Unionist Propaganda Surge

by craig on April 23, 2013 10:47 am in Uncategorized

George Osborne is all over the media warning that an independent Scotland must follow Tory foreign policies if it wishes to stay in the pound. In fact the pound does not belong to the English – it was a new, shared currency created in 1707.

The problem of all liars is consistency. Keeping today’s lies straight with yesterday’s. My favourite bit of today’s attempt to bully the Scots is this:

“The UK government believes that a newly independent Scottish government would be required to formally commit to joining the euro as a condition of its EU membership”.

They seem to have forgotten their last big lie, which was that an independent Scotland would be kicked out of the EU and unable to join. Oh dear. They can’t both be true.

What is most amusing is the fact that an independent Scotland would, according to the official GERS report acknowledged by the Treasury, actually have a smaller fiscal deficit as a percentage of GDP than the current UK, so Osborne’s admonitions should better be addressed to the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer who is … err…

As for Osborne’s warnings that the oil price may be volatile (presumably along with the whisky price), I am happy to take our chances on that one. A commodity in finite supply for which demand continues steadily to increase seldom suffers devastating and permanent price plunges.

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78 Comments

  1. I’m sure you would agree that dissenting Scots are not the only ones being bullied by this government. If that is the case, who should I be morally committed to helping?

  2. Somehow it hadn’t occurred to me that Scotland would want continue to use the UK pound; beyond emotional issues, I’d have thought the main point of independence would be for Scotland to detach itself from the rump of the UK’s crazy short-sighted financial policies. I’d just assumed that either the euro would be used here or, if that wasn’t thought to be sensible, then a new Scottish pound.

    (He says, speaking as a quarter-Irish Englishman with a Welsh surname living in Scotland.)

  3. Craig, yes, I’ve noticed several such articles in the last few days. I’m not an economist, though my grandfather was (and a proud Scot/Labour (socialist) too, before he passed away a few weeks ago: Thomas Kennedy) So what’s the best outcome and also the most likely outcome?

    1. Keep the GBP?
    2. Join the Euro?
    3. Start a new currency? (pegged to GBP or not)?

  4. The Tories are getting tiresome, I agree, but surely the SNP are playing into their hands with this achingly long delay in the actual referendum?

    I can remember in the 1970s when the SNP said quite simply that if they ever got a majority of the seats then they would do as the Irish MP did in 1918 and simply declare their independence. The people would then be asked to ratify that in a plebiscite. The ball would then be in London’s court, and with more and more countries recognising Scotland, the idea was that London would be bounced into following suite.

    What changed? The SNP had a majority of the seats in the Scottish Parliament so could have put down a motion of independence, which the people would have then ratified, or not.

    I reckon Salmond will lose this one through his delays.

  5. Alex, if you peg any new currency to the GBP you are in effect pegging to the dollar (same if you peg with the Euro). You need your own currency, something that’s stable. One day there will be a run on the banks which will bring down the whole monetary system as we know it. Whatever happens do not buy any US, UK or European government bonds. But if you do not have a central Rothschild bank you are joining countries like Iran and North Korea and may well become a target.

  6. I reckon Salmond will lose this one through his delays.

    I wonder if the ConDems will last through to the referendum. A UK General Election might be a spanner in the works.

  7. Here we go again. Any attempt to point out the flaws in the SNP plans for independence is immediately shouted down as “unionist propaganda”. I suppose it’s easier than actually arguing the point.

    As outlined in “Your Scotland, Your Voice” SNP plans are to stay with Sterling until Scotland joins the Euro but, as has been pointed out before, any currency wishing to join the Euro has to spend at least two years in the Exchange Rate Mechanism Mk.2 (ERM II) first so how is that going to work?

  8. This entire argument is moot, what economy could survive a 10% haircut with no ill-effects? The rest of the UK needs to keep Scotland in a currency union as much as Scotland does.

