Economists say independent Scotland ‘should keep pound’Popular Articles, Resources — By Theodore Phalan on February 15, 2013 at 4:27 PM
The future currency of Scotland, assuming a “yes” vote in next year’s vote on independence, has been questioned by supporters and opponents.
Some argue Scotland would have to adopt the euro as a consequence of gaining full EU statehood, while others have called for a new currency or retention of sterling.
The Fiscal Commission Working Group, a panel of experts established by the Scottish Government, was asked by ministers to plan for how Scotland would become independent if there is a “yes” vote in the 2014 referendum.
They concluded that “it would be in Scotland’s interests to retain Sterling immediately post-independence”.
The report, published on Monday, said that Scotland’s economy was “strong enough and sufficiently aligned with the rest of the UK that a separate currency would not be necessary”.
“It is also the case that, post independence, this would benefit the rest of the UK to maintain a key trading partner as nearly 10pc of the existing UK economy Scotland would remain one of the largest trading partners of the UK economy,” their report said.
“There would be particular advantages for the UK in areas such as energy and financial services.”
Experts on the panel include two Nobel prize-winning economists: Joseph Stiglitz and Sir Jim Mirrlees.
Their report also suggested that the Bank of England should remain the central bank and that a committee be established to oversee a formal monetary union.
Crawford Beveridge, chairman of the council’s fiscal commission working group, said their report does not determine what path Scotland should take.
“Instead the aim of the group is to use our expertise to provide advice and guidance to the government and to offer options for reform should a vote for independence be forthcoming,” he said.
“The task of the working group was to design a robust macroeconomic framework for Scotland post independence that delivers sustainable economic growth and a platform from which to tackle inequalities. …