An Economics and Currency article for independent Scotland will be published next week
The Scottish government will release a new document next week setting out its plans for an independent Scotland’s economy and currency, Nicola Sturgeon has said.
During a press tour on Friday ahead of the SNP conference, the First Minister told BBC Radio Scotland that the paper would be published days after the party rally and after arguments were presented to the Supreme Court which could allow his government to legislate for a second referendum.
Earlier this year, the Prime Minister said the Scottish Government would update the prospectus for an independent Scotland in a series of documents.
The details, Ms Sturgeon said on Friday, will be set out in full when the document is released, but she revealed that work on a Scottish central bank would begin immediately after a yes vote, with the newly independent country retaining the pound for “some time”, as had been said before.
She told the Good Morning Scotland programme: “In terms of establishing a central bank, we would start that process as soon as Scotland votes for independence.
“This central bank would be the provider of advice to the Scottish Government on these matters, it would be the lender of last resort for our financial services sector, it would require reserves which could cover these limited functions in this first period.
“We said, and this is my party’s position, that we would stop using the pound, we would continue to use the pound after independence…and we would switch to the Scottish pound when the economic conditions were right .”
When asked how long it would take Scotland to switch to the new currency, the Prime Minister said there would be key parameters that would need to be met before the switch, as opposed to a set timetable.
“It is important that it is guided by principles rather than fixed deadlines,” she said.
The Prime Minister went on to say that the economic problems the UK has faced in recent weeks have underscored the need for “responsibility” and “good planning”.
She said: “People think financial markets are abstract, but we have seen very clearly the impact on real people when financial markets lose faith.
“It underscores the importance for us, as we plan for independence, to be careful, responsible and understand the details of what we are looking to do.”
The announcement comes as the Scottish Government’s top lawyer prepares to appear before the Supreme Court in a case that could see Holyrood legislate for an independence referendum.
The Lord Advocate sent the independence referendum legislation back to court this summer, asking the judges to decide whether it fell within the powers of Holyrood.
Oral arguments will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, although there is no date for the announcement of the court’s judgment.
Asked if there would be enough time to legislate to hold a referendum on the Scottish Government’s preferred date of October 23 next year and stage a campaign, Ms Sturgeon said she believed that there would be.
Scottish Conservative constitution spokesman Donald Cameron said the announcement was ‘typical of Nicola Sturgeon’s skewed priorities’.
He added: “We are in the midst of a cost of living crisis, with families across the country struggling to make ends meet.
“Yet instead of telling us how they will help ordinary people right now, the SNP has pushed back on its emergency budget review in favor of producing a complacent and arguably misleading paper on the economy of Europe. ‘independence.
“From pensions to deficit, the SNP has no credible idea of how to run the economy in an independent Scotland.
“And the Prime Minister’s desperate suggestion today that an independent Scotland would somehow have avoided the global cost of living crisis hitting every country in Europe is absurd.
“Nicola Sturgeon must abandon these distracting and divisive plans for an unwanted second referendum and start acting on Scotland’s real priorities.”