Independent Scotland should have its own currency, says Alex Salmond


Alex Salmond (Image: Scottish Government CC BY 2.0).

In an interview with Sunday National, former Scottish First Minister, and leader of the newly established Alba Party, Alex Salmond, has said that an independent Scotland should have its own currency rather than retain the pound sterling.


The Alba Party is due to announce its manifesto for the upcoming Holyrood election on Wednesday (21 April), setting out its stance on a range of issues from Scotland's relationship with the European Union, Education, and the coronavirus recovery.


Prior to the Scottish independence referendum in 2014, Salmond, who was then the leader of the Scottish National Party, argued for a currency union with the rest of the United Kingdom— something that then UK Chancellor George Osbourne rejected.


At the time, Salmond argued that it would be in the interests of both sides for Scotland to retain the sterling.


The question over which currency an independent Scotland would use was a contentious issue in the referendum campaign— and a sticking point for many.


Times have changed


Despite arguing vociferously in favour of retaining the pound sterling in 2014, Salmond says that today's circumstances are qualitatively different.


Speaking to the Sunday National, Salmond said that Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic mean that interest rates are very low and borrowing costs are at a historic low.


He also acknowledged that there would need to be a period of transition between the two currencies, but that that project should begin immediately upon independence.

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