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.