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George Osborne to rule out currency union

Chancellor George Osborne to speak in Edinburgh tomorrow. Picture: Getty

Chancellor George Osborne to speak in Edinburgh tomorrow. Picture: Getty

  • by DAVID MADDOX
 

SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE: CHANCELLOR George Osborne is tomorrow set to underline the UK government’s opposition to a currency union between the rest of the UK and an independent Scotland, as MPs prepare to press the government to reject it outright.

Prime Minister David Cameron revealed Mr Osborne will be in Edinburgh to give the government position on currency union, which underpins the SNP Scottish Government’s independence white paper’s economic policy.

It comes after Conservative Treasury select committee chairman Andrew Tyrie last week called for a sterling zone to be ruled out now to end the ­uncertainty over a “politically unacceptable” option.

The comments by the senior Tory have led to speculation in Westminster that the Chancellor will rule out a “sterling zone”.

A debate today in Westminster Hall has been called by shadow business minister Ian Murray, the Labour MP for Edinburgh South.

He will mock the confusion in the Yes campaign on the issue. He will say: “The SNP have gone from seeing the pound as a ‘millstone around the neck of Scotland’ to claiming that Scotland could automatically use the pound in a currency union. Yet, the Yes campaign chair wants a separate currency.

“Why are they confused? Because the false assertions that the SNP make simply do not add up. They know this is a promise from Alex Salmond that he

cannot deliver.”

He will add: “As Keynes said, ‘He who controls the currency controls the country’. That’s

why we need to know the SNPs Plan B.”

 

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