February 13, 2014 / 9:42 AM / in 4 years

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

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

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne gestures during a session at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos January 24, 2014. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

“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.

Reporting by Belinda Goldsmith, writing by Michael Holden; editing by Guy Faulconbridge

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