Mark Carney dismisses new Scottish currency as ‘hypothetical’

Mark Carney has dismissed the notion of a new currency being introduced in Scotland in the near future.

Making a rare visit to Scotland yesterday, the Bank of England governor also blamed Brexit for slowing down the Scottish economy.

Asked about SNP planning around a new currency for an independent Scotland, Mr Carney said: “It is a hypothetical on a hypothetical, so it is way down the track.”

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Speaking in Glasgow, the financial chief also warned the whisky industry could suffer under a no-deal Brexit.

Bank of England boss Mark Carney. Picture: Chris Ratcliffe/Pool/Getty Images
Bank of England boss Mark Carney. Picture: Chris Ratcliffe/Pool/Getty Images

He cited Brexit as a major factor in the slowdown in economic growth north of the Border in recent months.

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The pace of growth in the final two quarters of last year was markedly slower than the first and second quarters of 2018.

This has threatened a strong run where Scotland’s gross domestic product has rise for eight consecutive quarters.

Mr Carney told The Times: “Scotland has a diversified economy. It does have in this context good momentum, but even the Scottish economy is probably growing at half the rate it was a year, a year and a half ago.

“And I think we know the reason why that is the case.”

Mr Carney suggested Scotland’s manufacturing, financial services and agriculture sectors would all experience a negative impact if Britain exited the EU without a deal.

On Scotch whisky, he added: “[Europe] is a big market that would be directly impacted.”

A new group within the SNP, known as the Campaign for an Independent Currency, has been set up to push the party to a stronger line on getting rid of Sterling after independence.

The group is being chaired by former SNP MP George Kerevan.

Campaign group Scotland in Union has meanwhile backed comments from former top SNP adviser Alex Bell, who has accused the SNP of ‘writing promises on a bus’ over its plan for a new Scottish currency.

Mr Bell said the Nationalists should be ‘honest’ with voters and admit that an independent Scotland in the EU ‘would have to prepare to join the euro’.

Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said: “Alex Bell is right to call for some much-needed honesty from the SNP.

“Just like in 2014, the Nationalists are trying pull the wool over voters’ eyes.

“All new EU member states are required to formally commit to join the euro, while in the short term the SNP wants to ditch the pound and put salaries, mortgages and pensions at risk.

“The only way to save our pound is to remain part of the UK, which is just one reason why so many Yes supporters have changed their minds and now want to stay in the UK.”