Osborne mocks independent Scottish pound

City A.M. Reporter
CHANCELLOR George Osborne said yesterday it would not be straightforward for an independent Scotland to keep the pound as its currency, as proposed by those campaigning for the country to break away from the UK next year.

Scotland will hold an independence referendum on 18 September 2014, at the instigation of the Scottish National Party (SNP), which runs its devolved government.

Pro-independence campaigners say Scotland would keep the pound, at least in the early years of independence, and could later hold a sovereign debate on whether to switch to its own currency.

But Osborne and his chief secretary Danny Alexander, who is Scottish, said in a joint article that monetary union would not work as well in “a disunited kingdom”.

“The pound we share now works and it works well. Under independence all the alternatives are second best. So our question to the nationalists – are you really saying second best is good enough for Scotland?” the two men wrote.

The government will tomorrow publish a detailed analysis of the implications on currency of Scottish independence. Opinion polls suggest about 30 per cent of Scottish voters favour independence while 50 per cent would stick with the status quo.