George Osborne Warns Scotland: Quit the UK and Lose the Pound
George Osborne Warns Scotland: Quit the UK and Lose the Pound Reuters

Britain's Chancellor George Osborne has launched his strongest attack on Scottish independence after telling voters in a speech that if they quit the UK, they will lose the pound.

While delivering a speech in Edinburgh on 13 February, Osborne also added that the Scottish National Party's (SNP) threat to not pay its debt, will only negatively impact the country's ability to borrow money in the future.

"If Scotland walks away from the UK, it walks away from the pound," said Osborne.

"There is no legal reason why the rest of the UK would need to share the currency with an independent Scotland.

"The pound is not an asset to be divided up."

He added that Alex Salmond's, leader of the SNP, threats will also backfire.

"The SNP threat to walk away from the country's share of UK debt would mean punitively high interest rates for Scottish debt issuance," said Osborne.

Scottish people will vote in an independence referendum in September this year and will be asked the straight "yes/no" question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"

The SNP is pushing for a yes vote in the September independence referendum, but has continually told voters that it is likely that the country will retain the pound.

On 12 February, several SNP officials, including its Treasury spokesman slammed Osborne for 'bullying' the country, by repeatedly delivering strong opposition towards a currency union, in the event that Scotland breaks away from Britain.

"This is pure politics and Osborne has got it wrong," said Stewart Hosie, who is also the MP for Dundee East.

"We have suggested a formal currency union because it is in the best interests of both countries. For the chancellor to rule it out which would have an immediate impact on sterling balance of trade."