McGrigor challenges SNP to clarify policy on Scotland and the Euro

One of the hottest issues in what appears to be a worsening economic crisis on a international scale is the future of the Euro in the context of the unprecedented economic strains it faces with the debt problems of some of its members nations like Greece and Italy.

The SNP Scottish Government has been notably cautious in stating whether it remains convinced that Scotland should join the Euro.

Now Argyll’s Highlands and Islands Conservative MSP, Jamie McGrigor, has asked for clarification on the government’s current policy.

Holyrood yesterday saw a meeting of the Scottish Parliament’s European and External Relations Committee, of which McGrigor is a member. During the session, Jamie McGrigor asked the SNP’s Alyn Smith MEP whether he still believed if an independent Scotland should join the Euro – as he had declared in his comments on Radio Scotland last week ( 15th September 2011).

Asked whether he believed an independent Scotland should join the Euro, Mr Smith said: ‘I do. And the euro will emerge stronger from this. The SNP’s position on the euro has been robust and intellectually sound throughout.’

This view contrasts with that given by Alex Salmond in his response to Annabel Goldie at First Minister’s Questions in the same week – in which Mr Salmond refused to agree with Mr Smith.

Speaking after the Committee meeting Jamie McGrigor said: ‘It is misleading for Mr Smith to argue that he was ‘selectively misquoted’ regarding his views on an independent Scotland joining the Euro and it is arrant nonsense to suggest that Conservatives are inconsistent on this matter. What is clearly inconsistent is the SNP’s position – do they want an independent Scotland to join the Euro or do they not?

‘The fact that the First Minister could not back his MEP colleague last week and the back-tracking of Mr Smith this week shows that the SNP are clearly adrift on this matter. They should quite simply come clean and tell the Scottish people what is their policy.’

The issue is, of course, currently an academic one as an application for membership of the Euro is an action that would be taken if and when Scotland became independent.

 

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Related Articles & Comments

  • My hope is that when we achieve separation from the union, the SNP would disband. The Conservatives seem to be preparing a proper Scottish section to step up and one would think Labour party may think of such a move once they realise the trough has vanished.

    As for the LibConDems or whatever they are called in Scotland, I’m sure they also have a place. (Probably somewhere in middle england)

    As an independent nation, my ideal would be a parliament stuffed full of indie members who did not adhere to ‘agendas’ but instead could actually debate and think things like the Euro and EEC membership through logically. Such is probably not going to happen as invariably, we shall fall into the Left / Right adversarial trap.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Grant MacDonald September 23, 2011 1:14 am Reply
  • Well done Jamie McGrigor for high lighting the shambles which passes as SNP policy

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    kintyre1 September 23, 2011 8:12 am Reply
  • Reading about the SNP’s policy to join the Euro reminds me of the (in)famous “Arc of Prosperity” that Salmond was so keen to join a few years ago, not to mention his view at much the same time that Scotland could become another “Celtic Tiger” like Ireland. But then didn’t he used to work as an economist in the Royal Bank? Nuff said!

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    Alex McKay September 23, 2011 9:32 am Reply
    • Whether or not Scotland joins the Euro when Scotland attains independence, depends entirely on which party are elected to the new Scottish Parliament. If the SNP are elected then the Scottish people will be consulted. Perhaps the Tories, Labour and LibDums have a view on this, but so far we have not been informed as to what this might be. Maybe someone will enlighten us, but dont hold your breath as it is difficult to ascertain what their attitude is to the present EU. Meanwhile Norway’s Sovereign Wealth Fund remains the second highest in the world at $571 BILLION.
      Now that what I call a real arc of prosperity!

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      David McCann September 23, 2011 1:46 pm Reply
  • Grant MacDonald: Your Holyrood vision of ‘…a parliament stuffed full of indie members who did not adhere to ‘agendas’…’ sounds a touch idealistic, given the evolution of Kilmory ‘indie members’ and ‘agendas’

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Robert Wakeham September 23, 2011 9:59 am Reply
    • Robert. I know I can be naive to the extreme in hoping for the best. Aside from our Scottish government, the political parties in Scotland have rarely covered themselves in glory and one can hope a new start would bring new thinking.
      Who knows…

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Grant MacDonald September 23, 2011 11:49 am Reply
      • Bring the party whip system to an end, then the party leaderships would have to persuade their MSPs to vote for their propositions, rather than at the moment, just telling them to.

