“What happens if the value of the Scottish pound falls compared to sterling?” That is the great concern that everyone raises with me whenever the issue of the currency that Scotland might use after independence is discussed.

I can always answer the concerns, but what is now noticeable is that the pound is in freefall against other currencies. Compared to the euro, the pound has now fallen by up to 5% when compared to its high April. What’s more, there are few signs that things will get a lot better.

Boris Johnson might bluster about the UK having the best economic recovery from Covid, but when doing so he forgets to mention that this only because we also had the worst fall.

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This week, the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which is considered one of the most important economic organisations in the world, predicted lower than expected growth for the UK this year, and none at all 2023. Russia apart, that puts the UK in last place amongst the top twenty nations in the world. No other major economy is expected to stagnate in the way we are.

Worse, the OECD also predicts that we will have a worse inflation rate than most other economies. As a result, the likelihood is that the pound is going to fall further against all other major currencies over the coming year. If the OECD is right, it is hard to come to any other conclusion.

So what does that mean for the independence debate as it begins to look as though it has really got legs again?

Clearly, the fall in the value of sterling adds heat to the whole currency debate, but with several new twists.

As those trying to go abroad on holiday this summer will once again be reminded, the value of the pound is not fixed. In the context of the SNP leadership’s (but not membership’s) preferred sterlingisation policy – which would peg the value of the Scottish pound to sterling after independence – this clearly matters. It now looks as if the intention is to shackle the Scottish pound to a sinking ship.

But is that really the case? To decide, let’s consider the relative merits of an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK to decide whether going down with the English economic Titanic is better than Scotland managing its own currency, as I have argued it should. This case comes down to a matter of expectations.

Would an independent Scotland, with a transparent, accountable government operating within the framework of a constitution and with a commitment to build a fair economy for all based on the natural strengths of Scotland’s economy (of which I argue there are many), fare better than the rest of the UK?

The National: Labour leader Keir Starmer alongside Prime Minister Boris JohnsonLabour leader Keir Starmer alongside Prime Minister Boris Johnson

When, as yet neither Labour or Tories are showing any form of economic vision and the entire structure of government in the UK seems to be failing, the answer does not seem to be hard to find, especially when the rest of the UK still seems to think it necessary to run its entire economy for the benefit of the City of London.

Then add in Brexit, which neither leading UK party wants to do anything about even though data on regional growth suggests it has been calamitous – except for Northern Ireland, which retains many of the benefits of membership.

Appreciate that a Scottish government will be committed to EU membership (which does, of course, require an independent currency as a condition for application) and it becomes very apparent that the Scottish pound and sterling will take very different paths after independence, with the Scottish pound very likely to be considered the more valuable of the two.

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I suspect everyone in Scotland could live with that, with the only losers being pensioners still paid in sterling. For them, a Scottish government finding itself in this position might be able to consider a package of support. It would be a price worth paying.

But to go back to the question, is it worth sticking with a currency on the slide because it is issued by a country itself deep in economic and political trouble? Of course it is not.

The SNP really do need to drop the idea of sterlingisation, because it would be a disaster.