The fight for an independent Scotland continues, but George Osborne has warned that the country will not get the pound. The announcement comes just months before the vote on independence and at a time when the Scottish people want to know more about the financial situation they will be left in should they vote “yes.”
Osborne warned the country that there is no legal reason to keep the current currency, and the three main parties—The Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Labour—have all rallied together to stop the independent country using it. According to the Chancellor “the pound is one of the oldest and most successful currencies” across the globe.
Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary Danny Alexander also spoke about how unrealistic it would be for an independent Scotland to continue with the union’s currency. It would not work for the country or the UK as a whole.
However, Deputy First Minister for the Scottish people, Nicola Sturgeon, hit back at the three parties for “bullying” the people into voting against independence. Sturgeon spoke out about how it showed the three parties were panicking that the people would want an independent country. She also thinks that it will backfire for those competing for the against vote.
The voting will take place in September 2014, where 16 and 17 year olds will have the opportunity to attend voting polls for the first time. There is still a lot that the people do not know about what the “yes” vote will bring, and the financial possibilities is one of them.
As Osborne said that Scotland would not get the pound, he also explained that there would be premiums charged on borrowing. He warned that the banks would leave the country without the currency union and that homeowners could see an extra £1,700 per year on their mortgages.
The Chancellor soon came under fire on Twitter when people started claiming he was acting recklessly with the threats. One user, Robin Barbour, likened the threats to the Edward I line in Braveheart where he says that “the trouble with Scotland is that it’s full of Scots.”
In an answer to not getting the pound, Sturgeon expressed that the country would not have to take on any of the UK debt, despite having a part in it. Leading economists have explained that this could end up being costly for the country though. There could be a banking exodus and the interest rates would dramatically rise. Credit card charges and mortgages would rise for the nation as international markets would not trust the country to pay debts in the future.
First Minister Alex Salmond has always said that the country would keep the pound because it was just as much the Scottish people’s as it was the English, Welsh and Northern Irish people’s currency. He has never given a plan B just in case Westminster refuses to allow it to happen. However, he is going to have to announce something soon to put the Scottish mind’s at rest since Osborne says that Scotland will not get the pound.
By Alexandria Ingham