Daily Archives: February 25, 2013

The bruising Commons encounters between George Osborne and Ed Balls are often a pleasure to watch – albeit from a safe distance. And none more so than today’s bout, with its characteristic “rapier v sledgehammer” quality.

It was Balls who called the encounter through an urgent question to inquire about the loss of Britain’s cherished AAA credit rating. But it was Osborne who got to speak first.

The chancellor observed that the markets had not shown much volatility today, with 10-year gilts steady at 2.1 per cent and the FTSE slightly up. (He ignored the fact that at one point sterling hit a two-year low in reaction to the news.)

Waspishly, he observed that the downgrade was “worrying” to anyone who thought that Read more

George Osborne and Danny Alexander will front two important pieces of analysis next month into why being in the UK benefits Scotland both in terms of its currency and its financial services sector.

The first of these papers could prove particularly interesting. It will argue that the best kind of relationship between Scotland and the rest of the UK would be full fiscal and currency union – ie remaining part of the UK.

But it will also give an intriguing answer on the terms on which Scotland could leave the UK and yet still retain sterling as its currency. Read more