Joining the Euro would be Alex Salmond's 'only realistic plan B'

The euro would be Alex Salmond's "only realistic plan B" for the currency of an independent Scotland, according to shadow chancellor Ed Balls.

He told the Observer newspaper that he feared Scotland would end up finding that joining the euro would be "the least worst of all the bad options."

Along with Chancellor George Osborne and Scottish Lib Dem Treasury Secretary Danny Alexander, Balls has ruled out a formal currency union and he reiterated that sharing the pound was "off the table."

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Currency plan 'couldn't be more important' for Scotland

Alex Salmond needs to explain to voters what currency Scotland would use if it leaves the UK, a spokesperson for the Better Together campaign said.

This couldn't be more important. We need to know what money our wages, pensions and benefits would be paid in.

How can we have confidence about the future if we don't know what currency we would use to pay our shopping and energy bills? We have no idea what money we would use to pay for our NHS if we left the UK.

Alex Salmond wants us to vote for independence on the basis of his blind faith and guesswork alone. We should say no thanks to taking on so much risk.

– Better Together spokesperson

The pound 'is Scotland's currency too'

An independent Scotland will keep the pound "because it's our currency too" a spokesperson for Alex Salmond insisted.

A spokesman for Alex Salmond said the pound is Scotland's currency too. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

He said: "An independent Scotland will keep the pound because it's our currency, too, and pensions and public services will be more sustainable after a yes vote because Scotland's economy is stronger than the UK's."

He added that support for the yes vote had been as high as 48% in recent polls.

He said: "We are looking forward to the debate as an opportunity to communicate the positive message why Scotland can, should and must have the powers of an independent country."

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Joining the Euro is 'the only realistic plan B' for Scotland

Joining the Euro would be the "only realistic plan B" for Alex Salmond if Scotland becomes independent, according to shadow chancellor Ed Balls.

Joining the Euro would be 'least worst of all the bad options,' Ed Balls said. Credit: PA

He told the Observer newspaper: "I fear that an independent Scotland would end up finding that joining the euro would be the least worst of all the bad options."

Balls who has ruled out a currency union if he becomes chancellor added: "It's not what I would choose for Scotland. And I am not surprised at all that Alex Salmond doesn't want to admit it now, but joining the euro would likely be his only realistic plan B."

Attempting to use sterling as the currency of an independent nation without any say over the actual operation of that currency and Bank of England policy would put the Scottish economy in an impossible position, he said.

He added: "Given the size of the UK relative to Scotland, given that Scotland would be leaving the UK, the size of the Scottish financial sector and given the risk, therefore, to UK taxpayers, a sterling currency area would be off the table."

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