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Independent Scotland Wouldn’t Get Top Rating, U.K. Minister Says

An independent Scotland would probably be denied the top credit rating afforded to Britain, said U.K. Scottish Secretary Michael Moore.

Scotland would have to “start from scratch” to win the confidence of ratings companies and investors and wouldn’t be able to borrow at the same rate as the U.K. does now, Moore told business leaders in Edinburgh today.

“Let us be clear about the facts of separation,” Moore said. “An independent Scotland would not inherit the U.K.’s strong credit rating -- a rating we’ve managed to keep hold of when our European neighbors have not.”

Prime Minister David Cameron signed an accord last month with Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond on the terms of an independence referendum by the end of 2014, setting the stage for two years of debate on splitting up the U.K. Ratings companies have indicated an independent Scotland could not count on receiving a top credit score.

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