General

  By Martin Kelly
 
The Conservative, Labour and the Lib Dem parties have been accused of panicking after it emerged George Osborne, Ed Balls and Danny Alexander are set to appear in front of a Westminster Committee in order to answer questions on a currency union.
 
Yesterday it was announced that the three men would be called to appear in front of the Scottish Affairs Committee where they would be quizzed on proposals for a currency union between an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK.

However the move has been described as one of panic by the SNP as the nationalists kept up the pressure on their rivals who are struggling to stabilise a campaign beset with problems amid claims of negativity an over reliance on scare stories.

The latest blow to hit the Better Together alliance followed reports last weekend that an unnamed coalition minister had admitted that threats to block a currency agreement, made by all three parties, were in fact a bluff.  The Guardian newspaper reported that the mystery figure, said to be close to the No campaign, had admitted that everything would change following a Yes vote and a currency zone would be agreed.

Responding to the announcement that Osborne, Balls and Alexander are to appear in front of the all-Unionist committee to answer questions on a shared currency area, SNP Westminster Leader Angus Robertson MP said it was great news for yes and the anti-independence campaign were "digging themselves even further" into a hole.

He added: "The No campaign has hit the panic button by calling in the Scottish Affairs Committee, and it doesn't matter what is said to the committee - that's the whole point of the damage done by the UK Government Minister who said there will be a currency union.  As he or she admitted, what they say now is purely campaign talk to try to get a No vote, everything will change after a Yes vote and they will agree to share the pound.

"Thanks to the Minister who blurted out the truth, no-one believes the UK Government's panicky campaign talk anymore."

The Scottish Affairs Committee had its remit hastily altered following the landslide victory for the SNP in 2011, when a referendum on independence became a certainty.  Its investigation into Scottish independence caused immediate controversy when it was named 'The referendum on separation for Scotland'.

The committee, which is made up entirely of MPs from pro-Union parties, has been criticised amid claims it is no more than a means of creating anti-independence headlines.  The appearances are certain to feature prominetly on the BBC and other pro-Union media outlets.

However at least one member believes a currency union between a newly independent Scotland and the rest of the UK is a possibility.

Earlier this year, Cambridgeshire MP Sir James Paice, who sits on the committee, said he did not think there should be a referendum on such a union as it was, in essence, "maintaining the status quo".

He added: "The far bigger question is whether the UK Government would be interested in a currency union with an independent Scotland; my gut instinct is that they would be persuadable."

Comments  

 
# michaelkav 2014-04-03 23:02
The more they try to divide & conquer with lies and scare stories the more we come together in fear of "the liars" not the lie itself.
 
 
# xyz 2014-04-04 00:18
"whether the UK Government would be interested in a currency union with an independent Scotland; my gut instinct is that they would be persuadable"

As if a drowning man needs persuading to grab a life belt.
 
 
# Jamie Black 2014-04-04 06:18
Did Angus Robertson really suggest that the pro-union people are digging theselves a hole over the currency question?!?!

That's the funnist thing I've heard for a whole from the SNP!

'Thanks to the minister who blurted out the truth'. Eh, what minister? Ah, the one they don't know? Funny how UK ministers have a habit of telling the trruth when the truth suits the SNP, at all other times, they are lying!

The only way to be sure of keeping the pound is to vote NO.
 
 
# gerrydotp 2014-04-04 15:58
"The only way to be sure of keeping the pound is to vote NO."

A terminological inexactitude sir.
 
 
# Barbazenzero 2014-04-04 22:23
Jamie,

Neither senior unionists nor even any MSM hack has suggested that the grauniad hack who broke the story a week ago lied, so granted that politicians generally are masters of mendacity the $64,000 question is surely: Cui bono from the leak?

Not the No campaign, clearly. But the blue tories arguably have no dog in this particular fight and thus mind losing rather less than their red tory No Better Together colleagues, who supposedly "lead" No, being branded incompetent.
 
 
# From The Suburbs 2014-04-04 07:29
With Ian Davidson in charge of the Scottish Affairs Committee, and following his bullying of the sole SNP committee member, there will be no one there to ask the hard questions about the disastrous consequences for RuK's economy if there is no currency union.
 
 
# Macart 2014-04-04 07:38
Well one of two things will happen at this circus.

1. They will all stick to current narrative, unanimously agree that Scotland is an unfit match for a Sterling zone deal, go to lunch and laugh up their sleeves.

2. They will use the opportunity to publicly hang Alistair Darling as the architect of this strategy, absolve themselves of blame and make much noise of negotiating in public without negotiating. Just like they've been doing with their unnamed minister. :)

I don't for an instant believe this minister's actions were unsanctioned or that his identity is unknown. They are looking to create either press or wiggle room.
 
