ALISTAIR Darling has accused Scottish first minister Alex Salmond of being grossly irresponsible, after Salmond announced that an independent Scotland would keep the pound or refuse to shoulder its share of the UK debt burden.
The leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) launched his vision for independence yesterday, claiming Scotland would remain in the sterling zone even if it became a new nation, prompting concern about the financial stability of the UK.
“Alex Salmond’s threat to default on debt will send shockwaves through markets. It is grossly irresponsible,” said Darling, the Labour MP for Edinburgh South West and former chancellor.
“Currency union means you’ve both got to agree your budgets, you’ve both got to agree how much you can tax, spend and borrow. That’s not freedom.”
A spokesman for the Scottish government said that it would be in the interests of both Scotland and the UK to keep a common currency.
“The Scottish and UK economies are significantly aligned in terms of business cycles and productivity, and have all the hallmarks of an optimal currency area,” he added.