UK makes debt pledge ahead of Scottish referendum

Monday 13 January 2014 11.55
Britain's net debt stood at nearly £1.2 trillion sterling at the end of the 2012-13 fiscal year
Britain's net debt stood at nearly £1.2 trillion sterling at the end of the 2012-13 fiscal year

The British government confirmed today that it will take responsibility for all British government debt should Scotland vote for independence in September.

The UK government hopes the move will avoid jitters in bond markets ahead of the referendum.

"In the event of Scottish independence from the US, the continuing UK government would in all circumstances honour the contractual terms of the debt issued by the UK government," the Treasury said in a statement.

An independent Scotland would be responsible for "a fair and proportionate share" of Britain's liabilities but a share of the outstanding debt would not be transferred to Scotland, it said.

The terms of repayment would be subject to negotiation, it added.

Britain's net debt stood at nearly £1.2 trillion sterling at the end of the 2012-13 fiscal year.