I have a friendly electrician who is married to a Scot and who is a rampant Brexiter.
He thinks Scotland is nuts to want to sacrifice a 300 year, or rather longer, association with the rest of Britain, in favour of the EU. He has a point. Getting out of the EU after 45 years has proved so difficult – how on earth is a 300 year Scottish ‘marriage’ going to be ended?
I have every sympathy with this view.
Quite unknowing of my interest in money he suggests that an independant Scotland will find it difficult, if not impossible to have its own currency.
I suggest that New Zealand – true it is isolated – with a population of just 4.6 million and its own currency, against Scotland’s 5.5 rather disproves that.
I have to say that for me there is a similar question to that I have asked on Brexit – to what question is Scottish Independence the answer? The problem, I suggest, in both instances, comes down to a lack of local control.
This is the same for Scotland as for England or Wales. Yes, there are assemblies for both Scotland and Wales – which is more than England has. But creating local curriencies is possible for us all. Not necessarily printing it but creating a local ‘virtual’ currency that is not internationally convertible but runs in parallel to Sterling which would be accepted for local taxes such as Council Tax. (Yes, this Council Tax is regressive, but a local Land Value Tax would easily replace it). This revenue raising power gives spending choices locally and stops the extreme centralisation from which we now suffer.
That, I suggest is a real answer to Scotland, who, let us not forget contributed 13 MPs to support what some suggest is this disastrous ‘English’ government.
It is indeed disastrous of course. But it is certainly not ‘English’. Think not only of its Scots supporters but also of its non English members such as Michael Gove and (of old) Liam Fox.
Then we have this comment from a lady who describes herself as a writer, researcher, lecturer and holder of a Northern Writers’ Award:
Fine, how on earth does being more democtatically accountable relate to leaving the EU?
Surely she should start with Westminster?
If we leave and still continue to trade with the EU, we will be automatically less democratically accountable – indeed if we’re in the EU, as we’re part of it, we are absolutely democratically accountable!
But when trading with a country or a trading block we are not part of, the only democracy is standing over the shoulders of the negotiatiors. And in which trade agreement has that ever happened? I think none is the unequivocal answer.
We may indeed have a democratic say on the result – but that is the same as we do in the EU, albeit we share that scrutiny with 27 others. Trade-offs certainly result – but they would also result, were we, (God forbid) an independent, yet ‘Global’ Britain.
I suggest a local parallel currency is key to a more decentralised and indeed Federal Britain, where we will have to put up with what is called a postcode lottery – because in our postcode we voted for it.