U.K. Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said the Scottish National Party’s plan for a currency union with the U.K. after independence is a “false idea” with “no credible support.”
Alexander, writing in the Scotland on Sunday newspaper today, cited businesses which he said had come out against the idea of currency union if the SNP wins the independence referendum on Sept. 18. and economists whom he said had questioned its feasibility.
“Over the past few months, the few friends this idea once had have slipped away as reality has dawned,” Alexander wrote. “There are now no credible voices left in support. It is only the out-of-touch Edinburgh elite who cling to the false idea that a currency union would be possible.”
The three main U.K. political parties united on Feb. 13 to say they will block Alex Salmond’s plan for a currency union and an independent Scotland would have to give up the pound. The SNP argues that trade and productivity make it common sense to share the currency.
“If we are to embark on the difficult and risky journey of setting up a new Scottish state, we would want to have all the economic powers we can,” Alexander wrote. “But a currency union would mean we couldn’t set our own interest rates, tax and spending levels. No one would buy a car without a steering wheel, yet that is what the nationalists are trying to sell you.”