    Also, this isn’t about Salmond, its about a yes or no to independence. We can accept he is the most high profile proponent but its not all about him. In terms of time scales, it’ll be what wins it, more people are beginning to see through BBC and mainstream press propaganda as time goes by. Even in the face of massive bias, take today’s headlines and all the interviews done over currency union on the telly as an example.

    Even with all that going on, polls indicate people are drifting away from a no vote toward a yes.

  9. “In fact the pound does not belong to the English – it was a new, shared currency created in 1707″

    Oh dear, Craig. You need to read up on the history here.

    There was no new currency in 1707; Scotland simply adopted the English pound. The Scots pound (by then worth 12 to the English pound) *was* abolished by the Act of Union and the English pound (which dates back to before the Norman conquest) became the currency of the UK.

    The English currency was not withdrawn and reissued in 1707, as would happen with a new currency, but the pound Scots *was* withdrawn and the coinage gradually melted down (pre-1707 Scots coins are very rare), though the pound Scots continued to be used for accounting purposes well into the eighteenth century.

    This was done for a number of reasons, the most important being that (unlike the Scots pound, which had suffered very severe deflation over the years and had a chaotic coinage of varying denominations) the English coinage was hugely more widespread and very reliable and stable, having recently (1696/8) been entirely reissued to overcome the problems of worn and clipped coins. All the old English silver and probably a good deal of Scots coinage had already been bought up by the State, melted down and re-struck (at 5s8d a troy ounce, if anyone is interested).

    So while I agree that “the pound does not belong to the English”, it belongs to the whole of the UK since the Act of Union was over 300 years ago, you are factually incorrect here.

    More important than these historical facts, however, the question of the pound after the UK breaks up, should the people of Scotland vote for independence, is a genuine problem. An independent Scotland cannot simply pretend it isn’t an issue, and it won’t go away.

    I don’t know what the answer to the currency question is, it’s one of several issues where there are real difficulties including the EU membership one. But the SNP can’t just wish them away and assume whatever it wants to do will be accepted on its terms by other interested parties; real economics and hard politics will be in play. The UK Treasury are right to examine all the issues, and this may be a really tough nut to crack, even if the loathsome Osborne is playing to the gallery – so is Alex Salmond.

  10. John K

    From the Treaty of Union:

    “16 That from and after the Union, the Coin shall be of the same standard and value throughout the United Kingdom, as now in England, and a Mint shall be continued in Scotland, under the same Rules as the Mint in England, and the present Officers of the Mint continued, subject to such Regulations and Alterations as Her Majesty, Her Heirs or Successors, or the Parliament of Great Britain shall think fit.”

    The new coinage was adopted with the same weight and value as English coin, and minted in Scotland and England. Remember this was metal real value money not paper money. The Scottish coin was remelted and reissued but it was the same silver. That the weights and values of English coins were adopted is true; but it was no longer English coin; it was British coin, minted in both countries.

  11. Pathetically, it seems that Salmond has agreed that he has agreed that the Queen will remain as head of state, and I guess whoever her successors are in perpetuity. If Scotland is going to go for independence, they should take the chance to make the break, and ditch the royal bloodsuckers once and for all. Nobody should be the “subjects” of the royal parasites. If true, this is pathetic cowardice by Salmond and the SNP.

  12. Craig

    “The Coin shall be of the same standard and value throughout the United Kingdom, as now in England.”

    That just says what I said in more flowery terms. The Pound Scots was abolished and the English Pound became the currency of the UK. The Edinburgh mint melted down the Scots silver Merks, shillings, etc. and reissued them as English (now UK) coins, with an E on them to denote they were Edinburgh coins. Not sure what happened to the gold Pistoles minted from Darien gold but there can’t have been many of these.

    None of the English coinage was remelted, as it had recently been done and this wasn’t necessary. So there was no “new currency”, just a relatively small addition to the UK stock of silver sixpences, shillings and half crowns made from the old Scots coins.

    As an interesting sidenote, both the Bank of England (1694)and the Bank of Scotland (1696) had already been created by then and both had already issued some paper money, though at that time only in large denominations (£20 and above, a huge sum at the time) for the payment of business transactions.

