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British MPs say Scottish pound plan is 'dead parrot'

A British parliamentary committee on Monday ruled out the possibility of "any kind" of currency union between an independent Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom.

LONDON, United Kingdom: A British parliamentary committee on Monday ruled out the possibility of "any kind" of currency union between an independent Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom.

The Committee for Scottish Affairs concluded in a report that Scotland would no longer be able to use the pound if it voted for independence in a referendum on September 18. The report attacked Scottish ministers for continuing to insist that a currency union would be possible after separation, and for refusing to propose any viable alternatives.

"The Scottish Government tries to give the impression that a currency union is still a possibility. It is not. This parrot is dead," said Ian Davidson, the chairman of the committee.

Scotland and the rest of the UK have shared the same currency for the last 300 years, but all of the main London-based political parties have warned Scottish voters that the currency union will no longer be possible if political union is broken by a vote for independence. The committee firmly supported this stance, arguing that the single currency functions because of the close integration between countries.

Any loosening of the banking and fiscal ties between Scotland and the rest of the UK would make sharing the pound impossible, the report said. Davidson added: "There will be no currency union between a separate Scotland and the continuing United Kingdom. No currency union of any kind: no ifs, no buts, no fudges, no deals. Now voters urgently need to be told what the Scottish Government has as a Plan B."

Opinion polls show Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond's pro-independence campaign remains narrowly behind support to keep the union.

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