        If its so great and so achievable start your own central bank and put your taxes on the line for it.

        • Glucoboost

          Agreed. We have the money. In due course. Scotland has the wealth — higher GDP than rUK (again — look it up — simple, verifiable facts). We have great prospects, with huge oil reserves, huge renewables potential (already almost 50% of electricity is generated this way), and a healthy, balanced economy. We don’t want to live in a place which services a small elite while the rest suffers. And I’m speaking as (economically) one of the ‘elite’.

          • Michael Mckeown

            OK so why then are you attacking someone for asking a very legitimate question and that question was ‘why would the rest of the UK underwrite this experiment’?

            You are speaking as an anonymous poster on the internet not some ‘elite person’.

            • Glucoboost

              I am objecting to the language and tone. I then went on to deal in facts rather than insults. I said that I don’t actually think the rUK should underwrite Scotland. We don’t need it. Just like Denmark, Finland, Norway, etc. doesn’t need it.

              • Makroon

                Gluco, you are a doctor and scientist, who is convinced that the political dream emanating from Salmond & co. represents an economically achievable objective, and that England operates under some sort of nineteenth century exploitative system.
                IMHO, you are quite wrong on both counts.
                Scientific method suggests that you should endeavour to cultivate a suitable scepticism on the utterances of politicians.
                BTW, the three countries you name are each very different from the others. For example, does an independent Scotland plan to develop a world leading pornographic film industry ?

                • Brian Taylor

                  If you had the slightest bit of intelligence, then you would know that this referendum is not about alex salmond or the SNP, I for one do not support any of them, I am a labour voter,…..YES SCOTLAND

      • Swiss Bob

        Tell it to your Scot. Nat. friends who not only want their cake and to eat it, they want ours as well.

        I grew up a Brit but the constant whine from north of the border and the pathetic view that the English have been oppressing you for centuries instead of having bailed you out makes me and plenty of other Englishmen want to see a new border built, high enough that we can no longer hear the whine, or the wails when your great socialist experiment goes belly up.

        • Glucoboost

          But Scotland is a net contributor. You don’t seem to have factored that in.

          • Swiss Bob

            “But Scotland is a net contributor”

            It won’t be after independence for obvious reasons. No Army, Navy or Airforce money, no civil service departments etc etc

            i.e. How much do you think the Royal Mail will save not having to deliver post to all the highlands and islands, how do you think Scotland will afford that without hiking the price five-fold?

            Re poverty and unemployment. If you keep voting Labour for thirty years even though you have mortality rates comparable with the worst holes in Africa then don’t blame the English, it’s your own fault.

            • Glucoboost

              Swiss Bob, we already overpay for the UK budget as a whole. Your argument re the armed forces is, therefore, strange. We’ll just spend a proportionate amount of what our own cash instead of contributing to the UK pot.

              Royal Mail: well it will cost a bit more, but not that much, and given that we want a flatter model, that’s fine.

              Scottish life expectancy is about 76 and English is 78.5. You are probably thinking of unbalanced tabloid reports highlighting the differences between poorest districts of Glasgow with Kensington and Chelsea.

              Since 1999 we have had more control over our spending, but actually socioeconomic decline affecting poorer people goes back a lot further. 30 years ago Thatcher was in power. There was no Scottish government then. Blair was elected by a large majority and would have got in with or without a Scottish vote.

              It looks as if you have adopted a Simon Heffer-type narrative. That’s your right. But if you are genuinely curious and interested in a more nuanced and accurate picture, break it down and check the facts.

          • ButcombeMan

            I well recall staying in a fine hotel on the West Coast of Scotland where the staff were a mix of eastern Europeans. Chatting to the owner I asked why that was, given all the unemployment in Glasgow.

            The response was that the Scots would not come, despite the fact the jobs were inclusive of room and board and everything staff earned was theirs to keep and save.

      • Tony_E

        What happens to those numbers when you remove the functions of the English supporting civil service sector from the Scots economy (as civil service functions that largely serve English constituents will most likely be removed to England, leaving Scotland to remodel its own civil service to serve purely its own needs).

        Does Scotland supply more civil service function currently than it would require purely for its own needs?

        • Glucoboost

          Scotland has a large civil service already – NHS, education, etc. Agreed that some new structures would have to be created. But perhaps we can pay for that by not handing over £7.2bn for HS2 that doesn’t come anywhere near us. Oh sorry Swiss Bob, is that ‘whining’?

          • Swiss Bob

            No, talk of bullying is whining, and there’s a lot of that going on here.

            It would be bullying if ‘we’ were forcing you to do something against your will, not for not giving you something you demand.

            Whine, whine, whine.

          • Tony_E

            That wasn’t what I was asking – does Scotland contribute more to the UK Civil service structure than might be expected as a percentage of population, and what would happen to Scots GDP if those functions were then with returned to England, with only the requisite domestic functions necessary (passports, Inland revenue, DVLA functions) returned to Scotland?