  13. I think Salmond (who is a gambling man, and not in a bad way) does well to delay until the Coa(lol)ition reaches the nadir of its popularity due to its abysmal governance.

    Re currencies in use just after and beyond the Norman Conquest – the credit card was alive and well until the power of printing money was delegated to the banks -

    http://unusualhistoricals.blogspot.co.uk/2010/10/money-matter-tally-stick-system.html

    Arguable that what you call the basic unit of a fiat debt-based currency is the least of your problems. Would it make any difference if the Scots used the Maria Theresa dollar? (still circulating and being minted in Africa, I believe)

  14. Komodo

    Yes, you can still buy MT Thalers for 24.40 euros from the Austrian Mint’s website. They contain 23.4 grammes of silver so at the current silver price of $23 a troy ounce are not very good value as an investment.

    http://www.muenzeoesterreich.at/eng

  15. Tory offensive – enough said

  16. That’s good, John K. Should the working currency represent yet another opportunity for loaded speculators to get even richer? And the actual value of a pound coin is…?

  17. Komodo

    Ah, I wish I knew the answer to that, if there is one.

    I suppose “value” is like “earned” or “worth”, one of those words which can mean many things.

    On one level the “value” of a £1 coin is £1. On another, it’s probably less than a penny.

    A painting by Picasso might be “worth” £50 m. But if it turns out to be a fake even though no-one but an expert can tell the difference, it’s “worth” £50.

    A footballer or a banker might be paid £10m a year; but does he “earn” £10m?

    English is such a wonderful language…

  18. The discussion over whether the pound belonged to England or to Scotland in 17whatever is irrelevant.

    The pound now belongs to the United Kingdom and would logically continue to do so if Scotland were to leave the Union.

    There is no proposal for England to leave the Union so again the discussion as to whether England can keep the pound is irrelevant.

    Anyone who thinks a country can maintain its political independence without controlling its currency should pay attention to what is happening in Greece, Cyprus and Italy.

  19. But “the country” doesn’t control our currency, Chienfou. The banks can print as much or as little as they want. Or, more accurately, they can create debt at will, and record this as a positive balance on their books. Wish I could…

  20. I propose the standard egg as currency. Goes off if you don’t use it; input some work and you get a chicken. Very hard to forge and may be eaten in times of devaluation.

  21. “input some work and you get a chicken”

    depending on where you got the egg. ;)

  22. In all of this, it seems to me, pro-union commentators are clamouring for absolutes and stupidly (I think) the SNP and Yes Scotland are attempting to give them.

    There are no absolutes in this, only likely-hoods and the same goes for remaining in the UK. No one can say with absolute certainty what will happen in a few months time politically under any circumstances.

    So, demanding absolutes and re-iterating questions which have been answered already (this issue was in the Scotsman 15 months ago and was done to death) is what passes for the positive case for the union.

    Also, any comparison being drawn between our situation and that of Greece, Cyprus etc are fatuous, that they’re tied to the same currency isn’t the root of their problems, its that their economies were geared up so differently.

  23. Your writing is really good!

  24. The Chancellor of the Eggschequer will be responsible for ensuring that all freshly-minted eggs are viable, Dreoilin. Osbo’s broody eggspression is no accident…

    -you asked for that.

  25. “depending on where you got the egg”

    Might get a baby Komodo!

  26. Paul

    No one suggested that Scotland would end up like Greece or Cyprus (not even Osbourne as far as I am aware). But these are the clearest examples of how an independent economic policy is not an option to those countries in a currency union. If Scotland wants full independence from the United Kingdom they will eventually need to operate a separate currency.

  27. Mr. Osborne is by enlarge right in what he says. But why would an independent Scotland want to retain the pound anyway? The Pound will always be controlled by the City in their own banking interests, and have to support the huge overhang of English government debt and future deficits. What’s the point of independence if a much larger English economy controls your currency (and therefore your economy) as Mr. Osborne so correctly says? Besides to me one of the advantages of independence is getting away from the pound, as it has so much government debt attached to it that its future doesn’t look too rosy to me. It seems to me that it would be better policy to just set up a new currency backed by oil.

