Brown In 'Debt Outcast' Warning
An independent Scotland would become "an international outcast'' if it refuses to accept a share of the UK national debt, according to former prime minister Gordon Brown.
"There is no hiding place in the international community for a country that reneges on their debts,'' the Fife MP warned in a speech in Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire.
Mr Brown set out "five positives'' of remaining in the UK: one million jobs "linked to our membership of the UK''; the £425 million more pensioners receive "from being part of the UK pension system''; £1 billion more spending on the NHS than Scotland's population share; a lower cost of living "as part of the UK'' and also keeping the pound sterling.
The Scottish Government has dismissed Westminster's pledge to veto a currency union as a campaign tactic but warned that it will withhold Scotland's share of the UK national debt if Westminster refuses to share the assets of the Bank of England.
Mr Brown said: "Nationalists forget that once Scotland ends the system of sharing - through which the whole of the UK contributes to Scottish jobs, pensions, health care and costs of living - there is no way back.
"Yet their argument that there is an easy option in going it alone looks thinner and thinner every day.
"When pressured by Alistair Darling on the currency, Mr Salmond and Mr Swinney have now made the most dangerous statement of all: that they would default on Scotland's debts.
"There is no hiding place in the international community for a country that reneges on their debts.
"With a total of 1.4 million Scottish jobs linked to Scotland's trade with the wider world, it is difficult to see how the SNP's 'stop the world, I want to get off' posturing would help Scottish families.
"You need a coherent strategy for dealing with global capital, global financial markets and global institutions.
"Yet the SNP's proposal to default on the debt would make Scotland an international outcast, with dire consequences for our interest rates and our ability to raise funds.
"With our Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont and Shadow Scottish Secretary Margaret Curran, we will intensify our relentless campaign to show our patriotic vision of Scotland's future.''
The Scottish Government insists Scotland cannot ``default'' on a debt they are not legally liable for, pointing out that Westminster has accepted liability for the whole debt in the event of independence.
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