Minister: Refusal of Currency Union is Final, Salmond Playing 'John McEnroe Defence'

Minister: Refusal of Currency Union is Final, Salmond Playing 'John McEnroe Defence'

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander will today use a speech to say that there will be no negotiations over a currency union with an independent Scotland.

Speaking to representatives of the pensions industry, Mr Alexander will say that the cross-party decision to not allow Scotland to continue using the Pound Sterling if it chooses to separate from the UK is final.

He will also reject the idea that Scotland could continue to use Sterling without a formal agreement, the so-called ‘sterlingisation’ approach.

The BBC reports that, speaking to BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme, the Treasury minister said: “the people I’m speaking to today, the financial services industry of Scotland, would be decimated if we went down that sort of sterlingisation route, as it is called.

“Without a central bank, without a lender of last resort, there would be no-one to stand behind the hugely important businesses that are built up in Scotland over hundreds of years.

“This is a Scottish success story built on British foundations.”

Mr Alexander has also dubbed Alex Salmond’s approach to a currency union the “John McEnroe Defence”, in reference to the famous tennis player’s catchphrase “You cannot be serious!”

The Scottish First Minister’s fiscal experts have failed to outline a “plan B” of what to do if the remainder of the UK refuses a currency union, saying that Chancellor George Osborne is “not serious”.

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