            I’m not really talking about functions that are administered locally already, only ones that are ‘Hub’ administered like DVLA in Swansea.

            • Glucoboost

              I don’t know, and you are right to say that this could result in a loss in that domain. There will be wins and losses. The question is the balance. But more importantly it is also about autonomy. Ultimately the situation now, where for most of the time SE England Tories have control over Scotland’s economy is untenable. People criticise Scotland for its economic health but that is an argument in favour of independence, surely!

              • HJ777

                Didn’t we just have 13 years of Scottish Chancellors (who weren’t Tories, by the way)?

      • HJ777

        You are missing the point.

        I object to the sheer arrogance and bullying from Salmond and Sturgeon to try to force – using threats – what would be a separate country (indeed,they are trying to make it a separate country) to adopt policies on currency that Salmond wants.

        This is simply an attempt to interferes with the democratic process in another country. It is utterly outrageous.

        • Holly

          I do not believe Salmond ever wanted independence.

          That is why he chooses to keep it all at the lowest political level, and makes the ‘debate’ more vital than what he will do once Scotland can no longer use Sterling as it’s currency, and possibly have to re- negotiate to remain in the EU.
          Salmond has repeatedly failed to mention that beggar of a detail called, REALITY.

          Whenever it rears it’s ugly head, Salmond drags the debate back down to his level, threatening to refuse Scotland’s share of any RBS debt, or that Cameron daren’t debate with him.

          I wish Cameron would, maybe then a few reality checks might get a public airing.

        • Brian Taylor

          BUT YOU THINK IT IS OK FOR WESTMINSTER TO BULLIE Scotland, DO YOU?

      • monty61

        I must I’m guilty too about Nat-baiting – the problem is that while some people take your ‘reasonable’ view, the reality is that the bulk of independence support comes from a place that’s much darker. I’m genuinely shocked when I go home to Lanarkshre these days at the depth of ignorance, compounded by anti-English bile, that you get when you scratch the surface.

        I’m in England right at the moment but have moved back home three times in my adult life (once from Edinburgh – ok that was a joke – but also from New Zealand (once) and England (twice). On the last occasion, my West End of Glasgow-born kids were bullied mercilessly for their English accents – which to their credit they pointedly refused to lose – in a so-called ‘nice’ area at that. The kids who bullied them were only reflecting poisoned attitudes they hear at home.

        Not all of the debate is as gentile and middle-class as the one you would like to have. When I argue against petty nationalism, it’s a VERY petty version I argue against, one I know well, and one that can’t be dismissed with a wave of the arm by more civilised nationalist supporters whose own starting point is genuinely very different.

        The sad fact is I believe the petty version to be the dominant one, albeit not one usually presented to the world as the face of the SNP.

    • Brian Taylor

      No wonder Scotland wants Independence when, there are idiots like you in England!!

  • PaulK

    Jitters about the outcome may be one thing, but Scotland not having the pound after independence is far more worrying for the SNP – as it should be for the Scottish people.

    • fordetina9@gmail.com

      Not at all worrying. Though somewhat amusing. Let me reiterate. The pound is Scotland’s currency. If we wish to use it – many don’t – we will. If rUK doesn’t want to enter into a currency union for an interim period, they are acting to cut off their nose to spite their face. Hope that’s clear.

      • Fergus Pickering

        An interim period before launching the bawbee at twenty to the pound I suppose. Or why not use the dollar? Or the Swiss Franc? You’re spoiled for choice. The best currency I know is the Australian dollar, particularly now they have a sound Tory government. You could try that. Just trying to be helpful.

        • ButcombeMan

          The “Jockistan Rouble” is the word on the streets.

          De La Rue already doing the graphics.

          A portrait of the “Dear Leader & President Wee Eck” between two Sturgeons rampant.

      • Holly

        Salmond’s idea of independence is what exactly?
        So far all he seems to be pushing for is a referendum, because in Salmond’s world, whether ‘YES’ or ‘NO’ everything else will stay mainly the same.
        Apart from a loss of sovereignty in order to keep Sterling.
        I can see this IS going to get sillier by the day.

      • anncalba

        “If we wish to use it, we will”. There you have the SNP – if we want to do it, we will. (but don’t explain how).

  • alabenn

    Labour must be desperate, it is going to knife in the back its large voter base in Scotland.
    Do they think that it will be forgotten by people in Scotland, even the no voters will give pause for thought in UK general elections, are they so stupid to think that the Scottish Nationalists will not use this perceived treachery at every election from now on.
    The Lib Dems are now completely finished north of the border, this is a stab in the back to far, they were probably going to be denuded anyway but now the final curtain thankfully will fall.
    What out for the recriminations regardless of the vote, interesting times ahead, sit back and enjoy if you are that way inclined.

