6 Mar 2019
Gordon MP Colin Clark has used Prime Minister’s Questions to launch an attack on the SNP’s “reckless” approach to currency in an independent Scotland.
The Scottish Conservative MP said that Nationalists had “resurrected” Alex Salmond’s call for a Scottish pound – after arguing in 2014 that a separate Scotland would keep sterling.
Senior figures in the SNP, including Finance Secretary Derek Mackay, have suggested that Scotland could float its own currency within years of becoming independent, while continuing to use the pound informally in the meantime.
Mr Clark, who ousted former First Minister Mr Salmond at the 2017 election, said:
“The SNP Scottish Government has resurrected Alex Salmond’s call for a Scottish currency.
“Does the Prime Minister agree this is reckless and risks destabilising the Scottish economy?”
In response, Prime Minister Theresa May said: “Can I say to my right honourable friend, I seem to recall back in the 2014 referendum that the SNP were absolutely adamant that Scotland would keep the pound.
“There have been a few changes since then, they have gone through looking at the option of the Euro, then they went back to sterling and now they are into an independent currency.
“This government is working to secure a Brexit deal that protects jobs and our economy.
“The SNP should focus on that rather than continuing to pursue their independence fantasy.”
Speaking afterwards, Mr Clark added:
“It is clear that you can’t trust the SNP when it comes to the pound in your pocket.
“Along with Derek Mackay’s pledge to eliminate a £13billion deficit in just a few short years without austerity – the idea of a separate Scottish currency is fantasy economics.”