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British FinMin Warns Scotland: Forget The Pound If You Walk Away

posted 13 Feb 2014, 08:11 by Mpelembe   [ updated 13 Feb 2014, 08:11 ]

Britain's finance minister George Osborne warns Scotland it would lose the pound currency if Scots vote for independence in a referendum later this year.

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND, UK (FEBRUARY 13, 2014) (UK POOL) -  In the latest salvo of a choreographed British campaign to keep Scotland in the UK, British Finance Minister George Osborne on Thursday (February 13) sought to play on Scottish fears of losing the pound to argue that secession would cost Scots dearly and cast them into a tempest of volatility.

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"The pound isn't an asset to be divided up between two countries after a break up as if it were a CD collection," Osborne said in a speech in Edinburgh.

"If Scotland walks away from the UK, it walks away from the UK pound," he said.

Scotland votes in a yes/no referendum on independence on Sept. 18. The vote will be open to about 4 million residents of over the age of 16.

Osborne said official advice from civil servants in the British Treasury was against recommendation of a currency union, Osborne said in a speech in the Scottish capital.

"Listening to that advice, looking at the analysis myself, it is clear to me, I could not as Chancellor recommend that we could share the pound with an independent Scotland," he said.

"The evidence shows it wouldn't work. It would cost jobs and cost money. It wouldn't provide economic security for Scotland or for the rest of the United Kingdom," Osborne said.

Osborne's warning will be repeated in future days by the finance chiefs of Britain's two other main parties, Labour's Ed Balls and the Liberal Democrat Danny Alexander.

Nationalists in Scotland, whose waters contain the European Union's biggest reserves of oil and gas, say they want the Bank of England to remain the lender of last resort for financial institutions after possible independence.

By honing in on Scottish hopes of keeping the pound, London politicians hope to undermine the economic case for independence though the leaders of Scotland's bid to break away said the move would cost London dearly.

Scotland's Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon described Osborne's words as "bullying and intimidation" which would "backfire spectacularly".