I HAVE written about the need for an independent Scotland to have its own currency for some time. I rather hope that the events of the last week or so have resolved this issue.

Leaving aside the political imperative of Scotland having its own currency as soon as possible after independence since that is a pre-condition of any application for EU membership, which most in Scotland want, the case for the Scottish pound is now overwhelming.

As many already know, there are very strong positive readings for Scotland to have its own currency - that Scotland might well run a positive balance of payments after independence, with exports exceeding imports unlike the rest of the UK, is the best of these. That is because Scotland could very easily run an energy surplus if only it were allowed to do so. Renewables would be the basis for that. In that case, the natural value of the Scottish pound will be higher than that of sterling.

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The significance of this energy dimension to the currency is becoming ever more apparent as the current world economic crisis evolves, but important as it is and as vital as it will be that it be exploited, that is not the reason to say that the last couple of weeks have resolved the currency debate.

The reason for saying that is because it has become so apparent how costly it might be for Scotland to, wholly unnecessarily, use sterling.

There is no serious economist who now doubts that the collapse in the value of the pound, the rise in interest rates and the growth in the national deficit that are now all happening in the UK are the fault of the Truss government. What they have resoundingly demonstrated is that it is possible for a government made up of market fundamentalists to put in place a set of policies that the financial markets resoundingly reject.

The consequence of this failure by Truss, Kwarteng & Co is to threaten the well-being of everyone in the UK at present. The fall in the value of the pound will increase the rate of inflation. The increase in the interest rate will hit vast numbers of people with mortgages and potentially impose bills that they cannot pay. And without action by the Scottish Government, rents could also become unaffordable.

To add to this household mayhem, businesses will also face substantial increases in their borrowing costs at a time when their energy bills will still be increasing whilst demand for their products is falling. That’s a recipe for bankruptcy for many small, and not so small, companies.

Scotland needs protection from this. The evidence is that there is no far-right market fundamental politics in Scotland of the sort that is now dominating the Tory party. Independence will keep the impact of their perniciousness at bay as a result.

More than that though, independence with Scotland having its own currency whilst also exploiting its renewable energy resources to capacity could have resulted in a very different outcome for the people of Scotland at present.

With a strong domestic energy supply of its own, Scotland would not have needed to suffer the energy price inflation that the rest of the UK is suffering right now. That is the biggest single economic argument for independence at present. Onshore and offshore wind, plus tidal power, could free Scotland from such risks in a world where energy is going to dictate fortunes.

But more than that, if that were the case and Scotland had its own currency there would have been no resulting pressure on the value of the Scottish pound to fall because of increasing energy imports.

And if downward pressure on the Scottish pound could have been avoided then Scottish interest rates would not have needed to increase either.

Add that up and there would have also been no need for the Scottish Government to borrow to cover the cost of an energy crisis. There would then have been no hole in its budget, unlike that the UK is suffering and which Truss and Kwarteng cannot explain how they will fill. As a result, Scotland could have avoided recession. The pressure on Scottish households this winter could have been entirely eliminated as a result.

What if, however, an independent Scotland had been using the pound? Whatever its strengths in the energy market it would in that case have been forced into recession, just like the rest of the UK, because it would have seen the value of the pound fall and interest rates rise through no fault of its own. What is more, its government interest borrowing costs would have risen as a result, again only because it used sterling, and austerity might well have been forced upon Scotland as a consequence.

I cannot put it more graphically than this. With its own currency, Scotland can avoid England’s homegrown economic nightmares and create prosperity for itself. Using the pound, Scotland’s fate would be inextricably bound to that of England. Why would anyone claiming to be a nationalist want that? I just don’t get it. In that case, it is time that this issue was resolved, once and for all.