Chancellor George Osborne has warned that an independent Scotland would make Scottish banknotes even less welcome in England’s businesses. Although theoretically legal tender in England, Scottish notes are already treated in most places south of the border as if the customer were trying to use tartan-draped haggis as a form of currency.
But if Scotland becomes independent, Osborne plans to close down any remaining English establishments willing to accept Scottish money. Such a measure would undoubtedly lead to a slight increase in the number of heated arguments between 'we don’t have to accept it’ English shopkeepers and consumers trying to pay with ‘but it’s legal tender’ Scottish notes.
Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond responded to Osborne by announcing a Scottish currency amnesty if September’s vote is for Scottish independence. Over the years, many English visitors to Scotland have been deliberately given Scottish notes in their change but didn’t have the opportunity to get rid of them before returning home, where they are utterly useless. And of course, they never go back to Scotland, having deemed it too cold, wet, bleak and miserable to warrant a second trip.
But under Salmond’s proposal, it is estimated that up to £1,000,000 worth of notes currently in top drawers across England could be returned in exchange for malt whisky, irn bru and pictures of hairy coos.