  28. http://wingsoverscotland.com/recycle-repackage-repeat/

    Simple enough argument about currency.

  29. Keep up the great work Craig.

  30. David Milligan - a very Sovereign Scot

    23 Apr, 2013 - 9:38 pm

    “STERLING STORM IN A TEACUP”

    As a Scot and a card carrying Scottish Nationalist, I can assure you that bits of paper with pretty pictures on don’t have any emotional attachment for me. Would it matter at all if the Scottish banks that have the ability couldn’t print Scottish notes? Of course not. All that matters to me is that the notes that I keep in my pocket can buy me what they’re supposed to.

    I have listened to the Westminster “machine” firing up to take the high ground on this part of the debate. We are told that the rUK (rest of the UK) wouldn’t want to enter into any currency union with an independent Scotland.

    This is something that I as a pro-independence supporter and promoter am completely at ease with. Please let me explain.

    Scotland is an exporting nation and England is an importing nation. The two balance out so that the balance of payments are kept relatively stable.

    Sterling benefits from that as a balance of payments that was negative would cause necessary devaluation of the pound to boost exports and subsequent inflation as the cost of everything imported would shoot up in price.

    Now lets look at both scenarios that are possible;-

    Scenario A: (Scotland sets up it’s own currency) – The rUK would have to manage a devaluation in stages to boost exports but that would feed inflation as goods bought from abroad would cost more. Scotland would also have a currency that would predictably become very hard and it’s value would rise and cause problems with exports due to a high price for the currency. Imports to Scotland would be cheaper of course but it’s not an ideal situation. Scotland would have to consider giving trading loans to countries that we wished to sell to. Other countries do it but sometimes the loans go bad.

    Scenario B: (Scotland uses Sterling in a currency union with the rUK) – This deals with problems on both sides quite nicely as the rUK would benefit (the same as before independence) from Scottish export sales to keep Sterling stable. Having a stable currency would benefit Scotland as it could get on without having to worry about a currency becoming too hard. This would keep the cost of imports and exports for both the rUK and Scotland on a stable footing so both would benefit.

    I’m a pragmatist, and look at the bluster that’s being produced right now as temporary until the people of Scotland vote to regain their independence. Once that happens, common sense will kick in and both sides will come to the negotiating table because they’ll want to.

    Because both sides will benefit from a currency union, I’m sure that the negotiations will be sensible and provide Scotland with terms that are favourable and takes away the temptation to form our own currency which of course would be our choice if the terms became unworkable in the future. The obvious fact that borrowing would have to be agreed on both sides – by both sides is largely a given and we would agree the rUK’s and they would agree ours. This would give Scotland the setup needed to progress as a nation.

    I hope this helps everyone. Just think it through yourselves and you’ll come to the same conclusion as me. It’s not rocket science you know, it’s just people like George Osborne, Danny Alexander and Alistair Darling trying to make it seem that way. They’re just not telling us the whole story, that’s the problem.

    Have a nice day folks.

    Kindest regards,

    David Milligan – a very Sovereign Scot.

  31. David Milligan - a very Sovereign Scot

    23 Apr, 2013 - 9:41 pm

    Oh and one more thing. Craig, you could have warned us that “Murder in Samarkand” was going paperless before I bought the paper version. pffft! (lol)

  32. I think the unionists have missed a trick. They should send Osborne out as a kind of double-agent into the SNP camp. Because anything Osborne says makes me want the opposite. Were he to ply his weaselly political trade on the side of the independence camp, I’d probably want to remain in the union.

    As has been said many times, the desire to be a politician should preclude one from actually becoming a politician. They appear, as a class, to be essentially vermin. There are exceptions of course, but we shouldn’t assume an exception, just because someone is plausible. Blair used to be plausible, if you weren’t looking too closely.

