The Telegraph's Scottish Editor writes today about a speech given by Sir Philip Hampton, the chairman of RBS in which he raises a number of points that are of paramount importance to the financial community and in which he notes the failure of the SNP to give any firm answers.
Every one of the points he made has been answered in the past by the SNP with an assertion - "This is what will happen" without any reason whatsoever to believe that it will be so.
Take EU membership. Mr Salmond asserts that Scotland will automatically be a member of the EU whilst the
president of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, says this simply isn't true.
The SNP state that Scotland would keep the pound; that is up to them, but there is no reason to believe their assertion that they will have a seat on the UK's Monetary Policy
Committee. They assert that the Bank of England will be the lender of last resort for Scottish banks. Well, lots of countries use the US dollar as their de-facto currency, in spite of having their own legal tender, but
that doesn't give them any right to become involved in its management.
Nor does the Federal Reserve act as their lender of last resort.
So, why on earth should the Bank of England be any different? With Independence, Scotland will have become a foreign country and thus will have lost all right to interfere in the affairs of those parts remaining within the Union. Scotland will need to establish its own Central Bank, its own currency and all the associated institutions just like any other independent country. Of course, Scotland could have a major problem in achieving a decent credit rating, particularly as the two major Scottish Banks, the Royal Bank of Scotland and the Bank of Scotland, have managed to successfully lose Scotland's reputation for financial prudence. The Ratings Agencies work on hard facts, not promises and assertions !
There are numerous other issues where the SNP have made assertions which may or may not end up being correct, one being the ownership of North Sea Oil which most certainly would not be Scottish under current international law, regardless of Salmond's assertions to the contrary.
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