The recent clear and unequivocal message which Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, gave to Alex Salmond regarding the use of the pound sterling by an “independent” Scotland has left a massive question mark over the currency issue.
Mark Carney stated that “a durable, successful currency union requires some ceding of national sovereignty”. In other words, in staying with the pound, full independence is not a practical proposition; the Bank of England would continue to set Scotland’s interest rates, and the Treasury, the economic policy. What level of independence is that?
What is clear is that the only way to guarantee that we keep the strength and security of the UK pound is to keep the United Kingdom together. As the governor of the Bank of England and leading experts have made clear; currency unions don’t work without close political and financial integration. Independence is disintegration, not integration.
The Chancellor, shadow Chancellor, former Chancellors and the Secretary of State for Scotland, Alistair Carmichael have all made it absolutely clear that a currency union is highly unlikely to be in either the UK or Scotland’s interest and extremely unlikely to be agreed.
A senior economic analyst at the Dutch institution ING has reported that a prolonged period of uncertainly during lengthy negotiation would not be favourable for Scotland. The degree of independence would be much less than voters are being led to believe and the freedom of fiscal policy would be heavily constrained by the terms of the currency union.
The Institute of Fiscal Studies has also warned that Scotland’s finances would deteriorate under independence and the declining North Sea oil revenues would require cuts to public spending, greater taxation or a combination of both – something the SNP admits privately but have taken great pains to conceal from the Scottish people.
And yet, despite having lost the arguments on currency and fiscal propriety, Alex Salmond ignores all the evidence, warnings and sensible advice and his galleon is blindly steaming ahead – directly onto the rocks.
Maurice Mullay, Einarberg, Gulberwick
Jean Marwick, Gilbertson Road, Lerwick
George Jacobson, Exnaboe, Virkie
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