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Independence leader warns UK businesses will pay if Scotland is shut out of currency union

LONDON - A Scottish independence leader has warned that businesses across Britain will pay if Scotland is shut out of a currency union in the event it votes to declare independence.

Scottish first minister Alex Salmond shot back Monday after U.K. Treasury chief George Osborne last week ruled out a currency deal. Osborne said Scotland would walk away from the pound should it vote for independence on Sept. 18.

But Salmond says businesses in the rest of the U.K. will potentially pay "many hundreds of millions" in transaction costs.

Salmond dubbed these charges a "George Tax" and predicted it would be impossible "to sell to English business," that they might be charged "for the privilege of exporting goods to Scotland."

The Scottish National Party leader rejected Osborne's remarks as a campaign tactic.

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