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Scotland is not Slovakia 21

Posted on November 29, 2012 by

It was reported in the Scotsman on Wednesday that the President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Klaus had raised doubts over whether an independent Scotland could successfully keep using Sterling, because when Czechoslovakia split into the Czech and Slovak Republics in 1993 it took only 38 days for the currency union to split.

His views led to a rush of comments from supporters of the UK union arguing that a currency union is only possible with political union. Then a spokesman from the Treasury asserted that protectionism grew between the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic after the split.

The evidence cited by the Treasury spokesman was the fall in Slovak exports to the Czech Republic from 42% of all exports to 13% between 1993 and 2003. Conversely, Czech Republic exports to the Slovak Republic fell from 22% of total exports to 8%. He noted ominously that currently 59% of Scottish exports are to the rest of the UK.

While the basic facts cited are correct, the interpretations put on them by Vaclav Klaus and the UK Treasury spokesman are, shall we say, at odds with the truth.

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