Scotland politics

Scottish independence: Bank of England governor 'welcomes' currency talks

Mark Carney
Image caption Mark Carney said a meeting with the Scottish government would happen in due course

The governor of the Bank of England has "welcomed" the chance to discuss the Scottish government's plan to share the pound under independence.

Mark Carney said basic discussions were held between his predecessor and the first minister, and said another meeting would happen "at some point".

SNP ministers have said a currency union with the rest of the UK would be possible.

But opponents have questioned whether this would happen.

Mr Carney's comments, which were welcomed by the Scottish government, came during a Bank of England media event in London on Thursday.

The governor said: "I have not had any discussions with members of the Scottish government.

"My predecessor did have some very basic technical discussions with Mr Salmond within the course of the last couple of years. I certainly welcome the opportunity to have those discussions."

"There has been an effort to set up a meeting and I'm sure it will happen at some point."

Mr Carney, who succeeded Sir Mervin King as Bank of England governor, was also asked about proposals for an independent Scotland to keep the institution as lender of last resort, saying he would respond to such "technical" questions in due course.

He added: "There are a number of important complex issues related to these broader questions and the bigger issue is ultimately a decision for the Scottish people.

'Detailed perspective'

"They will need to make those decisions as fully informed as possible.

"I think there will be a more appropriate time and a more appropriate venue to provide a more detailed perspective."

Mr Carney also said he was keen to avoid answering "highly political" questions.

A spokesman for Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, said: "Scottish government officials have already had technical discussions with their counterparts at the Bank of England to assist the Fiscal Commission with their work, including the publication of their report on a macroeconomic framework for an independent Scotland, which includes proposals for a shared sterling area.

"The first minister met with the previous governor of the bank, Sir Mervyn King, before and after those technical discussions, and he looks forward to meeting the new governor in due course."

On 18 September 2014, voters in Scotland will be asked the yes/no question, "Should Scotland be an independent country?"