Politics

‘Terrible idea!’ Sturgeon dealt huge blow on key SNP independence policy

Patrick Harvie reveals Greens' 'transformational' plans for Scotland

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Lorna Slater, co-leaders of the Scottish Greens also said the Cooperation Agreement with the SNP struck last week did not increase the chances of a second independence referendum. Ms Slater, who is now a junior minister in the SNP-led Scottish Government appeared to contradict the SNP pledge on the pound which the Nats say will still be used on any Scottish independence day from the UK.

 

At last year’s conference, the SNP voted to replace the pound with a separate Scottish currency “as soon as practicable” subject to six tests being met.

But Ms Slater made clear that using the British pound at all in an independent Scotland was a “terrible idea”.

She added: Modern monetary theory tells us that the UK Government, because they are a currency creator, can create as much money as they want through quantitative easing, we’ve seen that through the furlough scheme.

“They can literally print as much as they want.

“In Scotland, we can’t create pounds – we don’t have the ability to do that.

“We are then in the position of being like a child getting an allowance from its parents.

“So we need to be able to control our currency.”

Murdo Fraser MSP, Scottish Tories COVID-19 recovery spokesperson claimed the remarks were “bizarre”.

He added: “Lorna Slater’s push to abandon the pound is completely out of touch with economic reality.

“Even many nationalists will be disturbed by the anti-prosperity, anti-growth rhetoric coming from this Green Minister, just when we should be prioritising our economic recovery.”

It comes after Andrew Wilson, who served as chairman of the SNP Growth Commission, warned adopting a separate Scottish currency could severely hit Scots incomes and pensions because it would swiftly devalue after its introduction.

Referring to a second independence vote, Ms Slater also said in an interview with Holyrood magazine that separation was “not what this deal is about”.

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She stressed the deal was to increase action on climate change, a stark contrast to the Scottish First Minister who said a second independence referendum was a key part of the agreement.

Ms Slater added: “This deal doesn’t change that.

“The Scottish Greens were always going to support legislation to bring another referendum, so actually that’s not what this deal is about.

“What the deal is about is getting cooperation on some of the crisis issues – the climate crisis, the housing crisis, the post-pandemic economic crisis.

“Those things need stable government, they need vision.

“We want to leave a legacy for generations to come.

“When you look at the approach the UK Government is taking to things like oil and gas extraction and expanding roads and airports, I think independence is crucial to tackling the climate crisis in Scotland.”

The Scottish Government were approached for comment on the remarks.

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