SNP changes timeline for new Scottish currency to “as soon as practicable” following Yes vote.

The current Scottish banknotes will have to be replaced if Scotland backs a new currency following independence. Credit: Pixabay

The SNP have backed a fast transition to the new Scottish Currency if Scotland votes for independence.

Nicola Sturgeon, first minister and leader of the SNP, backed a slow transition from the GBP to the proposed Scottish replacement currency.

A grassroots amendment from the SNP Dalkeith and District Branch challenged her plan, proposing a fast-track.

The original proposal was to transition over five years following independence.

Having a new currency is claimed to allow Scotland more control over interest and exchange rates, which would otherwise be controlled in London.

Despite the pro-independence movement’s large following, according to the Scotsman, only 5% of surveyed Scots backed the quick-fire changeover.

This poses the problems for Scots who may eventually have to vote for independence.

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay was among those who had planned for Scotland to keep the pound during a transition period after a Yes vote.

He expected that MSPs would vote on the new proposed currency by the end of the first term of an independent Scottish parliament.

Mr Mackay said: “Our currency proposition is simple. On day one the currency will be the pound because it is our pound too.

“We know that keeping the pound in the early years of independence is the preferred choice of the Scottish people, it’s how people pay their bills, and they don’t want us to take that away from them. And no UK Government can threaten to do that.

“Our policy will only change when an independent, democratically elected Scottish Parliament, informed by an independent Scottish central bank that we would build, decides it is in our economic interests to do so.”

The plan was amended to include the availability of a transition “as soon as practicable”, with the goal that the new currency could be available immediately after independence day.

If not handled right, following the aftermath of the Brexit negotiations, this policy could hit the SNP hard.

This second independence movement is, in many ways, a protest against Brexit.

Without care, it could indeed become another Brexit in itself.

People are now very familiar with the process of a vote where the winning option wasn’t planned out or decided correctly.

While the five-year time frame to decide on the currency remains an option, the public trust in voting for something that has not yet been finalised may have been too severely damaged.

On the other hand, provided that the SNP can actually achieve the full layout of the plan and test it rigorously in time for the vote, they might be able to convince the swing voters to join their side.