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SNP may consider ‘less formal’ UK currency union

Scotland would not have to join a euro-style currency union with the UK government after independence in order to keep using the pound, a senior SNP MP stated yesterday.

The intervention, by Nationalist Treasury spokesman Stewart Hosie, prompted immediate opposition claims that the SNP had performed an “astonishing U-turn” on its plans for Scotland’s currency after 
independence.

In recent statements, the Scottish Government has said it planned to enter a formal “sterling zone” with the London Treasury after leaving the UK.

First Minister Alex Salmond said this arrangement would see Scotland handed a place on the Bank of England’s influential monetary policy committee (MPC).

However, Mr Hosie said yesterday that the SNP administration in Edinburgh was not ruling out a less formal set-up.

“The Scottish Government intend that Scotland should continue to use sterling after independence, and as sterling is a fully convertible and floating currency there is precisely nothing to stop that,” he told the Commons.

Mr Hosie added that it “makes far more sense to have a formal union” with the London 
Treasury.

 

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