 
# Muscleguy 2014-04-04 08:24
A Cambridgshire MP sits on the Scottish Affairs Committee? Call Tam Dalyell! this is a reverse West Lothian Question.

What right does a non Scottish MP have to sit on a Committee dedicated to Scotland? Just because the Tories cannot muster more than one Scottish MP is no excuse.

Yet more reason why we need shot of this lot. This is colonial rule.

Just like when recently the unelected Lords removed energy powers from Holyrood without so much as a by your leave or consultation.
 
 
# From The Suburbs 2014-04-04 08:41
The USA has the biggest say on Currency Union and they have told London that they must agree to a currency union in order to keep Trident at Faslane for at least five years until an alternative site can be located and built.

Defence Minister Philip Hammond is fingered as the source of the currency union leak in the article below

wingsoverscotland.com/.../
 
 
# Breeks 2014-04-04 09:28
Neat closing of the circle if that's true. Wonder when the US will realise they're talking to the tail that currently wags the dog, and everything changes in September.
 
 
# Jamieson 2014-04-04 12:00
I believed from the beginning it was a ploy to try and get a currency union accepted as a negotiating tool for a base for Trident. But AS and NS immediately disavowed that idea. And I note that looking for the leaker has died a death.

Anyway with so many other options available for a Scottish Currency a currency union is worthless as a bargaining chip for Trident.
 
 
# Marga B 2014-04-04 10:35
How has the remit of this committee changed? According to its own page, this remains as:

"Committee appointed by the House of Commons to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the Scotland Office and its associated public bodies", and there is no mention at all of independence or other related roles.

It also says: "We choose our own subjects of inquiry and seek evidence from a wide range of groups and individuals with relevant interests and experience," but in context, this must surely be within its remit, of scrutinising the Scotland Office.

Why is this not pointed out? Or where is the official mark 2 version of its remit?
 
 
# From The Suburbs 2014-04-04 16:20
Marga B

Just as Scottish Questions at Westminster is meant tom scrutinise the UK government's policies in relation to Scotland not an attack on the Scottish government which is not there to defend itself.
 
 
# Auld Rock 2014-04-04 11:25
Whilst I cannot disagree with anything that my fellow contributors above have said I wonder if any are like me getting just a bit pissed off with all this unionist nonsense. I'm coming to the view that we should tell them to stuff their currency where the sun does not shine and to keep all their massive debt to themselves. I'm sure that we could spend our proposed contribution to 'their' debt more beneficially for the people of Scotland.

Auld Rock
 
 
# staypos+ve 2014-04-04 11:30
Ian Davidson and his blinkered Scottish Affairs committee have become irrelevant they only exists to fuel storylines for the BBC and other pro union media outlets. This committees questions will be given extra scrutiny however and risks being subject to ricicule!
 
 
# craigjameselliott 2014-04-04 12:20
What a brilliant article from Japan Times titled, “Scotland a nation, not a region”.

japantimes.co.jp/.../...
 
 
# Dundonian West 2014-04-04 12:23
OT.The Japan Times: Scotland a Nation not a region.
"There is certainly no logical reason why a rich, naturally left-of-center country like Scotland would vote against the best interests of the majority of those who call it home, to pursue the right-wing future offered by both Westminster parties."

japantimes.co.jp/.../...
 
 
# gandkar 2014-04-04 13:58
A unionist trio to be interviewed by a unionist committee. A fine example of democracy at work in Westminster. In my opinion disgraceful arrogance, but please let it go ahead the Scottish electorate will see it for what it is and the Yes vote will increase.
Yet another vote winner for us - Frank Dorran Lab MP quote "That is one of the unanswered questions - where are the civil servants going to come from?" Referring to the potential running of the Oil Industry after Independence. I wonder if we have the genetic make up to handle this? Ask Johann. Then again there would 50 MPs looking for work.
 
 
# gerrydotp 2014-04-04 21:36
That's one of the main problems Westminster has. They can't see anything running in a different way than they would run it. I would hope that the Scottish Civil Service could operate without the herd of Permanent secretaries, under secretaries, private secretaries, bag carriers and general Gong seekers that Westminster feels it needs.
 
 
# fittie 2014-04-04 14:03
The Scottish affairs committee should be renamed the unBritish activities committee,with Ian [who cares about Scottish business ]Davidson taking the part of Jo McCarthy
 
 
# Angry_Weegie 2014-04-04 14:14
O/T Sad news that Margo MacDonald has died. A passionate supporter of independence who won't see a YES vote in September.
 
 
# cuckooshoe 2014-04-04 15:33
Sad news. My condolence to her husband and family. She was a wonderful person and charismatic politician. So close to living in an independent Scotland
 

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