Cameron slammed after misrepresenting BoE Chief’s currency stance


  By Chris Rumbles

Prime Minister David Cameron has been accused of ‘misrepresenting’ the views of the Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney on a post-independence currency union.

In an interview on BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme on Friday, Mr Cameron, speaking while in Scotland as part of a two day tour, claimed that ‘pre-negotiation’ between Westminster and the Scottish Government was not an option for any issue pertaining to independence.

On the subject of a currency union being agreed in the event of a ‘Yes’ vote in September the Prime Minister said: “Alex Salmond has said that there will be a place for Scotland to share the pound sterling with the rest of the United Kingdom and that’s turned out, on the advice of the Governor of the Bank of England and the head of the UK Treasury, not to be the case so those that are arguing for separation have got to make the case for separation.”

Speaking in January at an event hosted by the Scottish Council for Development & Industry, Mr Carney said: “What follows is not an assessment of whether Scotland will be overall better or worse off under independence – that is a multi-faceted judgement for the Scottish people.  It does not pass judgement on the relative merits of the different currency options for an independent Scotland, but instead draws attention to the key issues.”

The Bank of England Governor went on to add that: “This is a technical assessment of what makes an effective currency union between independent nations.”

Mark Carney’s comments in January, according to the Bank of England, did “not pass judgement on the relative merits of the different currency options for an independent Scotland”.

Mr Cameron’s interview, which also saw the Prime Minister dismiss the Yes campaign’s claim of a ‘continued’ EU membership as “complete nonsense”, comes after the Better Together campaign circulated leaflets claiming Mr Carney had criticised the idea of a post-independent Scotland retaining the pound.

The leaflets, distributed to members of the public in January, said: “With experts, including the Governor of the Bank of England, criticising Alex Salmond’s claim that we would keep the pound after independence, it is increasingly clear that if we leave the UK we would lose the UK pound.”

Commenting on Mr Cameron’s latest remarks on the currency issue, SNP MSP Jamie Hepburn, a member of the Finance Committee, said: “David Cameron’s attempts to misrepresent Mark Carney show that the No camp has lost the argument on the currency union and desperation has set in.

“The Governor of the Bank of England made clear that the Bank ‘would implement whatever monetary arrangements were put in place’ between the Scottish and UK Governments.”

A Survation survey conducted on behalf of the Daily Record newspaper last month asked over 1000 people ‘Do you think the Westminster parties are bluffing or not when they ruled out a ‘currency union’?’

37 per cent said they thought the unionist parties were indeed bluffing and that a currency union would be agreed in the event of Scottish independence while 35 per cent said they were not bluffing with 28 per cent selecting ‘Don’t know’.