    Personally, I doubt we’ll see an independent Scotland in my lifetime, and personally I’m not bothered either way. The kind of super-confident Nu Lab bell-end we see in parliament will just be replicated in an Independent Scotland, and nothing much will change. Still, if Osborne doesn’t like it …

  33. ^^^

    Good post Brendan.

  34. “scaremongering” is that going to be the Scottish Nazi Party’s answer every time anyone dares to tell the truth?

    Truth is if Scotland gets independence Salmond will not be able to dictate to Britain that they enter into a euro style common currency with what would be a foreign country. Fact is they would have to negotiate and Westminster would do what they considered best for the British economy, common currencies don’t have a very good track record.

    Glad to hear Craig is prepared to take risks from down there in the south of England but here in the Highlands I think the people should be informed of the facts before they decide.

  35. Their pro-independence policies will likely have a bigger impact. The bedroom penalty, council tax bills for those on benefits, food banks etc If anyone needed a reminder how vile Tory governance is.

  36. “Their pro-independence policies will likely have a bigger impact. The bedroom penalty, council tax bills for those on benefits, food banks etc If anyone needed a reminder how vile Tory governance is.”

    That would be the same as who was in government.

    Look some high flying professors at Harvard accidentally faked a report showing that governments with high public debt have slow economic growth which led to austerity.

    It was a load of bullshit but whatever government was in would have fallen for it.

    Here, read all about it.

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/04/grad-student-who-shook-global-austerity-movement.html

  37. If Salmond had any , not paid for real balls, he would be talking up Scotland starting up its own currency. The biggest problem for Scotland as I see it, is London will release the time bomb that is RBS or at least threaten that. Scotland should not join the Euro. Scotland should look to Iceland.

  38. And by the way Craig, don’t ever let any southern foreigners (including the EU) try to persuade Scotland to alter the Scottish verdict system ie guilty, not guilty and not proven. (‘Not proven’ sometimes in jest: ‘not guilty but don’t do it again’) :-)

  39. “Scotland should look to Iceland. ”

    Massive cuts in spending, 100 new taxes, 4% inflation and people needing 2 or 3 jobs to make ends meet?

    I’m sure that would go down well.

  40. “…. London will release the time bomb that is RBS…”

    In which the UK taxpayer is an 80% shareholder. Without voting rights or any effective control over its policy. London’s position on this would be less shambolic if it had actually nationalised the bank, but it didn’t. The sale to Santander of the relatively secure High street end fell through as the prospects for the UK economy flatlined – now everyone’s on the point of admitting that there’s a depression, I don’t really see RBS being flogged off any time soon. The Co-op’s buyout of HSBC collapsed yesterday, for the same reason (anyone remember Bank of Scotland?)
    Less of a time bomb than a dead vampire squid, then. Hosted by Her Majesty’s glorious United Kingdom, and no longer in any realistic sense a particularly Scottish problem.

  41. …Massive cuts in spending, 100 new taxes, 4% inflation and people needing 2 or 3 jobs to make ends meet?

    vs. massive cuts in spending, tax cuts for millionaires (only), inflation figures subject to intense massaging and people needing 2 or 3 jobs to make ends meet. Especially if they have a mortgage.

  42. “The Co-op’s buyout of HSBC… ”

    Llyods; and then only part of the business.

    Co-Op buying out HSBC. That I’d like to see.

  43. “…Massive cuts in spending, 100 new taxes, 4% inflation and people needing 2 or 3 jobs to make ends meet?

    vs. massive cuts in spending, tax cuts for millionaires (only), inflation figures subject to intense massaging and people needing 2 or 3 jobs to make ends meet. Especially if they have a mortgage. ”

    So we’re agreed there’s little difference and either would be crap?

  44. Apologies, Kempe, you’re right. Perils of listening to Today with half an ear while getting ready for work… Lloyd’s High Street it is. But it’s still fallen through. HSBC branches wouldn’t be impossible IMO…

  45. The Iceland option (letting the greedy bastards go bust and not pumping good money after bad) makes more economic sense. I think the pain, while sharper, would have been shorter.

