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“No ifs, no buts, no fudges, no deals.” An independent Scotland would not wring a currency union from Westminster, MPs have warned once more.
The “unequivocal” judgment issued from the House of Commons’ Scottish affairs committee today followed the grilling of front-bench figures from all three major parties.
Chairman and Labour MP Ian Davidson said his panel believed the “far-reaching” consequences of Scotland without a formal currency union could include capital flight from the finance sector, with thousands of jobs lost as a result.
“There will be no currency union between a separate Scotland and the continuing United Kingdom,” he said.
“No currency union of any kind: no ifs, no buts, no fudges, no deals.
“We have had complete clarity and openness on this from George Osborne, Ed Balls and Danny Alexander: from the leadership of the three main political parties in the United Kingdom.
“There is no shadow of doubt. All were unequivocal. Now voters urgently need to be told what the Scottish government has as a Plan B.”
But economists have suggested Scotland could continue to use the pound sterling even without Westminster’s consent.
Former World Bank economist Professor David Simpson told Holyrood backbenchers in March that Ireland had continued to use the pound until 1979, while Panama, Ecuador and El Salvador still used the US dollar today.
He said: “Indeed, this would not only be possible but, if Scottish interests alone were to count, it would be desirable.”
When quizzed about the comments in Mr Davidson’s hearings, Tory Chancellor George Osborne retorted that there was “nothing to stop people in France adopting the pound if they had enough notes and coins — but it’s not a sustainable practice.”
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