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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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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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