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MPs support Scottish independence motion as UK Government slams SNP’s currency plans

02 Nov 2022 4 minute read
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford. Photo House of Commons

The SNP’s currency proposals for Scotland “lack any form of credibility”, the UK Government said, as MPs supported a Commons motion calling for Scottish independence.

Scotland Office minister John Lamont took aim at the SNP’s plans for an independent Scotland, suggesting their desire to continue using sterling and then adopt a Scottish pound was a “subtle admission of the economic benefits of remaining part of the UK”.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon last month repeatedly refused to give a timescale for moving to the new currency.

The remarks from Mr Lamont came before the House of Commons voted 38 to zero, majority 38, in favour of an SNP motion arguing Scotland “must be independent for economic stability” and criticising the “economic damage” caused by the mini-Budget at Westminster.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford labelled the vote a “historic moment”, telling the Commons: “This House has voted in favour of a motion on Scottish independence, the first time that has happened, with a clear majority of those that were elected from Scottish constituencies voting for that proposition.”

But the motion is non-binding and Deputy Speaker Dame Eleanor Laing later confirmed the House was “only just” quorate.

The division list released by the Commons authorities later showed 39 MPs voted for the motion while no MPs from the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats took part.

Vote

A minimum of 40 MPs are required to be present for a Commons vote, with the four tellers and Dame Eleanor’s presence meaning that 44 out of 649 sitting MPs were in attendance.

MPs from the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats opted not to take part.

During the debate, Mr Blackford labelled the UK a “failing state” and said independence would also allow Scotland to make a return to the European Union following the “utter disaster” of Brexit.

He described Europe as a “partnership of equals”, adding: “The fact is we will keep the pound until such time that a number of economic tests that are met, that would allow us to have a Scottish pound, that’s what will happen.”

Mr Blackford added: “In order to join (the) euro you need to join the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) for a two-year period.

“Joining the ERM is voluntary, you cannot be forced into the euro.”

But Mr Lamont, winding up the six-hour debate, said: “The SNP leader here at Westminster got in, frankly, a bit of a muddle yet again over what currency an independent Scotland would use.

“Now, the SNP’s currency proposals lack any form of credibility. In the same breath of the SNP proposes establishing a Scottish pound whilst also committing to re-joining the European Union.

“Now given the EU clearly states adopting the euro is a core requirement of any membership, I struggle to find any credibility in what the SNP is proposing.

“The SNP’s proposals, I would suggest, to continue to use the pound are a subtle admission of the economic benefits of remaining part of the UK.”

Scorn

Scotland Secretary Alister Jack also said the Scottish Government’s independence papers have “provoked scorn from respected economic experts”, before adding: “One prominent nationalist, and I apologise in advance for the unparliamentary language, but I quote, referred to the recent economy paper as utter pish.

SNP Pete Wishart (Perth and North Perthshire) said Scotland in 2022 was “almost a different country entirely from 2014”, adding: “We can’t go on like this, we must have a referendum to settle this.”

SNP Gavin Newlands (Paisley and Renfrewshire North) argued the UK “is a failing state” with a social security system “that Kafka would have torn up at first draft”.


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David Zenati-Parsons
David Zenati-Parsons
1 month ago

campaign fear being instigated by Unionist, with never a thought to the reality of Scotland’s situation within a Union that does not represent their values. If the SNP came to Wales I would vote for them, Plaid need to get with the program and step up or Welsh Labour will swamp them.

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
1 month ago

Ireland. The inconvenient reminder as the Tories desperately clutch at straws in telling Scotland what it can’t do all the time. There was the Irish pound (the punt which varied slightly from sterling in the exchange rates) before they moved to the Euro. Scotland can and will replicate that.

Charles Coombes
Charles Coombes
1 month ago

Where were these missing MPs? Wish their pay could be docked!

Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
1 month ago

Tells you everything you need to know about those parties that Tories, Labour and the Lib Dem opted not to attend. Trying to drive the vote under the threshold required, so that they could oppose in a cowardly way rather than openly. When the entire system is rigged to favour the land stealers, we will never get our freedom by following the land stealers’ system. Once again it is proven that we are nothing like a “voluntary union of equals”. When the elder nations actually wake up to this, I’ll meet you on the front lines. But hurry it up… Read more »

Dr John Ball
Dr John Ball
1 month ago

This is not the place for a detailed response on currency, although I will say that the SNP really must be more positive in its response.
As I have said in meetings and articles (please see the latest Yes Cymru newspaper), there is no reason why an independent Scotland or Cymru cannot continue using the pound.

Mark
Mark
1 month ago

“But the motion is non-binding and Deputy Speaker Dame Eleanor Laing later confirmed the House was “only just” quorate.”

The rules are the rules. If it is it is.

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark

Yes, that reminds me of the advisory referendum of 2016. That too was barely quorate but we have never been allowed to forget that the Bad Guys won it. Well, same rules apply here except the Good guys won it this time. AS Dr John says, there are no reasons why Scotland (or Wales) should not carry on using the pound while that is convenient. Scotlnd does hava long history of issuing Scottish Pounds so they could easily expand that. As we know fromm previous articles and readers comments, joining the Euro is optional in that countries must commit to… Read more »

Dr John Ball
Dr John Ball
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter Cuthbert

You’ve hit the nail firmly on the head! Scottish banks issue sterling currency with the permission of course of the Bank of England and have done so for decades. What is interesting is that during the Scottish referendum the then Governor of the Bank of England observed that for Scotland to continue the use of the pound, it would have to be part of a sterling currency union. He didn’t seem to know that it already is (along with eight others) and therefore continued use would not be a problem. There is no reason why Cymru could not become part… Read more »

BigPooba
BigPooba
1 month ago
Reply to  Dr John Ball

The irony of John Ball saying about people not understanding things….

Dr John Ball
Dr John Ball
1 month ago
Reply to  BigPooba

Please do let me know what it is I do ‘t understand

David
David
1 month ago

44 SNP MP’s. 39 SNP MP’s voted. 5 unaccounted for. Quorum required 40 MP’s!!!!!

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