Britain says Scotland would lose the pound if it leaves UK - Osborne

LONDON Thu Feb 13, 2014 4:34am EST

LONDON Feb 13 (Reuters) - British finance minister George Osborne warned Scotland on Thursday it cannot keep the pound if it votes for independence in a Sept. 18 referendum.

"The pound isn't an asset to be divided up between two countries after a break-up as if it were a CD collection," Osborne said in a speech in the Scottish capital. "If Scotland walks away from the UK, it walks away from the UK pound."

Osborne said that there was no legal reason why Britain should share the pound with Scotland and that Scottish debt issuance would face "punitively high interest rates" in the case of secession.