13 Feb 2014

Osborne to Scotland: sharing pound ‘not going to happen’

Chancellor George Osborne says he would not sign up to a currency union with an independent Scotland, saying such a deal would “not work” and was “not going to happen”.

The chancellor made a rare trip to the Scottish capital to give a speech on the financial implications of Scottish independence.

Alex Salmond’s Scottish government has proposed a “sterling zone” with the rest of the UK if there is a Yes vote in the referendum. But George Osborne poured cold water on the plans.

He said: “The SNP says that if Scotland becomes independent, there will be a currency union and Scotland will share the pound.

“People need to know that is not going to happen. Because sharing the pound is not in the interests of either the people of Scotland or the rest of the UK.”

Treasury advice

The chancellor published the latest Treasury analysis on the impact of independence on Sterling, which concludes that a union would not work with an independent Scotland.

Mr Osborne said: “Listening to that advice, looking at the analysis myself, it is clear to me I could not, as chancellor, recommend that we could share the pound with an independent Scotland.

“The evidence shows that it wouldn’t work, it would cost jobs and cost money. It wouldn’t provide economic security for Scotland or for the rest of the United Kingdom.”

He added: “I don’t think any other Chancellor of the Exchequer would come to a different view.”