    • Rocksy

      Labour has nothing to worry about. Scotland is genetically incapable of voting for a right of centre party. It is to all intents and purposes a one party state. Labour can do and say anything and can break all promises. They don’t even need to make promises. Even the SNP is a left wing party.
      Ironic coming from the country that gave us Adam Smith.

      • Crying out loud

        Scotland is physically incapable of voting for a centre-right party. Scotland is the only nation on earth where the right wing party is unionist and not nationalistic. When Scotland resumes its independence then we shall see a resurgence in right wing parties.

        • monty61

          Personally I’d love to see this but only dreamer would expect it to happen.

          • Crying out loud

            Scotland is centre right – it only appears centre left as there are only centre left parties.

            • alabenn

              That is probably true, after all they have had 50 years of being fed the notion that London subsidises their social programmes, the Barnet formula seems to confirm this fallacy.
              Who would not spend someone else`s money if that was what you were encouraged to believe.
              I think that regardless of the result Labour is going to go backwards in Scotland, people of all persuasions will see them in a different light after this referendum is put to bed.
              Fear mongering that is Darlings sole weapon will come back to haunt them.

            • Colonel Mustard

              That might be but the people making the most noise from Scotland are left wing, not much different to England actually. The loudest narrative is left.

              • Fergus Pickering

                All fur coat and no knickers as I said somewhere else.

                • Kitty MLB

                  Granny said it actually.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Yes. It was Granny said it.

                • Kitty MLB

                  Hail to Grannies everywhere!
                  They are very wise.
                  They produce forbidden sweets
                  They now how to manage parents
                  Make nice soup
                  Know how to Knit
                  and last but not least,
                  provide a safe and warm lap for tiddles
                  after a stressful day being swung around by boys.

              • Crying out loud

                Well it is time the loud left was silenced. They do not represent a huge tranche of Scottish opinion. It is the failure of the right in Scotland that has allowed them a free voice for far too long.

      • ChuckieStane

        Sorry Rocksy, but you’re wrong. The only party ever to gain a majority of the Scottish popular vote was the Unionist Party in the fifties. The party declined when they gave up their Scottish Identity by merging with the Conservatives.

        • Fergus Pickering

          I’d never thought of that. Could be right.. The answer is a Scotland that isn’t independent but looks as if it is. Lots of tartan and Scottish banknotes and haggis and bagpipes. Hey, we’ve got that already. Hoots mon!.

          • ChuckieStane

            Fergus, parties of the right are almost universally nationalistic. It goes with the territory.
            When the Unionist Party was a Scottish party it was possible for “conservative” Scotland to vote for a party that was both Scottish and British. Upon merging with the Conservatives they joined a party that was quintessentially English (Jerusalem at conference etc).
            Over the last fifty years the Conservatives have become more and more dominated by a Southern English outlook. Having their leash pulled by the Referendum Party, the Countryside Alliance and now Farage has only reinforced this.
            Osborne’s intervention today, I suspect may actually be felt hardest by those on the Scottish right who value being part of an equal union. He will be applauded in the Tory heartlands but he has taken a side against Scotland not the Yes Campaign. That his politcal radar is so poor that he can’t pick this up is no surprise.

      • Fergus Pickering

        But they used to vote Tory in large numbers when I lived there fifty years ago. Edinburgh is a natural Tory city, lawyers and bankers and all that. Of course there would be rater fewer bankers and financial people after independence because a lot of the institutions will have to relocate south, following the money. Would you keep your money in RBS in Scotland when it could be in HSBC in England?

    • anyfool

      Labour think that the Nats will vanish if the referendum fails, they expect to be returned to power in Scotland almost unopposed, this referendum if it fails will be the first of many by Salmonds crew, a bit like the EU, keep voting till the right result comes along, it might take ten years.
      Labour in its present form in Scotland is finished and without Scotland it will fade into the margins in England.

  • Border Boy

    This is a fairly brutal exercise of the power game. Osborne and his pro unionist colleagues are explaining in words of one syllable that Salmond and co have been playing their poker hand while holding a nine high. As for the idea of Scottish oil and not paying their debt, I don’t think that’s too scary in this high stakes game. Bluff called!

    Whether the Scottish electorate see it that way is another matter. Just because the pro unionists hold a lot of high suit cards doesn’t mean they will get their way.

    • Jambo25

      This could backfire big time.

      • Fergus Pickering

        How exactly?

        • Jambo25

          Because already being painted as Tory auxiliaries in Scotland coming out and doing this old pals act with Osborne will make it very easy indeed to tar them as ‘London Labour’ who when push came to shove ditched Scottish interests and voters for English ones. Unfair, probably but very easy to do without even having to spell it out in plain language.

  • MirthaTidville

    Quite honestly I think most English are now ready to wave the Jocks goodbye..please can we have the vote next week…ta

    • fordetina9@gmail.com

      Puerile comment.

