Scottish government urged to keep options open on domestic currency

By agency reporter
26 Feb 2013

Responding to comments on currency by former government economic advisor Professor John Kay, the Scottish Greens are urging the Scottish Government to keep an open mind about moving towards a Scottish currency under independence.

Professor Kay says that in the event of a 'Yes' vote, Scotland would be right to seek agreement on monetary union with the rest of the UK, but it would be difficult to negotiate an agreement consistent with fiscal freedom.

Patrick Harvie, Green MSP for Glasgow and Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, said: "We need to keep the Scottish currency option open, and the government should be prepared to do the groundwork to ensure that we don’t leave ourselves forced to accept unreasonable terms in relation to Sterling.

"Scottish Greens have said an independent currency should be an eventual goal, even if we maintain a Sterling union as an interim stage.

"While Finance Secretary John Swinney is interpreting the professor's remarks as an endorsement of the Scottish government's policy to keep the pound, he must bear in mind many Scots yet to decide on independence may be unconvinced about voting Yes without the promise of true independence.

"If Scotland gains full control of its affairs it is reasonable to expect our economic priorities to diverge from those of the rest of the UK, potentially making our own currency an unavoidable next step."

[Ekk/3]

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