12 days ago, on 10th June, the BBC reported First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, as saying that she would want an independent Scotland to continue to use the pound, regardless of the result of the EU Referendum:
‘The pound is Scotland’s currency as much as it is England’s currency. That’s the currency I think all parts of the UK should use and it’s the one I’d want Scotland to use.
‘Scotland uses the pound. It’s our currency just as it is your currency, and that’s the currency I think we should continue to use.’
Today, 22nd June, The Herald newspaper reports the First Minister as saying that if the UK votes to leave the EU tomorrow – which would see idyref 2 ‘definitely on the table’ [a risibly transparent ‘definitely maybe’] – she would countenance an independent Scotland using the euro.
The argument – and don’t laugh – is that the pound might take a drop in the aftermath of a Brexit, making the euro a more attractive option.
As time in office goes on, the First Minister is progressively being revealed as a poser, possessed of far less competence than she has made it seem.
As well as being evidence of having no idea whatsoever about what an independent Scotland might do for money, jumping for the euro only twelve days after she had settled for the pound, this latest stance of the FM’s is startlingly – worryingly – ignorant.
If the UK leaves the EU, with the loss to that union of one of its minority of net contributing members, the fourth largest such and one of the world’s strongest economies, the already troubled euro will take a much greater dive and for much longer than will the pound.
With indyref 2 definitely maybe on the table in the event of a Brexit in which the Scottish vote was for staying in, the thought of lashing this country to the euro is not going to drive the masses to the ‘Yes’ ballot box.
The vulnerability of that currency is generally well known, whether or not the reasons for that vulnerability are as generally understood.
It may be, of course, that the FM is trying to cover a specific later retreat.
If there were a Brexit and if she were then to be forced into indyref 2, which manifestly would be against her wishes and if, which is now highly improbable, Scotland then opted to leave the British union, any independent membership of the EU would certainly require Scotland to use the euro.
Ms Sturgeon may be taking up a self protective advance position of appearing to be drawn to using the euro anyway, to guard against later charges of deceiving the Scottish electorate and of poor negotiating ability.