The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition)
Pound story ‘blow to No’
THE CAMPAIGN against independence has suffered a “demolition” blow after a UK minister’s suggestion the pound would be shared in the event of aYes vote, Scotland’s First Minister said.
The Treasury was forced to intervene and insist there would be no currency union after comments by an anonymous minister were published in The Guardian.
All three main parties at Westminster had already officially ruled out sharing sterling with an independent Scotland but an unnamed minister was quoted as saying “of course” there would be an agreement on the pound, indicating a deal could be done in exchange for the UK’s nuclear submarine fleet remaining at Faslane on the Clyde.
Alex Salmond said the article showed the No campaign’s stance on sterling “is a campaign tactic, a negotiating position, something to scare the natives up in Scotland”.
The comments prompted Alistair Darling, who heads Better Together, to stress a shared pound “wouldn’t happen, no matter what anonymous quotes people read”.
Mr Salmond told Sky News’s Murnaghan programme: “You would not have had the panicky reaction of the last 48 hours...if the No campaign didn’t realise that their scaremongering has been holed below the water line.
“It has been a very difficult 48 hours for the No campaign and it’s going to get a lot worse because they are not basing their arguments on a positive vision of the future.
“They have based their a rg u m e n t s on whatever they can say or do in this campaign to try and intimidate the people of Scotland out of voting for independence and their bluff is being called.
“It seems to me that the story is a very important demolition of the No campaign.”
Mr Salmond’s comments came as Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael said thepro-unioncampaignneedstodomoreand match the nationalists’“hunger” for victory.
He said Scotland could end up voting for independence because those in favour of remaining part of the UK could leave it too late to make their voices heard.