Laura Webster, my editor at The National, suggested I change the theme of my column so that I answer the question subscribers want answered. That appealed to me, so this is the first week for the new format.

The first question goes to Ken Rooney, who asked:

“I think it would help undecided voters if they knew how countries like New Zealand, Ireland or even Malta were able to establish a currency after independence. Knowing there is a well-trodden path to follow will ease their worries.”

There is no straightforward answer to Ken’s question. That’s partly because he asked me to refer to countries that became independent too long ago (New Zealand in 1947, Ireland in 1922 and Malta in 1964) to provide any true comparison to the position Scotland will be in when it becomes independent.

That is because until the 1970s almost all currencies operated what were called fixed exchange rate policies. So, for example, the pound had a fixed exchange rate with the US dollar until 1971 of £1 = $2.40. Since then, the value has floated, usually downward. To answer the question, we do then need to look at more modern currency creations in roughly similar countries to Scotland, meaning they are in Europe and breaking free from another country.

The National: Scottish money. Saltire purse..

Estonia, Slovakia and Croatia are countries that have created their own currencies, although given Croatia did so during a war, I hope it is not truly comparable.

Estonia left the Russian Federation in 1991. Its own currency followed just 10 months later.

Slovakia had to set up its own currency when the Czechoslovak Federation failed on January 1 1993. It did so in just 39 days, the new currency going into use on February 8 1993.

READ MORE: Richard Murphy: Currency concerns don't stop me from supporting Scottish independence

Given Croatia began its path to independence during the Balkan wars. It declared independence in 1991 bit did not create its own currency until 1994, but in war time conditions that was still quite remarkable.

It should be said none of these currencies had an easy start to life, but all arose from conflict in states themselves struggling to establish themselves. Scotland should be in a much better position, and with the three years planned for Scotland to transition to the new country between an independence referendum and actual independence day there should be ample time to create a new currency ready for use on day one of an independent Scotland, if need be.

The second question this week comes from Michael Gleeson:

“When the UK Govt allocates debt to Scotland, does this include e.g. infrastructure projects in England which in reality are of no tangible benefit to Scotland? E.g. when the 02 on the Thames was built I was told around 8.5% of that debt was allocated to Scotland.”

As with Ken’s question, the answer to this question is not straightforward. In this case that’s because whatever debt Scotland assumed from the UK would be a matter for negotiation, and not the UK’s decision.

The reason for this is that under international law when two countries separate one is usually deemed to be the “successor state”. It takes over all the privileges the previous country enjoyed, like all its international agreements and, in the UK’s case its membership of the UN Security Council, OECD, G7 and other organisations that it would not want to give up and which it might also want to deny to Scotland. In 2014 the UK said it would want to be the “successor state” if Scotland left the Union.

The National: A view of the Palace of Westminster

That also means that all the UK’s debt will remain with the UK in that case. It cannot become Scottish, as a matter of fact. So, the bold answer to Michael’s question is no debt can be allocated to Scotland.

However, for reasons that baffle me SNP politicians have shown themselves willing to accede to UK demands on this issue. In particular, they seem willing to agree to pay interest on UK national debt, although there is no need to do so.

READ MORE: Richard Murphy: Everything you've been told about Scotland and national debt is wrong

If I was leading this negotiation with the UK, I would have four conditions:

  • London would have to prove what share of its debt Scotland might have generated, taking oil into account. I suspect that is much less than the share of population would suggest.
  • The interest rate would be capped.
  • The payment due to England would be paid in Scottish pounds, not sterling, at pre-agreed rates
  • No debt repayments would be considered unless the UK itself actually repaid debt, and even then I would require that UK debt repayment to be for a sustained period before Scotland had to pay anything.

How much would be due in this case? My suggestion would be not a lot. That’s the best hope.

You can use the box below to send YOUR questions to Richard Murphy, which he will answer in the following columns.