L'Écosse doit-elle abandonner la livre sterling ?

PRINCETON – Au moment où l'Ecosse se prépare au référendum sur l'indépendance de ce mois-ci, le Royaume Uni et l'ensemble de l'Europe doivent se préparer aux conséquences éventuelles d'une victoire du camp indépendantiste. L'indépendance de l'Écosse devrait révolutionner les cadres constitutionnels britanniques et européens et donner un coup de pouce énorme à d'autres mouvements séparatistes européens, de la Catalogne jusqu'à l'Italie du Nord. Toutefois, l'impact économique de l'indépendance est beaucoup moins certain.

Les partisans de l'indépendance ont longtemps insisté sur le fait qu'ils sont motivés principalement par la spécificité de l'identité écossaise. Mais si l'histoire et les traditions de l'Écosse ne sont contestées par personne, elles ont en outre été façonnées par des siècles d'interaction avec l'Angleterre et avec les autres parties des Iles britanniques.

La question la plus urgente pour les Écossais est une question d'argent. Savoir si une Écosse indépendante peut ou doit continuer à utiliser la livre sterling a dominé les débats des derniers mois de la campagne du référendum. Les résultats risquent d'être très différents en Écosse, au Royaume-Uni et en Europe, selon la décision que vont prendre les Écossais.

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