Scottish MP introduces ‘Legal Tender Bill’ to protect cash status across UK

calendar iconApr 16, 2019

On April 11th, 2019, a member of Scottish parliament announced a new pro-cash bill, the Legal Tender Bill.

If passed, the law would make it illegal for businesses in the UK to refuse payments in Scottish banknote

The voice for this bill comes from Liberal Democratic Member of Parliament Alistair Carmichael and former Scottish Secretary, who argues that when it comes to the legal currency (printed by three Scottish retail banks), there should be 'no distinction' between the promissory Scottish notes and British notes, which are legal tender across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Excerpts from BBC

No banknotes are classed as legal tender in Scotland, while notes issued by Scottish banks are legal currency but not legal tender south of the border.

“It's beyond time we give legal force to the well-known phrase 'that's legal tender, pal' […] I hope that this bill will encourage businesses across the UK to recognise and accept Scottish currency."
"MP Alistair CarmichaelScottish Liberal DemocratsAs quoted by BBC News (Apr 11, 2019)

Mr Carmichael's Legal Tender (Scottish Banknotes) Bill would stress that no distinction could be drawn between Scottish banknotes and those from other banks as forms of payment.

A similar bill was put forward by current Scottish Secretary David Mundell when he was an opposition MP in 2009.

Read full article here

Cash is often celebrated for the important role it plays as a cultural calling card. The debate on whether Scottish notes should be valued in the same way as British notes is truly fascinating. It parallels the ongoing negotiation between the two forever-proud-albeit-forever-bound-together countries. Whatever the outcome, it is important that the cash debate be taken seriously.

Last Updated: May 28, 2019