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Independence currency plan ‘demolished’ - Osborne

George Osborne was speaking to the Lords economic affairs committee. Picture: Getty

George Osborne was speaking to the Lords economic affairs committee. Picture: Getty

Scottish independence: Chancellor George Osborne has claimed that the recent intervention by the Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has “demolished” the SNP’s arguments that an independent Scotland could continue in a sterling zone with the rest of the UK.

In a hardening of his position against a currency zone, Mr Osborne told the Lords economic affairs committee that the “assertions made by the SNP are simply not credible” on Scotland being able to keep the pound or have a share in the Bank of England.

He repeated the threat that a currency union is “highly unlikely” and pointed out that this was the line of the Tories, Labour and the Lib Dems.

The Chancellor also warned that an independent Scotland would be “in an extremely weak” position to borrow in the money markets.

He said the UK recently guaranteed its gilts in the event of independence to avoid paying higher prenmiums.

He added: ““Therein lies the point. It is clear that the higher premniums is what would be paid by an independent Scotland. Scottish people would be out of pocket.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Currency union in in the rest of the UK’s overwhelming interests and Mr Osborne has not ruled it out.”

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