SNP plans for currency union ‘dead in the water’

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SNP plans for a currency union with the rest of the UK if Scotland becomes independent are “increasingly dead in the water”, Alistair Darling has said.

The leader of the pro-union Better Together campaign launched a further attack on the Scottish Government’s white paper, which sets out its vision for independence, criticising the Nationalists’ proposals on a range of issues including currency, universities, and debt and borrowing.

Speaking to an audience of young voters in Edinburgh, Mr Darling also argued that there was “no way” the European Union (EU) would allow an independent Scotland to charge tuition fees to students from south of the border.

He called on Mr Salmond to bring forward legal advice on this issue as well as produce a plan B for Scotland’s currency arrangements.

The First Minister has already “damaged his credibility” over the Scottish Government’s legal advice in relation to EU membership while the white paper is “largely a work of fiction” and a “catalogue of promises”, the former Chancellor said.

Addressing his audience on the SNP’s proposed currency union, which would enable it to keep the pound, Mr Darling said: “Does he not accept that a currency union needs both Scotland and the rest of the UK to agree to enter into it?

“Should he not accept a currency union means both sides have to agree each other’s budgets?

“That is what is happening in Europe. And that is why it is difficult to see anyone signing up to it. That is why it is increasingly dead in the water.”