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Independent Scotland should keep the pound, say 65% of voters in poll

SNP plans for the country to have its own currency were backed by just 13% of respondents in a Survation survey for Scotland in Union.

Almost two-thirds of Scots would want an independence Scotland to continue to use the pound (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
Almost two-thirds of Scots would want an independence Scotland to continue to use the pound (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

By Katrine Bussey, PA Scotland Political Editor

SNP plans for an independent Scotland to have its own currency are backed by only slightly more than one in eight voters, according to a new poll.

Research by Survation for the pro-UK campaign group Scotland in Union found 13% supported the move – with 65% saying they would favour keeping the pound if Scotland left the UK.

That was the policy SNP leaders campaigned on in the 2014 independence referendum, with the main UK parties at the time saying they would not permit a currency union between a separate Scotland and the rest of the UK.

  • 65% would want to keep using the pound
  • 13% would want to use a new Scottish currency
  • 10% would want to use the euro instead of the pound
  • 13% said they did not know what currency an independent Scotland should use

In April this year, SNP members voted to change policy, agreeing a new Scottish currency should be established as “soon as practicable” if Scotland becomes independent.

Scotland in Union chief executive Pamela Nash said: “The SNP’s plan to scrap the pound is deeply unpopular and is supported by just 13% of voters in Scotland.

“The only way to save the pound and protect wages, mortgages and pensions is to remain in the UK.”

The former Labour MP added First Minister Nicola Sturgeon should ditch plans for a second independence referendum in the latter part of 2020 after the research showed fewer than three out of 10 Scots support this.

The poll put support for the union at 59% – higher than the 55% who backed it five years ago.

But it asked a different question from the one put to voters on the September 18 2014 referendum, which was: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

Instead, pollsters were asked: “Should Scotland remain in the United Kingdom or leave the United Kingdom?”

In this instance, 41% of those surveyed supported independence.

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SNP depute leader Keith Brown. (Jane Barlow/PA Archive/PA Images)

SNP depute leader Keith Brown accused Scotland in Union of “trying to rig the question”.

He said: “This is desperate stuff from the opponents of independence, who are clearly running scared.”

With First Minister Nicola Sturgeon having said she would like a second ballot to be held in the later part of 2020, 27% of those questioned said there should be another referendum within 18 months.

Meanwhile, 15% supported having another ballot between 18 months and five years’ time, 8% wanted this to be held between five and 10 years from now and 13% said there should not be another referendum for at least a decade.

One in 10 people did not know about the timing of a possible second independence vote.

Mr Brown said the poll had “backfired spectacularly” as it showed “almost two-thirds of people are now in favour of another independence referendum”.

“Polling consistently shows support for independence up since 2014 – with most recent polls showing a referendum result is too close to call,” he said.

“More and more people are seeing the Westminster chaos which is failing Scotland and are turning to independence.

“Momentum is building towards a referendum, and when it comes, all the signs are that the people of Scotland will vote Yes.”

He added: “An independent Scotland will continue to use the pound until it’s in the interests of the economy to adopt a new currency – a position this poll shows is overwhelmingly popular.

“Opponents of independence would claim any currency option was the wrong one and would have people believe Scotland is uniquely incapable of having any currency at all.

“They are clearly panicking as support for independence goes from strength-to-strength.

“Brexit has shown the cost to Scotland of not being independent, when decisions about our future are made at Westminster and not here.

“The whole point of becoming independent is so that Scotland has the full powers to take decisions that are in the best interests of our economy and our people.”

PA

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