LONDON Feb 12 Britain's finance minister George
Osborne is set to rule out a formal currency union with Scotland
if it votes to become independent, the BBC reported on
Osborne has previously said the rest of the United Kingdom -
England, Wales and Northern Ireland - might be unwilling to let
an independent Scotland keep the pound. The BBC said he would go
further in a speech this week by ruling out a currency union.
Scots will decide on Sept. 18 whether their nation, which
has a population of just over 5 million and is a source of North
Sea oil, should end its 307-year-old union with England and
leave the United Kingdom.
No one was immediately available to comment on the BBC
report at the Treasury.
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney went to Scotland at the
end of January to warn that an independent Scotland that keeps
the pound would have to give up some national sovereignty or
risk the kind of problems exposed by the euro zone crisis.
The Scottish National Party, which runs Scotland's devolved
government, has made clear that it sees the creation of a
currency union with the rest of the United Kingdom as central to
its vision of an independent Scotland. Alternative options such
as joining the euro zone or creating a new currency are seen as
more expensive and potentially riskier.
The SNP has said it might not accept its share of UK debt if
it is not allowed to use the pound in a currency union.