Crawford Beveridge backs Scottish currency union plan

<p>Scotland could continue to use the pound if it declares independence, it is claimed.</p>

Crawford Beveridge, the head of the Scottish government's fiscal advice group, has claimed Scotland could continue to use the pound should it declare independence this year.

Scots will go to the polls this autumn to vote on whether the country should remain in union with the rest of the UK or break away to run itself.

Chancellor George Osborne is among the major heavyweight politicians to have officially ruled out any chances of Scotland being able to retain the use of the pound in the event of independence in 2014.

The Scottish National Party, led by first minister Alex Salmond, has long argued it would keep the pound and the Bank of England if Scotland voted for independence at the upcoming election. Scots will go to the polls on September 18th to vote in the independence referendum.

Chancellor criticism

Mr Beveridge claimed Mr Osborne was not "serious" when he said the Scots would have to find their own currency if they opted to break away from the rest of the UK this year, reports the BBC.

"I don't think any of us on the committee believe for a minute that the chancellor is serious," he said, adding: "We warned in our report last year that, leading up to this, there was gong to be a lot of political statements, but in our opinion, economics will trump the politics in this and good heads will prevail if there happens to be a 'yes' vote."

Sir Nicholas Macpherson, recently claimed that currency unions were "fraught with difficulty", with this being one of the main areas of debate around the independence vote this year.

Dr Angus Armstrong, of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, described Mr Osborne's position on a currency union as being "entirely rational". Professor Jo Armstrong, an economist with the Centre for Public Policy for Regions at Glasgow University, told MSPs that there are pros and cons to having a currency union in Scotland.

"If I'm truly independent and I want full access to levers of power, I would want to try and make my own currency work," she said.

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