Patrick Harvie: EU would want independent Scots to ditch pound

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

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.

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.”