Alistair Darling: Alex Salmond Would Make Scotland An 'Economic Pariah'

Alistair Darling
Alistair Darling
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Alex Salmond would turn an independent Scotland into an "economic pariah", former chancellor Alistair Darling has warned.

Writing for The Huffington Post UK on Wednesday, Darling said the Scottish first minister's plan to default on Scotland’s share of UK debt if London refused agree to create a monetary union with Edinburgh would be "disastrous".

"His strange argument is that the UK currency and central bank are assets which Scotland would be entitled to a share of. If the UK won’t establish a monetary union then Scotland is relieved of our share of the debt," he said.

Darling, who is fronting the Better Together anti-independence campaign, said all an independent Scotland could lay claim to was its physical share of the Bank of England's desks and computers - not any share of financial system of control over Sterling.

"After a break-up you can argue over the division of your CD collection but you can’t demand that your ex continues to share a bank account with you," he said.

Darling told HuffPost UK: "For a separate Scotland to start life by defaulting on our debt obligations would be disastrous. Scotland’s economy outside the UK would already be exposed to economic shocks such as a fall in oil price. We should not be seeking to create a new one."

"Without a credible story to tell, Salmond reverted to his default position. Create conflict with London. Blame everything on the people down-South.

"If you declare yourself bankrupt you don’t start anew with a fresh slate, your bad credit history follows you around for the rest of your life. The consequences for borrowing, business and mortgages would be dire."

However also writing for HuffPost UK today, the SNP deputy first minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon said Scotland has "every right to be confident" about its economic prospects as an independent country.

"Scotland not only has massive economic strengths - we are financially strong too. Official figures show Scotland to be in a fiscally stronger position than the rest of the UK. For example, we have generated more tax receipts per person than the UK in each and every one of the last 30 years," she said.

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