Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Britain, Scotland contest independence from UK

Senior officials from the governments of Britain and Scotland are criticizing each other over what currency the Scots could use, if their independence is approved.

A public referendum on Scottish independence from the United Kingdom is scheduled for September this year.

British Finance Minister George Osborne said last week that if Scotland walks away from the UK then it has to walk away from the pound as well.

In response, Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond insisted on Monday that the pound is as much Scotland's as the rest of the UK.

He stressed that Scotland can stabilize its economy and finances by using oil resources in the North Sea.

On Sunday, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso had said that Scotland would find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to gain approval for membership from all the other EU countries.

Barroso's remark suggested possible opposition from Spain, which is also dealing with separatist movements at home.

Salmond criticized Barroso's remark and said it runs counter to an EU ideal of respecting the will of the people.