    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/charts/iceland-gdp-growth-annual.png?s=icgpsay

    Bit better than ours, anyway.

  46. “Co-Op buying out HSBC. That I’d like to see.”

    That, I would not like to see. We do not need fewer bigger banks, we need more smaller banks not beholden to remote (as in distant) control.

    A restoration of separation between retail and investment would be good too. But I suspect the whole shebang is now so totally fscked that it is too late for remedial measures.

  47. Oh, and I see Japan, after two decades of stagnation, is now inflating. Intentionally…

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2013/apr/04/japan-bank-money-supply-inflation-deflation

    Austerity didn’t work, then.

    Inflation’s a bit like house prices, isn’t it? The more you’re worth, the more you whinge about them.

  48. @Komodo – “The Iceland option (letting the greedy bastards go bust and not pumping good money after bad) makes more economic sense. I think the pain, while sharper, would have been shorter.”
    .
    I agree. Iceland does seem to be doing rather better economically than those countries that bailed out their banks.

  49. “It is a myth that Iceland allowed banks to fail completely [...]” – per Iceland’s central bank governor.[1]

    “They [capital controls] were a big mistake. There is no exit strategy.” -per head of the Confederation of Icelandic Employers.[2]

    [1]http://www.irishtimes.com/business/economy/europe/iceland-questions-its-model-on-handling-crisis-1.1319615
    [2] ibid.

  50. The referendum question: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

    Does anyone else wonder how many of the pro-Unionist supporters will vote ‘No’ on 18 September 2014?

    It seems to me there is a difference between wanting to remain a member of a union and impliedly agreeing to be dependent on another.

  51. “They [capital controls] were a big mistake. There is no exit strategy.” -per head of the Confederation of Icelandic Employers.

    Is there, in any remedy yet proposed by Osborne, any sign of anything remotely resembling an exit strategy? See also [1]:

    IOW, flood the banks with yet more taxpayers’ money so that our confidence is restored..

    Borrowing Funding For Lending has been extended and improved [2]

    [1] http://www.cbi.org.uk/media-centre/press-releases/2013/04/cbi-responds-to-latest-boe-lending-data/
    [2] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22275344

    Pump up the next bubble. Don’t on any account even consider changing the rotten system.

  52. I think if the Tories do very badly in the forthcoming local elections then Osborne & Hague may swop jobs, which provides the opportunity for a change in course.

  53. If the entire Cabinet were replaced by emperor penguins, it would not make an iota of difference. Except that the tangible smell of fish surrounding the economy would have a visible cause.

  54. Ken ” but surely the SNP are playing into their hands with this achingly long delay in the actual referendum”

    Craig “The problem of all liars is consistency. Keeping today’s lies straight with yesterday’s”

    The more todays between now and the referendum the harder the job will be for the Liar’s.

  55. It seems to me there is a difference between wanting to remain a member of a union and impliedly agreeing to be dependent on another.

    A point which the pro-American, anti-European Tories will take to heart, I’m sure.

  56. “Does anyone else wonder how many of the pro-Unionist supporters will vote ‘No’ on 18 September 2014? ”

    People seem to be getting a skewed impression of the situation up here.

    I don’t know of any Unionist supporters. There are plenty of people who don’t think independence would be a very good idea but I haven’t come across any rabid fanatical Unionists like there are rabid fanatical Nationalists. I have no doubt there are some in the more sectarian parts of the country but that isn’t how it is here.

    Why not just give people the facts then let them decide for themselves without all these accusations of lies and propaganda from those who are not averse to lies and propaganda themselves. The SNP seem to be attempting to turn this into a Scotland vs England battle and use the old patriotism card rather than let people make a rational decision.

  57. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    25 Apr, 2013 - 4:24 pm

    Just to clarify :

    If an independent Scotland “joins” or “re-joins” the European Union then it is committed to adopting the € as its currency once and if the so-called “Maastricht criteria” have been met.

