GEORGE Osborne has rubbished the SNP's central ambition for monetary union between an independent Scotland and the UK, saying it would lead to "greater interdependence, not greater independence".

In a keynote speech to the Scottish CBI in Glasgow, the Chancellor insisted: "Scotland walks taller and shouts louder as part of the United Kingdom." Mr Osborne also declared the UK economy was healing, basing his assertion on private-sector job creation, increased investment and growing exports.

The SNP Government said his claim "beggared belief", given the OECD think-tank slashed its forecast for Britain's annual growth from +0.5% to -0.7%.

Mr Osborne spoke of his "instinctive emotional attachment" to Scotland's place within the UK and his passionate belief that Scotland was stronger in the UK and the UK was stronger with Scotland in it.

He said the lesson of the eurozone crisis was "you can't have monetary union without greater fiscal and political integration ... because membership of a monetary union means greater interdependence, not greater independence".