Ash Regan, one of the candidates for the SNP leadership, served as Minister for Community Safety from 2018-2022, when she decided to step down due to the Gender Recognition Reform Bill, which she protested against. She has been a member of the Scottish Parliament for Edinburgh Easter since 2016.
Beginning of her campaign
Ash Regan has stated that she believes Scotland can reach independence if voters support pro-independence parties in an election. However, she has denied that her strategy is a repeat of what the current First Minister has proposed; “a de facto referendum”.
Regan has some challenges ahead due to some of her views. If successful in her leadership bid, she would scrap the Gender Recognition Reform Bill, which would see the end of support from the Green Party and the current cooperation agreement. She would also slow down the move away from North Sea oil and gas extraction in favour of the road-widening programme. Not only would the Greens be unhappy about that, but also many others worried about the climate situation.There have also been concerns from some SNP members with regard to her proposed approach to joining forces with the other pro-independence group; the Alba party.
Regan released the following announcement earlier today, “if she becomes the SNP leader, she will back the party adopting a policy of a move to a Scottish currency as fast as is practicable on independence. She announced that she does not support setting tests before a currency is introduced and, if she becomes First Minister, commits herself to explore immediately what steps can be taken within the powers of the Scottish Parliament to begin to build the infrastructure of a new currency immediately.”
Commenting on her position on a post-independence currency, Regan said:
“If I become the leader of the SNP I will certainly encourage the party to look again at its position on currency. I don’t believe a country can be truly independent if it is using someone else’s currency but has no say over how that currency is managed.
It is not for me to dictate to the party what our final position on this should be, but I will make clear that I think the best option for Scotland is for us to move as quickly as is practicable to our own currency. I also believe that if we prepare properly before we have a vote on independence then the timescale for implementing a currency can be short.
That is why I also promise that if I become First Minister I will explore what steps can be taken now under the powers of the Scottish Parliament to start to build the infrastructure of a new currency. If we are to be serious about independence then we need to get our preparation right and I believe we can start to build the outline of an independent country now.
My view of this isn’t only informed by the economics, though I think the economics make clear that it is a fool-hardy country which thinks it can prosper in the global economy without the backing of a powerful central bank. It is also informed by my belief that if we want the public to have the courage to choose independence then they must see us having the courage to do what it takes to make a successful nation. I don’t believe that humming and hawing about when we will get round to introducing our own currency shows that courage.”
The Scottish Currency Group supported Regan at her launch on 24 February at Hilton Queensferry, as she is endorsing the group’s proposals. The group is formed by people working towards the introduction of a Scottish currency. Dr Tim Rideout was the author and proposer of Amendment D in the April 2019 SNP Spring Conference, which consisted of the deletion of resolution 33 and replacement with:
“Conference considers that an SNP Government should take the steps necessary to enable the Scottish Parliament to authorise the preparation of a Scottish currency as soon as practicable after a vote for independence, with the aim that the currency be ready for introduction as soon as practicable after Independence Day.”
The Scottish Currency Group is comprised of the following formal advisors:
Dr Robbie Mochrie – Senior Lecturer in Economics at Heriot Watt University and convener of the SCG Financial Sector Regulation working group.
Duncan McCann – New Economics Foundation, London.
Professor Stephanie Kelton – Stony Brook University, New York and economics adviser to Bernie Sanders.
Professor Richard Murphy, – co-founder of the Green New Deal, campaigner for Tax Justice and author of ‘The Joy of Tax’.
Dr Craig Dalzell – Common Weal advocacy group.
Professor Warren Mosler – former hedge fund founder/manager, now visiting Economics Professor at various universities.
Their website attempts to clarify the myths surrounding the implementation of a Scottish currency and an introductory plan for the new currency.
This latest announcement from Regan is a strong step forward on hers part, as she is supported by some leading names from the world of economics. If she is able to show with consistency and clarity what this could mean for an independent Scotland, Regan will, with no doubt, contribute further to the Independence movement as a possible First Minister.
This article is based on a press release from VoteAshRegan team
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