Nicola Sturgeon outlines continued use of UK pound sterling for 'a period' before adopting Scottish pound in Indy economic paper

A paper outlining the economic argument for Scotland leaving the UK proposes Scotland would adopt a new currency ‘as soon as practicable’ after using the pound sterling for ‘a period’.

Nicola Sturgeon unveiled the independence economic paper during a press conference at Bute House  (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images).
Nicola Sturgeon unveiled the independence economic paper during a press conference at Bute House (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images).

The Scottish Government paper unveiled by the First Minister states it would keep the British pound post-independence "until the time is right to move to a Scottish pound".

However, it is not yet clear when and how this new currency system would be introduced if Scotland becomes independent.

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Published today, the third in a series of papers detailing the case for independence includes plans for the economy of an independent Scotland.

The paper states: “On independence, Scotland would continue to use the pound sterling for a period before moving to our policy of adopting a Scottish pound. The change would take place as soon as practicable through a careful, managed and responsible transition, guided by criteria and economic conditions rather than a fixed timetable.”

The paper also looks at establishing an independent Scottish Central Bank with oversight of monetary and economic conditions in Scotland.

Nicola Sturgeon said Scotland would have a “moral” duty to take on a share of UK debt if it becomes independent.

On border issues, the First Minister dismissed concerns Scots would require passports to visit relatives in England, naming the claim “utter nonsense”.

Other proposals outlined include re-joining the European Union (EU) to “benefit from, and contribute to” the European Single Market, a redesigned energy market that aims to provide secure and reliable low cost energy, greater workplace security and an end to age discrimination in minimum wage setting, and a migration policy designed to boost Scotland’s working population

Speaking an hour after the new UK chancellor Jeremy Hunt's statement, Ms Sturgeon said the UK economic model is failing and increasingly holding Scotland back.

The paper also proposes a Building a New Scotland Fund. With infrastructure investment of up to £20 billion from remaining oil revenues and responsible borrowing, the new Fund will accelerate the transition to net zero, build resilient communities, and help kick-start the sustainable economic growth so important for the newly independent nation.

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Nicola Sturgeon said: “Scotland has an abundance of skilled people, innovative businesses, and natural resources. We have everything it takes to be just as successful as comparable independent European countries. Our analysis from the first paper in the Building a New Scotland series shows that a dynamic economy and social justice go hand in hand. Each makes the other stronger.

“Scotland’s economy is one of the best performing in the UK – however the UK economy, particularly post-Brexit, is now lagging many EU and international comparators.

"Independence is now essential to build an economy that works for everyone. The paper we are publishing today will help people make a clear, informed choice about independence and how we can forge a path towards becoming a fairer, greener, wealthier country.”

Ms Sturgeon wants a second independence referendum to take place on 19 October 2023, however, the UK government is refusing to give Holyrood the powers to hold this vote.

Last week, Supreme Court judges sat for two days to hear both sides and they will deliver their judgement once they have considered all of the arguments.

Downing Street said Liz Truss did not believe it was the moment to consider another referendum on independence.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “People in Scotland want their governments to be focused on the issues that matter to them, things like energy security, the cost of living and obviously supporting Ukraine in their war against Russia.

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“So the Prime Minister remains of the view it is not the time to be talking about another independence referendum.”

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