        It’s a bit of a discontinuity in our democracy that after electing individuals rather than parties, the parties have ultimate control of the member’s voting!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        Stephen Mackenzie September 30, 2011 8:38 pm Reply
  • First the opposition parties claimed Salmond could not govern effectively because all he was really thinking about was independence. No says he, lets get on with governing and address the referendum in the second half of the parliament – and they all shout ‘no, do it now’. Poor Eck can’t win.
    I had hoped that the other three parties might have learned that negative politics is not a vote winner and that they would be a little more helpful and public-minded during the current parliament, but it seems not. The more they harass the SNP for full details of an independence settlement that has not even begun to be negotiated yet the more they are interfering with the legitimate daily business of government.
    The independence debate will come, but there are quite a few more mundane matters to be sorted out first and the SNP are mature enough to realise that, even if their opponents aren’t. I can only asume that they are terririfed the SNP will govern effectively and so garner even more support for an eventual graceful departure from the union.

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    Webcraft September 23, 2011 10:28 am Reply
  • Rare as it is for me to comment on someone else’s press release this one is too tempting not to nail it. Perhaps readers of forargyll.com would be enlightened by the actual text of the exchange that took place, and compare and contrast it with Mr Mcgrigor’s version above. The SNP position, which the First Minister and I share, is robust and clear. The fact that Mr Mcgrigor steadfastly refuses to understand it is a matter for him. I’m reminded of the judge who on hearing the prosecution case declared himself none the wiser, to which the prosecuting advocate replied “no Milord, but you are at least better informed…”

    Jamie McGrigor: Alyn Smith is on record as saying that the euro would be a good currency for an independent Scotland. However, at last week’s First Minister’s question time, the First Minister refused to give total agreement to that. Given recent events and Vince Cable’s remarks that the eurozone crisis has led us into a wartime economy, does he still advocate that Scots vote for the euro for an independent Scotland?

    Alyn Smith: Where do I start? I was thrilled to hear—on my birthday, no less—my name being mentioned twice in First Minister’s questions, both times in vain, by Opposition parties who should have more to say about their own difficulties over the euro. I was selectively misquoted. What I said on the record was that I believed that the euro will emerge stronger from all this; indeed, I have said as much in this meeting. Of course we are keeping an eye on the situation but, philosophically, we are in favour of joining things. We are not looking to tear things up and be separate; instead, we want to be part of a wider picture, which is why we want to be independent.

    The idea that sterling is doing well is a flat delusion. It is simply not the case. The Scottish National Party’s position on the euro is robust; as we said in “Your Scotland, Your Voice: A National Conversation”, we are in favour of euro membership at the right time and at the right rate, subject to an affirmative referendum from the people of Scotland. This is not the right time; we are not at the right rate; and the people hivnae voted.

    I can see why the Tories would desperately want to deflect attention from their own difficulties over this but to say, “No, nay, never, sterling’s magic” is even dafter.

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    Alyn Smith MEP September 23, 2011 2:21 pm Reply
  • As Alyn Smith has clarified above whether an independent Scotland joins the Euro set will be a decision entrusted to the Scottish people That is a level of trust that our critics fail to accept or approve time and time again.

    A strong case could be made for taking the Oslo route and looking after our own interests but that again is a wider choice.Poor little Norway is, after all, a small independent nation on the edge of Europe.

    When the Euro was first established it was valued against sterling at 66p -almost exactly 2/3 of £1. When I purchased Euros last week the exchange rate was close to parity. Is that because the Euro is strong or, perhaps, because sterling is in decline? Maybe it is both? It can hardly be a matter that gives me any satisfaction as clearly I am losing out in a substantial way.
    Kintyre1 will perhaps explain it all to me!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Ken MacColl September 23, 2011 3:41 pm Reply
  • You’re treading on the toes of my specialist subject. The EURO/UKP relationship is something I keep an eye on. Recently, the EUR/USD fell below 1.391 which was a very critical level and has continued to weaken. Target is around 1.19.

    The trigger level for the EURO/UKP is around 0.86. Currently rate is 0.873
    When/if the euro next slips below the 0.86 level, 0.59 is ultimate target which will make holidays in Spain affordable again!
    I run a market trend analysis business.

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    Grant MacDonald September 23, 2011 5:14 pm Reply
  • Alyn Smith MEP says above “We are not looking to tear things up and be separate” , HA HA that is exactly what nationalists want to do !

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    kintyre1 September 23, 2011 7:43 pm Reply
    • K1, that, coming from someone who backs a policy of ripping the heart out of communities and destroying local business’, that’s a bit rich.
      Agenda driven comments fail to impress, only irritate.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Grant MacDonald September 23, 2011 8:36 pm Reply
    • Not all of us. Some of us want things to be more elegant and rational. Organised. That sort of thing.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Stephen Mackenzie September 30, 2011 8:41 pm Reply
  • Stop the world we want to get on!

