SNP plans for an independent Scotland to have its own currency have been dismissed by Scottish Secretary David Mundell, who branded the new policy as “Nicola Sturgeon’s chocolate money”.
Less than a week after the SNP conference formally endorsed proposals for a separate Scotland to replace the pound with its own currency “as soon as practicable”, Mr Mundell said the change was not supported by Scots.
He launched the attack as he used his speech to the Scottish Conservative conference in Aberdeen to attack the First Minister and her party for being “consumed with their constitutional obsession”.
Ms Sturgeon has outlined her intention to hold another vote on Scottish independence in the next two years.
But Mr Mundell made clear the UK Government would not give the go-ahead of such a vote.
Former prime minister David Cameron signed a deal with the Scottish Government to permit the 2014 referendum after the SNP won an overall majority of seats at Holyrood in the 2011 elections.
The Scottish Secretary said: “Let me be absolutely clear – if Nicola Sturgeon continues with her indyref2 plans and asks for the UK Government’s agreement to hold a referendum, the answer will be no.
“No Section 30 order. No second Edinburgh Agreement. No legal referendum.
“The people of Scotland said ‘no’ in 2014 and they meant it.”
With the SNP “focused” on independence, he told party activists: “Next we’ll be on to the name of the currency that you will receive your pension in or use to pay your mortgage, in an independent Scotland.
“I’m very clear – my constituents don’t want Nicola Sturgeon’s chocolate money under any name.”
“The only way that we can stop the SNP and their plans for another independence referendum for good is to make Ruth First Minister of Scotland,” Mr Mundell added.
With the Scottish Parliament approaching its 20th anniversary, Mr Mundell used his speech to reflect on the progress the Tories have made in Scotland during that time.
His party lost all its Scottish MPs in 1997, the year Tony Blair came to power in the UK.
When the first Holyrood elections took place two years later, there were 18 Tory MSPs.
Now the Scottish Conservatives have 13 MPs in Westminster and 31 MSPs – with Mr Mundell insisting it is now “game on” for the 2021 Holyrood elections.
“We want to form the next Scottish Government,” he declared.
“We want Ruth Davidson to be First Minister of Scotland.”
Mr Mundell added: “It’s a measure of how far we have come. In 1999 that would have seemed inconceivable. Now, it is game on.”