Scotland government white paper (purposely) leaves out any mention of a Scottish currency
Scotland’s government, led by Alex Salmond’s Scottish National Party, tabled its ‘White Paper’ on Scottish independence earlier this week, and it was as notable for what was NOT in it as for what was. One of the main omissions was talk of a new Scottish currency.
It appears as though Mr. Salmond and his backers believe it is too complicated and risky to launch their own currency. They suggest use of pound sterling as part of a currency framework to be agreed with London, but don’t say what would happen if an agreement can’t be reached. Adopting the Euro is certainly another option – indeed, were an independent Scotland to join the Euro Zone, which is likely, Euro Zone rules state that they must adopt the Euro, unless specifically exempted.
From a legal standpoint such a development is likely, however the Euro Zone rules are different and since Scotland would not be having proper statistics to determine its compliance with the Maastricht treaty requirements there is a great possibility that it will be a much more complicated process.
All in all the document was far from what was expected it to be – a guideline for Scottish independence. It is far from a turning point that is critical in convincing the population of the merits of such a transformation. Its 667 pages showed little substance and were interpreted by experts as rather dovish – being not so vociferously crying out “freedom”, but suggesting that Scots might just give it a try.
With less than a year remaining and a clear framework for action still missing the chances of a surprise vote against the ongoing 307-year-old union are getting very slim. Economical questions are at the center with the currency and the division of the UK national debt, but political ones are lingering – national security, EU and NATO membership.
For now it certainly looks like we are not going to see a new European Currency any time soon, at least not from Scotland.