The Scottish National Party seems to think that the Scottish people have short memories. Was it not, and is it not, SNP policy to join the European Union if Scotland separates from the UK? However, new members of the EU must join the euro.
So why does the new SNP policy document published today speak about keeping the pound for ten years and then developing an independent currency? Is this sleight of hand, meaning that within those ten years the SNP would push for joining the EU and the euro?
If not, what is their policy? What has happened to the euro in SNP policy? Is joining the EU moving on to the back-burner as part of a softly-softly approach to win over more Scottish supporters to the SNP cause?
The SNP’s original policy was to join the euro, then it backed off when the banking crisis arose in 2008. Then it tried to muscle Westminster into a currency union and now we have this latest phase in SNP thinking.
Today’s report, Scotland – the new case for optimism has been produced by The Sustainable Growth Commission, formed by the SNP Government after its failure to win the Scottish Independence Referendum in September 2014. It is an attempt to bring credibility to the Scottish Independence cause. So said Andrew Wilson, the author of the report, who pronounced the word ‘idea’ after the English manner as ‘idear’, just as the English pronouce ‘law’ as ‘lawr’.
The difficulty is what are we to believe. Will the SNP argue for joining the EU and thus the euro, as it argued formerly, or will it remain a truly independent country and develop its own currency as now suggested? Even if they clarify it, can we believe it will last?
A room-full of SNP activists in Inverness recently heard Alex Salmond address this question.
He said that the British Establishment is very fractured over Brexit, so “in that environment we will never have a better chance; these are the ingredients for seeing Independence.”
So opportunism will capitalise on Brexit, in the hope that the Scottish people will be inveigled into separating from the UK.
Not one person at this event asked how a separate Scotland could develop its own currency and then join the EU, which requires new members to join the euro.
Just as the SNP failed to make the economic case in September 2014, how will this fiasco improve their credibility next time round?
At this Inverness meeting, Alex Salmond said that one needs “to paint a landscape” in a campaign. This SNP painting is a bit lop-sided and has missing areas. He said “the arguments are stronger than ever”, but in fact he majored on timing rather than arguments. He failed to address how an independent currency and joining the EU fit together in his landscape.
If we want a landscape, Scotland, England and Wales are a conjoined landscape.
Meanwhile, the Scottish Christian Party has a better vision for Scotland than the SNP’s non-vision. The SNP vision amounts to a vassal state of the EU, governed by politicians whose language we do not understand, while the UK Parliament has the advantage that we can understand what our politicians say, even if some of them pronounce the English language in a variety of ways. Meanwhile Gaelic road signs continue apace over the Highlands and Islands of Scotland for the benefit of those Gaelic speakers who do not know English, but to the hazard of drivers visiting such places as Stornoway who do not know Gaelic.