‘If Scotland walks away from the UK, it walks away from the pound’, the Chancellor said this morning. In a speech aiming to blow a hole in the SNP’s campaign, George Osborne has set out why sharing the pound isn’t on the cards for an independent Scotland. Here are the key points from his speech, the reactions and why a currency union with the rest of the UK won’t happen
1. The Tories, Lib Dems and Labour have united on a technical fight
It’s very rare that George Osborne, Ed Balls and Danny Alexander can find something to agree on. The fact they’ve publicly united against a currency union with Scotland shows how pressing the matter is.
Following on from a speech by Mark Carney two weeks ago on the perils of any currency union, Osborne has described the ‘gaping chasm at the core’ of the SNP’s plans for an independent Scotland:
‘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 UK. I don’t think any other Chancellor of the Exchequer would come to a different view’
The Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls agrees it won’t happen:
‘It would be bad for Scotland, it would place an unacceptable burden on the UK taxpayer, it would repeat the mistakes of the euro area. In fact worse, you’d be trying to negotiate a monetary union as Scotland is pulling away from the UK. It won’t happen, I wouldn’t recommend it.’
And for the political hat trick, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander:
‘This isn’t bluff, or bullying, it’s a statement of fact. The SNP’s claims that an independent Scotland could or should be able to share the pound are pure fiction.