The title says it.
Simple Question:- What’s your Plan B?
On currency as we saw on Tuesday, it’s a bawbag question, it seems easy, it seems plausible and reasonable.
It’s not, it works from the starting premise that the UK government will be the continuing successor state following independence and that they will control access to what they call the UK pound.
I’m not sure about you, but I hadn’t heard the ‘UK Pound’ as a concept, there’s the Pound or Pound Sterling as a currency. It’s a linkage between the union and the currency that’s being made. The claim that the pound belongs with the UK state.
Money and currency is a trust thing, we trust the notes and coins as a people, we trust our banks that hold our pay and savings, currencies collapse with a loss of trust and belief as we saw with the Euro.
The currency is with the people as much as the state. It’s our pound too, collectively across the UK.
So on independence does it suddenly become the UK’s asset? Of course it does not, ordinary Scots have used it, it’s our currency too.
The discussion is to be had, it’s a technical boring discussion as part of the division of assets of the UK state in Scotland and beyond. Currency and debt and bonds and borrowing are all linked.
Trade and business need some certainty but so do savers and pensioners.
George Osborne might have made a early play on currency with his speech in Edinburgh but he also made the treasury have to guarantee all UK debt in the eventuality of Scottish Independence.
A smart move? Not really, if Scotland can’t have a currency union, then why should it shoulder a share of the debt accumulated by the UK?
Osborne intervened, preached down to Scotland as part of the initial stages of ‘Project Fear’, an intended thunderbolt as part of a shock and awe campaign to emphasise the strength of the UK.
But the currency options were looked at by the economists in the Scottish Government White Paper and covered with a range of views from formal currency union to using the euro.
Floating a new currency might be difficult but it could work. The ‘UK pound’ might be damaged without the backing of Scottish Oil and other trade. Nothing is certain, there is no answer, goodwill and cooperation between Scotland and rUK is the best option.
Contingencies have been thought about by civil servants of both UK and Scottish Governments on many aspects of proposed independence.
Currency will have been considered. Osborne will have been advised in advance of his ‘ruling out the use of the UK Pound’.
Salmond shouldn’t answer the bawbag question, it’s a stinker and a set up.
If we are having a proper debate, a mature debate on the merits of independence or union, nothing is ruled out at the very start by one side.
It’s pure politicking to make such statements and people have been misled as a result.