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Independence: Ex-bank bosses hit out at pound plan

Scottish Government plans for a currency union have been attacked. Picture: TSPL

Scottish Government plans for a currency union have been attacked. Picture: TSPL

  • by SCOTT MACNAB
 

ALEX Salmond has been accused of a “huge deception” over his plans for a currency union after a Yes vote.

Martin Jacomb, the former chairman of Prudential, and Sir Andrew Large, the former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England warn today that the consequences of a Yes vote will be “enormous”, in an article for the Times newspaper.

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They dismiss the First Minister’s claims that “nothing much will change”, adding that a currency union between a separate Scotland and the continuing UK is “not on offer” and “not an option.”

They also warn against the prospect of using the pound outwith a currency union, in the same way that Panama uses the US dollar without permission.

“Scotland would have no influence over sterling interest rates or the exchange rate,” they say.

“Nor could it rely on UK central bank support in hard times.”

It comes as new analysis by Barclays set out the risks to jobs and business in Scotland of leaving the UK and losing the Pound.

Scottish Labour MP and Shadow Business Minister Ian Murray said: “These are significant interventions from senior experts and further undermine the nationalists’ economic case for separation.

“We find ourselves in a ludicrous situation. We are being asked to trust that Alex Salmond is always right and everyone else is always wrong. How can we possibly vote to leave the UK when we don’t even know what currency we would use if we did?”

But a spokesman for finance secretary John Swinney insisted that Scotland would share the pound after a Yes vote.

“A formal currency union is in the overwhelming interests of the rest of the UK,” he said.

 

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