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Bank of England denies Scottish currency talks

The Bank of England has rejected claims from the Scottish government that the two parties have held talks on a currency union in the event of a Scottish Yes vote on independence.

The Daily Telegraph reports the Bank took the unusual step yesterday of challenging claims by Scotland’s finance secretary John Swinney that “technical discussions” over a currency union had taken place.

Earlier this week, Bank governor Mark Carney said the Bank had “contingency plans” in place should Scotland back independence in the referendum next month.

Swinney said these comments went against the “scaremongering” tactics of UK politicians over whether an independent Scotland could keep the pound.

He added: “The Scottish Government has had technical discussions with the Bank of England regarding our proposal for a currency union and we welcome their continued acknowledgement that the bank will introduce whatever the politicians decide.”

But in a statement yesterday, a Bank spokesman said: “The Bank notes the comments made by the finance secretary of the Scottish government regarding technical discussions between officials of the Scottish government and the Bank of England.

“To be clear… the Bank of England has not entered into discussions with representatives of the Scottish government about proposals for future monetary arrangements in Scotland.

“As the Governor said [on Wednesday], the design of any changes to UK monetary and financial arrangements would ultimately be a matter for negotiation between the Westminster and Scottish parliaments. The Bank of England will deliver whatever remit it is given.”

The Scottish referendum on independence will be held on 18 September.

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