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29/01/14 12:39

Media briefing - Wednesday 29 January 2014

The First Minster’s Official Spokesperson (FMOS) welcomed journalists to the briefing and ran through the day's key events:

The FMOS advised that the First Minister had this morning been delighted to welcome the new Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney, to Edinburgh on his first official visit to Scotland since his appointment. The FMOS highlighted the First Minister had indicated the Scottish Government greatly value the strong working relationship with the Bank, and its commitment to operational independence and impartiality in the political debate.

The FMOS said the First Minister had also welcomed the Governor’s confirmation of his willingness to continue technical discussions, inaugurated by his predecessor Lord King, between the Scottish Government and the Bank of England in advance of the referendum.

When asked by journalists if the First Minister or the Scottish Government would make further comment today on Mr Carney’s speech, the FMOS confirmed we would.

When asked if the Bank of England have confirmed if currency union would be possible, the FMOS said the Mr Carney had yet to make his speech. Asked is she thought they would agree with the Scottish Government’s proposals following independence, she highlighted the accord in the Edinburgh Agreement which set out if the people of Scotland choose independence in September then both the Scottish and UK Governments had already agreed to make the necessary arrangements in the transition period.

The FMOS also highlighted the Education Secretary Michael Russell would later today say that Scotland has benefitted from Scottish Government investment in higher education, including free tuition for Scottish students, and would pledge to continue to protect opportunities for Scottish students, ensure universities remain internationally competitive and deliver an immigration system that meets the needs of Scottish universities and prospective students.