After Costa Coffee back down over a row about Scottish banknotes, what is the law about using them in England?

Scottish banknotes
Scottish banknotes
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A UK-wide chain of coffee shops has been forced to reassure customers that it will accept Scottish banknotes following a social media storm.

Costa Coffee faced a backlash from Twitter users north of the Border last night after claims its store in the Kent town of Margate had refused to accept a Scottish note.

The online row was kicked-off when one user, @ScotsLindaT, said: “My local store in Margate doesn’t accept Scottish money - the manager says it’s because they bank with the Post Office.”

That response prompted several people to call for a boycott of the chain.

Costa backed down by deleting its original tweet and informing its followers it did accept Scottish bank notes. “The info was wrong - our bad! Our stores do accept Scottish notes,” it said.

So what are the rules?

Three separate banks - Bank of Scotland, the Royal Bank of Scotland and Clydesdale - have the right to issue paper currency north of the Border.

In England and Wales, only the Bank of England has the right to issue notes.

Scottish banknotes though are NOT legal tender in England, but they are legal currency, so there's no excuse for shops to not accept them.

"Legal tender" relates to the settling of debts and you can't refuse to accept them as settlement of court ordered debt - but the phrase is mostly irrelevant.

But Scottish and Northern Irish notes are legal currency in the UK and are just as valid as Bank of England notes