Currency union rejection 'a bluff'

The Chancellor's pledge to rule out a formal currency union with an independent Scotland is a bluff, according to almost half of voters north of the border.

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A YouGov poll for The Times newspaper suggests 45% of Scots do not believe George Osborne's threat is real, compared with 40% who think he means what he says.

Mr Osborne insisted last month that he would not agree to the key Scottish Government proposal to formally share sterling after a Yes vote on September 18. The senior Tory was backed by Labour and Liberal Democrat leaders, suggesting no future UK Government would accept the SNP plan.

First Minister Alex Salmond immediately branded the position a bluff, and he appears to have wider support among voters.

The poll asked if people thought the UK party leaders are bluffing in order to increase the chances of a No vote, or it they "mean what they say" and the rest of the UK probably would not agree to a currency union.

Fifteen per cent of voters said they do not know what could happen.

A spokesman for Scotland's Finance Secretary, John Swinney, said: "This is a very welcome finding, which shows that people are not buying the Tory-led attempts to bully and scare Scotland.

"The pound is as much Scotland's currency as it is the rest of the UK's."

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