The outsider to replace Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister is working with Dr Tim Rideout to come up with a money plan for an independent Scotland
By Bill Heaney
SNP leadership contender Ash Regan has been laughed at after revealing the designs for some of the “Scottish currency” which will be produced if the country goes independent.
At an Edinburgh hustings, the outsider in the race to be the next First Minister, showcased some of the new pound notes that would be circulated.
They included images of iconic “Scottish” animals, including the unicorn, a stag, a capercaillie, a ram and a Scottish wildcat. The designs say the notes are issued by the “Scottish Reserve Bank” or “Banca Cùl-stòr na h-Alba” and the reverse sides show maps of islands, including Lewis, Skye, Orkney, Shetland and Jura.
Ms Regan, the former community safety minister, is placing herself as the independence first candidate and claims to be the only contender with a valid plan for Scexit.
She has claimed that a new currency would be issued only months after the country gains independence, with a Central Bank being looked at while the UK is still together.
And she told party members at the hustings that her colleagues in the Scottish Currency Group, led by disgraced money guru Tim Rideout, had come up with “some mock-ups of a possible Scottish Currency.” She also invited any member who “wants to have a look at them” to come and speak to her after the event.
Images of the planned notes show a series of “specimen” banknotes with different illustrations used. The two pound note had a unicorn in the background. A fictional governor of the national bank, called Ewan MacDonald, is also written onto the notes.
Ms Regan also repeated her claims that the SNP could set up a new currency “within weeks” of becoming independent She said: “Other countries have done that… the quickest one was one month and seven days, that one country did it. So it is amazing what can be done. There are about 200 countries in the world, and only four of them don’t have their own currency.”
Her independence plans were slated by one of her rivals, Humza Yousaf, who said that her claim “lacks credibility.” His position remains the same as Nicola Sturgeon’s, keep the Sterling until economic tests are met then move to a new currency.
The currency issue is a huge topic for Scexiteers as experts claim that going with Sterlingisation would cause major economic instability as they would have no control over their own money.
The Scottish Tories said the unicorn banknotes showed that Ms Regan is “living in a world of pure fantasy with her latest ludicrous currency idea”.
Scottish Conservative chairman and MSP Craig Hoy said: “Each time you think the SNP leadership election can’t get any more surreal, up pops a candidate with a suggestion to prove us wrong.”
Ms Regan’s economic plans for independence have been described as “Reganomics” as she has came up with the most outlandish proposals of any First Minister candidate.
She was also ridiculed for proposing an “independence thermometer” be installed somewhere in Scotland which would test whether the country is ready for Scexit.