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Sunday, 31 July 2016


AN independent Scotland would need at least £10 billion in reserves to establish a separate currency, a pro-Yes think-tank has revealed.

              Scottish money
The astonishing admission is yet another huge body-blow to Nicola Sturgeon's attempts to break away from the UK.

If the country ever voted to become independent the Scottish Government would need to find the huge sum in order to hold in a foreign reserve fund, according to the study by pro-independence group, Common Weal.

Researchers claim £10 billion would be a "significant sum" to raise but "not an insurmountable one", suggesting Scotland could acquire a share of the UK's foreign reserve as part of any separation agreement.

However, critics have said the introduction of a separate currency would be "disastrous" for the Scottish economy and have even branded the suggestion "totally unrealistic".

Last night, the Scottish Conservative's shadow cabinet secretary for finance, Murdo Fraser was dismissive of the Nationalists' independence hopes.

He said: "It would be disastrous for our economy and public finances if Scotland had to find £10 billion to adopt a separate currency. "Finding such reserves is totally unrealistic. It's time that independence campaigners recognised this fact and put a stop to their constant drive for separation. A second referendum is not what Scotland needs nor wants and this report only further enhances this view."

          Nicola Sturgeon

The study was launched in the aftermath of last month's vote to leave the European Union, which has seen the SNP threaten to hold a re-run of the 2014 referendum if Scotland is now allowed to remain under the control of Brussels.

Earlier this month, it emerged that the party was considering plans to establish a new currency in an independent Scotland with its previous position of retaining Sterling blamed for losing the vote two years ago.

The analysis was carried out by activist and researcher Dr Craig Dalzell, an MSci and PhD in Laser Physics and Photonics.

Taking the five per cent figure would mean an independent Scotland would have to find around £10bn, it is claimed.

He added: "This is a significant sum for Scotland to raise but not an insurmountable one," he adds.

The study found the "simplest and most politically co-operative scenario" would see Scotland acquire a share of the UK's foreign reserve - which, it says, would cover the full amount required. But it also offers other potential options, including a scenario where Scotland could mortgage the value of the foreign reserve against an equivalent value of a share of the UK's national debt taken on.

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