‘Economy not your strong suit?’ Andrew Neil points out SNP supporter’s critical indy error

Nicola Sturgeon tells EU 'we will return as an independent state'

The issue of currency has been at the heart of the Scottish independence argument for years – with the SNP as of yet unable to give clear guidance on how they intend to leave the UK without sparking economic turmoil. This week, Dr Tim Rideout, convenor of the Scottish Currency Group and now a member of the SNP’s Development Committee, once again spoke of the need for a Scottish Pound. Challenged on social media, Dr Rideout claimed any currency would not change the overall spend of an average customer from day-to-day.

In a specific example, he claimed a meal at a restaurant would continue to be valued at the same as the pound sterling the day after the creation of the new currency.

In response on Twitter, Neil quickly defeated the claim, he said: “Economics not your strong point, is it?

“If Scottish pound floats down every imported product restaurant sells, from wine to Danish bacon, will rise in price.

“To stop the Scottish pound plummeting, interest rates would rise, so business costs up all round.

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“Very soon S£30 might not get you more than a burger.”

Following his retort, independence activists were quick to insist on the ease of establishing a new currency.

Neil, however, claimed the SNP needs to be clear over the consequences of establishing the Scottish pound. 

He also highlighted how Scotland may need to take on the Euro if it were to join the bloc.

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He said: “Of course you can have your own currency from the get-go.

“You just need to be honest about the consequences.

“Which is why it’s not SNP policy to adopt S£ from day 1.

“You’d also need to explain to EU why you want to join but have no appetite for the euro.”

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If Scotland were to use the pound, the Bank of England would set the monetary policy of the currency.

Previously the party had stated an approach to use the pound without a formal currency union.

Panama does this with the US dollar as has Montenegro with its use of the euro.

Ms Sturgeon is calling for a second independence vote next year following the Holyrood elections in May.

During the party’s annual conference last month, Ms Sturgeon stated it had “never been so certain” the country will break away from the Union.

Although Boris Johnson has so far refused any independence vote, polls are now suggesting a majority of Scots are now in favour of leaving the UK.

She said: “Scotland is now a nation on the cusp of making history.

“Independence is in clear sight – and with unity of purpose, humility and hard work I have never been so certain that we will deliver it.

“The people of Scotland have the right to choose their future.

“Let’s now focus all our efforts on making sure we bring about that better country they and future generations deserve.”

“We can overcome poverty, inequality, and we lead the way in tackling the climate emergency.

“The question for all of us as we look ahead to the election next May is this – who should be taking the decisions that shape our futures?

“We know that it is the people who live here, wherever they come from, who can best harness Scotland’s immense human and natural resources to the benefit of everyone.”

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