I'm afraid Salmond and the SNP are wrong here, and the British Government is only doing the sensible thing by informing the Scots that they cannot continue to be a part of the UK currency if they decide to secede from the UK.
The thing with the SNP is that, rather than wanting full autonomy for Scotland, they instead wish to pick and choose which areas they want to become independent in and which areas they don't, areas to suit themselves. They seem to want independence from the UK yet still want to retain the UK currency and have the BoE set their interest rates etc. What kind of independence is that? Why can't they just opt for full independence instead of just picking and choosing certain bits?
And it wasn't that long ago that the SNP were saying that they wanted an independent Scotland to join the euro. But now they have changed their minds (probably as a result of the polls which show most Scots are against joining the euro) and now wish to keep the UK currency even if Scotland secedes from the UK.
The Scottish Nationalists are not putting across any cogent argument here.
Many Scots can see through the half-truths and downright lies they are peddling.
The SNP (the ruling party in the devolved Scottish parliament) keep telling us, for example that, in the unlikely event of Scotland becoming an independent nation state, that they will become a new EU member state.
Yet on Sunday morning Jose Manuel Barroso, the President of the EU Commission, was on the BBC's The Andrew Marr Show and he said, quite clearly, that it would be "extremely difficult, if not impossible" for an independent Scotland to join the European Union.
Mr Barroso made his comments during an interview with Andrew Marr
He said an independent Scotland would have to apply for membership and get the approval of all current member states.
In his interview with Andrew Marr, Mr Barroso said: "In case there is a new country, a new state, coming out of a current member state it will have to apply."
He said it was important that "accession to the European Union will have to be approved by all other member states of the European Union."
He went on: "Of course it will be extremely difficult to get the approval of all the other member states to have a new member coming from one member state."
Mr Barroso cited the example of the Spanish not recognising Kosovo.
He said: "We have seen Spain has been opposing even the recognition of Kosovo, for instance. So it is to some extent a similar case because it's a new country and so I believe it's going to be extremely difficult, if not impossible, a new member state coming out of our countries getting the agreement of the others."
Barroso's statement echoes earlier statements from EU officials in which they have said that a new Scottish nation state would find it extremely difficult to join the EU. Yet the SNP, apparently, know better than EU officials.
In response to Barroso's comments, Scotland's Finance Minister John Swinney said: "I think President Barroso's remarks are pretty preposterous."
So there you have it. Apparently the SNP know better the workings of the EU than the President of the European Commission does. So the SNP STILL tell the Scottish people that there will be no difficulty in an independent Scotland joining the EU, despite the EU itself saying otherwise. The SNP are lying to the Scottish people.
Another thing the Scottish nationalists have to address is that any new country joining the EU has to join the euro at some point (only the UK and Denmark do not have to join the euro at any time in the future), and the majority of Scots are against joining the euro. Yet an independent Scotland somehow joining the EU as a new nation state will have to join the euro. The euro is not something the Scottish people want and this will surely work against the nationalists come the referendum.
BBC News - Scottish independence: Barroso says joining EU would be 'difficult' (external - login to view)
So everyone is rounding on the Scots Nats at the moment. The British Government is telling them that they cannot keep the UK pound if they secede from the UK and the EU is telling them that it will be very difficult for Scotland to join the EU.
Salmond could plunge UK into euro-style crisis: Bank chief's blow to Scottish independence plans
Carney holds talks with First Minister Alex Salmond in Edinburgh
Pro-independence campaigners used to say they would join the euro
Now they want to continue using the pound in a currency union
By Hugo Duncan
30 January 2014
Scotland could never be fully independent if it keeps the pound, the Governor of the Bank of England warned yesterday.
Mark Carney said that Scotland would have to share sovereignty with the rest of the UK to avoid creating economic havoc.
His assessment of a ‘Yes’ vote on September 18 suggested that Scotland would need to surrender control of interest rates and agree to strict rules controlling tax and spending.
Talks: Bank of England governor Mark Carney meets First Minister Alex Salmond to discuss Scottish independence
Otherwise it would risk a eurozone-style disaster, where stronger nations, including the UK and Germany, have been forced to prop up heavily indebted smaller ones, such as Greece.
Mr Carney insisted in a speech in Edinburgh that he was not passing judgment on whether Scotland should be independent or on what currency arrangements an independent Scotland could make.
And he refused to be drawn over whether Scotland would be better or worse off as an independent nation.
But his intervention carried the clear implication that Scotland can either be fully independent or stay with sterling – but not both.
The governor’s speech is likely to be a pivotal moment in the referendum battle, with just 230 days left until the vote.
