England 'must be forced to accept Scottish notes'

English shops will be forced to accept Scottish banknotes if Parliament approves a Private Member's Bill launched yesterday.

David Mundell, the shadow Scottish Secretary and Conservative MP for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale, said he had found the experience of having Scottish notes refused to be "exasperating" and wanted to end the confusion over their status.

His Bill requires all providers of goods or services in the UK which accept Bank of England notes to also accept those issued by the Royal Bank of Scotland, Bank of Scotland and Clydesdale Bank.

Mr Mundell said: "Many people, myself included, have tried to pay with Scottish banknotes in England, only to find them questioned. This is exasperating.

"It's time to end the confusion that exists among businesses in England about the status of Scottish notes. It's also time to end the situation whereby English visitors to my constituency and to other parts of Scotland feel obliged to keep asking for English notes in their change so that they don't have to take Scottish notes back over the border.

"It is time that the law made clear what we Scots already know – that a Scottish fiver or tenner is worth just as much as an English one."

Mr Mundell plans to meet banks and other bodies to finalise the wording of his Bill. Nearly £3bn worth of Scottish notes are in circulation.