Union better for economy says Osborne

Osborne has told Scottish business leaders there is still an economic case for Scotland to stay within the United Kingdom.

At a CBI dinner, he said there was more to Unionism than “wallowing in nostalgia” and accused Alex Salmond of failing to provide credible answers on his plans for a shared sterling currency union.

But Finance Secretary John Swinney said it was a “cast iron” position that Scotland would keep the pound.

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Meanwhile, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon held talks yesterday with Scotland Office Minister David Mundell to pave the way for crunch talks between Mr Salmond and David Cameron to settle details of the 2014 referendum.

Tycoon Jim McColl said he would back independence, having previously supported “devo max”, which he said was no longer on the cards.