Scottish Independence: Yes vote would be 'worse than the banking crisis', says Alistair Darling

Mr Darling's No camp may make a formal complaint about allegations that the Scottish National Party threatened businessmen with 'retribution'

Political Editor

The impact of Scotland voting for independence could be more damaging for the UK than the 2008 banking crisis, Alistair Darling has warned.

The leader of the Better Together campaign recalled that, as Chancellor, he was told that RBS cashpoints were about to run dry as the bank went bust. He contrasted this temporary crisis with the permanent implications of a Yes vote in the referendum on 18 September.

In an interview with The Independent, Mr Darling said: “Being told the world’s largest bank has three hours before it collapses does provide a shock to the system. But the decision on Scotland is forever. It’s irrevocable, irreversible.

"If we get it wrong, it will have a profound effect, not just on Scotland, but the rest of the UK. The stakes in the banking crisis were big; this is so much bigger.”

 

Mr Darling revealed that his No camp may make a formal complaint to the Electoral Commission about allegations that the Scottish National Party threatened some businessmen with “retribution” if they spoke out against independence.

He said: “It is shining a light on Scotland that frankly brings shame on our country. When I first heard about it over two years ago, I did not believe it. Now people are speaking out because it is happening to so many people. What worries me is that, if Scotland became independent, the same people doing these things would be in government. It strikes at the heart of the campaign and the conduct of public life. It should not be tolerated.”

Video: What do the Scottish think of the campaign for independence?

Angus Robertson, the SNP’s Westminster leader, said he “totally refutes” allegations on Channel 4’s Dispatches last night that he put pressure on the Scotch Whisky Association to keep out of the independence debate. “It is high time the UK Government retracted its bogus claims on the establishment of an independent Scotland, and apologised,” he said.

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