THE seventh question from the Carluke and Lanark Gazette’s Independence Debate, answered by Robin McAlpine and Professor Adam Tomkins, is about the pound.
Robin and Adam kindly agreed to debate the case for Yes and No at the Gazette’s Independence Debate in Lanark Memorial Hall on May 26.
They were only too happy to answer questions posed by our readers that we couldn’t quite get through on the night, thanks to a heated meeting which 420 people attended!
So, just a matter of hours before Carluke and Lanark Gazette readers go to the polls to decide on independence, we’re bringing you their responses.
Each hour on the hour, between 8am and 10pm today, we’ll post one of the answers to a question posed by a Gazette reader.
For each question posed, we will give one opinion from the Yes camp and one from the No camp.
The seventh question, with answers from Robin and Adam, asks if the pound is really Scotland’s too.
Question: Is the pound sterling not just as much our currency as it is England’s?
Robin McAlpine, Yes campaign: I know many people who were not independence supporters but changed their mind when George Osborne and the rest of them declared that it wasn’t ours and they weren’t letting us share. Because London politicians got together and just decided it. There are no real rules for how you divide up a nation when one part leaves. It really is all a matter of negotiation. It should be a process of reasonable compromise and discussion. Unfortunately, London has acted like London always acts – a self-entitled bully which thinks we’re beneath them and deserve to be punished for the cheek of believing in democracy. I can think of few things that have reflected so badly on the No campaign as its contemptuous attitude to Scotland’s share of a union it says we’re supposed to be grateful for.
Professor Adam Tomkins, No campaign: The currency is not England’s any more than it is Scotland’s. It is the currency of the United Kingdom. If Scotland votes to leave the UK it votes to leave the UK’s institutions, including the Bank of England and the UK currency. This does not mean that an independent Scotland could not continue to use the pound: any country in the world may adopt the pound if it wishes to do so. But to use the currency of a foreign power, which the UK would become in the event of Scottish independence, means that you have no monetary policy of your own: it would mean Scotland becoming more dependent upon – and not more independent of – London!