Saturday, 28 Nov 2020

SNP plots new supreme financial institution to rival Bank of England

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A motion seen by Express.co.uk ahead of the SNP conference describes the party’s commitment to creating an independent economic Scotland with its own Bank and currency via IndyRef2. The motion states new legislation should be drawn up immediately after independence to establish a Scottish Central Bank to rival The Bank of England in London.

It claims the new institution should be called the Scottish Reserve Bank and would be headquartered in Edinburgh.

The motion, put forward by senior members added the bank would be “wholly owned by Scottish Treasury and have no share capital or external investors.”

It stressed: “The bank be headed by a president and directors appointed by the Scottish Parliament and should at all times be answerable to Parliament.”

The new bank, the motion claims, will also be responsible for companies such as HSBC hoping to provide banking services in Scotland.

However, the main focus the party motion says would be to ensure the bank is “ready to introduce a Scottish currency as soon as practicable after Independence.”

The motion continued: “The Scottish Parliament will decide on and instruct the bank of the name of the Scottish currency.”

The SNP voted to replace the pound with a separate Scottish currency “as soon as practicable” after independence at 2019’s conference.

The move went against the wishes of leader Nicola Sturgeon, who said she wanted a more gradual transition to a new currency.

 

Last year’s decision was also a major change to the party’s stance in the 2014 independence referendum.

First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond at the time said an independent Scotland would continue to use the pound in a formal UK-wide currency union.

The party have however been dealt a hammer blow by economist Andrew Wilson, the lead figure behind the SNP’s 2014 independence claiming the introduction of a new currency could take up to ten years.

Mr Wilson claimed rushing into a new currency would be “short-term risky, politically difficult and it would make the cost of government borrowing more expensive”.

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He added: “Why rush your fence? Accept that we don’t have monetary sovereignty for the first period after independence.

“After all we don’t have it now. We’d have all other powers.”

But the Scottish Currency Group who are campaigning for financial independence in Scotland backed the motion stressed a central bank for Scotland “needs to be created and charged with introducing and then managing that currency”.

The group stressed the motion instructs an SNP government to “ensure that the necessary bill to establish the central bank is drafted and ready to introduce in parliament shortly after a successful vote in favour of independence.”

It added: “Even though it is generally expected that there will be a transition period of around two years before independence occurs, time will be of the essence.”

Motions are submitted by SNP members and politicians and are then approved by the party’s national executive to be debated at the conference.

If the motion is adopted at the party conference after debate, it will become official party policy.

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