News Column

Business Postscript: ECONOMICS

February 2, 2014

The British economy grew at the strongest rate in six years in 2013, having ended the year on a high as the recovery became more entrenched. The UK's services and manufacturing sectors were the drivers of the 0.7% growth seen in the fourth quarter, it was announced last week, taking annual rate to 1.9%, the strongest since 2007, before the financial crisis. So would you want to untether yourself from this recovery? If you're Alex Salmond , then possibly. Scotland's first minister met Mark Carney last week, as the Bank of England governor went to Edinburgh to give a speech. He said Scotland would need to give up significant areas of its sovereignty if it wanted to use sterling and reach a watertight deal with the UK to avoid the risks and instability that had plagued the euro. But he didn't rule out an independent Scotland that shares a head of state with the UK using the same currency. Something similar has happened before, of course. Following the ascendency of James VI of Scotland to the English throne in 1603, he introduced the first gold coins that were similar on both sides of the border, albeit with an exchange rate of one pound sterling to 12 pound Scots. To some English wags, that seems like a fair starting point for negotiations. Captions: Carney and Salmond: gold coins?

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Source: Observer (UK)

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