    It is the present constitutional arrangement that prevents us from making a meaningful contribution. It is the Union that separates us from normal involvement and Unionists, hpowever they s describe themselves, that seek to deny Scotland her place in the community of nations.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Ken MacColl September 24, 2011 12:06 am Reply
  • The question of whether and when an independent Scotland might join the Euro is as Alyn and Ken have covered it. But there is another question sitting beside it. It is a little naive of Alyn to be so certain about the continued strength of the the Euro project – he knows it is currently in a degree of trouble because its setting up was not accompanied by the degree of political and fiscal alignment and control which a common currency would , and does currently, find a necessity. The necessary acceptance of political and fiscal controls which the Germans may well demand may well be unacceptable to other new members. Indeed an independent Scottish government might find the idea much like jumping into a new fire after escaping from the Westminster variety – and change its mind! But irrespective of its view it is still held to the referendum which the SNP is committed to, unlike the Unionist parties who always think they know what is best for Scotland, without the problem of asking the sovereign electorate!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Gerry Fisher September 24, 2011 3:15 am Reply
  • Quote from a dinner table conversation this evening… Made me laugh but there’s a compelling logic to the argument.

    “Cancel all mortgages, credit card and any other debt. Replace all currencies with a new currency. And start again… And ban politicians from speaking, either in public or in private. In fact, just ban them.”

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    Grant MacDonald September 26, 2011 12:15 am Reply
  • What a tiresome debate – the pound or the euro – they’re both fundamentally flawed – skip the detail and just consider WHY our economies no longer work. It’s not because there’s no demand; not because no one wants to work and it’s not because our world’s so perfect nothing more needs to be done….. “It’s not the econommy, stupid” – no it’s the money system – constantly corrupted by opportunists and manipuluators out to make a fast buck at everyone else’s expense – perpetuated by the banking lobby which dominates virtually every Parliament and legislture.
    Greece has a great opportunity to clean up its financial act and start over; Scotland will have it too if it ever becomes independent and Malaysia did it in the nineties when it told the IMF to shove off and let the government sort out its own financial problems – now it has no debt to speak of and runs a thriving economy.
    How to do it? Read the booklet “There’s No Independence without Financial Independence” – read a practical formula for Scotland to re-introduce its own currency – the Merk – and how it can then become the captain of its own destiny.
    http://www.scottishmonetaryreform.org.uk/6.html
    Respond to the idea – ask why not, and let’s move on from this fruitless euro/pound debate – they’re losers….

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    Frank September 26, 2011 12:10 pm Reply
    • It sounds good, but the world’s economies are dictated by the whims of the USA and its capitalist system. The IMF and even the ECB bow to the wishes of the godfathers of the US. Through coercion, blatant blackmail and political interference in the free democratic processes of other countries, to the extent of subsidising opposition to socialist contenders, they exert their influence in all corners of the globe. Even in the UK. They will have a lot to say about Scottish independence, but it will be whispered behind the scenes and the Unionist parties will be the ones who voice these opinions. And pick up a bit of secret funding in the process, no doubt.

      We have already seen the way they will deliberately lie to get what they want. The Iraq war was a perfect example of this process. I still wonder what they said to Blair to get him to agree to join them.

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      Andy September 26, 2011 1:44 pm Reply
      • “dictated by the whims of the USA”

        You are wrong. Utterly wrong.
        A lot of people (in the UK) think the DOW rules the markets but if one looks at the companies who comprise the DOW, one might be in for a bit of a shock, especially if looking at their volumes on the FTSE against the DJI.
        I actually hate to say this but London remains the driving trend for the world stock markets. This was illustrated at the start of August and again, in the closing minutes of Thursday when a major trend change (disasters and politicians permitting) was implemented by the FTSE and replicated by the DJI by its close.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        Grant MacDonald September 30, 2011 1:57 am Reply
        • I was referring to the economic policies of countries and their political systems, not their stock markets and share prices. The US does not care about “freedom and democracy”, only about having countries governed by a system which is to their liking, where they can make a few more dollars. It does not matter whether this system is a democracy or the most despicable dictatorship, as long as it is well disposed towards the US and its capitalist economy, hence various invasions and interventions over the years with a flagrant disregard for the UN. They like to portray themselves as the world’s policeman but they are, in reality, more like the school bully. Rant over!

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          Andy September 30, 2011 10:11 am Reply
  • Further to Andy’s comments re.’Freedom and democracy’ and the USA: is it my imagination, or has the emergence of the Teaparty within the Republicans highlighted a continuing democratic deficit in the USA, which seemingly only has two political parties and – due to the vast sums of money employed by these two in fighting elections – is likely to remain a two-party state, susceptible to polarised political opinion resulting in extreme views holding sway – for example, backing Senator McCarthy at home and General Pinochet abroad.

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    Robert Wakeham September 30, 2011 11:29 am Reply
  • A book about Scotland, independence, the euro, the usa and the EC. A bit tongue in cheek…

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/State-of-Independence-ebook/dp/B005QMTUPS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1317398246&sr=8-1

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Grant MacDonald September 30, 2011 5:49 pm Reply
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