      • Fergus Pickering

        Eighteen people don’t think so.

        • Colonel Mustard

          25 and counting . . .

          • Holly

            28, including mine.

            • Glucoboost

              I can almost see the pitchforks.

      • MirthaTidville

        so you may think…south of the border its a widely held view

      • Holly

        ‘Puerile comment’, but true.

      • ButcombeMan

        It is true, it saddens me but most of the English now think of the Scots as whingers

        • HJ777

          Unfortunately a very vocal minority of Scots tarnish the view that others have of the silent majority – most of whom are anything but whingers.

        • Fergus Pickering

          It’s because, don’t you see, they whinge.

  • Crying out loud

    Given that Scotland provides 11 out of the 57 Lib-Dem MPs, Osbourne is praying for a No vote so that his tenuous grasp of power continues.

    Anyway, No Pound: No Debt.

    All UK debts are legally the UK governments. The Scottish government owns no debts, an independent Scotland will own no debts. There will be no defaulting on debts as simply they are not legally Scottish. The SNP kindly offered to take some debts in the event of a Yes vote on condition of monetary union. If the UK government refuse that then the UK government can keep all its debts. Time for the Yes vote to play its trump card and watch the markets punish the UK government – I notice small decreases in the £ already today.

    • Andy

      A petulant and silly comment.

      What Salmond has been wanting is what Greece has, and look how that has ended up. Monetary Union does not work without Fiscal Union and a large degree of Political Union, and that is the clear lesson of the Euro. Is Salmond willing to do that ? No he isn’t because that would destroy the whole of his independence idea. And by the way, a referendum does not grant you independence. Only the Westminster Parliament may do that. SO No fair share of debt: No independence.

      • abystander

        Scotland is no more Greece than England is Germany.
        How can a currency union of 18 diverse states be compared to the currency union of Scotland and rUK?

        • Andy

          Read on, read on.

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          Let’s make that the UK and the exUK.

      • Crying out loud

        Who gives a fcuk what Westminster says after a Yes vote?

        • Chris Morriss

          And who cares what a bunch of alcohol and saturated-fat befuddled Pictsies say either?

          • Crying out loud

            Are you describing the English working class?

    • Mark Steven Conway

      However, the punishment the rump UK would get from the markets would be nothing compared to a defaulting Scotland completely frozen out of the bond markets. Such a strategy by an independent Scotland would be economic suicide and really hurt the Scottish people. The rump UK would still be a global top ten economy and London still the globe’s primary financial centre and could almost certainly absorb the extra debt. An Independent Scotland would have an economy the approximate size of Kazakhstan but with a government that would have sent a message to foreign investors to keep well away.

      • Crying out loud

        Default on what debts? The debts are all the UK Governments. They are not jointly and severally payable. Even the UK Treasury has confirmed that only last week.

        • Swiss Bob

          If that’s the case then why would we guarantee your debts in a currency union as you obviously aren’t prepared to take responsibility for your share under the current arrangements?

          Talk about deluded.

          • Crying out loud

            You are totally deluded. “your debts” – how can a country that does not even exist yet have debts? How thick are you not to understand that all UK government debts are legally just that. The SNP offered to take some but if there is no monitory union then rUK can keep its debts.

            • Swiss Bob

              Good luck with the Scottish Groat.

              • Crying out loud

                Good luck servicing £1.2 trillion in debt with an economy reduced by 10%. I suspect interest rates would immediately jump to 5% burning out the London housing bubble and cause a big dent in the ‘recovery’ in England.

                While Scotland, sans debt, will have a budget surplus. We can buy up English companies cheap just like the Chinese, Russians and Arabs do.

                • Swiss Bob

                  I’ve just realised I’m arguing with an eejit. My bad.

                • Crying out loud

                  Don’t put yourself down too much, yes you are a first class clown with no idea on government debts, so dust your hands and walk away, shoo, bye..bye

                • Jambo25

                  Why? Talking to yourself again?

                • ButcombeMan

                  More like the Icelanders did (Bauger)? Look where that got them.

                  ,It is real fun watching the ranting with just a tinge of sadness for the delusion.

                  I was always told the Scottish education system was good.

                • Crying out loud

                  Yeah, Iceland – with its higher GDP per capita than the UK, high social inclusion, high living standards, export driven economy…must really suck.

                  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20936685

                • ButcombeMan

                  But is happily defaulting on its debt

                • Crying out loud

                  An independent Scotland will not default on ITS debts. If you think trying to dump UK Treasury debts, legally the UK Treasury as per the governments’ announcement last week. You really should understand that. I can draw a comic book if it helps?

                • Jambo25

                  And appears to have got away with it.

