NEWS RELEASE – Greens attack phoney war on currency

Posted on April 23, 2013

Scottish Greens are accusing UK Chancellor George Osborne and SNP Finance Secretary John Swinney of waging a phoney war, with their suggestions that a Sterling zone is either impossible or inevitable.

Scottish Greens have not ruled out supporting a Sterling zone as a short term transitional arrangement, but have urged the Scottish Government to keep an open mind about moving towards an independent currency. The Scottish Government’s currency paper, published today, endorses the idea of a Sterling zone but agrees the need for flexibility should circumstances change.

Patrick Harvie MSP, Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, said:

“George Osborne is more interested in scaring people ahead of the referendum than an honest assessment of the options after it. In the event of a Yes vote both sides would need to recognise the mandate given by the people, and settle down to the real negotiations. Scotland’s hand in those negotiations would be strengthened if we did the groundwork on our own currency so we keep it as a realistic medium-term option.

“Osborne’s economic credibility is in tatters and now he’s attempting to wage a phoney war by suggesting we’re doomed unless we stick with the existing arrangements – arrangements which fail to reflect our needs and aspirations. If Scotland votes for full control of our own affairs it is reasonable to expect our economic priorities to diverge from the rest of the UK, so we would be wise to keep our currency options open.”


Treasury comments:

“None of the options under independence would serve Scotland as well as the current arrangements.”

Scottish Government currency paper:

“All macroeconomic frameworks should have the flexibility to evolve if circumstances change, this is a key aspect of economic sovereignty.” (Page 4)