SNP must bring in ‘Scottish Pound’ within MONTHS of independence because it is ‘not credible’ to keep Sterling, leadership hopeful Ash Regan says
Scotland should bring in a brand new currency within months of going independence because it is ‘not credible’ to keep Sterling, an SNP leadership hopeful said today.
Ash Regan struck a notably different stance to official party policy as she stepped up her campaign to succeed Nicola Sturgeon.
But rival Humza Yousaf was quick to dismiss the idea, saying it risked undermining the ‘trust’ of the public.
Unionists said it would ‘set alarm bells ringing’ as the SNP’s separatist ambitions do not ‘stand up to the slightest scrutiny’.
Currency has long been one of the key issues in the independence debate.
Publishing a paper on the issue last year, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Scotland would move to a new currency – but that the transition would take time.
Ash Regan struck a notably different stance to official party policy as she stepped up her campaign to succeed Nicola Sturgeon
One of the main tasks facing the incoming SNP leader will be to attempt to revive fading hopes of holding another referendum – with polls showing solid support for staying in the UK
The country would be required to set up a central bank, which she said would happen on the first day after an independence vote.
However, the country would have to continue to use sterling for some time after that.
Ms Sturgeon told journalists it would be ‘irresponsible’ to set out a timetable for a move to the new currency.
There have been warnings that Scotland would need to adopt the euro if it wanted to rejoin the EU after splitting from the UK.
But Ash Regan said today that it would take just months to move to a Scottish currency.
‘I think Scotland cannot be credible independently if we’re at the mercy of another country’s currency and we’re not able to control that,’ she told ITV Border.
‘I think we need to be moving to our own currency as soon as it’s practical.’
Pushed on a timescale she said the switch could happen ‘a couple of months’ into independence.
‘If I become the leader, I am going to start working on what steps we can take now, while we are not independent, in order to build the infrastructure which would let us move to a Scottish currency within months of becoming independent,’ she added.
Asked if Scotland currently has the powers to set up a central bank, Ms Regan said: ‘I’m going to look to see what steps we can take under the devolution settlement, but I’m very clear we would need to get that infrastructure in as soon as possible.’
One of the main tasks facing the incoming SNP leader will be to attempt to revive fading hopes of holding another referendum – with polls showing solid support for staying in the UK.
Mr Yousaf said the people of Scotland ‘will not trust us if we come up with schemes which I think lack credibility’.
Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said: ‘Policy ideas like this will set alarm bells ringing in the ears of people and businesses right across the country.
‘Never mind a fag packet, this policy would leave space to spare on a postage stamp.
Leadership rival Humza Yousaf was quick to dismiss the idea, saying it risked undermining the ‘trust’ of the public
‘The SNP’s vagueness and deception on the currency questions was one of the principle reasons Scotland rejected separation in 2014, but these proposals are even more incredible.
‘None of this stands up to even the slightest scrutiny.
‘This kind of messaging may play well among some parts of the SNP membership, but all of these candidates should remember they are competing to be the First Minister for all of Scotland.’
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