Bloomberg News

Most English Oppose Scots Currency Union, Poll Shows

August 19, 2014

More than half of English voters say they are opposed to Scotland’s plan to keep using the pound if the country votes for independence, a poll indicated.

Only 23 percent of respondents to the YouGov Plc poll across England backed Scotland keeping the pound, compared with 53 percent who were opposed. The survey for Cardiff University and the ESRC Scottish Centre on Constitutional Change based at Edinburgh University was carried out in April, after all three main British political parties expressed their opposition to a post-independence currency union.

With little more than four weeks until the Sept. 18 vote, the pro-independence campaign has the support of 32 percent of voters compared with the No campaign’s 45 percent, a monthly TNS poll of 1,003 voters showed Aug. 13. Nationalist leader Alex Salmond has said an independent state would walk away from its share of U.K. debt unless it’s allowed into a currency union. Only residents in Scotland are allowed to vote in the referendum.

“It is striking how tough people in England are on Scotland,” Charlie Jeffery, a professor of politics at Edinburgh University, said in an e-mailed statement. “There appears to be little appetite for the Scottish government’s vision of independence amid continuing partnership with the rest of the U.K. on the pound, Europe and NATO. If anything the message appears to be: ‘vote Yes by all means, but if you do, you’re on your own.’”

The survey found 59 percent of English respondents opposed to Scottish independence, with 19 percent in favor. Thirty-six percent thought the rump U.K. should not support a Scottish bid to join organizations such as the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in the event of independence.

YouGov questioned 3,695 adults in England via the Internet from April 11 to April 22 for the survey. The margin of error wasn’t specified.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eddie Buckle in London at ebuckle@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alan Crawford at acrawford6@bloomberg.net Andrew Atkinson, Rodney Jefferson


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