    It will have no choice, since it has to apply the “acquis communautaire”. And that “acquis” provides that all new Member States have to join the €. This is why all the new central and eastern European Member States and Cyprus and Malta are obligated to join once the criteria are met ( a number of them have already done so, having met the criteria). Only Denmark and the UK have a Treaty-based permanent exception of which they can (but of course do not have to) avail themselves.

    Hence Osborne’s comment is not a scare story, it is fact.

  58. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    25 Apr, 2013 - 4:25 pm

    “exemption”, not “exception”, although it was clear enough, I think.

  59. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    25 Apr, 2013 - 4:48 pm

    To be even clearer :

    One of the two exemptions I referred to is contained in the Protocol on certain provisions relating to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (this is a Protocol annexed to the Treaty establishing the European Community; it used to be numbered Protocol n° 25, but the numbering changed after Lisbon, I think).

    The clue is in the title of that Protocol. An independent Scotland would no longer be part of that Member State called the UK of GB and NI and therefore it would no longer be covered by the exemption. It would be in the same position of every other Member State, whether old or new, except Denmark : obliged, by the acquis communautaire, to join the € when the criteria are met.

    _______

    To be fair, I suppose it could be argued that Scotland could attempt to negotiate a UK/DK style exemption, but there is no guarantee that it could obtain this. The position of the EU in all accession negotiations so far (including that of the UK, by the way), as regards the acquis communautaire, has been to say to the accession candidates “swallow it whole and swallow it now”.

  60. A member state has to participate in ERMII “without severe tensions” for two years before it qualifies to adopt the €. Membership of ERMII is voluntary so I suspect that is a method Scotland might use to delay joining the €.

    But I think all member states will eventually join the € to avoid the Eurogroup – finance ministers of member states that have already adopted the € – acting as a caucus.

  61. pictishbeastie

    25 Apr, 2013 - 6:19 pm

    Fred, you say you live in the Highlands but I’m curious as to which of Alasdair Gray’s categories you fall into? Settler or Colonist?

  62. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    25 Apr, 2013 - 6:56 pm

    @ Sjb : yes, that’s correct. It could in fact “delay” achieving a couple of the other criteria as well. But since those criteria are in fact no more than sound economic sense, it would not be a very clever course of action. Legally, Scotland would be a Memeber State “with a derogation” (=temporary) unless it managed to negotiate an exemption (= permanent).

  63. Sweden has been a member for years, without joining the Euro, and has no intention of doing so.

  64. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    25 Apr, 2013 - 10:28 pm

    @ Juteman :

    that’s correct as well**, but note that Sweden has no formal Treaty exemption, it has merely been treated (from the beginning of Stage 3 of EMU) with a certain “leniency”, let us say.

    **I wouldn’t be so sure that it has no intention of joining the single currency in due time.

  65. Sweden has no opt-out and is expected to join the Euro at some stage. All EU members except the UK and Denmark, who have opt-outs, are required to join the Euro. Before they can do so their existing currency must spend at least two years in ERM II. So ERM II is voluntary but at the same time compulsory for any nation wanting to join the Eurozone.

    http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/euro/adoption/who_can_join/

    If, as seems to be the case, an independent Scotland has to apply to join the EU as a new member it will have to join the Euro unless it can negotiate an opt-out and I’m not sure that’s an option anymore. Before it can adopt the Euro it will have to have it’s own currency to put in ERM II.

  66. “Fred, you say you live in the Highlands but I’m curious as to which of Alasdair Gray’s categories you fall into? Settler or Colonist?”

    Did you want to know if any of my Grandparents were Jewish as well?

  67. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    26 Apr, 2013 - 8:08 am

    Kempe (and the link he provided) confirm what I have been saying. An independent Scotland would be in exactly the same position as the Member States which acceded recently (and as Croatia, which will accede at the end of the year)

    Accordingly, it is clear that the Chancellor, as quoted by Craig, was telling the truth and not just putting out a frightener.

  68. Will the Euro even exist in five years’ time? Maybe not.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/10015593/Euro-may-only-last-five-years-says-senior-German-government-advisor.html

    Re. Kempe: suppose Scotland adopted the Euro for its two-year probation? Cat among pigeons time, surely?

