Michael Gove claims there could no 'worse consequence' for Scotland than the SNP's 'currency folly'

Michael Gove has claimed there would be no “worse consequence” for working people in Scotland than the “currency folly” the SNP have put forward.

The Communities Secretary accused Nicola Sturgeon of wanting a “separate currency” that would damage interest rates and see inflation soar.

His comments came after being challenged on whether the UK Government had consulted Scottish ministers over the Autumn Statement.

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SNP MP Alan Brown (Kilmarnock and Loudoun) told him in the Commons: “We are supposed to be eternally grateful for £1.5 billion Barnett consequentials over a two-year period, but that’s easily dwarfed by the £1.7 billion inflationary pressures in the Scottish budget last year.“When he had the discussion with the Scottish Government, to discuss Scotland's needs, the 1.7 inflation cut, the need for additional money for the pay sector and other spending priorities the Scottish government has, did he just ignore what the Scottish Government had to say?”

Michael Gove mocked the SNP plans for a Scottish currency.

The SNP had previously accused the chancellor of reintroducing austerity over the statement, which came at a time Britain fell into a recession.

Under the plans, Scotland would get a £1.5bn uplift in funding over the next two years in the autumn statement.

Mr Gove dismissed his comments, and claimed the SNP had no real plan for independence.

He said: “We did not ignore what the Scottish Government are saying, we have fruitful relationships not just in the Scottish Government, but the Welsh Government as well.

“I would again gently point to the honourable gentleman he rightly acknowledges the Barnett consequentials, the union dividend that the Treasury pays to the people of Scotland.

“What he doesn’t acknowledge when he talks about inflation is how if we were to follow the Scottish National Party’s approach towards a currency, a separate currency for Scotland, what we would see in Scotland is a flight of capital, massive interest rate increases, galloping inflation in an independent Scotland.

“There would be no worse consequence for working people in Scotland than the currency folly that his colleagues put forward.”

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It came on the same day a Scottish minister wrote to the Levelling Up Secretary urging the UK Government to match EU funding for Scottish projects.

Employment Minister Richard Lochhead claimed innovative projects which have benefited from £72.5 million of European Territorial Co-operation grants may now be unable to continue.



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