I’m not bluffing over currency, Osborne warns

Kate McCann
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THE CHANCELLOR George Osborne yesterday repeated his warning that an independent Scotland would not be allowed to keep the British pound, telling a select committee that he was not bluffing and his position was “no ifs, no buts”.

The chancellor also accused Scottish nationalists of being irresponsible when it comes to spending plans for the independent nation, warning: “At the moment there’s absolutely no evidence of fiscal responsibility form the nationalists. They have a whole set of uncosted spending pledges.”

In a hearing of the Scottish affairs committee, which is currently being boycotted by the Scottish Nat-ional Party, Osborne said the possibility of a currency union if Scotland voted for independence in September had been completely ruled out.

“The people of Scotland deserve straight answers to straight questions and you have had straight answers from the Labour shadow chancellor, the Liberal Democrat chief secretary and from me, the Conservative chancellor,” Osborne said.

“We have all made it clear that there will be no currency union if Scotland becomes independent, no ifs, no buts. An independent Scotland would not share the pound with the rest of the UK,” he added.

Scottish finance minister John Swinney said the UK would have to negotiate with Scotland. “It is clear that the markets will expect the UK to negotiate constructively and in good faith. Anything else would simply be damaging to the economy of the rest of the UK,” he said.

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