Bolder SNP approach to separate Scots currency needed, say campaigners

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A campaign has been launched by SNP activists for the party to adopt a bolder approach to establishing a separate Scottish currency after independence.

Former SNP MP George Kerevan is heading up the Campaign for an Independent Currency (CIC) which wants to ditch the six tests set out by the party's recent Growth Commission and set up a separate currency in the years immediately after independence.

Former SNP MP George Kerevan is heading up the Campaign for an Independent Currency (CIC) which wants to ditch the six tests set out by the party's recent Growth Commission  and set up a separate currency in the years immediately after independence. Picture: John Devlin

Former SNP MP George Kerevan is heading up the Campaign for an Independent Currency (CIC) which wants to ditch the six tests set out by the party's recent Growth Commission and set up a separate currency in the years immediately after independence. Picture: John Devlin


The issue is due to come to a head at the SNP conference in Edinburgh next month when Finance Secretary Derek Mackay will seek to change party policy to adopt a stand-alone Scottish currency after a Yes vote, although it may take up to ten years. This contrasts with the position at the 2014 independence referendum which backed retaining the pound in a currency union.

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The new campaign was is calling on SNP branches, affiliated organisations and elected representatives to back their amendment which calling for an independent currency to be set up in the first, post-independence Parliamentary term. Sterling would be used in the brief interim.


Kerevan, the former East Lothian MP, said powers over currency must be taken from Westminster "at the nearest opportunity."


"We should not continue to chain ourselves to Westminster which has long made decisions contrary to Scotland’s prosperity and will," he said.

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“The Growth Commission’s six tests would leave Scotland using the pound indefinitely, result in cuts to services and spending, and allow the market to dictate an independent Scotland’s decisions. This is completely contrary to the Scotland that people want to build and we should reject those tests"

Mr Mackay's motion to conference will seek to use the pund for an indefinite period after independence before switching to a stand-alone currency when a series of tests are met. But the CIC amendment would remove the requirement to end any fiscal deficit and ensure foreign lenders are satisfied with Scottish tax and spending - both of which would result in cuts.


The arbitrary test on ensuring business “stability” would be scrapped along with the paradoxical test on ensuring there are sufficient reserves of a yet nonexistent currency.


And there would be no harmonising between Scotland and England’s economic cycle in an attempt to ensure decisions are made in Scotland’s best interests.


CIC spokesman Rory Steel added: "An independent currency will allow the people of Scotland to exercise their power in an independent Scotland’s economy. We need the SNP grassroots to exercise their power now and take the amendment to their branch for approval.”