The road to the bawbee – currency options for an independent Scotland

What currency might be used in an independent Scotland?

Probably no issue caused more confusion in the 2014 referendum campaign or did more to diminish the credibility of proponents of independence. This lecture will review the various possibilities – continued use of sterling, membership of the eurozone, or the adoption of a national currency, which I shall, for concreteness, call the bawbee. The lecture will emphasise that in the modern world currency choices are matters for individuals, businesses and financial institutions as well as governments, and describe both the opportunities and the pitfalls.




John Kay wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera
Professor Sir John Kay FRSE

Professor Sir John Kay FRSE

Professor Sir John Kay FRSE is one of Britain’s leading economists. His work is centred on the relationships between economics, finance and business. His career has spanned academic work and think tanks, business schools, company directorships, consultancies and investment companies. John has been a Fellow of St John’s College, Oxford since 1970 and has held chairs at London Business School, the University of Oxford, and the LSE. He is the author of many books – most recently Radical Uncertainty, jointly written with Mervyn King, and Greed is Dead, co-authored with Paul Collier, published in 2020.

A close up of a person
Professor Nicola McEwan FRSE

Professor Nicola McEwan FRSE

Nicola McEwen is Professor of Territorial Politics at the University of Edinburgh and Senior Research Fellow with the ESRC UK in a Changing Europe. She was founding Co-Director of the Centre on Constitutional Change and remains a CCC Fellow. Nicola specialises in nationalism, devolution and intergovernmental relations, with a focus on Scotland and the UK in comparative perspective. Her current research examines the impact of Brexit on UK devolution and the Union, and the Scottish independence project. Among her recent publications is a co-edited e-book, Scotland’s New Choice: Independence after Brexit (Centre on Constitutional Change, 2021).

Professor Graeme Roy

Professor Graeme Roy

Graeme is Professor of Economics and Dean of External Engagement in the College of Social Sciences at the University of Glasgow. Between 2016 and 2021, Graeme was Director of the Fraser of Allander Institute. Prior to that, he was a Senior Economic Adviser in the Scottish Government and Head of the First Minister’s Policy Unit. In the run up to the 2014 independence referendum, he was a civil servant providing advice to Ministers on the economics of independence. He is a graduate of the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh.



Thursday December 2nd, 2021 18:30-20:00


The Royal Society of Edinburgh




Professor Nicola McEwan FRSE
Professor Graeme Roy