"You Can Take Your Scottish Freedom... But You'll Never Take Our Gold"

We can see it now, a wine-stained David Cameron staggers slowly towards Hadrian's Wall eying the hordes of Scottish gentlefolk staring at him; he glances back at his supporters (who cheer somewhat begrudgingly) before rapidly returning his eyes to the Scots and proclaiming... "you can take your freedom; but you'll never take our... Gold." As Reuters reports, an independent Scotland could lay claim to a part of the United Kingdom's 310-tonne gold reserves if votes go in favour of the "Yes" campaign this month, with ownership of Britain's bullion hoard up for negotiation along with other assets.

 

The "high-risk" event is increasingly likely - as evident in the FX markets - but the full consequences appear far from clear (as Reuters reports),

An independent Scotland could lay claim to a part of the United Kingdom's 310-tonne gold reserves if votes go in favour of the "Yes" campaign this month, with ownership of Britain's bullion hoard up for negotiation along with other assets.

 

"The distribution of the UK's assets in the event of Scottish independence would be subject to negotiation between an independent Scottish Government and the continuing UK government," a spokesman for the United Kingdom Treasury said on Monday.

 

The United Kingdom, whose reserves are worth 7.84 billion pounds ($12.6 billion) at today's prices, is currently the world's 18th largest official sector gold holder.

 

A decision to break away from the United Kingdom when Scotland's voters go to the polls on Sept. 18 would be followed by negotiations with London over a raft of assets, including the pound and North Sea oil.

Of course, Britain's Gordon Brown (who returned to frontline politics this year to campaign for the preservation of Scotland's 307-year old union with England) is infamous for the 'worst trade ever'...

Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has faced persistent criticism for disposing of almost 400 tonnes of the United Kingdom's gold via a series of auctions between 1999 and 2002, when prices were at their lowest in around 20 years.

 

Gold prices surged over the following decade, topping out in September 2011 at $1,920.30 an ounce, nearly five times their end 2002 level.

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"priced-in"?