SNP hopes for Sterling in independent Scotland shot down: ‘Control lies with another state
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Nicola Sturgeon’s Scottish National Party (SNP) has been predicted to gain five seats at Westminster if a General Election were held now. The party was tipped to increase its number of MPs in the House of Commons by five, from 48 to 53. While the Panelbase survey showed a slight rise in support for Scottish independence, the No campaign is still two percentage points ahead.
The poll, conducted for the Sunday Times, took the responses of 1,781 voters in Scotland from November 9 to 12.
It also showed that less than a quarter of voters think Scotland will break away from the UK in the next five years.
Ms Sturgeon’s SNP emerged victorious in the Scottish Parliament Election in May of this year.
The party failed to secure a majority, but it did win a fourth consecutive term in Government at Holyrood.
After the election, Mrs Sturgeon said that she wanted to hold a new referendum on Scottish independence by the end of 2023.
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Scotland’s First Minister’s pledge to hold ‘Indyref2’ comes after Scots rejected splitting from the Union at the last public vote on independence in 2014.
Now, a politics expert has also rejected an element of the SNP’s independence plans, casting doubt over an independent Scotland’s finances.
Nick Ritchie at the University of York told Express.co.uk that the SNP would face difficulties with its plans to continue using the UK’s Pound Sterling in the event of independence.
He said: “The de facto control of an independent-based currency would not lie with that state.
“It would lie with another state, which would be the UK and the Bank of England.”
The expert framed the financial issue in terms of the SNP’s wish to remove the UK’s Trident nuclear deterrent from an independent Scotland.
The UK’s nuclear-armed Trident submarines are currently based on the River Clyde.
Dr Ritchie said the SNP’s hopes to continue using Sterling after independence may be seized upon by the UK Government – which is opposed to independence – as a bargaining chip.
He claimed that the “pivot of the negotiation” between Westminster and Holyrood could potentially revolve around the housing of Trident in Scotland and its use of the UK currency.
He said: “I think it will be the economics and the politics of the transition to independence versus what to do about Trident.”
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The SNP set out its currency plan in its Growth Commission report from 2018.
It proposed continuing to use Sterling for a transition period until economic conditions allow it to adopt another currency.
Dr Ritchie added that the UK Government could have a major influence on Scotland’s finances post-independence.
He said: “It will come down to economics and the economic relationship between an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK’.
“Because, to a certain extent it might be a bit of biting your nose off to spite your face.
“But I think London can make life economically very difficult if it wanted to for an independent Scotland in terms of that process of attaining independence.
“Or it could make it as smooth as possible and I think that that will be the bargaining position.”
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