Would a separate Scotland have to adopt the euro if it joined the European Union?

A row has broken out following Sky News journalist Kay Burley’s questioning of the SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford MP on his claim that a separate Scotland in the European Union would not need to join the euro. 

 

Is he right?

The Claim:

 

“To join the euro, you have to join the Exchange Rate Mechanism too, as a transition for that, and you have to be in the Exchange Rate Mechanism for two years. Joining the Exchange Rate Mechanism is entirely voluntary. You can’t be forced into the euro against your will. The last three countries that have joined the EU have not joined the euro.”

 

Ian Blackford MP, Leader of SNP Group in the House of Commons 19th March 2019

    The facts

  • To join the European Union, an applicant country must agree to adopt the euro when they fulfil the necessary conditions to do so.

  • To adopt the euro, it is necessary to join the European Exchange Rate Mechanism.This is mandatory, all new EU Member States must do this.

  • Currently two Member States have an opt-out of the euro, that is Denmark and the UK.This was negotiated as part of the Maastricht Treaty signed in 1992.This opt-out has not been given to any state since, and never to a new member state.

  • All seven other Member States not currently using the euro, including the newest three members, are working towards meeting the conditions necessary to do so.They will adopt the euro when they have met these conditions.

What the experts say

 

 

“All Member States, except the United Kingdom and Denmark, are required to adopt the euro and join the euro area.”

European Commission Fact Sheet on the Convergence Report, 23rd May 2018 

“If we want the euro to unite rather than divide our continent, then it should be more than the currency of a select group of countries. The euro is meant to be the single currency of the European Union as a whole."

"All but two of our Member States are required and entitled to join the euro once they fulfil all conditions.”

Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, 15th September 2017

“The euro is meant to be the single currency of the European Union as a whole. All but two of our Member States are required and entitled to join the euro once they fulfil the conditions”.

Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice President of the European Commission, 1st March 2018

 

Scotland in Union Fact Check Conclusion:

Ian Blackford MP’s claim that Scotland would not have to adopt the euro if it became a separate country seeking to join the EU is simply false.

 

Every new member state must join the ERM and work towards achieving all the criteria necessary for adopting the euro.  Having and expanding a European currency remains at the heart of the EU project.

 

Whilst Scotland would not meet the necessary criteria and would be unable to adopt the euro immediately, it would still need to commit to working towards this eventuality, just like other new member states.   This would contribute to a likely long and painful process towards a separate Scotland becoming a member of the EU.

 

This incident is also a worrying reminder that when the SNP tell a fib in a robust manner, many will believe it, as we have seen in the social media fallout from his row on live TV with Kay Burley.

​Elected representatives should stick to the facts, and in this case Mr Blackford did not.

Would a separate Scotland have to adopt the euro if it joined the European Union?

Yes, just like every single other new member state, a separate Scotland would need to commit to adopting the euro.
 

The best way for Scotland to retain a stable currency is to remain in the UK and keep the pound.

FALSE

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