An academic has branded a UK Government decision to stop an independent Scotland from using the pound the result of “confused logic and inadequate economics”.
Professor Leslie Young, from the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business in Beijing, suggested it could also be “a subterfuge to frighten Scottish citizens”.
He said a currency union would result in “substantial costs” but remained the best option for the economies of the countries involved in the event of a “yes” vote.
But Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said sharing the pound was not sensible for anyone and would not happen.
The Highland MP said selling the idea to people was like “trying to sell people a car with the steering column disabled” because an independent Scotland would have no control over borrowing and spending.
Prof Young was asked to examine the issue by an organisation launched by businessman Sir Tom Hunter to provide analysis on key referendum issues.
He claimed the UK Government used an “inflated and unwarranted” version of the argument that the status quo was the best of option for Scotland and the rest of the UK.
Prof Young said: “The analysis of this paper thus leaves only two explanations for this stance by the UK Government, which has either confused logic and inadequate economics.
“Or a subterfuge to frighten Scottish citizens to vote against independence by raising the spectre of economic chaos immediately afterwards.
“Neither explanation does the UK Government much credit.”
Mr Alexander said he did not accept the academic’s position
“Trying to sell people independence on the basis of a currency union is a bit like trying to sell people a car with the steering column disabled,” he added.
“You are saying that an independent Scotland would not have a steering wheel, would not be able to adjust interest rates, would not have an exchange rate to adjust as the oil price changes.
“We would have to bind our hands on how much tax we raise and how much we spend to make a currency union work.
“A currency union is not going to happen.”