                • Jambo25

                  Iceland’s living standard is higher than the UK’s and it has full employment.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Well it was fifty years ago. It ain’t now.The old Scottish school system was destroyed and all the good schools became very expensive.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Do you honestly believe that Scotland will simply be able to wash it hands of its share of the UK national debt and then try and raise money in the Global debt markets as if nothing has happened? Scotland will be deemed to be in default and access to borrowed money will be denied. Besides, if there is a yes vote then the terms of separation will be determined by a Westminster parliament with no interest whatsoever in accommodating Scottish interests. You will simply get what you are given and that will not include a currency union.

                • Jambo25

                  Of course; in order to show Scots their terrible wrath the rUK government will take steps to harm Scotland. It will, of course, harm rUK as well.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  We are the UK. We are not changing our name at your behest. There is no question of trying to harm the exUK it is simply a question of putting the interests of our own citizens first and negotiating from a position of strength. Salmond has tried to bully the UK into accepting a currency union without a full political, fiscal and monetary union and we have seen how that works in the EU and ‘no thanks’. The moment George Osborne articulates our objection, which was obvious from day one, Salmond and his cybernat hounds start squealing like stuck pigs because a plan B can no longer be avoided while blaming everybody but yourselves.

                • Jambo25

                  “Salmond…..bully”, “stuck pigs”. Here we go again. What an angry little man you are.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  No just toying with a half-wit loser before breakfast.

                • HJ777

                  No.

                  All that is being said is that decisions would be made in the interests of the rest of the UK – despite the threats and the bullying from the likes of Salmond and Sturgeon trying to tell what would be a separate country under their plans, what its policy on its own currency should be.

                  It is hypocritical arrogance on their part.

                • Michael Mckeown

                  The outgoing reduce by over 10% as well, did you not think of that?

            • ButcombeMan

              But after independence you might have debt at some stage.

              If you will not take responsibility for any part of common debt now, you have signalled exactly why, rUK should not be your financial backer and should not go into a monetary union.

              I must admire the Nats negotiating stance. Driven by passion not logic.

              • Crying out loud

                Read the Financial Times article…iScotland is forecast to surplus every year and their figures included some sort of debt. Now the English parties have said no monitory union, that means no debts.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Deluded idiot.

                • Jambo25

                  Ah, its the man who insults rather than debates.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  When have you ever debated? You, like Salmond, just tell us how it is going to be and then squeal like a stuck pig when the UK objects. That post was delusional because it implies that The exUK subsidises the UK and but for that would be running huge surpluses. I have always said that a currency union is not in the best interests of the UK and so it has proved. The suggestion that the UK would act as lender of last resort to a foreign country is simply ludicrous. I have no objection to Scotland seeking independence. Indeed, if it is peopled by deluded imbecilic fanatics like yourself, I welcome it.

                • Jambo25

                  “stuck pig”, “imbecile fanatics”, nice. Thanks for proving my point for me.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Only in you own tiny mind. Your cybernats are done, finished and yesterday’s news.

            • Michael Mckeown

              What an angry little fellow you are.

              • Crying out loud

                What a green smiley you are.

                • Michael Mckeown

                  Indeed.

          • Jambo25

            In a currency Union that presumably would be part of the price Scotland paid for the Union.

            • HJ777

              Could you explain to me why it would not be the prerogative of a democratically elected government of an independent country to decide whether or not it wants to enter into a currency union with another country?

              I simply do not understand the “Yes” campaign’s argument on this unless it is asserting that it has the right to interfere in the democratic processes – by the use of threats – of another nation.

              I am asking a perfectly reasonable question. What is your answer?

              • Jambo25

                The democratically elected (kind of) government of the rUK could do what it wants in the case of Scottish independence. The real questions to be answered are 1) Would the rUK government turn down a currency union. Despite today’s little circus I doubt it would. There would be as much (nearly) in it for rUK as Scotland. 2) If the currency union was definitely turned down it wouldn’t be the end of the world for an independent Scotland./ I’m in the same camp as Jim Sillars and don’t see too much in it for Scotland. I’d be in favour of joining the Euro as soon as possible.

                • HJ777

                  If the rest of the UK could do what it wants, why is Salmond issuing threats if it doesn’t adopt the policy he wants? Does he not believe in democratic sovereignty?

                  Do you not think this is ever-so-slightly arrogant on his part?

                  Osborne laid out very clearly why a currency union would not be in the interests of the rest of the UK – it just wouldn’t happen.

                  Salmond’s problem is that he doesn’t have a ‘Plan B’. Absolutely everyone (even you) can see that very clearly. It can hardly give Scots much confidence in any other aspects of his plans (including the non-existent parts such as the economic costs of transition).

                  if you would care to educate yourself on the issue, I suggest you read this:

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

                • Jambo25

                  Your assuming that I want Scotland to use the £. I’m not that sold on it. I’d go for option 2 leading to option 3 as soon as possible. After living with a weak currency for most of my life $US4 to the £ in my childhood down to $US 1.60 to the £ approximately now.

