Picture: Alessandro Garofalo

London - The United Kingdom would need longer to recover its triple-A debt rating if Scotland gains independence after a referendum in September, ratings agency Fitch said on Thursday.

Scottish independence would raise the ratio of the UK's gross public debt to gross domestic product as London has promised to honour all existing British government debt and then seek a contribution from the new Scottish government.

“The UK's gross debt ratio will need to be lower than its current level and steadily declining before any upgrade back to AAA, a prospect that would be delayed by such a debt shock,” Fitch said in a statement. - Reuters