Scotland Currency Union? 'It's A Dead Parrot'
The idea Scotland would be able to hold on to the pound in the event of independence is a "dead parrot", MPs have warned.
The country's first minister was told he urgently needed to come up with a plan B on how Scotland would proceed without a "currency union" if there was a "yes" vote in just two months' time.
A report from the Scottish Affairs Committee cautioned the Scottish Government there was no way there would be a formal deal for an independent Scotland to continue using sterling.
In a reference to the Monty Python sketch in which a shopkeeper and his customer argue over the state of a Norwegian Blue parrot - which is being revived in a run of heavily promoted live Python shows in London - Ian Davidson, chairman of the committee, said: "The Scottish Government tries to give the impression that a currency union is still a possibility. It is not. This parrot is dead."
The report by the committee said: "If Scotland leaves the United Kingdom there will not be a currency union.
"Voters urgently need to be told what the Scottish Government has as a Plan B."
Chancellor George Osborne and the Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander have both ruled out currency union, as has the shadow chancellor Ed Balls.
The report also gave warning Scotland's financial services could suffer if the country votes to leave the UK and the Alex Salmond must give voters information on how he "intends to protect the thousands of jobs dependent upon this vital part of the Scottish economy".
It continued: "We have already seen evidence that significant Scottish financial services companies are preparing to relocate their headquarters, with the consequent effect on Scottish jobs and the Scottish economy, in the event of separation."
Standard Life, which has been based in Scotland for 189 years and employs around 5,000 people there, announced in February it was drawing up a contingency plan to leave in the event of independence.
A spokesman for the First Minister branded the report "lame" and said: "An independent Scotland will keep the pound - as conceded by the unnamed UK minister caught telling the truth by saying 'of course' there will be a currency union.
"The pound is as much Scotland's as it is England, Wales and Northern Ireland's."