        • Mark Steven Conway

          Why would already nervous investors place any trust in the Scottish economy if the Scottish government refused to honour a fair proportion of the UK’s debt? The SNP running an economy modelled on Argentina hardly bodes well. Do you really think there would be no consequences? Even if your highly disputable back of a far packet calculations were true and the Scottish government did run a surplus. How would the Scottish government fund large scale infrastructure projects for example, without the ability to raise loans?

          I love Scotland, I have lived in Scotland, and I hope they stay part of the Union. What I don’t like is the Nationalist’s shrillness backed by totally unsound polices, which are clearly made up on the hoof without little attention to reality. I sometimes think they would rather risk real hardship for Scotland just out of pure anti-unionism; as the ludicrous threat refuse a share of joint debt proves. Lucky, it seems, so far at least, that the majority of Scots still feel the same and have not fallen for the snake oil of nationalism.

          • Crying out loud

            “if the Scottish government refused to honour a fair proportion of the UK’s debt? ”
            Why would an other country take on the debts of another without a very good reason or ROI? The rUK government has said it may not enter into a monitory union, so rightly, the Scottish government will not enter into any UK Government debts. There is no fair portion, end of story.

            • Swiss Bob

              if the debt belongs to the UK and not an independent scotchland by your logic it doesn’t belong to your ‘rUK’ either.

              What a numpty.

              • Crying out loud

                Oh no, that has already been clarified. The rUK will be the successor state and will pay for all UK Treasury debts. That is the official UK government statement.

                • fordetina9@gmail.com

                  No it hasn’t been clarified. Again, it is for negotiation.

              • Jambo25

                it does if rUK claims to be the successor state and Scotland is not.

    • ButcombeMan

      I noticed months ago that English businesses had started refusing scottish notes, illogical but it is happening.

      • Crying out loud

        Who uses cash these days?

        • ButcombeMan

          The black economy does and Scotland has a huge one.

          • Jambo25

            Proof.

            • ButcombeMan

              Not exactly proof but very indicative. Greece is a bit like this. more like this actually.. Scotland is potentially a serious basket case with massive black economy and substantial evasion. It is in your genes. THAT is why the rUK will not guarantee your debts. Nor should it. How long do I give it? At most, 20 years. It is written, This is what Salmond will do to you.

              http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/spl/aberdeen/truce-call-to-beat-black-economy-1.443521

              • Jambo25

                “it is in your genes”. So racist as well as stupid and ill-informed.

      • fordetina9@gmail.com

        Strange. I used mine in Manchester yesterday.

    • serialluncher

      No, it’s no pound and we’re collecting.

      • Crying out loud

        LOL…UK Government debts and they know it, you just have not realised the truth of that yet. Let it sink in and suck it up.

        • serialluncher

          Scotland is part of the UK. If there’s a divorce the debt and the assets get divided up. Why are you bothering to entertain anything else?

          • Crying out loud

            Divorce? We are talking about a political union, not a marriage. The Scottish government has said Scotland should meet a fair share of
            the cost of servicing UK Treasury debt, but that “assets and
            liabilities” went together. No pound, no debts.

            • Michael Mckeown

              The £ is not an asset and money issued belongs to those that hold it not the government.

              • Mike Anderson

                In fact debt is an asset that can be sold. So of course they go hand in hand. Who wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of the interest payments of government debt- unless of course they were inclined to default.

            • serialluncher

              “No pound, no debts.”

              And then what? The repercussions don’t stop there. rUK would have various options.

              • Michael Mckeown

                Using their EU veto springs to mind so that along with UK trade restraints puts well over 80% of Scotland’s output in danger.

                • serialluncher

                  I can’t see how any sane Scot would vote to leave. Independence is one thing but the SNP’s belligerence is another.

                • fordetina9@gmail.com

                  So your ‘argument’ is that anyone who votes for independence is insane. A lovely addition to Johann Lamont’s virus accusation. You are aware that all other existing countries are independent? And that this ‘Union ‘ is unique and un-democratic. The people in both countries party to the Union have never voted for it nor even been given an opportunity to vote for it.

                • serialluncher

                  I’m talking about trying to wriggle out of debt obligations not merely independence. There’s a world of difference between self-determination with a friendly wave goodbye and what appears to be an audacious attempt to cheat the other UK taxpayers – something for which there naturally would be consequences. How would that be sane?

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Not insane. Just silly.

            • serialluncher

              Same rules apply to any partnership. Are you that blinkered?

              • Crying out loud

                There are 5 stages of grief.
                1. Denial
                2. Anger
                3. Bargaining
                4. Depression
                5. Acceptance.

                You are on the cusp of 1 and 2. When you get to the acceptance of the situation, then come back. TTFN.

                • serialluncher

                  Exactly. You’re in denial.

