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UK Treasury chief tells Scotland that a vote for independence means leaving pound

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne gives a speech linked to the forthcoming referendum in Edinburgh, Scotland Thursday, Feb 13, 2014. Osborne told Scottish voters that if they vote for independence later this year, they will be walking away from the pound. In the tough speech in Edinburgh on Thursday, Osborne ruled out a currency union, insisting that the pound would not be an asset divided up after a

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Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne gives a speech linked to the forthcoming referendum in Edinburgh, Scotland Thursday, Feb 13, 2014. Osborne told Scottish voters that if they vote for independence later this year, they will be walking away from the pound. In the tough speech in Edinburgh on Thursday, Osborne ruled out a currency union, insisting that the pound would not be an asset divided up after a "messy divorce." The other major U.K. parties are backing that view. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell, Pool)

LONDON - U.K. Treasury chief George Osborne has told Scottish voters that if they vote for independence later this year, they will be walking away from the pound.

In a tough speech in Edinburgh on Thursday, Osborne ruled out a currency union, insisting that the pound would not be an asset divided up after a "messy divorce." The other major U.K. parties are backing that view.

"If Scotland walks away from the U.K., it walks away from the U.K. pound," he said.

A key plank of the strategy presented by independence leaders is that Scotland would share the pound if they win the Sept. 18 referendum.

But Osborne says the economic costs are too great for the remaining U.K. members — England, Wales and Northern Ireland — to consider a currency union.

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