Alex Salmond’s assertion (as exemplified in the recent BBC debate) that a currency union involving the pound is a necessary condition for the appropriate division of assets is deeply flawed (particularly as he has an economic background).
As the authors point out, the pound is not really an asset that can be owned – it is merely a unit of currency by which asset value can be measured.
The division of assets is an entirely different matter from currency union, as anybody with a modicum of knowledge of these issues realises and, in this respect, it is deeply disappointing for the quality of the referendum debate that some appear to take the First Minister’s stance seriously.
So may I ask that the First Minister and the Finance Secretary clarify their position by answering the following question?
If, during negotiations between Scotland and rUK on the division of assets and liabilities, the rUK government offered to hand over a proportion of the Bank of England reserves equivalent to an appropriate proportion of its asset value (in terms of reserves and any property or intellectual property rights) but did not agree to enter into a currency union, would you still refuse to accept any responsibility for a proportion of UK national debt?