Read more: Bank governor Mark Carney warns of risks of letting independent Scotland keep pound | Mail Online
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Now Scots know: an independent Scotland won’t be Salmond’s ‘same-but-slightly-different’ vision
Hamish Macdonell (external - login to view)
(A proud Scot and a proud Brit)
16 February 2014
The Scots Nats have a Munro to climb
Personally, I’m now waiting for the Queen to get involved.
After all, there’s not much left of Alex Salmond’s independence-but-not-independence blueprint that is left intact. First it was his ‘we’re going to share the pound in a Sterling zone’ claim. That was ruled out by Chancellor George Osborne (and Ed Balls and Danny Alexander) last week.
Then it was his ‘independence in Europe’ claim, and that was dismantled by European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso today. The only pillar of Salmond’s grand ‘everything’s-going-to-remain-the-same-only-different’ scheme which remains in place is a shared monarchy.
So it can’t be long before Her Majesty also intervenes and says: ‘Do you know what? I don’t much like the idea of being monarch of an independent Scotland, I think I’ll opt out of that too.’
For months, the referendum debate has been chugging along, the same old arguments have been explored without much to get anybody really interested. Then, kaboom, in just a few days, everything has changed. Ever since the campaign started two years ago, thousands of Scots have demanded clarity and certainty. What is going to happen to the pounds in our pockets? They have cried. What’s going to happen to our place in Europe? They have asked.
Well, now they know and this is really what has changed in the last few days: Scots have been told that an independent Scotland will actually have to be independent. It will not be the ‘same-but-slightly-different’ vision that Salmond has painted for so long.
An independent Scotland will be independent. It will have to have its own currency – whether or not that can be pegged to the UK pound – and Scotland will be stranded outside the EU, probably for years and possibly even for decades.
The Nationalists could – and did – dismiss this warning when it came from the Chancellor over the currency last week. But now that we have had a cold, hard dose of reality from the President of the European Commission, the truth of the situation is really starting to sink in.
There has undoubtedly been a feeling in Scotland that voting Yes didn’t carry much of a risk. We would still be attached to the UK, at least in part. We would have the same currency, we would be able to rely on the Bank of England to bail us out if we got into trouble and we would still be in the EU so could trade as normal with everyone.
But now, all that has changed. The independence debate has shifted. It has moved on, substantially so. Everything has become starker and it now should be clear to everyone in Scotland just how high the stakes are.
Mr Barroso’s intervention this morning on the Andrew Marr Show would have been significant at any time but coming, as it did, just after the Chancellor’s dismissal of a shared currency after independence, it had real weight.
Just for the record, let’s have a look at what he actually said: “In case there is a new country, a new state, coming out of a current member state, it will have to apply and – this is very important – the application and the accession to the European Union, will have to be approved by all the other member states of the European Union.”
And he added: “I don’t want to interfere on your referendum here and your democratic discussion here but of course, it will be extremely difficult to get the approval of all the other member states to have a new member coming from another member state.
“We have seen, for instance, Spain is opposing even the recognition of Kosovo so it’s, to some extent, a similar case, because it’s a new country and so I believe it’s going to be extremely difficult, if not impossible, a new member state coming out of one of our member countries, getting agreement of the others.”
Now, there will be many people out there willing to criticise Mr Barroso. After all, he is not a much-loved figure in the UK – being Europe’s top bureaucrat and all.
But if there is someone who knows how Europe works, it is him.
He knows that every country in Europe has its own agenda and, if it suits that country to use its veto on Scottish membership as a bargaining chip for something else, then that is what is going to happen.
This time last week, Scottish independence looked, to many north of the border, like the best of both worlds. Scotland could keep the best things of being British, including the pound and the monarchy, and take on the best things about being independent – making Scottish decisions at a Scottish level.
But now it looks very different. Independence suddenly looks as if it would actually mean what it says on the tin. It would mean estrangement, separation, divorce and, following Mr Barroso’s intervention, isolation as well.
The Nationalists expect a substantial number of Scots to take such umbrage with this supposed ‘bullying’ from the EC and the UK Government that they will join the Yes campaign.
That may be right but there will also be a lot of voters who will go the other way, frightened by the reality of what independence will actually mean.
So, while no-one quite knows how all this is going to pan out in percentage terms for each side, what is certain is that the debate is now definitely more polarised than it has been up until now. It is harsher, it has more edge but it is, at last, rooted in reality.
And that, in the end, is probably no bad thing.
The anti-independence Better Together campaign is on the front foot
http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/hamish-macdonell/2014/02/now-scots-know-an-independent-scotland-wont-be-salmonds-same-but-slightly-different-vision/ (external - login to view)
Last edited by Blackleaf; Feb 17th, 2014 at 08:47 AM..