The following is an open letter to the First Minister of Scotland, regarding the lack of clarity surrounding the plans for a Scottish currency post independence, namely the plans that are in place should the negotiations with Her Majesty’s Treasury and the Bank of England regarding the formation of a Sterling-Zone fail.
Dear Mr. Salmond,
I am writing to you today, not merely as a member of any political party or of either side of the ‘Yes-No’ of the independence debate, but as a concerned Scot, a Scot concerned about the economic future of his country at all levels.
In the past number of weeks, the Scottish Government have made clear their stance on the currency of Scotland, should we gain our independence; they have made strongly their case for a Sterling-Zone to be formed between Scotland and the remainder of the United Kingdom. This case is made, in spite of doubts and disagreements from both sides of the debate. No louder have these doubts been than from Her Majesty’s Treasury and the Chancellor of the Exchequer himself, who warned that it would be ‘unlikely’ that the United Kingdom would agree to such a deal. Members of the Yes Campaign have told us that we would not be gaining full financial independence under such a deal, and as such we have seen a great divide open up in the Yes camp.
However, the First Minister and his front-bench continue to push the idea as if there was no opposition. This has led to the SNP Government being unable to provide any real idea of what might happen to Scotland should the negotiations with the BoE and H.M. Treasury fail.
The currency of a nation is something that affects absolutely everyone in the country in every aspect of their daily lives. From the working class parent, doing the weekly shopping to feed her children, to the wealthiest businesses setting the prices of the goods that mum and dad are buying. From the huge multinational corporations, assessing their quarterly returns, to the tourist wondering about exchange rates for his sightseeing trip around Glasgow.
The fact that this issue is being given so little thought as it is by the current Scottish Government shows a real lack of understanding of the issue at hand. The Scottish Government have been systematically unable to provide any idea as to what plans exist should negotiations fail. In the debate between the Deputy First Minister and the Scottish Secretary, Michael Moore MP, Ms. Sturgeon was unable to provide any kind of answer to this problem. Confronted with the question “what’s plan-b?” on several occasions, the Deputy First Minister was unable to do anything other than evading the question, telling us over and over again of her confidence, and that of the Scottish Government, in ‘Plan-A’.
With no real contingency plans in place, Scotland could potentially be left without a currency, or at least a properly planned out currency. I know there are some economic risks associated with independence, but this is one I think we would all rather avoid.
In speaking to many friends, some fellow constituents of Glasgow Pollock, others from places across Scotland and the rest of the U.K., the concerns are the same. We need answers from the Scottish Government; not just reassurance that plan-A is in ‘everyone’s interests’, but answers about what will happen if plan-A does not work out, answers that will allow Scots to breathe easy, knowing that even if plan-A falls through, we will still be left with, something so fundamental as, a currency.
Whilst it is understood that the Scottish Government has confidence in plan-A, that is not the question at hand, the question at hand is whether or not the Scottish Government has considered the options it had should plan-A fall through. As it stands, I feel this is an issue that does demand some answers, and as such, I am prepared to petition the Scottish Government directly on this issue. Answers are needed, not simply deviations.
I therefore write to you as a concerned Scot and on behalf of concerned Scots across our country, asking you to bring this most important matter to the attention of the Scottish Government and to urge the Scottish Government, on behalf of the people of Scotland and regardless of party affiliations and Yes-No stances, to answer the question; “what is plan-B?”
James H Whittle
I would ask that as many people sign this, by “liking” this post, add questions or comments via the comments section and please do share this. Whether you live in Scotland or not, if you recognise this an important issue, please help out.