Carney Warns Of Risks Of Scots Independence
Scotland will have to settle for less independence than most other nations enjoy if it secedes from the United Kingdom, the Bank of England Governor has warned.
Mark Carney warned of "clear risks" associated with the economics of Scottish independence, adding that the country would have to surrender some of its sovereignty if it were to retain the pound.
In a closely-watched speech in Edinburgh he said: "A durable, successful currency union requires some ceding of national sovereignty."
He said that might entail having to sign up to stringent fiscal rules to ensure an independent Scotland does not overspend, or allowing London a degree of control and oversight in its finances.
Although the Governor was at pains not to spell out whether Scotland would be better or worse off under independence, his speech raised the prospect of a euro-style crisis, warning that the currency union was largely responsible for "sovereign debt crises, financial fragmentation and large divergences in economic performance".
The speech is likely to come as a disappointment for the Yes campaign, which has sought to reassure Scottish voters that a Yes vote in September would not leave the country prone to economic instability.
First Minister Alex Salmond met Mr Carney ahead of the speech and told Sky News the two had had a productive meeting.
The Governor's speech warned of two primary areas of concern in the event that Scotland became independent and sought to keep the pound.
The first was that in order to maintain competitiveness with the rest of the United Kingdom, without having control over its own interest rates, the country would need to keep tight control on public spending.
Without its own currency to depreciate, it would also potentially have to impose deeper wage cuts on workers in the event of a crisis - such as is happening currently in Greece and Spain.
Second, the Governor said that an independent Scotland would probably need to establish a banking union with the UK, if it wanted to maintain the Bank of England as a potential Lender of Last Resort in the event of a banking crisis.
This would, again, entail potential interference from London.
He concluded: "Decisions that cede sovereignty and limit autonomy are rightly choices for elected governments and involve considerations beyond mere economics.
"For those considerations, others are better placed to comment."
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