Scottish currency: When Scotland ends this union England will lose its cash cow

Leah Gunn Barrett

Professor Ronald McDonald claims a Scottish currency would be worth 20-30% less than the pound sterling.[1] This is not credible. 

2019 ONS data reveals Scotland had a balance of trade surplus of £20.5 billion, comprised of £12 billion in goods and £8.5 billion in services, far greater than any UK region apart from London. By contrast, England had a £43.3 billion trade deficit. London’s trade balance was £28.7 billion, comprised of a negative £33.4 billion in goods and a positive £62.1 in financial services.[2]

But Brexit has knocked the London stock exchange from its top European position. Paris is now the most valuable European stock market and London’s declining financial services sector will worsen its trade balance.[3]

A positive trade balance is how a nation earns foreign exchange reserves, by selling its goods and services to other nations. Without Scotland’s large contribution, the UK balance of trade deficit would balloon by a third, further weakening sterling and it’s likely the Scottish pound would be worth considerably more than sterling. 

It’s ludicrous to think that an energy rich nation of 5.4 million, self-sufficient in food production, with huge fish stocks, an enviable global drinks industry, the most highly educated population in Europe and a magnet for tourism, would somehow be an economic basket case. 

The palpable fear Unionists have is when Scotland ends this union, England will lose its cash cow. 


[1] https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/scottish-independence-loss-of-sterling-would-cost-households-a-fifth-of-their-incomes-gqn5ttc02

[2] https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/internationaltrade/bulletins/internationaltradeinuknationsregionsandcities/2019

[3] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-63623502Leah Gunn Barrett

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11 thoughts on “Scottish currency: When Scotland ends this union England will lose its cash cow

  1. Just to reiterate that it is also true that of all the home nations Scotland is the only country that consistently exports more than it imports.

    Moreover if I correctly understood McDonald’s claims it was on the false premise an Indy Scotland would have to carry huge debt as a % of the UK National debt which of course has ballooned under the Tories. Firstly the UK Gov has conceded that they are solely/fully responsible/liable for that debt but secondly any portion of the debt taken by Scotland would be subject to our moral obligation subject to negotiation which IMHO is offset on dissolution by an equal % share of all UK & Commonwealth assets.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Gerry, I am not sure about leaving without debt. Two reasons.
      First we are responsible for some of it. Much less than London makes out, but is there not a moral case for taking some? Discuss. Do not write on both sides of the paper at once. And remember the fact you are dealing with a bunch of amoral shysters doesnt absolve you from acting morally.
      Secondly, what is the process for leaving the UK? When Ireland became independent it took on a portion of UK debt at the time. It actually never paid a single penny, because the debt was wiped out by Ireland’s acceptance of partition. Anyhow, the Treaty had to go through the Commons and I would guess any similar agreement on our independence would have to do the same (if you are brave enough, think Brexit). Scotland isnt going to have many friends in that process – while they arent all daft, England has 85% of the MPs. That is the reality against which the brave “we’re not taking any debt” has to be tested.

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      1. There are two debt scenarios. One is we take on some debt but get an equal share of assets. The second is the use of a 1970’s Geneva convention that says the the leaving state takes no debt as none of it was created there (no central bank) but that the dominant state keeps all assets including its name and political positions such as the UN seat.
        On debt in the first option it is not simply Scotland taking a percentage of the total U.K. debt ad much of that debt had no interest as it was created by quantitative easing, much is also owned by pension funds, foreign countries etc.
        There are a few YouTube videos on this.?

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  2. The Norwegian Kroner is normally worth about 20 to 30% less than Sterling, the Norwegian Kroner is one of the strongest currencies on the planet, funnily enough the McCrone report highlighted that an independent Scotland would probably have the strongest currency in the world with the possible exception of the Norwegian Kroner. More importantly is how many you have, in your pocket and the Treasury.
    As far as debt is concerned, if Scotland allows England to remain as successor state( very, very bad idea ) then Scotland will inherit no debt, not will it be entitled to any former UK assets. If Scotland’s leaves the union via Withdrawal from the Treaty of Union it will inherit both debt and assets, which will mean virtually no debt since their is very little of UK assets with the exception of the BOE and some military assets that will be any use to us. Leaving via the Treaty ensures the territorial integrity of Scottish state, land, sea and air remains intact.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is more or less what I said initially except I disagree that there are limited assets to divide. The UK & Commonwealth have combined assets amounting to £00 trns including Overseas territories/ Embassies, Foreign currency and Gold reserves) albeit the latter of course was savaged by wee Gordie in his cunning plan. But the thrust of my argument was that McDonald was suggesting we would have a mountain of debt to carry which IMHO is not the case. Yes we would have a moral obligation to take on a portion of the debt but equally we would also be entitled to a portion of the assets which are considerable. Everything is up for grabs in any subsequent negotiations once the Union is dissolved

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      1. Your right of course there’s more to the asset/debt story,not least because the UK gov haven’t carried out an àudit on assets for about 15 yrs. Schools and NHS property are just 2 of many that will be missing from what should be a vast property portfolio. Overseas is a different matter, I don’t see Scotland holding on to anything that could be handed back to the rightful owners.

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  3. When I started my apprenticeship, a long time ago I remeber seeing on a planer, (large metal planing machine), a small piece of printed paper stuck to it with glue, it read: From 1707 richt up till noo, we’ve been auld Englands milking coo, as long as we can give our yield, we’ll be in her finacial field. The man who operated this to me, rather scary large machine said ” aye son just remember that, it’s true, we’ve been robbed for years”.
    Thank you Donald MacDonald, alas now long gone, for starting a sixteen year old on the road to thinking for myself. This was over sixty years ago. and I’ve never forgotten his words.

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  4. UK assets £8.7Trillions

    UK Gov Covid spend £270Billion. £370Billion over alifetime? Scotland did not get£27Billion for parity.

    UK Gov Accounts 2019/20. Published June 2022

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