    OK. There’s not much help coming from Euroland, and Osborne is going to oppose anything looking like Scottish independence until he chokes in his gimp mask (credit Steve Bell). Why? Ultimately, at the end of the chain of causation, this will be to keep the bankers and multinationals happy and rich. If Scotland is as bad a deal as the Unionist press incessantly tells us, why the hell wouldn’t you want to cut it loose? The truth is, Scotland is probably perfectly viable on its own, and if that is the case it can get by without using the pound or the Euro. These would make life easier in the short run, but ultimately would not affect the outcome.
    Provided:
    1. Scotland exports more than it imports
    2. Doesn’t engage in silly wars in Asia
    3. Doesn’t rely 100% on its financial sector to create money out of nothing.

    PS – in the event of a referendum ‘yes’ vote, don’t expect to be basing your WMD’s in the Clyde any more, Osbo…

  69. If Scotland is as bad a deal as the Unionist press incessantly tells us, why the hell wouldn’t you want to cut it loose?

    Perhaps England is concerned about what alliances an independent Scotland might form with foreign powers.

  70. Like the EU? Well, yes. I’m pretty sure Salmond will be able to form some sort of relationship with all those foreign countries – probably a better one than England seems capable of having. Then there’s America. You mean Scottish troops would perhaps be serving US interests rather than England’s? That would be terrible…but, just a minute – they already are.

    On the other hand, Scotland is, of course, well-known for its adherence to fundamentalist Salafism…Yemen is a distinct possibility, though I believe a splinter group within the SNP favours Shi’a Iran. Bloody hell. England’s markets will be flooded with prototype nukes, carpets and pistachios, and not a damn thing we can do about it.

    And then there’s China. Actually, I wouldn’t altogether discount that…circumstances make strange bedfellows, and England’s reluctance to recognise the aspirations of the Scottish nation could well be a pertinent circumstance.

  71. PS – Iranian and Turkish pistachios are absolutely the best- accept no substitutes.

  72. I’ll try again.

    Sweden has been a member for years, without joining the Euro, and has no intention of doing so.

  73. I’m glad everyone accepts that Scotland can’t be forced to accept the Euro.

  74. You haven’t been paying attention have you?

    If it wants to become part of the EU in its own right it is has to join the Euro.

    http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/euro/adoption/who_can_join/

  75. “I’m glad everyone accepts that Scotland can’t be forced to accept the Euro.”

    Salmond wants to join the euro and he intends to join the euro.

    Only problem is it takes time and loses votes.

    So he lies to the people and tells them an independent Scotland would keep sterling then in a year or two ditches the pound and joins the euro.

    I think if Westminster thought the deal would be permanent and that the SNP could be trusted they would certainly agree to monetary union between Britain and Scotland.

  76. You haven’t been paying attention have you?

    If it wants to become part of the EU in its own right it is has to join the Euro.

    http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/euro/adoption/who_can_join/

    No it doesn’t. Like Sweden does, you only have to say you will.

  77. “No it doesn’t. Like Sweden does, you only have to say you will.”

    Lying and cheating you mean.

    That would fit nicely with SNP policy so far.

  78. The Scottish and rUK economies will start out very similar in economic profile, GDP and indebtedness, and a currency union would work perfectly well under such circumstances (different circumstances apply in the Eurozone). A shared pound would also be underscored by hard revenues from oil, so it is hardly like rUK would be doing the Scots a favour – it is in the interests of both sides to co-operate. However, as and when economies diverge, a Scottish currency will make more and more sense.

    There is also a long history of Scottish banks printing their own money, not tied to any central bank. Some of that would be interesting, though I don’t know if in a good way, or a Chinese curse way!

    Fred – ‘The SNP seem to be attempting to turn this into a Scotland vs England battle’ Only in your imagination. Plenty English people (including MSPs) active in the SNP. Though I have a certain sympathy for you if you rely on the BBC or mainstream press for your news.

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