You would have thought that the SNP, who have spent 80 years campaigning for Scottish independence, would know what the concept means. Eight decades ought to be enough time to think it through.
Looking at their reaction to the news George Osborne intends to rule out a currency union between “rUK” and an independent Scotland, though, it seems like they might need a bit more pondering time.
Independence means control of your own affairs, plain and simple. The Yes campaign have made perfectly clear that they want to decide their own fiscal policies, run the Scottish economy however they see fit and reject what they see as austerity imposed from London.
Emotional attachments aside, that’s pretty much fine by me – if Scottish voters choose that path.
The problem is, the SNP want to do all those things while keeping Sterling as their currency.
It simply isn’t possible. You cannot simultaneously run your country independently and be part of a currency union with other countries.
Eurosceptics get it – we want Britain to be independent and self-governing, so we oppose joining the Euro. We know that you can’t call yourself independent while the ECB sets the terms of your economy and dictates your tax, spending and debt levels.
The SNP, on the other hand, seem to think that Scotland could be meaningfully independent while not controlling its interest rates and being bound by the fiscal rules necessary to maintain a Sterling zone.
That’s obviously absurd, and the fact they have resorted to such an incoherent position suggests a desperation to reassure voters about a deeply unpopular aspect of their separation plan.
It’s a simple statement of fact, no matter how much Nicola Sturgeon might complain that it is “bullying” to say so. If independence is their motto, why isn’t true independence their objective?