Patrick Harvie: EU would want independent Scots to ditch pound

Green co-leader Patrick Harvie has warned that an independent Scotland within the European Union would struggle to keep the pound.

Green co-leader Patrick Harvie. Picture: John Devlin
Green co-leader Patrick Harvie. Picture: John Devlin

At the Greens Scottish conference, Harvie said the Scottish Government’s 2014 plan for a currency union with the rest of the UK was “even more unconvincing” than it was when the Yes side lost the referendum.

Despite his party supporting independence, Harvie has been a critic of the SNP plan to share the pound with the rest of the UK. The currency union policy replaced a policy of joining the euro.

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In an interview with STV News, Harvie said the case for a currency union would be diminished if an independent Scotland somehow managed to retain or regain EU membership while the rest of the UK was outside the bloc.

Harvie said: “If you were an EU official, let alone an EU member state, and you are looking to begin this discussion with Scotland about becoming a full member state because Scotland has just voted Yes to independence would you really be happy with the idea that EU member state would be in a currency union with a non-EU member state?

“I think this time round there’ll be an additional political barrier in a lack of willingness from the EU.”