THE United Kingdom will never agree to a currency union with an independent Scotland, foreign exchange specialists have predicted.
I note that Alistair Cotton doesn't say what he believes the "rationale behind independence" to be. Given some of the outlandish notions expressed by those not fully familiar with Scotland's civic nationalist movement this represents a serious omission.
That a currency union would involve "severe restrictions on an independent Scotland's tax and spending" is hardly news to anyone. What apparently will come as a revelation to unionists is that these restrictions would also apply to the other partner in the currency union - the rest of the UK (rUK).
They also seem to be blind to the fact that the restrictions being talked about as if they were particularly onerous and exclusive to Scotland are no more than the normal constraints that any independent central bank would impose on government. Unless, as some commentators seem to be suggesting, the intention was to somehow impose punitive restrictions on Scotland with a view to wilfully damaging its economy, the constraints would not be significantly different from those that an independent Scottish central bank would impose.
Even if the independent Bank of England could be persuaded to take overtly political action it is difficult to see how it could create a separate set of rules for one part of the sterling zone. And impossible to see how its punitive regime could avoid damaging the entire sterling zone if it didn't create these special conditions for Scotland.
And if the argument is that special conditions could be created for Scotland within a currency union, then this surely means that, absent any childish urge to exact retribution, the differences in the two economies could be more readily accommodated. Meaning a currency union is more feasible, not less.