What’s up with Scottish money?

One thing I’ve noticed since I last came down from Bonnie Jockland is the increasing hostility of British shopkeepers towards accepting Scottish notes.
Now, as anyone from the north knows using Scottish money in England is seldom a fun experience (as in this clip from Live at the Apollo). Its like you’ve handed the shop keeper a dead baby. But recently I’ve had several flatly refuse to accept Scottish notes, even after I pointed out I had no English notes available (last time I got out cash was up north) and they have no credit card facilities. Meaning of course I walked off without purchasing anything and haven’t back to that shop since…indeed one such shop nearby has since closed down (a salutary lesson in market capitalism there, if you don’t accept you’re customers cash, you’ll go out of business pretty quickly!).

Least any Daily Mail reader start blaming Asian or Polish shop keepers who don’t have a clue about the UK. While I have gotten some quizzical looks off of Asian or Eastern European shopkeepers, when I’ve handed them Scottish notes (they start holding it up to the light and generally act like I handed them a piece of an alien spacecraft). Once they’ve established that it is a legitimate banknote, they tend to take a pragmatic “money is money” attitude and accept it. No, it is usually white English shopkeepers who refuse to take such notes and go all EDL on me.

I often find such hostility amusing given that Scottish notes have pictures of famous British people on them, the word “Sterling” and “legal tender”, while the English notes don’t have any reference to sterling nor legal tender and have a picture of an elderly German pensioner instead (so they’d rather take coin off of bloody foreigners!)

Again, as I don’t read the Daily Mail or Sun, I don’t know what BS they are spreading to provoke this. But too be clear, even IF the SNP get a yes vote in two years time (and balance of probability is it will be a narrow rejection of independence), it will still take a number of years to negotiate and then implement the terms of that independence. Hence unless you plan on hoarding Scottish notes under you’re mattress for a decade or so it will still be legal tender for sometime.

Indeed Irish punt notes, while technically no longer legal tender, can be exchanged for Euro’s at the original set exchange rate at the Central Bank in Dublin (although you may face some questions if you show up with a large pile of them). No doubt in the unlikely event of Scottish independence AND the Scot’s joining the Euro (as I pointed out in a prior post, this won’t happen any time soon either), there will be a transition period for exchange of notes both sides of the border.


3 thoughts on “What’s up with Scottish money?

  1. I pay attention to these things more than most, being born in Scotland, but not to be given a vote on the issue because I reside in London. I rarely came across anti-Scots comments in England until about five years ago (other than in sporting rivalries, of course).

    You assume that after an independence vote there would be a period of negotiation, but you can’t so sure. There are millions of people in England who would willingly slam the door on the Scots the day after a vote to split up the union.

    To say the English are fed up with the whole inward looking ‘debate’ and the perception of selfishness and ingratitude for their longstanding friendship and support is an understatement.


    • While I’m minded to support independence (and I won’t have a vote either!), the devil is literally in the detail, and I get the impression that the SNP haven’t really thought the idea through (as I often say, they seem to have watched Braveheart once too many). Indeed if they had any sense they’d cancel the referendum and focus on more devolved powers instead.

      Equally tho, I think the English have not thought thro the consequences for the UK of Scotland leaving, i.e. the Scots taking most of the oil, gas, water, electricity supply, a large chunk of the remaining heavy industry, key military bases and a large number of the army, etc.


      • don’t forget the whisky and salmon!

        I think the SNP have thought it through- it has been a passion of Alec Salmonds long before the Braveheart film when he stood against Thatcher’s unfair poll tax trial 1st in Scotland


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