Obstacles on way
THE mix of English and Scots in England and Scotland respectively means that, in the event of Scotland becoming independent after the 2014 referendum, very close and friendly ties will be an essential requirement. However, potentially severe difficulties will be placed on such a relationship having regard to three misconceptions that hold sway at the present time.
Firstly, the assumption that the Queen will continue as head of state of both countries seems to imply that she will perform a role similar to that which applies in the case of independent Commonwealth nations. In the context of the close relationship referred to above, this would be utterly impossible, for constitutional and political reasons, and more practically, on a day-to-day basis.
Secondly, the perception that Scotland could have the same currency as England, with monetary policy controlled by the Bank of England and/or the English Treasury, is patently ludicrous.
Imagine the Bank of England controlling policy and interest rates on behalf of a right-wing London government and a probably left-of-centre administration at Holyrood, each with totally different political ideologies and related economic strategies.
There would, in my opinion, have to be a uniquely Scottish Bank, based in Scotland.
Some might argue that an independent Scotland would apply to join the European Union and, indeed, adopt the euro single currency. Any such naive notions can be dismissed as the euro will have imploded by that time, unless there is a complete political integration in the eurozone – albeit with a reduced number of member states. Scotland would, therefore, have to apply to join some form of United States of Europe at some point in the future.
Finally, confusion has always existed within the Scottish National Party namely, is it a political party or an independence movement? This raises the question of what happens to the SNP if independence is achieved. Logic dictates that it should be wound up having achieved its goal. This is why I would argue that the SNP should permit political groupings within its ranks in anticipation of success.
Norman J Gow
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Weather for Edinburgh
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Temperature: 3 C to 13 C
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