Magazine article Public Finance

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Magazine article Public Finance

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Please air your views via the comment facilities at publicfinance.co.uk or by email to feedback@publicfinance.co.uk

No opt-out for Scotland

"Britain has opted out of the euro and so, presumably, could Scotland," wrote Iain Macwhirter last month (Paradox of SNP's EU enthusiasm, bit.ly/1PWnR0h).

Huh? Absolutely not. The UK was able to insist on an opt-out because unanimity was required for the treaty change that created the euro. As a member nation whose agreement was required to create the euro, the UK was able to say: "No opt-out, no euro."

But now the euro exists and, as a new EU member, a hypothetical independent Scotland would be required to join the euro. Period.

Scotland certainly would not be able to decide to opt out of the euro. It could ask for an opt-out, but why would the EU grant it? That would create a very troublesome precedent in a way that the UK opt-out did not.

Jon Livesey

Project problems

The quality of public sector project management is generally lower now than it was 30 years ago (Civil service pay shake-up planned to boost project management, bit.ly/1Sv6Ivo).

Reasons include: a lack of in-house capacity so organisations are overly dependent on external input; politically motivated promotion of large projects, often with poorly defined objectives; inadequate consideration of alternative strategies; and a lack of accurate information on costs. …

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