LibLink: Tavish Scott MSP: Scots should put money on devo plus.

Tavish Scott has been writing for the Scotsman, comparing the necessary treaty for a currency union which would be required between an independent Scotland and the UK, and the idea of “Devo Plus” which, he argues, would give the Scottish Government more powers than independence.

First he tackles the realities of that treaty for currency union:

With the removal of political representation at Westminster following a Yes vote, the flexibility of a parliament will need to be replaced with a treaty. This will be neither flexible nor short. It will have to cover all aspects of monetary union starting with the role of the Bank of England. It will need to set out any representation Scotland would have on the various Bank of England committees and particularly the monetary policy committee which sets interest rates. The rules for the MPC cover such factors as inflation rates, currency strength and economic stimulation. These would need to be clearly defined. The MPC would also need to assess the relative weighting of the Scottish economy in making decisions and there would need to be agreed principles on how new money would be issued, and on quantitative easing. Any new money would then need to be shared between Scotland and the rest of the UK in some pre-agreed way. Self evidently none of this is easy.

And Alex Salmond would have to agree with George Osborne:

Of course, monetary union only works where the nations involved are prepared to have broadly similar attitudes to public sector borrowing, including off-balance-sheet debts such as unfunded pension liabilities. The Eurozone crisis has demonstrated that a single currency in regions with widely differing attitudes to fiscal debt and economic management causes tension. So Alex Salmond would have to agree with George Osborne.

So what would Devo Plus give us that independence wouldn’t?

The reality for Scotland’s economic future is that Devo Plus would give 
Holyrood ministers far greater powers to shape policy to a Scottish agenda than independence. Alex Salmond would be better off with Devo Plus. Those in politics who want the best of both worlds, a stronger Scotland within the UK, will consider their options in the early part of 2014. Devo Plus provides a cogent case that underpins exactly that outcome.

There is a saying: “be careful what you wish for”. It would be ironic if we ended up with a Yes vote, but in the process had tied ourselves to a system which no longer gave us any political representation without controlling many of the important powers needed to reform Scotland. That would not be independence nor would it be in Scotland’s interests.

You can read the full article here.

* Newshound: bringing you the best Lib Dem commentary in print, on air or online.

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One Comment

  • To me, an Englishman, the above pieces make perfect common sense. I must confess to having “form” insofar as Mr Salmond is amongst a number of politicians (almost all English) whom I wouldn’t trust any further than I could throw. Sorry Alex, but that’s life!

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