SNP leader Alex Salmond insists and independent Scotland would join the EU and keep the pound sterling in a currency union with the UK
SNP leader Alex Salmond insists and independent Scotland would join the EU and keep the pound sterling in a currency union with the UK Reuters

The Scottish Affairs Committee has hit back at Alex Salmond's claims that the country would keep the pound in the event of independence, by calling the pledge a "dead parrot".

In a report, entitled The Referendum on Separation for Scotland: no doubt-no currency union, the panel of politicians, which is populated by pro-UK Westminster MPs from the three main parties after Salmond's Scottish National Party (SNP) boycotted the group, added that an independent Scotland would be better off adopting a new currency.

"The Scottish government tries to give the impression that a currency union is still a possibility. It is not. This parrot is dead," said Scottish Affairs Committee chairman, Labour MP Ian Davidson.

"If Scotland leaves the United Kingdom there will not be a currency union. Voters urgently need to be told what the Scottish government has as a Plan B. No present or future chancellor or government could depart from this policy without totally destroying their credibility."

The Scottish Affairs Committee also said in the report that by ending the existing financial arrangements, as being part of the union, would have "far-reaching consequences throughout Scotland" and that it was "clear that the Scottish government's case for a currency union owes much more to politics than to economics".

Salmond's spokesperson has since responded to the report by calling it "lame."

"The pound is as much Scotland's as it is England, Wales and Northern Ireland's," the spokesperson added.

Scottish people will vote in an independence referendum on 18 September, 2014, and will be asked the straight "yes/no" question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"

The referendum period started on 30 May.

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.

However, UK Chancellor George Osborne, as well as Labour shadow chancellor Ed Balls and Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander, have explicitly said that an independent Scotland would not keep Sterling.

"If Scotland walks away from the UK, it walks away from the pound," said Osborne, in a speech in February this year.

"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."