The former Chancellor said it was “surreal” that the First Minister can claim the remainder of the UK would willingly share control over the pound and interest rates without checking first.And why would this be such a bad idea? Because, of course, currency union without fiscal union is precisely what has the current disaster in the Eurozone so inevitable.
In reality, he said it was difficult to imagine English politicians managing to “sell” this to their constituents. Mr Darling concluded an independent Scotland would be more like “serfdom than freedom” if monetary policy was set by a different country.
The Treasury confirmed that Mr Salmond has had no discussions with the Bank of England about a “currency union” after separation and an independent Scotland would have no influence over sterling.
To do the same between the UK and an independent Scotland would be the purest folly.
Scotland is not, of course, Greece or Portugal or Spain—it contributes about 9.4% of UK taxes but receives some 9.3% of government spending.
The UK has a 2012 GDP of an estimated $1,557 billion: Scotland contributed a mere £139 billion (or about 8.9%), but then it has only about 9% of the population too.*
Having said that, however, Scotland has the potential to become as bad as the PIIGs: a few years ago, some 56% of people in the country derived their primary salary from the state (I don't know what the figure is right now).
* UK figure converted from nominal US dollars derived from Wikipedia (and corrected—I know GDP is not 2,500 trillion!), at current rate of $1 = 63.5p.
Scottish figure from Wikipedia, in nominal pounds sterling.