The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, has vetoed a proposal that would see an Independent Scotland retaining the pound in a currency union with the rest of the UK.
As the Guardian reports:
The chancellor told an audience in Edinburgh that a currency union between Scotland and the rest of the UK would be unworkable and cause great damage to both the UK and Scottish economies.
“People need to know it’s not going to happen,” Osborne said. “Because sharing the pound is not in the interests of either the people of Scotland or the rest of the UK. The people of the rest of the UK wouldn’t accept it and [the Westminster] parliament wouldn’t pass it.”
“The evidence shows it wouldn’t work. It would cost jobs and cost money. It wouldn’t provide economic security for Scotland or for the rest of the UK.
Citing the abortive attempt made by Slovakia and the Czech Republic to make a feasible currency union, Osborne gave the rationale for this decision in further detail, saying that:
It would require UK taxpayers to promise to bail out Scottish banks; it would require the Scottish government to accept substantial controls over its spending and economic policy and would lead to significant doubts on whether Scotland would continue with a sterling pact into the future.
The Chancellor’s remarks will come as a blow to many of those favouring the SNP’s vision of independence. However, Salmond et al have not provided the most convincing, (and certainly not the most radical) case.
Yes: The Radical Case for Scottish Independence
The Radical Independence Campaign, two members of which have authored Pluto’s forthcoming book, Yes: The Radical Case for Scottish Independence (Pluto, forthcoming, March 2014), offers an alternative, grassroots approach to the issue.
The Yes book, co-authored by James Foley and Pete Ramand, is an accessible polemic written for progressives both north and south of the border. They argue that independence can reinvigorate campaigns against austerity across Britain and deal a blow to the imperialist ambitions of the British state. Even if the referendum result is ‘no’, the authors contend, a progressive independence campaign will alter the political landscape.
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