POLITICS

Scottish Independence: George Galloway Denies Calling SNP Nazis

12/09/2014 10:53 BST | Updated 12/09/2014 12:59 BST

George Galloway has denied comparing the Scottish National Party to Nazis after pro-independence campaigners claimed that the BBC edited out the alleged remark from a debate broadcast last night.

A spokesman for the Respect MP, who is supporting the Better Together pro-unionist campaign, told the Huffington Post UK: "It certainly was never said. That was the full programme."

The BBC said that it did not edit the debate "in any way", with a spokesman adding: "What the public saw air was what happened."

This comes as the International Monetary Fund warned of economic fallout in the event of Scottish independence, while the Institute for Fiscal Studies has argued that Scotland's National Health Service would not be better off.

After Galloway's appearance on the BBC's "Big Big Debate" about next week's referendum on Scottish independence debate, pro-independence campaigners took to Twitter to accuse the broadcaster of "covering up" Galloway "slurring all Yes supporters as Nazis".

Galloway was booed and jeered on the programme as he cited Britain's struggle against the Nazis to argue in favour of the United Kingdom.

"United, we stood alone against Hitler, fascism," he told the audience of young people in Glasgow. "You can jeer but ask your grandparents how important it was that as a united people we stood alone otherwise we'd be having this conversation in German."

He also branded the pro-independence argument "moonshine" and "fantasy economics", arguing that Scotland's oil reserves were far more limited than believed.

"I'll be dead and gone by the time [the oil] runs out. All of you will stil be alive and all the oil will be gone," he said.

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund has warned that an independence vote could lead to market fallout due to the resulting economic uncertainty.

Bill Murray, a spokesperson for the Washington-based think tank, told reporters: "The main immediate effect is likely to be uncertainty over the transition to a potentially new and different monetary, financial and fiscal framework in Scotland."

"While this uncertainty could lead to negative market reactions in the short term, the longer term will depend on the decisions being made during the transition."

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The Institute for Fiscal Studies also expressed doubt about Scottish ministers' claims that the NHS would be better off if the country gained independence.

In new analysis, the IFS said: "In the short term, it is hard to see how independence could allow Scotland to spend more on the NHS than would be possible within a union where it will have significant tax-raising powers and considerable say over spending priorities."

Scottish health secretary Alex Neil said in response: "The no campaign's answer to Westminster cuts is to increase tax in Scotland. Why should hard-working families in Scotland be forced to pay for the cuts to public spending from a government they did not elect?"

Scottish Independence Referendum