Ex-governor of the Bank of England says Scotland could be independent

Helen Cahill
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Lord Mervyn King headed up the Bank of England between 2003 and 2013 (Source: Getty)

The former governor of the Bank of England has said Scotland could become an independent nation, but that it would likely take a hit to its public purse if it split from the UK.

Lord Mervyn King told BBC Newsnight that he did not think there would be "major problems" over which currency Scotland would use if it became independent, but said that it would find it difficult to borrow on the international markets if it went it alone on the global stage.

Read more: Single Market membership "the minimum" for Scotland: Sturgeon

"I think that would be very expensive," he said. "The interest rate would go up."

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has started pushing for a new independence referendum, saying she is "determined" to re-run the vote from 2014.

However, Prime Minister Theresa May has said it is not the right time for another referendum. She is currently touring the country (she was in Wales yesterday) in a bid to unite the UK ahead of triggering Article 50 at the end of this month.

Read more: Would an independent Scotland be able to stay within the EU?

King told the BBC:

It has...the people, it has a capital city, a history and culture, it could be an independent country. The question is, does it want to be given the consequences of it?

And if the oil price remains low and if they lose the money which is transferred from the rest of the UK to Scotland, then they would have to make that up in their own budget, but that's a consequence of deciding to be financially independent, you end up paying for yourself.

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