Economist criticises Treasury’s Scottish currency union stance

<p>A currency union may be possible if Scotland declared independence.</p>

It would be possible for a currency union to be formed in the event of Scotland declaring independence later in the year, according to a leading economist.

Leslie Young, professor of economics at a university in Beijing, criticised the Treasury's stance on the matter, claiming that it does not stand up to scrutiny.

Chancellor George Osborne wants Scotland to remain a part of the UK and has said a Yes vote at the referendum would mean the country would have to find a new currency as it would not be able to use the pound.

Sir Tom Hunter's new institute commissioned My Young to look into the possibility of a currency union should Scotland vote for independence when it goes to the polls later in the year.

Currency union

Professor Young said: "There may be good reasons for the UK to reject a currency union with an independent Scotland, but none can be found in the Treasury letter. Yet that letter is the key justification for the stance of the UK government."

A spokesman for first minister Alex Salmond backed the release of the report, saying it "totally demolishes" the Whitehall analysis. He added that the Treasury's position on a possible currency union is scaremongering.

But in response, a spokesman for the Treasury reiterated the UK government's continued stance that a currency union "is not going to happen".

He said: "The UK government has set out detailed analysis supported by numerous independent voices as to why a currency union is not in the interests of an independent Scotland or the remaining UK. This decision is not going to change. This means less than six months from the referendum, the Scottish government still has no plan for what currency they would use."

Scotland will go to the polls on September 18th to decide whether or not the country should be independent. Opinion polls show it is most likely Scotland will remain a part of the union, but the final result is expected to be a tight one.

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