                • Crying out loud

                  Have you moved to phase 2 now?

            • HJ777

              The “Yes” campaign is trying to force the rest of the UK to adopt its preferred policy on currency AFTER secession.

              Those policy decisions are the proper business of a sovereign country. Why do Salmond/Sturgeon and the SNP think that is is acceptable to try to bully what would be a separate country (and remember, it is them who want it to be a separate country) to follow policies that they don’t judge to be in their best interests.

              We are no discussing assets here. A seceded Scotland would have perfect right to a fair share of any assets (and debts) but what it would not have is the right to dictate the polices of a separate state.

              • Crying out loud

                I agree, but we are in the politics and propaganda phase and the gloves are off.

        • Michael Mckeown

          The situation has already been dealt with by the chancellor and you are correct that the debts are and will remain UK government debts but what you fail to understand is Scotland would owe the UK its share still.

          It is the creditor that controls the credit file and as everyone knows if you fail to pay your credit dries up very quickly and Wonga does not lend out billions.

          • Jambo25

            Actually that then brings payment or non-payment of debt into a straight bilateral dispute between rUK and iScotland and reduces any wider international dimension.

            • Michael Mckeown

              That’s not how it works, try defaulting on your mortgage then telling your credit card company it’s none of their business.

              • Craig

                The credit card is in the name of the UK. As rUK would be the successor state (still the UK), the creditor would chase the person named on the card. In this case the UK and not Scotland. It has also been the common occurance that countries who left a successor state ( after being refused as a joint successor by the larger country) has legally walked away from the debt. Such examples happened in the breakup of Yugoslavia and Russia. They were not seen a pariahs on the market as it was perfectly legal and not where they ever refused credit. In fact creditors were lining up to these countries who had no debt.

                • Michael Mckeown

                  If Scotland defaults on its debt that it owes the UK then it would be Scotland’s other lenders that take action against Scotland, that is how things are and that is how things have always been and the SNP nor you can do anything about it.

                • Craig

                  Well, if that’s what you say it must be true. Oh crikey. Suppose us Scots better get back in our places for the Master English race.

                • Michael Mckeown

                  It is true and has nothing to do with superiority its just simple reasoning that debts must be paid or there are consequences.

              • Jambo25

                Unfortunately, inter-governmental dealings aren’t like trying for a mortgage repayment ‘holiday’ from the Halifax.

                • Michael Mckeown

                  They absolutely are, if an independent Scotland defaults on it’s debt to the UK then that is taken on board by the bond markets and that risk is factored in to future lending.

                  One can’t escape the fact that a default has huge and uncontrollable consequences nor can one get round the fact that it is the creditor who decides if a default has occurred or not.

                • Jambo25

                  Yes, Iceland is in dire straits.

                • Michael Mckeown

                  Iceland is in dire straights yes.

                  Not paying ones debts and threatening not to pay ones debts has consequences and all the bluster from the separatists cant change that so come out of your denial and join the real world.

          • fordetina9@gmail.com

            What you fail to understand is that the UK racked up the debt and therefore owns it. Scotland post-independence will have no debt. The Scots Government have quite properly stated that they will assume a negotiated proportionate share of the debt, given a negotiated appropriate share of assets. This is extremely generous given that vast majority of said debt ie money, was not spent in Scotland and given that we have sent more to Westminster for the last 30yrs than has been returned. No negotiated appropriate share of assets, including our own currency, no acceptance of UK debt. The UK is not a creditor. This is a Union of 2 nations, remember. Is that clear.

            • Michael Mckeown

              The residents of Scotland are currently in the UK and have been benefiting from the borrowing so its not ‘generous’ to assume a share of debt its required as its owed and that is clear to all but the separatists.

    • HJ777

      Could you please clarify for me why one country should be able to dictate the currency policy of another country (for that is what Salmond proposes)?

      Let us suppose for a moment that Scotland secedes and the government (at the time of the vote) of the rest of the UK agrees to the currency union he demands. In 2015, there will be a general election. What will happen if it is won by a party with a specific commitment NOT to take part in, or to exit an existing, currency union with Scotland? Are you saying that the electorate in the rest of the UK should not have this sovereign democratic right?

      Could you clarify your position please?

      • Crying out loud

        I do not remember the UK government ever continencing public opinion on important matters. For example mass immigration, bailing out banks and in fact there has only ever been 2 UK wide referendum. So public opinion to the UK government has never been an issue as it is just not important if it were we would have hanging, no immigration and no abortion.

        • HJ777

          You have missed the point.

          If the people of the rest of the UK elected a government which had such a policy, then on what basis does Salmond (or you) think that that government should not be allowed to implement its policy? Remember that at this point it would be a separate sovereign state.

          I would like an answer please.

          • Crying out loud

            The 2015 election would involve Scottish MPs and the UK would still exist in its current form, so your hypothesis does not stand.

            • HJ777

              Again, you are missing the point, presumably deliberately, since you have no answer.

              A sovereign state has the right to decide its own currency policy and not to have it dictated to them. Whats more, it has the right to change it.

              So on what basis does Salmond demand that the rest of the UK enter a currency union with a seceded Scotland and, even if it did, on what basis could he deny it the opportunity to change that policy any times it likes?

              • Crying out loud

                “A sovereign state has the right to decide its own currency policy and not to have it dictated to them.”

                So if the Scottish people vote for No Pound, No debt, you will respect that?

                I do not agree that the SNP can ‘demand’ a currency union but the bigger picture is this is negotiations and both sides are playing hardball. Both sides are correct and they will meet somewhere in between.

                • HJ777

                  If only life were so simple that you could simply vote your debt out of existence. What if the voters of the rest of the UK voted that Scotland could secede only if it took all the UK debt with it?

                  Anyone can play that silly game. It’s called fantasy politics.

                  What you need to understand is the different between voting on how to deal with the situation you find yourself in, and simply trying to vote the situation away.

                  When it comes to a currency union there is no “somewhere in between”. You either have one or you don’t have one.

                  Could you please engage with reality?

                • Crying out loud

                  All asset and debt negotiations need to take place. UK Treasury debts remain legally just to that entity. Sterling is a shared asset – remember Scotland used the Pound before the union in 1707 and that act of union consisted of 25 articles, 15 of which were economic in nature, article 16 created a monetary union. An act of divestment will follow a similar pattern.

                • HJ777

                  When will you ever understand that Sterling is not an asset, it is a currency, and a fiat one (i.e. one not backed by assets) at that.

                  If you can’t understand that basic fact, why are you bothering to comment?

                • Crying out loud

                  An Asset ‘A resource with economic value that an individual, corporation or
                  country owns or controls with the expectation that it will provide
                  future benefit.’ Ergo, Sterling is an asset.

                  Run run along and play cricket or dredge a river or something.

                • HJ777

                  Sterling is a currency, you idiot, not an asset. It’a a fiat currency, not one backed by (for example) gold.

                  As Alistair Darling has pointed out, until recently, joining the Euro was Alex Salmond’s plan.

                  I would like to speculate on what would have been the reaction of the “Yes” campaign had George Osborne (or whoever was chancellor) had said “No you can’t join the Euro because, after any succession, we would want Scotland to join a currency union with the rest of the UK”.

                  I imagine that the response would have been an accusation that unionists were bullying Scotland.

                  And even bigger squeals had the threat been issued that the rest of the UK would not allow Scotland to have its share of assets were it not to agree.

                  However, it would seem that when Salmond makes exactly the same demand of the rest of the UK, it is not him who is attempting to bully – but still the same unionists trying to bully Scotland. When he threatens not to take Scotland’s share of the debt, this is apparently a perfectly reasonable response to ‘bullying’.

                • Crying out loud

                  Idiot? You mean Osbore and Co?

                  They have just given Scotland a get out of the Union free of debt card. No
                  currency union, no share of UK debt and before folk go on about ‘pariah
                  state’ just think who are the international money markets more likely
                  to lend to?

                  A nation with £1.5 trillion (and rising) debt, a debt to GDP ratio of
                  72%, an economy heavily reliant on one sector for its foreign exchange
                  earnings (a sector itself sitting on a huge residual debt) or a nation
                  with a £1.7 trillion asset, a hard currency, a wide base economy,
                  running a £15 billion surplus and a debt to GDP ratio of 45%. (IFS
                  figures – FT 04/02/14 / McCrone Report).

                • HJ777

                  No share of debt, no secession.

                  The power still resides in Westminster.

                  You really are an imbecile.

  • manonthebus

    You may find that rather a lot of English taxpayers would prefer not to allow an independent Scotland to share the £Sterling.

    • fordetina9@gmail.com

      You will find that the rUK government won’t care what taxpayers think.

      • Fergus Pickering

        Since most taxpayers don’t know what they are talking about re the currency, that is probably just as well.

      • ButcombeMan

        Maybe true, but they will care what the markets think. That is what this is all about.

        It is that, which Salmond & Sturgeon have failed to comprehend

        • HJ777

          I’m pretty sure that Salmond comprehends it, although I have significant doubts whether Sturgeon does (she is just a professional politician, who displays remarkably little understanding of anything to do with currency or economics in my opinion).

          Salmond realises, however, that most voters don’t understand it and is relying on their ignorance to let him get away with ridiculous bluster.

  • Daniel Maris

    James and Forsyth are pretty Scottish names…do you wish to declare an interest? Massie at least has the excuse he lives in Scotland…some of the time.

  • abystander

    Will they be any more confident after playing (prematurely) their ace card?

Close
Can't find your Web ID? Click here